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Saturday, 19 August 2017

How do you tell if someone is a Nazi?

Answer – It Depends on their Attitude to Israel

It must be very difficult for Zionists these days.  Netanyahu goes off to greet Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who is busy rehabilitating the former pro-Nazi leader of Hungary, Admiral Miklos Horthy, who presided over the deportation of nearly 1/2m Jew to Auschwitz.  The loss of Steve Bannon has caused real grief amongst Zionists in Israel and the USA.  And then there is Charlottesville, who do you condemn there?  Sure they are neo-Nazis and White Supremacists on one side and anti-fascists and Black Lives Matter on the other, but that is the problem.

A simple guide to who is and who is not a Nazi

The neo-Nazis and White  Supremacists might hate Jews but they love Israel, whereas the anti-fascists and Black Lives Matter activists detest Zionism but they have no problem with Jews – indeed there were many Jews amongst their ranks.

I therefore though it might be helpful if I could post a flow diagram explaining how best to judge who is and who is not a Nazi!

Reaction to Charlottesville

As I said Charlottesville present the Zionists with a real dilemma.  It took Netanyahu three days before he could say anything about the neo-Nazi murder of an anti-fascist at Charlottesville.  In the Times of Israel of 15.8.17. in an article headed 3 days later, Israeli leaders still conspicuously silent on Charlottesville’ Raphael Ahrens wrote that:

three days after neo-Nazis marched in broad daylight through the streets waving swastika flags and chanting “Jews will not replace us,” the leader of the Jewish state had still not publicly commented on the matter as of Tuesday.

Netanyahu’s silence in the face of images that send chills down the spines of Jews worldwide has raised eyebrows among analysts and experts.

Similarly, an article For Israel, White House Ties Trump Neo-Nazi Condemnation for NDTV reports on how ‘An Israeli cabinet minister has said relations with US President Donald Trump take priority over condemning neo-Nazis, to justify Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's muted response to events in Charlottesville.’

Below is a good article on Mondoweiss on the dilemmas of Zionists today and they are dilemmas.  The far-Right in Europe and the USA is motivated primarily by hatred of Muslims and Islam.  Israel is seen as the standard bearer in that fight.  The fact that it is Jewish is irrelevant because it is also a virulently racist state.  Indeed fascists are quite capable of differentiating between Jews at home in the USA and Israeli Jews.  As Richard Spencer, leader of the Alt-Right repeatedly states, he is a ‘White Zionist’.

President Trump’s initial statement on the Charlottesville violence, where he said “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides, on many sides”, has taken on a life of its own. Equating the Nazis and white supremacists with their victims has become a national (as well as international) sport, and the promulgators of this “many sides” narrative are getting so excited with the prospect of it, that they are even going further, to regard the leftists as worse than Nazis.

All this has made various Israeli leaders rather uncomfortable. Because although they are on board with Trump’s attacks on the left, his “many sides” narrative was, after all, normalizing bona fide anti-Semitism.

But before we get to Israel, let’s see how the ‘left-equals right’ notion has been mainstreamed:
The notion of a supposed ‘Alt-Left’ as equal to the Alt-Right was voiced loudly merely a day after the Charlottesville violence via none other than the newspaper of record – New York Times, which published an op-ed by Erick Woods-Erickson, opening with the following:

“As a conservative, I see both the social justice warrior alt-left and the white supremacist alt-right as two sides of the same coin.”

Vox congressional reporter Jeff Stein tweeted in disbelief:

“NYtimes oped begins by admonishing “social justice warrior alt-left” the day after they fought Nazis. Unreal.”

Meanwhile, in Israel, Head of Republicans Abroad in Israel Marc Zell said that he holds “leftist thugs,” local authorities and organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union responsible for Saturday’s events:

“I am, of course, no supporter of Nazis or white supremacists. But this very tragic event could have been avoided,” he said. “It was clear to all that the leftist thugs would come out to provoke and escalate the events. These thugs are the ugly face of progressivism around the country. They are looking to shut down free speech.”

Zell even went as far as to suggest that the car-ramming attack might have been a ‘false flag’:

“I am confident that Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and the newly appointed director of the FBI, Christopher Wray, will conduct a proper investigation. And I will not be surprised if they find that the incident was deliberately provoked by the left”, he said.

As I had mentioned in my first commentary on the Chartlottesville aftermath, Trump’s equivocal statements were a dog-whistle. He was calling on the dogs, and he was waiting to see how loud they could bark.

But there was also fierce pressure on Trump to name the thugs by name. So on Monday he finally did call out the KKK, Neo-Nazis and White-Supremacists, albeit ending the condemnation with “other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans”. Coming from Trump, the latter could be read as another opening to the “many sides” narrative.

