Posts Tagged ‘Netanyahu’

Apartheid and the Palestinian National Struggle

Richard Falk

By Richard Falk

Editor’s note
This is a grand essay on the dimensions, history, structures of the Middle East/Palestine-Israeli-Western conflict over about 100 years. It is extraordinarily rich – but doesn’t cause the reader to drown in too many details. I highly recommend it to any student – young or old, journalist and politician – whose understanding of the issues may be based on the woefully biased, general account in Western mainstream media.
- Jan Oberg

Preliminary Observations

In this period when the centenary of the genocidal victimization of the Armenian people in 1915 is being so widely observed and discussed, it seems especially appropriate to call attention to the comparable victimization of the Palestinian people. This second story of prolonged collective victimization also received its jump start almost a century ago with the issuance by the British Foreign Office of the Balfour Declaration supporting the Zionist movement project of establishing a Jewish national home in historic Palestine.

The most striking difference between these two experiences of severe historical wrongs is that the Armenian people are seeking acknowledgement and apology for what was done to their ancestors a century ago, and possibly seeking reparations, while the Palestinian people may sometime in the future have the opportunity to seek similar redress for the past but now their urgent focus is upon liberation from present daily structures of acute oppression.

This Palestinian situation is tragic, in part, because there is no clear path to liberation, and the devastation of oppressive circumstances have gone on decade after decade with no end in view.

The political puzzle of the Israel/Palestine conflict continues to frustrate American policymakers despite their lengthy diplomatic engagement in the search for a peaceful future that satisfies both peoples. There are significant changes, of course, that have occurred as time unwinds.

Perhaps, the most crucial change has involved the gradual extension of Israeli control over virtually the whole of historic Palestine with American acquiescence. This coincides with a growing and more vivid awareness around the world of how much suffering and humiliation the Palestinian people have endured over the course of the last century, and the degree to which this frozen situation can be blamed on the unlimited willingness of the United States to deploy its geopolitical muscle on Israel’s behalf.

My approach to the Palestinian struggle reflects four points of departure: Read the rest of this entry »

The real story behind the Republicans’ Iran letter

Gareth Porter

By Gareth Porter

The “open letter” from Senator Tom Cotton and 46 other Republican Senators to the leadership of Iran, which even Republicans themselves admit was aimed at encouraging Iranian opponents of the nuclear negotiations to argue that the United States cannot be counted on to keep the bargain, has created a new political firestorm. It has been harshly denounced by Democratic loyalists as “stunning” and “appalling”, and critics have accused the signers of the letter of being “treasonous” for allegedly violating a law forbidding citizens from negotiating with a foreign power.

But the response to the letter has primarily distracted public attention from the real issue it raises: how the big funders of the Likud Party in Israel control Congressional actions on Iran.

The infamous letter is a ham-handed effort by Republican supporters of the Netanyahu government to blow up the nuclear negotiations between the United States and Iran. The idea was to encourage Iranians to conclude that the United States would not actually carry out its obligations under the agreement – i.e. the lifting of sanctions against Iran. Read the rest of this entry »

The Day After: Netanyahu

By Richard Falk

Richard Falk

My reaction to Netanyahu’s theatrical performance yesterday in Congress led me to recall that the deepest thinkers turned against democracy in ancient Greece because of the susceptibility of the Athenian citizenry to demagogic oratory from opportunistic politicians. Plato, Aristotle, Thucydides all became sensitive to the degree to which the rhetoric of demagogues contributed to the decline, and eventual downfall, of ancient Athens. Yet even in the worst last days of Athens the demagogues who performed so destructively were at least homegrown!

It would have been inconceivable anywhere else than the United States for a controversial foreign leader to be welcomed before the legislative chamber to attack ongoing delicate diplomacy of the elected head of state. It is not merely a matter of the niceties of protocol as to whether the Speaker of the House was delinquent in not coordinating the invitation with the White House so as to agree on a date not so embarrassingly tied to Netanyahu’s bid for reelection on March 17, although such issues are not trivial.

