Friday, November 30, 2007
Sixty years after 'Al-Nakba' in Palestine - ROR is still a fundamental issue
Al-Nakba, one of the key events in modern Middle Eastern history, began on Nov. 29, 1947. That day, the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 181 to partition the British Mandate (colony) of Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab. The United Nations made this decisive step without consulting the Palestinian Arabs, who at the time comprised two-thirds of the population.
Most of the Jewish population was made up of settlers who had arrived in the previous three decades, mainly from Europe. More than 100,000 were survivors of the Nazi genocide.
While the U.S. and British imperialists had done little before or during World War II to aid the Jewish victims of fascism, they used the horrors of Hitler’s death camps to rally support for the establishment of the state of Israel after the war.
The Palestinians—who had had nothing to do with European anti-Semitism or genocide—were not consulted before the U.N. vote. There was no plebiscite or vote of the people. If there had been, the outcome would not have been in doubt: One unitary state would have been the overwhelming choice. The U.N. vote was an illegitimate act and a violation of the Palestinians’ right of self-determination.
The two-thirds majority required to pass Resolution 181 was only achieved through intense U.S. pressure. The vote ended up 33 to 13 with 10 abstentions. The Truman administration leaned heavily on its neocolonies and client states, particularly the Philippines, Liberia, Haiti and Thailand, all of which initially opposed the resolution.
Without those four votes, the resolution would have failed. For narrow and short-term interests, the Soviet Union voted for the resolution. This represented a betrayal of the Arab anti-colonial struggle and one that did great harm to the socialist cause in the region. Later, the Soviet Union would become a major ally of the Arab national liberation movement.
The forced displacement of a people
The U.N. vote led to celebration among the Zionists, the settler movement working to create an exclusively Jewish state in Palestine. Despite owning just six percent of the land, Resolution 181 awarded them 56 percent of Palestine. On the Palestinian side, there was anger and rebellion. As all parties knew ahead of time, partition meant war.
Fighting broke out immediately.
In January 1948, the better-armed Zionist military forces began to carry out "Plan Dalet." The point of the plan was to terrorize and drive out the Palestinian population. Before Plan Dalet, Palestinian villagers left their homes during battles, but typically went only as far as the next village.
On April 9, 1948, a Zionist paramilitary organization, the Irgun, massacred the entire village of Deir Yassin, raising "Plan Dalet" to a new level of brutality. When the dust had cleared, more than 200 Palestinian children, women and men lay dead. The massacre was meant as a warning to all Palestinians.
While the Jewish Agency formally "condemned" the Deir Yassin massacre, on the same day it incorporated the Irgun paramilitary into the official military Joint Command.
Twelve days after Deir Yassin, Zionist forces launched a lethal attack on the Palestinian areas of the mixed city of Haifa. They rolled barrel bombs filled with gasoline and dynamite down narrow alleys in the heavily populated city while mortar shells pounded the Arab neighborhoods from overhead. Nearly the entire Arab population fled.
Within a week, similar tactics led 77,000 of 80,000 Palestinians to flee the port city of Jaffa.
By May 15, 1948, when Israel’s independence was proclaimed, 300,000 Palestinians were living and dying in abominable conditions of exile in Lebanon, Gaza, Syria and the Jordan Valley. By the end of that year, the number of dispossessed Palestinians had grown to 750,000.
In the 1948 war, Israel, with its superior economic and military resources and support from the Western powers, conquered 78 percent of Palestine. The Israeli military strategy was to not only conquer land, but also to drive out as much of the Palestinian population as possible from that land.
Nearly 80 percent of the Arab population was forcibly "transferred" to make way for the new Israeli state. Their farms, workplaces and homes were stolen, forming an indispensable foundation for the new Israeli economy and state.
In the 1967 "Six-Day War," Israel seized the remainder of historic Palestine: the West Bank and Gaza. This created 300,000 more refugees, many of whom were second-time exiles, having already fled the Israelis 19 years earlier.
None of those driven out in 1948 and 1967, nor their descendants, now numbering more than six million, have ever been allowed to come back or been compensated for their loss. This injustice remains despite U.N. Resolution 194, passed in December 1948, stating unequivocally that all refugees must be allowed to return and have their homes, lands and other property restored to them. The U.S. and Israeli governments have ignored the U.N. resolution for more than half a century.
While forcibly preventing the return of any exiled Palestinians, the new Israeli state proclaimed that any person living anywhere in the world who had proof of one Jewish grandparent, regardless of whether they or their family ever stepped foot in the Middle East, had the "right of return" to Israel. Those "returning" would be granted immediately citizenship in the new exclusivist state.
Right of return remains key demand
Six decades after Al-Nakba, the right of return remains a key issue despite the Israeli and U.S. leaders’ constant efforts to dismiss it.
It is obvious why the cause remains so vital for Palestinians. If a people are deprived of their land, their very existence as a people is threatened. Defending the right of return is a key element in the struggle to maintain the unity of the Palestinian people between those who remain inside historic Palestine and those families that have been illegally expelled.
Israeli opposition to Palestinian return is not really because there is "no room" for the Palestinians in Palestine, as Zionist ideologues often claim. That argument is blatantly racist. Palestinian demographer Dr. Salman Abu-Sitta has pointed out that most of the more than 500 demolished Palestinian towns and villages remain unoccupied today. They were destroyed and their residents driven away for mainly political purposes—the creation of an exclusivist state.
Nor is this some long-resolved issue buried in the sands of time. Hundreds of thousands of people forcibly exiled in 1948 and 1967 are alive today. Many hold among their dearest possessions the keys to their homes in Palestine. Some of those houses, particularly in the demolished villages, were bulldozed into the ground. Many others, however, especially in cities like Haifa, Jaffa, Jerusalem and elsewhere were expropriated and turned over to Israeli settlers, who live in them to this day.
Today, 46 percent of the six million Palestinian refugees reside inside historic Palestine, the 1948 borders of Israel, or the West Bank and Gaza. Another 42 percent live within 100 miles of its borders, in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria. (Roane Carey, ed., The New Intifada, Versa, 2001)Put another way, nearly nine out of 10 Palestinian refugees could be home in the time in takes many people in this country to commute to work.
Hundreds of thousands of Palestinian families live in extreme poverty in 59 refugee camps, with no prospect of a better future. For them, the right of return is not abstract or academic, but an issue that speaks to their very survival. The situation is especially dire in the camps of Lebanon and Gaza, which are home to more than one million people.
The return of the exiled Palestinians would not mean, as is commonly claimed by the supporters of Israel, that the Jewish population would be forced to leave.
But it would mean that Israel could not continue as an apartheid-style state, with special rights for one group, serving the interests of imperialism in a key strategic region of the world.
This goes to the heart of why Israeli and U.S. ruling circles so adamantly oppose the Palestinian right of return. It also speaks to the need for all people who stand for justice and self-determination to defend the right of return as a fundamental democratic right.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Gilad Atzmon - The Politics of Anti-Semitism: Zionism, the Bund and Jewish Identity Politics
Those amongst us who support the Palestinian people, those amongst us who are devastated by the growing scale of Israeli atrocities, those who want to bring justice to Palestine and this includes bringing Palestinians back to their land, will have to make up their minds sooner or later. From now on, everything we do or say about the Jewish state is seen by one Jew or another as anti-Semitism. We have to make up our minds and decide once and for all, is it world Jewry which we are trying to appease, or is it the Palestinians we are fighting for?
I myself made up my mind. For me it is Palestine and the Palestinian people. If this makes me into an anti-Semite in the eyes of some confused Diaspora Jews (left, right and centre), I will have to learn to live with it. At the end of the day, I cannot make everyone happy.
