Max Blumenthal on Trayvon Martin and Shaima Alawadi

The great Max Blumenthal, Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow for the Nation Institute, is interviewed on RT about the killings of Trayvon Martin and Shaima Alawadi, racial profiling and the normalization of Islamophobia in the U.S.:

Israel’s advocates in the UK cosy up to Christian Right

Faced with the increasingly difficult task of ‘selling’ Israeli policies to the UK public, Israel’s supporters in this country are cementing relationships with some strange bed-fellows.

Israeli embassy officials are happy working with groups like ‘Mordechai Voice’, a new addition to the Christian Zionist scene in the UK. Apart from helping with local presentations, staff from Israel’s embassy spoke at a July “prayer meeting” organised by people who look forward to the day “all Israel is saved”. It seems the Embassy has no problem collaborating with Christians whose motivation for supporting Israel is the belief that such advocacy is the “key to UK revival”.

Where Israel’s government representatives go, the advocacy groups follow. In October, the UK’s Zionist Federation will host David Dolan, billed as a “Broadcast Journalist and Author”, to speak on “Turmoil in the Middle East: What comes next?” Well for Dolan, the answer is the Second Coming. In his book ‘Holy War for the Promised Land’, Dolan shares his own unique ‘analysis’:

I am personally convinced that there are strong supernatural forces at work behind the Arab-Israeli dispute. I cannot help mentioning that I often perceive a certain glowing, otherworldly light behind the conflict…

His website has details of the speaking tour that includes the Zionist Federation date, an event Dolan describes as a meeting with “members of the Jewish community”. Perhaps he’ll share with them his belief in “the only peace process that will ultimately succeed”, namely for “Arab and Jew” to receive “God’s gift of eternal life, offered in his chosen Messiah, Jesus”.

Then there’s Israel lobby outfit StandWithUs, notorious in the US for their ties to Islamophobic right-wing donors and aggressive tactics. A more recent presence in the UK, though already embraced by some student groups, they helped Mordecai Voice arrange a recent rally where signs were held saying “God warns: The nations that refuse to be Israel’s allies will be utterly destroyed”.

Their UK coordinator Gili Brenner will be a guest speaker at a November conference (PDF) called ‘Israel’s Future & Ours’, billed as “a unique, not-to-be-missed Christian conference that will educate, inspire and move you to intercede for the Jewish people”. The conference is being promoted by the likes of ‘The Time is Now’, a site that believes that God will “curse those who curse Israel”.

Alongside the StandWithUs UK coordinator will be speakers from Christian Friends of Israel (CFI), who believe that “God’s time to ‘favour Zion’ has begun”, and Nathan Barnard, whose website ‘The Last Trumpet’ aims to inform Christians “about current events in relation to biblical prophecy”. Another speaker is David Pawson, a pastor who has warned that Britain is on its way to becoming an Islamic state.

Despite discomfort in Israel about such alliances, Israel’s advocates in UK seem glad to get any support they can.

Faiz Shakir, Author of “Fear, Inc” Report on Islamaphobia

A new report by the Center for American Progress called, “Fear Inc: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America,” shows how a small group of self-proclaimed experts backed by a host of donors are spreading fear and hostility toward Muslims in the United States.

In the following clip, Faiz Shakir, an author of the report, speaks with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now.

Cold War on British Muslims

Spinwatch publishes report on two influential neoconservative think-tanks, the Centre for Social Cohesion and Policy Exchange.

In a report published today (download .pdf), Spinwatch examines the Centre for Social Cohesion and Policy Exchange; two key right-wing think-tanks involved in the debat e on Islam and multiculturalism which are thought to have influenced the Coalition Government’s new Prevent strategy.

The report, which was completed before the recent terrorist attacks in Norway, argues that right-wing think-tanks have understated the rise of Islamophobia on the far-right and in some cases condoned the rise of
groups such as the English Defence League because of their own links to the ‘counterjihad movement’.

