How progressive is Barack Obama? It’s a question pundits, bloggers, and journalists have trouble grappling with. But one individual goes beyond the Obama phenomenon andinvestigates who Obama is and what he’s all about. In Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics, author Paul Street cuts to the chase and takes a closer look at the man who became the 44th president of the United States. What Street uncovers is a man crafted by campaign consultants with political beliefs consistent with elite party interests.
This is Jana Hannoun. I met her after a Palestine Literature Festival event at the British Council in occupied east Jerusalem. We were at the British Council because our original venue, the Palestine National Theatre, had been closed down by the Israeli occupiers. The British Council is just down the road from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, where Jana lived, and which Israel wants to Judaize.
At five o clock in the morning on August 2nd, the Hannoun and al-Ghawe families were physically thrown out of their homes by Zionist troops. 53 people, including 19 children, were made homeless, and their toys and clothes were strewn in the street. They were made homeless because they are members of the wrong ethnic group – because they are Arabs, the natives of Palestine, and not invading Jews. Their homes were immediately occupied by foreign settlers.
This, of course, is fascism. Because of a myth of national origin (and it is a myth – the vast majority of Jews originate from eastern Europe and north Africa, not from Palestine, not even two thousand years ago), the Canaanite-Arab Palestinians are designated untermenschen to be driven out. The Sheikh Jarrah families have experienced this before, as they are refugees from Haifa and west Jerusalem, ethnically cleansed by Zionist terrorist militias in 1948. The UN built homes for them in east Jerusalem after 1948, and that half of the city fell too in 1967. In this report, Jana is interviewed. More videos of the theft can be viewed here.
On 1 July, Marwa al-Sherbini, an Egyptian woman who wore the headscarf and was three months pregnant, was brutally murdered in a Dresden courtroom by a German man of Russian descent who declared ‘you have no right to live’. Liz Fekete of the Institute of Race Relations investigates the climate of tacitly sanctioned bigotry within which this murder happened.
Marwa al-Sherbini was stabbed eighteen times in the space of thirty seconds. It was a frenzied attack, clearly motivated by racism and Islamophobia. Yet the German state and media, have been in a state of denial. The press reported it as a neighbourhood dispute, with headlines such as ‘Murder over quarrel over swing’. Amidst widespread anger in Egypt, the press officer at the German embassy in Cairo declared the murder an isolated case and a ‘criminal act. It has nothing to do with persecution against Muslims’.
As the funeral of Marwa al-Sherbini took place in the northern Egyptian city of Alexandria and attracted huge attention in the Middle East, the German public and media have woken up to the anger that the murder, and its apparent denial, was causing in the Muslim world.
Tearyan Brown became a father when he was 16. He did what a lot of inner-city kids desperate to make money do. He sold drugs. He was arrested and sent to jail three years later for dealing marijuana and PCP on the streets of Trenton, N.J., mostly to white kids driving in from the suburbs. It was a job which saw him robbed at gunpoint and stabbed in the chest. But it made him about $1,400 a week.
Brown, when he got out after three and a half years, was done with street life. He got a job as a security guard and then as a fork lift operator. He eventually made about $30,000 a year. He shepherded his son through high school, then college and a master’s degree. His boy, now 24, is a high school teacher in Texas. Brown would not leave the streets of Trenton but his son would. It made him proud. It gave him hope.
Jonathan Cook reports about the latest phase of Israel’s ethnic cleansing campaign:
Israel’s housing minister called for strict segregation between the country’s Jewish and Arab populations last week as he unveiled plans to move large numbers of fundamentalist religious Jews to Israel’s north to prevent what he described as an “Arab takeover” of the region.
Ariel Atias said he considered it a “national mission” to bring ultra-Orthodox Jews — or Haredim, distinctive for their formal black and white clothing — into Arab areas, and announced that he would also create the north’s first exclusively Haredi town.
The new settlement drive, according to Atias, is intended to revive previous failed efforts by the state to “Judaize,” or create a Jewish majority in, the country’s heavily Arab north.
The Dutch crypto-fascist MP Geert Wilders, who has been recently banned from the UK with the Home Office viewing his presence as a “threat to one of the fundamental interests of society“, says that the sequel to his first movie Fitna will focus on “how the forces of Islamization are specifically targeting Israel in a fight against all free societies.” In an interview with Haaretz, he not only commended Avigdor Liberman for his electoral succes and said he is “proud” of the similarities between his own Party for Freedom and Yisrael Beiteinu but calls the “two-state solution is an internal Israeli matter“. His “personal belief is that there is a two state solution for the Palestinians. One of those states is called Jordan.” Whilst such statements are nothing new from Wilders, the fact that he seized 15% (2nd place) of the vote in the Dutch European Parliament elections means that he’s becoming a political force to be reckoned with.
Israel will be a major part of Geert Wilders’ next film on Islam, the rightist Dutch legislator said last week in an interview for Haaretz. He praised Avigdor Lieberman, observing “similarities” between Yisrael Beiteinu and the Party for Freedom – a small movement which has grown to become Holland’s second most popular.
Wilders, a controversial anti-immigration politician, rose to international fame last year when he released a 14-minute film entitled Fitna, which attempts to portray what he considers as Islam’s “violent nature.” The film, which has been viewed by millions online, provoked mass protests throughout the Muslim world.
Perhaps dismayed by the cabinet’s decision to reject Lieberman’s ‘loyalty oath’ proposal, Jewish communities in the central Galilee are taking matters into their own hands. Call it grassroots fascism. Jonathan Cook reports:
A community in northern Israel has changed its bylaws to demand that new residents pledge support for “Zionism, Jewish heritage and settlement of the land” in a thinly-veiled attempt to block Arab applicants from gaining admission.
Critics are calling the bylaw, adopted by Manof, home to 170 Jewish families in the Galilee, a local “loyalty oath” similar to a national scheme recently proposed by the far-right party of the government minister Avigdor Lieberman.
Other Jewish communities in the central Galilee — falling under the umbrella of a regional council known as Misgav — are preparing similar bylaws in response to a court petition filed by an Arab couple hoping to build a home in Misgav.
When Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gave Obama a copy of Eduardo Galeano’s Open Veins of Latin America it became an instant success on Amazon. At least Galeano’s book well deserves to be promoted and to be read by Obama.
Benjamin Netanyahu, or “Bibi” (aka, his kindergarten name), just visited president Obama in the White House where he handed him a copy of a book by Mark Twain. Tom Segev observes:
“Mark Twain despised the Arabs and Islam in general. He thought they were ‘filthy, brutish, ignorant, unprogressive [and] superstitious.’ That is a good reason for Israel’s prime minister to give Twain’s book as a gift to the president of the United States.”
Now, isn’t that a nice edifying reason for Bibi to push Twain’s book on Obambi?
Observation: Twain’s The Innocents Abroad (an account of his ‘pilgrimage’ to the holy land where he sees few arabs) has long been a staple of Zionist propaganda who have used it to claim that Palestine was a ‘land without a people’. It is featured in the propaganda handbookThe Myths and Factsfrom which it was picked up by Joan Peters for her famous hoaxFrom Time Immemorial, and from there it was borrowed by Alan Dershowitz.
I don’t quite know why, but hypocrisy is the element in political discourse which catalyses my most murderous responses. Perhaps it’s because I like language, or respect it, and believe it shouldn’t be raped.
The case against 12 Muslim men involved in what Gordon Brown described as a “major terrorist plot” amounted to one email and a handful of ambiguous telephone conversations, it emerged last night after all the men were released without charge.
Eleven Pakistani students and one British man were freed after extensive searches of 14 addresses in North-west England failed to locate evidence of terrorist activity, according to security sources. Police did not find any explosives, firearms, target lists, documents or any material which could have been used to carry out an attack. Yesterday, the Government’s own reviewer of terrorism legislation said he would investigate the case.
The Home Office said it would deport the 11 Pakistani men, who are aged 22 to 38 and were in Britain on student visas, because the Government believed they represented a threat to national security.