US Tax Dollars Provide Welfare to the Global Repression Industry!

If American’s think gun violence in the US bad now, things are about to get a whole lot worse with the $38 BILLION US tax dollars of ‘military aid’ going to Israel and $60 BILLION to Saudi Arabia.
Not only will this trillion dollar hand out to military contractors and arms dealers, justified by the illegal, immoral ‘war on terror’ will be used to kill civilians abroad – it comes at the expense of much needed funding for: education, healthcare, affordable housing, infrastructure & everything else that’s in shambles in the US.
Still this war against the people, is not limited to those abroad. As Jeff Halper notes:
This type weaponry for everything from counterinsurgency to combating refugees to Ferguson to the Occupy Movement should send the message: the Occupation is here in our community. As our armies, police forces and paranoid-induced civilians are being “israelized,” the rest of us are being palestinianized.”

So here is an Israeli weapons company, Israel Weapons Industries (IWI), announcing a ten-fold increase in ammunition sales to the US of $66 million, a third of it geared to the civilian market. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. IWI, the manufacturers of the most famous submachine gun in the world, the Uzi, recently opened a manufacturing plant in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. http://iwi.us

What IWI is producing and selling is chilling: powerful military weapons that have been “civilianized” so that they can be used by police and civilians. The Uzi, for example, has been made into a large pistol, so the next time you’re stopped by your local police (or if you’re black or poor, shot at by your local police), they could be pulling from their holsters Uzi machine gun pistols.

Besides supplying weapons and ammo to the US army, IWI is targeting two American populations. First, the police. It is encouraging the militarization of US police by producing a range of semi-automatic rifles, machine guns and other “hybrid” military/police weapons, and using local police to lobby in their departments — and Congress –for IWI weaponry.

Second, IWI targets the huge American civilian market (Americans, about 4% of the world’s population, own 250 million small arms, about 40% of the world’s total). In fact, on the IWI US website is an icon urging Americans to support the gun lobby. So IWI produces the X95 combined carbine, assault rifle and submachine gun. Why a carbine component? Would you use an X95 to hunt deer? Because assault rifles and submachine guns are (marginally) harder to purchase across the counter; being a normal carbine removes that difficulty. $1200 at your local gun shop (or maybe Walmart’s) will buy you one.

I’m back..

Fifteen years ago to the day, on 9/11 I was so appalled by the decision of the US to invade Iraq, I decided then that I would drop everything and commit my life to being the change I wanted to see. During this time, despite not having all the luxuries in the world, I made it work.

Needless to say, it’s been an infinitely long and winding road and I have struggled to find my way professionally. Following the ‘economic collapse’ and the extreme change in housing and employment opportunities I felt forced to give up on activism, in pursuit of the ‘American dream’. I even tried to be “normal” and think about my future/retirement etc. and that’s why i got into insurance…needless to say that didn’t last long! But hey, I tried..

blm

Locking down to Stop Urban Shield at Alameda County Fairgrounds, Pleasanton. Ca. Sept 11, 2016

I am now committed to move towards being able to do my activism full time again, and have recently accepted a p/t position as the West Coast Representative with a publishing company called Just World Books and its sister/nonprofit educational organization Just World Educational. Please check out the amazing books and authors, and let me know if you would like to host an event at your community group, nonprofit org or academic institution.
Please do also keep me in mind for other gigs you think I would be a good fit for!
I know i am blessed and privileged to be able to do this work full time. But it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. If everyone just does whatever little or great in their power, we would be so much better off. One thing we can all do right now is, sign the following petition by Barbara Lee to Congress: Repeal the blank check for endless war. Plus the future just may depend on it. In the words of a native tribal elder, and protector of the water and the earth:
This new millennium will usher in an age of harmony or it will bring the end of life as we know it. Starvation, war, and toxic waste have been the hallmark of the great myth of progress and development that ruled the last millennium. To us, as caretakers of the heart of Mother Earth, falls the responsibility of turning back the powers of destruction. You yourself are the one who must decide
You alone – and only you – can make this crucial choice, to walk in honor or to dishonor your relatives. On your decision depends the fate of the entire World.
Each of us is put here in this time and this place to personally decide the future of humankind.
Did you think the Creator would create unnecessary people in a time of such terrible danger?
Know that you yourself are essential to this world. Understand both the blessing and the burden of that. You yourself are desperately needed to save the soul of this world. Did you think you were put here for something less? In a Sacred Hoop of Life, there is no beginning and no ending. https://ravenredbone.com/…/important-message-from-keeper-o…/ #NODAPL

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It feels good to be back.

