Category Archives: The Lobby

Conservative Rationality, War and Refugees, and Trump’s Spending Priorities

Taking on the Washington Post again, in the person of columnist Max Boot, formerly of the Wall Street Journal

Dear Mr. Boot,

You write: “Every administration since Franklin D. Roosevelt’s has tried to improve relations with Moscow.”

I stopped. Frozen. Can the man be serious? Yes, he is. God help us. I’ve published 5 books which give the lie to that statement, detailing all the foreign governments the US has overthrown, or tried to, because they were too friendly with Moscow, or were themselves too communist or too socialist, or simply too liberal. China, France, Italy, Greece, Korea, Albania, Iran, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Haiti, British Guiana, Iraq, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Congo, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Ghana, Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia, Australia, Portugal, East Timor, Angola, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Philippines, Grenada, Suriname, Libya, Panama … I’m only up to 1989 … God help us … Read my books …

William Blum

Reply from Mr. Boot:

How does your email contradict my statement? I didn’t say the US hadn’t tried to oppose the Soviet Union and Communism. I said that every president had also tried to improve relations with Moscow.

Reply from Mr. Blum:

So, overthrowing governments and assassinating their leaders because they’re friendly to the Soviet Union is not a contradiction to trying to improve relations with the Soviet Union. Interesting. The CIA also connived to get Soviet diplomats expelled from various countries and did various things to block Soviet international financial transactions, etc., etc. All signs of trying to improve relations with Moscow? Silly me for not thinking of that. I’ll have to revise my books.

==== No reply received ====

The above is one example of how conservatives rationalized their being Cold Warriors -– The United States always meant well. No matter how bad their foreign interventions may have looked, America’s heart was always in the right place. The current US secretary of Defense, James Mattis, recently stated: “We are the good guys. We’re not the perfect guys, but we are the good guys. And so we’re doing what we can.”1

Russian interference in US election: The new Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction

The Washington Post has a regular “fact checker”, Glenn Kessler, who checks the accuracy of statements made by politicians and other public figures. On September 3 he announced that President Trump’s first 592 days in office had produced 4,713 false or misleading claims; that’s about 8 per day.

The article included a list of the types of claims, including the investigation into “Russian interference in the 2016 election” and whether people in the Trump campaign were in any way connected to it. Kessler believes they were. “All told, more than 200 times the president has made claims suggesting the Russia probe is made up, a hoax or a fraud.”

The “fact checker” needs to be fact-checked. He takes it as gospel that Russia consciously and purposefully interfered in the election, but like all the many other commentators offers no evidence. It’s conceivable that evidence of such has actually been presented and I was in a coma that day. (Would I remember that I was in a coma? Probably only if someone told me. So far no one has told me that I was in a coma.)

Keep in mind that a statement from the CIA that Russia interfered in the election does not count as evidence. It’s merely a statement.

Keep in mind that a statement from the FBI that Russia interfered in the election does not count as evidence. It’s merely a statement.

Keep in mind that a statement from the NSA that Russia interfered in the election does not count as evidence. It’s merely a statement.

Keep in mind that a statement from a dozen other US intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the election does not count as evidence. It’s merely a statement.

Here’s James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence: “To me it stretches credulity to think that the Russians didn’t have profound impact” on the outcome of the election.2 Clearly if the man had any evidence to substantiate his statement he would have provided it at the time. He did not provide any. So all we get is another statement.

There are not many government bureaucrats who would publicly contradict the CIA, the FBI and the NSA on an important intelligence matter. How impressed would you be if a dozen Russian intelligence agencies all declared that Russia did not interfere in any way in the US 2016 election?

Moreover, keep in mind that numerous notices and advertisements posted to Facebook and other social media calling for the election of Trump and/or the defeat of Clinton do not count as evidence of Russian interference in the election even if some or most of the postings were seemingly made by Russians. Countless other notices and advertisements called for the election of Clinton and/or the defeat of Trump.

Moreover, many of these social-media postings (which members of Congress and the media like to make so much of) were posted well before the candidates were chosen, or even after the election took place.

So what do we make of all this? Well, it’s been pointed out that most of these postings were to so-called “click-bait” Internet sites that earn payments based on their volume of traffic. I have not come across any other explanation of the huge number of electoral postings during 2014-2017.

And forget about Trump aides like Paul Manafort and his partner Rick Gates, who’ve been charged with various financial crimes such as money laundering, tax and bank fraud, failure to register as a lobbyist, and more; in part the charges involve Ukraine – But NOTHING to do with Russian interference in the 2016 US election, although their cases have undoubtedly fed that story.

The idea of Russian interference in the US election has been repeated so many times in so many places that it’s now taken as unquestioned history. Guardian reporter Luke Harding has a book out called Collusion: Secret meetings, dirty money, and how Russia helped Donald Trump win, which reinforces this myth, and wouldn’t be worth mentioning except that Harding was interviewed by that rare breed, a skeptical journalist, Aaron Maté. Harding repeats one anti-Russian cliché after another, but Maté refuses to allow him to get away with any of it. It’s indeed refreshing. Have a look.

Even if you assumed that all the charges made about “Russian interfering in the elections” were true, and put them all together, they still wouldn’t have a fraction of the impact on the 2016 elections as did Republicans in several states by disenfranchising likely Democratic voters (blacks, poor, students, people in largely Democratic districts), by purging state voting lists.

Noam Chomsky has pointed out that Israeli intervention in US elections “vastly overwhelms” anything Russia has done. Israeli leader Netanyahu goes directly to speak to Congress without even consulting the president.

The United States joined a grand alliance with the forces of the communist Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin in World War II, but Washington can’t even talk civilly now with capitalist Russia. When your goal is world domination any country that stands in the way of that is an enemy. American conservatives in particular have a most difficult time shaking this mind-set. Here’s the prominent conservative host of National Public Radio (NPR), Cokie Roberts, bemoaning Trump’s supposed desire to develop friendly relations with Russia, saying: “This country has had a consistent policy for 70 years towards the Soviet Union and Russia, and Trump is trying to undo that.”3

If Trump were to establish good relations with Russia the lack of a European enemy would also leave NATO (= the US) even more obviously unnecessary.

Then we have the Skripal poisoning case allegedly carried out by Russia in the UK: There are just two things missing to support this allegation: 1) any verifiable evidence, AT ALL, and 2) any plausible motive for the Russian government to have carried out such a crime. But stay tuned, the Brits may yet find Vladimir Putin’s passport at the scene of the crime.

Lest we forget. One of Washington’s greatest crimes

The world will long remember the present immigrant crisis in Europe, which has negatively affected countless people there, and almost all countries. History will certainly record it as a major tragedy. Could it have been averted? Or kept within much more reasonable humane bounds?

After the United States and NATO began to bomb Libya in March 2011 – almost daily for more than six months! – to overthrow the government of Muammar Gaddafi (with the completely phoney excuse that Gaddafi was about to invade Benghazi, the Libyan center of his opponents, and so the United States and NATO were thus saving the people of that city from a massacre), the Libyan leader declared: “Now listen you people of Nato. You’re bombing a wall, which stood in the way of African migration to Europe and in the way of al Qaeda terrorists. This wall was Libya. You’re breaking it. You’re idiots, and you will burn in Hell for thousands of migrants from Africa.”4

Remember also that Libya was a secular society, like Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, all destroyed by America while supporting Saudi Arabia and various factions of al Qaeda. It’s these countries that have principally overrun Europe with refugees.

Gaddafi, like Saddam Hussein, had a tyrant side to him but could in important ways be benevolent and do very valuable things. He, for example, founded the African Union and gave the Libyan people the highest standard of living in all of Africa; they had not only free education and health care but all kinds of other benefits that other Africans could only dream about. But Muammar Gaddafi was never a properly obedient client of Washington. Amongst other shortcomings, the man threatened to replace the US dollar with gold for payment of oil transactions and create a common African currency. He was, moreover, a strong supporter of the Palestinians and foe of Israel.

In 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was the prime moving force behind the United States and NATO turning Libya into a failed state, where it remains today. The attack against Libya was one that the New York Times said Clinton had “championed”, convincing President Obama in “what was arguably her moment of greatest influence as Secretary of State.”5

The American people and the American media of course swallowed the phoney story fed to them, though no evidence of the alleged impending massacre has ever been presented. The nearest thing to an official US government account of the matter – a Congressional Research Service report on events in Libya for the period – makes no mention at all of the threatened massacre.6  Keep this in mind when reading the latest accusations against Russia.

The US/NATO heavy bombing of Libya led also to the widespread dispersal throughout North African and Middle East hotspots of the gigantic arsenal of weaponry that Gaddafi had accumulated. Libya is now a haven for terrorists, from al Qaeda to ISIS, whereas Gaddafi had been a leading foe of terrorists.

Oh my god, I’ve been called an anti-Semite!

British Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and many others in the UK and the US are attacked for being anti-Semitic if they criticize Israel. But John McCain had very friendly meetings, and posed for photos, with prominent neo-Nazis in Ukraine and the Middle East – without being accused of being anti-Semitic. People involved in political activity on the Left have to learn to ignore charges of anti-Semitism stemming from their criticism of Israel. These accusations are just thrown out as a tactic to gain political advantage – like with “anti-American” and “conspiracy theorist” – and do not deserve to be taken seriously. Whenever possible, such name-calling should be made fun of.

There’s an unwritten rule in right-wing circles: It’s okay to be anti-Semitic as long as you’re pro-Israel. Evangelical preacher Pat Robertson is such an example.

While in the past an “anti-Semite” was someone who hates Jews, nowadays it is the other way around: An anti-Semite is someone the Jews hate.

