Thursday, May 18, 2017

A link to an interesting discussion of Trump and fascism...unique because it is not hysterical

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/40593-dancing-with-the-devil-trump-s-politics-of-fascist-collaboration

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Black Bloc and political shortcuts

A letter to the editor of Socialist Worker by guy Miller
May 15, 2017

We believe that the Weatherman action is anarchistic, opportunistic, individualistic. It's chauvinistic, it's Custeristic. And that's the bad part about it. It's Custeristic in that its leaders take people into situations where the people can be massacred--and they call that a revolution. It's nothing but child's play, it's folly. We think these people may be sincere but they're misguided. They're muddle heads and they're scatterbrains."

-- Fred Hampton of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense
commenting on the 1969 "Days of Rage" action staged in Chicago by the Weather "Underground"


THE FIRST virtue every revolutionary must learn is patience. With patience comes the wisdom to understand that there are no shortcuts. No bomb tossed. No senseless confrontation with the armed state. No shop window broken.

None of these can substitute for the hundreds of thousands of trained cadre ready to dedicate their lives to revolutionary change. None of these can substitute for the tens of millions of women and men ready to bring about fundamental change. The raw material needed for a revolution that could overthrow the constraints of capitalism will be found in unexpected places and with unexceptional people.

They will be found among suburban "soccer moms" ready to dedicate their time and energy to single-payer health care. They will come from high schools where African American students decide to join the fight Black Lives Matter.

This past May Day, thousands of undocumented workers took part in marches and demonstrations across the country. In Chicago, the Black Bloc was also present. In a coordinated action, they broke from the ranks of the march and spray-painted a Citibank branch.

Now the police had the excuse to wade into the crowd and arrest whoever they felt like. The immigrants without papers would have been subject to deportation, broken lives and shattered families. The Black Bloc adventurists would have been subject to a small fine.

To my way of thinking, the trade-off between the safety of undocumented immigrants and the self-aggrandizement of the would-be anarchists is a no brainer: The former is part of the solution, the latter is part of the problem.
Guy Miller, Chicago

Israel tutors its children in fear and loathing


Israel/Palestine Jonathan Cook on May 16, 2017 6 Comments

A display of Israeli-style community policing before an audience of hundreds of young schoolchildren was captured on video last week. Were the 10-year-olds offered road safety tips, advice on what to do if they got lost, or how to report someone suspicion hanging around the school?

No. In Israel, they do things differently. The video shows four officers staging a mock anti-terror operation in a park close to Tel Aviv. The team roar in on motorbikes, firing their rifles at the “terrorist”.

As he lies badly wounded, the officers empty their magazines into him from close range. In Israel it is known as “confirming the kill”. Everywhere else it is called an extrajudicial execution or murder. The children can be heard clapping.

It was an uncomfortable reminder of a near-identical execution captured on film last year. A young army medic, Elor Azaria, is seen shooting a bullet into the head of an incapacitated Palestinian in Hebron. A military court sentenced him to 18 months for manslaughter in February.

There has been little sign of soul-searching since. Most Israelis, including government officials, call Azaria a hero. In the recent religious festival of Purim, dressing up as Azaria was a favorite among children.

There is plenty of evidence that Israel’s security services are still regularly executing real Palestinians.

The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem denounced the killing last week of a 16-year-old Jerusalem schoolgirl, Fatima Hjeiji, in a hail of bullets. She had frozen to the spot after pulling out a knife some distance from a police checkpoint. She posed no threat, concluded B’Tselem, and did not need to be killed.

The police were unrepentant about their staged execution, calling it “a positive, empowering” demonstration for the youngsters. The event was hardly exceptional.

In communities across Israel this month, the army celebrated Israel’s Independence Day by bringing along its usual “attractions” – tanks, guns and grenades – for children to play with, while families watched army dogs sicking yet more “terrorists”.

In a West Bank settlement, meanwhile, the army painted youngsters’ arms and legs with shrapnel wounds. Blood-like liquid dripped convincingly from dummies with amputated limbs. The army said the event was a standard one that “many families enjoyed”.

The purpose of exposing children at an impressionable age to so much gore and killing is not hard to divine. It creates traumatised children, distrustful and fearful of anyone outside their tribe. That way they become more pliant soldiers, trigger-happy as they rule over Palestinians in the occupied territories.

A few educators have started to sense they are complicit in this emotional and mental abuse.