Peace, love and revolution♥

Israel’s Illusionary Democracy: Beyond Apartheid

In a recent statement issued by the Movement for Black Lives, a coalition of 60 grassroots organizations within the Black Lives Matter movement, describe Israel as “an apartheid state with over 50 laws on the books that sanction discrimination against the Palestinian people”.  Recognizing this shared history with Palestinians has generated a huge backlash primarily for its use of the words “genocide” and “apartheid” to describe Israel’s system, as well as its support for BDS. Jewish groups of all stripes are ‘stunned’ and ‘outraged’ and even, in many cases have rejected the entire statement altogether.

The saying that occupation exists best in the dark, explains the level of controversy surrounding use of the word genocide and apartheid to describe the Israeli system. It also explains why, what is a simple fact to those acquainted to the reality on the ground, has caused so much confusion and strife to those who are not. When generalities are made, distinctions are muddled and those with the best of intentions are left to interpret meanings, or completely confused by all the insidious details.

Generally speaking there are three views about using ‘apartheid’ to describe Israel’s political system, as compared to South Africa. Zionist defenders are completely against use of the term, charging it as ‘anti-Semitic’, with no meaningful discussion of the issues. By dismissing the criticism, they fail to account for the basic facts on the ground, and reveal their limitations in understanding or wanting to know the severe injustices taking place, in their name. Then there are activists, academic and legal experts who support use of the term. As a matter of convenience, they borrow it from South African apartheid, which most people know to be reprehensible, to make the Palestinian case. They say though it is not entirely representative, the underlying racism and discrimination are the same and due to advances made in South Africa, it is politically expedient to leverage the parallels and draw on the advances of the anti-Apartheid movement, as a case for boycott. Finally, even among Palestinians and solidarity activists, there are internal disagreements by those that argue that, because it is borrowed from South Africa, the term fails to portray the complex nature of the Israeli system and therefore leads to more confusion, instead of further understanding.

Most people would agree that the only way to create a solution and put an end to the violence, is to first engage in an honest analysis of the situation. Still generalities are made, distinctions are muddled and those with the best of intentions are left to interpret meanings, or worse, completely confused by all of the insidious details of the system at work. This can be seen with Jimmy Carter’s well intentioned book titled, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, which actually feeds into these misconceptions. Carter’s assertion is that Apartheid is alive and well in the West Bank and Gaza, but he sidesteps the system within Israel implying that the situation is generally fine. Yet, within Israel, the parallels more accurately represent Apartheid, and the case can be made originating from the basic laws alone; and the effects lead to the cultural genocide2 of Palestinian-Israeli identity. In fact, the system of domination and militarized control of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, more accurately reflects one on the path of a slow, but very real ethnic cleansing3.

Regardless of one’s opinion of how to frame the political situation – according to international law, article 1 “apartheid is a crime against humanity and that inhuman acts resulting from the policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination”. In other words an official policy of separation and “economically and politically oppressing the nonwhite population” in South Africa. So actually from within Israel, the parallels more accurately represent apartheid, and the case can be made originating from the basic laws alone.

In addition to the legal system of segregation, it becomes necessary to engage in ethnic cleansing or “mowing the lawn” every few years, as some Israeli lawmakers honestly put it. In fact, the system in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, more accurately reflects one on the path of a slow, but very real genocide which is defined under international law as: “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part1; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and]forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

Still Israeli leaders know to the outside world, they must walk the fine line of upholding the appearance of a democracy, while maintaining its Jewish character. Thus, the conflict for both, extremely dependent peoples – becomes ultimately, a war of public opinion. Perhaps Israel’s main success in battle, lies in its public relations campaign. Since its inception in 1948, it has waged in the world’s most cunning PR campaign in history. How to make it possible for Jews escaping transfer, persecution and genocide, would flee directly to a land where they committed transfer, persecution and genocide – of millions of Palestinians – which continues today.

Just last week such a public relations stunt designed to make the Israeli government appear to show compassion (for animals) and win global support, was the rescue of zoo animals from besieged Gaza. In the article Israel helps evacuate animals as ‘world’s worst zoo’ in Gaza closes Vienna-based animal rights group declares, “Due to poor conditions and the lack of ability to continue proper care for the animals in the zoo of Khan Yunis, we were asked to assist and coordinate the transfer of these animals to zoos in Israel and around the world.” The implication is that Palestinian savages can’t even take care of animals. Meanwhile there’s not one single mention of the completely debilitating siege, lack of access to food, clean water and building supplies, or the indiscriminate bombings. “All the while there were sounds of explosions in the background, reminding us where we are and what the animals had to endure” fully displaying who the true savages are by prioritizing rescuing zoo animals, from their own barbarity; over the starved and besieged people of Gaza.