Already in 1973, Abba Eban, then Israeli foreign minister, identified anti-Zionism as ‘the new anti-Semitism’:
“Throughout the 19th century, the revolutionary left literature is full of invidious remarks about the Jewish insistence on self-affirmation and survival. The assumption was that in a free national society there would be no room for the maintenance of Jewish particularism. It was assumed that the destiny and duty of Jews was to disappear in the universal utopia. When Zionism came on the scene as the product not only of specific currents in Judaism but also of European nationalism, the phrase nationalism no longer had about it the fine glow that it possessed in the days of Garibaldi... recently we have witnessed the rise of the new left which identifies Israel with the establishment, with acquisition, with smug satisfaction, with, in fact, all the basic enemies... Let there be no mistake: the new left is the author and the progenitor of the new anti-Semitism. One of the chief tasks of any dialogue with the Gentile world is to prove that the distinction between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism is not a distinction at all. Anti-Zionism is merely the new anti-Semitism. The old classic anti-Semitism declared that equal rights belong to all individuals within the society, except the Jews. The new anti-Semitism says that the right to establish and maintain an independent national sovereign state is the prerogative of all nations, so long as they happen not to be Jewish. And when this right is exercised not by the Maldive Islands, not by the state of Gabon, not by Barbados... but by the oldest and most authentic of all nationhoods, then this is said to be exclusivism, particularism, and a flight of the Jewish people from its universal mission.”
(Abba Eban, Congress Bi-Weekly, American Jewish Congress publication 1973)
Sameness and Singularity
Any tendency to establish a coherent Jewish national identity can be realised as a dialectic struggle between two opposing poles. On the one hand, we can notice the clear inclination towards ‘sameness’ in the form of ‘nation amongst nations’. On the other hand, we can detect a definite tendency to celebrate one’s symptoms, a keen leaning towards uniqueness and singularity. The argument would be as follows: as much as we (the Jews) are people like all other people, we are still slightly different and we want to celebrate our uniqueness.
In the late 19th century and the first part of the 20th, two emerging Jewish national political schools were trying to resolve the dialectical duality between ‘sameness’ and ‘singularity’. They were both competing for the hearts and minds of the Jewish masses. One was the Bund, a unique esoteric form of Judeo-centric socialist reading of the Jewish question, Jewish history as well as Jewish destiny. The other was Zionism, a colonial nationalist settlement philosophy. Zionism conveyed an exceptionally harsh reading of the Jewish Diaspora conditions and promised a transformation of the Jewish reality.
The debate between the Bund and the Zionist movement has very little historical significance, yet it enlightens the notion of Jewish tribal politics; it is a glimpse into Jewish marginal philosophy and identity-politics. It throws light over the current apparatus of Jewish political lobbying within the West and even within the left. I want to believe that a brief elaboration on this debate and its implications will elucidate the ever-growing tendency amongst Jewish ethnic activists (left, right and centre) to label every ideological and intellectual criticism as anti-Semitism.
Bund versus Zionism
The Bund was initially an internationalist movement active mainly in Eastern Europe. It posited that Jewish people form a class and therefore should be recognised as an ethnic national minority within the emerging Russian proletarian movement. Zionism, on the other hand, was there to argue that in order to save the Jew of his ‘Diaspora atrocious reality’, a new Jew must be formed, and this could only take place within an accomplishment of a settlement project on a consecrated Jewish Homeland, i.e. Palestine.
Clearly, both political movements aimed towards the transformation of the Jew and his surrounding reality. While the Bund was aiming towards a terminological or even semantic transition grounded on an alternative materialistic reading of Jewish history, Zionism pointed towards a real metaphysical transition of the Jewish subject, his reality and his role in the universe.
While the Bund failed to grasp the obvious meaning of cosmopolitanism and universalism as an opposition to any form of racial or ethnic division within the ‘international’, early Zionists were clever enough to realise that the true meaning of nationalism can only be realised in terms of geographical orientation. For the Zionist, nationalism meant a bond between man and ‘his’ land.
The Bund leaders naively insisted that sustaining the Yiddish language and Yiddish culture would mature into an organic awareness of national identity that would pull eastern European Jews in but would be recognised by others as a legitimate ethnic minority as well. They were obviously wrong. Already in 1903, following Lenin’s criticism of the Bund’s national agenda, the majority of the delegates at the 2nd RSDLP’s (Russian Social Democratic Labor Party) congress had rejected the agenda the Bund proposed. Consequently, the Bund representatives had left the Congress. Moreover, not only had the Bund failed to make itself ideologically recognized by the Goyim around them, it also failed to develop a general tolerant attitude towards the manifold of ethnicity within the Jewish people around the world. Being Askeno-centric, the Issue of Sephardic and Arabic Jews was totally ignored by the Jewish (national) socialists. I would assume that the Bund expected Moroccan Jews to learn Yiddish, or even become Russian working class before they could be entitled to have a ‘Bund membership card’.
Being obsessed with Yiddish, the Bund stood up firmly against the Zionist Hebrew revival project. They tried to invest some real effort in spreading Yiddish culture. But even there it failed in the long run. As we know, nowadays, Yiddish language and culture are alive only within a very small circuit in the Ashkenazi Orthodox sector. It is almost non-existent amongst secular and assimilated Jews.
While both movements were secular, early Zionists were honest enough to admit that on the eve of the 20th century, there was not much in Jewish secular life to be proud of (either culturally or spiritually). This was only natural, considering the fact that in 1898 (the First Zionist congress) Jewish emancipation was still in its early days (just about 100 years from the emancipation of French Jews). Within the growing process of assimilation, Jews did very little to develop their secular Jewish culture. It is not that they didn’t want to, they simply didn’t have to. The fall of the Ghetto walls allowed the Jew to join European culture and discourse as an equal amongst equals. This meant largely joining the spirit of enlightenment and the belief in the primacy of reason. For many Jews that meant developing a new loyalty to their host nations as well. On the eve of the First World War, the vast majority of German Jews regarded themselves first as German nationals, the Jewish tribal identity was on the verge of disappearance. Assimilated Jews were largely adopting European modern ethical value systems. Literally speaking, Jews have skipped the birth moment of enlightenment and the pain involved with the anthropocentric revolution. For Jews to join their European liberal discourse meant in practice dropping God and assimilating culturally, financially and spiritually.
Consequently, by the end of the 19th century there was very little Jewish secular culture around, there was neither a Jewish secular ethical value system, nor was there a secular Jewish spiritual bond, there was no secular Jewish theatre except some sporadic Yiddish theatre groups, no secular Jewish popular music except a few isolated songs that failed to establish a body of work, no Jewish great symphonies, no secular Jewish poetry or any great Jewish secular work of plastic art. There were already great symphonies, poetry, great works of art, political ideological texts written, painted and composed by assimilated and converted Jews (Heine, Marx and Mendelssohn for instance.) Yet these were accepted as esoteric European cultural assets rather than any form of esoteric Jewish secular culture. Though assimilated and converted Jews found more and more avenues to express their talent and wisdom, most of them preferred to regard themselves as ordinary human beings rather than maintaining their tribal identity that clearly meant less and less to them.
Zionism - a ‘success’ story
As sad as it may be and as much pain as it may take to admit it, the Zionist project was there to make a change and it indeed succeeded in doing so. The first generation of Zionist ideologists was aiming at the formation of Jewish secular life and secular meaning. It is impossible not to admit that the first generations of Hebrew speaking Palestinians had managed to erect a substantial body of literature, poetry, plastic art and music in a very short period of time. Early Zionists, European thinkers such as Echad Ha’am who spoke about the revival of the Jewish culture, saw Zionism primarily as a spiritual project.
He believed that the creation in Eretz-Israel, of a Jewish cultural center would act to reinforce Jewish life in the Diaspora. His hope was that in this center, a new Jewish national identity based on Judaic ethics and values might resolve the crisis of Judaism. Being an ethical being, Echad Ha’am was one of the first to warn his fellow Zionists that Palestine is far from being a free land. He saw the obvious deception in the early Zionist slogan ‘land without people for people without land’. He knew that Palestine was far from being uninhabited.
