After a series of secret meetings between Saudi and Israeli officials were exposed by a select few of mainstream press outlets, both the Saudis and the Israelis are now becoming more open about the relationship between the two governments. Although, for years, GCC countries like Saudi Arabia have held a public position of hostility toward Israel, many researchers and observers have long been aware of secret cooperation between the two and that public statements were largely designed to provide a cover of Arab identity and self-interest for the benefit of public consumption.
As valid as it seems that China may be cracking down on moslem Uyghurs, China is actually responding to a long standing secret build up of Islamic radicalism used by UK/US/Israel and funded by Saudi Arabia to destabilize China, and the Caucuses.
Throughout past two decades Islamic schools have been funded and built in order to rouse independent movements among the Chinese Uyghurs and use them as shock troops against Chinese government.
Islamic radicalism is being propelled by zionists for two main purposes:
1. As patsy destabilization tools to derail economic rivals; and
2. As a propaganda war of Israel against moslem states.
I recommend books by Chalmers Johnson (Blowback),
Robert Dreyfus (Devil’s Game) and
Mark Curtis (Secret Affairs) for more insight on western creation of Islamic Radicalism.
Zionists are running a terror INDUSTRY.
They usesubverted Islamic teachings and historical revisionism to recruit and train proxy forces to destabilize and destroy both Islamic and Economic rivals.
This Islamic radicalization Operation has a long precedence in Middle East when two centuries ago British created Wahhabism and then The Moslem Brotherhood for same purposes.
Infamous Zionist and pseudo Middle East “scholar” Bernard Lewis provided the British foreign office the Balkanization plan of Middle East by conjuring up violent uprisings via deliberate promotion of sectarian and Islamic fundamentalism.
Thanks to Zionism the Muslims are spread all over the earth. Sharia Law is only something personal now. Lewis has always been a liar and fear monger.
All three western intel agencies (Mi6, CIA and Mossad) have independently produced volumes of Islamic radical teachings in parallel with Saudi Wahhabism and have set up hundreds of Madrases in Middle East, North and North Eastern Caucuses into China, Africa, and Southeast Asia including Indonesia, Thailand…
US foreign policy advisors Henry Kissinger and Zbignew Brzezinski were strong followers of the Bernard Lewis plan which Kissinger used in 1975 in Lebanon and Brzezinski used to defeat Soviet Union in Afghanistan.
Bernard Lewis plan was “Lebanonization “, as in the manufacture “civil war” Kissinger unleashed in Lebanon in 1975.
The war pitted Lebanon’s Catholic, Palestinian, Shiite Moslem, Sunni Moslem, Druze, and Greek Orthodox populations against each other- with a steady supply of arms to all sides.
Lewis pushed for“Islamic fundamentalism.”
“That British-run variant which he favors is opposed to modern science and technology and in opposition to tenets of Islam banning usury, AND is loyally committed to paying IMF debt.
Lewis sees fundamentalism as a battering ram against the nation-state.”
He writes,”Islamic fundamentalism is the most attractive alternative to those who feel there has to be something better, truer and more hopeful than inept rulers andbankrupt ideologies foisted on from outside.”
He notes that British subversive movements acting under such a cover enjoy a practical advantage in Middle East.
“Dictators can forbid parties, they can forbid meetings, they cannot forbid public worship, and they can, to only a limited extent, control sermons.”
As such they represent a “network outside the control of the state . . .the more oppressive the regime, the greater the help it gives to fundamentalists by eliminating competing oppositions.”
It goes without saying that the Zionist plan provided both the radicalization from the bottom AND the dictatorship propaganda against their rivals.
When you hold the megaphone and the mercenaries, nation after nation will succumb to the Zionist trap of Islamic radicalization.
This process continues today via ISIS and sectarian mercenaries like some Kurdish minorities, and in case of Uyghurs in an attempt to Balkanize and defeat China as an emerging super power.
NEW YORK — A recently released bombshell Human Rights Watch (HRW) report has made waves around the world.
For the first time, the New York-based non-governmental organization has categorized Israel as an apartheid state guilty of “crimes against humanity.”
The 213-page study goes into detail about a range of racist laws and policies carried out by successive administrations, concluding that there is an “overarching Israeli government policy to maintain the domination by Jewish Israelis over Palestinians and grave abuses committed against Palestinians living in the occupied territory, including East Jerusalem.”
The report accuses the state of Israel of widespread “institutional discrimination” and of “denying millions of Palestinians their fundamental rights … solely because they are Palestinian and not Jewish.”
It further notes that, across Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, it has “sought to maximize the land available for Jewish communities and to concentrate most Palestinians in dense population centers.”
The organization’s executive director, Kenneth Roth said:
Prominent voices have warned for years that apartheid lurks just around the corner if the trajectory of Israel’s rule over Palestinians does not change.
This detailed study shows that Israeli authorities have already turned that corner and today are committing the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.
Perhaps most importantly, HRW is now openly calling for global action to end the repression.
Despite its denials, the University of Toronto seems to have withdrawn an offer to head its human rights program because a major donor complained about the candidate’s (completely mainstream) criticism of Israel. An Israel exception to academic freedom? https://t.co/krNPAmJhQTpic.twitter.com/F8LCLPsqGs
The report asks the ICC to investigate and prosecute those involved in Palestinian persecution. While not explicitly endorsing the BDS movement, HRW directly advocates:
States should impose individual sanctions, including travel bans and asset freezes, against officials and individuals responsible for the continued commission of these serious crimes. Businesses should cease business activities that directly contribute to the crimes of apartheid and persecution.
The report was widely covered across the world and has been heralded by Palestine solidarity activists, with experts seeing it as a potential turning point in the struggle for Palestinian sovereignty. Asa Winstanley of Electronic Intifada told MintPress:
It was inevitable that Human Rights Watch would have to declare Israel an Apartheid state and, from what I hear, Amnesty International is going to be next to say it.
It puts Israel’s backers in a difficult spot, because Human Rights Watch is really part of the establishment, so they cannot just dismiss it and it makes it impossible to ignore … It is harder for them to say Human Rights Watch is anti-Semitic, but they’re trying it anyway.
Trying indeed. Michigan Congresswoman Lisa McClain tweeted that “Human Rights Watch has shown again how they have an anti-Israel agenda,” suggesting they instead focus their attention on China or Iran’s repressive governments.
Below video, have to watch it on youtube bottom left corner
“Hostility and hypocrisy are HRW’s hallmarks when it comes to Israel,” wrote the AJC.
The JPost’s editorial board was equally condemnatory, denouncing what they saw as the “cynical appropriation of the suffering of the victims of the actual apartheid regime.”
Other Israeli journalists described the report as “a disgrace to the memory of the millions who suffered under that policy in South Africa.”
The news even made enough waves to force a response from the White House. Press Secretary Jen Psaki replied:
As to the question of whether Israel’s actions constitute apartheid, that is not the view of this administration.
Yet much of the online anger at the report was actually manufactured by an Israeli government-sponsored app, Act.IL, which organized supporters of the Jewish state to act in sync to create an artificial groundswell of opposition to it.
The app, which reportedly has a budget of over $1m/yr, instructed users to leave combative comments on Facebook, Twitter, and popular news outlets, and to like and promote others who did the same.
Human Rights Watch’s Facebook post announcing the report’s release has received over 1.4k comments, hundreds of them written in a similar, scathingly negative tone.
One that the app directly told users to signal boost, for instance, described Palestinians as a people “indoctrinated with hate for Israel and Jews for over 100 years,” and claimed they were paid salaries to murder Israelis.
It also presented the 1967 war and occupation as a humanitarian effort to bring electricity and other infrastructure to Arabs.
Another “mission” Act.IL gave its users was to promote a Facebook comment attacking the report as “nothing more than hate speech” and calling its lead author a “rabid anti-Zionist and Israel hater.”
One of the many images provided to Act.IL users for their astroturfing campaign against HRW
Act.IL is one of the chief tools in Israel’s online public relations enterprise. The app debuted in 2017 and is part of what Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan called an “Iron Dome of Truth.” Noting that public opinion in the US was beginning to turn against them, he explained:
Our cell phones are the number one weapon against us.
While most of the app’s nearly 20k users are volunteers, a core of them are paid operatives, with many students receiving scholarships as a reward for their work.
The app has been designed to feel like a game, with points assigned for completing “missions” such as sharing pro-Israel videos, reporting anti-Israel content, signing petitions, or attending online seminars.
Users can track their progress on leaderboards, earn badges and prizes, and chat with other members of the community.
While it might feel like Animal Crossing or World of Warcraft for some, its creators see this very much as a new front in the war against Palestine.
Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked categorizes BDS as “another branch of terrorism in the modern age,” and has been an important voice in taking the fight to a new front.
An Act.IL mission encouraging astroturfing of online discussions. Source @AntiBDSApp
There is also an online toolkit full of folders of responses to typical questions and issues that arise.