Even some well meaning supporters of a ‘two-state solution’, point to Palestinians within Israel who are allowed to vote, as if this act alone implies a functional democracy. Adding to the profound confusion, is that it appears to be one of the most multi-racial places on earth! Of course racism against Black Jews within Israeli society is well documented, yet largely dismissed. While in South Africa, the practice of racism was much easier to identify, due to separate laws for “Whites”, versus “non-Whites”. Yet in Israel, despite the color of your skin — your status under law is determined if you are Jew, (whether you are religious or not-making it a definition of race) or non-Jew.

The Formula for Dispossession
Since its inception, the very basis of Zionist ideology is personified in the Israeli ‘Law of Return’ of 1950, which states very clearly that any Jew in the world – spanning three generations, are allowed to ‘return’ to the ‘promised land’ of over 2000 years ago. This law stands in stark contrast to laws for Palestinians which forbids 6 million Palestinians who were displaced in the wars of 1948 and 1967, from returning to their own homes of less than several decades ago.

Jewish returnees need a place to live! Since 1950, the “Absentee Property Law”, has ensured the new immigrant settlers a comfortable home, initially fully in tact with its cherished former inhabitants belongings. by applying this law transfer was ensured, for those forced to leave their property after 1948,  and the same law was later applied to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza after the 1967 war.

Meanwhile Palestinian residents of Jerusalem experience the destruction of property and economic opportunities, cultural identity and heritage. Under occupation, they are considered “permanent residents,” whose residency permits can be taken away if they go abroad for more than 7 years or without a re-entry permit. Jews may have dual citizenship, but a non-Jewish Jerusalemite loses their residency if acquiring additional citizenship.

Palestinian communities in East Jerusalem also endure the same systematic process as the West Bank, in which the Wall which leads to house demolitions, property confiscation, forced displacement, isolation and a complete denial of access to social services etc. Such practices found in Jerusalem, can be widely seen extending from the Galilee, to the Nakab and the Jordan Valley, also known as the ‘Judea Triangle’ – and are entirely indicative of what is taking place in the West Bank. When added with the sum of its parts, the greater context and an objective analysis, the recipe is clear to see.

It does not take a mathematical genius to recognize the agenda at work, once the practices and the formula is understood. Since the founding of Israel in 1948, the writing was on the wall as the basic laws supplemental policies equal the clearing of Palestinians, while populating the land with Zionist settlers. An objective analysis is critically needed to see beyond the smokescreen of misinformation.

Despite minor differences in practice, Zionists across the board agree on one thing: the right of a Jewish state to exist. For Palestinians here in lies the fundamental, inherent contradiction: Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish democracy, unequivocally means a disaster for Palestinian identity, culture, sovereignty and equality – both within Israel and the oPt. Expansionist and exclusionary policies, do not differentiate within or outside the green line – and they are made possible only through expulsion and marginalization of the natives. In addition to ‘regular’ apartheid of separation – or Palestinian banto-state hood, it becomes necessary to take it beyond Apartheid – in order to fulfill the divine prophecy of ‘Eretz’, or Greater Israel of which Zionism is based.

Despite minor differences, Zionists agree on one thing: the right of a Jewish state to exist. Here in lies the fundamental, inherent contradiction: Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, unequivocally means a disaster for Palestinian identity, culture, sovereignty and equality. Expansionist and exclusionary policies, do not differentiate within or outside the green line – and are made possible only through expulsion and marginalization of Palestinians.  What is obvious, is that Israel as a state ‘for the Jews’, leads directly to the oppression and subjugation of Palestinians. Herein, lies the inherent contradiction and underlying racism: the implication is that it is naïve, unrealistic, perhaps ideal but definitely impossible, to live as equals on this land, if Israel continues to be allowed to define itself exclusively as a Jewish state.

The struggle for justice is universal and one need not be Palestinian or Black to see the truth, as honest Israeli editor stated in his article  Zionism Today is an Illusion “the occupation and apartheid will necessarily lead to the creation of a binational state — one that is, in essence, anti-Zionist. Anyone ever expecting Israel to end the occupation, either voluntarily or via international pressure, needs to think again. We are on course to become a binational state, and Jews should plan accordingly.  And any Jew who believes this binational state will necessarily be a hell of religious, tribal and fundamentalist war will just have to go back to the Diaspora.”

After decades of complete ineptitude of so called global ‘leaders’, Palestinians, #BLM and our supporters, are done relying on others for a solution – to the illusion of democracy, in Israel or the US. Towards that end the Movement for Black Rights has declared its support for Boycott Divestment Sanctions and #Arabs4BlackLives has responded with its unequivocal support. It is due time for those on the front lines, to define in our own terms and claim our rights, in practice, as recognized by all human rights and international law standards-and end the acquiescence of apartheid and genocide, in part and in full–both here, in historic Palestine and beyond.

 

A shortened version of this article can be found originally published at TeleSur English here.