Holocaust Memorial Day, marked in Israeli schools last month, largely avoids universal messages, such as that we must recognise the humanity of others and stand up for the oppressed. Instead, pupils as young as three are told the Holocaust serves as a warning to be eternally vigilant – that Israel and its strong army are the only things preventing another genocide by non-Jews.

Last year Zeev Degani, principal of one Israel’s most prestigious schools, caused a furor when he announced his school would no longer send pupils on annual trips to Auschwitz. This is a rite of passage for Israeli pupils. He called the misuse of the Holocaust “pathological” and intended to “generate fear and hatred” to inculcate extreme nationalism.

It is not by accident that these trips – imparting the message that a strong army is vital to Israel’s survival – take place just before teenagers begin a three-year military draft.

Increasingly, they receive no alternative messages in school. Degani was among the few principals who had been inviting Breaking the Silence, a group of whistle-blowing soldiers, to discuss their part in committing war crimes.

In response, the education minister, Naftali Bennett, leader of the settlers’ party, has barred dissident groups like Breaking the Silence. He has also banned books and theatre trips that might encourage greater empathy with those outside the tribe.

Polls show this is paying off. Schoolchildren are even more ultra-nationalist than their parents. More than four-fifths think there is no hope of peace with the Palestinians.

But these cultivated attitudes don’t just sabotage peacemaking. They also damage any chance of Israeli Jews living peacefully with the large minority of Palestinian citizens in their midst.

Half of Jewish schoolchildren believe these Palestinians, one in five of the population, should not be allowed to vote in elections. This month the defence minister, Avigdor Lieberman, called the minority’s representatives in parliament “Nazis” and suggested they should share a similar fate.

This extreme chauvinism was translated last week into legislation that defines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people around the world, not its citizens. The Palestinian minority are effectively turned into little more than resident aliens in their own homeland.

Degani and others are losing the battle to educate for peace and reconciliation. If a society’s future lies with its children, the outlook for Israelis and Palestinians is bleak indeed.

A version of this article first appeared in the National, Abu Dhabi

- See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2017/05/israel-children-loathing/?utm_source=Mondoweiss+List&utm_campaign=fa5e506c57-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b86bace129-fa5e506c57-309260894&mc_cid=fa5e506c57&mc_eid=b1e0e2d3d7#sthash.01JttJ8e.dpuf

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Ridiculous Trump scandal du jour: he gave the Russkies state secrets

Hatuey's Ashes

The TaĆ­no cacique Hatuey led a guerrilla campaign against the Spanish conquest of Cuba. After refusing baptism, he was burned at the stake in Yara, Cuba, on February 2, 1512.

by Jose Perez

Monday, May 15, 2017
Ridiculous Trump scandal du jour: he gave the Russkies state secrets
Hyperventilating like they just ran a 4-minute mile, the gasbags on CNN, NPR, PBS, and the rest of the alphabet soup are aghast at what the Washington Post just revealed: Last Friday Trump gave the Russians information so secret that it has a "burn before reading" classification (or something like that).


The original version of the Trump-Putin plot
The Washington Post, which broke the story, says the info revealed to Russia is that the Islamic State is planning to use a laptop bomb on an airplane. Worse, Trump mentioned a city.

Since the United States and the Brits banned the use of laptops on airplanes from certain cities in the Middle East, this was hardly a secret. It was chickenfeed. (For those unfamiliar with the concept, watch the insanely great Cold War spy thriller, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy featuring Alec Guinness as George Smiley).

Anyways, telling the Russian supposedly endangers out relations in getting info out of the country that ratted out the Islamic State. But does anyone seriously think that Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia or anyone else in the region that cooperates with and relies on the United States is going to sanction Trump?

Yesterday, Amy Goodman had Watergate-era congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman on Democracy Now accusing Trump of treason. Speaking about the firing of Comey, she said:
What was on his mind when he fired him? The Russian investigation.... And stopping that could mean that we have in place a president of the United States in cahoots with the Russian government at this very moment.
This is just one more variation on the Trump-Putin "collusion" that must be investigated. Collusion to do what? To "meddle." What was the meddling? No one can say.

Moscow gold didn't put trump in the White House because he spent much less than Hillary and has plenty of his own money.
There's no accusation of voting machine rigging or ballot stuffing.
The charge that Russia leaked stuff from the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign is built on the assumption that the KGB are such idiots they'd rather leak to Assange than the New York Times or Washington Post. Almost certainly at least the DNC stuff came from a lone wolf insider. And at any rate, that was not "meddling" but a public service.
RT using its tremendous influence on American public opinion to get Trump elected is absurd, because it has no influence. And anyways, it's free speech.
Finally, Russia is engaged in its most sinister tactic, discrediting American "democracy." As if it needed any more discrediting than the last presidential election, crowned by having the guy who lost by three million votes is proclaimed the winner.