The revival of the Hebrew language pioneered by the Zionists was there to celebrate the emerging bond between the Jews, Eretz Israel and Jewish heritage. The revival of Hebrew was there to create a continuum between the new Israelites and their ancestors. It was there to turn the Bible into a ‘land registry’ and God into a ‘real estate agent’. Within just a few decades this bond has matured into a new Jewish dynamic identity, namely the ‘Israeli’. However, as much as we despise the crimes committed by the ‘Israeli’ for more than 6 decades, we must confront that which fuels him with such militant and spiritual zeal.
We would have as well to accept the fact that Zionism, at least in its early days, had more than just one face. German Jewish philosophers and thinkers who immigrated to Israel in the mid 1930’s such as Gershon Scholem, Martin Buber and Hugo Bergman felt an urge to establish a Zionist ethical value system. Prof. Yeshayahu Leibovitch, a Zionist Orthodox Jew dedicated much of his intellectual life to criticising Zionist expansionism. In fact it was Leibovitch who was the first to label the Israeli military as ‘Judeo Nazis’. Naively, these morally orientated Zionist thinkers believed that that an ethically enlightened Jewish nationalist project was within reach. This school of thought was so naïve that one of its last followers, the Israeli so-called philosopher Asa Kasher even spent some time writing the “IDF ethical code”. Clearly Kasher failed to understand Emmanuel Kant’s categorical imperative. Ethics could never be set into codes. Ethical judgment is rather a fluid dynamic process the must be revised continuously. However, for early Zionist thinkers and especially the humanists amongst them, the emerging Jewish state would be respectful towards the indigenous population of Palestine i.e. the Palestinians. The gloomy historical tale of Israel and the emerging of the current starvation in Gaza alongside a sinister apartheid Israeli legislation proves how wrong they were.
As far as the Jewish National project is concerned, the Bund had failed completely. In fact, by the end of WWII, there were hardly any Bundists left to sustain the Jewish (national) Socialist philosophy. Indeed, the Bund was involved with some fierce fighting against the Nazis during the war. Probably the most notable battle the Bund should be credited for was the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. However, the majority of the Bundists who survived the Nazi Judeocide immigrated to Palestine, they settled in a few Kibbutzim and joined the Zionist left parties. The rest settled in Britain and the USA. Their followers still insist upon claiming that they know how to save the Diaspora Jews from their misery. The half a dozen contemporary Bundists operate mainly within Jewish segregated political cells from which they try to monitor the Palestinian solidarity discourse. They insist that as far as Palestinian solidarity discourse is concerned, ‘fighting anti-Semitism is a primary issue’. Clearly, no one within the Palestinian solidarity movement can take such a stand seriously. The Bundists spread their message to the world via some minor sectarian, predominantly Jewish cyber cells that attract very little intellectual, political and ideological attention. The Yiddish that was supposed to be their cultural flag is rather non-existent amongst Jewish seculars. It has zero cultural impact on Jews or anyone else. As the Marxist Jewish thinker Abraham Leon predicted already in the 1930’s, Yiddish is now officially a dead language as far as secular Jews are concerned.
Interestingly enough, Hebrew has replaced Yiddish as a secular symbolic identifier of Jewish brotherhood and a representation of Jewish ethnicity as well as tribalism. Even when Jews do not speak Hebrew, they know enough to say ‘Shalom’, or ‘Toda Raba’ (Thank you). The usage of the reincarnated biblical language is there to assert their ethnic belonging. And this should not take us by surprise. Though modern Yiddish journalism and publication is literally non-existent, you can find more than a few Hebrew daily papers and not only in Israel, you can also find films in Hebrew, pop music in Hebrew and even porn in Hebrew (I am not aware of any porn in Yiddish unless the last Bundists, Roland Rance, Tony Greenstein, Michael Rosen and Lenni Brenner have something in the pipeline). Hebrew and Israeliness.
Israel versus Diaspora
The debate between the Bund and Zionism lost its political relevance six decades ago. The Bund died and Zionism won. Yet, as much as Zionism is meaningful within the Diaspora Jewish context, it is totally meaningless within the Israeli reality. As much as the Diaspora Jew may struggle to synthesize the initial dialectic polarity between ‘sameness’ and ‘singularity’, that very duality is totally irrelevant within the contemporary Israeli discourse. From the very dialectical perspective at stake, the Israeli Jew is an authentic genuine character, he regards Israeliness as a genuine national identifier, but he lives as well in peace with his singularity: with his unique traits, with his Hebrew language, with his culture and even with the crime his Jewish state is involved with. For the Israeli-born Jew, the Zionist aspiration is rather meaningless, he is born in the Jewish homeland into a Hebraic civilization. Unlike the Diaspora Jew who is awaiting transformation to come, the Israeli Jew is born into an already transformed reality.
The new Israeli, the one who is born in a Jewish state, is not concerned at all with the Diaspora Judeo-centric query “who am I?”. The Israeli subject regards himself as an ordinary citizen within a normal national society. Some Israeli Jews tend to agree with other s’ criticism of their Jewish state. Some Israelis are outraged by the very criticism, yet they accept its legitimacy. More than just a few Israelis would argue that any criticism of Israel is just unacceptable. And this is probably the biggest success of Zionism. Unlike Max Nordau http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Zionism/nordau1.html who argued that the “The emancipated Jew is insecure in his relations with his fellow-beings, timid with strangers,” the Israeli isn’t timid or insecure, he is proud and to many people’s taste, he may even be ‘far too proud’.
Yet the Western Diaspora Jew, the one who insists upon maintaining a tribal identity within an opening multi-cultural society, is still searching for an identity. He is looking for a recipe to bridge the abyss between ‘sameness’ and ‘singularity’ and as it seems, Israel and Zionism has become the only viable model to identify with. As sad as it may sound, Israel and Zionism has managed to hijack the notion of Jewish secularism. The Diaspora Jewish youngster who has to choose a between a pale, bearded Rabbi who calls him to join a Yeshiva and a young athletic Israeli Marine who offers him a gun, a red beret and war to fight, may find the latter slightly more appealing. The young Jewish Diaspora female who has to choose between a wig to cover her head and the Israeli rather liberated interpretation of femininity will probably find the Israeli lifestyle far more attractive.
The Diaspora Jews at large identify with Israel, some are hardcore Zionists, others just borrow light folkloric and even meaningless verbal manifestations. However as it stands, every Jewish Simchas (Bar Mitzvah, Wedding etc’) is now a celebration of Israeli Hebraic folklore. To a certain extent, due to the extremely deep penetration of Israeli folklore and the new Hebraic culture, every Bar Mitzvah and Jewish wedding asserts a symbolic identification of the Jewish state. Every Jewish festive occasion can be seen as a mini Zionist rally. The cultural slot that just four decades ago was occupied by Yiddishkeit is now overwhelmingly invaded by Israeli and Hebrew culture. As tragic as it may sound, Israeli culture and folklore has become the new Jewish cement. Hebrew has become the tribal bond and Israeliness is the new Jewish cultural symbolic identifier.
This brings us back to Abba Eban who was probably the first to identify anti-Zionism as the “new anti-Semitism”. From the point of view of the Jewish secular Diaspora subject, Israel is the vivid unification of the dialectical polarity between ‘equality’ and ‘particularity’. From a Jewish Diaspora perspective Israel has managed to resolve the so-called “Jewish problem” it bonded the ethnicity, the tribal and even the religion into one unified notion. It offers the Diaspora Jew a destiny as well as something solid to identify with in day-to-day life.
Consequently, any criticism of Israel is realised by the Diaspora Jew as an assault against the legitimacy of any possible Jewish identity. If this is not enough, any criticism of Israel is regarded as an assault against the possibility of Jewish secular existence or even fate. As Eban had eloquently articulated already in the 1970’s, “The new anti-Semitism says that the right to establish and maintain an independent national sovereign state is the prerogative of all nations, so long as they happen not to be Jewish."