The Cold War on British Muslims, shows how the Centre for Social Cohesion and Policy Exchange have rejected counter-terrorism policies based on public safety and have instead sought to revive discredited counter-subversion policies from the Cold War era – policies which targeted a generation of trade union leaders and peace activists including future Labour Ministers.  The report warns that reviving such policies is likely to stigmatise and even criminalise politically active Muslims, as well as liberals and leftists, and risk undermining the traditional freedoms enjoyed by churches, schools, universities and public libraries.

Continue reading “Cold War on British Muslims”

Anders Behring Breivik, a perfect product of the Axis of Islamophobia

Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store visits the Utoya Labor youth camp a day before Breivik's killing spree. He earned loud cheers with an unapologetic call for Palestinian rights.

The following is an excerpt from Max Blumenthal‘s piece at Mondoweiss on the terror attacks in Norway:

As horrific as Breivik’s actions were, he can not be dismissed as a “madman.” His writings contain the same themes and language as more prominent right-wing Islamophobes (or those who style themselves as “counter-Jihadists”) and many conservatives in general. What’s more, Breivik was articulate and coherent enough to offer a clear snapshot of his ideological motives. Ali Abunimah and Alex Kane have posted excellent summaries of Breivik’s writings here and here and a full English translation is here. It is also worth sitting through at least a portion of Breivik’s tedious video manifesto to get a sense of his thinking.

From a tactical perspective, Breivik was not a “lone wolf” terrorist. Instead, Breivik appeared to operate under a leaderless resistance model much like the Christian anti-abortion terrorists Scott Roeder and Eric Rudolph. Waagner and Rudolph organized around the Army of God, a nebulous group that was known only by its website and the pamphlets its members passed around in truck stops and private meetings. If they received material or tactical support, it occurred spontaneously. For the most part, they found encouragement from like-minded people and organizations like Operation Rescue, but rarely accepted direct assistance. Breivik, who emerged from the anti-immigrant Norwegian Progress Party (which built links with America’s Tea Party) and drifted into the English/Norwegian Defense League sphere of extremism, but who appeared to act without formal organizational support, reflects the same leaderless resistance style as America’s anti-abortion terrorists.

Continue reading “Anders Behring Breivik, a perfect product of the Axis of Islamophobia”

BDS, LGBT, and Why You Should Care about Pinkwashing

by Shiri Eisner

The latest video hoax produced by the Israeli government and released unto YouTube has recently drawn wide attention to a phenomenon that many radical LGBT groups have been trying to combat for quite a while now: pinkwashing.

For those unaware of the hoax story so far, the gist of it goes thus: a mysterious video goes on YouTube in which a ‘disillusioned’ gay activist by the name of “Marc” tells his viewers about his attempt to join the Gaza Flotilla, only to be rebuked by the organizers on account of his being gay. “Marc” then goes on to tell us, that after being rejected in such a homophobic manner, he went on to find pictures of Palestine solidarity and human rights organizers embracing Hammas leaders. The shocked “Marc” then warns his fellow gay activists from believing the “lies” of these terrible human rights groups and, indeed, from joining or supporting either the flotilla or the Palestinian solidarity movement. However, all’s well that ends well: the video was quickly exposed as a hoax, tracking it back to a minor Tel Aviv gay celebrity by the name of Omer Gershon, by and by proving that the Israeli government has no fear of spreading outright lies in attempts to achieve its propaganda goals (for example, it’s worth noting that out bisexual author Alice Walker will be joining the flotilla).

So, What’s This “Pinkwashing” Anyway?

Continue reading “BDS, LGBT, and Why You Should Care about Pinkwashing”

The Mozlems Are Coming

by M. Shahid Alam

Fear grips the country from coast to coast.
Politicos, anchors and talk-show hosts

chatter all day, The Mozlems are coming;
they’ve dropped their drivel about fighting

them there. While our troops fought in Iraq
holding the ‘terrorists’ at the gates, back

home, greater troubles were brewing.
Radical Mozlems were actively scheming

to impose an Islamo-fascist theocracy
on the United States. Our great democracy

confronts an existential threat from within.
Let us act fast – good Republicans raise a din –

Moslems inside the US are working openly
to force sharia-law upon us. Act quickly,

harangue the pundits – or lose this great country
to heathens. Now’s not the time for an energy

plan, overhaul Medicare, fix the infrastructure,
or trim the deficit. We face greater dangers

from the enemy within: The Mozlems are coming.
It’s women in burqa, no gambling, no drinking,

nor driving for women. Americans get cracking
‘cause your country is calling. The Mozlems are coming.

