Category Archives: Protests

More Mandated Vaccinations Will Not Solve Economic Failure One Iota: May Even Make Things Worse

On September 9, 2021, President Joe Biden publicly issued sweeping statements and demands that make it clear that, whether they like or it, millions more people will have to get vaccinated or risk losing their livelihoods and security. His posture has been described by mainstream media as “aggressive.” Many alternative news and information sources describe Biden’s actions as righteous, arrogant, authoritarian, and incoherent. 1 Biden asserted that choice and freedoms are not the issue. He dismissed both in one breath. One’s right to consent to something was banished in three seconds. Many have also asserted that Biden does not have the legal authority to make and enforce such top-down mandates. Others claim that his White House speech on vaccinations is full of contradictions and disinformation.

Like Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and many other capital-centered ideologues and “leaders,” Biden keeps disinforming the polity with the worn-out dogma that economic recovery is largely dependent on getting everyone vaccinated. We are to believe that the broad and stubborn economic failure confronting everyone today is largely caused by the virus and that once the virus is “under control” through vaccines rush-produced by for-profit companies with a long record of malpractice, the economy will soar and flourish. A variety of mainstream news sources have been desperately reinforcing this disinformation for more than a year; they have no interest in economic science.

However, despite an enormous number of vaccinations issued worldwide, despite a large portion of humanity “taking the jab” already, the economy keeps declining and decaying; many serious economic distortions, problems, and uncertainties persist. Inflation, debt, inequality, homelessness, poverty, under-employment, and environmental destruction, for example, appear to be growing. More than one million people per month are still filing unemployment claims in the U.S. alone and job “creation” numbers are superficial and unimpressive. In addition, the U.S. labor force participation rate remains historically low and the number of long-term unemployed remains high. On top of all this, millions of employed workers are living pay-check to pay-check, which means that even full-time employment is no guarantee of security and prosperity. Various surveys also show that large majorities are not hopeful about the future and health of the economy.

It is no surprise that euphoric economic growth forecasts made just weeks or months ago by “leaders” and “experts” are already being revised downward—in some cases significantly. The ruling elite is always embracing magical thinking; they are not on good terms with reality.

It is also being said that large numbers of people will end up leaving their jobs—voluntarily or by being fired—rather than compromise their right to conscience and get vaccinated. This could mean even fewer workers taking available jobs and even more retailers, businesses, and services operating in dysfunctional, disruptive, and unreliable ways without employees. Thus, for example, many nurses, teachers, police officers, and other workers are choosing the right to conscience and unemployment over mandated vaccination. Thousands of businesses are already struggling to fill low-paying positions in the context of constantly-rising inflation and an uncertain future. The American Hospital Association said that Biden’s vaccination plan “may result in exacerbating the severe work force shortage problems that currently exist”. Not surprisingly, some organizations have already started to oppose Biden’s vaccination plan.

The economic depression confronting humanity at home and abroad will not be overcome by leaving major owners of capital in power while workers, the people who actually produce the wealth that society depends on, remain marginalized and disempowered. Economic collapse will not be reversed by funneling more socially-produced wealth to different monopolies and oligopolies, while leaving everyone else with less. Fostering policies, agendas, and arrangements that make the rich even richer is a recipe for deeper problems, not a promising path forward. To date, billions of vaccination shots at home and abroad have not stopped or slowed a range of serious economic problems.

Since the start of the never-ending “COVID Pandemic” more wealth has become concentrated in even fewer hands and more people have experienced more psychological, social, and economic problems. Inequality has soared over the past 18 months.

The current economic crisis started long before 2020 and is rooted in the same contradictions that produced big economic problems before 2020. Even if there were no covid virus mutations, the economy would still be declining because economic upheavals are endemic to the capitalist economic system. Depressions and recessions are not caused by external factors. To claim that the economic system is generally sound but runs into problems now and then because of exogenous forces is nothing more than a way to apologize for the outmoded economic system.

Without major changes, without vesting power in workers themselves, economic crises will keep recurring and deepening. The rich and their representatives have shown time and again that they are unable and unwilling to solve economic and health crises, let alone in a human-centered way.

  1. In December 2020 Biden publicly stated that the federal government should not or could not mandate vaccinations.
The post More Mandated Vaccinations Will Not Solve Economic Failure One Iota: May Even Make Things Worse first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Boycott Vaccine Mandates and Covid Passports

Just as many predicted over a year ago, the rollout of the vaccine for Covid-19 and its implementation has introduced intense polarization and social segregation through the implementation of mandatory vaccination for employees and vaccine passports. Medical authoritarianism and the burgeoning biosecurity state are here, expanding in real time. In New York City, San Francisco, France, and Italy, vaccine passports are mandatory for entrance to nearly any indoor public venue: restaurants, bars, museums, cinemas, and more. Also, hundreds of corporations, colleges, federal and state agencies are mandating rushed emergency experimental injections with no long-term knowledge of side effects.

Yes, we’re all well aware that the Pfizer vaccine just got full FDA approval. Did anyone think that it wouldn’t? Did anyone in the media bother to ask if the forces of power, money, and technocratic medical tyrants would back down and not give full approval, considering how these forces have managed to shape reality and scare to death half of the population over a disease with a very low mortality rate? Regardless of your opinion of how severe the disease is, mandates and passports are incontrovertibly coercive, tyrannical measures. If the vaccines do not stop transmission, which the medical authorities have already admitted to varying degrees, then what is the point of these mandates and passports?

Furthermore, the vaccine passport will effectively be discriminatory since minorities are less likely to get the vaccines. African Americans especially have lower vaccination rates, for good reasons, the US medical establishment experimented on black populations throughout the Cold War and even beyond. It’s not difficult to see the ramifications of bio-digital segregations. One does not need a PhD or medical degree; in fact, these “credentials” seem to blinker one’s view in support of this new form of discrimination.

In the view of what we might term the technocracy, or perhaps the emerging biosecurity establishment, it is virtuous to separate the “clean” vaxxed from the supposedly disease-carrying, uneducated, lower-classes who won’t take these experimental shots.

All of the power and money, all the “Science ™” snowballed into an unstoppable corporate/government momentum which shows no signs of letting up. All that propaganda, the deliberate lies about mask efficiency (they don’t work) and vaccine holiness (they don’t prevent transmission) they’ve been shoving down the public’s throats for over a year and a half? Yeah, the nanny-state politico-medical tyrants are not going to give up this narrative without a fight. They are doubling down on the fear and quest for total obedience and control. It suits late-stage capitalism just fine if small and medium sized businesses go under and the excess labor supply of the unemployed are evicted and go hungry. They are extraneous to the monopoly cartels which run the “economy”, which is run by giant tech corporations, the stock market, the military-industrial complex, and the FIRE sector, multinational conglomerates who operate with almost no competition in nearly every industry.

There is no way to fight back against these abuses of power through the court system. In my opinion, the most rational approach would be to boycott, in any way possible, the corporations and public institutions that are going along with vaccine mandates and passports. Part of this involves the vote with your dollars approach. Hurting the corporate lemmings and technocrat sociopaths in their wallets and lack of tax revenues are the only things they will understand.

If you were thinking of traveling to Europe, skip France and Italy. Guess what?  If globally millions of tourists suddenly gave the middle finger to these two countries and vacationed elsewhere, the dent in lost revenue and GDP might actually have some effect on the political establishment. In France and Italy citizens are rightly fed up with protests every day against the passports, and many vaccinated people have burned their vaccine papers in solidarity.

Similarly, if people in the US abstained from traveling to and spending money in NYC and SF, every restaurant owner, museum board, theater, and small business would then put immediate pressure on city, state, and federal politicians to ban vaccine passports, hopefully for good. If millions of people refuse to shop and do business with companies that have mandatory vaccination requirements for their employees, it would also put immense pressure to relent.

Investors should also divest from corporations that insist on mandating vaccines for employees. It may, in fact, be legal for companies to do so, but it is frankly coercive and is a sort of crossing of the Rubicon, blurring one’s private life and medical choices with public duties, to create a new type of “good citizen”, a biopolitical subject serving capitalism with zero critical thinking skills.

For those in the workforce facing mandates, such as federal/state public employees and health care workers, if possible it is definitely worth considering if another career/job can be found. If enough teachers, nurses, etc., quit or go on strike against their employee mandates, pressure can be applied and the mandates could potentially be lifted.

It’s worth pointing out that the goalposts continue to be changed from slowing the pace of transmission to eradicating the virus- from two weeks to flatten the curve (tacitly acknowledging that coronaviruses cannot really be stopped) to mandates for wide swaths of public and private work, as well as military and police presence on the streets of Australia, to name one of the most obvious police state measures. The goalposts are changing to determine our “good citizen” status. Before, one simply had to go along to get along, obey the laws, pay taxes, and keep one’s head down; now, not only are we expected to do and say the right things, but to inject the right experimental drugs into our bodies.

My humble prediction is the goalposts are going to continue to move. The game is akin to the frogs boiling slowly in the pot; by consenting to our own freedom being curtailed and our own imprisonment, the establishment gets what it wants without having to crack down using excessive force and coercion. The innate desire to have access to public spaces, to go on vacation, will lead many people ignorant of the wider implications to accept these new dystopian measures.  The horizon of getting “back to normal” will recede faster as new variants naturally emerge, as viruses tend to do, and this will continue to be used as a new scare tactic, even as death rates effectively returned to normal four months ago (May of 2021) in the US, and many other countries show no more excess deaths, or none outside normal yearly variations, as well in 2021.

The virus is now endemic, but the powers that be are going to insist upon using it as a weapon for total control over the population. We’re through the looking-glass, we now have a form of “scientism” which is irrefutable no matter how unsettled the truth really is. Statistics such as death counts from Covid are unreliable, with doctors confessing to listing Covid-19 as the primary cause of death when it’s not- dying “from Covid” is conflated as dying “with Covid”. Deaths from the lockdowns are not seriously considered, even though many scientists are on record stating that the lockdowns led to a large chunk of the excess deaths.

Frankly, the near future looks pretty bleak for the US and the chances to have an open, honest dialogue about the seriousness of the pandemic, the capitalist world-system which stands to gain by using a 21st century tech-driven shock doctrine, and the police-state that will be built on the back of the panic caused by incessant propaganda. The fault lines are deepening and Democrats yammer to “trust the science” without any understanding themselves, and are willing to demonize anyone who doesn’t get an experimental jab or wear two masks while alone in their car; while Republicans continue to frame the “reopen the economy” debate in terms of those supposedly wonderful job-creating corporations, all the while being willing to sell the average worker out for an extra buck or two. Both parties are more than willing to screw over the poor, minorities, and working classes; if either cared about their citizens’ lives they wouldn’t throw people out into the streets via the mass evictions that are already underway.

As imperial decline and rot deepen, and the domestic surveillance apparatus pulls its noose tighter against our necks, our best bet to resist these freedom-crushing decrees is to deploy citizen power, mass protests, and coordinated direct action against inhumane vaccine mandates and police-state vaccine passports.

The post Boycott Vaccine Mandates and Covid Passports first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Hashtag “Untie_Our_Hands”: How Many More Palestinians Must Die for Israel’s “Security”?

A large Israeli army campaign is taking social media by storm. The unstated aim of what is known as the “#Untie_Our_Hands” initiative is the desire to kill, with no accountability, more Palestinian protesters at the Gaza fence. The campaign was motivated by the killing of an Israeli sniper, Barel Hadaria Shmueli, who was reportedly shot from the Palestinian side of the fence on August 21.

An immediate question comes to mind: what do Israeli soldiers want, considering that they have already killed over 300 unarmed Palestinian protesters and wounded and maimed thousands more at the Gaza fence during what Palestinians referred to as the ‘Great March of Return’ between 2018 and 2020?

This ‘march’ is now being renewed, though it often takes place at night, where frustrated Palestinian youth gather in their thousands, chanting anti-Israeli occupation slogans and, at times, throwing rocks at Israeli snipers who are stationed nearly a mile away.

Months after the Israeli onslaught on Gaza – a relatively brief but deadly war between May 10-21 – the stifling status quo in the besieged Strip has not changed: the hermetic Israeli siege, the snipers, the occasional nightly bombardment, the devastating unemployment, the closures, and the lack of everything, from clean water to cement to even cancer medication.

Therefore, it should not be surprising that Palestinians in Gaza, especially the youth, are in desperate need of a platform to express their justifiable rage at this ongoing misery; thus, the renewed mass protests at the fence.

Israeli politicians and media intentionally exaggerate the ‘threat’ posed by the Gaza protesters to Israel’s security. They speak of ‘incendiary balloons’ as if they are 500-pound bombs dropped by fighter jets. They are terrified by the prospect of Gaza kids ‘breaching the border’, with reference to fences that Israel has arbitrarily established around Gaza without respecting any ceasefire demarcations as recognized by the United Nations.

This fear-mongering is now back with a vengeance, as the killing of the Israeli sniper is offering an opportunity for Israeli politicians to present themselves as the defenders of the army and the champions of Israeli ‘security’. A political witch hunt quickly followed, regarding those who are supposedly ‘cuffing the hands of our troops.’

This same assertion was made by Naftali Bennett in 2019, before he became the country’s prime minister. “The High Court is cuffing the hands of IDF troops,” Bennett has said, vowing to “free the IDF from the High Court”.

A year earlier, Bennett offered more details on how he intends to end Palestinian protests at the Gaza fence.  Responding to a question during an Israeli Army Radio interview on what he would do if he were the country’s defense minister, he replied: “I would not allow terrorists to cross the border from Gaza every day … and if they do, we should shoot to kill. Terrorists from Gaza should not enter Israel … Just as in Lebanon, Syria or anywhere else we should shoot to kill.”

The emphasis on ‘killing’ in response to any form of Palestinian protests seemed to be the common denominator between Israeli officials, military brass and even ordinary soldiers. The latter, who are purportedly behind the social media campaign, seem to be enjoying their time at the Gaza fence. Israeli snipers – per their own testimonies – keep track of the number of Palestinians they shoot, try to break each other’s’ records and cheer on video when they document a ‘clean shot’ of a Palestinian protester, which should demonstrate the horrific violence meted out against those Palestinian youth.

Israeli snipers at the Gaza fence work in pairs. A third person, known as the ‘locator’, helps the snipers locate their next target. Eden is an Israeli sniper, who, among others, gave testimonies to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, in March 2020. Eden is particularly proud of a grizzly milestone that he and his team have achieved.

“On that day, our pair had the largest number of hits, 42 in all,” he said. “My locator wasn’t supposed to shoot, but I gave him a break, because we were getting close to the end of our stint, and he didn’t have knees. In the end you want to leave with the feeling that you did something, that you weren’t a sniper during exercises only. So, after I had a few hits, I suggested to him that we switch. He got around 28 knees there, I’d say.”

Such testimonies are further validated by occasional video footage of Israeli snipers cheering after shooting Palestinian kids at the fence. In April 2018, a particular video of cheering soldiers, along with the kind of dialogue that indicates that Israelis have no regard for Palestinian lives whatsoever, was leaked to international media. Even CNN reported on it.

This violent phenomenon is not confined to Gaza. The debate on Israel’s ‘shoot-to-kill’ policy in the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories has been raging on for years. In 2017, Human Rights Watch linked the increased number of Palestinian casualties, who are killed at the hands of trigger-happy soldiers, to the violent discourse emanating from the Israeli government itself.