The truth is the Democrats have been trying to whip up a McCarthyite hysteria that Trump is a Russian stooge since before his inauguration, but have been unable to come up with a single concrete act of meddling or shred of proof.

And from everything we know about the Donald's personality and history, the idea that he is Putin's stooge is absurd.He may be an idiot, but he's nobody's fool.

On the other hand, the Democrat Nomenklatura has every interest in diverting attention away from their own catastrophic performance since 2010, crowned by their inability to beat the most unpopular presidential candidate since polling was invented.

They use this to cover up their craven obeisance to Wall Street and other big money who finance their campaigns and on behalf of whom they betray the interests of working people.

But what happened to Medicare for All? Fight for Fifteen? Free tuition to Public Colleges? An end to big money meddling in elections? Can't have that, say the Pelosis, Schumers and Clintons of this world. "We have to appeal to 'centrist' voters." And, oh yeah, expose Russian "meddling."

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The war for ‘The New York Times’

from mondoweiss
Philip Weiss and (((James North))) on April 18, 2017 9 Comments

A war has begun for the soul of The New York Times.


People in the Palestinian solidarity movement criticize the Times all the time — we do; the glass is always half empty — but then so do supporters of Israel. The glass is also half-empty for them. And something you may not have noticed lately is that we are beginning to have victories. There are people at The New York Times who fully comprehend Israel’s crisis and want the newspaper to reflect that reality. They are digging in, and they are under attack. But they are having little victories.

Consider:

— Jodi Rudoren is gone. She was the last New York Times bureau chief in Jerusalem and came out of a firmly Zionist background and could be counted on to offer a warm, fuzzy, pro-Israel slant to any story that was often embarrassing. Even the human rights atrocities of Gaza could be spun by Rudoren (“sliver of opportunity“). She has been replaced by Ian Fisher, who seems like a fair, open-minded reporter who is probably right now in shock at what he is seeing. His hunger strikers piece yesterday was very good. His piece on Banksy’s new hotel — Fisher’s emphasis was the “ugly” wall. Anyone who tells it like he sees it is going to help Palestinians.

— Yesterday the Times International edition ran Marwan Barghouti’s piece saying that Israel is a “moral and political failure.” We know we slammed the Times for burying this piece in the international edition in our dudgeon yesterday. But the amazement is that it ran at all — Barghouti’s explanation that 40 percent of the male Palestinian population has been in Israeli prisons, that his son jailed in the years that Americans go to college, and these prisons are the cradle of a global anti-colonial movement . . . Yes, the piece has come under enormous attack. Israelis including the prime minister are expressing outrage that it ran at all. To the point that the backsliders of the New York Times have appended a clarification filling in what Barghouti was convicted of. “The article . . . neglected to provide sufficient context by stating the offenses of which he was convicted. They were five counts of murder and membership in a terrorist organization . . .” Etc.

Actually, the many Nelson Mandela references were sufficient context; Mandela was also charged with terrorism, the ANC did use violence. But it is a measure of the war that the Times is in that Michael Oren became unhinged over the newspaper’s role:

Shame on NYT for printing libelous op-ed by convicted killer Barghouti, the Palestinian Dylann Roof. Americans would be horrified. So are we

Crazy, yes. But Oren’s right about one thing: the Times is now in play. And where it goes, everyone else will follow.

— Yes, you say: the New York Times hired neoconservative crank Bret Stephens as an op-ed columnist the other day, a great setback to the discourse; Stephens has a long track record of racist statements. But while editorial page editor James Bennet’s announcement was fulsome (“beautiful,” “profound,” “bravery,” “generous,” “thoughtful”), it contained this important signal:

You can expect other additions to our lineup in coming months as we continue to broaden the range of Times debate about consequential questions.

We read this as a sign that a pro-Palestinian columnist is coming, maybe even an anti-Zionist. Bennet knows exactly what Zaid Jilani is saying at the Intercept and what we have been saying here about the Times‘s conservative pro-Israel range. David Brooks’s son served in the Israeli military, for god’s sakes. The Times is getting battered by young people on the left for the fact that Roger Cohen and Tom Friedman’s weary Zionism is the best it has to offer to critics.