Eban manipulatively identifies Israel with ‘Jewishness’ and vice versa. Israel, according to Eban, is the “Jewish people’s universal mission”, accordingly any attempt to criticize Israel robs the Jew of his ‘universal right’, an act that must be realized as sheer anti-Semitism.
As we all know, the accusations of anti-Semitism are tossed in the air by almost every Jewish activist: Jewish ethnic campaigners, Israeli officials and even elder contemporary Bundists. I hope that by now it should all be clear. In the light of the total failure of the Bund and the lack of any alternative authentic lucid Jewish Diaspora identity, Zionism and Zionism alone has become the one and only symbol of Jewish secular identity. Bearing this in mind, any criticism of the Jewish state is perceived by many Diaspora Jews as a clear attempt against the possibility of Jewish secular identity. Mistakenly, many Diaspora Jews interpret any criticism of Israel as an attempt to expel them from an equal share within the emerging Western ‘multi-cultural’ discourse.
Those amongst us who support the Palestinian people, those amongst us who are devastated by the growing scale of Israeli atrocities, those who want to bring justice to Palestine and this includes bringing Palestinians back to their land, will have to make up their minds sooner or later. From now on, everything we do or say about the Jewish state is seen by one Jew or another as anti-Semitism. We have to make up our minds and decide once and for all, is it world Jewry which we are trying to appease, or is it the Palestinians we are fighting for?
I myself made up my mind a long time ago. For me it is Palestine and the Palestinian people. If this makes me into an anti-Semite in the eyes of some confused Diaspora Jews (left, right and centre), I will have to learn to live with it. At the end of the day, I cannot make everyone happy.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Say it to Last-Word Tony and Elf
Israeli settlers attack girls' school in Hebron
Date: 26 / 11 / 2007 Time: 10:14 Hebron
Ma'an Right wing Israeli settlers broke into the courtyard of the Qurtuba school for girls in the West Bank city of Hebron and attempted to set fire to the school building on Monday morning.
The school's principal, Reem Ash-Shareef, told Ma'an that Israelis from the nearby Beit Hadassah outpost also attempted to rip the doors off the building and succeeded in knocking over walls, trampling flower beds, and blocking the path to the school with rocks.
She said she watched as a group of children, armed with axes, attempted to break the water pipes that supply the school. They were urged on by their teacher.
Israeli settlers have attacked the school and its students frequently. International human rights workers accompany Palestinian children on their way to school to protect them from settler violence.
Ash-Shareef said all requests that each time the school has been attacked, she has complained to the Israeli authorities, but to no avail. She said settlers attempted to burn the school down in August, and their harassment and assaults on the girls has been ongoing.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
The African Lakes Plateau is an Israeli water playground
Translated by: Adib S. Kawar, revised by Mary Rizzo
Some Egyptian parliamentarians and commentators have recently raised the issue of the crisis between Egypt and the Nile basin States, some of whom such as Kenya and Uganda, signatories of the Nile source agreement, expressed their intention to withdraw from it and use the Nile waters as they desire. This brought to attention the dangers of the "Israeli" infiltration in the Nile basin States, which does not cover only Ethiopia as some may believe. This infiltration was extended to cover the rest of the basin States, the relations of which grew to a considerable extent with the Zionist entity since the mid nineties. Researchers believe that these relations reached a stage equal to that between Ethiopia and the Zionist enemy.
The encirclement strategy:
The goals and benefits of the Zionist entity go beyond these relations. Its policy aims at encircling the Nile basin with extensive "Israeli" military and security activities, and establishing an "Israeli" long arm in the region to encircle Egypt and encompass the Nile Basin.
The "Israeli" policy aims at threatening Arab security including of course that of Egypt through increasing "Israel's" influence in the States controlling the Nile waters at its sources, by concentrating on agricultural projects that rely on pumping its water requirements from Lake Victoria. To reach this goal "Israeli" policy aims at increasing tension between Arab and African States, which shall distract Egypt's attention away from the Palestinian cause. "Israel" also aims at obtaining facilities for establishing military bases in the Nile basin States and the use of their air and maritime bases, as it got facilities in Ethiopia during its 1967 aggression, and the intend upon using these States as bases for espionage against Arab States and also as markets for its military industrial products, creating local military cadres loyal to it.
Besides these goals, "Israel" had always been interested in solving the problem of getting new water supplies, and diverting part of the Nile waters through the Sinai Peninsula to the Negev Desert. This is an old project, it was first presented by to the British government Herzl in 1903, and these "Israeli" intensive trials were repeated since the 1970s. In spite of the Egyptian governmental and popular rejection of the project, the Zionist State never gave up hope, it is a Zionist dream, awaiting the right occasion for it to come true, and to propose it anew and importune for its fulfillment when the political and economic occasion in the region permits.
This is why "Israeli" policy wants to concentrate its efforts towards the other Nile basin States, especially source States, to overcome the Egyptian rejection. Zionist efforts were intensified to achieve this goal after the failure of its old plans. Reports coming since the beginning of the nineties prove that "Israel" is helping the States that are Nile sources to build dams on the tributaries of the Nile in order to plan new agricultural systems, which will decrease the water supplies flowing towards Egypt. As the diplomatic crisis between "Israel" and Egypt intensified in the middle of the nineties, an "Israeli" Foreign Ministry Department of Planning report suggested punishing Egypt in various forms if it continues to adopt a negative stance towards "Israel". Among this punishment would be putting the Nile waters on the multilateral discussion agenda; "Israel" had previously agreed on accepting Egypt's demand not to consider the Nile waters as not being a part of the regional water resources, which are discussed in multilateral negotiations.
The nineties saw dangerous trials to change the international legal basis for the distribution of the river’s waters, completely new concepts were introduced, such as pricing of water and establishing a bank and stock market for water. The project was based on American ideas and those of the International Bank. The Egyptian political elite looks at the American ideas in relation to the Nile sources with extreme caution; because it is connected to supporting "Israeli" aims; the International Bank's support of them does not make it an impartial party in relation to the water crisis; because it adopts the interests of certain parties such as "Israel", Ethiopia and Turkey, and just ignores the interests of Arab parties.
This support fits the requirements of Turkey, Ethiopia and "Israel" against the historically obtained rights of Arab States in the Nile basins, as well as that of the Euphrates and the Tigris; thus the only solution for them - to avoid water wars - is to accept giving their water reserves to "Israel", otherwise they will be denied their water rights; and on the basis of these bargains "Israel" becomes a principal and genuine partner in the development of water sources of the great rivers in the region, through water allying with the sources States, which shall require in this case linking between transporting the water to "Israel", and cooperating with the river waterway and estuary States.
"The Lakes"... An "Israeli center of Barricading:
"Israel" moves around in the lakes plateau (which is the source of 15% of the Nile waters) through a compilation of integrated lines, and the "Israeli" policy relies on making use and employing an integrated system of mechanisms and ways for its political movement in the region, which encompass:
1- Relying on American help
The United States is working hard on establishing spheres of influence in the Nile sources States and central Africa to either control Central Africa, or to get hold of the major cards for the water problem issues that are expected to explode in the region. This is in addition to the new U.S. policy that broke out in the nineties to confront African Islamic movements, and to circumvent Sudan and Iranian influence.
It is noted that the American policy gives utmost priority to the Nile source States; the group of new leaders patronized by both the United States and "Israel" are the leaders of Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Democratic Congo, Kenya, Tanzania and the popular Army for the Liberation of Sudan.
The Zionist entity played a main role in the American/French competition in central Africa. And in spite of the cordial "Israeli"/French relations, Israel darted in secret maneuvers with Ethiopia, Eritrea, Uganda and the Tutsi, overcoming France in favor of Washington. Later years showed the extent of relations and strong influence of "Israeli" intelligence, the "Mossad" have in the region as a result of the arms transactions, and the evacuation of the Falasha, "Jewish" Ethiopians, to occupied Palestine. "Israeli" interference angered France; so the French intelligence organization published the details of the Zionist activities in the lakes region in the French press.