More substantial, however, is what it tells us about this self-destructive embrace of a foreign leader that is unabashedly seeking to derail a critical foreign policy initiative clearly in the interest of the United States, the Middle East, and the world, and even Israel (although presumably not Netanyahu’s and Likud’s worldview). Read the rest of this entry »

The long history of Israel gaming the ‘Iranian Threat’*

Gareth Porter

By Gareth Porter

Western news media has feasted on Prime Minister Netanyahu’s talk and the reactions to it as a rare political spectacle rich in personalities in conflict. But the real story of Netanyahu’s speech is that he is continuing a long tradition in Israeli politics of demonising Iran to advance domestic and foreign policy interests.

The history of that practice, in which Netanyahu has played a central role going back nearly two decades, shows that it has been based on a conscious strategy of vastly exaggerating the threat from Iran.

In conjuring the spectre of Iranian genocide against Israelis, Netanyahu was playing two political games simultaneously. He was exploiting the fears of the Israeli population associated with the Holocaust to boost his electoral prospects while at the same time exploiting the readiness of most members of US Congress to support whatever Netanyahu orders on Iran policy. Read the rest of this entry »

TFF PressInfo: Leadership change needed in Israel

By Johan Galtung

Johan Galtung

Lund, Sweden August 15, 2014

Like so many, like millions, this author’s heart is bleeding for the killed and bereaved in Gaza – so disturbingly similar to the Warsaw ghetto in 1943 and Warsaw 1944. With Arab and Western governments doing nothing; like the Red Army in 1944.

But the latter was heading for Berlin. And the West uses Ukraine as a distraction, trying to hit Moscow.

Like Rabbi Michael Lerner, my non-Jewish heart is also bleeding for Judaism and the Israel that could have been.

The present regime is a traitor to both, driving into the abyss.

Yet they have parliamentary and democratic, voter, support? Except that parliaments are not infallible, democracies can be wrong; even more so if the people think they have a divine mandate.

England, the mother of parliaments, once thought it had; colonized 25% of the world and is now hanging on to the “united kingdom”.

The USA still feels covenanted to the Lord but is lording over less and less; Japan suffers from similar Sun Goddess delusions.

So does the present Israeli regime, but there is enough sanity left.

By “pathology” it is meant not only the megalomaniac-paranoid component but the deficient sense of reality. Particularly:

Pathology 1: The delusion of victory being feasible. Read the rest of this entry »

Some people are exceptional

By Jan Oberg

Jan Oberg

July 20, 2014 – 12 days after Israel launched Operation Protective Edge, after Shejaiya and after 400 people on the Palestinian side have been killed.

Some people condemned what they called a planned Serb genocide on Albanians in Kosovo.

Some people were very upset about the siege of Sarajevo. And the massacre at Srebrenica.

Some people believed that the Yugoslav Army occupied Croatia and tried to create a Greater Serbia.

Some people condemned what was then called ethnic cleansing. Read the rest of this entry »

Aage Bertelsen (1901 – 1980) – Danish educator for peace

By Jan Oberg & Johan Galtung*

Lund and Kuala Lumpur, July 2014

Introduction

He was a tall man and a great man, a visionary, pacifist, civil resister, educator and philosopher. He took life more seriously than most and he could be playful and fun like a child. His life’s guiding principle was ”Engage in your time!” and while he wrote and talked a lot he also did it. His name was Aage Bertelsen, he was born in Denmark in 1901 and died on August 15, 1980.

Bertelsen’s imprint on history is two-fold. First, with his wife Gerda he was a prime mover of one of the groups, the Lyngby Group, which organised the rescue of altogether 7.220 Danish Jews into safety in Sweden in October 1943 during the German occupation of Denmark – more here. The Lyngby Group – Lyngby is north of Copenhagen – got about 1.000 of these in safety by organising their nightly transport onboard small fisher boats over the Sound between Denmark and Sweden.

In this he deserves a place in international contemporary history for its humanity, civil courage and as an example of non-violent struggle against occupation.

Secondly, Bertelsen was an educator of and for peace. His life work educational efforts included his family and friends, his pupils over 22 years at the Aarhus Cathedral School in Aarhus, Denmark, the general public as well as national and international leaders.

He lived in pre-Internet times and very little is publicly available today about this renaissance man. From two rather different, but compatible, perspectives we’ve taken it upon us to remind the world about him – friends and colleagues of his as we happen to be.

Headmaster Aage Bertelsen in 1961 Photo: Elfeldt, Copenhagen

 

Why now, over 30 years after his death? Read the rest of this entry »

 

Subscribe to
TFF PressInfo
and Newsletter
Categories