the bomb & the ballot & the boycott

arab-cartoon-israeli-election-campaign

my friend omar sent out an email with his assessment of the israeli elections yesterday. i think it is quite smart and apt. he lays out the reality of the situation in spite of the media–even al jazeera–using ridiculous words like “hardline” or “ultra nationalist” or “center” to describe the extreme racist and fascist political parties, all of which participate in their colonial terrorist project in palestine. as’ad has this to say about the american media rhetoric about israeli elections:

It is quite hilarious to watch American media references to the Israeli elections and the competing parties. So if a fascist party is competing with an ultra-fascist party, they make the fascist party “a centrist” or “moderate”. The beyond-fascist party of Lieberman is described merely as “right-wing” in the New York Times. Do people know that the the party of Lieberman is more popular in Israel than the the Labor party–not that the Labor party does not share the same racism and terrorist ideology that penetrate deep into the various parties of Zionism. But Kadima (which is described as “centrist” in Wikipedia) and Likud both are descendants of revisionist Zionism and the ideas of Vladimir Jabotinsky who believed that a nation is defined by its “racial recipe”. But note how US media struggle to beautify the ugliness of Israeli politics (and wars).

and here is what omar says:

According to the almost official results of the Israeli elections, reproduced below, the fanatic-to-fascist right was the biggest winner in Israel. A proper death certificate for the Israeli Zionist “left” should finally be issued — 61 years late!

Here is a breakdown of the results for all Israeli parties, categorized into groups according to their respective positions towards international law and basic human rights. Only these universal criteria should be used in Israel and anywhere else to decide who is right, who is left and who is ultra right, etc. The common Israeli designations of “left,” “right” and “center” to describe Labor, Likud and Kadima, respectively, are completely inaccurate and intentionally misleading, as they steer away from any objective criteria in distinguishing left from right. Still, unfortunately, these meaningless Israeli labels are parroted, verbatim, by commentators, even progressive ones, without any reflection on their accuracy or relevance.

By any objective standard, the election results must reveal the following accurate categories:

Ultra Right: (parties that openly adopt racist or fascist platforms calling for forcible displacement, or ethnic cleansing, of the indigenous Palestinian citizens of Israel, based on diverse conditions that depend on the specific party in question; justify and/or commit war crimes and grave violations of international law; reject UN resolutions and international law as THE basis for a just peace; reject all three basic Palestinian rights enshrined in international law: (1) FULLY ending the occupation and withdrawing to the 1967 borders, as per UNSC Res. 242, including withdrawal from occupied east Jerusalem; (2) the UN-sanctioned rights of the refugees to reparations and return to their homes of origin; and (3) the right to full equality inside Israel and ending institutional racism against all “non-Jewish” citizens of the state):

Yisrael Beitenu: 15 Knesset seats
National Union: 4
Shas: 11
Jewish Home: 3
Likud: 27
Kadima: 28
—————————
TOTAL (Ultra right): 88 seats (73% of the total seats in the Knesset or 80% of Jewish seats in the Knesset)

Right: (parties that conform to the Ultra-Right principles above with the exception of calling openly for ethnic cleansing as a political platform. There are exceptions, of course, whereby several key Labor leaders have occasionally called for ethnic cleansing, but it was not translated into part of their program or a consistent policy, unlike the parties of the Ultra-Right above)

Labor: 13
United Torah Judaism: 5
Meretz: 3
—————————-
TOTAL (Right): 21 seats (16% of total or 19% of Jewish seats)

Center: (parties that support a FULL withdrawal from the 1967-occupied territory, but oppose equality for all the citizens of the state and the right of return. It may be generous to call them center, but …)

NONE

Left: (parties that support a FULL withdrawal from the 1967-occupied territory, equality for all the citizens of the state, and the right of return. These parties are committed to a two-state peaceful solution based on international law and universal human rights principles)

United Arab List: 4 (an entirely Palestinian party — politically on the left, but socially on the right)
Hadash (communists): 4 (note that less than 1% of Israeli-Jews voted for it, so it can statistically be regarded as a Palestinian party)
Balad (national democrats): 3 (entirely Palestinian)
—————————–
TOTAL (Left): 11 seats (9% of total)

It is very important to note that, from initial news reports, it seems that half the Palestinian public in Israel BOYCOTTED the elections, the widest such boycott in history. This means that all the above Palestinian parties represent less than half of the Palestinian voters in Israel!