Users can, for instance, go to the BDS folder to find stock replies to their arguments.
Or they can go to a specific folder to find articles, images and videos they can use to demonize Hamas.
The missions are organized by outlet, so that for instance users can target solely Facebook, Telegram or other platforms they are most familiar with.
At the time of writing, there are 10 missions each to complete on Facebook and YouTube, 30 on Instagram, 25 on Twitter.
One current challenge is to upvote an answer to a question on Quora that asks about the validity and purpose of checkpoints in the West Bank.
The answer claims they are purely about protection from terror attacks, and claims that Red Crescent ambulances are used to ferry bombs around the area.
Other missions include pressuring an online store to remove a bag with a message stating “Make Israel Palestine Again.”
An Act.IL “mission” encouraging users to demand the removal of products with pro-Palestinian messaging
It is quite astounding how openly they do it. But, of course, when you see a comment online, you wouldn’t necessarily think that it was coming from the Israeli government, but this is essentially what is happening. Israel is not the only state to do this, but they do it fairly successfully.
For all this, however, it is clear that Act.IL has a serious problem with user retention and lacks the volunteer numbers for it to be truly game-changing.
In a time of heightened awareness about foreign government interference online, it is particularly surprising that these operations can be openly carried out across virtually every major platform.
Big tech companies like Twitter, YouTube and Facebook are constantly deleting tens of thousands of Russian, Chinese, Iranian and Cuban accounts belonging to what they claim are organized, state-sponsored disinformation campaigns.
In an effort to gauge the legality of its operations, MintPress reached out to Facebook, YouTube, Quora, and other big platforms used by Act.IL.
We received no response from any of them.
While this is particularly noteworthy, as these companies have teams of public relations representatives and are extremely forthright and timely with responses on other issues, it is perhaps not surprising.
Facebook especially has long been working closely with the Israeli government in deciding which voices to censor.
As far back as 2016, Ayelet Shaked boasted that Facebook removed 95% of the posts her office asked them to.
Yet when Shaked herself called for a genocidal war against Palestine and its women, who give birth to “little snakes,” not only did the post remain online, it received thousands of likes and was widely circulated.
Nadim Nashif, co-founder of 7amleh, the Arab Centre for the Advancement of Social Media, said:
The concern is that Facebook is adopting Israeli policy and terminology when it comes to defining what incitement is.
7amleh was therefore dismayed when last year, Facebook appointed former Israeli Minister of Justice Emi Palmor to its Oversight Board, the council having the final say in the moderation of content on the platform used by 2.6b people worldwide.
In her role as justice minister, Palmor was directly implicated in the persecution and subjugation of Palestinians.
Earlier this year, an IOF soldier attempted to sue a Palestinian-American activist living in California over an allegedly slanderous Facebook post condemning her for participating in ethnic cleansing.
Remarkably, the plaintiff attempted to convince a California judge to apply Israeli law to the incident, despite the fact that both she and the defendant are American citizens.
Inside the world of academia, professors critical of Israel have found themselves pushed out of the profession.
In 2007, prominent critic of Israel Norman Finkelstein was denied tenure at DePaul University for political reasons.
Seven years later, the University of Illinois “unhired” Steven Sailata for his comments denouncing Operation Protective Edge, the 2014 Israeli attack on Gaza.
Emails showed that wealthy donors put significant pressure on the university to pull the plug on him.
More recently, Cornel West was blocked from a tenured job at Harvard this year, despite having previously held tenure at Harvard, Princeton, and Yale.
Being the faculty advisor for the Palestinian student group was the one that probably went outside of the line for many Harvard staff.
It’s a joke. It’s ridiculous. It’s ludicrous. It’s preposterous that it wouldn’t have something to do with politics.
Top media figures have also paid the price for their support of BDS. CNN fired commentator Marc Lamont Hill after he made a speech at the UN calling for a free Palestine.
Abby Martin was blocked from speaking at a conference at Georgia Southern University last year after she refused to sign a contract promising to renounce BDS.
Georgia is one of dozens of US states to have anti-BDS legislation, essentially forcing any would-be recipient of public contracts or funds, including government employees, to sign a pledge not to boycott Israel.
Perhaps the greatest PR victory for the Israel lobby in recent years was its defamation campaign against British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
The lifelong pacifist and anti-racist campaigner was transformed into a raging anti-Semite in the minds of many, thanks to a massive propaganda onslaught.
In the three months before the 2019 election, there were 1,450 articles in national British newspapers linking Corbyn with anti-Semitism, chiefly because of his support for Palestinian liberation.
Much of this was orchestrated by Israel and its lobby, which worked closely with journalists and politicians keen to see the socialist politician’s demise.
The media blitz succeeded. When media researchers asked the public what percentage of Labour members faced official complaints over anti-Semitism, the average guess was 34%.
The actual answer was less than 0.1%, and more than half of those complaints were made by one person.
Corbyn lost the election and the UK chose Boris Johnson. Winstanley, whose documentary “How they brought down Corbyn” premiered last week, told MintPress:
The most effective propaganda strategy against him was the fabrication that he was an anti-Semite on the basis of his past criticisms of Israel and his Palestinian solidarity.
In my view, the maliciously fabricated anti-Semitism crisis against the Labour Party was the main factor in his demise as Labour Party leader.
Without this factor, he would have made it to Number 10 Downing Street and become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
While HRW’s report is new, the charge of apartheid is not. In 2017, a UN report “clearly and frankly concludes” that Israel is “a racist state that has established an apartheid system that persecutes the Palestinian people.”
Earlier this year, Israeli human rights organization B’TSelem also used the word “apartheid,” claiming that Israel had established “a regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.”
In the wake of WW2 and the Holocaust, Israel was created by the UN in 1947, cutting a section of territory from the British mandate of Palestine to form a new state.
While it was immediately recognized by the international powers, Arabs who lived in the region were dead against it, leading to a war in 1948.
David Ben Gurion and the founding fathers of Israel immediately began a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the local population, razing their villages and forcing them to flee.
While many defenders of Israel today balk at the comparison to apartheid South Africa, the two countries were close friends for much of the late 20th century, seeing themselves as similar settler colonial projects surrounded by hostile nations.
Furthermore, leaders of the African liberation movement saw themselves as part of the same struggle as those in Palestine. Nelson Mandela said in 1997:
We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu said in a statement endorsing BDS:
I have witnessed the systemic humiliation of Palestinian men, women and children by members of the Israeli security forces.
Their humiliation is familiar to all black South Africans who were corralled and harassed and insulted and assaulted by the security forces of the apartheid government.
The HRW report is the latest reference point showing Western public sympathies swaying towards Palestine.
During the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination race, a number of top-tier candidates very publicly shunned AIPAC, refusing to attend tits annual conference.
Last week, the Pilsbury family called for a global boycott of the food company that bears its name. Denouncing the building of a factory on illegal settlement land, they stated:
As long as General Mills [which owns the Pilsbury brand] continues to profit from the dispossession and suffering of the Palestinian people, we will not buy any Pillsbury products.
Advocates for Palestine hailed HRW’s study. Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies wrote:
There can be little doubt that much of HRW’s decision to issue this report now was based on the recognition that not only is it no longer political suicide to call Israeli apartheid what it is, but that we are now at a tipping point whereby failing to call out apartheid risks losing credibility for a human rights organization.
It’s a huge victory for our movement.
The battle, however, is far from won, and it is clear that the Israel lobby will continue to fight to hold back the tide until it is insurmountable.
In Athens on February 11, 2021, Bahrain, Cyprus, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Greece participated in the Philia Forum (Brotherhood Forum). Egypt was invited to represent the Arab League, and France to represent the European Union. Israel soon followed.
Since the end of the Second World War, the political landscape of the Middle East had become fixed around a few crises:
The expulsion of the Palestinians from their land (1948), the weakening of the British and French empires in comparison to the USA and the USSR (Suez, 1956), the surveillance of Gulf oil by the USA (Carter, 1979), the disappearance of the USSR and the hegemony of the USA (Desert Storm, 1991), the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy (2001), and finally the return of Russia (2015).
Israel’s secret department Malmab hides documents containing reality of the country’s brutality on Palestinians during Nakba. | Photo: Reuters
What makes the Middle East difficult to understand is that it comprises a multitude of actors with different logics who, depending on the circumstances, make or break alliances.
We often think we know the region politically, who our friends and enemies are.
But when we return to the same place years later, the landscape has changed dramatically: some of our former friends have become enemies, while some of our former friends want us dead.
This is what is happening now. In a few months, everything will have changed.
1) First of all, we have to understand that some of the protagonists, who lived in desert regions, organised themselves into tribes by force of circumstances.
Their survival depended on their obedience to the chief.
They are alien to democracy and have communitarian reactions.
This is the case, for example, of the Saudi and Yemeni tribes, the Iraqi Sunnis who come from the latter and the Kurds, the Israeli and Lebanese communities or the Libyan tribes.
These people (except the Israelis) were the main victims of the US military project: the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy of destroying state structures.
They did not understand what was at stake and now find themselves without a solid state to defend them.
2) A second category of actors is driven by self-interest.
They are only interested in making money and have no empathy for anyone.
They adapt to all political situations and always manage to be on the winning side.
It is this category that provides the contingent of die-hard allies of the imperialists of all stripes who have dominated the region (recently the Ottoman Empire, then the British and French Empires, now the United States).
3) Finally, the third category acts to defend its nation. It has the same courage as the tribal populations, but is able to perceive things in a broader way.
It is this group that, over the millennia, has created the notions of the city and then the state. Typically, this is the case of the Syrians, who were the first to form states and are now dying to keep one.
Seen from the West, we often think that these people are fighting for ideas: liberalism or communism, Arab unity or Islamic unity, etc.
But this is always false in the case of the Syrians. But this is always wrong in practice.
For example, the Yemeni communists have now become almost all members of al-Qaeda.
Above all, we judge these people as if they were not capable of being on our level.
The opposite is true: Westerners, who have lived in peace for three quarters of a century, have lost touch with simple realities.
The world is full of dangers and we need alliances to survive.
We choose to join a group (tribal or national) or to go it alone among our enemies, abandoning our friends and family.
Ideologies exist, of course, but they are only to be considered after we have positioned ourselves against these three categories.
Since the end of the Second World War, the political landscape of the Middle East had become fixed around a few crises:
The expulsion of the Palestinians from their land (1948), the weakening of the British and French empires in comparison to the USA and the USSR (Suez, 1956), the surveillance of Gulf oil by the USA (Carter, 1979), the disappearance of the USSR and the hegemony of the USA (Desert Storm, 1991), the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy (2001), and finally the return of Russia (2015).
Israel’s secret department Malmab hides documents containing reality of the country’s brutality on Palestinians during Nakba. | Photo: Reuters
All political and military events, including the Iranian revolution or the ’Arab Spring’, are only epiphenomena in this framework.
None of them have created new alliances. On the contrary, all have strengthened existing alliances in a vain attempt to give one or the other a victory.
President Donald Trump, whose sole task in the Middle East was to stop the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski ’war without end’, did not have time to complete his project.
He did, however, succeed in convincing the Pentagon to stop using jihadis as mercenaries in its service (although the Department of Defense is now going backwards).
Above all, he turned the tables by questioning the validity of the Palestinian cause.
Contrary to what one might say at first glance, it was not a question of favouring Israel, but of acknowledging the lessons of the past: the Palestinians have lost five successive wars against Israel.
During this time, they tried twice to move and to conquer by force new lands (Jordan and Lebanon).
Finally, they signed an agreement with Israel (Oslo). Under these conditions, how can we still talk about their inalienable rights when they themselves have violated them?
Whether one agrees or not with this reasoning, it is clear that it is shared within the Arab world, although nobody admits it.
Everyone can see that the powers that pay lip service to the Palestinian cause do absolutely nothing for it; that it is a legal posture to keep things as they are, to their benefit.
It so happens that President Trump has managed to get the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Israel to sign the “Abraham Accords”.
Yesterday’s enemies have agreed to make peace. Contrary to popular belief, it was not easier for Israel than for its Arab partners.
Indeed, peace forces Israel to stop being a colonial state inherited from the British Empire, but a nation like any other called to live in harmony with its environment.
These changes, if they can be sustained, will take time.
However, the United Arab Emirates and Israel on the one hand, and Saudi Arabia and Iran on the other, are now facing a new question: should they not all be prepared for a new danger: the expansionism of Turkey and Qatar?
This is why the United Arab Emirates and Israel have formed an alliance with Greece and Cyprus, while Saudi Arabia and Iran have entered into secret talks.
Egypt (representing the Arab League, of which some of these countries are members) and France (representing the European Union, of which the other participating countries are members or partners) were involved in a preparatory meeting, the Athens Philia Forum.
This complete and brutal reversal of alliances is being done as quietly as possible. But it is happening.
The most important event is the military alliance between Greece and Israel on the one hand and the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia on the other.
The totality of the agreements is unknown, but it is known that the Israel Defense Forces will train the Greek military aviation for 1.65 billion dollars, while Greece will send Patriot missiles to Saudi Arabia and the Emirates may hand over some of their fighter planes to Greece.
Relations between Israel and the UAE have been formalised since a so-called Israeli “representation” at a UN office in Abu Dhabi was opened, unofficially acting as an embassy.
While those between Israel and Saudi Arabia date from their secret negotiations in 2014-15.
The negotiations between Saudi Arabia and Iran demonstrate once again that the Sunni/Shiite opposition is perfectly artificial.
Let us remember that in 1992, far from hating each other, the two countries fought together under US command to support Muslim Bosnia-Herzegovina against Orthodox Serbia.
It’s not enough the fake Muslim Saudis are guardians of the Kaba…go there and see their evil faces plastered on the walls all over the place. Now they want Jerusalem holy sites.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is said to have supported an Israeli plot to overthrow the Jordanian King Abdullah II in exchange for guardianship of the holy sites in the occupied city of Jerusalem, Lebanon’s Al-Akhbar newspaper reported.
The paper quoted a Jordanian security official as saying that the attempt to overthrow King Abdullah II was a “scheme” involving Israel, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and the United States.
According to the unnamed official, “the large and complicated” coup involved many parties, but the king succeeded in thwarting it calmly while preserving the internal and regional balances.
“The king’s vigilance and the rapid movement of the military and security forces have thwarted the coup’s attempt to remove him and replace him with his brother Prince Hamzah Bin Al-Hussein,” the source said.
Israel, the source continued, planned to overthrow King Abdullah II due to Jordan’s opposition to the US’ peace deal for the Middle East dubbed the ‘deal of the century’, which Amman viewed as a plan to “find an alternative homeland for the Palestinians and annex the Jordan Valley to Israel”.
The paper added that the Saudi crown prince agreed to support Israel’s scheme in return for the transfer of the guardianship over the holy sites in occupied Jerusalem from Jordan to Saudi Arabia.
With US approval, it continued, Bin Salman authorised the former chief of the royal court, Basem Awadallah, to make the necessary preparations for the transfer of power at the family level, while ousted Fatah chief Muhammad Dahlan was assigned with mobilising Palestinians in Jordan and local tribes.
According to the report, Saudi Arabia armed some southern tribes, issuing them citizenship in return for carrying out military actions if necessary.
Petroleum and the pilgrimage. The two combined give Saudi Arabia the chance to punch well above its weight, affording one of the world’s most regressive regimes the chance to exercise an outrageous influence on Islam. It’s time to think of alternative arrangements.
It might seem obvious to you why Saudi Arabia is bad for Islam.
Because the House of Saud controls Mecca, the direction of Muslim prayer and location of the hajj pilgrimage, and Medina, where the Prophet Mohammed built the first Muslim society, died and is buried, the Kingdom is linked to Islam.
And vice versa. Though there is only one Muslim-majority country in the world where women can’t drive, because it is the country that rules over Islam’s holy land, it is assumed that Islam does not want women to drive.
Because it is one of the few Muslim-majority countries that suffers an absolute monarchy, it is presumed Islam prefers unaccountable government too.
In so many ways, Saudi Arabia stains the reputation of Islam. But Saudi Arabia has another kind of influence on Islam.
Every year, millions of pilgrims descend on Mecca to circumambulate the Ka’ba, the cubical shrine we believe was built by Abraham to honor God, and restored by Mohammed to His worship.
Many are from poor countries, and are visibly bedazzled by Saudi conspicuous consumption, the magnificence of the wealth on display, the awesomeness and indescribable hugeness of the great mosques that have been constructed to accommodate their numbers.
God has given the Saudis money beyond measure, and power over His holy land; this must mean God approves of their Islam.
I know how many feel. God has given the Saudis money beyond measure, and power over His holy land; this must mean God approves of their Islam.
And what an Islam it is. The official Saudi interpretation of Islam, Wahhabism, was born in violent revolt not only against Shi’a Islam, and the strong traditions of spirituality embedded in Shi’a and Sunni Islam, but even against the Sunni Ottoman caliph.
Far from being the world’s leading Sunni power, Saudi Arabia has usurped the mantle of Sunni Islam, helped in its power projection by its small population, great wealth, and the collapse of its erstwhile rivals.
(The Ottomans, after all, are long gone.) Saudi Arabia uses oil money to push its Wahhabism onto the Muslim world, and to change Mecca and Medina too.
In recent decades, the Saudis have rebuilt much of Mecca and Medina. Some of this has been necessary.
Some of this has been very good. But some of it has come at a great cost to Islam’s dearest relics, monuments and oldest mosques, which have been bulldozed without the least concern.
In recent decades, the Saudis have rebuilt much of Mecca and Medina. Some of this has been necessary. Some of it has come at a great cost.