Indeed, on Tuesday, Trump went back and doubled down on his original message, applying the “alt-left” notion which was being mainstreamed in the meanwhile. Speaking at the Trump Tower in New York on Tuesday, the president was asked for his opinion after Senator John McCain had condemned the “alt-right” for its role in the violent rally, to which he responded:

What about alt-left? Do they have any semblance of guilt?”

Let’s hop back to Israel now, because the fact that the Nazis are involved in this is causing a certain discomfort to many Jewish Israelis. As CNN host Anderson Cooper was saying on Tuesday, the Charlottesville Neo-Nazis “were freaking chanting ‘Jews will not replace us’ on the streets of America.”
Thus Israeli centrist leaders Yair Lapid and Tzipi Livni were rather vociferous and unequivocal in their condemnations. Yesterday, Lapid said that

“There aren’t two sides. When Neo-Nazis march in Charlottesville and scream slogans against Jews and in support of white supremacy, the condemnation has to be unambiguous. They represent hate and evil. Anyone who believes in the human spirit must stand against them without fear.”

Sounds good. Let’s put aside for the moment Lapid’s own anti-Palestinianism, anti-miscegenationism (against mixed marriage) and ultra-nationalism.

Tzipi Livni, who had joined forces with the left under the Zionist Union was also quite clear:

“When it comes to racism, anti-Semitism and Nazism, there are never two equal sides. There’s good and there’s evil. Period”, she said.

Let’s also put aside for the moment the fact that Livni, who was Foreign Minister during Israel’s 2008-9 Gaza onslaught said that “Israel demonstrated real hooliganism during the course of the recent operation, which I demanded”as well as that “Hamas now understands that when you fire on its citizens it responds by going wild – and this is a good thing.”  – I mean, just because it’s hooliganism on a national level, doesn’t mean it’s racist, does it?

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett has called on US leaders to denounce the rally’s “displays of anti-Semitism” and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked of Bennett’s Jewish Home party has urged prosecution of neo-Nazi activists. Once again, let’s put aside for the moment the Education Minister’sI’ve killed many Arabs and there’s no problem with that”, as well as the Justice Minister’s advocacy for genocide of Palestinians.

Now, as the condemnations were coming from the right of Netanyahu, that was a sign that he shouldn’t be too silent on this, even if he wanted to not upset Trump. So Netanyahu finally tweeted on Tuesday that he was “outraged by expressions of anti-Semitism, neo-Nazism and racism. Everyone should oppose this hatred.”

But, alas, another Netanyahu came out on this. Netanyahu Jr., that is – Yair Netanyahu. Writing on his Facebook yesterday:

“To put things in perspective. I’m a Jew, I’m an Israeli, the neo nazis scums in Virginia hate me and my country. But they belong to the past. Their breed is dying out. However the thugs of Antifa and BLM who hate my country (and America too in my view) just as much are getting stronger and stronger and becoming super dominant in American universities and public life.”

The Times of Israel reports sources “close to the Prime Minister” taking a distance, claiming that “Yair is an adult and his views are his alone”.

But this is where it gets more confusing. Because yesterday, ‘Hail Trump’, white supremacist, Alt-Right leader Richard Spencer was interviewed on Israeli Channel 2, and said that Israelis should respect someone like him, because he’s “a white Zionist”:

“An Israeli citizen, someone who understands your identity, who has a sense of nationhood and peoplehood, and the history and experience of the Jewish people, you should respect someone like me, who has analogue feelings about whites. You could say that I am a white Zionist – in the sense that I care about my people, I want us to have a secure homeland for us and ourselves. Just like you want a secure homeland in Israel”, he said.

At the same time, Spencer voiced the classical anti-Semitic tropes about Jewish ‘over-representation’ and separating them from ‘whites’, when he was asked whether slogans such as “Jews will not replace us” constitute anti-Semitism:

“Let’s be honest,” Spencer said, “Jews are vastly over-represented in what you could call ‘the establishment,’ that is, Ivy League educated people who really determine policy, and white people are being dispossesed from this country.”

This is not the first time Spencer brings up the ‘white Zionism’ notion. He has also managed to leave Texas rabbi Matt Rosenberg speechless, when the latter, an avowed Zionist, challenged him with ‘love an inclusion’, where Spencer presented to him the question:

“Do you really want radical inclusion into the State of Israel? And by that I mean radical inclusion. Maybe all of the Middle East could go move in to Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. Would you really want that?”

Spencer added to the blow a white-supremacist embrace of “respect”:

Jews exist precisely because you did not assimilate. That is why Jews are a coherent people with a history and a culture and a future. It’s because you had a sense of yourselves. I respect that about you. I want my people to have that same sense of themselves”, he said.

Not only is this not new from Spencer – it is not new from Nazis in general. As Adolf Eichmann said in 1960 (Time):

“In the years that followed (after 1937) I often said to Jews with whom I had dealings that, had I been a Jew, I would have been a fanatical Zionist. I could not imagine anything else. In fact, I would have been the most ardent Zionist imaginable.”

