zaterdag 3 december 2022

Fascism: Israeli Style

 DECEMBER 2, 2022

Fascism: Israeli Style


Photograph Source: eddiedangerous – CC BY 2.0

Israelis dismiss charges of “apartheid against Palestinians” as anti-Semitic propaganda, but Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government will confirm the apartheid nature of the regime, and will provide hints of fascism, Israeli-style.  Netanyahu is not a fascist, but he is a racist and he is considering appointing to his government people who are dangerous racists.  No government in Israel over the past seven decades has had government appointees so alien to the ideals that accompanied the creation of Israel.

The new minister for national security (formerly internal security) will be Itamar Ben Gvir, who will control the Border Patrol units in the West Bank that have participated in numerous violent acts against innocent Palestinians.  Ben Gvir is an acolyte of Meir Kahane, a fascist who committed numerous crimes against Israelis before he was assassinated.  Ben Gvir’s party, Jewish Power, will control the Ministry for Development of the Negev and the Galilee.  His party’s new Ministry of Heritage will be responsible for historical and archeological sites in the West Bank.

The new minister for finance will be Bezalel Smotrich, who will try to control the West Bank Civil Administration that is currently directed by the Defense Ministry.  Smotrich and Ben Gvir will do their best to limit the powers of the Defense Ministry, particularly on the West Bank.  Their policies will undermine Israeli relations with those Arab states that recognize Israel, particularly the UAE, Bahrain, and Morocco.  According to Yossi Alpher, a distinguished Israeli security analyst, they may even try to annex the West Bank while the global community is concentrating on Ukraine, Russia, and Iran.

The mainstream media have downplayed the arrest records of both Ben Gvir and Smotrich, which reflects their fascist actions over the past decades.  Netanyahu himself is currently on trial on multiple charges of corruption, and he is expected to weaken Israel’s judicial branch in order to escape conviction for corruption.  Alpher believes that the Netanyahu government will try to reduce the power of the High Court of Justice.  Netanyahu’s highest priority, like that of his good friend Donald Trump, is staying out of jail.

A new deputy minister in the office of the President, Avi Maoz, is dedicated to bolstering Jewish identity among Israelis and is a strong opponent of Israeli Jews who are not Orthodox.  He is anti-LGBTQ, and against women serving in the military.  References to “Jewish identity” and “heritage” point to fascist policies, according to Alpher.

What does this mean?  Well, at a minimum the new coalition government will try to legalize at least 70 illegal settlements or “outposts,” which are currently a violation of Israeli law and have at least 25,000 occupants.  Palestinians in East Jerusalem will be policed in a more militant and violent fashion.  Law enforcement generally will be politicized, and fascists will be in greater control of the day-to-day workings of the government.  It can be expected that Area C of the West Bank, which represents more than 60% of the West Bank and is under some Palestinian control, will face de facto annexation.  There are more than 200,000 Palestinian residents in Area C; they will presumably face greater pressures to emigrate.

Israeli policy toward Gaza is worse, but rarely gets discussed in the international press.  In addition to using overwhelming military force against the Palestinians in Gaza, Israel has limited their use of electricity; forces sewage to be dropped into the sea; makes sure that water remains undrinkable; and ensures fuel shortages that cause sanitation plants to be shut down.  Gaza is essentially an outdoor prison, and Netanyahu will continue the policies of enforced desperation among the innocent civilians who must try to live in these conditions.  If there is another Intifada, Israel has only itself to blame.

It is long past time for the U.S. government and the Jewish diaspora in the United States and Europe to press the Israelis for a more humane policy toward its Palestinian community as well as the need for a more centralist representation in their new coalition government.  No Israeli government in recent years has been prepared to stop the violence against the Palestinians in the occupied territories.  No U.S. government in recent years has done anything to put pressure on the Israelis.  Meanwhile, Israelis receives more military aid from the United States than any government other than Ukraine.  Israelis play tough; it’s time for the United States to do so as well.