HRW “has documented numerous statements since October 2015, by senior Israeli politicians, including the police minister and defense minister, calling on police and soldiers to shoot to kill suspected attackers, irrespective of whether lethal force is actually strictly necessary to protect life,” the report read.

The above issue was highlighted in the execution of the incapacitated Palestinian, Abdel Fattah al-Sharif, in the occupied city of Al-Khalil, Hebron, in March 2016 and in the killing of Ahmad Erekat, at a military checkpoint in the West Bank in July 2020. Not only did Erekat pose no immediate threat to the lives of the occupation soldiers, but according to a statement by 83 Palestinian and international NGOs, Erekat “was then left to bleed to death for an hour and a half, while the Israeli occupying forces denied him access to medical care”.

Considering the disproportionate number of Palestinian casualties which, at times, push Palestinian morgues in Gaza to full capacity, it is inconceivable what Israeli soldiers, army generals, and politicians want exactly when they speak of ‘untying their hands’. Far more bewildering is the international community’s apathy while Israelis debate about how many more Palestinians ought to be killed.

The post Hashtag “Untie_Our_Hands”: How Many More Palestinians Must Die for Israel’s “Security”? first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Of Life and Death

Religious cults have always seemed weird to me. Political cults, equally bizarre. But I’ve never encountered anything quite as dangerous or strange as the current medical cult of eugenicists running wild upon the earth. A nihilistic death machine masquerading behind a mask of health care. But peel back the thin veil and it’s all really just a sick joke. Get it?

I always wondered how in the world people like Hitler, Stalin, and Mao could have ever risen to power and been provided with the opportunity to unleash their systems of methodical human extermination. But the mainstream “pop” culture of the modern era has put all doubt aside in my mind regarding that question. Because I now realize perfectly well how it happens.

The psychology of the general public allows it, even cheers it on, even joins in to parrot all the propaganda they’re fed from the approved authoritative sources, mouthpieces, and talking heads.

Fascism and communism are no longer far-off ideologies being implemented by adversarial forces across the pond that we can point toward and warn about as being slowly approaching threats. They’re now staring us straight in the face on a regular basis in the newfangled form of technocracy, transhumanism, and globalism. It’s called the New World Order, darling, and its tentacles are sinking deeper by the day.

The part about this whole ordeal that shocks me the most is just how well-coordinated and effective the suppression of free-flowing information has been in the public sphere, despite the fact that everyone connected to the internet has access to and the ability to find the truth if they only put in the effort of seeking it out.

Partly, the problem arises from the fact that a certain percentage of people don’t actually want to hear the truth because once knowing it they are then presented with having a larger responsibility to actually do something about it in their lives. So it is much easier for them to just keep a low profile and flow with whatever the consensus bias happens to be at any given moment and simply go along to get along without causing any disturbance or drawing any unwanted attention to themselves.

Of course, we’re all familiar with the quote from Thomas Gray, “Ignorance is bliss.”

Well, there’s another quote from Thomas Jefferson that I find appropriate for those who want to keep their heads buried in the sand:

The amount of tyranny you get, is the exact amount you put up with.

In that vein, the more insidious, draconian aspect of this corrupt situation doesn’t involve people’s willingness to set aside their critical thinking, but rather is a direct product of the censorship being enforced by the corporate media, social media, and government institutions. Basically, anyone who tries to speak out and raise truth up to the surface level gets their voice silenced and online presence axed out of existence.

We’ve watched it play out with the thousands of doctors and nurses who bravely touted the effective nature of hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin as treatments for the virus. They were swiftly demonized by the system and banished to realms not easily observed by the mainstream. Now we’re witnessing the same basic theme repeat with people like Dr. Robert Malone, Michael Yeadon, Dr. Peter McCullough, and so many others who are warning about antibody-dependent enhancement and the adverse effects of the mRNA spike protein.

Regardless, the data is still readily available and provided directly from different governments’ own systems. It can be accessed by anyone. The most alarming statistics are found in the weekly reports released through VAERS in conjunction with the CDC here in the US which shows that from December of 2020 through July of 2021 there have now been over 12,000 reported deaths and 545,000 adverse reactions (of which over 70,000 are serious injuries).

It boggles my mind that more people are not aware of this information, but it just goes to show the type of stranglehold the Beast System has over the public discourse and narrative. It’s unfathomable, really.

One of the great ironies and tragedies of human psychology is the propensity of our minds to facilitate behavior that is self-destructive and irrational in its nature.

And so, when a mistake is made, it is common that a person, instead of assuming responsibility and altering their course appropriately to avoid the same pattern from being repeated in the future, will, rather, shun such responsibility and project blame outwardly on others or on the world at large or on God or on nature or on any other force that can be raised up in their consciousness to point at and target as a scapegoat.

And, instead of viewing the situation from a logical perspective, they will enter into a state of cognitive dissonance, denial, and learned helplessness that allows them to block out the problem and not have to deal with it. A sort of Stockholm Syndrome where they begin to subconsciously identify favorably with the very circumstances that have caused them harm to begin with, thus entering into a vicious loop where the oppressive energy remains in control.

Basically, the concept is that upon realizing they are in a hole, instead of climbing out when it is still relatively shallow, they continue digging even deeper, hollowing out the space for their own potential grave.

This is why it is not unusual that people are unable to alter their lifestyle until they have reached rock bottom. I happen to have learned this lesson repeatedly in my younger years so I speak from experience.

The theory doesn’t only apply to individuals, though. It can be extrapolated out to better understand collective organizations as well. And we are, indeed, at that point as a society and a species.

It is now a matter of life or death in the eugenics-based Beast System of the New World Order. Those who do not realize the implications of continuing along in obedience to its methods of persuasion and propaganda will wind up wandering straight off the edge of a cliff. Those who resist, assume responsibility for their own destiny, become fully informed, and make wise decisions will at least stand a chance of surviving and making it through to the other side.

Not the cheeriest message I’ve ever delivered, but certainly the most somber and realistic.

We are – to weave another metaphor into the thread – in the belly of the whale. So one can either curl up in a fetal position and wait to drown in the abyss or muster up a bit of courage and begin to claw their way out of the monster to then swim back up to safety on the surface.

There will never be a more welcome and peaceful breath that purifies the lungs than that first inhalation after breaking loose from the shackles of tyranny and escaping the grasp of the technocratic transhumanist agenda to fully embrace the blessing of true sovereignty as renaissance reignites upon the earth.

Humanity can only be submerged for so long before survival instincts kick in and start working on overdrive to make up for lost time. Such are the signs being seen recently as concerned citizens take to the streets to protest in France, Italy, Germany, Australia, Canada, and the UK. A beautiful sight to behold as massive waves of hundreds of thousands of people point the way toward a great awakening here in the age of Revelation.

Well, I say the signs have been seen, but only by those who are actively seeking. Because footage certainly isn’t being served up on a silver platter by the corporate media or Big Tech oligarchs. The truth about reality on the ground is still kept hush-hush in those circles. But the control mechanisms of the corrupt Priest Class are breaking down at an increasingly accelerated pace and so they won’t be able to keep the lid on this boiling pot for much longer. The scenes are, however, being broadcast widely on platforms that remain free and open to transparent communication. I’ve been feasting on a steady diet of late, and my digestion has never been smoother.

Despite all the lunacy underway in this world right now, honestly, I’ve been having the time of my life so far this year. When you were spit out of the womb with a rebellious streak slashing straight through your soul, existence tends to take on a heightened sense of meaning and more purposeful intensity once the chaos really starts ramping up. These trying times are just a test of character in the end. So, as I continue to say, walk steady with a sturdy spine in good spirits. Hallelujah.