Indeed, the anti-Semitic, white-supremacist notions represented in Charlottesville, make the proximity between Zionism and anti-Semitism too close for comfort for many Jews, especially the Zionist ones. Zionism has a long and murky record of collaboration with Nazis, which presents a contradiction to the narrative of Israel being a diametric answer to anti-Semitism and the Holocaust.
But having mentioned Yair Netanyahu, it could be an interesting anecdote to mention the letter of another Yair – the Jewish terrorist ‘Stern Gang’ leader Avraham ‘Yair’ Stern (‘Yair’ being his nom de guerre), offering allegiance to Hitler in January 1941. Here Stern offers to “actively take part in the war on Germany’s side” and that “common interests could exist between the establishment of a new order in Europe in conformity with the German concept, and the true national aspirations of the Jewish people as they are embodied by the NMO” (NMO stands for National Militant Organization, of which the Stern Gang became an offshoot).

When Herzl wrote in his diary that “the anti-Semites will become our most dependable friends, the anti-Semitic countries our allies”, he was already pinpointing a notion which Zionism and Israel would desperately seek to conceal. Which is, that Zionism, the state ideology, and anti-Semitism, are tightly knit and inter-dependent. Zionism is not an answer to anti-Semitism – it is an extension of it. And when the unabashed racists and anti-Semites go marching, when their Israel-loving President keeps exonerating them and equating them with their victims, then it becomes a bit uncomfortable. The ideological affinity between anti-Semitism and Zionism becomes exposed. And that’s where the Zionist apologists try to cover it up again, under the balancing act of being a Zionist and opposing anti-Semitism.

But Benjamin Netanyahu’s son, Yair, he got the trick. The trick is to demonize the left as “haters” and “thugs”, so as to also be able to condemn the Nazis, as it were, but effectively making the left worse than Nazis, by downplaying the Nazis as a thing “of the past”. Because Israel is now in an ideological international fight both against anti-Semitism, supposedly and as it were, but more importantly and more truly, against the left. But it has to look good. You don’t want to seem too Nazi. 

Employment Tribunals - Guardian Letter

Abolition of Fees for Claimants

Three weeks ago I did a post Supreme Court Abolishes Employment Tribunal Fees - Thank the Lib Dems, Jo Swinson & Vince Cable for introducing them and also sent a letter into the Guardian.

Unfortunately I must have missed it and it has only just been pointed out to me.  So until I get a hard copy, I will have to make do with a copy from the Internet!

Friday, 18 August 2017

The Israeli-Saudi Alliance Deepens as Israel Begins Closing Al Jazeera

As Saudi Arabia Prepares to Execute 14 demonstrators Israel Supports the Saudis in their war against free expression

As Israel's Government Press Office prepares to remove the press credentials of Al Jazeera's correspondent in Jerusalem, Elias Karram, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, there is something quite touching about Israel’s claim to be the ‘only democracy in the Middle East’ as it consummates its relationship with Saudi Arabia.  Al Jazeera is quite unique in the Arab world for being a relatively free and independent TV station.  It has produced some excellent documentaries, not least The Lobby which exposed the efforts of the Israeli Embassy, the Jewish Labour Movement and Labour Friends of Israel to destabilise Jeremy Corbyn and create a bogus campaign of accusations of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.

Netanyahu has claimed that Al Jazeera is just a front for ISIS, Iran, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.  It was a classic tactic of Nazi propagandists to make the Jews seem responsible for all the ills of society.  They were communists, capitalists, predators etc.  A moments thought would tell you that Isis and Hamas are enemies.  Iran being Shi’ite is likewise opposed to ISIS.  The  Muslim Brotherhood also comes from a different tradition to that of the Salafists.  But combining your enemy into one is the oldest tactic of the demagogue.
Theresa May and her good friend, King Salman of Saudia Arabia - no mention has been made by the Government of this attack on press freedom
Ayoob Kara, the Communications Minister is spearheading the attack on Al Jazeera which is accused of inciting the violence at Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.  Nothing to do with the security gates, or the attempts of Jewish settlers to encroach on the area or the attacks of Israeli soldiers on worshippers.
What this should also do is open peoples’ eyes as to the nature of the Israeli state.  All wings of the Zionist movement from Labour to Likud support the attacks on Al Jazeera.  From the Jewish Labour Movement and Labour Friends of Israel in this country to supporters of Likud, Zionism is opposed to free speech for its opponents.  In fact Israel has amongst the most restrictive censorship laws in the world.  It is no surprise that the Israeli government thinks it is quite legitimate to close down a recognised and established broadcaster.
Israeli Minister Ayoob Kara seeks to close down Al Jazeera's office in Israel
Ironically Al Jazeera pioneered in the Arab world the use of Israeli spokespersons.  Arab stations have ritually barred access to Israelis as they purport to oppose the Zionist regime.  In practice, as we see with the attempted closure of Al Jazeera, there is a very close alliance between Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states.  Both have an interest in closing down all avenues to freedom in the Middle East.  Qatar is no oasis of democracy, far from it, but when sanctions are imposed upon it by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, with the intention of closing down one of the few relatively free broadcasters in the Middle East we  should understand why it is that Israel and the Saudi butchers are singing from the same hymn sheet.