And bear in mind, if you’re pro-Israel, you have seen a deficit. Where is the firebreather to replace AM Rosenthal, William Safire and Bill Kristol? Well, you just got Stephens. The Times is in play.

— There is further evidence of the Times-at-war in the pushback to Stephens from within the Times ranks. (Michael Calderone reported on this at Huffpo.) Declan Walsh, the paper’s Cairo bureau chief, tweeted the following over the weekend:

Not cool: new NYT columnist @BretStephensNYT once wrote about the “disease of the Arab mind”.

Max Fisher, the Times “interpreter,” promptly expanded the thought:

I initially assumed it was just a sloppy rhetorical flourish, but the digging in suggests the line was intended to mean exactly what it said

Bret Stephens became defensive about the criticism and slung some more anti-Arab horseshit.

There was a time when journalists at a major newspaper were careful not to criticize that paper publicly. Those days are over, thanks to the internet. Two Times reporters are peeved at the racism of a colleague. They surely speak for many more. (Some of whom read Yakov Hirsch pointing out this racism first, last year: “The Politics of Jewish Ethnocentrism.”)

There was a time when the New York Times was a reliable supporter of Israel. A.M. Rosenthal and Max Frankel begat Ethan Bronner and Jodi Rudoren. We say those days are coming to an end. The shift in American discourse on the Palestinian issue that Bernie Sanders reflected a year ago is happening deep inside the Times too. Younger writers are woke on this question. They’re not going to just shut up about it. The neocons are also digging in. But the coverage is getting better . . . the coverage is getting better. Glass half full.

- See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2017/04/the-york-times/?utm_source=Mondoweiss+List&utm_campaign=04957f876b-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b86bace129-04957f876b-309258354&mc_cid=04957f876b&mc_eid=be8c4195f4#sthash.i1jYczeL.dpuf

Monday, April 17, 2017

Israel and Saudi Arabia: a match made in heaven (or in Washington)

16 Apr 2017 RICARDO VAZ




If we were to believe all the propaganda we would think (the occupation state of) Israel and (the medieval kingdom of) Saudi Arabia were mortal foes. On one hand we have an entity that describes itself as a blooming democracy, an oasis of civilisation amongst barbaric foes, and on the other a royal family that presents itself as the natural leader of the Arabs. Given that there is no greater cause in the Middle East than that of the Palestinians, this would put them severely at odds. In reality, what we have is a brutal, apartheid, settler-colonial state and a backward, Wahhabi/Salafist and oil-reliant monarchy, both spreading terror across the region, each in its own way. What binds them together is their position vis-a-vis the US empire, making them in fact natural allies, something that has started making the rounds publicly.



A recent article appeared in the Zionist bastion that is the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) with the auspicious title “An Open Letter from a Young Saudi to Prince Mohammad bin Salman”. Conceding that it was indeed a young Saudi who wrote it (1), the letter contains the expected rear-end kissing towards the Saudi prince, who is “God’s chosen to lead Saudi Arabia” through the current challenges, the waving of the Iran bogeyman spectre and some other (un)remarkable bits (2).

The most eye-catching bit is the call for an alliance with Israel to confront Iran’s nazi-like (!) threat, and lest it offend the religious fundamentalists, this is justified on religious grounds. This call follows recent declarations by Saudi officials, with former minister Saud al-Faisal, for example, saying “we should normalize relations with the Jewish state”. Nevertheless these public declarations, even if mostly made far away from the Arab public, are a relatively new phenomenon.

With some exceptions, support for the Palestinian cause in the Arab world is overwhelming. And regimes like Saudi Arabia have happily betrayed the Palestinian cause over and over again because they are aware that key to their survival is subservience to the United States, and that an alliance with Israel may boost their regional hegemony prospects. But because their legitimacy to rule is incredibly thin to say the least, royals and officials need to keep pretending in public that they are defending and fighting for the Palestinians.



Zionism and anti-semitism


These public declarations of support for Israel, in the safe English-speaking confines of Washington think tanks, still carry a heavy stench of anti-semitism. The young Saudi’s letter falls into the anti-semitic habit of conflating Jews and Israel as being a single entity.

Prince Turki bin Faisal, a loyal western servant and former ambassador to the US, in the similarly safe space that is the Davos World Economic Forum, talked about the wonders that can be done by joining “our [Arab] brain power, and Jewish wealth”. Of course, a little brain power would have served him to realise that this statement is incredibly anti-semitic, not to mention that it is wealth, and not brain power, that gets people like Prince Turki invited to places like Davos.