“God appointed America to save the world in any way that suits America. God appointed Israel to be the nexus of America’s Middle Eastern policy and anyone who wants to mess with that idea is a) anti-Semitic, b) anti-American, c) with the enemy, and d) a terrorist.” – John LeCarré7

George Bush, Sr.’s Secretary of State, James Baker, famously said to a colleague: “Fuck the Jews! They don’t vote for us anyway”.8

Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Adviser under Jimmy Carter: “An anti-Israel bias is not the same as anti-Semitism. To argue as much is to claim an altogether unique immunity for Israel, untouchable by the kind of criticism that is normally directed at the conduct of states.”9

What the man actually believes about his presidency

He keeps bragging about how he forced NATO to collect more money from members other than The United States. Here he is in a phone conversation with Bob Woodward of the Washington Post.

You do know I’m doing a great job for the country. You do know that NATO now is going to pay billions and billions of dollars more, as an example, than anybody thought possible, that other presidents were unable to get more? … So it’s a tremendous amount of money. No other president has done it. It was heading down in the opposite direction.10

Woodward said nothing to contradict Lord Trump. Someone other than the Post’s star reporter might have – just might – have pointed out that giving NATO billions more is not necessarily a good thing, that the member countries might have – just might – have spent that money on health, education, the environment, etc., etc. for their own people instead of more planes, bombs and tanks.

If not at that very moment on the phone, Woodward or the Post could at least have mentioned this subsequently in print.

  1. CBS, Face the Nation, May 28, 2017.
  2. New York Times Book Review, June 10, 2018.
  3. NPR, January 9, 2017.
  4. Sunday News, Zimbabwe, July 3, 2016.
  5. New York Times, February 28, 2016.
  6. Libya: Transition and U.S. Policy”, updated March 4, 2016.
  7. London Times, January 15, 2003.
  8. The Independent (UK), May 17, 1998.
  9. Foreign Policy magazine, July 2006.
  10. Washington Post, September 5, 2018.

Iran Hawks in Washington

No doubt, anti-Iran propaganda out of Washington abounds. There are numerous Zionist-run think-tanks (sic) that make US Foreign Policy and are ratcheting up anti-Iran anger in the US, but targeting especially the Iranian population at home, in Iran. The notorious chief-villain of these agencies, by the way, highly subsidized by the US State Department, and perhaps even more important, by the powerful US military-security complex, is the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy (FDD). More than fifty years ago, then President Dwight Eisenhower already warned the world about the invasive, abusive and greed-driven powers of this ever-growing war industry.

Nobody really heeded his advice, least the United States with her world hegemonic aspirations. Today we have to live with it and recognize the dangers emanating from this war complex, that controls more than 50% of the US GDP, all associated industries and services included. If peace were to break out tomorrow, the US economy would collapse. It is, therefore, the new normal that aggressions are flying out from Washington to all those proud countries that refuse to submit themselves to the dictate of the hegemon, like Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, Syria, Russia, China, Pakistan, Cuba and many more. The assaults on free and independent thinking nations come in the form of verbal insults, economic sanctions, tariffs, broken international and bilateral agreements, and foremost war threats and provocations. Beware from falling into the trap.

Iran is not alone. It means moving on and living with this western imposed system or else…

And else, means getting out of it. Unfortunately, it does little good accusing the devil overseas, like the FDD, NED (National Endowment for Democracy) and whatever else they are called. They will not go away; they just enjoy the anger they generate. And, yes, there is a clear and present danger that through Netanyahu and Trump war provocations on Iran are being launched. And, yes, as long as Iran is still linked to the western monetary system, and tries hard to stay linked to it, more sanctions will follow, disastrous sanctions, but disastrous only as long as Iran is tied to the western dollar-based economy. If you, Iran, move away from this massive western monetary fraud – and this will not happen over-night – you, Iran, will gradually regain your economic autonomy and political sovereignty. This is crucial.

Fighting and arguing against senseless and totally illegal sanctions and aggressions or even begging the west to stick to the Nuclear Deal against Washington’s reneging on the Nuclear Deal is a waste of time. It will achieve nothing. They, the US of A, will not give in. The Israel and war industrial complex lobbies are too strong. Counting on Europe to stick to the “Deal” is not a good strategy. Even if – for their own selfish interests – the Europeans would want to maintain the 5+1 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), first, you never know whether and when they may cave in to Washington and Israel’s pressure, and, second, even if they don’t, you are still linked to the western ponzy-economy through the euro and, thus vulnerable for sanctions.

Most important, however, rather than looking outside for a culprit; i.e. in Washington or Brussels, find the solution from within. There are two major obstacles to keep in mind. The first one Iran is in the process of overcoming.  It’s called embarking on an “Economy of Resistance”; the second one is more complicated but not impossible – neutralizing the Fifth Column in Iran.

Economy of Resistance is a path to self-sufficiency, economic autonomy and political sovereignty. Iran, under the guidance of the Ayatollah, has already embarked on this de-globalizing route. President Putin said already several years ago the sanctions were the best thing that happened to Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It forced Russia to rehabilitate and rebuild her agricultural sector and modernize her industrial park. Today Russia is by far the largest wheat exporter in the world and has a cutting-edge industrial arsenal. This message Mr. Putin transmitted during his visit to Tehran last November face-to-face to the Ayatollah.

Following the principles of a Resistance Economy implies a gradual, but eventually radical separation from the western monetary system and adherence to the eastern alliances, like the SCO — Shanghai Cooperation Organization — the BRICS and the Eurasia Economic Union (EEU). Iran is poised to become a member of the SCO within a short time. These alliances are no longer trading in UDS dollars, have their own international transfer systems – separated from the western, privately run SWIFT which is totally controlled by the US banking moguls – and therefore, SWIFT is a prime instrument to impose financial and economic sanctions, by withholding or blocking international payment transfers and blocking or confiscating assets abroad.

These eastern alliances are trading in their local currencies and in the case of China and hydrocarbons, even in gold-convertible yuans. One or several new eastern monetary systems are under consideration, including by the BRICS. An important part of the eastern alliances is President Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – or the new Silk Road, a massive multi-trillion yuan infrastructure and transport investments plan – spanning the world from east to west with several connecting “roads”, including maritime routes. This BRI plan, recently incorporated in China’s constitution – is the vanguard for a new economic system, based on equality and benefiting all partners – a clear departure from the western “carrot and stick approach; i.e., ‘do as I say or else’ sanctions will follow.

Second, and this is the real challenge, countries like Iran, Venezuela, Russia, China and all those nations that resist the west’s attempts to conquer, command and subdue them have a strong so-called “Fifth Column”, open and covert infiltrated western or local and western-trained and funded ‘assets’. These people are usually embedded in the financial sector, especially the central banks and in trade related activities. They are the ‘recipients’ of the messages from the Hawks from Washington – they propagate them in Iran, bring people to the streets often by paying them – to make believe that there is a strong opposition to the government.

They control the local media, publish false economic information – unemployment, inflation – and seek tightening investment links with the west. The Fifth Columnists, or Atlantists, are helping to manipulate currency exchange rates, devaluations of their country’s – Iran – money; they are exaggerating the impact of sanctions at home to create fear and hostility against the government – in brief, they are weaponizing public opinion against their own government. They are collaborators with Iran’s enemies.

The Fifth Columnists are a dangerous, criminal and non-transparent alliance of opponents working for foreign interests in Iran, as well as in Russia, Venezuela, China, and wherever the Washington hegemon and its dark deep masters want to bring about regime change. Neutralizing them is a huge challenge, as their activities are deeply rooted in their countries financial system, private banking and international trade.

The best way of annihilating their nefarious impact is by applying the rules of Resistance Economy – breaking loose from the western dollar system, de-globalizing the economy, finding back to political and economic sovereignty – local production for local markets with local money and local public banking for the development of the local economy; and by trading with friendly, culturally and ideologically aligned countries. If the link to the globalized west is broken, their power is gone. Iran is on the right path – the future is in the East. The greed-driven aggressive west is committing economic and moral suicide. The west has become a sinking ship.

• Article initially written for FarsNews Iran and was translated into Farsi.

US War Strategists: Military Defeats and Political Success

In a previous article (“US: The Century of Lost Wars“), I recorded the repeated US military defeats over the past two decades. In this discussion I will describe the role of military strategists who bear responsibility for the US defeats, but also for Israeli political successes.

The key to this apparent contradiction is to uncover how and why the destruction of Israeli adversaries prolonged costly US military invasions.

The two outcomes are inter-related. The same US military strategists whose policies lead to failed US wars in the Middle East facilitated and augmented the power of Israel.

US war strategists’ operations reflect ‘dual loyalties’. On the one-hand they receive their elite education and high positions in the US, while their political loyalties to Tel Aviv express their Israel-first strategic decisions.

Our hypothesis is that dual loyalist strategists have fabricated threats, identified adversaries and committed hundreds of thousands of US soldiers to losing wars based on calculations that effectively increase Israeli power and influence in the Middle East.

We will proceed by identifying the war strategists and their policies and conclude by proposing an alternative framework for re-thinking the relationship between dual citizens and military strategy.

The ‘Best and the Brightest’: The Blind Ally of Military Defeats

There is an apparent contradiction between the high academic achievements of elite military strategists and their abominable record in pursuing military conflicts.

Most, if not all, policy makers who led the US in prolonged wars against Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Syria were Israel-firsters, either Zionists or Israeli ‘fellow travelers’.

In each of these wars, the Israel-firster war strategists, (1) identified the enemy, (2) exaggerated the threat to the US, and (3) grossly inflated the military capacity of the targeted country. They started with Iraq and Afghanistan and then proceeded to the other nations, all opponents of Israel.

By ‘coincidence’ all countries supported the Palestinians’ rights of self-determination and opposed Israeli annexation and colonization of Arab lands.

Driven by their loyalty to Israel’s ‘expansionist goals’, the military strategists ignored the ‘real world’ political and economic costs to the US people and state. Professional and academic credentials, nepotism and tribal loyalties, each contributed to the Israel-firsters advance to securing strategic decision-making positions and elite advisory posts in the Pentagon, State Department, Treasury and White House.

Their policies led to an unending trillion-dollar war in Afghanistan; losing wars in Libya, Iraq and Syria; and costly economic sanctions against Iran.