To be fair, some of the criticism levelled at Saudi Arabia for these urban transformations is unreasonable.
Think about it this way: Thanks to modern technology, and rising standards of living, millions of people not only want to go to Mecca, but can afford to.
It’s no longer a journey of months, but of days, even hours.
They speak different languages, represent different customs, and all want to not only worship in the same mosque, but get to the Ka’ba at the center of it.
While it is nice to imagine Mecca and Medina could retain the features and architecture of old cities, it is also fanciful.
When you are dealing with traffic flow in the hundreds of thousands, slippery stones and narrow alleys aren’t just problematic.
They can be deadly.
Too, skyscrapers might ruin the alleged vibe of an ancient city, but as every modern urbanist knows, building up is often the only realistic option.
But the bigger question is: Why is it the first-ugliest building in the world? In an age of cell phones and, God help us, a religion that features a regular call to prayer, what is the purpose of attaching a gaudy clock to the top?
The biggest question: These high towers are part of the progressive income stratification of a city dedicated to a leveling religion.
We’re all equal on the pilgrimage, wearing the same robes, praying side-by-side, but then when we get to our hotels, the stratification resumes.
There’s far too much money in Mecca, squeezing out the average pilgrim, and even worse, this money has been introduced even while sacred history is wiped away
So while, yes, the needs of modern religious life might mean old mosques, shrines and historical sites are in the way, that doesn’t demand destroying them.
Flush with ample funds, the Saudis could have easily rebuilt Islam’s sacred heritage elsewhere.
God’s money is For the Chosen Royals
Saudi children play on old furniture outside of the home where they live in squalor in a neighborhood in South Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 1, 2013. Like many families across Saudi Arabia who are barely scraping above the poverty line each month, this family relies on the hope of the charity of others to survive. (Credit: Lynsey Addario/ VII)
They haven’t even tried. They appear to be going to war with Islamic history, probably so that nothing is left that might challenge the idea that Wahhabism is an intrusion into Islamic history, and not faithful to it.
There’s far too much money in Mecca, squeezing out the average pilgrim.
This money has been introduced as sacred history is wiped away.
If you think the Islamic State’s war on antiquities is horrifying, you are right. But it is not exceptional.
It has its roots in a perverse and excessive iconoclasm, which has seen Saudi Wahhabist mandates literally crush, demolish, smash, erase, and break down the very sites and landscapes that Muslims worldwide know so well.
If you think I am exaggerating, don’t. Several years ago, I helped lead a small group of American Muslims on a pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina.
We had a Saudi guide with us who, during our bus tour around Mecca and Medina, refused to let our driver stop at mosques of historical significance, because he thought we might cross the line and worship in a manner unbecoming of an austere and hardheaded Wahhabist. He treated us like children.
Which, of course, none of us were: Wahhabists, or children. (In revenge, I spent the ride back happily pointing out sites of Ottoman significance, while describing the House of Saud’s unseemly alliance with non-Muslim powers against their fellow Muslims.)
My fellow pilgrims were incensed. They had paid, scrounged up and saved, and here they were, in their holy city, and they weren’t allowed to stop at, for example, the mosque where Mohammed was commanded by God to turn away from the first direction of prayer, Jerusalem, to the current direction of prayer, Mecca.
(It matters if you’re Muslim.) They felt outraged. They felt they were denied the chance to experience their Islam because someone else had decided their interpretation of Islam mattered more.
And that is precisely the point. Mecca and Medina are ruled by Saudi Arabia, but they belong to the Muslim world.
They are our collective sacredness. They shouldn’t be an individual possession. Islam is a very egalitarian religion.
(As some Muslims joke, people who dislike organized religion should join Islam, because we’ve mastered disorganization.) Islam has few hierarchies, and those that exist are not widely shared.
Why then does a regime which represents a sliver of Muslims, exports and enforces an ideology that is historically antithetical to Islam’s rich traditions of pluralism, spirituality and cosmopolitanism, allowed to control our holy cities?
Why don’t everyday Muslims get a say?
Mecca and Medina are ruled by Saudi Arabia, but they belong to the Muslim world.
This is, for the moment, a matter of conjecture.
The European Union includes some of the world’s wealthiest, most progressive and secure societies.
Yet before the refugee crisis, they are hopelessly divided, and their cooperation pushed backwards.
If Europe now can’t do it, how can the present Muslim world manage to come to any kind of alternative arrangement, some more inclusive shared administration of its common properties? T
The Muslim world is deeply and badly divided; it is hard to imagine how any kind of cooperative agreement could ever be reached, and also, depressingly, not difficult to conceive of other Muslim-majority governments who would make a different kind of mess out of Mecca and Medina.
As it is, Saudi Arabia has the wealth to pour into subsidizing the pilgrimage, and Muslim piety in the Holy Land, in a way few other countries can.
But for how long? Years back, pilgrimage was the preserve of the lucky few.
It was too far, too risky, too expensive. My own great-great-grandfather began a travelogue describing his own journey from northern India to Mecca, but he died on the return trip.
Today, we have Snapchat hajj channels. Aircraft make the world much smaller. News travels fast. Muslims live all over the world.
What I mean to say is, in the past, the idea that Mecca and Medina belonged to all of us was deeply felt, but at best an abstraction.
In the years to come, it will be harder for Saudi Arabia to deny the desire of the world’s Muslims to see their holy cities reflect their pieties, and to cease the imposition of a view of Islam which is not only deeply alienating to the rest of the world, but deeply unpopular within the Muslim world.
How that happens is anyone’s guess. But it will happen. I’d say hell or high water, but in the case of a sacred desert, neither seems quite right.
But not as wrong as what is happening to the center of my sacred universe.
These refugees did originate from this area. It’s an act of historical antisemitism to deny it.
While you want to explore whether or not these people were residents of Palestine, At the same time, keep in mind – Who denies it and what is the benefit?
There are many historical documents that detail their history, but maybe you will believe your own eyes with pictures.
Viewing these pictures, it’s striking to me all of the history and culture that has been lost, and it’s such a shame because it was exotically beautiful.
The Zionist narrative:
In 1948, when five Arab militaries invaded the newly independent Jewish state, hundreds of thousands of Arabs found themselves displaced.
Rather than following standard protocol to resettle the refugees among neighboring populations who shared their culture, the U.N. created a class of multi-generation “Palestine refugees” to include the descendants of any non-Jews with ancestors living between 1947 and 1949 in the territory of Mandatory Palestine.
The U.N. then created a new bureaucratic agency—UNRWA—whose entire existence and budget was contingent upon ensuring that they remain refugees.
The 20-plus Arab states, who should have welcomed their Arab brethren, chose to weaponize them instead.***
People who’s ancestors never stepped foot on Palestine land. EVER. the Arab armies were no match for the Rothschild backed Jewish army.
The Jews had trained for years already and accumulated and smuggled weapons through the Jewish mob.
When they chased off the British, the British left an established government, convenient for these foreign Jews* and they left weapons behind as well.
An established government and an army. Then the Jewish refugees poured in from boats and lived in the Palestinian’s fully furnished homes after the Palestinians were massacred and pushed out into West Bank villages like Gaza.
Rabbi Israel Zolli coordinated the exodus of hundreds of thousands of British Empire “Jews” from Germany, Poland, and Hungary to Palestine.
“While Zionist propagandists like Elan Journo in his new hoax book What Justice Demands are fond of claiming that it was the Arabs who rejected Jewish self-determination in Palestine, the truth is that the Mandate itself constituted a rejection of this right of the land’s Arab inhabitants.”
Israel’s Jewish Nation State Law can’t be a departure from the democratic principles it was founded on for the simple reason that it wasn’t founded on any.
On July 19, the Israeli legislature, the Knesset, passed a law defining Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, prompting criticism in the US mainstream media that it represents a departure from the democratic principles Israel was founded upon.
The reality is that the Jewish Nation State Law can’t represent a departure from democratic principles for the simple reason that Israel owes its very existence to a fundamental rejection of democracy.
The “Jewish State” of Israel was established through two profound manifestations of that rejectionism: the League of Nations’ Palestine Mandate and the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.
A brief review of the historical record shows how, if Israel practiced democracy, it would be called Palestine. Hence the necessity for the Jewish Nation State Law.
The Zionist Mandate for Palestine
During the First World War, Great Britain came to militarily occupy Palestine and promised the Arabs their independence in exchange for a commitment to join in the war effort against the Ottoman Empire.
Although they did not rise up en masse against their Ottoman rulers, Arabs from Palestine were among the first to volunteer to fight with the British in order to gain their freedom from Turkish rule.
However, the British government never had any intention of honoring its promise to support independence for the Arab inhabitants of Palestine.
The infamous Balfour Declaration of 1917, delivered in the form of a private letter from Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour Lord Lionel Walter Rothschild, a representative of the Zionist movement and member of the renowned banking family, was a propaganda document designed for the purpose of acquiring Jewish support for the war.