Prince Turki (left) and Israeli defence minister Moshe Ya’alon (right) shake hands during the Munich Security Conference in 2016

Religious officials in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries are known for spreading hatred against Shias, Alawites, Christians and Jews. Saudi media even attacked Iran for allowing Jews to live there! However, the mainstream media is always happy to tolerate this kind of anti-semitism from those who lend their support to the Zionist colonisation project, while viciously throwing the “anti-semitic” label at anyone who will not bow down to the occupation of Palestine.



Shared values and moderation


For their part, Israeli officials also tread carefully, but this is essentially to avoid placing a “friend of the colonial project” sticker on useful allies. But statements praising Saudi Arabia as a partner in the region are also becoming common. For example, defence minister Avigdor Lieberman warned that Iran’s (who else!) ultimate goal was undermining Saudi Arabia.

Former minister Tzipi Livni also echoed this view, and in both cases they framed the Middle East as a battle of “good vs. evil”, or as they put it, “moderates vs. radicals”, with Livni going as far as mentioning “shared values”. So Saudi Arabia, the most medieval of regimes, who regularly beheads people on public squares, is somehow considered moderate. As for Israel, there has not been anything moderate about their 70 year history of massacres, colonisation and ethnic cleansing. Then again, “moderate” in this context nowadays stands only for “US ally”.

The common denominator is always highlighting the Iranian threat, with some bending over backwards to connect Iran to bad guys like al-Qaeda. Connecting them to Saudi Arabia, given that 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were Saudi nationals, and that this group, like all extremist groups for that matter, was backed and funded by the Saudis, would have been too easy. Additionally, the Zionist lobby has also been pulling its weight to improve the image of the house of Saud.



Cooperation in Syria


This semantic redefinition of the term “moderate” has been a central feature of the Syrian war. The term has been consistently used to whitewash the extremist nature of rebel groups and to obscure the fact that the US has been supporting, directly or indirectly, groups like al-Qaeda.

For their part, the Saudis have been the main backers of the most extremist groups in the Syrian opposition, continuing their long standing tradition of exporting Salafi terrorism everywhere. The similarities between the takfiri ideology (3) of the most powerful rebel groups and that of Saudi Arabia are no coincidence.


Saudi- and western-backed rebels and ISIS celebrate Israeli strikes against Hezbollah in Syria (cartoon by Carlos Latuff)

But Israel’s involvement in the Syrian war is also worth analysing. For all the talk of being threatened by extremist groups, Israel has been quite comfortable with the presence of jihadi factions like the Nusra front right on their doorstep, in the occupied Golan Heights. Moreover, it has offered medical treatment to injured fighters and there have also been reports of collaboration between these groups and the IDF. Not only that, Israel has frequently bombed targets and assassinated people from the Syrian army and their allies, the most prominent of those being Hezbollah.

Of course, there is no room for morals or principle when it comes to foreign policy. And Israel has never held any moral high ground, for that matter. Simply put, the Israelis have seen the Syrian war as an opportunity to be rid of their most uncomfortable neighbour, as far as official governments go, even if Syrian support for the Palestinian cause has been, and we are being kind here, limited. More than that, Israeli officials are happy to see their most formidable foe, Hezbollah, bogged down in a taxing conflict away from home.

In the greater picture of Middle Eastern geopolitics, Israel and Saudi Arabia always have Iran as their ultimate target. The war against the Syria and Hezbollah, just like the war in Yemen, is meant to attack Iran by weakening and possibly removing its allies (4).



Under the wings of empire


In reality, the secret-come-public cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Israel is only logical given their position vis-a-vis the US Empire, which of course shares the hostility towards Iran, the fiercest resistant to US imperialism in the region.

The US and the Saudis enjoy “strong and friendly relations”, a “special relationship” predicated on oil and weapons sales, which have sky-rocketed with the Saudi war on Yemen. In his incoherent ramblings, president Trump occasionally stumbles upon the (inconvenient) truth, which is that

“Saudi Arabia, if it weren’t for us, they wouldn’t be here…”

Without the support of the US Empire, and the British Empire in the earlier part of the century, the house of Saud would be a footnote in history books, and an amusing footnote at that. It is its usefulness as a local agent for western empires that has ensured its longevity.