The main beneficiary was Israel which confronted less political and military opposition; zero cost in lives and money; and substantial gains in territory.

Why did the Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Chicago, Johns Hopkins’ cum laude graduates repeatedly produce the worst possible military outcomes?

This was in part because the US acted as an instrument of another power (Israel). Moreover, the Israel-firsters never were obliged to reflect in self-criticism nor to admit their failures and rectify their disastrous strategies.

Their refusal to assume their responsibilities resulted from several causes. Their criteria for success were based on whether their policies advanced Israeli goals, not US interests.

Moreover, while their decisions were objectionable to US citizens, they were supported by the 52 Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organization, including the powerful Zionist lobby, AIPAC, which had been dictating Middle East policy to both political parties and the US Congress.

Ordinarily, military strategists, whose policies lead to repeated political disasters, are denounced, fired or even investigated for treasons. In our experience nothing of the sort happened.

The best and the brightest rotated between six-digit jobs in Washington to seven-digit positions on Wall Street, or secured positions in lucrative law firms in Washington and New York (many with offices in Israel) or were appointed to prestigious academic posts in Ivy League universities – and virtually all serve on corporate boards.

What Should be Done?

There are countervailing measures that can lessen the impact of the strategic policies of the Israel-firsters. Academic Israel-firsters should be encouraged to remain in academia where their harm would be limited to misleading their students, rather than serve Israel’s interest in the US State apparatus.

If they remain in the Ivory Tower they will inflict less destructive policies on American citizens and the state – and possibly be subjected to some form of peer review and honest debate.

Secondly, since the vast-majority of Israel-firsters are more likely to be arm chair war mongers, who have not risked their lives in any of the US wars that they promote, obligatory recruitment into combat zones might dampen their ardor for wars.

Thirdly, as matters stand, since many Israel-firsters have chosen to serve in the so-called Israeli Defense (sic) Force (IDF) they should reimburse US taxpayers for their free ride to education, health and welfare.

Fourthly, since most Israel-firsters, who volunteer to join the IDF, favor shooting unarmed Palestinian protesters, medics, journalists and kite-flying children, they should be drafted into the US Army to serve in Afghanistan and face the battle-hardened, committed Taliban fighters surrounding Kabul. This experience might knock a bit of realism in their dreams of converting the Middle East into tribal fiefdoms controlled by a ‘Greater Israel’.

Many national loyalties are forged by shared lives with families and friends of US soldiers who endure endless wars. Israel-firsters dispatched to the war front would receive existential experiences, by mingling with working class and rural American soldiers that the Harvard, Princeton and Yale military strategists who design these wars for Israel have failed to understand.

Obligatory courses on the genocide and ethnic cleansing of millions of Palestinian, Iraqi, Syrian, and Libyan people would enrich Israel-firsters understanding of the diversity of “holocausts’ in contemporary ethno-religious settings.

Face to face encounters in life threatening combat situations, where superior arms do not prevail, would deflate the hubris, arrogance and superiority complexes which fuel the tribal loyalties of Israel-firsters.

In conclusion, we offer modest suggestions for educated and cultured scientists, doctors, artists and entrepreneurs:

1. Convert your skills to training a new generation who will defend democratic values and social solidarity and eschew wars, persecution and phony calumny of anti-Semitism against critics of an ethnically exclusionary state.

2. Forsake exclusive control of the mass media which glorifies Israeli war crimes and denigrates critics as ‘anti-Semites’ for speaking truth to power.

Let’s join together to liberate America from military entanglements that privilege multi-billion-dollar giveaways to Israel while thirty million US workers lack health coverage, forty percent of upstate New York children live in poverty.

Yes, there is an honorable place for everyone who joins in solidarity with the victims of Israeli-first war strategists.

The Racism and Smear Tactics of B’nai B’rith and Israel-first MPs in Defense of Israeli Crimes

Read Part 1.

Dimitri Lascaris (Photo by Dave Chidley)

Like British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, Canadian lawyer Dimitri Lascaris is the victim of a “Big Lie” slander campaign. Defenders of the most aggressive ongoing European settler colonialism have once again smeared a “proud, anti-racist advocate for human rights.”

In this article  I offer some important context regarding the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs’ (CIJA) and B’nai B’rith’s (BB) absurd “anti-Semitism” accusations against Lascaris, which were echoed by the leaders of the four main federal political parties. But, looking at the run up to his ‘offending’ tweet suggests that Lascaris was targeted in an unprecedented smear campaign because he was exposing CIJA and BB’s soft underbelly, notably their dalliance with racist extremists. In the week before he was denounced Lascaris repeatedly challenged CIJA, BB’s and Liberal MP Michael Levitt’s association with individuals making anti-Muslim remarks, death threats against politicians and promoting a book denouncing the “Jewish menace”.

The immediate background to CIJA and BB’s campaign against Lascaris was an August 29 demonstration opposing BB’s smears against the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW). CIJA, BB and Levitt tarred that rally as being racist and threatening. Two days before the display of solidarity with CUPW Levitt issued a statement saying he was “deeply concerned”  and “disturbed” by the planned protest, announcing that he had contacted the police. Afterwards CIJA Vice President for the Greater Toronto Area, Noah Shack, thanked the police and stated: “What the Jewish  community of Bathurst Manor witnessed today is a failed attempt at intimidation by a hateful group of protesters.”

But in reality, it was the counter rally of BB supporters that was racist and threatening. In the week after the rally Lascaris repeatedly called on CIJA, BB and Liberal MP Levitt to publicly repudiate the Islamophobia of the pro-BB counter protesters. Prior to his ‘offending’ tweet, Lascaris posted video of protesters making anti-Muslim comments and tweeted “B’nai B’rith can’t bring itself to condemn the white supremacists, racists & Islamophobes who support its organization and who stood at its doorstep last week screaming hatred at supporters of CUPW. Instead, it hurls baseless claims of ‘bigotry’ at its critics.”

Via twitter and Facebook Lascaris also called on them to criticize two BB supporters who called for a number of Muslim and brown politicians to face the death penalty. In a video detailing  their participation in the counter protest, Mary Forrest and a friend called for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and several Muslim MPs to receive the “guillotine” or be “stoned” to death. Lascaris tweeted: “If a supporter of Palestine called for Israel’s criminal PM Benjamin Netanyahu to be put to death, B’nai B’rith and CIJA would become apopletic and call that person a ‘terrorist’. But when pro-Israel fanatics call for Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau to be killed, they say nothing.”

In another tweet before the supposed “anti-Semitic” comment, Lascaris criticized Levitt’s trip to Israel during which he met the COO of Sodastream. He wrote, “while Michael Levitt showcases Israel’s apartheid regime, supporters of his close ally B’nai B’rith called for the death penalty to be imposed on Justin Trudeau and Levitt’s Liberal colleagues Iqra Khalid, Omar Alghabra and Maryam Monsef. Shamefully, Levitt has said nothing.”

In their video about protesting in support of BB, Forrest and her friend talked about campaigning for former Rebel Media host Faith Goldy, who is running for mayor of Toronto. In fact, the white supremacist mayoral candidate attended the rally in support of BB. In April Goldy promoted a book by Romanian fascist leader Corneliu Codreanu titled For My Legionaries, which the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as one of “the canonical works of global fascism.” Published in 1937, it repeatedly attacks Jews and calls for eliminating the “Jewish threat”.

Lascaris repeatedly called on BB to denounce their supporters’ association with Goldy. He tweeted, “White supremacist Faith Goldy promoted fascist propaganda calling for eliminating ‘the Jewish menace’. Goldy was warmly received by B’nai B’rith supporters last week. And B’nai B’rith expects us to believe it speaks for Canadian Jewry?”

BB, CIJA and Levitt refused to disassociate themselves from protesters they aligned with before and after the August 29 protest. Instead they distorted an innocuous tweet about their two main allies within the Liberal Party caucus and sought to portray themselves as the victims. To the political establishment’s shame, the leaders of four political parties, as well as numerous other MPs, joined the smear of Lascaris.

Egged on by the politicians, CIJA and BB took their ‘we are victims’ silliness to embarrassing heights. CIJA CEO Shimon Koffler Fogel put out a statement implying that Lascaris’ tweet was somehow connected to Rosh Hashanah. In an attack on the activist-lawyer titled “An Urgent Note Before Rosh Hashanah: Fighting Antisemitism in 5779”, Fogel wrote: “Those who seek to demonize and ultimately dismantle the Jewish State, through BDS and other toxic forms of advocacy, are becoming bolder and more aggressive. They are letting the veil slip on the false distinction between anti-Zionism and antisemitism. And some of them openly seeking to undermine our rights as Jewish Canadians to be accepted as equals in Canadian politics, democracy, and civil society. It’s clearer than ever that the fight against the anti-Israel agenda is a fight to preserve the future of the Canadian Jewish community.”

B’nai B’rith CEO Michael Mostyn made the connection to the Jewish New Year more clear, tweeting “Two days  before Rosh Hashanah, one of the holiest days in Judaism, Dimitri Lascaris hurled an antisemitic trope at Canadian leaders that was even promoted in the ‘Elders of the Protocols of Zion.’”

Mostyn followed this shameful tweet by revealing the direct political objective of the attacks against Lascaris. BB’s head tweeted, “Canadians expect ALL their elected officials across the political spectrum to refuse to interact with CJPME [Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East] until it apologizes and removes Dimitri Lascaris as their chair – this would certainly include Niki Ashton”, who Lascaris supported in the NDP leadership race.

Comparing the Left’s response to the attacks on Lascaris and activist-author Nora Loreto  six months ago is informative. While both faced unprecedented backlash for publishing relatively innocuous tweets, only one of the social justice campaigners received substantial support from radical leftists.

This doesn’t bode well for the Left’s ability to respond to the accusations of anti-Semitism certain to follow Niki Ashton or someone with similar politics taking the reins of the NDP or another Left party coming close to governing. Israel lobby groups’ spectacular campaign against Corbyn in Britain and their smears against Lascaris suggests that anyone serious about building a movement for climate justice, economic inequality, indigenous rights, etc. needs to think carefully about the best ways to counter CIJA, BB, etc. smear tactics.