It promised British support “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” while paying meaningless lip service to “the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine” in order to ensure that the Declaration did not undermine the government’s need to also acquire support from Arab rulers.
Established in the wake of the war, the League of Nations issued its “Mandate” for Palestine, which incorporated the Balfour Declaration and was drafted by organized Zionists to further the aim of reconstituting Arab Palestine into a “Jewish state”.
The purpose of the Mandate, enforced by British guns, was to deny democratic self-governance to the inhabitants of Palestine until the Jews had through mass immigration managed to establish a numerical majority.
However, by the end of the Mandate, Jews still remained a minority, comprising about a third of the population.
Moreover, despite the best efforts of the Zionist leadership, the Jewish community had only managed to purchase about 7 percent of the land in Palestine.
Arabs owned more land than Jews in every single district in Palestine, including Jaffa, which included the main Jewish population center of Tel Aviv.
The reality of demographics and land ownership posed a problem for the Zionist leadership. The Arabs rejected the Mandate and were giving the British trouble.
They recognized that the Zionists envisioned their political disenfranchisement and eventual displacement from the land.
Initially, the means by which Arabs were displaced was through land purchases exploiting feudalistic Ottoman land laws that deprived Arab peasants of their property rights.
But the failure to acquire more than 7 percent of the land meant that other means would need to be employed to gain control over the area envisioned for the “Jewish state”.
The Arabs naturally rejected the Mandate, and they also understood that the implementation of the Zionist project meant their subjugation to foreign powers. (Indeed, the British acknowledged that the Arabs of Palestine exercised a greater measure of self-governance under Ottoman rule!)
While Zionist propagandists like Elan Journo in his new hoax book What Justice Demands are fond of claiming that it was the Arabs who rejected Jewish self-determination in Palestine, the truth is that the Mandate itself constituted a rejection of this right of the land’s Arab inhabitants.
Moreover, the Arab leadership was insistent in their demand that the independence of Palestine be recognized under a constitution guaranteeing representative democracy and minority rights.
The Zionist leadership tellingly rejected the democratic solution, as did the British (who described Arabs demanding that their right to self-determination be respected as “extremists”, whereas those who were willing to collaborate with the Zionist occupation regime were dubbed “moderate”).
Democracy simply was not a solution for the Zionists—it was rather an obstacle to be overcome to achieve their aims. In the view of the Zionists, the Palestinians had to be prevented from being able to exercise their right to self-determination, and so British guns were employed to that end.
But British guns only took the Zionists so far. They’d have to get the rest of the way toward establishment of their “Jewish state” on their own.
The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine
The solution favored by Zionist leader David Ben-Gurion, who would become Israel’s first prime minister and is known as the father of the country, was the “compulsory transfer” of Arabs outside of the area of the envisioned “Jewish state”.
Ben-Gurion was borrowing the term from the British, who proposed the idea of a forcible transfer of populations in order to partition Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states in the 1937 Peel Commission Report.
And while Ben-Gurion initially felt the ethnic cleansing would have to be undertaken by the British, the Zionists eventually built their own formidable military force, the Haganah, enabling them to implement the “compulsory transfer” on their own.
When the UN, which replaced the defunct League of Nations following World War II, resurrected the stillborn partition plan, the Zionists recognized it as their opportunity to forcibly implement the “compulsory transfer” and land-grabbing necessary for their “Jewish state” to be established.
Furthermore, the UN Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP), the body appointed by the General Assembly to come up with a solution and whose majority members recommended partition, explicitly acknowledged in its report that the goal of the Mandate to establish a “Jewish state” constituted a rejection of the right of the Arab Palestinians to self-determination.
This explains the grossly inequitable nature of the partition plan. Jews comprised about a third of the population and owned less than 7 percent of the land, whereas UNSCOP acknowledged that the Arabs were in “in possession of approximately 85 percent of the land”.
Yet it nevertheless proposed that the Arabs should remain in possession of about 45 percent of the land for their state, whereas Jews should have about 55 percent of the land for theirs (with Jerusalem placed under international trusteeship).
Furthermore, when the Bedouin population was counted, Arabs constituted a majority even in the area of the proposed Jewish state, where Arabs also owned more land than Jews.
The majority recommendation, premised as it was on the rejection of self-determination as it applied to the Arab majority, constituted a violation of the very Charter under which the the General Assembly purported to be operating.
The minority recommendation of the UNSCOP report, by contrast, joined with the Arabs in favoring the democratic solution, proposing that the independence of Palestine be recognized, the same as had happened with every other Mandated territory, and a democratic government established respecting the rights of minorities.
Contrary to the popular myth that the UN created Israel, the partition plan was forwarded by the General Assembly to the Security Council, where it died. The US representative rightly pointed out that the only way to implement the plan was through force and that the UN had no authority to forcibly partition Palestine against the will of the majority of its inhabitants.
But the UN had provided political cover enough for the Zionists to implement the plan on their own.
Already by the time they announced Israel’s existence and the neighboring Arab states responded by sending their armed forces into Palestine, a quarter of a million Arabs had been ethnically cleansed from their homes, and hundreds of Arab villages had been destroyed.
By the time it was over and armistice treaties were signed, more than 700,000 Arabs had fled or been expelled, never allowed to return, despite the recognition under international law that refugees of war have a right to return to their homeland.
The Jewish Nation State Law
These British people do not belong in the Arab world
The nature of the coverage about Israel’s new “Nation State” law is no different.
While the media may not be trying to defend such a blatantly racist law, the criticisms of the law fall within a very narrow spectrum and serves to propagandize the public with the false belief that Israel was established on democratic principles.
The Jewish Nation State Law was enacted as a “Basic Law”, which body of laws essentially serves as the supreme law of the land in the absence of an Israeli constitution.
It states that Israel “is the national home of the Jewish people, in which it fulfills its natural, cultural, religious and historical right to self-determination.”
Moreover, it states that “The right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared after the law’s enactment that it represented “a defining moment in the annals of Zionism and the annals of the state of Israel”.
Meaninglessly and falsely adding that Israel “respects the rights of all its citizens”, Netanyahu described it as having “determined in law the founding principle of our existence” that “Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people”.
Indeed, the law does represent a manifestation of the founding principle of Israel’s existence; namely, the rejection of the right of the land’s Arab inhabitants to self-determination.
In its coverage of the law’s passage, the New York Times commented that critics are calling it “a betrayal of Israel’s 1948 Declaration of Independence, which ensured ‘complete equality of social and political rights’ for ‘all its inhabitants’ no matter their religion, race or sex.”
Of course, this lofty rhetoric in the Zionists’ unilateral declaration of Israel’s existence on May 14, 1948—euphemistically referred to by the thought-controlling Times as a “Declaration of Independence”—was belied by the actual means by which the “Jewish state” came into being, which was not through any kind of legitimate political process, but by ethnically cleansing most of the Arab inhabitants of Palestine from their homes and systematically wiping hundreds of Palestinian villages off the map.
Time magazine similarly reported on the Jewish Nation State Law under the headline “A New Law Shifts Israel Away from Democracy”, describing it contradicting the equal rights for all inhabitants promised in the “Declaration of Independence”—thus likewise maintaining the delusion that Israel was established on democratic principles.
Time also commented that the law should be understood within the context of the so-called “peace process” that the Trump administration has been vainly trying to revive.
Indeed, the law is simply a reiteration of the propaganda talking point that Israel has a “right to exist” as a “Jewish state”, a well as Israel’s longstanding demand that the Palestinians recognize it as such.
In other words, Israel has long maintained as a prerequisite for any kind of peace agreement that the Palestinians must surrender their rights.
They must surrender their property rights, their right to self-determination, and their right to return to their homeland by acceding that the means by which Israel came into being was legitimate.
The use of force, however, to prevent a people from achieving their freedom is anathema to the lofty rhetoric about Arabs’ rights contained in propaganda instruments like Britain’s Balfour Declaration and the Zionists’ legally null declaration of Israel’s existence, which was not a declaration of independence, but was announced while ethnic cleansing operations were underway in order to deny independence to the lands’ majority inhabitants.
The very idea of a state having a “right to exist” is nonsensical propaganda. No state has a “right to exist”. Abstract political entities don’t have rights; individuals do. The proper framework for approaching the issue is rather the universal right to self-determination, which is a right not being denied to Israelis by the Palestinians, but vice versa.
The Palestinians’ right to self-governance has always been rejected by the Zionist leadership. This rejection of both Arabs’ rights and democratic principles was manifest in the actual means by which the “Jewish state” came into being, from the rejectionist Mandate to the ethnic cleansing of Palestine that the British helped facilitate with the Balfour policy.
The Jewish Nation State Law doesn’t move Israel further away from democratic principles. It can’t. This isn’t logically possible when the very existence of the “Jewish state” is dependent upon ensuring that millions of rightful inhabitants are prevented from exercising their right to self-determination.
