Socialism Art Nature

Jason Farbman reports on Israel’s escalating violence, with the threat of worse to come—and the furious response of Palestinians fed up with being terrorized.

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A SUSTAINED wave of violence by Israel in recent days has brought tensions to a boil throughout the West Bank, Gaza and Israel itself.

In the early morning hours of July 8, Israel launched a barrage of missile strikes against more than 50 targets in Gaza, which it claimed were designed to punish Hamas. Preliminary reports said 12 Palestinians were injured and four civilian homes destroyed by the bombs.

Meanwhile, Palestinians throughout Israel were rising up against heavily armed Israeli forces. In town after town, Palestinian crowds are clashing with Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Israeli police in the wake of the grisly murder by six Jewish extremists of Mohammad Abu Khdeir and the savage beating of Tarek Abu Khdeir—the first boy’s cousin—by Israeli police.

 … WHAT HAS Israeli officials—and their patrons in the U.S.—concerned is that Palestinians are beginning to organize a response to this rising arc of settler violence directed at their neighborhoods.

Often, attacks by settlers are condoned by Israeli police, implicitly or explicitly, leaving Palestinians to choose between suffering silently or defending themselves. In the past few days, Palestinians have increasingly taken the latter option, but in huge numbers. On July 6, for example, 400 people took to the streets of Yaffa to stop a settler attack on their homes.

Collective defense has increasingly turned to collective protest and even collective action. Broader sections of Palestinian society have come out in self-defense, resulting in protests and actions that are also broader and angrier.

Meanwhile, Palestinians aren’t the only ones in the streets, as the Israeli far right has grown bolder.

 … In an article titled “Our wretched Jewish state,” Ha’aretz columnist Gideon Levy wrote in blunt terms:

The youths of the Jewish state are attacking Palestinians in the streets of Jerusalem, just like gentile youths used to attack Jews in the streets of Europe. The Israelis of the Jewish state are rampaging on social networks, displaying hatred and a lust for revenge, unprecedented in its diabolic scope…These are the children of the nationalistic and racist generation—Netanyahu’s offspring.

The last two weeks of military siege and collective punishment now morphing into “Operation Protective Edge” are merely the latest atrocities in a long list of atrocities committed by Israel—from the 1948 Deir Yassin massacre, to the killing fields of Sabra and Shatila in 1982, to the 2012 Operation Pillar of Cloud.

The Zionist dream has always depended on cleansing Palestine of its indigenous population. But the Palestinian people continue to resist, and it is the responsibility of people of conscience around the world to join them in their struggle to liberate themselves—and by extension, all of us.


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It’s also worth noting the way that the US theft of Native American lands exponentially metastasizes in the years immediately following the Civil War. The triumph of free wage-labor and modern capitalist industry in the North over agrarian semi-fuedal relations of production in the South both made possible and necessitated the insatiable expansion of the US political-economic state as it sought “accumulation” and “development” at breakneck speed.

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Sami Ramadani: We coexisted peacefully for centuries, and need neither brutal dictators nor western intervention.

 … Every tribe in Iraq has Sunnis and Shia in its ranks. Every town and city has a mix of communities. My experience of Iraq, and that of all friends and relatives, is that of an amazing mix of coexisting communities, despite successive divide-and-rule regimes.

The most serious sectarian and ethnic tensions in Iraq’s modern history followed the 2003 US-led occupation, which faced massive popular opposition and resistance. The US had its own divide-and-rule policy, promoting Iraqi organisations founded on religion, ethnicity, nationality or sect rather than politics …

 … Until the 1970s nearly all Iraq’s political organisations were secular, attracting people from all religions and none. The dividing lines were sharply political, mostly based on social class and political orientation.


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The Other 98%:
Instead of wasting $4 trillion fighting the Iraq War, we could have ended world hunger for three decades.

Instead of wasting $4 trillion fighting the Iraq War, we could have ended world hunger for three decades.