Melvin A. Goodman is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and a professor of government at Johns Hopkins University.  A former CIA analyst, Goodman is the author of Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA and National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism. and A Whistleblower at the CIA. His most recent books are “American Carnage: The Wars of Donald Trump” (Opus Publishing, 2019) and “Containing the National Security State” (Opus Publishing, 2021). Goodman is the national security columnist for

Remember: Europa tikt Nederland op vingers over Pechtold-appartement

Europa tikt Nederland op vingers over Pechtold-appartement

23 juni 2018 13:17

De Raad van Europa heeft Nederland op de vingers getikt over de integriteit van Kamerleden. In een rapport wordt verwezen naar D66-leider Alexander Pechtold, die een appartement in Scheveningen cadeau kreeg maar niet opgaf bij het geschenkenregister van de Kamer.

Het rapport is afkomstig van GRECO, het anticorruptieorgaan van de Raad van Europa. "Deze zaak laat zien dat de Kamer integriteitsregels moet invoeren en handhaven", zeggen de opstellers van het rapport, die het 'spijtig' noemen dat dat nog niet is gebeurd.

Politieke ophef

Het rapport van GRECO verscheen ruim een week geleden. In het stuk wordt gekeken hoe Nederland omgaat met integriteitsvoorschriften voor overheden en de rechterlijke macht, die in 2013 zijn opgesteld.

Pechtold noemde het krijgen van het appartement een privézaak. De gift veroorzaakte politieke ophef, maar het presidium van de Tweede Kamer zag af van een onderzoek. PVV-leider Geert Wilders eist nu dat het presidium de zaak toch onderzoekt en Pechtold ter verantwoording roept. Het GRECO-rapport staat woensdag op de agenda van het presidium, liet een woordvoerster weten.

Zo'n 200 mensen deden aangifte tegen Pechtold. Die aangiftes liggen nu bij de procureur-generaal van de Hoge Raad.

The Curse of Lifestyle Leftism

The Curse of Lifestyle Leftism

Thomas Fazi

Image for article: The Curse of Lifestyle Leftism
June 19, 2022

Die Selbstgerechten: Mein Gegenprogramm—für Gemeinsinn und Zusammenhalt
By Sahra Wagenknecht
Campus Verlag, 345 pages, €24.95 ($27.80)

By Sahra Wagenknecht
Campus Verlag, 345 pages, €24.95 ($27.80)

Germany’s Die Linke (Left) party is in crisis. Born in 2005 from the merger of an East-German left faction and a smaller West-German one, Die Linke’s support skyrocketed to 12 percent of the vote in 2009’s elections to the Bundestag, a level of support the party maintained for nearly a decade—to the alarm of the political establishment. More recently, however, the party’s electoral support and labor-union base have shrunk. In last year’s elections, Die Linke garnered less than 5 percent of ballots and lost nearly half its seats—its worst result ever. Its share of the union vote slid to 6 percent, down from 17 percent in 2009.

Until recently, Sahra Wagenknecht was one of Die Linke’s most prominent members. Catapulted to the Bundestag in 2009, she was a deputy leader of the party from 2010 to 2014. In the Bundestag, she served as parliamentary co-chairwoman of her party from 2015 to 2019 and as leader of the opposition (against Chancellor Angela Merkel’s grand coalition) until 2017.

Wagenknecht announced her resignation as parliamentary leader in November 2019, citing burnout. Yet many believe her decision was at least partly motivated by the party becoming increasingly captured by the kind of “progressive neoliberalism” (to borrow Nancy Fraser’s term) that seems to have infected, to one degree or another, all Western left-wing parties, precipitating their decline.

The neoliberal malaise of the modern left is the subject of Wagenknecht’s latest book, Die Selbstgerechten (“The Self-Righteous”), published last year. Over the past few decades, Wagenknecht argues, the left has undergone nothing less than a full-blown anthropological mutation. She writes,

‘Left’ was once synonymous with the pursuit of justice and social security, resistance, and revolt against the upper-middle classes, and commitment to those who were not born into a wealthy family and had to support themselves through their (often backbreaking) labor. Being on the left meant pursuing the goal of protecting these people from poverty, humiliation, and exploitation, helping them climb the social ladder, and making their lives easier, more secure, and more grounded. Those on the left believed in the ability of politics to shape society within the confines of the democratic nation-state. They believed this state could and should shape and correct market outcomes. Of course, there have always been great differences even among supporters of the left. But on the whole, one thing was clear: Left parties—whether they were social-democratic, socialist or, in many Western-European countries, communist—didn’t represent the elites, but the most disadvantaged.