“We must announce in the streets before the eyes of all the gentile nations that the Zionists are not the leaders of the Jewish people, that they have no right whatsoever to speak in the name of the Jewish people, and that there are still Jews left who are faithful to G-d and His Torah. We must let all this be heard with a powerful voice, not a weak voice.” (Ketzei Hashomayim, p. 56) Rabbi Refoel Blum 2005*
A leaked email written by a Facebook employee hints that the social media giant may review its policy on allowing the term “Zionist” — but anti-Israel groups are arguing that such a move would endanger free speech on Israel issues: In the email dated Nov. 10, the unidentified employee wrote to an unidentified source: “We are looking at the question of how we should interpret attacks on ‘Zionists’ to determine whether the term is used as a proxy for attacking Jewish or Israeli people. The term brings with it much history and various meanings, and we are looking to increase our understanding of how it is used by people on our platform.”
In a version of the email reported on Sunday by The Verge, the names of both the sender and recipient were redacted.
Since last week, the far-left anti-Zionist group Jewish Voice For Peace has circulated a petition opposing any change to Facebook’s policy on allowing use of the word Zionist. Its signers include an array of prominent voices such as Michael Chabon, Peter Gabriel, Wallace Shawn, Noam Chomsky and Linda Sarsour.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, put out a statement Monday saying that it has “joined the international campaign” to keep Facebook from changing its position on the word.
“The proposed policy would too easily mischaracterize conversations about Zionists – and by extension, Zionism – as inherently antisemitic, harming Facebook users and undermining efforts to dismantle real antisemitism and all forms of racism, extremism, and oppression,” the petition states.
A Facebook spokesperson told The Verge that the company allows the term Zionist “in political discourse,” but not “when it’s used as a proxy for Jews or Israelis in a dehumanizing or violent way.” Although Facebook is “independently engaging with experts and stakeholders,” the spokesperson added, that does not necessitate a change in policy.
Facebook debuted a new pop-up last week aimed at combating Holocaust denial on the platform.
Now that Joe Biden has taken office, many of the liberals — even Jewish liberals — who support him are highly critical of the ongoing genocide in Palestine — and that criticism — deserved or not — apparently needs to be nipped in the bud.
At one time, Jews were among the greatest advocates of “freedom of speech” — but that was only until they gained ascendancy over our Christian societies where freedom of speech was uniquely seen as a God-given, inalienable right.
But once Jews had risen and began replacing the White Christian elite, they wasted no time in suddenly finding fault with “so-called” freedom of speech — it became infinitely “complex” and “problematic” — “unfortunately” no longer “absolute” — especially when it makes some Jews feel “unsafe”.
With the “help” of the Jewish supremacists at the Anti-Defamation League, we have gratefully come to understand that Jews are a unique people — sui generis — in that they have never done anything — as a people — to ever justify any criticism for anything — ever.
What history has shown us is that any criticism of any Jew — any perceived slight, no matter how seemingly innocuous — can quickly escalate into a Holocaust™ — and since no one wants “another” Holocaust, perhaps it’s best if we don’t criticize Jews at all — ever again.
Jews are masters at alchemically transforming feelings — even the most paranoid and delusional feelings — into reality — and then forcing society at large into accepting those feelings as real — and even legally binding.
And by extension, it makes sense that all criticism of the ersatz State of Israel should be censored — and with it come harsh legal penalties, preferably the death penalty.
It is imperative that all Jews everywhere can “sleep soundly” each and every night — without fearing “another” Holocaust — and if in ensuring that “right” to feel safe some “extremists” and “antisemites” have to be executed, well, that seems like a small price to pay.
A campaign to strike off Arabic from Jerusalem street signs goes hand in hand with government attempts to uproot the city’s Palestinian identity.
Israel has NOTHING to do with Judaism. When modern secular Zionism was offered to Jews it was outright rejected. It took 50 years for Jews to bite down on nationalism.
“People simply disappeared, always during the night (cover). Your name was removed from the registers, every record of everything you had ever done was wiped out, your one-time existence was denied and then forgotten. You were abolished, annihilated: vaporized was the usual word.”
– George Orwell, 1984, Book 1, Chapter 1
The Israeli occupation army abducted last month 357 Palestinian citizens and one Palestinian detainee died in prison.
It has been two years since the passage of the controversial Jewish Nation-State Law, which, in addition to asserting Jewish supremacy over the “Land of Israel,” officially downgraded the status of the Arabic language in Israel.
But while the Nation-State Law was drafted in the halls of parliament, it seems that activists on the ground have taken on its implementation.
This is becoming particularly apparent in Jerusalem, where right-wing Israeli activists are attempting to erase Arabic from the city’s landscape.
To see it in action, you need only look at Jerusalem’s trilingual street signs — in the West and in the occupied East, the city center and peripheral neighborhoods, and in both segregated and mixed areas — which present a perfect symbolic target for this campaign.
In most instances, these activists have covered the Arabic text on these signs with political campaign stickers belonging to various predominantly right-wing and religious parties; stickers of Otzma Yehudit, an extreme right Kahanist party, appear to be the most common.
Religious slogans representing Chabad-Lubavitch and Breslov (two Hasidic sects) can also be found covering the Arabic, as can stickers from far-right groups like Lehava and Derech Haim.
In a few cases, Arabic is simply scratched off or covered with spray paint.
The range of slogans and stickers used to conceal the Arabic demonstrates that the message they carry is secondary to the act of erasure itself.
Arabic scratched off a sign outside the depopulated Palestinian village of Lifta near Jerusalem. (Ben Reiff)
This phenomenon is not unique to Jerusalem. A short drive along settler roads in the West Bank shows that the Arabic names on several signs have been scribbled out or covered up.
Nor is this issue particularly new: in 2009, for example, activists set about countering the vandalization of Arabic on Jerusalem’s street signs by reprinting those names in ornate Arabic calligraphy and sticking them over the defaced originals.
Nonetheless, the ubiquity of this practice throughout Jerusalem today — and the impunity and disregard that it enjoys — is striking.
And while it is less overt than other forms of Israeli erasure of the city’s Palestinian character — such as attempts after 1948 to give Hebrew names to the formerly Arab neighborhoods of West Jerusalem like Talbiye (Komemiyut), Qatamon (Gonen), Baka’a (Ge’ulim), and Musrara (Morasha) — the more subtle process on the street signs nonetheless serves a similar purpose.
‘The erasure is not random’
Last November, I tweeted a selection of photos of these vandalized signs to Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion and Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum.
They didn’t see the phenomenon as a major problem: “You choose selective pictures of some vandalism around the city,” Hassan-Nahoum wrote back to me on Twitter.
“I could also stoke divisions by posting pictures of Arab vandalism but I chose [sic] to focus on building a shared society and highlighting the good things happening in #jerusalem for ALL populations,” her reply continued.
In July, however, by which time I had documented dozens more examples, Hassan-Nahoum was forced to concede that these were not “selective” occurrences: “I will send this to our street sign dept to clean immediately. This is bully behavior that has no place in our city.”
But whereas some recent cases of left-wing graffiti were hastily eradicated by the municipality, most of the stickers I found covering Arabic have not yet been removed (beyond those that I was able to remove myself after photographing).
Three different stickers, two of them for the Otzma Yehudit party, covering the Arabic on a street sign in the Givat Sha’ul neighborhood in Jerusalem. (Ben Reiff)
Daniel Seidemann, an attorney and political analyst specializing in Israeli-Palestinian relations in Jerusalem, describes Hassan-Nahoum’s comments as “disingenuous in the extreme, but to be expected by a municipality that gives 12 percent of its budget to 40 percent of the population.”
In fact, he says, “few phenomena symbolize the current state of affairs in Jerusalem better than this. It’s not random and it’s not thugs; it’s representative of the zeitgeist.”
To illustrate this, he points to a recent controversy wherein the religious freedom NGO Hiddush filed a lawsuit against the municipality because the “Religion and Tradition” page on the city’s website listed only Orthodox Jewish institutions — no Muslim, Christian, or even non-Orthodox Jewish sites were featured.
Rather than respond to the suit by expanding the list, the municipality decided to remove the list altogether. “This is an indication that the erasure is not random,” says Seidemann.
‘Deleting Arabic names since 1967’
Faiz Abu Rmeleh, a photojournalist with the Israeli-Palestinian Activestills collective and the Turkish Anadolu Agency, is a Palestinian resident of Jerusalem’s Old City, where he sees the attempted erasure of Arabic on street signs as routine.
Far from being an isolated phenomenon by some right-wing activists, he views it in parallel to the authorities’ “official” process of changing street names in and around the Old City, and of giving Hebrew names to new streets in Palestinian neighborhoods. Recently, for example, the municipality tried to name several streets in Silwan after rabbis, an attempt that was blocked following a court petition filed on behalf of the residents by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.