2 - "Israel" took advantage of the Arab-African conflicts
"Israel" took advantage of the Somali/Ethiopian, Sudanese/Ethiopian, Sudanese/Eritrean, and the Egyptian/Ethiopian conflicts to reach its goals; and it is continuously instigating African States against Arabs; to make the Nile basin States believe that they are victims of injustice as a result of Arab extravagance in their overuse of water sources; to be followed by "Israeli" economic and diplomatic support to these States.
"Israel" works on creating tension between Arab and African States through the ancient role of Arabs in slavery and exhausting water sources. For example, after the rise in the prices of oil, Joseph Nereri (the brother of the Tanzanian president) during a parliament meeting in June 1974 to complete an agreement with Arabs by the force of which a gallon of water will be sold at the price of a gallon of oil as long as the river sources are in East Africa. In 1996 Uganda criticized Egypt and Sudan for using more than their requirement of water, stressing on its right to use the water sources, it built dams in the basin of Lake Victoria to generate electricity. Also the Kenyan paper, "The East African Standard” warned against the disagreements between Kenya and Egypt due to problems of commerce, and the Nile basin agreement that Kenyans threatened to withdraw from.
3 - Water and agricultural cooperation
"Israel" succeeded with American help in insuring its control on some irrigation projects in the lakes region, were it supplies technical and technological assistance through “Israeli” companies in the field of building dams. It presented detailed studies to Zaire and Rwanda to build three dams, which is a part of a comprehensive program to fully control the waters of the great lakes. "Israeli" experts made soil tests in Rwanda, where "Israel's" special interest was centered on "Kajera" river, which forms the borderline between Rwanda and Burundi to the northeast.
Uganda and "Israel" signed an agreement in March 2000 during the visit of the "Israeli" Ministry of Agriculture delegation led by the irrigation manager in the ministry, Moshe Don Gholin, working on building irrigation projects in areas affected by draught, and to send a Ugandan delegation to complete the studies of the projects most of which would fall in the North of Uganda near its borders with Sudan and Kenya. Waters flowing out of Lake Victoria will be used for these projects, which shall result in decreasing water flow into the White Nile.
The French language "Indian Ocean News Letter" wrote in February of the same year: "'Israel' is interested in building irrigation projects in the Ugandan district of Karamouja near its border with Sudan, where 247 thousand Ugandan hectares could be irrigated annually by the use of two and a half billion cubic meters, while it presently uses only 207 million cubic meters to irrigate 32 thousand hectares.
The danger of Israel's presence in the upper Nile States is not limited to help extended by its experts and technical cooperation for projects as it is extended to economical and agricultural cooperation by Zionist capital, with the purpose of acquisition of land in the region it is pretending to be establishing projects on, developing and building dams.
A commercial relation is one of the most important signs of expansion of "Israeli" economical relations in Africa, where it shows a fast and continuous expansion. There is a most prominent group of African States that are the most prominent partners with "Israel": South Africa, Ethiopia and Kenya.
It is to be noted that the increase of the importance of some of the Nile basin States concerning "Israel's" international commercial relations. As for Ethiopia, imports had increased more than 30 times during the nineties, from 0.4 to 13.9 million dollars per year, while its exports to Ethiopia had increased only three times from 1.9 to 5.8 million dollars per annum.
"Israeli" imports from Kenya doubled two and half times from 8.6 to 29.9 million dollars per annum, while "Israeli" exports to this country doubled about twice from 14 million dollars to 29.3 million dollars.
As for the Congo, "Israeli" imports from it amounted to one million dollars after it was almost zero while “Israeli" exports to it increased from 0.9 to 5.2 million dollars per annum.
The Center of International Cooperation in the "Israeli" Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Moshav, headed by the deputy minister, is the body responsible for planning and executing means of communication with African States. The "Moshav" was the major means of communication with the prime officials in African States, in spite of severance of diplomatic relations, as was the case with Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania and Ethiopia, as economical relations were stronger than political relations.
One of the most outstanding activities that the "Moshav" works on is establishing farms, African/"Israeli" chambers of commerce, and support in the fields of agriculture, health, education and economic development, through cooperation in regional, international organizations, foreign embassies and especially through American aid, USAID, that was activated in the light of the Clinton initiative for cooperation with Africa.
The "Moshav" activities are centered on certain groups such as leaders, women, experts and young people who shall be the future's political leaders. "Moshav" directs its efforts on Islamic and Arab groups, which oppose normalization with "Israel; to gain their support in countries such as Kenya, through granting donations for training to Muslims, and open channels to get in contact with their leaders.
5 - Utilizing racial conflicts
Utilizing racial conflicts through establishing a strong network with certain groups on the account of others; among the most important of them are the ruling Tutsi tribes in Rwanda and the Ugandan regime. "Israeli" intelligence organizations enhance controversies between the Tutsi and Hutu, and supplies arms to both sides; it is well known that the Zionist entity is active in Kigali, and the Zairian armed forces.
"Israel's" role in utilizing racial conflicts in this region is old; it supported the secessionist movement in southern Sudan since its beginning, later it trained the cadres of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Eritrea when signs of its victory became clear. It also supported ruling regimes such as those of Uganda, and the Amharina in Ethiopia, and worked on establishing new relations with "Camba" and the "Killowi" in the framework of its investment in Mombassa and Nairobi.
There are fears in central Africa of national propensity among the Tutsi tribes that spread in Burundi, southern Uganda (the President of Uganda, Mousiviny, who originally belongs to the Tutsi) East Zaire, Rwanda that is trying to fully control the region through American/"Israeli" support, meaning the establishment of the great Tutsi State, and the reshuffling of the regional and international status in central Africa.
Support to Kabilla's forces - which forms the Tutsi backbone - to get hold of power in Zaire, from Eritrea and Ethiopia in the Horn of Africa up to Uganda and Rwanda in central Africa; and while Uganda gave its military and political support, Rwanda gave its human and military support, which had the main effect on Kabilla's victory, and Mobuto's defeat.
6 - Interference through Human Relief
The Zionist entity took advantage of civil wars -especially in Somalia - and moved under a humanitarian cover, it established many centers in the capital, Mogadishu, and in other districts to extend help to the Somalis which is done by a fund supported by the U.S. Department of State and the Zionist International Organization, the Zionist "Bnei Brit" organization, "Junit" organization and other Zionist organizations in the United States. This center was rehabilitated by 250 "Israeli" experts who arrived in Somalia in 1992.
"Israel" tried to build relations with the leaders of the Somali factions by trying to appease them with direct military, economic and health aid that were made through its participation in the second conference for coordinating human assistance for Somalia held in Addis Ababa in December 1992. And it sent search and rescue units after the blowing up of U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar Es-Salaam in August 1998, along with medical and human support to Kenya and Tanzania.
7 - Military Activity with the States of the Region
Military assistance opened the door wide in front of "Israel" in the Nile sources states, under the excuse of these states need for arms to ensure their security and protection against coup d'etats organized by internal and external enemies. "Israeli" intelligence organizations extended intelligence services from its own sources, or through Mossad sources in U.S. intelligence sources.
The military and security outlet played a vital role in promoting these relations; due to African leaders’ need for military aid, extremist Marxist militant leaders such as Mangesto allied with the Soviet Union, resorted to "Israel" for military aid.
"Israeli" military exports to the region play a vital role in executing its foreign relations; it is connected to an "Israeli" strategic and security vision, which aims at infiltrating in the Nile sources States; which, in addition to their economic importance, as military exports are considered as the main support for the "Israeli" economy. Shlomo Gazete, (former head of the military intelligence) confirmed that "Israel" cooperated with a great number of African States in the field of armament. Such States included Ethiopia, Zaire, Kenya, Liberia, South Africa and Cameroon.