Despite its claims to be the Middle East's 'only democracy' Israel constantly allies itself with the most entrenched and bitter opponents of freedom in the region.  From Egypt under Sisi to King Salmon's Saudi Arabia, not forgetting Bahrain of course.

Below is, as always, an excellent article from the Independent’s Robert Fisk and two other articles, one from Al Jazeera and the other from the Jerusalem Post.

 Tony Greenstein
Al Jazeera offices in  Dhofar

If you're wondering why Saudi Arabia and Israel have united against Al-Jazeera, here's the answer

There are still honourable Israelis who demand a state for the Palestinians; there are well-educated Saudis who object to the crazed Wahabism upon which their kingdom is founded; there are millions of Americans, from sea to shining sea, who do not believe that Iran is their enemy nor Saudi Arabia their friend. But the problem today in both East and West is that our governments are not our friends

Robert Fisk 

Theresa May has already suppressed a report so it wouldn’t upset the Saudis. And we wonder why we go to war with the Middle East AFP

When Qatar’s Al Jazeera satellite channel has both the Saudis and the Israelis demanding its closure, it must be doing something right. To bring Saudi head-choppers and Israeli occupiers into alliance is, after all, something of an achievement.

But don’t get too romantic about this. When the wealthiest Saudis fall ill, they have been known to fly into Tel Aviv on their private jets for treatment in Israel’s finest hospitals. And when Saudi and Israeli fighter-bombers take to the air, you can be sure they’re going to bomb Shiites – in Yemen or Syria respectively – rather than Sunnis.

And when King Salman – or rather Saudi Arabia’s whizz-kid Crown Prince Mohammad – points the finger at Iran as the greatest threat to Gulf security, you can be sure that Bibi Netanyahu will be doing exactly and precisely the same thing, replacing “Gulf security”, of course, with “Israeli security”. But it’s an odd business when the Saudis set the pace of media suppression only to be supported by that beacon of freedom, democracy, human rights and liberty known in song and legend as Israel, or the State of Israel or, as Bibi and his cabinet chums would have it, the Jewish State of Israel.

So let’s run briefly through the latest demonstration of Israeli tolerance towards the freedom of expression that all of us support, nurture, love, adore, regard as a cornerstone of our democracy, and so on, and so on, and so on. For this week, Ayoob Kara, the Israeli communications minister, revealed plans to take away the credentials of Al Jazeera’s Israeli-based journalists, close its Jerusalem bureau and take the station’s broadcasts from local cable and satellite providers.

This, announced Ayoob Kara – an Israeli Druze (and thus an Arab Likud minister) who is a lifelong supporter of the colonisation by Jews of Israeli-occupied Arab land in the West Bank – would “bring a situation that channels based in Israel will report objectively”. In other words, threaten them. Bring them into line.

Bibi Netanyahu long ago accused Al Jazeera of inciting violence in Jerusalem, especially in its reporting of the recent Jerusalem killings – but since just about every foreign journalist in and outside Israel who has dared to be critical of the state has at one time or another been accused of incitement as well as anti-Semitism and other lies, this is just par for the course.

Personally, I have found Al Jazeera’s reporting from Israel pretty pathetic, its fawning reverence for the state all too painfully illustrated when its Qatar anchorwoman expressed to an Israeli government spokesman live on air her channel’s condolences on the death of Ariel Sharon, the monstrous Israeli ex-defence minister who was held responsible for the massacre of up to 1,700 Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camp massacres of 1982.

Ayoob Kara, however, has actually taken his cue from his fellow Arabs. And he admits it. Israel had to take steps, he said, against “media, which has been determined by almost all Arab countries to actually be a supporter of terror, and we know this for certain”. So the Israelis, it appears, now receive lessons on media freedoms from “Arab countries”. Not just the Saudis, of course, but from “almost all Arab countries” whose unfettered media – one thinks at once of the untrammelled liberal press of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Algeria and yes, “almost” the entire media of the Gulf – are bastions of truth-telling, hard-hitting opponents of authoritarian regimes, constitutionally protected from dictatorial abuse. Forgive the hollow laughter. But is this really how Israel wants to define itself?