Likud stickers and a Pokemon sticker covering the Arabic on a sign near the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem. (Ben Reiff)
In reality, says Abu Rmeleh, the Nation-State Law was “not so important” as an impetus for the erasure of Arabic, as “the municipality has been deleting Arabic names here since 1967.”
He gives the example of the Sharaf neighbourhood in the Old City, its name erased amidst Israel’s reconstruction and expansion of what is now the Jewish Quarter.
The demolition of the Mughrabi Quarter in 1967 also enabled the creation of the open plaza in front of the Western Wall.
The municipality’s aim, Abu Rmeleh argues, is to have both Israeli and foreign visitors “only see the Jewish story here, and not the Muslim or Christian story.”
Whatever they say happened to Jews in the Holocaust, the same and worse they do to the Palestinians.
In this way, they are “deleting the identity and history of Palestinians in the Old City and around it.”
Nivine Sandouka, the volunteer executive director of the NGO Our Rights, which advocates for the civic and political rights of Palestinians in East Jerusalem, agrees that the erasure of Arabic by right-wing activists is nothing new — “by now it’s taken for granted.”
However, she sees that the municipality’s approach to the Arabic language is not uniform.
“You can’t deny that the municipality is adding more Arabic around the city,” she says, likely as a result of pressure from opposition voices within the city council. Often, however, the text being added “is not the [common] Arabic that is actually used.”
A clear case of this is when Israeli street signs read “Urshalim” rather than “al-Quds” as the Arabic name for Jerusalem.
Sandouka also gives the example of Mount Scopus: Palestinians refer to the area as “a-Tala al-Faransiye” (the Arabic translation of French Hill), but the Arabic on street signs says “Har Hatsofim,” a direct transliteration of the Hebrew name into Arabic.
‘Their agenda is the same’
According to Laura Wharton, the Meretz party’s representative on Jerusalem’s City Council, the attempts by right-wing activists to erase Arabic are “a disturbing reflection of what is happening all over the city with the rise of the extreme right.”
Arabic has been covered by black spray paint on a sign at a pedestrian crossing in Me’ah She’arim, Jerusalem. (Ben Reiff)
She notes that, even though the Otzma Yehudit party failed to cross the Knesset threshold in the last national election, its parallel in the Jerusalem municipality, the United faction, occupies two of the council’s 30 seats (Meretz occupies one).
United’s leader, Arieh King, a settler activist whose stated ambition is the “Judaization” of Jerusalem, was recently appointed by the mayor to be one of his deputies.
The process of “Judaization” in the city has historically been focused on demography.
In 1973, the Israeli government adopted the recommendations of the Gafni Commission, which was tasked with assessing the future development of Jerusalem.
Based on the commission’s conclusions, the government has since sought to create and maintain a Jewish majority of at least 70 percent in the city — but without success.
Despite the fact that Jewish ‘scholars’ themselves have thoroughly discredited the long-held “historical fact” that “Nazis” burned the entire yeshiva Library in Lublin, Poland, in 1939, many Jewish “historians” still insist that it happened — and then they wonder how any “sane” and “honest” person could question any aspect of their sacred so-called “Holocaust.”
As the Jews have told it, the “Nazis” lit a bonfire and burned 55,000 books in the courtyard of the yeshiva — and the cries of the onlooking distraught Jews were so loud that the “Nazis” ordered a brass band — that just happened to be on hand — to drown out them out.
In reality, books with the Lublin Library imprint have shown up for sale at Jewish auction houses over the years — and many libraries have books from that collection in their inventories — according to Jews who have tracked them down.
But for the Jews, it isn’t important what the “Nazis” actually did or did not do — what’s of prime importance is how the “Nazis” made the Jews feel — and Jews are master alchemists at morphing their feelings into reality — and then using their terrible power of the purse to make sure we all accept that reality.
And when we agree to their version of reality, it appears to have a counter-intuitive salubrious effect on their well-being.
Four witnesses testified that they had seen Koch selecting prisoners specifically for their tattoos, or that they had seen or been involved in the manufacturing of the human-skin lampshades.
As had happened due to lack of evidence before, this charge was eventually dropped.
On January 15, 1951, the Court gave its verdict in a 111-page decision. Koch was not present.
She was convicted of “charges of incitement to murder, incitement to attempted murder, and incitement to the crime of committing grievous bodily harm,” and again sentenced to life imprisonment with permanent forfeiture of any civil rights.
During her time in prison, she petitioned for appeals several times but was always dismissed.
She even protested to the International Human Rights Commission, but was rejected.
While in prison, her son Uwe, who had been conceived during her imprisonment at Dachau, discovered that she was his mother.
He came to visit her in prison often over the next several years at Aichach, the prison where she was serving her life sentence.
On September 1, 1967, Ilse Koch committed suicide in prison.
The next day, Uwe arrived for their visit and was shocked to find that she had died.
She was buried in an unmarked, untended grave at the prison’s cemetery.
Wikimedia Commons Human remains and images of tattoos from Buchenwald.
The lampshades have never been recovered, and many historians seem to doubt their existence. However, a writer — also Jewish — named Mark Jacobson has made it his mission to authenticate their existence.
His grim quest began when a man named Skip Hendersen purchased a lampshade touted as a Nazi relic at a post-Hurricane Katrina garage sale.
Hendersen sent it to Jacobson, who even traveled with it to Buchenwald, but has been unable to definitively determine its origin.
DNA testing conducted initially revealed that the lampshade was likely made of human skin, but later testing revealed that the shade is more likely made of cowskin.
It seems, in the end, that this was one secret the Bitch of Buchenwalk took with her to the grave.
“Our way of life is under attack. Those who make themselves our enemy are advancing around the globe. The survival of our friends is in danger. And yet no war has been declared, no borders have been crossed by marching troops, no missiles have been fired.”
Here the Jew admits who has the power
Enough power to overthrow the world in 1920
On the 10th of October, 2007, at Hotel Hilton in Tel-Aviv, Israeli President Shimon Peres stated the following: “From such a small country like ours [Israel], this is almost amazing. I see that we [the Jewish people] are buying up Manhattan, Hungary, Romania, and Poland. And the way I see it, we have no problems. Thanks to our talent, our contacts and our dynamism, we get almost everywhere.”
How many Jews are there in the United States? No Gentile knows.
The figures are the exclusive property of the Jewish authorities.
The government of the United States can provide statistics on almost every matter pertaining to the population of the country, but whenever it has attempted in a systematic way to get information about the Jews who are constantly entering the country and the number now resident here, the Jewish lobby at Washington steps in and stops it.
The American people would be vastly surprised if they could see a line-up of some of the “American business men” who hold up our commercial prestige overseas.
They are mostly Jews.
They have a keen sense of the value of the American name, and when in a foreign port you stroll up to the office which bears the sign, “American Importing Company,” or “American Commercial Company,” or other similarly non-committal names, hoping to find a countryman, an American, you usually find a Jew whose sojourn in America appears to have been all too brief.
This may throw a sidelight on the regard in which “American business methods” are held in some parts of the world.
When 30 or 40 different races of people can carry on business under the name “American,” and do it legally, too, it is not surprising that Americans do not recognize some of the descriptions of American methods which appear in the foreign press.
The Germans long ago complained that the rest of the world was judging them by the German-speaking Jewish commercial traveler.
One may safely assume that Zionist organizations and agents in the U.S. are already hard at work with the Biden people to assure that no such reversal takes place.
As the U.S. and the world wait with anticipation for the Biden administration to take office, people with progressive agendas are feeling optimistic.
Teams working on immigration, health care, and the environment, to name just a few, are already at work preparing to move the United States in a new direction.
The one progressive issue where there is little optimism though is Palestine.
This is mostly because Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are both self-declared Zionists and because there is a history of total U.S. support for Israel.
But even though most American politicians are Zionists, Trump moving out of the White House presents a sense of a new beginning and should be used as an opportunity to change the paradigm on Palestine.
It can easily be demonstrated that Israel is a dangerous, even reckless state and that continued support for it only promises instability.
Israel is an apartheid state that is already on the verge of collapse. With over two million men women and children locked up in the uninhabitable Gaza Strip, hundreds of thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel in the Naqab living without access to water or electricity, crime on the rise, and political instability growing, Israel is likely to become even more dangerous than it is today.
Furthermore, the Netanyahu government is tightly connected to Trump. In fact, one could argue that Trump’s entire foreign policy regarding the Middle East and Iran were dictated by Netanyahu.
Israel will, of course, vehemently oppose any reversal of the actions taken by the Trump-Kushner-Freedman trio.
One may safely assume that Zionist organizations and agents in the U.S. are already hard at work with the Biden people to assure that no such reversal takes place.
Still, Joe Biden will have to show that he stands by some, if not all, of the foreign policy agreements that were reached during the Obama years and later abandoned by Donald Trump.