"Israeli" activities in the region Nile basin States varied between exporting military equipment and arms, and obtaining military bases. Ethiopia received arms from "Israel" against dislodging Falasha Jews. The tribes of the great lakes area received various kinds of "Israeli" arms.
French intelligence reports said that "Israel" armed the armies of Rwanda and Burundi with old arms free of charge; to gain the friendship of the ruling regime and penetrate in the great lakes region.
This is what "Israel" did - and it is still doing so to curry the favor of the upper and sources of the Nile States rulers... But what did Arab States do to tickle their senses? And what did they do to put an end to Zionist interference in an area that is considered one of the most dangerous areas in relation to the water security of the Arab nation and the Islamic world in the Nile basin States?
Translated from Arabic by Adib S Kawar, revised by Mary Rizzo, members of Tlaxcala, network of translators for linguistic diversity.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Israel in Darfur and Arab National Security
"Israel's Success in developing its relations with western African states – especially these falling south of the Great Sahara region bordering Arab African states – shall achieve very important strategic gains for it, which shall overcome areas of its strategic weakness due to the tight band of Arab States surrounding it, to reach to the open Arab back in a place Arabs do not expect"….these are the of words ex Israeli chief of staff, General Hayem Laskoff, describing his country's policy in relation to the African continent, that policy in which the Israel role becomes more apparent whenever conflicts comes to the open in its different arenas, especially after the discovery of natural resources such as oil and uranium in the continent.
Sudan could be a one of the cornerstones of this strategy, due to the consistent trail of Israel's successive governments since the early fifties of the 20th century, to obtain for itself a foothold in that region, whether it is in Sudan proper or the Sudanese province of Darfur.
The Darfur province is of vital importance for the co-Israeli/American agenda and their planning for it. Darfur is geographically in a position that is adjacent to a great lake of oil reserves extending from the Sudanese province of Bahr Al-Ghazal through Chad, Niger, Mauritania, Mali, and Cameroon, thus taking control of it is considered a safety valve for them due, to the easiness of drilling and pumping oil produced in this region, and as being one of the biggest oil rich regions in the world, which has not yet been exploited, because of conflicts and wars that have been taking place in Sudan during the last twenty years.
U.S. interest in the province goes far beyond human concern, as the U.S. is well aware that Africa is one of the fastest growing regions in the world in oil production, and by 2012 the U.S. could be in a position to import quantities from Africa equal to those it is presently importing from the Middle East, as per the research prepared by the American Center of Foreign relations in Washington. The province also contains large mineral deposits, the most important of which is Uranium.
Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir noted that Darfur has the richest uranium deposits in the world, and western sources have statistics and documents about mineral fortunes that are dormant in its land.
In addition to oil and uranium, the Darfur province has 40 million fadans of fertile land that only one third of it has been up till now exploited. It has 24 million fadans of forestry and natural pastures that contain huge quantities of gum Arabica trees estimated at 16% of the international production, in addition to big quantities of copper, lead, granite, chrome, rare types of rocks, alluvium and construction stones, which forms 45% of Sudan's exports besides oil.
Surrounding Arab States
The strategic importance of Darfur is not only of great interest to the U.S., it is vital to Israel too, Israel's interference hides behind humanitarian help to execute its secret plans. Israel gave financial and medical help to those harmed in the province or in Chad and other states surrounding Sudan. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs budgeted 20 million shekels in assistance to refugees from Sudan, it also announced that it opened a campaign to collect contributions by all societies and NGOs for the same purpose, and also announced its plan to buy pharmaceuticals and water softening and distilling equipment for a value of US$ 800 000 — From Israeli companies to be transported to refugee camps in the Republic of Central Africa, also constructing field clinics and hospitals, and shall man them by Israeli doctors, and shall establish branches in Kenya to help refugees.
Agents of Israel’s intelligence organization, Mossad, are spread in a vast number of States surrounding Arab countries to encircle them from the south, Israeli policy also aims at using these in case future war breaks out; so as Darfur and most the south Sahara States are a great arena for settling conflicts and disputes between Arabs and Israel. Israeli policy aims at obtaining military facilities in the Nile source Plateau states. Please read the article entitled "The African Lake Plateau is an Israeli Playground", WHICH WILL APPEAR HERE TOMORROW, and using its air and naval bases, in addition to five Israeli bases in Hanish and Halak in Ethiopia, used for espionage on Arab States, as well as marketing its production of military equipment and weapons, and building African military cadres loyal to it.
These donations shall make of Israel one of the ten largest donors to needy refugees in 2007, which is a big step over the past years. Israeli Maariv daily wrote that it budgeted two million U.S. dollars, the U.S. gave 380 million dollars since the beginning of the year. The Sudanese Government openly accused Israel of escalating the conflict in Darfur, as former Sudanese minister of foreign affairs, Mustapha Othman Ismael said. Information available to us confirms what news media wrote that there is Israeli support to insurgents, and the coming days shall uncover Israeli connection with them.
Aid and Politics
On the other hand, Israeli minister of foreign affairs, Tzipi Livni, announced during a meeting with African ambassadors in Tel Aviv, that great numbers of Darfur refugees entered Israel through the Egyptian/Israeli common borderline. Sudanese sources accused Tel Aviv of facilitating infiltrators to sneak into Israel, to utilize the problem in defaming Sudan's reputation. Tel Aviv said that three thousand refugees entered occupied Palestine, among which 40% came from the south, 35% from Darfur and 25% from the Nuba mountains.
Israel aims at achieving two goals, that it is giving humanitarian help for peoples suffering from tragedies, which as per Israel's point of view – shall allow it to build good relations with the inhabitants of the neighboring countries, and gives it the opportunities to have a foothold and future relations that go beyond good human relations. They seek to reduce international pressure on themselves, namely by distracting international attention from the drastic human conditions Palestinians are living in the occupied territories, and guiding the attention of the international community to Darfur.
Israeli/American interest and plans interlink in Darfur, to establish an independent State in western Sudan, under the leadership of the Az-Ghawi tribe that leads the insurgency in the province, besides establishing a technologically advanced military base under common American-British-Israeli observance, the purpose of which is to control security status, and political interactions in Egypt, Sudan, Libya, African states and the Red Sea. It also aims at protecting the oil pipeline that the U.S. is conducting negotiations to build, which shall be extending from Iraq, the Gulf States, to the Red Sea then to the Darfur province through Libya and Morocco to the Atlantic Ocean.
This plan comes as per the strategic report approved by the Congress in the year 2000 on Sudan as a base for the American strategy in the Black Continent, and to fulfill it there, complete with coordination between U.S. intelligence and Israeli Mossad, Darfur insurgents aim at destabilizing the province and creating chaos and terror within its ranks.
It also aims at obtaining international sympathy for deploying international forces in the province, to become a jumping point to get full control over the Horn of Africa, which tallies with its strategy and control on the new oil basin there.
There is no doubt if the Sudanese government approve on deploying international forces in the province it would have opened the door wide for more violence, then the Mossad shall find itself free to create more violence and instability and thus do whatever it desires, to repeat the present scenario presently prevailing in Iraq. Following the same trend the U.S. shall put further pressure on the Sudanese Government to accept the deployment of international forces in the province, through imposing economic sanctions, and accusing Khartoum of committing genocide in Darfur by arming the Arab Janjaweed militias to confront the insurgents, and its trial to abort any Arab initiative to contain the crisis, and create doubt in the ability of African forces in achieving stability in the province.
And lastly, it is clear that what is taking place on the ground uncovers Israeli/American intentions that support first separating the province from Sudan, and later fragmenting Sudan and other African States, to give an overall deadly blow to the Arab national security, thus it would be necessary for Arab States to refuse the deployment of international forces in Darfur, and the continuity the of the presence of African Unity Forces, supporting them with more forces to fill the shortage in power to increase its ability to take control of the situation there, and to abort any Israeli/American plans to enter another Arab State, and so as not repeat the tragic situation prevailing in Palestine.