The post Of Life and Death first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Covid Fear Management Policies: Distractions from and Tests for Looming Climate Collapse

Photo by Jarr1520;

Strategy of reward and punishment

In the newly coined so-called War on Covid, the arsenal is eclectic. There is not only science, in the form of experimental RNA vaccines hastily developed by giants of the pharmaceutical industry, but also semi-authoritarian or full-blown authoritarian government measures imposed and legally validated by declarations of states of emergencies. The panoply of edicts include mandatory face masks indoor and sometime outdoor, depending on the country; enforced or unenforced social distancing recommendations; limitation of public or even private gatherings; and more drastic measures like lock-downs and curfews.

The crescendo of assaults on personal liberties eased up for a few months, but governments are now using, because of the spread of the Delta variant, the threats of reinstating their coercion as an insidious blackmail to force people to get vaccinated. In other words, if one has the temerity to refuse the salvation brought by Big Pharma’s vaccines, life shall be so extremely problematic and isolated as almost to make one a social pariah. In France President Macron is defining a new ideology that could be called semi-authoritarian neoliberalism, while in the Philippines neofascist Duarte is entirely blunt in his approach. Regardless, both politicians have the same goal: to get their entire population vaccinated. They use a strategy of psychological warfare based on reward and punishment, a bit similar to that used on lab mice.

Photo by Robert Muller

In the case of Macron, the reward for the good and fully vaccinated French citizens is that they will carry, as a badge of honor, a Pass Sanitaire. The misfits, refuseniks, pesky bad citizens who still refuse to see the light and comply, will receive punishments. These bad French apples will be deprived from travel except in their own vehicles, and from cultural events like concerts, movies and museum exhibits.

Duarte’s fascist approach, if more brutal, is in a sense a bit more honest. It is still about manipulating his population with the rewards versus punishments principle, but there are many sticks and basically no carrots. Case in point: Duarte is seriously considering locking up in their homes those Filipinos who refuse to be vaccinated. One can only wonder what will happen to the vast homeless population in the Philippines.

Photo by Grey Area

Vaccines, the universal silver bullet

Covid management styles and policies have been diverse in tone and strategies, but it seems that governments worldwide are all watching, then mimicking, at times, each other’s minor achievements to avoid major failures. Only one question is on their minds, which seems to be the universal governmental panacea, independently of ideology: how do we get the entire population vaccinated?

In the more sophisticated media manipulation of Western democracies, the secondary questions are as follows. How do we convince the citizenry that the coercive measures put in place nearly 18 months ago, in a quasi entirely undemocratic fashion by decrees etc., were gently forced on people for their own good rather than in an attempt to avoid a global economic collapse? And further, how do we persuade them that these measures will be entirely lifted one day to go back to an almost mythological happy pre-Covid world?

Jonathan

In other words, how can leaders, with varying degrees of incompetence and undisclosed ties to giant global corporate interests, make people believe that they are acting for the common good rather than to avoid a global stock market crash? Altruism and the collective social good rarely guide the paths of politicians anywhere, and citizens in large numbers have finally caught on to this reality.

People have become more doubtful about what they are told, either directly by their elected officials, or through mainstream media outlets via so-called experts charged with propagating — yes, like propaganda — the government narrative with powerful bullhorns, and sort of carpet-bombing people’s brains with a relentless coverage of the immense danger of Covid, especially the brand new Delta variant, and the great virtue of vaccines as being almost 92 percent accurate silver bullets against the pandemic.

Unfortunately, a one-note intrusive narrative eventually has an undesired effect on a fragment of the population. This is precisely what is going on in France since Macron made the choice, which could be fatal to his political future, to jam through parliament, in the middle of the summer holidays, a law infamously called Pass Sanitaire, to blackmail French people into mandatory vaccination. Many opponents perceive it as a pass to submission, and they have decided to make their voices heard, loud and clear, in the streets. Will this movement of dissent be long lived, contagious to other countries, or ultimately twisted and hijacked for a political purpose? This is so far a question in limbo.  The large scale protests, however, were unexpected.

Illustration by Mike Finn

A smoke screen to mask climate collapse

A year ago the Covid-19 pandemic accounted for about 75 percent of the media coverage across the board worldwide. This alone, if a virus could have been granted the Person of the Year award from Time Magazine, would have assured it the coveted price. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won person of the year in 2020, but if it had been Creature of the Year, SARS-CoV-2 would have won. As matter of fact, one can easily argue that without the Covid crisis, Donald Trump would have likely been reelected. In political, sociological, and economic affairs, the microorganism has been a game changer.

So far, Covid has not been a seed of much needed social change but instead has been used as a nasty new tool for disaster capitalism to thrive by changing some fundamental economic parameters, as well as serve as a powerful device to concentrate wealth. What could be better for capitalism than to convince taxpayers that their money needs to be injected by the trillions into corporate conglomerates? Across the world, in all the COVID-19 stimulus funding schemes, the lion share went to corporations while private citizens got the crumbs. Wall Street should have crashed but didn’t, because vast amounts of public funds were pumped into the global financial markets. Airlines that were saved from bankruptcy by a Covid bail out should have been nationalized; instead Air France, for example, remained a private company with an overpaid CEO while France’s government became a bigger share holder.

Photo by Jeanne Menjoulet

The bait and switch worked on a global scale. It worked with the financial aspect, just like it worked in the semantic of fear. For the media, it’s all about key words. Some might have noticed that at first it was COVID-19, then it became simply Covid, but now, probably because the word’s traction is wearing off, governments or corporate-controlled outlets have switched to Delta variant. It is today’s winner in the fear factor department, and it is repeated ad nauseam. This element of constant fear has established a nice level of docility in a majority of the global population, as well as a numbing anxiety focused on the narrow topic of the pandemic, and the easy vaccine fix proposed by governments.

The cloud of anxiety has obstructed from many the clarity that WE, as a species, face a threat much greater than a virus. How gullible many of us might be to believe that a pandemic, which so far has killed a quarter of the number of victims of the Spanish flu 100 years ago, is more of an existential threat than the unfolding climate collapse? It is pathetic and ironic for governments and their media servants to use a pandemic as a smoke screen for a much bigger problem, especially when a substantial potion of Earth is currently being consumed by fires.

Photo by Glenn Lewis

Last time I checked, 800 wild fires were burning in Italy, Turkey was scorched, the US northwest was still burning, Greece was baking with a 45 degree Celsius temperature, Siberia had been burning for months, and there were killer floods in Germany and China. Meanwhile, the so-called climate experts on mainstream media hardly connected these climate crisis events. They barely connected the dots between extreme weather events and catastrophic climate change by softly saying “isolated extreme weather events could be a manifestation of global climate change.” It shouldn’t be “could be” but are; it shouldn’t be “climate change” but climate crisis. The global fear of Covid is highly lucrative. By contrast a fear of climate collapse — or actually a recognition of its imminence — would lead people to reject the global capitalist system that is driving our species into the abyss. It would lead human societies away from consumption and toward zero-growth economies and population models that would deal capitalism a fatal blow.

Photo by Ian Sanderson

We have more or less collectively experienced, since March 2020, a life of fear and a sort of lingering collective anxiety. Fear is usually correlated with a reduction of critical thinking and greatly diminished opposition against the abuse of authority.

The protests in France show that fear can lose ground. Citizens do not have to surrender their fundamental rights of freedom and liberty to the whim of governmental authority based on semi-valid cognitive notions, or purely arbitrary ones, at times absurd, which appear to serve an agenda foreign to the common good. Popular resistance, whatever forms it may take in France and elsewhere, is always a viable option. At critical times in history it even becomes a civic duty.