Main conclusions:

(1) The Israeli Jewish public has voted predominantly for the ultra right (including a huge increase in support for the fascist right)

(2) The Israeli Jewish (Zionist) left does not exist (as predicted) as a political force in Israel

(3) The ONLY left parties in Israel are entirely Palestinian

(4) There is a Jewish consensus in Israel (with the exception of a few brave, principled individuals and tiny anti-Zionist groups) AGAINST all the basic requirements for a just peace as laid out in UN resolutions and supported by most world governments

(5) For the first time in the history of Knesset elections, it is reported that Palestinian voters have shunned Zionist parties to an unprecedented level, opting for Palestinian parties instead.

What’s to be done?

A paradigm shift from the defunct, immoral, and now impossible, two-state solution to the democratic, single state solution is NOW called for more than ever. Only by rejecting all forms of racism, apartheid, ethnocentrism, religious fundamentalism and colonialism, and by embracing FULL equality and democracy, including the right of return of the refugees, can we create a just and sustainable peace.

The call for a two-state solution has truly become a smokescreen to cover up and legitimize continued occupation, colonization and Zionist apartheid.

all i have to say to that is: word!

to see what an israeli thinks of the mainstreaming of israeli racism and fascism you should read gideon levy’s take on the election (though he write this a couple of days ago):

Now the instigator of the new Israeli racism will apparently become the leader of a large party once again in the government. Benjamin Netanyahu has already pledged that Lieberman will be an “important minister” in his government. If someone like Lieberman were to join a government in Europe, Israel would sever ties with it. If anyone had predicted in Kahane’s day that a pledge to turn his successor into an important minister would one day be considered an electoral asset here, they would have been told they were having a nightmare.

But the nightmare is here and now. Kahane is alive and kicking – is he ever – in the person of his thuggish successor. This is not just a matter of disqualifying Yisrael Beiteinu; it is not even a matter of this party’s growing strength to terrifying proportions, becoming the fulcrum that will decide who becomes prime minister. This is a matter of legitimization. All society bears responsibility for it.

Kahane was ostracized; Lieberman is a welcome guest in every living room and television studio. Imagine: Ehud Barak does not rule out a coalition with him; Uzi Landau, considered a “democrat,” is now Lieberman’s number two; a former senior ambassador and a retired police major general also adorn the list. Did we know that Israel was being represented in Washington by an avowed racist in the person of Daniel Ayalon? Did we know that former Border Police chief and deputy police commissioner Yitzhak Aharonovich was one, too? They have come out of the closet, these racists, breaking out of the heart of the establishment to the despicable right, and the attitude toward them has not changed a bit.

Lieberman and his soldiers are borne on the tides of hatred for Arabs, hatred of democracy and the rule of law, and the stink of nationalism, racism and bloodthirstiness. These have turned, horrifically, into the hottest electoral assets on the market. Like all others of his political ilk, he cynically fans these base urges, particularly among the weaker classes, the rejected, the poor and the immigrants. But not just there. Many young people, among them brainwashed soldiers, will give him their vote, and no one ostracizes them. He chose an easy, relatively weak target, Israel’s Arabs, and sets his supporters on them. But his doctrine has seeped in much deeper than that.

Lieberman is the voice of the mob, and the mob craves hatred, vengeance and bloodshed. A useless war in which hundreds of children were killed was received here sympathetically, if not happily. The parties from the right and center have tried to disqualify the Arab parties; these lists are also excluded ahead of time in every political calculation. And Arab students cannot rent an apartment.

of course the united states jumps at the chance to work with “any government” formed in the zionist entity regardless of whether it is racist or fascist. in europe, people are not so sure and are alarmed at the rise of the right wing and fascism in the zionist terrorist state. perhaps they remember what colonialism and fascism breed as this is a european invention. but barack obama and his administration will work with such people. and as intelligent as he is, he dodged a very pointed question from helen thomas yesterday at a press conference about the only country in the region to house nuclear weapons:

of course, we know from mordechai vanunu and others that it is israel that harbors nuclear weapons. and grant smith explains that obama’s evasion and refusal to deal with thomas’ question enables u.s. to violate its own laws:

Fortunately, Americans don’t need Barack Obama to “speculate” on what former President Jimmy Carter already confirmed on May 25, 2008: Israel possesses an arsenal of at least 150 nuclear weapons. Why does Obama trot out the discredited policy of “strategic ambiguity” – in which Israeli and U.S. officials officially refuse to confirm or deny the existence Israeli nuclear weapons – at this early moment? For one reason alone: to break the law. The 1976 Symington Amendment prohibits most U.S. foreign aid to any country found trafficking in nuclear enrichment equipment or technology outside international safeguards. Israel has never signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). If U.S. presidents complied with the Symington Amendment, they would not deliver yearly aid packages to Israel totaling billions of dollars. Presidents make-believe that Israeli nuclear weapons don’t exist so Congress can legally continue shoveling the lion’s share of the U.S. foreign aid budget to Israel. But this thin pretense is now over. Since Carter’s revelation, press outlets such as Reuters chat openly about how Israeli’s nukes mean that it does not qualify for U.S. aid. But like Harry Markopolos incessantly nagging the SEC about Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, fourth-estate and nuclear-activist calls for compliance continue to be rebuffed by government agencies. Denying Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests about Israeli nukes has always been an integral tactic in preserving this hoary old ruse.

john pilger knows who the real terrorists are and is clear on what obama’s evasions and silences will mean for the region:

What the childish fawning over Obama obscures is the dark power assembled under cover of America’s first “post-racial president”. Apart from the US, the world’s most dangerous state is demonstrably Israel, having recently killed and maimed some 4,000 people in Gaza with impunity. On 10 February, a bellicose Israeli electorate is likely to put Binyamin Netanyahu into power. Netanyahu is a fanatic’s fanatic who has made clear his intention of attacking Iran. In the Wall Street Journal on 24 January, he described Iran as the “terrorist mother base” and justified the murder of civilians in Gaza because “Israel cannot accept an Iranian terror base (Gaza) next to its major cities”. On 31 January, unaware he was being filmed, Israel’s ambassador in Australia described the massacres in Gaza as a “pre-introduction” – dress rehearsal – for an attack on Iran.

For Netanyahu, the reassuring news is that Obama’s administration is the most Zionist in living memory – a truth that has struggled to be told from beneath the soggy layers of Obama-love. Not a single member of Obama’s team demurred from Obama’s support for Israel’s barbaric actions in Gaza. Obama himself likened the safety of his two young daughters with that of Israeli children while making not a single reference to the thousands of Palestinian children killed with American weapons – a violation of both international and US law. He did, however, demand that the people of Gaza be denied “smuggled” small arms with which to defend themselves against the world’s fourth largest military power. And he paid tribute to the Arab dictatorships, such as Egypt, which are bribed by the US Treasury to help the US and Israel enforce policies described by the United Nations Rapporteur, Richard Falk, a Jew, as “genocidal”.

It is time the Obama lovers grew up. It is time those paid to keep the record straight gave us the opportunity to debate informatively. In the 21st century, people power remains a huge and exciting and largely untapped force for change, but it is nothing without truth. “In the time of universal deceit,” wrote George Orwell, “telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

all of these israeli terrorist leaders who will be running the next colonial government there are war criminals–like all of their predecessors. but the difference now is that there is movement on prosecuting them at the hague as conn hallinan explains in his article “gaza: death laboratory”:

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann would coordinate the defense of any soldier or commander charged with a war crime. In any case, the United States would veto any effort by the UN Security Council to refer Israelis to the International Court at The Hague.

But, as the Financial Times points out, “all countries have an obligation to search out those accused of ‘grave’ breaches of the rules of war and to put them on trial or extradite them to a country that will.”

That was the basis under which the British police arrested Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1998.

“We’re in a seismic shift in international law,” Amnesty International legal advisor Christopher Hall told the Financial Times, who says Israel’s foreign ministry is already examining the risk to Israelis who travel abroad.