Translated by Adib S Kawar and revised by Mary Rizzo, members of Tlaxcala.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Exclusive Radio Play "Mein Little Kind Lenni'le"
A short theatrical piece in which Freethepeeps, Indymedia UK administrator pulverizes Lenni’le Brenner, a Jewish Secular Fundamentalist. Mamma Brenner speaks from heaven. The clever old woman, a voice of Jewish wisdom, tries relentlessly to save her little progressive Kind, but as it seems, the infantile elder is determined to bring it all on himself.
The short play is based on a shocking documented exchange between an archivist Lenni Brenner and IM UK administrator Freethepeeps. It can be found here:
Mamma Brenner is a fictional character, however, she is rather cute, cool and adorable, it is impossible not to fall for her.
Mien Little Kind Lenni’le
Lenni’le is walking along the corridor that leads towards Freethepeeps’ office at Indymedia UK
Mamma Brenner: Mein Little Kind Lenni’le, we shouldn’t go there. We should never jump into a pool full with progressive Goyim. They have lately started to suss us out.
Lenni’le: Mammi’le, when are you going to grow up and recognize my talent and wisdom? I am the knight of the Mansheviks, the prince of the radical Jews. When people think progressive, it is me, your Lenni’le, who they have in their minds.
Mamma Brenner: You see my little revolutionary angel, your mamma knows how great you are, she knew it when you opened your adorable little blue eyes for the first time. But Mamma is not them, they’re different, Lenni’le. They have some kind of broad universal ideas in mind. They do not care solely about us anymore.
Lenni’le: Mammi’le, you tell me about them, I know it all, they are even worst than the Zionists, almost as bad as Hamas, which I will never recognise. But leave it to me, I know these leftists in Indymedia, I know how to handle them. Just watch me.
Mamma Brenner: Nu Shoin, you always do what you like, you always do.
Lenni’le knocks hard on the door a few times and without waiting, he opens the door and walks into the centre of the room.
Proudly and loudly he shouts:
Lenni’le: Hi Comrades.
Freethepeeps is taken totally by surprise.
Freethepeeps: Hello Lenni. I didn’t expect to see you in London, but I guess I know what brought you all the way from Brooklyn. However, just before we continue, I may suggest a few things: First, it’s just me in the room so you can skip the plural. Second, since it’s just me in the room and I ain’t deaf, you don’t have to shout. Third, can I say that right now I don't think you're any kind of comrade of mine?
Mamma Brenner: Oy vey, mein little Lenni’le, this is not a good start, my cosmopolitan angel. You see, you and me and all our five Jewish progressive activists are totally convinced that we can get away with spreading these two and a half Bolshevik slogans that we don’t really understand. We maybe could trick all those lefty Goyim into total submission before, but today’s Goyim are different, they aren’t as stupid as they used to be. They see through us. And I tell you, they don’t like what they see. And the less they like, the more they feel guilty about it. I tell you Lenni’le, for one reason or other, they regard comradeship as a real universal brotherhood, something we have never managed to go for.
Lenni’le: Comrade Freethepeeps, Tony’le Greenstoin has alerted me to the fact that Indymedia UK has run material by Gilad Atzmon. I second Tony’le’s demand that Indymedia stop printing Atzmon's material.
Freethepeeps: Thanks for clarifying that it is a ‘demand’. I just wonder, don't comrades make requests, and respect the decision making process of the organisation they are making the request to? Instead of getting all their mates to pile in and make demands and threats and offer a little bit of abuse to boot!!! How many times have you hounded Atzmon on behalf of Tony Greenstein (who already told us he is doing it for Moshe Machover)? We should be told!
Mamma Brenner: Ouch, Lenni’le, my little cosmopolitan hero, this is going to hurt, we better leave now, it doesn’t look good. This Free the Piss or whatever he calls himself seems to know our dirty
shtiks. I suggest we disengage right away.
Lenni’le: Atzmon, an Israeli who broke with Zionism, now calls himself an ex-Jew. Indeed he devotes much of his writing to denouncing leftist anti-Zionist Jews. Worse yet, he denounces us because we fight both Zionists and anti-Semites.
Mamma Brenner: Hoy mein Kind, why do you go there?! They know that we do not fight Zionism for real, we just pretend so the Jewish people look slightly better. You know what, it seems as if it does not work anymore. You may have to find a day job, my little progressive wizard.
Freethepeeps: Heh, you denounce him and he denounces you. Atzmon also denounces the kind of campaigning that you are engaged in on this list as part of a continuum of Zionist behavior I think. Don't you think that Zionist behaviour should be denounced? Heh, you both agree on something I think!
Do you remember writing this?
"Abraham Foxman, the Jewish Anti Defamation League’s national Director, is well and truly crazy, and for two reasons: 1) He libeled me and 2) he thinks he can get away with it.”
So, why are you behaving like your old foe the Zionist Abe Foxman now? And why should Atzmon not behave like you decided to?
You didn't like being smeared, and yet you willingly join in a campaign to demand the silencing of Atzmon. Do you feel good about that Lenni Brenner?
Mamma Benner: Oy oy oy Lenni’le, it didn’t take this Shmendrik Free-the-Schpritzen, or what ever he calls himself, long to see through us. Listen mein Kind, my little socialist idol, if this exchange makes it into public even Tony’le Greenstoin may realize that we are a joke. No, maybe I can’t go that far, but he might start waiting longer before he comes asking you to talk for all of us, as a historian and a Jew and a real leftist kind of thinking man, and you still need that, Lenni’le, don’t forget it.
Lenni’le: Listen to me Comrade Freethepeeps. In a 3/3/07 CounterPunch article, "
From Esther to AIPAC,"
Atzmon cites "Marc Ellis... Adi Ofir... Lenni Brenner... Shraga Elam... Finkelstein," who write on the holocaust. He insists that
"Though they may be critical of different aspects of the exploitation of the Holocaust, they all accept the validity of the Nazi Judeocide and its mainstream interpretations and implications. Most of the scholars, if not all of them, do not challenge the Zionist narrative, namely Nazi Judeocide...."
Freethepeeps: You're the historian, Brenner.
Mamma Brenner: Shhhh mein little Lenni’le, this Free-the-Peepzen thinks that you are a historian for real, he doesn’t realize that you are actually the Jewish answer to David Irving, you are a very great archivist, yet a very small historian. But I tell you, maybe, this yutzy Indymedia shmendrik doesn’t know that your books are out of print for years. He probably doesn’t even realize that except for you, Greesnstoin and me, no one really takes you seriously, not even Moisha’le Machover.
Lenni’le: Mammi’le stop poking sticks between my bagels. I need your support. The Jewish people need me and I need you.
Freethepeeps: So, here’s the obvious question for you Lenni. Do we know every single historical thing that there is to know about the Holocaust? Is there any other historical subject where history has all been verified - and where anyone who investigates it in a non-approved manner is going to be smeared by that field's equivalents of Abe and Lenni if they suggest dialogue?
Mamma Brenner: Can’t you see my little revolutionary angel, these anti-Semites are really starting to get tired of our tactics, let’s fly home, I’ll make you a cup of tea with sugar and lemon and bake for you a nice apple strudel mit cream, so you feel surrounded by Jewish secular progressive culinary sweetness.
Lenni’le: Mammi’le leave me alone, I am going to win here, I feel it, I know it, these Goyim in this Indymedia -Jones UK will do as we tell them. They always do. I am so prepared, look at me Mammi’le. I am going to serve this Free-The-Peepzen with a final and a fatal blow. After that he will understand that the left is our Jewish internal affair. He’ll even make Aliyah and join the IDF.
Listen to me you Freethepeeps, here is an Atzmon quote:
“not a single Holocaust religion scholar dares engage in a dialogue with the so-called 'deniers' to discuss their vision of the events or any other revisionist scholarship."