The post Covid Fear Management Policies: Distractions from and Tests for Looming Climate Collapse first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Rio Tinto in Serbia: The Jadar Lithium Project

The company has been looking forward to this for some time.  For an outfit found wanting in dealing with inhabitants of a land whose culture it eviscerated in a matter of hours in May last year, Rio Tinto could think grandly about another future. The Anglo-Australian mining giant could add its name to a sounder, more environmentally sensitive programme, join the responsible future gazers and stroke the ecological conscience. Forget the destruction of the Juukan Gorge Caves in Western Australia.  It was time to control the narrative.

Eyes have shifted to the Balkans.  The company is promising $2.4 billion for the Jadar lithium-borates project in Serbia provided it gets the appropriate permits.  In the coming weeks, it will transport a pilot lithium processing plant in four 40-foot shipping containers, suggesting a sure degree of optimism.  From its science hub located on the outer parts of Melbourne, the company’s research team claim to have identified an economically viable method of extracting lithium from the mineral jadarite.

A statement from the company outlined the importance of the Jadar project.  “Jadar will produce battery-grade lithium carbonate, a critical mineral used in large scale batteries for electric vehicles and storing renewable energy, and position Rio Tinto as the largest source of lithium supply in Europe for at least the next 15 years.  In addition, Jadar will produce borates, which are used in solar panels and wind turbines.”

Those at the company are already anticipating a nice public relations coup.  The project “would scale up Rio Tinto’s exposure to battery materials, and demonstrate the company’s commitment to investing capital in a disciplined manner to further strengthen its portfolio for the global energy transition.”

In terms of schedule, Rio Tinto hopes to start construction of the underground mine in 2022, with saleable production commencing in 2026.  Full production is anticipated three years later.  The complement will comprise 58,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate, 160,000 tonnes of boric acid and 255,000 tonnes of sodium sulphate.

The company hopes to win over the Serbian authorities by promising rich additions to the local economy and stroking the ego of strategic significance.  “It’s not a huge mine,” Sinead Kaufman, Chief Executive of Rio’s Minerals division, told reporters, “but from a lithium perspective, it’s going to be the largest producer in Europe for at least ten years and bring lithium to the market at scale.”  Estimates are put at 1% of gross domestic product coming directly from Jadar itself, with 4% being the indirect contribution to the Serbian economy.  The mine will come with incidental additions: relevant infrastructure and equipment, electric haul trucks, a beneficiation chemical processing plant dealing with dry stacking of tailings.  In all, enough lithium will be available to power a million electric vehicles.

All this rosiness cannot detract from the issue of environmental sustainability.  Rio promises that a commissioned environmental assessment impact will be made available for comment “shortly”.  “We are committed to upholding the highest environmental standards and building sustainable futures for the communities where we operate,” states the company’s CEO Jakob Stausholm.  “We recognise that in progressing this project, we must listen to and respect the views of all stakeholders.”

These statements are at odds with reality, both current and historical.  Rio Tinto’s Serbian subsidiary firm Rio Sava Exploration is currently facing charges by two Serbian NGOs, the Coalition against Environmental Corruption and the Podrinje Anti-Corruption Team, PAKT, citing violations of environmental regulations since 2015.

In fact, Rio’s conduct has produced something of a green awakening in Serbia.  A disparate number of environmental groups, academics and politicians have found rare common ground.  In June, the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences sent a letter to Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Zorana Mihajlović outlining the grave implications of permitting the project to go ahead.  “The mine would cause great and irreversible damage not only to the area where it would be located, but to the entire country.”  The location of the mining complex would threaten agricultural land, forests, meadows and the water supply areas in Mačva.  “Tailings with toxic residues from ore processing would span over 160 hectares.”

Last month, protesters gathered at Loznica to vent their concerns.  At the gathering, Marijana Petković of the Ne Damo Jadar initiative gave an insight into the way Rio dealt with locals.  “They came in 2004, they never answered us as people on three key things: what to do with the noise; with the water; what is the minimum amount of pollution.”

An online petition against the mine has also attracted 125,685 signatures.  It describes the Jadar Valley as having “Serbia’s fertile land” marked by “thousands of sustainable multi-generational farms.” It speaks to fears about the imminent poisoning of water sources.  “The process of separating chemically stable lithium from jadarite ore involves the use of concentrated sulphuric acid.”  The process would be undertaken some 20km from the Drina River using 300 cubic metres of water per hour, with the chemically treated water returned to the Jadar River.  Entire basins of water, and water sources beyond Serbia, risked being contaminated.

The petitioners also take issue with the lack of transparency on negotiations between Rio Tinto and the Serbian government, fearing “potential corruption on the government’s behalf.”  Some homework of the company’s sketchy record on the environment was also recounted, including “the destruction of a 45,000 year old sacred Australian Aboriginal cave.”

Rio Tinto is a company loose with figures, selective in its consultative process (some call it bribery) and its accounts. The London Mining Network documents a record replete with ruthless indifference, environmental crimes, and human rights abuses.  At the company’s 1937 annual general meeting, chairman Sir Auckland Geddes expressed his gratitude to the fascist forces of Spain’s General Francisco Franco, who had crushed a mining revolt that threatened the smooth operations of the company.  “Miners found guilty of troublemaking are court-martialed and shot,” he noted with approval.

The company is currently the subject of an investigation by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on suspected breaches of disclosure rules on the value of Mongolia’s Oyu Tolgoi mine, the company’s biggest copper growth project.  The expansion of the mine, coming in at $6.75 billion, is $1.4 billion higher than Rio’s own estimate in 2016.

Serbia’s president Aleksandar Vučić, sufficiently troubled by the indignation, is floating the idea of putting the project to a referendum.  This is unlikely to trouble Rio Tinto, whose promises of economic manna for Serbia through jobs and placing it at the forefront of the lithium-electric car revolution is bound to mask potential environmental depredations.  As with its record in other countries, this mining giant’s understanding of consultation and accountability is estranged from that of a local populace treated as nuisances rather than citizens.

The post Rio Tinto in Serbia: The Jadar Lithium Project first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Jabberwocky Theater

Well, they say that time flies when you’re having fun, and as you grow older such an expression seems to have an increased impact and meaning as each new cycle spins. But I’m not sure that any point in human history has seen as much flux as this still-young decade of the 2020s has already been through.

We began the journey with a cool launch as version 2.0 of the roaring twenties commenced, but that quickly gave way to the Age of  Terror in which the villainous machinations of mad scientists were revealed as they unleashed their plagues, which in turn brought us face to face with the next stage of Orwell’s fevered dream that has manifested in the form of draconian lockdowns, suppression of effective medical treatments, massive censorship, propaganda campaigns, forced inoculations in many parts of the world, and the rise of globalist-inspired technocratic tyranny.

It’s created one hell of a whirlwind thus far, so I can’t say I’m surprised that so many peoples’ heads are still spinning and that they can’t make heads or tails of what’s being imposed upon them as the jewels of liberty are methodically stripped away. But, even so, there’s really no excuse for not being informed and having a strong sense of discernment at this point in the process. It’s all been prophesized and warned about enough, no doubt.

Thankfully, it does seem as though some of the heralded signs have been taken to heart.

Protests in Cuba? Beautiful to see. Protests in the UK? Wonderful to behold. Protests in France? Glorious to witness.

Did the World Economic Forum and the Fortune 100 corporations and the United Nations and the World Health Organization and Big Pharma and the Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation and the Carnegie Foundation and the Big Tech oligarchs and all the minions of these authoritarian governments across the globe that are continually imposing increasingly despotic edicts outside of natural and common law think that humanity was going to just collectively roll over, assume a fetal position, and suck their thumbs without putting up any resistance when the “build back better” and “great reset” and “sustainable development” and “Agenda 2030” bullshit hit the fan?

Not a chance.