We need to be prepared for the next Big Lies.

The Israel Lobby’s Non-stop Attacks on Corbyn will Backfire

Back in the 1950s, the US intelligence community coined a term: “blowback”. It referred to the unintended consequences of a covert operation that ended up damaging one’s own cause.

There are mounting indications that the intensifying campaign by the Israel lobby in the UK against Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the parliamentary opposition, is starting to have precisely such self-harming repercussions.

A campaign of smears

In the three years since he was elected to lead the Labour party, Corbyn has faced non-stop accusations that his party has an endemic “anti-Semitism problem”, despite all evidence to the contrary. Of late, Corbyn himself has become the chief target of such allegations.

Last month the Daily Mail led a media mauling of Corbyn over disparaging comments he made in 2013 about a small group of pro-Israel zealots who had come to disrupt a Palestinian solidarity meeting. His reference to them as “Zionists”, it was claimed, served as code for “Jews” and was therefore anti-Semitic.

Mounting evidence in both the UK and the US, where there has been a similar escalation of attacks on pro-Palestinian activists, often related to the international boycott movement (BDS), suggests that the Israeli government is taking a significant, if covert, role in coordinating and directing such efforts to sully the reputation of prominent critics.

Corbyn’s supporters have argued instead that he is being subjected to a campaign of smears to oust him from the leadership because of his very public championing over many decades of the Palestinian cause.

Israel lobbyists

Al-Jazeera has produced two separate undercover documentary series on Israel lobbyists’ efforts in the UK and US to interfere in each country’s politics – probably in violation of local laws. Only the UK series has been aired so far.

It showed an Israeli embassy official, Shai Masot, both plotting to “take down” a Conservative government minister seen as too sympathetic to the Palestinian cause and helping to create an anti-Corbyn front organisation in the Labour party.

Masot worked closely with two key pro-Israel groups in Labour, the Jewish Labour Movement and Labour Friends of Israel. The latter includes some 80 Labour MPs.

Under apparent pressure from the Israel lobby in the US, the series on the US lobby was suppressed.

Last week Alain Gresh, the former editor of Le Monde diplomatique, published significant quotes from that censored documentary after viewing it secretly in Dubai. The US lobby’s aims and practices, as reported by Gresh, closely echo what has happened in the UK to Corbyn, as he has faced relentless allegations of anti-Semitism.

The US documentary reportedly shows that Israel’s strategic affairs ministry has taken a leading role in directing the US lobby’s efforts. According to Gresh, senior members of the lobby are caught on camera admitting that they have built up a network of spies to gather information on prominent critics of Israel.

In Gresh’s transcripted excerpts, Jacob Baime, executive director of the Israel on Campus Coalition, a group of organisations fighting BDS, states: “When I got here a few years ago, the budget was $3,000. Today it’s like a million and a half [dollars], or more. … It’s a massive budget.”

“It’s psychological warfare,” he adds, noting how the smears damage the targeted groups: “They either shut down, or they spend time investigating [the accusations against them] instead of attacking Israel. It’s extremely effective.”

David Hazony, a senior member of another lobby group, The Israel Project, explains that a pressing aim is to curb political speech critical of Israel:

What’s a bigger problem is the Democratic Party, the Bernie Sanders people, bringing all the anti-Israel people into the Democratic Party. Then being pro-Israel becomes less a bipartisan issue, and then every time the White House changes, the policies towards Israel change. That becomes a dangerous thing for Israel.

No discussion

These reported quotes confirm much of what was already suspected. More than a decade ago scholars John Mearsheimer and Steven Walt wrote a book examining the composition and role of the powerful pro-Israel lobby in the US.

But until the broadcasting of the Al-Jazeera documentary last year no comparable effort had been made to shine a light on the situation in the UK. In fact, there was almost no discussion or even acknowledgment of the role of an Israel lobby in British public and political life.

That is changing rapidly. Through its constant attacks on Corbyn, British activists are looking less like disparate individuals sympathetic to Israel and more recognisably like a US-style lobby – highly organised, on-message and all too ready to throw their weight around.

The lobby was always there, of course. And, as in the US, it embraces a much wider body of support than right-wing Jewish leadership organisations like the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council, or hardline lobbyists such as the Community Security Trust and BICOM.

The earliest Zionists

That should not surprise us. The earliest Zionists were not Jews but fundamentalist Christians. In the US, the largest group of Zionists by far are Christian evangelicals who believe that the return of Jews to the Promised Land is the key to unlocking the second coming of the Messiah and an apocalyptic end-times. Though embraced by Israel, many of these Christian fundamentalists hold anti-Semitic views.

In Britain, there is an unacknowledged legacy of anti-Semitic Christian support for Zionism. Lord Balfour, a devout Christian who regularly voiced bigotry towards Jews, was also the man who committed the British government in 1917 to create a home for Jews in Palestine. That set in motion today’s conflict between Israel and the native Palestinian population.

In addition, many British gentiles, like other Europeans, live with understandable guilt about the Holocaust.

One of the largest and most effective groups in Corbyn’s parliamentary party is Labour Friends of Israel (LFI), most of whose members are not Jewish. LFI takes some of the party’s most senior politicians on all-expenses-paid trips to Israel to wine and dine them as they are subjected to Israeli propaganda.

Dozens of Labour MPs have remained loyal to LFI even as the organisation has repeatedly refused to criticise Israel over undeniable war crimes.

When Israeli snipers executed dozens of unarmed demonstrators in Gaza in May, the LFI took to Twitter to blame Hamas for the deaths, not Israel. After facing a massive backlash online, the LFI simply deleted the tweet.

A double whammy

Historically the Israel lobby could remain relatively low-profile in the UK because it faced few challenges. Its role was chiefly to enforce a political orthodoxy about Israel in line with Britain’s role as Washington’s foreign policy junior partner. No British leader looked likely to step far from the Washington consensus.

Until Corbyn.

The Israel lobby in the UK now faces a double whammy.

First, since Donald Trump entered the White House, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dropped any pretence that Israel is willing to concede a Palestinian state, whatever the Palestinians do. Instead, Israel has isolated the Palestinian leadership diplomatically while seeking to terrorise the Palestinian population into absolute submission.

That was all too clear over the summer when those Israeli snipers picked off demonstrators each week in Gaza. As a result, the Israel lobby stands more exposed than ever. It can no longer buy time for Israeli expansionism by credibly claiming, as it once did, that Israel seeks peace.

Second, Israel’s partisans in the UK were caught off-guard by the unexpected rise of Corbyn to a place that puts him in sight of being the next prime minister. The use of social media by his supporters, meanwhile, has provided a counter-weight to the vilification campaign being amplified by the British media.

The media have been only too willing to assist in the smearing of the Labour leader because they have their own separate interests in seeing Corbyn gone. He is a threat to the corporate business interests they represent.

But not only has the messenger – the Israel lobby – now come under proper scrutiny for the first time, so has its message.

Lack of irony

The success of the lobby had depended not only on it remaining largely out of view. It also expected to shore up a largely pro-Israel environment without drawing attention to what was being advocated, beyond unquestioned soundbites. In doing so, it was able to entirely ignore those who had paid the price for Israel’s diplomatic impunity – the Palestinians.

The campaign against Corbyn has not only forced the lobby to come out into the open, but the backlash to its campaign has forced the lobby to articulate for the first time what exactly it believes and what is at stake.

The latest furore over Corbyn concerns a Youtube video of him speaking at a pro-Palestinian meeting in 2013, two years before he became Labour leader. He has been widely denounced in the media for making disparaging remarks about a small group of hardline pro-Israel partisans well-known for disrupting such meetings.

He referred to them as “Zionists” and suggested that the reaction of this particular hardline group to a speech by the Palestinian ambassador had betrayed their lack of appreciation of “English irony”.

Israel’s lobby, echoed by many liberal journalists, has suggested that Corbyn was using “Zionist” as code word for “Jew”, and that he had implied that all Jews – not the handful of pro-Israel zealots in attendance – lacked traits of Englishness.

This, they say, was yet further evidence of his anti-semitism.

Jonathan Sacks, Britain’s former chief rabbi, told the New Statesman last week that Corbyn’s comment was “the most offensive statement made by a senior British politician since Enoch Powell’s 1968 ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech”. In that notorious speech, the right-wing politician sought to incite race hatred of immigrants.

Calling Corbyn an “anti-Semite”, Sacks added: “It undermines the existence of an entire group of British citizens by depicting them as essentially alien.”

Treacherous words

In a now familiar pattern to lobby claims, Sacks relied on the false premise that all Jews are Zionists. He conflated a religious or ethnic category with a political ideology. The Labour leader has held his ground on this occasion, pointing out that he was using the term “in the accurate political sense and not as a euphemism for Jewish people”.

Others have noted that his accusers – many of them senior journalists – are the ones lacking a sense of irony. Corbyn was not “otherising” Jews, he was highlighting a paradox not confirming a prejudice: that a small group of Britons were so immersed in their partisan cause, Israel, that it had blinded them to the “English irony” employed by a foreigner, the Palestinian ambassador.

However, the terms “anti-Semitism” and “Zionism” are likely to prove more treacherous to weaponise against Corbyn than the lobby thinks. As the anti-Semitism controversy is constantly reignited, a much clearer picture of the lobby’s implied logic is emerging, as illustrated by the hyperbolic, verging on delusional, language of Rabbi Sacks.

The argument goes something like this:

Israel is the only safe haven for Jews in times of trouble – and the only thing that stands between them and a future Holocaust. The movement that created Israel was the Zionist movement. Today most Jews are Zionists and believe Israel is at the core of their identity. Therefore, if you are too critical of Israel or Zionism, you must wish bad things for the Jewish people. That makes you an anti-Semite.