Does Indymedia believe that we should "dialogue with the so-called 'deniers' to discuss their vision of the events or any other revisionist scholarship"?
Freethepeeps: I would prefer to put it back to you. Is there any other field of history where no one is prepared to 'dialogue' with the "so-called 'deniers'?" Wouldn't a historian who knew that his case was absolutely watertight relish taking on a deluded fool and making mincemeat out of him?
What’s going on Lenni. I need a serious scholar of history to explain it all to me.
Mamma Brenner: Lenni’le mein Kind, can’t you see, our holocaust religion is falling apart, seems to me that we are not doing well here, schlecht, schlect! Let’s just call this Free-The-Pimps an anti-Semite and then ‘Foxman’s your uncle’, sorry Bob’s your uncle. We let Tony’le Greenstoin exhaust him to death and we take the first El Al out of here and go home. In Brooklyn, I’ll make you some gefilte fish and tsculent the way you like it, so you can relax a bit and even die in peace so no one notices how confused you had become. Mein little Kind Lenni’le, who loves you more than your own mammi’le?
Lenni’le: Mammi’le shhh, you really depress me, you bring me down Mammi’le. We are winning here, can’t you see? Look at me finishing off this arrogant man!
Tell me Freethepeeps, should Indymedia "dialogue" with Satan, I mean, David Irving?
Freethepeeps: I’ll tell you the truth Lenni. We're an alternative news service, not a bunch of “serious historians” like yourself and your highly esteemed colleagues, so the question doesn't have relevance. But of course, we don't like Irving at all. I've not read him either. Have you?
Mamma Brenner: Lenni’le, oy oy oy mein Gott, this loose cannon Freedom-Sheigetz starts to take the Mickey… what are we going to do, this time it looks as if an intellectual Shoah is embarking upon our people, Givalt.
Lenni’le: Back in the 50s, I was hospitalized with an infected liver.
Mamma Brenner: Hoy hoy hoy my Lenni’le why do you bring it up? I should have told you many years ago, nothing was wrong with your liver, it was the cauliflower above your shoulders, you were out to lunch for a while, you were sure that the civil rights movement was going to be all about you. So Pappa’le and Mammi’le who loved you so much left you in Sinai Meshighne House in Brooklyn for two weeks.
Lenni’le: Listen to me, Mr Freethepeeps, across from me was an elderly Jew. He was quiet until his family visited him. He would greet them with a Nazi salute and a hearty "Heil Hitler!" They didn't know what set him off, but something offended him and this was his way of punishing them.
Freethepeeps: And Atzmon is that man? Did this man’s family go on a campaign to have him silenced (or maybe thrown out of the hospital) in retaliation, Lenni?
Lenni’le: Can’t you see it? When Israelis break with Zionism, some go over to leftism, others convert to Islam or Christianity and some, as with Atzmon, develop their own mad form of fanaticism.
Mamma Brenner: Hoy vey, not a good move Lenni’le my little boy, can’t you see for yourself. They already know that we are the fanatics and this repulsive megalomaniac self-hater Atzmon is a ‘thought provoking’ scheigetz.
Lenni’le: We have nothing to discuss with Nazis, holocaust deniers or ex-Jewish crackpots who want us to discuss anything with such vermin.
Freethepeeps: yes, you are all exactly the same as Abe Foxman in that respect. So, is it now your position that Atzmon should be banished for ADVOCATING DIALOGUE? It sounds a little harsh to me. Talking about "having nothing to discuss with ex-Jewish crackpots", here’s a bit of history for you:
On February 2007 you yourself tried to communicate with Atzmon but seemingly he made you look like a fool. Apparently, Counterpunch Magazine was very delighted to put it up. Unless of course ….there is another Lenni Brenner out there. And it was him who wanted a dialogue with Atzmon in February 2007. Do you by chance know him? He even has the same email as you!
Mamma Brenner: Lenni let’s go now, I insist. I cannot see my Lennil’le Kind minced into microscopic kosher meatballs. I will ask Moisha’le Machover to come over with his car or even Tony’le Greenstoin to come in public transport, they should both schlep us to the airport, if not, I call a mini cab from Golders Grim. Let’s just get the foik out of here, we go to Heathrow and take the first El Al to Brooklyn and ‘Wolfowitz’s your uncle’. I’ll take you to Katz’s Kosher Delicatessen and buy you some nice chopped liver and chicken soup with lokshen and Schnitzel and tea with lemon…this Free-the-Pipzen is a disgraceful humanist, he is far too smart for us, it looks like he can see through us. I tell you my little working class and Jewish hero Lenni’le, you may have to eat a lot of matzah balls just to stop yourself from being so transparent.
Freethepeeps: I certainly have never seen a call from Atzmon for you lot to be ignored and banned. Is there anyone else you want us to denounce Lenni. To save you having to cross over the ocean to do it again?
Lenni’le: Listen to me, Mr Freethepeeps. No mincing words, no evasions, no hypocrisy. You have read Atzmon calling for such a mad dialogue. Do you agree with us? Yes or no? Are you ready to totally disentangle yourselves from him? Yes or no?
Freethepeeps: Answer my questions first please. I'm sure it will help me to make my mind up one way or the other. If we join in the denouncing, do you progressive anti-zionists have a handbook to help us become effective denouncers, or shall we just borrow a copy from Abe Foxman? Will it be the same one?
Mamma Brenner: You see Lenni’le I told you to disengage and you never listen. Now they all know that we are self loving crypto-Zionists, now they know we were working for Abe’le Foxman all these years and I tell you, Abe didn’t even pay the last bill. But at least they do not know how much we hate Islam and Arabs in general.
Brenner fills his chest with air, he stands up and shouts as loud as he can:
Lenni’le: For One Democratic, Secular Bi-National Palestine/Israel in a Socialist World…
Mamma Brenner: Hoy vey, hoy vey, hoy vey here it comes…
Freethepeeps, giggling politely to himself, reacts very quietly
Freethepeeps: Excellent news. I am impressed Lenni, I like the sound of that option. I'm just a little unsure about how you are going to persuade the Palestinians to see it your way. They kind of think that they have some right to be there on their own terms, and last time I looked they voted in some Islamic party that started with a H. Ha… Haaaa,,,, Haaaammmmaaa…..sssss (Hamas)… doesn’t ring a bell? Perhaps if you put them under serious pressure they'll see it your way?
Mamma Brenner: You see Lenni’le, now they know it all. In addition to our self loving we are also a bunch of Islamophobes. Why do we need it? Now you admitted that in spite of being this thing you call progressive, you do not even accept the way those Palestinians voted. They learn to read through us … Lenni’le we are finished, shoin let’s go home. I put you to bed and you can dream of yourself being a historian, cos clearly, as far as I can see, for this Free-the-Pitstop you aren’t even a piece of history.
Freethepeeps: Talking about Palestinians, Tony has suggested that part of the reason for needing to exile Atzmon is that he is damaging the Palestinian solidarity movement. Do you think, after wheeling in his tame serious historical scholar to back him up, he might now be presenting us with some eminent Palestinians to cement the kill? Please excuse me if you find me a little less than deferential. It’s a very tiresome campaign that you guys are running, and frankly I find it very uncomradely.
If you don't answer the question, maybe some people will think you can't. Shit, they might even have to think of the answers themselves.
Mamma Brenner: Lenni’le my sweet handsome, cosmopolitan, progressive, elder, toddler, bambi mastermind, this feels like an end to me. All we need now is mercy and I tell you this Atzmon, in spite of him saying he’s some kind of an ex Jew, I am not so sure whether he is as merciful as he pretends to be. He may even start to get as vicious as we are. Don’t you forget he is still one of us.
I tell you Lenni’le mein Kind, on the way home, we may have to stop for a minute in the synagogue. I’m afraid that with the shit we brought on ourselves only God can help us now. And don’t you ever forget, God never leaves his people even when he leaves them.