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Chelsea Manning speaks out!

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However, the concerns that motivated me have not been resolved. As Iraq erupts in civil war and America again contemplates intervention, that unfinished business should give new urgency to the question of how the United States military controlled the media coverage of its long involvement there and in Afghanistan. I believe that the current limits on press freedom and excessive government secrecy make it impossible for Americans to grasp fully what is happening in the wars we finance.


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The “decent Left” was wrong: a blood soaked occupation did not lead to a promising post-Taliban future.

Against the sunny predictions of the cruise missile left, Afghanistan is in ruins. Western bombings in Herat, Farah, and Kunduz have led to mass civilian death, while nighttime house raids murder more intimately in Ghazi Khan and Khatabeh.

The casualty figures should shame the war’s supporters. The Asia Foundation reports that 500,000 Afghans say they were subject to violence from the International Security Assistance Force in 2011 alone. Bob Dreyfuss and Nick Turse of the Nation calculate that even by conservative counts, the deaths of 6481 civilians were directly attributable to ISAF and the Afghan government with which it is allied. Thousands more have been killed by insurgents, fighting a war of the West’s making.


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Some 800 activists gathered to protest Obama’s signing of a new agreement that grants U.S. forces comprehensive access to Filipino military bases.

VICE News reports that many Filipinos view this 10-year Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) as Obama’s “attempt to rekindle U.S. imperialistic control in Asia.” And they might not be far off. Until 1992, U.S. forces had maintained an almost uninterrupted military presence in the country for nearly 100 years.

"US intervention and aggression in the Philippines has been going on for more than a century now," protester Axel Pinpin told VICE. “It has already cost hundreds of thousands of Filipino lives. The resistance and struggle for national sovereignty has never been more just and it will continue to intensify.”

Philippines Congressman Neri Colmenares added in the Inquirer: “This [agreement] will practically bring back US military bases in the Philippines without a treaty, without rent and without limits as the American may use all Philippine military facilities — an arrangement worse than the Bases Treaty rejected by the Philippine Senate in September 1991.”


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Happening now: student action at Rutgers to oppose the choice of war criminal Condoleeza Rice for commencement speaker!\

Breaking: 50 Rutgers students are occupying President Barchi’s offices right now, dozens outside blocking entrances to prevent arrests. Students are demanding that Barchi rescind the invitation for Condoleeza Rice to speak at commencement and cancel her honorary degree due to her war crimes. Spread the word to Rutgers faculty, students and staff to come on down to Old Queens off College Ave. and show solidarity!


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Of course, this comes just days after the US government agrees to send Egypt’s new junta regime a fresh shipment of attack helicopters to be followed by further military aid.

“The United States will deliver to Egypt 10 Apache helicopters that were held up last year after President Mohamed Morsi was deposed, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told the Egyptian defense minister on Tuesday. Mr. Hagel said the helicopters would be used in Egypt’s efforts against terrorism in the Sinai, the Defense Department said in a statement. In a separate call, Secretary of State John Kerry told Egypt’s foreign minister, Nabil Fahmy, that he is certifying to Congress that Egypt is living up to the terms of the 1979 peace treaty with Israel, a move that allows the release of some aid to Cairo, a State Department spokeswoman said.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/23/world/middleeast/egypt-us-to-deliver-helicopters.html?_r=0)

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this is surely a crime against humanity that the u.s. government is engaged in.

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On the ground in a country where unmanned missile attacks are a terrifyingly regular occurrence.

Last year, London-based forensic psychologist Peter Schaapveld presented research he’d conducted on the psychological impact of drone strikes in Yemen to a British parliamentary sub-committee. He reported that 92 percent of the population sample he examined was found to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder – with children being the demographic most significantly affected. Women, he found, claimed to be miscarrying from their fear of drones. “This is a population that by any figure is hugely suffering,” Schaapveld said. The fear of drones, he added, “is traumatizing an entire generation.”

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