Well, of course, they understood quite well that a large swath of the sheepish population would do just that. But, hell, a lot of people at this point would put a bullet in their own brain or jump off a thousand foot cliff if certain experts that they worship as false idols informed them that such actions were the scientifically proven methods toward achieving radiant health and immortality (or even just simple immunity from a souped-up, bio weapon virus). That’s perfectly evident at this point of the game, and such behavior is no different than the people who gleefully lined up to turn their babies over to be sacrificed atop the Aztec pyramid when the priest class of that era convinced them that the sun had disappeared in a fit of anger when really it was just catching some shade during an eclipse and would pop back out at any moment without the need for slitting any throats.

That lemming-mimicking segment of society has never been concerned much with the precepts of common sense, critical analysis, or free thinking throughout the ages, and so their current fear-induced hysteria is no different in the modern epoch we’re currently living through.

But that doesn’t account for a solid 25% of people (or, if we’re fortunate, even more) who do care, greatly, about maintaining their own sovereignty. And so they won’t go down without questioning the so-called authority figures who are pulling all these heinous stunts. And, in the long run, it’s this courageous minority who will be victorious. Though it’s certainly going to be a bumpy ride along the way to reach that point down the line. So be it. The principles of autonomy are well-worth the effort to preserve, and a bit of discomfort in the short term sure beats the hell out of the Satanic one world government system of the beast being offered as an alternative path with an endgame of complete destitution and neo-feudalistic nonsense that will only bring about total enslavement of the species.

So it’s encouraging to watch the resistance as it mounts and grows by the day. It’s no doubt true that order arising out of chaos is a real principle that plays out in nature, society, and individual psychology. It’s just not going to be the type of manufactured decline of civilization that these transhumanist demons at the top of the scam are hoping for so they can offer their depraved solutions after the crash. It is their plans, ultimately, which are destined to fail, fall, and burn. Magnificently. Then the phoenix of renaissance can take flight.

I guess the big question that looms in the air before us now is: when does the Nuremberg Trial redux begin? Because I know that karma weaves its web and works its wiles on its own terms and in its own mysterious ways, but I’m sort of keen on the concept of justice being rendered swiftly and served in a timely fashion at this stage of the plot.

I’ve no doubt it will happen. For though it may seem as if darkness and deception have taken the upper hand and garnered dominion across the earth, there are always reciprocal forces at work behind the scenes keeping the overall energy in balance; and so, as the lies spewed forth from the mud-caked lips of swine become intolerably blatant, truth is risen up more quickly to breach the surface of the collective consciousness.

In fact, that’s why the authoritarians have taken their gloves off. They didn’t foresee in their algorithmic equations that resistance to their schemes would be so large, or how vehement certain folks would be in the desire to keep their freedoms intact. The control freaks feel their grip loosening and losing sway, and so they are doing everything they can in a hurried, bumbling, blundering fashion to try and keep hold of their tenuous grasp.

But we all know how sand slips through the fingers of a closed fist, and we’ve all heard tell about the genie that can’t be shoved back in the bottle once released. Yeah, Pandora is out and about, and there’s no turning back the clock now, darling.

The times have never been more interesting, and I’ve never been more thankful to be alive. The show must go on, and though the action might get a bit more perilous and sketchy as we reach the climatic scenes of this drama, there’s a big bright light shining from the other side pulling us forward with a magnetic tug of love.

So walk steady with a straight, sturdy spine in high spirits. Hallelujah.

The post Jabberwocky Theater first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Israel: Racist, violent policing is at the heart of apartheid

Police made sweeping arrests of Israel’s large minority of Palestinian citizens after protests rocked the country in May during Israel’s 11-day attack on Gaza. Officers were documented beating demonstrators, and in some cases torturing them while in detention. Police also failed to protect the Palestinian minority from planned, vigilante-style attacks by far-right Jewish extremists.

This was the damning verdict of an Amnesty International report published last week. The findings indicate that Israeli police view the country’s Palestinian minority, a fifth of the population, as an enemy rather than as citizens with a right to protest.

The report echoes what Palestinian leaders in Israel and local human rights groups have long said: that the default policing of the Palestinian community in Israel is racist and violent. It reflects the same values of Jewish supremacism seen in the Israeli army’s brutal treatment of Palestinians under occupation.

The contrast between how police responded to protests by Palestinian citizens and supportive statements from their leaders, on the one hand, and to incitement from Israeli Jewish leaders and a violent backlash from the Jewish extreme right, on the other, is stark indeed.

More than 2,150 arrests were made following May’s inter-communal violence. But according to reports cited by Amnesty, more than 90 percent of those detained were Palestinian – either citizens of Israel or residents of occupied East Jerusalem.

Most face charges unrelated to attacks on people or property, despite how their demonstrations were widely portrayed by police and the Israeli media. Rather, Palestinian protesters were indicted on charges such as “insulting or assaulting a police officer” or “taking part in an illegal gathering” – matters related to the repressive policing faced by the Palestinian minority.

‘Torture room’

Amnesty cites repeated examples of unprovoked police assaults on peaceful protesters in cities such as Nazareth and Haifa. That contrasts with the continuing indulgence by police of provocations by the Jewish far-right, such as their march through Palestinian neighbourhoods of occupied East Jerusalem on 15 June, during which participants chanted: “Death to Arabs” and “May your village burn.”

Amnesty also documents testimony that Israeli police beat bound detainees in Nazareth’s police station – setting up what the local legal rights group Adalah has described as an improvised “torture room”.

In addition, a protester in Haifa appears to have been tied to a chair and deprived of sleep for nine days, using torture techniques familiar to Palestinians in the occupied territories.

In contrast, Israeli police were alerted in real time to messages from Jewish far-right groups about precise plans to smash up “Arab” shops and assault Palestinian citizens on the street. And yet, police either ignored those warnings or were slow to respond. An investigation by Haaretz has further suggested that police subsequently failed to use film footage to identify these Jewish vigilantes and, as a result, made few arrests.

This picture of police turning a blind eye to planned Jewish violence echoes scenes from the time of the protests. Footage showed police officers allowing armed Jewish thugs – many bused in from settlements – to wander freely around Palestinian neighbourhoods during a curfew on the city of Lod. There was even footage of police and Jewish far-right extremists conducting what looked like joint “operations”, with police throwing stun grenades as Jewish extremists threw stones.

Jewish politicians who incited against the Palestinian minority – from Israel’s former president, Reuven Rivlin, and Lod’s mayor, Yair Revivo, to far-right legislator Itamar Ben-Gvir – have faced no consequences.

Charged with ‘terror acts’

Instead, police arranged what amounted to a provocative, entirely unnecessary assault by special forces on the home of a Palestinian community leader, Kamal al-Khatib, to arrest him. The deputy head of the northern Islamic Movement was charged with supporting terrorism after he expressed pride at what he called the minority’s solidarity with the people of Gaza and occupied East Jerusalem.

And last week, apparently too late for inclusion in the Amnesty report, Israel’s racist policing moved in new directions.

Small numbers of Palestinian citizens suspected of attacking Jews were charged with “terror acts”, in some cases without any physical or DNA evidence tying them to the crime. In several cases, the defendants were indicted based on confessions made after prolonged interrogation by Israel’s secret police, the Shin Bet.

Israel’s legal system is treating inter-communal violence as an act of terror when Palestinian citizens are involved, and as an ordinary law-and-order issue – assuming it is dealt with at all – when Israeli Jews are involved.

Underlining this distinction is the decision to place Palestinian citizens of Israel under administrative detention, jailing them without charge and not allowing lawyers to see the supposed evidence against their clients. This draconian move – with one such order approved last week by Defence Minister Benny Gantz – is usually reserved for Palestinians under occupation, not Israeli citizens.

Settling scores

In its report, Amnesty pointed to public statements from Israeli police commanders indicating that the current harsh crackdown is really about “settling scores”. And in part, that is true.