Problematic premises

It probably doesn’t require a logician to understand that there are several highly problematic premises propping up this argument. Let’s concentrate on two. The first is that it depends on a worldview in which the non-Jew is assumed to be anti-Semite until proven otherwise. For that reason Jews need to be eternally vigilant and distrustful of those outside their “tribe”.

If that sounds improbable, it shouldn’t. That is exactly the lesson of the Holocaust taught to children in Israel from kindergarten onwards.

Israel derives no universal message from the Holocaust. Its schools do not teach that we must avoid stigmatising others, and discourage sectarian and tribal indentifications that fuel prejudice and bigotry. How could it? After all, Israel’s core ideology, political Zionism, is premised on the idea of tribal and sectarian exclusivity – the “ingathering of exiles” to create a Jewish state.

In Israel, the Holocaust supplies a different lesson. It teaches that Jews are under permanent threat from non-Jews, and that their only defence is to seek collective protection in a highly militarised state, armed with nuclear weapons.

This idea was encapsulated in the famous saying by the late Israeli general Moshe Dayan: “Israel must be seen as a mad dog; too dangerous to bother.”

A ‘globalised virus’

Israel’s ugly, self-serving tribal reading of history has been slowly spreading to Jews in Europe and the US.

Fifteen years ago, a US scholar, Daniel J Goldhagen, published an influential essay in the Jewish weekly Forward titled “The Globalisation of anti-Semitism”. In it, he argued that anti-Semitism was a virus that could lie dormant for periods but would always find new ways to reinfect its hosts.

“Globalized anti-Semitism has become part of the substructure of prejudice in the world,” he wrote. “It is relentlessly international in its focus on Israel at the center of the most conflict-ridden region today.”

This theory is also known as the “new anti-Semitism”, a form of Jew hatred much harder to identify than the right-wing anti-Semitism of old. Through mutation, the new anti-Semitism had concealed its hatred of Jews by appearing to focus on Israel and dressing itself up in left-wing garb.

Perhaps not surprisingly, given his latest comments about Corbyn, that is also an approximation of the argument made by Rabbi Sacks in a 2016 essay in which he writes: “Anti-Semitism is a virus that survives by mutating.”

In a sign of how this kind of paranoia is becoming slowly normalised in Europe too, the Guardian published a commentary by a British journalist last month explaining her decision, Israel-style, to teach her three-year-old daughter about the Holocaust and anti-Semitism. That, she hoped, would prepare her child for eventualities such as Corbyn becoming prime minister.

But the increasing adoption of Israel’s tribalist doctrine among sections of the British Jewish community – and the related weaponisation of anti-Semitism – is likely to shed further light on what kind of a state hardline Zionists uphold as at the core of their identity.

Paradoxically, the new anti-Semitism turns the tables by legitimising – in fact, necessitating – Jewish racism towards gentiles. Rather than Corbyn stigmatising Jews – except in some feverish imaginations – it is the pro-Israel lobby stigmatising non-Jews, by claiming that they are all tainted by Jew hatred, whether they know it or not.

The more the lobby kicks up a hysteria about Corbyn’s supposed anti-Semitism, the clearer it becomes that the lobby regards much of the non-Jewish public as suspect too.

Palestinians made invisible

The other obvious lacuna in the lobby’s logic is that it only works if we completely remove the Palestinians from the story of Zionism and Israel. The idea of a harm-free Zionism might have been credible had it been possible to establish a Jewish state on an empty piece of land, as the early Zionists claimed Palestine to be. In reality there was a large native population who had to be displaced first.

Israel’s creation as a Jewish state in 1948 was possible only if the Zionist movement undertook two steps that violate modern conceptions of human rights and liberal democratic practice. First, Israel had to carry out large-scale ethnic cleansing, forcing more than 80 per cent of the native Palestinian population outside the new borders of the Jewish state it created on the Palestinians’ homeland.

Then, it needed to deny the small surviving community of Palestinians inside Israel the same rights as Israeli Jews, to ghettoise them and stop them from bringing their expelled relatives back to their homes.

These weren’t poor choices made by flawed Israeli politicians. They were absolutely essential to the success of a Zionist project to create and maintain a Jewish state. The ethnic cleansing of 1948 and the structural racism of the Jewish state were unmentionable topics in “legitimate” public debates about Israel until very recently.

That has been changing, in part because it has become much harder to conceal what kind of state Israel is. Its self-harming behaviour includes its recent decision to make explicit the state’s institutionalised racism with the passage in July of the Nation-State Basic Law. That law gives constitutional weight to the denial of equal rights to a fifth of Israel’s population, those who are Palestinian.

The backlash against Corbyn and other Palestinian solidarity activists is evidence of the lobby’s fears that they can no longer hold the line against a growing realisation by western publics that there was a cost to Zionism’s success.

That price was paid by Palestinians, and there has yet been no historical reckoning over their suffering. By veiling the historical record, Israel and the Zionist movement have avoided the kind of truth and reconciliation process that led to the ending of apartheid in South Africa. The lobby prefers that Israel’s version of apartheid continues.

Loss of moral compass

If there is one individual who personifies the loss of a moral compass in the weaponisation of anti-Semitism against Corbyn and Israel’s critics, it is Rabbi Sacks.

Asked by the New Statesman what he thinks of the new Nation-State Basic Law, the normally erudite Sacks suddenly becomes lost for words. He asks a friend, or in his case his brother, for the answer: “I’m not an expert on this. My brother is, I’m not. He’s a lawyer in Jerusalem. He tells me that there’s absolutely nothing apartheid about this, it’s just correcting a lacuna… As far as I understand, it’s a technical process that has none of the implications that have been levelled at it.”

Sacks, it seems, cannot identify apartheid when it is staring him the face, as long as it is disguised as “Jewish”. Similarly, he is blind to the history of Zionism and the mass dispossession of Palestinians in the 1948 Nakba.

He tells the New Statesman: “Jews did not wish to come back to their land [Palestine] to make any other people [Palestinians] suffer, and that goes very deep in the Jewish heart.” Not so deep, it seems, that Sacks can even identify who had to suffer to make possible that Jewish “return”.

In a critique of Sacks’ lengthy 2016 essay on anti-Semitism, a liberal Jewish commentator Peter Beinart noted that the rabbi had mentioned the “Palestinians” by name only once.

He berated Sacks for equating anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism:

By denying that [Palestinians] might have any reason besides bigotry to dislike Zionism, it denies their historical experience and turns them into mere vessels for Jew-hatred. Thus, it does to Palestinians what anti-Semitism does to Jews. It dehumanizes them.

Topsy-turvy world

In a world that was not topsy-turvy, it would be Sacks and the Israel lobby that were being publicly upbraided for their racism. Instead Corbyn is being vilified by a wide spectrum of supposedly informed opinion in the UK – Jewish and non-Jewish alike – for standing in solidarity with Palestinians.

It is, remember, the Palestinian people who have been the victims of more than a century of collusion between European colonialism and Zionism, and today are still being oppressed by an anachronistic ethnic state, Israel, determined to privilege its Jewishness at all costs.

The lobby and its supporters are not just seeking to silence Corbyn. They also intend to silence the Palestinians and the growing ranks of people who choose to stand in solidarity with the Palestinians. But while the lobby may be winning on its own limited terms in harming Corbyn in mainstream discourse, deeper processes are exposing and weakening the lobby. It is overplaying its hand.

A strong lobby is one that is largely invisible, one that – like the financial and arms industries – has no need to flex its muscles. In making so much noise to damage Corbyn, the Israel lobby is also for the first time being forced to bring out into the open the racist premises that always underpinned its arguments.

Over time, that exposure is going to harm, not benefit, the apologists for Israel.

• First published in Middle East Eye

Corbyn and the Jewish Question

It doesn’t take a genius to detect the present volatile state of British Jewish institutions. To the outside observer, some of the actions of Britain’s so-called Jewish ‘leaders’ may seem to be a form of collective insanity. Yet, the Brits do not seem to be at all impressed. They are perplexed by the self-propelled collective hysteria. Naturally, many Brits do not agree with Corbyn on issues; some may not agree with his pacifist politics, others see him as a naïve delusional lefty, a few are upset by his association with controversial characters, but no one except a few Israel Firsters sees Corbyn as a crazed ‘anti-Semite,’ let alone as a Hitler type who puts Jewish life under an “existential threat.” While it isn’t clear whether Corbyn can unite the Brits against their horrid government, it is increasingly likely that the Zionist lobby has the capacity to unite the Brits behind Corbyn. A comment on twitter the other day noted that “not supporting Corbyn at this point is an act of treason.”

This week the ex-chief rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, became completely unhinged; comparing Corbyn to Enoch Powell’s “rivers of blood” speech. In an interview Rabbi Sacks maintained that Corbyn “undermines the existence of an entire group of British citizens by depicting them as essentially alien.” What had Corbyn said that provoked such an extreme reaction from the celebrity rabbi?  Apparently, in 2013 Corbyn criticised British Zionists by suggesting that they have two problems. “One is they don’t want to study history and, secondly, having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all their lives, they don’t understand English irony.”

This raises some obvious questions: 1. What is it in Corbyn’s statement that sparked Rabbi Sacks’ outburst, and 2. How is it possible that when Corbyn speaks about Zionists, Rabbi Sacks hears ‘Jews’?

One possibility is that in Rabbi Sacks’ mind, Jews and Zionists are one and the same. After all, Rabbi Sacks believes that “anti Zionism is the new anti-Semitism.” The rabbi freely associates ‘Zionists,’ ‘Semites’ and ‘Jews.’  Someone should remind the rabbi that the suggestion that  ‘Jews’ and Zionists are somehow the same might fall within the  IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitsm. According to the definition, manifestations of anti-Semitism “might include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity.” In his interpretation of Corbyn’s words, Rabbi Sacks seems to expand the term ‘Zionists’ into meaning ‘Jewish collectivity.’ I am afraid that our ex-chief rabbi may have fallen into the IHRA trap, something you might expect from a Talmudic Jewish scholar but not from an Oxford graduate.