And, perhaps most important, the members and militants of left parties largely hailed from the lower-middle working classes they aspired to represent. Wagenknecht calls this the “traditional left.” Today, it has all but disappeared.

Rather, today’s progressive movement has come to be dominated by what Wagenknecht calls the “lifestyle left.” Its followers, who often tend to (erroneously, Wagenknecht contends) describe themselves as left-liberals, “no longer place social and political-economic problems at the center of left-wing politics. In the place of such concerns, they promote questions regarding lifestyle, consumption habits, and moral attitudes.”

“Left militants … have become not only culturally, but even physically detached from the proletariat.”

Lifestyle leftists are cosmopolitan and staunchly “pro-European” (that is, pro-European Union). They care about the climate and stand up for emancipation, immigration, and sexual minorities. They are convinced that the nation-state is, or should be, on the verge of extinction. Members of the lifestyle left also tend to prize individual autonomy and self-realization above tradition and community. Since lifestyle leftists hardly ever suffer real financial hardship, they show little real interest in working-class economic concerns. Of course, the goal remains that of a “just” and “nondiscriminatory” society, but the path to get there no longer passes through the old themes of the political economy—wages, pensions, taxes, unemployment benefits, and the like—but through symbols and language.

This is true not just of mainstream center-left parties, such as the Democrats in the United States, Britain’s Labour, or Germany’s Social-Democratic Party, which have openly embraced neoliberal economics, but also of “radical” left parties. The latter might take a critical stand against neoliberalism and even capitalism, and they may even openly advocate “socialism.” Yet as far apart as the mainstream and radical left may seem at first glance, their “cultural” outlook is very similar: urban, cosmopolitan, pro-globalization, pro-immigration, pro-identity politics. They are equally oblivious to the fact that the institutions and policies they support—the European Union, poorly managed immigration, “flexible” labor markets—have benefited big capital while making the lives of working-class people more precarious. Of course, these policies have also favored the material interests of academic and intellectual middle classes in metropoles, which, uncoincidentally, happens to be the social base of the new left.

“Radical” leftists in particular seem to ignore the ways in which their cultural outlook tends to reinforce the economic injustices they claim to fight. As Wagenknecht writes, “left liberalism and its identity politics, which urges everyone to define their identity on the basis of their origin, skin color, sex, or sexual inclination … creates rifts precisely where solidarity is urgently needed.” The result is a loss of “social union,” which everywhere is replaced by “separate and distinct groups. This doesn’t just undermine solidarity in workplaces; it also destroys the sense of belonging of the community as a whole, that is, the most important precondition for solidarity and social justice.”

Part of the problem is that left militants, of all shades, have become not only culturally, but even physically detached from the proletariat. Wagenknecht laments the fact that, “to the extent that the well-off, big-city academics meet the less-advantaged in real life at all, it is in the form of cheap service workers, who clean their flats, carry their parcels, and serve them sushi in the restaurant.” While these militants and intellectuals claim to speak on behalf of “the workers,” in reality they despise and decry the values and lifestyle of the underprivileged—their problems, their grievances, their anger.

To the left’s eyes, every critic of immigration is a Nazi in disguise, just like anyone who feels an attachment to his home country; anyone who doesn’t believe in transferring more and more power to undemocratic institutions such as the European Union is a nationalist; anyone who criticizes higher fuel and heating-oil prices is a climate-change denier; anyone who doubts the wisdom of continued lockdowns and raises legitimate questions about the Covid vaccines is a conspiracy theorist and an anti-vaxxer; anyone who is afraid of the potentially disastrous consequences of a conflict with Russia is a Kremlin stooge.

Indeed, as Wagenknecht notes, extreme intolerance of dissent is another common denominator among all factions of the modern left. This leads Wagenknecht to conclude that these so-called liberal leftists are neither left—in the traditional sense of the word—nor liberal: While “they support an open and tolerant society, they tend to show an incredible intolerance toward all opinions other than their own, to a degree that leaves nothing to envy to the far right.”