President Obama and Israeli PM Netanyahu at the White House

As for Israel, they enjoy the premium, “unbreakable bond” relationship with the United States, which essentially means the Israelis get their weapons for free. For all the talk of Obama not being pro-Israeli enough, he did not leave office without splashing the biggest military aid package in history on Israel. With so much uncertainty surrounding the 2016 presidential election, this was clearly a priority for the outgoing Obama White House.

The respective relations of Israel and Saudi Arabia with the US empire can perhaps be encapsulated in symbolic moments. For Israel, it is the US resupply of ammunition during the 2014 Gaza offensive, so that the massacres could continue unimpeded. And for Saudi Arabia, it is US planes refuelling Saudi jets during their war on Yemen, so that they would not run out of fuel before bombing first responders. We have two projects flourishing under the wings of the US empire and spreading death and terror throughout the region. After justice and freedom arrive in the Middle East, they might end up sharing a footnote in future history books.



Notes

(1) It might be dangerous for people in Saudi Arabia to voice what they really think of the royal family.

(2) For instance, it claims that Wahhabism, the ultra-conservative and retrograde version of Islam that is enforced and exported by Saudi Arabia, cannot be connected to modern terrorism because Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab lived 300 years ago.

(3) Takfiris are those who denounce others as not being true Muslims, making them infidels.

(4) While the Iran threat is invoked to justify the Saudi invasion, the connections between the Houthi rebels and the Iranians may be more hype than substance, and they are certainly more a case of an opportunity seized by Iran, either out of a sense of duty or opportunism, than historical or ideological ties.

Cover photo: Prince Mohammad bin Salman and Israeli PM Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu



Source: Investig’Action

- See more at: http://www.investigaction.net/en/israel-and-saudi-arabia-a-match-made-in-heaven-or-in-washington/#sthash.Zpo6kZ5q.dpuf

Honor Omar Barghouti and Ralph Nader

Gandhi Peace Award Ceremony
Sunday, April 23
4:00pm
Yale University Sheffield-Sterling-Strathcona Hall
Room 114
1 Prospect St, New Haven, CT 06511

The Gandhi Peace Award has been presented by Promoting Enduring Peace since 1960 to people who have made outstanding contributions to world peace, creating a sustainable ecology, and social justice. Laureates include: Eleanor Roosevelt, Dorothy Day, Cesar Chavez, Daniel Ellsberg, Amy Goodman, Bill McKibben, Medea Benjamin, Tom Goldtooth, and Kathy Kelly.

This years honorees are Ralph Nader and Omar Barghouti.

Omar is a Palestinian human rights defender and a co-founder of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Omar has endured Israeli intimidation and repression for years due to his work and dedication. In March of 2016, he was threatened with "targeted civil elimination” -a euphemism for civil assassination- by a high Israeli government official. Amnesty International has condemned these threats, expressing concern for his “safety and liberty” and upholding his right as a human rights defender to campaign “to hold Israel accountable for human rights and other international law violations” and to advocate “for the use of non-violent means in doing so.” Israel has also threatened to revoke his permanent residence, effectively imposing a travel ban on him.

Just a few weeks ago, Israeli tax authorities barged into his home and detained and interrogated him and his wife Safa, and are now attempting to fabricate a case against him in order to tarnish his reputation.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee put out this statement in response:

The fact that this investigation includes a travel ban and that it comes a few weeks before Omar Barghouti is scheduled to travel to the U.S. to receive the Gandhi Peace Award jointly with Ralph Nader in a ceremony at Yale University proves its true motive —repression.

The fact that the Israeli government publicized the inflammatory fabrications against Omar just 24 hours after he was taken in for investigation shows beyond doubt that the investigation’s real goal is to tarnish his reputation.

No matter what extreme measures of repression Israel wields against the BDS movement or its human rights defenders and vast network of supporters, it cannot stop this movement for human rights. Bullying and repression can hardly affect a grassroots movement that grows in people’s hearts and minds, empowering them to do the right thing — to stand on the right side of history, against Israel’s fanatic regime of apartheid, occupation and ethnic cleansing, and for freedom, justice and equality for the Palestinian people.

This latest desperate chapter of repression and intimidation by the Israeli government against Omar Barghouti is the strongest indicator yet of the failure of the Israeli regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid to slow down the impressive growth of the BDS movement for Palestinian rights.

Join Promoting Enduring Peace in honoring Omar to send a very clear message that support for Palestinians and their struggle will continue until freedom, justice, and equality is achieved.