The truth of the matter is that Corbyn has managed to touch the most sensitive Jewish collective nerve. In Corbyn’s universalist egalitarian offering there is no room for tribal exceptionalism. In Corbyn’s universe, Jews are just ordinary people and not God’s chosen people. Corbyn’s ‘for the many not the few’ doesn’t conform to chosenism, Jewish or identitarian. But we can see that this universalist perception of the ‘many’ is interpreted by British Jewish leadership as a casus belli — a call for a war.

Corbyn’s reference to Zionists’ ‘lack of British irony’ touched the rawest Jewish nerve. He stumbled upon the Jewish ‘assimilation complex.’

Since the emancipation of European Jewry, a 19th century political transition, Jews have been struggling to define their identity and role in the wider society. Emancipation invited assimilation, it offered Jews the ability to become an indistinguishable part of the ‘many,’ but this transformative shift would have entailed a loss of Jewish identity. This dilemma is known as the ‘Jewish Question.’ Zionism was initially an attempt to resolve the Jewish question and the assimilation dilemma. It offered Jews the ability to be ‘people like all other people’ but in a different place. Zionism promised to take the Jews away while allowing Jews to assimilate, although as a distinct nation amongst nations.  Zionism gave Jews a way to resolve the tension between assimilation and preservation. The Jews were saved the danger of integrating into their host nations and allowed them to preserve many if not most of their cultural traits, as Israel proves on a daily basis.

The Jewish fear of assimilation is not a secret. Golda Meir who served as Israel’s Prime Minister at the time of October War (1973), believed that Jews who assimilate are essentially partners to the Nazis, since through assimilation they are exterminating the continuation of the Jewish people. For Meir, mixed marriages, and not the Arabs, were the greatest danger to the Jewish people. With Meir’s anti assimilationist view in mind, it is clear why Corbyn’s traditional socialist view of ‘the many’ poses an existential danger to those who insist upon being ‘the few.’ Corbyn’s well meaning invitation to the Jews and everyone else to fully integrate into British society  is interpreted  by Zionist Jews as a threat of extermination (to use Golda Meir’s loaded terminology).

Rabbi Sacks’ reaction, however, takes us to a new level in our understanding of the Zionist mindset. The rabbi actually accused Corbyn of implying that “Jews are not fully British.” But that was not what Corbyn said or implied. He suggested that “Zionists” are not exactly British, a statement that poses no problem for most Zionists since they openly and voluntarily swear allegiance to another state, one that is nationalist, racist and expansionist and shares few, if any, values with Britain or the West.

In order to grasp Rabbi Sacks’ recent outburst we may have to appeal once again to the famous French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan’s astute observation:“unconscious is the discourse of the Other.” The unconscious, according to Lacan, is the fear that the Other, in this case, the gentile, the humanist or shall we say Corbyn and the Brits see you truly. It is the tormenting thought that the Goy may be able to detect the lie. It is the unbearable anxiety that the Brits know that British Zionists aren’t exactly Brits, they are deeply devoted to another state and its foreign interests, they never assimilated and do not plan to assimilate in the near future. The Lacanian unconscious is the fear that a Goy may stand up one day and decide to call a spade a spade or, way more a disturbing, refer to a celebrity ex-chief rabbi as a “far right extremist,” as Trade Union activist Eddie Dempsey suggests in the video below.

Israeli Daily Warns American Jews of Trump’s Downfall

Haaretz delivered a warning today to American Jewry. “If Trump falls, the testimonies of Cohen, Pecker and Weisselberg could spark an anti-Semitic Backlash.”

Many have passed through the Trump Administration’s revolving door and faded away quietly but those who may bring the president down are “the lawyer-fixer (Michael Cohen), the smut-dealing publisher (David Pecker) and the numbers whiz who knows it all (Alan Weisselberg).” Prominent Haaretz correspondent Chemi Shalev is honest enough to openly acknowledge that “the trio’s public profile is a Jewish stereotype.”

Shalev dared to write the article every other political analyst has dreaded putting into words let alone text. “The name of the lawyer who implicated Donald Trump in the commission of federal crimes is Cohen. The name of the publisher who has agreed to tell investigators how he turned his newspaper into a clearinghouse for Cohen’s payments to women is Pecker. And the name of the accountant who has been granted immunity in order to testify about the role played by the Trump Organization in Cohen’s endeavors is Weisselberg. The common denominators of Cohen, Pecker and Weisselberg, beside their willingness to do whatever it takes for Trump in the past and their apparent willingness to inform on him now, is that all three are indisputably and recognizably Jewish.”

If you wonder why no one in America was courageous enough to write about Trump being betrayed by his closest Jewish aids, Shalev’s answer is “anyone who does so risks being accused of generalizing, if not actively encouraging anti-Semitism.” But this is just the first stage in this saga according to Haaretz’s correspondent. “Somewhere down the line. The racist, supremacist and neo-Nazi element of Trump’s base is already drooling at the impending opportunity of enlisting disgruntled rank and file Trump fans in a battle against the Jewish conspiracy aimed at their idol.”

Shalev realises that Trump’s days are numbered. And he believes the actions of Cohen, Pecker and Wiesselberg make Trump’s political survival unlikely. “Cohen’s admissions in a New York courtroom last week that his payments to porn’s Stormy Daniels and Playboy’s Karen MacDougal were made in accordance with Trump’s instructions have cast the President as a criminal who violated campaign finance laws. Pecker’s testimony could reportedly make clear that the two payments were part of a nefarious system. And Weisselberg’s account, though currently limited to Cohen’s payments, could pave the way to exposure of the long line of alleged misdeeds carried out by Trump as real estate mogul, franchising czar, reality star, presidential candidate and commander in chief.”

When Trump was elected some saw him as the “First Jewish President,” At the moment it looks as if it his Trump’s closest Jewish aides who may provide the final nails in his presidential coffin. Enacting astute Jewish pre traumatic instinct, Shalev notes that “Trump repeatedly and profusely praises Paul Manafort, who isn’t Jewish, for remaining loyal despite the past and future convictions awaiting him. Cohen, Pecker and Weisselberg, who sound like a stand-up’s Jewish law firm, are, by implication, part of the vast conspiracy… that seeks to bring the President down and to undermine the voters’ verdict.”

Shalev uses the clearest possible language. “If Trump emerges unscathed, a scenario that seems increasingly unlikely, fears of anti-Semitic backlash could recede. If Trump is impeached, or forced to resign, or impaired in any other way, shape or form, the outrage against his incriminators and their common heritage could turn into a clear and present danger for American Jews.” You ask, ‘what about Israel?’ Shalev doesn’t shy away from the question. “The American right’s adoration of Israel won’t be an obstacle: Many of Trump’s constituents, like Netanyahu’s, can easily ignore the common bonds between Israel and its greatest Diaspora. Israel is the country of proud and nationalistic Jew-heroes that man the West’s forward outpost against radical Islam and who play a critical role in advancing the End of Days.”

Maybe the above explains the Trump administration’s indication yesterday that it is set to announce it rejects Palestinian ‘right of return.’ If Shalev is correct then the message here could be interpreted as follows — we are still supporting Israel, Zionism, we are totally anti Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims but we don’t trust Jews either. This is, in fact, a common Zionist anti Semitic position. I.e., ‘We like and support Jews as long as they are somewhere else, preferably Zion.’

According to Shalev, “from the moment Cohen turned his back on Trump, and more so since Pecker and Weisselberg apparently joined him, the neo-Nazi network is busy preparing the flip side of the coin, the analogy that could impress Trump’s followers, if he falters: The three are portrayed as successors to Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus to authorities.” I guess that you have noticed that while Shalev seems to be comfortable pointing at the ethnicity of Cohen, Pecker and Weisselberg he seems to refer to Goyim who do the same as ‘neo-Nazis’ and ‘supremacists.’

Shalev writes that before Trump’s elections, “American Jewish organizations were quick to call out Trump for the suspected anti-Semitic messages in his statements and campaign.” But their voices receded “with the prodding of Netanyahu and the vouching of Sheldon Adelson… Trump’s disturbing words were swept under the carpet of his decidedly pro-Israeli polices.”Trump’s allegedly Jew-hating supporters were somehow ignored by the American media.

However, this may change very soon. “The Jewishness of the three former Trump aides who have now decided to testify against him could mar the artificial tranquility and, in a worst-case scenario, spark a dangerous wave of anti-Semitism. American Jewish leaders would do well to prepare for such a stormy day, as would Netanyahu, who has placed all of his prestige on Trump and the American right.”

Shalev sarcastically suggests that “if Netanyahu is forced to choose between the administration’s pro-settler, anti-Palestinian policies and his duty to fight anti-Semitism and stand up for beleaguered American Jews, they (America Jews) would do well to start seeking their salvation elsewhere.”

Havoc ahead, sums it up.

The Brennan-Rosenstein-Mueller–Comey-Presstitute Witch Hunt

Russiagate is an orchestration. It is the response of the military/security complex to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign statement that he intended to normalize relations with Russia.

Trump recognized that the extreme Russiaphobia, which the hegemonic neoconservatives had whipped up since Vladimir Putin’s statement at the Munich Security Conference in 2007 that Russia was a sovereign country and intended to act like one, was a threat to life on earth. The neoconservatives, who have controlled US foreign policy since the Clinton regime, are unwilling to accept limitations by any other country on Washington’s ability to act unilaterally.

When Putin blocked the Obama regime’s invasion of Syria and bombing of Iran, the neoconservatives paid Putin back by using NGOs and Ukranian politicians financed by Washington to overthrow the democratically elected government of Ukraine and to put in office a government hostile to Russia. The intent was to use Ukraine, a Russian province for more than three centuries, to create problems for Russia that would absorb Russia’s attention and return a free hand to Washington and Israel in the Middle East and also to evict Russia from its Black Sea naval base in Crimea. When Crimeans voted to reunite with Russia, Washington misrepresented the democratic result of self-determination as a “Russian invasion and annexation of Crimea.” Such an extraordinary misrepresentation destroyed any remaining confidence the Russian government might have had in Washington’s veracity.