“What makes the representatives of this fashionable left so unpleasant in the eyes of many and especially the less fortunate,” Wagenknecht writes,

is precisely the innate tendency of liberal leftists to judge their privileges as personal virtues, and to present their worldview and lifestyle as the quintessence of responsibility and progressivism. It is the self-satisfaction of those who consider themselves morally superior, which happens frequently on the lifestyle left, the too-insistent conviction that they are on the side of good, right and reason. … It is the undeniable lack of empathy toward all those who have to fight much harder for a bit of well-being and who, perhaps also for this reason, tend to be a bit rougher around the edges.

It’s no wonder, she argues, that “the left today no longer stands for justice in the eyes of many people, but above all for self-righteousness.” The instinctive repulsion many ordinary people feel for the left nowadays is, of course, one of the main reasons for its electoral decline. However, the truth is even more uncomfortable, Wagenknecht suggests: Lower-middle working classes today tend to overwhelmingly vote for right-wing figures and parties, such as France’s Marine Le Pen and Law and Justice in Poland, because the latter tend to offer more redistributive and pro-labor—that is, more “left-wing”—economic platforms than nominally left parties.

To reverse this decline, Wagenknecht makes the case for what she calls “left conservatism”: a left that returns to its original mission of improving the lives of the working and middle classes but also understands that doing so means rejecting globalism—turning, instead, to the democratic nation-state as the only terrain on which it is possible to collectively challenge capitalism. Such a left appreciates that states should take care of the well-being of their own citizens, especially the most underprivileged, before they can for newcomers from far-flung places. Such a left, finally, recognizes people’s need for “recognition, belonging, and community.”

Wagenknecht urges the left to understand that many people “subscribe to conservative values, because they want stable communities, just like the workers of the past. And that an orderly world, stability, and security in life, democratic societies with a true feeling of belonging and trust in other people, are not only the past, but can also be the future.” Hear, hear.

Nederlands Elftal een Puinhoop


The Lies in the World


I didn’t think I would pay attention to the story about YouTube blocking my interview on the channel of British journalist Mike Jones. If you look at what platforms and social networks like YouTube and Facebook and the media in Europe and America have been doing to the Russian channels RT, Sputnik, and many others over the past few years, it comes as no surprise at all. Can you imagine me as a child of Donbass, for example, on CNN? Or the New York Times? Spiegel? I don’t think so. What I and many other war survivors say is of no interest to those publications and platforms, which I’m not surprised about either.

But in this story, as with “Myrotvorets,” [Peacemaker] I could not keep silent because YouTube did a disgusting thing to a journalist and just a good person who shows the truth about the events in Donbass. He is not engaged in propaganda, he is just like many journalists who have been here – he speaks about what he sees. And if you look at the interview we did with Mike in Lugansk, you can see that we almost never talked about politics. I think those who complained about the video were very offended that we talked to him about artistic creativity without hiding from shelling in the basement.

Many may say that a teenager has no right to judge this, that this is an adult matter. But as a child of war, as someone who has survived and experienced it since 2014, who knows what shelling is, I still have the right to do so. I’m sure there will be more and more journalists like Mike Jones, John Miller, John Mark Dougan. You can’t stop the truth. It can’t be stopped by YouTube or any other video hosting service.

What they are doing reminds me a lot of the actions of the Ukrainian website Mirotvorets. While they don’t yet call for killing or post the addresses of everyone in the world, they are still calling for the killing of many, and posting their addresses.

I wouldn’t want to live in such a “right” society, where only one side’s opinion is allowed and they try to deprive the other side of the right to speak. It’s very funny and sad to see how, for example, Mirotvorets fights with me. In the last six months I gave numerous interviews to Western journalists. Seven of them ended up on the “Mirotvorets” list after interviewing me. It is a shame that YouTube is repeating the mistakes of this nationalist site by blocking my interview with Mike. It’s a shame for Mike and his followers. But, you know, they can’t shut our mouths anymore. We are stronger than you think.

Thanks to all my friends in Europe and America who are not hiding from the inconvenient truth. Thanks to Mike for the interview. As the character in one of my favorite Jim Carrey movies, Truman, said as he left the fake world made up for him, “Good morning! Good afternoon! And good night, just in case!”

Faina Savenkova

EU's Hypocrisy Analyzed


Irish lawmaker Richard Boyd Barrett calls out double standards in dealing with the Palestinian cause and other causes.

ISRAEL. BURNING CHILDREN ALIVE Syrian Girl  @Partisangirl Israel burning children alive in refugee tent in Rafah. Thi...