Nearly two decades ago, a judicial-led public inquiry concluded that Israeli police treated Palestinian citizens as “the enemy”. Nothing has changed since. Police regard it as their primary job to protect the privileges of the Jewish majority by keeping the Palestinian minority crushed and obedient, as a subordinate community inside a self-declared Jewish state.

The eruption of protests in May, which caught police off-guard, was implicitly a sign that they had failed in that role. Police interpreted the demonstrations as a public humiliation for which “deterrence” needed to be urgently restored.

Israeli politicians, including the then-police minister, Amir Ohana, as well as the Jewish far-right, viewed the protests in much the same light. They argued at the time that police were being held back by legal niceties, and that it was the job of Jewish citizens to back police by taking the law into their own hands.

Yet, the “settling of scores” with the Palestinian minority relates to a separate matter. External observers, such as Amnesty, tend to notice Israel’s racist policing only when direct violence is used against Palestinian citizens. But the Palestinian minority’s experience of discrimination from police is much broader.

For years, the minority has been taking to the streets in large numbers to protest against not only the violent policing of dissent, but a complementary near-absence of policing towards Palestinian communities in Israel when it comes to tackling crime.

The harsh repression seen in recent weeks contrasts strongly with police inaction as a crime wave has swept Palestinian communities, with each year bringing a record number of violent deaths. Both Palestinian and Jewish criminal gangs have exploited the policing void in Palestinian towns and villages, knowing that they are free to act as long as the violence is “Arab-on-Arab”.

Even during the Covid-19 lockdowns, Palestinian community leaders kept up the pressure, leading go-slow convoys of dozens of cars along Israel’s busiest roads to draw attention to Israel’s racist policing priorities.

These presented a different kind of humiliation for police. Unusually, commanders were forced onto the back foot, swallowing unrelenting criticism and condemnation for failing to deal with crime in Palestinian communities. It even became one of the top issues for Palestinian parties in Israel’s string of recent elections.

Now, police are having their moment of revenge. “You want more active policing? We’ll give you more active policing. See how you like this!” seems to be the new message of the mass round-ups.

Jewish supremacism

The reality is that both kinds of policing towards Palestinian citizens – the violent policing of dissent, and the lack of policing of crime – are rooted in the same, ugly ideology of Jewish supremacism.

This is the same supremacism highlighted in a report early this year by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem. It broke new ground in the human rights community by explicitly identifying Israel as an apartheid state, one that treats Palestinians as inferior, whether in the occupied territories or inside Israel, and Jews as superior, whether in Israel or in the illegal settlements.

The new Amnesty report is the latest snapshot of a society where everything follows that apartheid logic, including policing. That should surprise no one, because apartheid is, by definition, systematic.

Most Jewish Israelis, whether they identify with the left or right, have shown little interest in the lethal crime wave that for years has washed over Palestinian communities near their own, despite the regular protest campaigns by the Palestinian minority.

And now – through their silence – most ordinary Jewish Israelis and their politicians have demonstrated that they support, or are at least indifferent to, the current crackdown by police on the Palestinian minority. The deeper causes of May’s protests, and the violent backlash from the far right, appear to have provoked little self-reflection.

The Israeli Jewish public seems equally unconcerned by the fact that Jewish far-right thugs have chanted “death to Arabs” on their streets, that videos show police cooperating with those thugs, or that police have been making mass arrests of Palestinian citizens for weeks on end, while failing to search for the Jews who were filmed attacking Palestinians.

Belligerent occupation

The truth is that Israeli police get away with racist, violent policing because wider Israeli Jewish society approves. Police regard themselves as defenders of a Jewish supremacism that many ordinary Jewish citizens see as their birthright.

The Palestinian minority hoped that it had opened a tentative conversation with Israeli Jews both about the responsibilities of police in a state claiming to be a democracy, and about the right of Israel’s 1.8 million Palestinian citizens to personal security.

There was much fanfare at Mansour Abbas’s United Arab List becoming last month the first party representing Palestinian citizens to enter an Israeli government coalition, ousting former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from power. Like other Palestinian parties, Abbas put changes to the racist police culture in Israel at the top of his platform.

But any signs of progress have been all too readily snuffed out by a reassertion of Jewish supremacism by police and their Jewish far-right allies, and by the silent complicity of wider Israeli Jewish society.

Israel had a chance to address its racist policing policies, but that would have required the difficult work of examining the much wider apartheid structures that underpin them. Instead, most Israeli Jews are happy to reassert the status quo – oppressing all Palestinians under Jewish rule, whether they are subjects of a belligerent occupation or third-class citizens of a Jewish state.

• First published in Middle East Eye

The post Israel: Racist, violent policing is at the heart of apartheid first appeared on Dissident Voice.

On the Politics of Victory and Defeat: How Gaza Dethroned the King of Israel

How did Benjamin Netanyahu manage to serve as Israel’s longest-serving Prime Minister? With a total of 15 years in office, Netanyahu surpassed the 12-year mandate of Israel’s founding father, David Ben Gurion. The answer to this question will become particularly critical for future Israeli leaders who hope to emulate Netanyahu’s legacy, now that his historic leadership is likely to end.

Netanyahu’s ‘achievements’ for Israel cannot be judged according to the same criteria as that of Ben Gurion. Both were staunch Zionist ideologues and savvy politicians. Unlike Ben Gurion, though, Netanyahu did not lead a so-called ‘war of independence’, merging militias into an army and carefully constructing a ‘national narrative’ that helped Israel justify its numerous crimes against the indigenous Palestinians, at least in the eyes of Israel and its supporters.

The cliched explanation of Netanyahu’s success in politics is that he is a ‘survivor’, a hustler, a fox or, at best, a political genius. However, there is more to Netanyahu than mere soundbites. Unlike other right-wing politicians around the world, Netanyahu did not simply exploit or ride the wave of an existing populist movement. Instead, he was the main architect of the current version of Israel’s right-wing politics. If Ben Gurion was the founding father of Israel in 1948, Netanyahu is the founding father of the new Israel in 1996. While Ben Gurion and his disciples used ethnic cleansing, colonization and illegal settlement construction for strategic and military reasons, Netanyahu, while carrying on with the same practices, changed the narrative altogether.

For Netanyahu, the biblical version of Israel was far more convincing than secular Zionist ideology of yesteryears. By changing the narrative, Netanyahu managed to redefine the support for Israel around the world, bringing together right-wing religious zealots, chauvinistic, Islamophobic, far-right and ultra-nationalist parties in the US and elsewhere.

Netanyahu’s success in rebranding the centrality of the idea of Israel in the minds of its traditional supporters was not a mere political strategy. He also shifted the balance of power in Israel by making Jewish extremists and illegal settlers in the occupied Palestinian territories his core constituency. Subsequently, he reinvented Israeli conservative politics altogether.

He also trained an entire generation of Israeli right-wing, far-right and ultra-nationalist politicians, giving rise to such unruly characters such as former Defense Minister and the leader of Yisrael Beiteinu, Avigdor Lieberman, former Justice Minister, Ayelet Shaked, and former Defense Minister, and Netanyahu’s likely replacement, Naftali Bennett.

Indeed, a whole new generation of Israelis grew up watching Netanyahu take the right-wing camp from one success to another. For them, he is the savior. His hate-filled rallies and anti-peace rhetoric in the mid-1990s galvanized Jewish extremists, one of whom killed Yitzhak Rabin, Israel’s former Prime Minister who engaged the Palestinian leadership through the ‘peace process’ and, ultimately, signed the Oslo Accords.

On Rabin’s death in November 1995, Israel’s political ‘left’ was devastated by right-wing populism championed by its new charismatic leader, Netanyahu, who, merely a few months later, became Israel’s youngest Prime Minister.