From here relations between the two nuclear powers deteriorated rapidly. As I and Stephen Cohen have emphasized, the danger of nuclear war is today far higher than ever during the long Cold War as there is today no trust whatsoever between the two governments.

Donald Trump is totally correct that nuclear war would be a terminable event and that nothing is more important than restoring a cooperative and mutually respectful relationship between the US and Russia.

The problem is that the military/security complex sees it differently. After 70 years of entrenchment the military/security complex is an independent political force. President Eisenhower warned the American people about this likely outcome in 1961 to no avail. From the standpoint of the military/security complex, the problem of normalizing relations with Russia is that it downgrades the “Russian threat” that is so essential to the $1,000 billion annual budget of the military/security complex and the power that such a massive budget conveys. Only 16 countries in the world out of 195 countries have a GDP greater than $1,000 billion. The military/security complex is large enough to be a member of the G-20 and to have its own currency and military.

Obama’s CIA director, John Brennan, quickly organized the Russiagate conspiracy against Trump. Comey, Rosenstein, Clapper, Mueller, McCabe, Peter Strzok and others were, and are, apparently implicated as active participants in orchestrating an alleged collusion between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to steal the US presidential election. Based on deception of the FISA Court, warrants were illegally obtained that became the basis for appointing Mueller as a special prosecutor to construct by whatever means possible a case against President Trump.

After two years the only evidence we have of Russiagate is that it is a conspiracy against President Trump and the American people. Indeed, Mueller, fully aware that there was no Trump-Putin conspiracy, has not bothered to look for any evidence as there can be no evidence of something that did not happen. He pulled out of a hat some phony and meaningless indictments of some Russians in order to make it look like there was a conspiracy without having to prove it, but his main focus has been on framing Paul Manafort.

Mueller’s investigation of Manafort has nothing to do with the Russiagate story line. Manafort’s alleged crimes are far outside Mueller’s mandate and took place, if they did, years before the alleged events of Russiagate. Manafort’s conviction by a jury on 8 of the 18 counts is being misrepresented by the Trump-hating presstitutes as vindication of the Russiagate investigation and as “A dark day for Trump,” with the presstitutes suggesting a Watergate parallel that will force Trump from office.

Manafort was found guilty not of Russiagate, but of income tax evasion and misrepresenting his financial position on a loan application.

We do not know if Manafort is guilty or is simply a victim of Mueller’s frameup and an incompetent jury. American juries are notoriously incompetent, which is why 97% of felony indictments are settled with a plea bargain. Even the innocent had rather work out a plea arrangement and admit to something that they did not do than to face an insouciant American jury. Remember the jury that condemned the survivors of the FBI’s massacre of the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas, to be locked away for many years so that they could not talk and tell of the mass murder inflicted on a religious group by the FBI.

It is unclear how much of a crime it can be to misrepresent your financial position on a loan application when one of the causes of the mortgage-backed derivative crisis was the misrepresentation of mortgage applicants on the loan documents by the companies issuing the mortgages. Instead of prosecution, Washington relied on the Federal Reserve to bail out the banks holding the misrepresented loans.

Income tax invasion is the purview of the IRS, not of a special prosecutor who is supposed to be looking for evidence of a Trump-Putin conspiracy.

So, why did Mueller focus on Manafort? Let Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz tell you:

All the Special Counsel needs, in order to charge a subject of an investigation with lying to a prosecutor, is a single witnesses willing to contradict the subject.

The witness may not only be “singing,” he may also be “composing” — that is, making up or embellishing a story because he knows that the better his story, the better the deal.

Under federal law, the testimony of such a “flipped witness” need not be corroborated in order to secure a conviction.

Even one question that results in an answer that is contradicted by one witness would be enough to spring the perjury trap.

President Trump has made various statements disputing the orchestrated Russiagate accusations that, if Manafort as witness for the Special Prosecutor contradicted, could send the President of the United States to prison for perjury.

Knowing this, Mueller, in my opinion a proven corrupt person, decided to put the squeeze on Manafort in order to force Manafort to save himself by giving false testimony against Trump.

This tactic is used every day by state, local, and federal prosecutors. Americans who believe the indictments and convictions are unaware that 97% of the time the convictions rest on self-incrimination in order to avoid worse punishment.

In Manafort’s case it didn’t, or hasn’t, worked. Yet. Manafort is due for a second trial, this time for allegely acting as an unregistered foreign agent for Ukrainian interests and for making false statements not under oath to the US government. Reportedly, Manafort is being held in solitary confinement, a form of torture designed to break a person’s spirit.

Like Manafort’s first trial, his second trial has nothing whatsoever to do with Russiagate, but you will never learn that from the presstitute media or from the Democratic Party. Manafort can still be coerced to say something that can be used to drive Trump from office.

What about Michael Cohen, a former attorney for Trump? Mueller saw no value in the Cohen case and passed it off to a regular US attorney to prosecute. Therefore, it would appear not to be part of the Russiagate investigation.

Cohen avoided a jury and said he was guilty of five counts of personal income tax evasion, one count of making a false statement to a financial institution in order to get a loan, and two counts related to illegal campaign contributions. With regard to the campagin contributions, he contradicted his previous statements. He said that on Trump’s instruction, he paid off two women who were claiming sexual affairs with Trump.

The intricacies of American laws relating to politics are often unclear. Apparently, the charge is that Cohen used monies raised for a political campaign to pay off two women, who saw and capitalized on an opportunity to extort Trump for money, and this was an illegal use of the money. Why a lawyer would pay off women, whose stories might or might not be true, in an illegal way when his client is a multi-billionaire doesn’t make much sense.

But these are not the kind of questions that the presstitutes are interested in.

Nevertheless, Cohen’s plea is associated with a case brought by another prosecutor, not by Special Prosecutor Mueller. I am not sufficiently familiar with US legal procedures to be able to say how this gets brought back into Mueller’s investigation.

The facts are this:

The US military/security complex will not permit any normalization of relations with Russia. Period. At some point Putin and Lavrov and the idiot Russian Atlanticist Integrationists will have to acknowledge this fact, or Russia will be destroyed.

Trump, by declaring normalization of relations as one of his two principal goals for his presidency, earned the emnity of the powerful military/security complex. By defeating Hillary for the presidency, Trump inflamed the US media’s hatred, committed as the presstitutes are to Identity Politics and hatred of the “white male oppressors” who elected Trump. Trump will never be forgiven for preventing the election of the first female president of the United States, an unpardonable crime by a misogynist white male who “grabs women by the pussy.”

The hatred of Trump by the military/security complex and by the white male hating Identity Politics of the Democratic Party is giving the world the spectacle of an American democratic presidential election being overthrown by a conspiracy between the military/security complex, the Democratic Party, and the whores who constitute the American print and TV media.

President Trump stands up for himself on Twitter — I am surprised that Tritter hasn’t suspended his account — but otherwise seems powerless. Whoever advised Trump to appoint Rosenstein, a person committed to Trump’s destruction, as deputy attorney general, which is the ruling position in view of the weak and stupid AG Sessions who recused himself from the Russiagate investigation, intended Trump’s destruction. A disreputable person committed to Trump’s destruction is appointed by Trump to destroy Trump. How can a person so unclued survive?

As I wrote during the presidential campaign, Trump has no idea of Washington and no idea who to appoint who would support him rather than work against him. Consequently, he has a government working against him.

Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham are working to prevent the Republican Party from supporting the party’s president. They could easily succeed. The entirety of the House and Senate of both parties is in thrall to the campaign donations of the military/security complex.

What can President Trump do? He could fight, not with words on Twitter, but with the powers of the presidency. There is far more evidence that Russiagate is a conspiracy against the President of the United States than there is evidence that it is a Trump-Putin conspiracy to steal the election from Hillary. If Mueller can indict on the basis of no evidence, Trump can order the Attorney General to indict on the basis of massive evidence that Russiagate is a conspiracy against the President of the United States.

Brennan, Comey, Clapper, Mueller, Rosenstein, McCabe, Strzok, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, NPR, the New York Times, Washington Post, et. al., are all members of the conspiracy to overthrow democracy in America and establish the undisputed rule of the military/security complex.

The idiot presstitutes’ hatred of Trump might leave them unaware of the conspiracy in which they are participating, but there is no doubt that the American presstitutes are engaged in the overthrow of American democracy, however little of American democracy still exists.

This column is not an endorsement of Trump. It is an endorsement of truth, and it is an endorsement of the American people who in their distress and with the best information that they could acquire elected Donald Trump their President.

Trump is wrong on the environment. Environmental protections put in place after years of struggle are being eviscerated by industry polluters who have gained controll over the environmental regulatory agencies. This is not a unique happening of the Trump presidency. It began under VP Dick Cheney, the real president during the 8 years of the George W. Bush regime. Cheney turned the environmental protection regulatory agencies over to industry polluters.

Trump is wrong on Iran. He is in Israel’s hands, hoping that the power of the Israel Lobby can shield him from the presstitutes and the military/security complex. What Israel is doing by attempting to use US military force against Iran is unifying a new alliance that is too powerful for the Washington/Israeli alliance. Russia, China, Syria, Turkey, Iran, India, and Pakistan are the locations of populations that massively outnumber Washington’s empire. Each of these countries are being united by Washington’s stupid and inexplicable actions against each.

Militarily, Israel is of no consequence. Twice the vaunted Israeli Army, capable of nothing but murdering unarmed women and children, were defeated and driven out of southern Lebanon by a few thousand Hezbollah militia. Israel is too cowardly to try it a third time, and is relying on the stupid Americans to do the job for them.

The entire world looks at America and Israel, and what does the world see? Two countries, both the result of exterminating the native populations, distrusted and universally hated, both of which survive by purhasing the governments of other countries and by endless lies that describe everyone but themselves and their vassals as evil criminals that must be destroyed.