Well, yes it is, I suppose. For if an unwritten alliance really exists between Saudi Arabia and Israel, then all options – as US presidents and secretary Hillary Clinton used to say – are “on the table”.
Imprisonment without trial, extrajudicial executions, human rights abuses, corruption, military rule – let’s say this at once: all these characteristics belong to “almost all” Sunni Muslim Arab nations – and to Israel in the lands it occupies. And as for being a “supporter of terror” (I quote Israeli minister Kara again), one must first ask why Sunni Gulf Arabs have exported their fighters – and their money – to the most vicious Sunni Islamists in the Middle East. And then ask why Israel has never bombed these same vile creatures – indeed, ask why Israel has given hospital treatment to wounded fighters from the Sunni al-Nusra – in other words, al-Qaeda, the perpetrators of 9/11 – while attacking Shiite Hezbollah and Alawite (Shiite) led-Syria, and threatened to bombard Shiite Iran itself which is a project, I should add, of which Kara himself is all in favour.

Nor must we forget that America’s insane President and his weird regime is also part of the Saudi-Israeli anti-Shiite confederation. Trump’s obscene $350bn arms sales to the Saudis, his fingering of Iran and his hatred of the world’s press and television channels makes him an intimate part of the same alliance. Indeed, when you look at one of Trump’s saner predecessors – George W Bush, who also hated Iran, kowtowed to the Saudis and actually talked to Tony Blair of bombing Al Jazeera’s own headquarters in Qatar, he who made sure the wealthy bin Laden family were flown out of the States after 9/11 – this American-Saudi-Israeli covenant has a comparatively long history.

Being an irrational optimist, there’s an innocent side of my scratched journalistic hide that still believes in education and wisdom and compassion. There are still honourable Israelis who demand a state for the Palestinians; there are well-educated Saudis who object to the crazed Wahhabism upon which their kingdom is founded; there are millions of Americans, from sea to shining sea, who do not believe that Iran is their enemy nor Saudi Arabia their friend. But the problem today in both East and West is that our governments are not our friends. They are our oppressors or masters, suppressors of the truth and allies of the unjust.

Netanyahu wants to close down Al Jazeera’s office in Jerusalem. Crown Prince Mohammad wants to close down Al Jazeera’s office in Qatar. Bush actually did bomb Al Jazeera’s offices in Kabul and Baghdad. Theresa May decided to hide a government report on funding “terrorism”, lest it upset the Saudis – which is precisely the same reason Blair closed down a UK police enquiry into alleged BAE-Saudi bribery 10 years earlier.

And we wonder why we go to war in the Middle East. And we wonder why Sunni Isis exists, un-bombed by Israel, funded by Sunni Gulf Arabs, its fellow Sunni Salafists cosseted by our wretched presidents and prime ministers. I guess we better keep an eye on Al Jazeera – while it’s still around.
Israel moves to close Al Jazeera, ban its journalists

Doha-based network denounces the decision to revoke credentials of its journalists and close its offices in Jerusalem.

It was unclear when Israeli government will act on the request [File: Reuters]

Israel plans to revoke media credentials of Al Jazeera journalists and close the network's office in Jerusalem, the country's communication minister has announced.

Ayoub Kara made the announcement on Sunday during a press conference in Jerusalem, where Al Jazeera was barred from attending. 

 "We have based our decision on the move by Sunni Arab states to close the Al Jazeera offices and prohibiting their work," Kara said, adding that the channel is being used by groups to "incite" violence - an accusation the network has denied.

Kara said he expects Israel's parliament, the Knesset, to consider his request in the next session.
"I will go through the [legislatorial] mechanism to create the authority in which I can act freely. We will try to end it as quickly as possible."

Kara accused Al Jazeera of inciting violence - an accusation the network has denied [Dusan Vranic/AP]

Al Jazeera denounces measures
In a statement, the Doha-based media network denounced the measures from a country it says claims to be "the only democracy in the Middle East".

"Al Jazeera stresses that it will closely watch the developments that may result from the Israeli decision and will take the necessary legal measures towards it," the statement read.

Al Jazeera also denied the charges its coverage of al-Aqsa Mosque unrest was unprofessional.
 "Al Jazeera will continue to cover the events of the occupied Palestinian territories professionally and accurately, according to the standards set by international agencies, such as the UK Office of Communications (Ofcom)."

The pan-Arab network's offices in the Palestinian territories of Gaza and the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah would not be affected by the current Israeli move.

The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, also known as Adalah, challenged the plan, saying it would be subject to scrutiny before the Supreme Court, adding that "it would fail the test of legality".

Al Jazeera's Scott Heidler, reporting from Jerusalem on Sunday, said that the request to revoke the credentials cover all the network's journalists in both the Arabic and English channels. 
It was unclear when the government will act on the request.

Our correspondent reported that Israel is also seeking to shut down Al Jazeera's cable and satellite transmissions in the country.

During the press conference, Kara also said that the interior ministry will also be involved in shutting down Al Jazeera's office in Jerusalem.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly threatened to shut Al Jazeera's operations in the country, accusing the network of inciting violence against Israel. His most recent attack on July 27 accused the network of "inciting violence".

Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera senior political analyst, said the latest move by Israel shows a "synergy" of "dictatorships" in the Arab world and "dictatorship of military occupation in Palestine".

"It is as if closing down a network will diminish violence, when everyone knows that repression and military occupation and aggression is the reason for violence in the region. Not reporting it," he said.
Attack on press freedom

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Rami Khouri of the American University in Beirut, denounced the plan saying it is "very typical of regimes" in the region. 

"Regimes that want to control power will almost always go after two targets - the media and the foreigners. Everybody goes after the media." 

Aidan White, director of the London-based Ethical Journalism Network, called Israel's decision "a full frontal attack" on press freedom.

"It is a shocking statement, and it completely undermines Israel's claims to be the only democracy in the region, because it gets to the heart of one of the most important institutions of democracy.
"This attack on Al Jazeera is really an attack on all critical independent journalism."
The Committee to Protect Journalists has also criticised the Israeli move.

"Censoring Al Jazeera or closing its offices will not bring stability to the region, but it would put Israel firmly in the camp of some of the region's worst enemies of press freedom," CPJ Middle East and North Africa Programme Coordinator Sherif Mansour said in a statement.

"Israel should abandon these undemocratic plans and allow Al Jazeera and all journalists to report freely from the country and areas it occupies," it said.

In recent months, Saudi Arabia and Jordan both shut down Al Jazeera bureaus as part of a coordinated diplomatic and economic campaign against Qatar, where the headquarters of Al Jazeera Media Network is located.

Al Jazeera's signal has also been blocked in the United Arab Emirates. 

Egypt, which is also part of the blocking group, banned Al Jazeera several years ago. 


 Communications Minister Ayoub Kara starts working on Al-Jazeera shutdown

 AUGUST 6, 2017 17:53

Following in the footsteps of Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Israel aims to revoke press credentials of Qatari-based news organization.

An employee walks inside an office of Qatar-based Al-Jazeera network in Jerusalem June 13, 2017. . (photo credit:REUTERS)

Security comes before freedom of expression, Communications Minister Ayoub Kara said at a press conference on Sunday, as he laid out a fivepoint plan backed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to shut down Qatari cable network Al Jazeera.

Netanyahu congratulated Kara on Twitter, writing: “Following my instructions, he took several practical steps today to stop the actions of incitement by Al Jazeera in Israel.”

Kara said Al Jazeera should be banned from broadcasting from Israel on grounds of incitement.
 “I want to make clear: Our citizens’ security and welfare overcomes freedom of expression in times of terror, period. Freedom of expression is not freedom to incite,” Kara said. “Democracy has limits. When we ask what overcomes what, I have no doubt at all. I prefer our citizens and soldiers alive.”

Kara asked the Government Press Office to revoke Al Jazeera reporters’ press cards. He also spoke to the cable and satellite television companies in Israel, which he said expressed willingness to stop broadcasting Al Jazeera.

In addition, Kara asked Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman to use his authority to close the network’s Israeli offices and asked for the channel’s broadcasts on open satellites – used by many Israeli Arabs – to be blocked.

Finally, Kara announced plans to promote legislation that would give the government the ability, in exceptional cases, to put security before freedom of expression.

Last week, Kara put his plan to shutter Al Jazeera in a broader Middle Eastern context, saying Saudi Arabia and other Sunni countries have called to shut down Al Jazeera entirely as part of their pressure on the Qatari regime. The countries campaigning against Qatar are not democracies that purport to have a free press.

 “We identify with the moderates in the Arab world who are fighting terrorism and religious extremism,” Kara said. “Here in Israel, there is no place for a channel that backs terrorism either.”

The Foreign Press Association, of which Al Jazeera journalists in Israel are members, said most of them have identification cards issued by the Government Press Office, which means they are government- vetted. They called Kara’s actions a “slippery slope.”

When reports first surfaced last month that the channel might be taken off the air, Al Jazeera stressed it would take “all necessary legal measures [if Israel] acts on its threat.”

See Israel moves to close Al Jazeera, ban its journalists

Thursday, 17 August 2017

The Neo-Nazi organiser of Charlottesville, Richard Spencer, declares that he is a White Zionist

The founder of the alt-Right and White Supremacist leader says Israel should respect him

Heil Trump - Richard Spencer Goes into Nazi Mode

Richard Spencer first came into prominence for his ‘Heil Trump’ rally held soon after Trump’s inauguration.  He is an open anti-Semite and White Supremacist and is credited with having first come up with the name Alt-Right. When Trump ‘forgot’ to mention the fact that it was the Jews who died in the Holocaust, Spencer wrote approving of Trump’s ‘de-judaification’ of the Holocaust.  