He will likely have to do this even if it means Israel will be displeased. First and foremost would be a return to the Iran nuclear deal, also known as The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
The agreement with Iran was central to the Obama legacy, and Trump dropping out of the agreement pleased Israel to no end.
A return to the agreement will cause friction between Biden and Israel but since the entire spectrum of Israeli politicians – the one exception being the Joint Arab List – made no secret of their support for Trump, one would hope that some political payback is forthcoming.
Biden’s foreign policy team will also have to deal with the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel and the consequent moving of the U.S. embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem, as well as the U.S. recognition of Israel’s annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights.
Both were gifts to the Netanyahu government, both were diplomatic blunders that aided Netanyahu, and both will be difficult to reverse.
There are a few things that the Biden team will be able to reverse, though not without serious objections from Israel.
These include a return to funding UNRWA, the UN agency charged with caring for over five million Palestinian refugees.
Those refugees languish in camps throughout Palestine and the surrounding countries because Israel violently expelled them, stole their land and property, and then banned them from returning.
Trump stopped funding for UNRWA in order to satisfy his Zionist-laden foreign policy team.
The reopening of the Palestinian mission in Washington D.C. is another act Israel will not like but one might expect will happen under the Biden administration.
It was on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Oslo Accords that the Trump administration closed down the mission and did so in a manner that could not be less diplomatic, practically throwing out the head of mission, Dr. Husam Zumlot. Needless to say, Zionists were thrilled to see that there was no longer Palestinian representation in the U.S. capital.
Even if a new Biden administration ended up reversing Trump’s implementation of the above-mentioned policies, it would only mean that things had returned to where they were before, which was total support for Israel with a symbolic hint that some small measure of regard is given to the rights of Palestinians.
Progress will only come when it is made clear in Washington that no one can claim to support democracy and human rights while supporting Israel.
Support in congress
Support for Palestine is growing in the U.S. House of Representatives and with it the understanding that Zionist foreign policy, which dominates U.S. foreign policy, is flawed. Furthermore, there is a growing understanding that supporting human rights includes supporting Palestinian rights.
People are growing weary of the U.S. arming and financing Zionist ambitions, and it is not hard to see that Israel does not violate international law and human rights, but rather Israel is itself a violation of international law and human rights.
Every day that Palestinian refugees languish in camps is a violation of human decency as well as international law and the basic human rights of over five million people.
The fact that the homes, land, and property of these refugees were stolen by Israel after they were forced to flee by armed Zionist terror squads – that is an ongoing violation of international law.
Each day that Palestinians in Gaza remain locked up in the world’s largest open-air prison is a violation of international law and the human rights of the over two million people who live in the Gaza Strip.
These are just a small sample of the many examples that demonstrate why no one can be progressive while supporting Israel.
Moving past Anti-Semitism
Israel has armed itself with the weapon of “anti-semitism” and it is wielding it with great mastery.
The use of the IHRA definition of anti-semitism and its acceptance by countless governments and non-governmental organizations has created a shield that protects Israel from criticism.
This shield also holds prisoner any organization that has adopted the definition.
Having adopted the definition prevents the possibility of ever expressing legitimate criticism of Israel without being accused of anti-semitism.
In the U.S., this definition has been adopted across the board, even the United States Department of State has adopted it.
Still, when the facts are laid out clearly, even the weaponization of anti-semitism cannot protect Israel.
There is a change in the air in the United States and although the Biden-Harris duo has declared themselves Zionists, there is an opportunity to push forward an aggressive pro-Palestine, pro-justice agenda.
A long time ago it seemed that U.S. support for a country by the name of South Vietnam (yes, there was a country by that name once) was unwavering and would never end.
There was also a racist, apartheid regime that ruled over most of Southern Africa, and the U.S. government as well as American corporations fought hard against any attempts to boycott and bring it down.
Yet, South Vietnam fell, as did the apartheid regime in South Africa.
Biden and Harris may be supporters of Zionism today, but that can change.
It is the duty of those who care for Palestine to make their voices heard now louder than ever before, to organize better and push as hard as possible. Millions of lives are at stake.
Feature photo | Joe Biden, projected on screens, is applauded by the audience as he addresses the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) 2013 Policy Conference at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, March 4, 2013. Susan Walsh | AP
Tawfiq Mandil, 45, stands amongst hundreds of Palestinian farmers, activists, and international supporters in the Gaza Strip’s eastern Zeitoun district, about half a kilometre from the border with Israel.
They are renewing a call for the boycott of Israeli goods.“The Israeli army destroyed my house and my five dunums of land (a dunum is 1,000 square metres) on the last day of the attacks in 2009, as well as 20 other homes,” he says.
With signs reading ‘Boycott Israeli Agricultural Products’ and ‘Support Palestinian Farmers’, Mandil and others protesting Israeli oppression of Palestinian farmers joined together Saturday to plant olive trees on Israeli-razed farmland and to implore international supporters to join the boycott of Israeli agricultural produce.
Mandil believes that the boycott is his only hope for justice for Palestinian farmers being targeted by the Israeli army and oppressed by Israel. “We hope that it will put pressure on Israel to stop targeting us and allow us to farm our land as we used to.”
With an Israeli surveillance blimp hovering above and within sight of a remotely-controlled machine gun tower, the significance of the rally’s location near the ‘buffer zone’ was not lost.
Israeli authorities prohibit Palestinians from accessing the 300 metres flanking the Gaza-Israel border.
In reality, the Israeli army regularly attacks Palestinians up to two kilometres from the border in some areas, rendering more than 35 percent of Gaza’s farmland off-limits.
“By engaging in the trade of settlement produce, states are failing to comply with their obligation to actively cooperate in order to put the Israeli settlement enterprise to an end.
Therefore, a ban on settlement produce must be considered amongst those actions that third party states should undertake in order to comply with their international law obligations.”
The Palestinian human rights organisation Al-Haq released a position paper last month condemning the Israeli settlement produce trade.
The paper, ‘Feasting on the Occupation: Illegality of Settlement Produce and the Responsibility of EU Member States Under International Law’ highlights the means by which Israeli settlements benefit from the oppression of Palestinian farmers.
We are all Palestinians!
“While the EU has been quite outspoken in condemning settlements and their expansion, they continue to import produce from these same settlements and in doing so, help to sustain their very existence,” Al-Haq director general Shawan Jabarin notes in the Al-Haq press release.
“More than 80 Palestinians have been injured and at least four Palestinians killed by Israeli attacks in the border regions since the November 2012 ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian resistance,” says Adie Mormech, 35, a British activist living in Gaza.
This is in addition to the many Palestinians killed and hundreds injured in previous years of Israeli army attacks on the border regions.
“There is simultaneous action happening in the occupied West Bank,” says Mormech. “They’re planting near Yitzhar colony, which is notorious for its violence against Palestinians.
Around the world, an estimated 30 countries are holding actions in solidarity with Palestinian farmers and fishers.”
Um Abed, 65, from Zeitoun is defiant. “Today we’re planting olive trees. God willing next year we’ll plant lemon, date and palm trees. We grow, they bulldoze, we re-plant.”
The boycott action follows a growing number of initiatives emerging in recent years from the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian students in Gazan universities stepped up the Boycott call in 2012, releasing Youtube videos calling for political action, not aid, from international supporters.
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) has attracted international support, including the backing of numerous UK and North American universities and scholars.
Increasing numbers of cultural and religious associations, such as the Quakers’ Friends Fiduciary Corporation, are divesting from corporations that profit from or support Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands.
The United Church of Canada endorsed the boycott of goods produced in illegal Israeli settlements in August 2012.
Dr Haidar Eid, professor at Gaza’s Al-Aqsa University and PACBI member, outlines what BDS entails.
“We are calling for implementation of UN Security Council resolution 242, which calls for withdrawal of occupation forces from the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and east Jerusalem.
The second demand is the implementation of the United Nations resolution 194, the return of all Palestinian refugees to the towns and villages from which they were ethnically cleansed in 1948.
The third demand is the end to Israel’s apartheid policies in Palestine 1948. We want equality.”
While civil society and students have been in the forefront of BDS actions in the Gaza Strip, the Hamas government has also taken steps calling for boycott.
Joe Catron, an American activist based in the Gaza Strip, explains one recent government-led campaign.
“The Adidas campaign began in March 2012, when Adidas was sponsoring a marathon through parts of Jerusalem, including parts that are internationally recognised as occupied.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports here called upon the Arab League to boycott Adidas in response to this, which a number of countries did.”
In September 2012, Gaza’s Ministry of Agriculture decided to ban most Israeli fruits entering Gaza.
“Palestinian farmers can grow the fruits we consume,” said marketing director in the ministry Tahsen Al-Saqa.
“We need to support and protect our own farmers. They’ve been economically devastated by the Israeli ban on exporting since 2006.”
“Boycott is the key, and it is growing,” says Adie Mormech. “The momentum is so much now that it is not going to stop. It’s going to be like South Africa.”