For example, the Gaza Strip, the largest concentration camp ever in the world, is being systematically destroyed along with all life within it by Israel under cover of the obvious and transparanent lie that all within Gaza are terrorists outfitted with bomb belts who are committed to the destruction of Israel. Not only men of fighting age, but also old men, pregnant women, children, all Palestinians are being murdered by the Israeli military. The United States Secretary of State agrees with Israel that all Palestinians must be destroyed, the sooner the better.

The Chinese are busy taking advantage of the financial opportunities that the idiot Americans forfeit, but otherwise do not seem to have any strategic sense of how to proceed in the drama unfolding in front of their eyes. For China, money is now all.

The Russians are infected with the American propaganda infused into their veins during the Yeltsin era when Russia was an American puppet state. Slowly, if not surely, the Russians are coming to their senses and realizing that they have no American “partner.”

If Trump is defeated and moved off the table, what happens when Russia and China finally realize that there is to be no conciliation with Washington? When all the false hopes and bets of the Russian and Chinese governments of conciliation on the basis of mutual economic interests come to naught, what happens?

It will be the end of life on earth.

The Russiagate “investigation” appears to be timed to influence the midterm elections with unsubstantiated accusations made just before the elections in an attempt to produce a Democratic Congress that would impeach President Trump on false charges. The presstitutes would cover up the frameup. In other words, the real election meddling is being done by the Russiagate “investigation.”

Such an impeachment would be a coup. The consequence would be deep and permanent divisions in American political life and more rabid Russiaphobia that would result in war.

The danger is real that the Democrats’ Russiagate “investigation” aided and abetted by the presstitute media will result in nuclear Armageddon.

NDP MP Refuses to Withdraw from Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Group

Randall Garrison is refusing to heed a call from 200 well-known musicians, academics, trade unionists and NDP members to withdraw from the Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Group (CIIG). To justify his pro-Israel campaigning the Victoria MP has cited that country’s relatively gay friendly policies even as he promotes a bastion of Canadian homophobia.

Garrison is vice-chair of a group that promotes “greater friendship” and “cooperation” between the Canadian and Israeli parliaments. As I detailed here, CIIG has organized events with other pro-Israel lobby organizations and the co-chairs of its Israeli counterpart — the Israel-Canada Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group — are stridently anti-Palestinian.

Garrison’s ties to anti-Palestinian lobbying groups goes beyond his role as vice-chair of CIIG. In May Garrison, Liberal MP Marco Mendicino and Conservative MP David Sweet co-sponsored an event with the staunchly anti-Palestinian Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC). Israel’s Ambassador Nimrod Barkan spoke at the event on Parliament Hill.

That month Garrison also spoke at an event put on by the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) and Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee (CJPAC). The guest of honour was Irwin Cotler who, notes Max Blumenthal, “spent his career defending Israeli human rights crimes.”

At the NDP’s convention in February Garrison was one of the MPs who voted to suppress debate on the most widely supported foreign policy resolution. Endorsed unanimously by the NDP youth convention and by over 25 riding associations, the “Palestine Resolution” mostly restated official Canadian policy, except that it called for “banning settlement products from Canadian markets, and using other forms of diplomatic and economic pressure to end the occupation.”

In 2017 Conservative Party Senator Linda Frum, who labeled a Palestinian-Canadian art exhibit at Ottawa’s city hall “a taxpayer-funded tribute to a Palestinian terrorist”, praised Garrison for helping establish an official Jewish Heritage Month, which Israeli nationalist groups immediately weaponized in their campaign to support a violent, European colonial outpost in the Middle East. The previous year Garrison participated in a CIJA paid and organized trip to Israel. In 2016 he also spoke at the CIJA and CJPAC organized “Israeli Wine and Canadian Cheese party” to “celebrate the strength of the Canada-Israel relationship.”

In a private discussion a Palestinian solidarity campaigner recounted to me Garrison pointed to Israel’s relatively LGBTQ-friendly policies as a reason for participating in CIIG and supporting that country more generally (he refused my request for an interview regarding the open letter). But that can’t be the full story because Garrison also promotes the Canadian Forces, which has long been a bastion of homophobia.

Representing the Esquimalt naval base in Victoria, “Garrison is a passionate advocate for the Canadian military”, according to the Canadian Defence Review. The NDP defence critic held his 2015 election night party and other events at the Esquimalt Legion. Part of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association and Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee on National Defence, Garrison criticized the Liberals’ 2017 announcement that they would increase military spending by 70 per cent over the next decade because more money wasn’t given immediately. Garrison bemoaned that “all we have is promises for future [military spending] increases” and in another interview said “the money you’re proposing will not keep pace with the rate of inflation.” A proponent of Canada leading a NATO battle group to Latvia, Garrison also criticized the Liberals for failing to immediately follow its defence policy review’s recommendation to upgrade a multi-billion dollar early-warning radar system used by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), which is a military alliance that has drawn Canadian personnel into supporting numerous US wars.

As Garrison surely knows, the CF has long been a bastion of homophobia. The military played a big part in a late 1960s research initiative to develop a “fruit machine” that would detect queers who would then be fired. Until 1992 members suspected of being gay were systematically purged from the CF. An impending hearing before the Federal Court prompted the government to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the CF, but the military leadership resisted until the end. In response to the changes, Chief of Defense Staff John de Chastelain said the policy would not prevent the military from refusing to tolerate “sexual misconduct which can be demonstrated to have a disruptive effect on operational effectiveness.” While tolerance has grown, queers still face substantial stigma in the CF.

Garrison’s promotion of the Canadian military and Israel should be understood as two sides of one coin. An under-discussed explanation for Canada-Israel ties is militarists’ affinity for that country. They are impressed by the large political, cultural and economic role Israel’s military plays in the country’s affairs. In recent years Canada-Israel military ties have grown. During a speech at a Toronto synagogue in May Canada’s ambassador to Israel, Deborah Lyons, said she sees Canadian generals in Tel Aviv on a regular basis. At the same time there has been increased ties between arms manufacturers in the two countries.

It’s hard to imagine that Garrison, who represents a base community, is NDP defence critic and Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee on National Defence, wouldn’t be influenced by Canadian militarists’ pro-Israel disposition. It’s also unsurprising that he portrays his pro-Israel campaigning as “gay friendly” to progressives rather than as militaristic or imperialistic.

But if he really wants to be supported by progressive people Garrison should heed the call by 200 well-known musicians, academics, trade unionists and NDP members to withdraw from the Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Group. And if he continues to refuse progressives in Victoria should confront him.

*****

Please join me in asking Garrison (ac.cg.lrapnull@nosirraG.lladnaR) to withdraw from the Canada–Israel Interparliamentary Group. Make sure to cc Jagmeet Singh (ac.pdnnull@teemgaj).

The Holocaust and its Deniers

In the aftermath of the Holocaust, some Jewish intellectuals and humanists expressed the thought that ‘after Auschwitz Jews have to locate themselves at the forefront of the battle for humanity and against all forms of oppression.’

This is a principled and heroic ideal, but the reality on the ground has been somewhat different. Just three years after the liberation of Auschwitz, the Jewish state ethnically cleansed the vast majority of indigenous Palestinians. Two years later, in 1950, Israel’s Knesset passed the Law of Return, a racist law that distinguishes between Jews who have the right to ‘return’ to someone else’s land and the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees that were expelled by force from their villages and cities.

In the seven decades since, the Jewish State has committed every possible human rights abuse. It made Gaza into the biggest open-air prison in human history and has repeatedly dropped bombs on the most overpopulated place on earth. Recently the Jewish State deployed hundreds of snipers against unarmed Gazans who were protesting at the border. Israel killed dozens and wounded more than 13,000 Palestinians, the majority severely, with over 1,400 struck by three to five bullets.

If the Holocaust left Jews with a mission to fix the world, the Jewish State has done the opposite. Its crimes against humanity can be seen as a complete denial of the Holocaust’s message.

Some Jews who survived the Holocaust did dedicate their lives to a universal battle for a better world. Among these heroes was Hajo Meyer, a Dutch Auschwitz survivor who, for the obvious reasons, saw the similarities between his own suffering and the Palestinian plight.

In 2003 Meyer wrote The End of Judaism, accusing Israel of usurping the Holocaust to justify crimes against the Arabs. He participated in the 2011 “Never Again – For Anyone” tour. He correctly argued that Zionism predated fascism, and he also reiterated that Zionists and Fascists had a history of collaboration.

Meyer exemplified the Jewish post-Shoah humanist promise. After Auschwitz he located himself at the forefront of the fight against oppression. He fought Israel.

On Holocaust Memorial Day 2010, Meyer was invited to an event at the British Parliament which included MP Jeremy Corbyn. At the event Meyer compared Israeli racial policy to the Nuremberg laws. At the same event, Haidar Eid, a Palestinian academic from Gaza, pointed out that “the world was absolutely wrong to think that Nazism was defeated in 1945. Nazism has won because it has finally managed to Nazify the consciousness of its own victims.”

Eid didn’t ‘compare’ Zionism with Nazism, he described an ideological continuum between Nazi ideology and Israeli policy. He maintained that the racial discriminatory ideology of the Nazis was picked up by the Jewish state and has been rife in the Jewish State since then.

The other day MP Jeremy Corbyn was attacked by the Jewish lobby for being present at that meeting that explored these universal ethical positions. Our Labour candidate for prime minister anemically recalled that at the event in question views were expressed which he did not “accept or condone.” Corbyn even apologized “for the concerns and anxiety that this has caused.” I wonder why my preferred candidate has to express regret for being in the presence of a humanist exchange. I wonder why our next PM feels the need to disassociate himself from people who advocate ‘for the many, not the few.’

The message for the rest of us is devastating. The battle for a better world can’t be left to Corbyn alone. Needless to say, the Jewish State and its Lobby haven’t located themselves at the forefront of humanity. It is actually the Palestinians who have been pushed to the front of that frustrating struggle. Not to see that is to deny their holocaust.