Despite the fact that, historically, Israeli politics is defined by its ever-changing dynamics, Netanyahu has helped the right prolong its dominance, completely eclipsing the once-hegemonic Labor Party. This is why the right loves Netanyahu. Under his reign, illegal Jewish colonies expanded unprecedentedly, and any possibility, however meager, of a two-state solution has been forever buried.

Additionally, Netanyahu changed the relationship between the US and Israel, where the latter was no longer a ‘client regime’ – not that it ever was in the strict definition of the term – but one that holds much sway over the US Congress and the White House.

Every attempt by Israel’s political elites to dislodge Netanyahu from power has failed. No coalition was powerful enough; no election outcome was decisive enough and no one was successful enough in convincing Israeli society that he could do more for them than Netanyahu has. Even when Gideon Sa’ar from Netanyahu’s own Likud party tried to stage his own coup against Netanyahu, he lost the vote and the support of the Likudists, later to be ostracized altogether.

Sa’ar later founded his own party, New Hope, continuing with the desperate attempt to oust the seemingly unconquerable Netanyahu. Four general elections within only two years still failed to push Netanyahu out. Every possible mathematical equation to unify various coalitions, all united by the single aim of defeating Netanyahu, has also failed. Each time, Netanyahu came back, with greater resolve to hang on to his seat, challenging contenders within his own party as well as his enemies from without. Even Israel’s court system, which is currently trying Netanyahu for corruption, was not powerful enough to compel disgraced Netanyahu to resign.

Until May of this year, Palestinians seemed to be marginal, if at all relevant to this conversation. Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation looked as if they were mollified, thanks to Israeli violence and Palestinian Authority acquiescence. Palestinians in Gaza, despite occasional displays of defiance, were battling a 15-year-long Israeli siege. Palestinian communities inside Israel seemed alien to any political conversation pertaining to the struggle and aspirations of the Palestinian people.

All of these illusions were dispelled when Gaza rose in solidarity with a small Palestinian community in Sheikh Jarrah in occupied East Jerusalem. Their resistance ignited a torrent of events that, within days, unified all Palestinians, everywhere. Consequently, the popular Palestinian revolt has shifted the discourse in favor of Palestinians and against the Israeli occupation.

Perfectly depicting the significance of that moment, the Financial Times newspaper wrote, “The ferocity of the Palestinian anger caught Israel by surprise.” Netanyahu, whose extremist goons were unleashed against Palestinians everywhere, similar to his army being unleashed against besieged Gaza, found himself at an unprecedented disadvantage. It took only 11 days of war to shatter Israel’s sense of ‘security’, expose its sham democracy and spoil its image around the world.

The once untouchable Netanyahu became the mockery of Israeli politics. His conduct in Gaza was described by leading Israeli politicians as “embarrassing”, a defeat and a “surrender”.

Netanyahu struggled to redeem his image. It was too late. As strange as this may sound, it was not Bennett or Lieberman who finally dethroned the “King of Israel’, but the Palestinians themselves.

The post On the Politics of Victory and Defeat: How Gaza Dethroned the King of Israel first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Suicidal Games: Tokyo’s Coronavirus Olympics

A pandemic crisis.  A state of emergency.  Overwhelming public opinion bristling with alarm.  Notwithstanding these factors, Tokyo is still on track to host the Olympics that was cancelled last year in response to the global pandemic.  The first sports team – Australia’s softball crew – has touched down.  Is all this folly, bravery or self-interest?

On a daily basis, the tally of reasons against holding the games grows.  Currently, the Japanese capital and nine other regions in the country labour under a declared state of emergency, one that will extend, at the very least, to June 20.  Overseas fans have been barred and some 600,000 tickets refunded.  Travel warnings have been registered, none more unequivocal than the US State Department’s advisory: “Do not travel to Japan due to COVID-19.”  As the grave Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga warned, “The next three weeks are an extremely important period in achieving results in infection prevention and vaccine inoculation, a two-pronged strategy.”

An important point here is the sheer porcine obstinacy of the administration wonks whose very existence depends on an event that takes place every four years.  They form what can only be described as the “show must go on” brigade, given the billions of dollars at stake regarding television rights.  These furnish the International Olympic Committee some 75 percent of its income, with the US broadcaster NBC being the major contributor.

The President of the IOC, Thomas Bach, has shown little concern as to what Japan is facing in terms of public health.  “We have to make some sacrifices to make [the games] possible.”  World Athletics President and IOC member Sebastian Coe is convinced that competitors will be “hermitically sealed from local people”.

The IOC vice-president John Coates, filled with the lunatic spirit of the Light Brigade, insists that the games proceed as scheduled.  “The Prime Minister of Japan said that to the President of the United States two or three weeks ago,” Coates told reporters after the AOC annual general meeting in Sydney.  “He continues to say that to the IOC.”  Coates felt that the “playbook” of health regulations covering participants was an adequate “guide for a safe and successful games”.

Administrators such as Coates have taken it upon themselves to assume some depth of public health knowledge.  Regarding the situation in Japan, he was happy to prognosticate.  “The numbers [of infections] are very small, particularly amongst the elderly.  And so as the vaccine is rolled out in Japan, I think that will improve.”  It was incumbent, he urged, that Japanese authorities reassure the public that all was well and that the safety measures were more than adequate.

The much touted Tokyo 2020 Playbook has had a few iterations.  As it stands, an extensive testing regime will be in place both before, during and after the event.  Social interaction will be limited.  Eating is to take place in designated areas.  The use of public transportation and sightseeing is prohibited.  Athletes must abide by various rules or be barred from competing: undergo testing at least once every four days, maintain a distance of 6 feet apart, eschew high-fives, hugging or sex.  The latter injunction is to read alongside the odd promise to distribute 150,000 free condoms, a classic example of absurd committee logic.

Seiko Hashimoto, President of the Tokyo Olympic organising committee, is almost blithe in assuming that the crisis will plateau.  With pandemic restrictions in place, there was an expectation that “the infection situation” would “improve”.  “Once the state of emergency is lifted, we will assess how many spectators we can allow in.”

Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto, in response to objections being levelled at holding the games, considered it “natural” that “different media organisations have different views”.  As with other organisers, he felt that the “stringent measures” that had been put in place by national and local governments would improve the situation.

In the face of all of this is a clamour for the game’s cancellation.  This is the position taken by the Japanese paper Asahi Shimbun, an official Games sponsor which has called upon Prime Minister Suga to “make a calm, objective assessment of the situation and make the decision to cancel this summer’s Olympics.”  The editors also took issue with the “self-righteous” disposition of Coates and other IOC Committee leaders, rebuking them for being “out of step” with Japanese public opinion.  “Saying ‘yes’ without demonstrating any clear grounds for it once again drove the self-righteous image of the IOC.”

Others have been even more acid in their comments.  The chief of the Japanese online retailer Rakuten, Hiroshi Mikitani is baffled by the determination of administrators to proceed with the event.  “The fact that we are so late for the vaccinations, it’s really dangerous to host the big international event.”  To hold it would be tantamount to staging “a suicide mission”.  Chief executive of the Softbank Group, Masayoshi Son, has issued dire warnings about 100,000 people from 200 countries descending “on vaccine-laggard Japan”.  The arrival of mutant variants could see the loss of more lives, the need for subsidies and more economic losses.  “If we consider what the public has to endure, I think we could have a lot more to lose.”

Most troubling of all for concerned Japanese citizens is the way Suga’s government has ceded authority to the IOC in what can only be regarded as a disgraceful abdication of responsibility.  Last month, the prime minister went so far as to defer authority to the sporting body: “the IOC has the authority to decide”.  No wonder Bach and Coates are so confident.

The post Suicidal Games: Tokyo’s Coronavirus Olympics first appeared on Dissident Voice.