 Jewish activists, Spencer wrote in a short post for his new website, have long insisted on making the Holocaust “all about their meta-narrative of suffering” and a way to “undergird their peculiar position in American society.”  White Supremacist Richard Spencer Hails Trump's 'de-Judaification' of Holocaust

Spencer asks a Zionist Rabbi Matt Rosenberg if he supports multi racialism in Israel
The Holocaust, in Spencer’s eyes, has become a sort of moral bludgeon — used against white nationalists like himself.  White Supremacist Richard Spencer Hails Trump's 'de-Judaification' of Holocaust
Trumps Fascist Trinity - Bannon, Miller, Gorka
Spencer was the organiser of last weekend’s demonstration at Charlottesville in which a variety of white supremacists and neo-Nazis attacked the unarmed crowd of anti-racists, anti-fascists and members of Black Lives Matter.  The attack, which killed one woman and injured several others, was the largest White Supremacist and neo-Nazi demonstration in living memory in the United States.
It is reported that 80% of the racists were armed and they were allowed by Police to wander unhindered around Charlottesville.
Anti-fascist demonstration at Charlottesville in favour of removing statue of General Robert Lee
The election of Trump has seen a coming together of a wide variety of White Supremacists, neo-Nazis and fascists under the banner of the Alt-Right.  They have in the White House three prominent advisors to Trump. There is Steve Bannon, Trump’s Strategic Advisor and former CEO of Breitbart News, an openly racist and White Supremacist magazine. Steven Miller, who has helped devise Trump’s immigration policy and who was mentored by Spencer. Some of idea of his views can be gleaned from this profile in The Telegraph:
He took to ringing his local radio stations to rail against multiculturalism and the usage of Spanish-language announcements, and wrote for his high school newspaper a column entitled “A Time to Kill”, urging violent response to radical Islamists.
Sebastian Gorka - Hungarian neo-Nazi and Trump adviser
The third member of the unholy trinity is far-Right Hungarian Sebastian Gorka who helped form the New Democratic Coalition in Hungary with ex-members of Jobbik, an openly fascist and anti-Semitic party.  Gorka also endorsed the Hungarian Guard, an anti-Semitic militia of Jobbik.  Gorka appeared at an inauguration ball for Trump wearing the Vit├ęzi Rend, a medal of a knightly order of merit founded in 1920 by Admiral Miklos Horthy, Hungary’s anti-Semitic ruler and Hitler’s ally during World War II. Horthy presided over the deportation of nearly ½ million Jews to Auschwitz.  Gorka was up to his ears in fascist politics in Hungary, seeing Jobbik as too moderate. [EXCLUSIVE: Senior Trump Aide Forged Key Ties To Anti-Semitic Groups In Hungary]
Steve Bannon - Trump's anti-Semitic Breitbart adviser - Invited by the Zionist Organisation of America to its annual  gala dinner as a speaker
It is no surprise then that Spencer finds no difficulty in marrying his racist and anti-Semitic views with ardent support for Zionism and Israel.  In fact he sees Israel as a kind of model  for White Supremacism.  When Rabbi Matt Rosenberg of Texas A&M Hillel challenged Spencer at a meeting to be inclusive to others, Spencer threw the challenge back at the Rabbi.  ‘Would you want Israel to be radically inclusive’ knowing full well that Rabbi Rosenberg was like many Zionist ‘liberals’ – happy to support multi-racialism in the USA but opposed to intermarriage and equal rights for non-Jews in Israel.
Spencer’s declaration will no doubt be embarrassing to those like Rabbi Rosenberg who want ‘radical inclusion’ and tolerance in the United States, because that benefits American Jews but who would be aghast if the same principles were to apply to Israel.   The fact is that what Richard Spencer says is all too true – White Supremacists are only asking for what Zionists take for granted in Israel.  They are indeed White Zionists.

Tony Greenstein

WATCH Richard Spencer Tells Israelis They 'Should Respect' Him: 'I'm a White Zionist'

Spencer tells Israel's Channel 2 News: 'Jews are vastly over-represented in what you could call 'the establishment'

Richard Spencer, a white nationalist and de facto leader of the so-called “alt-right,” described himself to a reporter on Israel’s Channel 2 News as “a white Zionist” on Wednesday evening and argued that Israelis “should respect someone like me.”

The anchor had asked Spencer about the role of “alt-right” supporters in a march in Charlottesville, Viriginia on Friday, in which torch-bearing white nationalists shouted “Jews will not replace us!” in protest of the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

“Let’s be honest,” Spencer said, when asked whether such slogans constitute anti-Semitism. “Jews are vastly over-represented in what you could call ‘the establishment,’ that is, Ivy League educated people who really determine policy, and white people are being dispossesed from this country."

Asked how the mainly Jewish audience at home should take his remarks, Spencer responded:

 “... an Israeli citizen, someone who understands your identity, who has a sense of nationhood and peoplehood, and the history and experience of the Jewish people, you should respect someone like me, who has analogue feelings about whites. You could say that I am a white Zionist – in the sense that I care about my people, I want us to have a secure homeland for us and ourselves. Just like you want a secure homeland in Israel.”

This isn’t the first time Spencer has tried to wink at Israel. Last December, he told Haaretz that he “respects Israel” and that he would “respect” the decision to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

In an August 2010 article called “An Alliance with theJews,” published on his Radix Journal website, Spencer argued that Israel could become an ally of white nationalists in the United States. He wrote that in the face of the threat of nuclear weapons in countries hostile to Israel, there would be “hard-liners” in Israel who would prefer to see the extreme right in the White House.

Spencer, however, has also made headlines and sparked widespread outrage by making anti-Semitic remarks and engaging in Holocaust denial. Last December, for instance, the "alt-right" leader praised Trump's Holocaust Remembrance Day statement that failed to mention Jews and anti-Semitism as an important step, dubbing it the "de-Judaification" of the Holocaust.

Jewish activists, Spencer wrote in a short post for his website, have long insisted on making the Holocaust “all about their meta-narrative of suffering” and a way to “undergird their peculiar position in American society.”

Spencer, a onetime Duke University PhD student, championed Trump through the presidential campaign – and though he has been critical of the president at times, seems to have come around to Trump. While he claims he's not a Nazi, Spencer also does not outright condemn Hitler, calling him a “historical figure.”

YNet, Yaron London|Published:  21.11.16 , 13:48

Israel does not appear shocked by the appointment of racist anti-Semites to senior positions in US President-elect Donald Trump’s administration. There is no wonder there. First of all, it is not in our power to change it. Our complete dependence on the United States forces us to hold our tongue and restrain ourselves.
  • Second, a world view which supports white supremacy matches our government’s interests. If Trump’s people are more disgusted by Arabs than they are by Jews (the liberals, the Wall Street people, journalists from the East Coast, lovers of black people, Hillary Clinton’s friends), we have struck quite a good deal. Trump and his friends see Israel as a forefront against the barbarians, and they are not exactly very observant.
To do the Netanyahu government justice, let me qualify my statement by saying that all forms of Zionism hold the perception that a certain extent of anti-Semitism benefits the Zionist enterprise. To put it more sharply, anti-Semitism is the generator and ally of Zionism. Masses of Jews leave their place of residence only when their economic situation and physical safety are undermined. Masses of Jews are shoved to this country rather than being attracted to it. The yearning for the land of Zion and Jerusalem is not strong enough to drive millions of Jews to the country they love and make them hold on to its clods.

Steve Bannon, Trump's controversial new chief strategist (Photo: AFP)

As the Jews in Israel long for immigrants with a certain affiliation to their people, and as Zionism—like any other ideology—needs constant justification, we have a secret hope in our hearts that a moderate anti-Semitic wave, along with a deterioration in the economic situation in their countries of residence, will make Diaspora Jews realize that they belong with us. Is proof even necessary? No one will protest the assertion that the rise in anti-Semitism in France gave us some satisfaction, in the sense of “we warned you, didn’t we?” Late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon did not hesitate to make such a declaration, angering the French government and many Jews who see themselves as unconditional French citizens. Thousands of Jews from France who see Israel as a lifeboat, as an insurance policy, purchased apartments here and raised real estate prices in the coastal cities. That’s good. It proves Zionism was right. Furthermore, no one can deny that the economic crisis in the Soviet empire, coupled with the nesting anti-Semitism there, were the cause of the immigration to Israel of about 1 million Jews and their non-Jewish relatives, most of whom have no affiliation to Jewish culture. Neither can anyone contradict the embarrassing fact that Israel worked to lock the gates to the US, the opening of which may have directed many of these Jews and their relatives there, and perhaps even most of them.

It was not the Jewish immigrants’ welfare that we saw before our eyes, but the state’s reinforcement. While the act of blocking and directing the Jews to Israel is ethically dubious, it was justified by the Zionist ideology which asserts that a normalization of the Jewish situation—in other words, concentrating the Jewish people in its own territory—is the only thing that will save us from another Holocaust and, according to some people, will even speed up the Messiah’s arrival.

The Jews’ comfortable situation in America raises doubts as to whether it was worthwhile to gamble on the establishment of a Jewish state. The normalization did not provide us, the Israelis, with a normal existence and did not lessen the anti-Semitism which is now drawing some of its arguments from the way we are managing the conflict with the Palestinians. There are Israelis whose parents or grandparents immigrated to Israel out a belief that this is where the agonizing historical journey will end, and now their offspring are learning that the promise has not been fulfilled.

In order to remove these malignant doubts, it would be good to have some anti-Semitism in America. Not serious anti-Semitism, not pogroms, not persecutions that will empty America from its Jews, as we need them there, but just a taste of this pungent stuff, so that we can restore our faith in Zionism.