“It’s like walking across the street against a red light,” he says. “The risk may be low, but you’re going to think twice before committing a crime or traveling if you have committed one.”

the national lawyer’s guild recently returned to the u.s. from their fact-finding mission in gaza and have reported on their findings of israeli terrorist war crimes. here is another one of the many war crimes israeli terrorists committed in gaza as the extraordinary barbara lubin reports:

It’s not so far from from what you reported because the victims are the same…the story happened in Bourij Camp in the middle of the Gaza Strip. The Israelis called the woman Manal Albatran and told her that they wouldn’t kill her or her husband Hussein Albatran, instead they would make them die of sadness because they would kill her children. The next day they shot her house with a rocket killing her and 5 of her children.

The dead:

Manal Albatran 30 years old
Walaa Albatran 12 years old
Islam Albatran 11 years old
Belal Albatran 10 years old
Ezzeldin Albatran 8 years old
Ehsan Albatran 7 years old

The father who is an employee at an UNRWA school and the youngest child were saved.

i could go on and on for pages and pages documenting these war crimes. you can also hear an excellent report on flashpoints about the imminent war crimes trial facing israeli terrorist leaders. but the crimes continue through the trauma that plagues palestinians in gaza who still do not feel safe. i wonder if or when they ever will.

while we wait for these people to be served justice the boycott continues to grow every day:

in sweden a sports boycott seems to be emerging:

Between 6-8 March the Swedish national team in tennis will face off against Israel in Malmo, Sweden. We cannot accept this. We demand that the Swedish Tennis Federation act in accordance with the rules of the Swedish National Association of Sports concerning international sports competitions:

“Sports exchange in the form of competition or event shall not take place if a country which in sports-related issues is guilty of discrimination against anyone because of ethnic origins, gender, sexuality, handicap, religion or political commitment or if a country is the object for a binding UN-sanction.”

Through the ongoing occupation Israel is denying the Palestinian people the right to live in peace and to practice sports. Therefore we are demanding: no sports exchange with an occupation force – stop the war and boycott Israel!

We demand that the match shall be stopped. We don´t want Israel to play in the Davis Cup 6-8 mars in Malmö, Sweden.

in brussels it seems as if a cultural boycott needs to be in the works:

An exhibit titled “The White City Tel Aviv”, which was set to open in Brussels next week, has been postponed by the Belgian organizers in response to IDF’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza.

The hosts – the board of directors of the International Centre for Urbanism, Architecture and Landscape (CIVA) – informed the Tel Aviv Municipality three days ago of their decision to postpone the exhibit due to their belief that it would be “better appreciated at a different time.”

and mauritania closed its israeli embassy:

The head of Mauritania’s military junta says the West African country has closed its embassy in Israel.

Gen. Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz made the announcement late Tuesday.

in ireland trade unionists are launching a boycott campaign:

Trade unionists are to launch a boycott of Israeli goods as part of a major campaign to secure a peaceful settlement in the Middle East, Stormont heard today.

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) launched a report on Israel and Palestine compiled by senior members who visited the troubled region.

and in new york adalah continues its protest against leviev diamonds:

Fifty-five New York rights advocates called today on the city’s shoppers to boycott Israeli diamond mogul and settlement-builder Lev Leviev. The pre-Valentine’s Day protest was the 13th demonstration held in front of Leviev’s Madison Avenue jewelry store since it opened in November, 2007. Many New York shoppers paused to look at the heart-shaped signs and a Dating Game skit featuring a protester playing Leviev, and to listen to the noisy chants and the song “Lev’s Diamonds are a Crime’s Best Friend.”

The protesters oppose Leviev’s construction of Israeli settlements on Occupied Palestinian land in violation of international law, as well as his abuses of marginalized communities in Angola, Namibia and New York. Riham Barghouti of Adalah-NY explained, “The campaign to boycott Leviev is part of a growing international movement to boycott Israeli businesses due to their involvement in human rights abuses. We had more people protesting today and the boycott movement is growing worldwide due to outrage over Israel’s attack on Gaza, which killed approximately 1300 Palestinians, over 400 of whom were children.”

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