– M. Shahid Alam is professor of economics at Northeastern University. He is author of Israeli Exceptionalism (Palgrave, 2009) and Poverty from the Wealth of Nations (Macmillan, 2000). Write to him at alqalam02760@neu.edu.

Benny Morris in London: “a mob of Moslem hooligans”

Last month, Benny Morris gave a lecture in London courtesy of the LSE’s Middle East Centre. Many were unhappy at Morris being afforded such a platform, given his views on Muslims and Arabs, e.g.:

The phenomenon of the mass Muslim penetration into the West and their settlement there is creating a dangerous internal threat.

The Muslims are busy killing people, and killing people for reasons that in the West are regarded as idiotic. There is a problem here with Islam.

[T]he notion of sharing power or being a minority in a non-Muslim Arab polity is alien to the Muslim Arab mentality.

After the event, an article by Morris was published online by The National Interest, in which he relayed the hostile reception he experienced in typical fashion:

As I walked down Kingsway, a major London thoroughfare, a small mob—I don’t think any other word is appropriate—of some dozen Muslims, Arabs and their supporters, both men and women, surrounded me and, walking alongside me for several hundred yards…Several spoke in broken, obviously newly acquired, English. Violence was thick in the air though none was actually used. Passersby looked on in astonishment, and perhaps shame, but it seemed the sight of angry bearded, caftaned Muslims was sufficient to deter any intervention. To me, it felt like Brownshirts in a street scene in 1920s Berlin—though on Kingsway no one, to the best of my recall, screamed the word “Jew.”

Morris continued to talk about the questions he received from “Muslim participants” including “girls with scarves”, before concluding that “Muslim intimidation” is “cowing” the “British Christian majority” into “silence”.

But that (ahem) subtle messaging proved too much of a strain for Morris, and it now appears that he spoke in rather blunter terms to Makor Rishon, an Israeli newspaper:

As soon as they saw me I was surrounded by a mob of Moslem hooligans, screaming and cursing at me as I advanced toward the building…I had the feeling that I was surrounded by Nazis, except that instead of black shirts these were wearing Arab scarves on their heads.  They were unambiguously Islamofascists.  Some of them screamed in their broken foreign English that the UK should never have allowed me into the country.

This is the kind of person the Israel lobby will promote – and reminds me what a relief it was that Morris did not have the opportunity to spread his hate in Cambridge last year.

Uncivilized Relations: Israel confronts its neighbours

by Brenda Heard

The turmoil that has beleaguered the Middle East for decades has been described many ways.  On the 5th of June, however, the terminology turned vulgar.  This enduring conflict was publically characterised as a ‘war between the civilized man and the savage’.  Boldly announced with a plea to ‘support Israel/defeat Jihad’, the full page advertisement ran in the New York Post’s special section covering the city’s ‘Celebrate Israel’ parade.

Declaring the Muslim people ‘savage’ is, of course, just a school-yard taunt from Islamaphobe Pamela Geller, who gleefully takes credit for the advertisement.  Had her rant been limited to her own blog, we might easily dismiss it.  The problem lies in its acceptance into mainstream discourse.  The Post may be tabloid journalism, but its paper edition remains the seventh most popular paper in America.  And this sort of crude advertisement for a political cause panders to a public comfortable with the mind-set of ‘don’t bore me with the details’.

But the details are critical if we are to consider a conflict that has taken thousands of lives.  How can we, for instance, reconcile the concept of ‘civilized’ with the reality of shooting unarmed protesters?  The advertisement asks us to accept Israel as ‘civilized’; yet as these very words were first read, Israeli soldiers were shooting into a crowd of Syrian-Palestinians, killing 24 and injuring another 350.

Continue reading “Uncivilized Relations: Israel confronts its neighbours”

%d bloggers like this: