Tuesday, December 1, 2009

New Arizona Law Rattles Immigrant Community

PHOENIX, Ariz.--A new Arizona law aimed at denying public benefits to undocumented immigrants could hurt U.S. citizens as well.

Pastors, community activists and non-profit directors in Arizona are warning that the bill which took effect last Tuesday could have a chilling effect on immigrant communities and their U.S born children in need of health care, food and housing services.

“This is a terrible change,” said Alfredo Gutiérrez, a retired senator and editor of La Frontera Times. Since undocumented migrants don’t qualify for most state benefits this is a redundancy, and it’s children who would pay the price, he said.

HB 2008 requires state, cities and any government employee in Arizona to report to immigration authorities any undocumented immigrants who request a public benefit. Government workers could face up to four months in jail if they fail to make a report. The law also gives taxpayers the right to sue a state or city agency if they believe the law is not enforced properly.

The new regulations were included as part of the budget negotiations during a special session in the state.

“They were very sneaky on the way they put it in there,” said Lydia Guzman, president of the statewide pro-immigrant coalition Somos America.

The law has the support of Republicans, including Gov. Jan Brewer and Sen. Russell Pearce. Pearce has been at the forefront of legislative efforts to related to undocumented migrants.

Arizona is considered a testing ground for immigration laws for the rest of the nation. Over the past five, years Republican have enacted legislation that ranges from banning scholarships for undocumented students to denying bail to undocumented people charged with a crime.

On 2004, Arizona voters approved Proposition 200 aimed at limiting access to public benefits by undocumented immigrants. The impact of the initiative was reduced to five programs after scrutiny by Attorney General Terry Goddard.

Despite it’s limitations, Prop. 200 had an extended effect on immigrant families who were afraid of requesting emergency health care services and pre-natal care for pregnant women, according to immigrant advocates.

They fear this new bill would add to the ongoing anti-imigrant climate.

While the law doesn’t eliminate eligibility for services it could require a caseworker to report on an undocumented parent if they find out about their status in a casual conversation.

“This is just unconstitutional, what they’re doing is penalizing children who are entitled to the services, but they’re going to take it away because they’re the children of immigrants,” said Luis Ibarra, director of Friendly House a non-profit agency that services Latinos and immigrants in Phoenix.

The Department of Economic Security (DES) did not respond to queries about which services will be impacted by the law. Nor did it clarify whether or not undocumented parents could safely request a benefit for their U.S. children without being reported to immigration authorities.

“I’m mostly worried about the U.S. children of fathers that have been deported. Many mothers are having to request food stamps because they don’t have another choice," said Magdalena Schwartz, pastor of the Disciples of the Kingdom Free Methodist Church in Mesa. "They’re not asking for themselves, they’re asking for their children.”

The state law won’t impact eligibility for federal benefits or essential services like emergency aid or police, some attorneys argue. But there’s growing concern that many state workers would report someone out of fear of loosing their job.

Guzman, president of Somos America, has been receiving phone calls from concerned immigrants but also social workers.

“A social worker told me: We can’t tell people not to apply if their children will starve to death. But on the other hand, what am I going to do, it’s not like I can find another job easily?,’” she said.

Another concern is that many of these workers might report on refugees or domestic violence victims who have a legit claim to a benefit for lack of understanding of the immigration laws in this country, she added.

Despite the alarm, the law’s implementation might be short-lived.

This coming Tuesday the Arizona Supreme Court will rule on the future of the law due to a lawsuit brought by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns.

The association that represents 90 cities and towns didn’t sue about the content of the law but the way it was created. They said it violated the state constitution because it was part of a state budget package, not a stand-alone bill. And it went beyond the scope of the special session called by the governor intended to address budgetary concerns.

On Tuesday, governor Brewer called the challenge “outrageous and shocking” at a time when Arizona is facing a budget deficit, according to a report from the Associated Press. Brewer's office didn’t respond to requests for comment.

If the current lawsuit is unsuccessful, “MALDEF [the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund] is prepared to go forward to challenge the law” said attorney Daniel Ortega, who would act as local council and fought against Prop. 200.

In the meantime, Ortega said “we’re going to have to tell people, ‘If you’re undocumented don’t go an ask for services.”

Source: New American Media
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United against Spitting

Three days ago, the Israeli Right wing paper the Jerusalem Post published an exposé of the growing tendency of Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem to spit on their Christian neighbours.1

Father Samuel Aghoyan, a senior Armenian Orthodox cleric in Jerusalem’s Old City, told the JPost “that he’s been spat at by young Haredi (God fearing religious Jews) and national Orthodox Jews ‘about 15 to 20 times’ in the past decade”. Father Aghoyan added, “Every single priest in this church has been spat on. It happens day and night.”

Similarly Father Athanasius, a Texas-born Franciscan monk who heads the Christian Information Centre in Jerusalem’s Old City, said he’s been spat at by Orthodox Jews “about 15 times in the last six months”.

Jewish spitting is not exactly breaking News. I myself have explored the issue more than once. The Israeli professor Israel Shahak commented on Jewish hatred towards Christianity and its symbolism, suggesting that “dishonouring Christian religious symbols is an old religious duty in Judaism.” According to Shahak, “spitting on the cross, and especially on the Crucifix, and spitting when a Jew passes a church, have been obligatory from around AD 200 for pious Jews.”

Interestingly enough Jewish spitting has had an impact on the European urban landscape. The following can be read in a Travel Guide for Jewish Europe.

In Prague’s Charles Bridge, the visitor will observe a great crucifix surrounded by huge gilded Hebrew letters that spell the traditional Hebrew sanctification Kadosh Kadosh Kadosh Adonai Tzvaot, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts.” According to various commentators, this piece, degrading to Jews, came about because in 1609 a Jew was accused of desecrating the crucifix. The Jewish community was forced to pay for putting up the Hebrew words in gold letters. Another explanation is that a Jew spat at the cross and for this he was to be put to death as a punishment. When this man begged for his life, the king, seeking to have good relations with the Jews, said the Jewish community had to rectify the offence….2

Shahak maintains that “in the past, when the danger of anti-Semitic hostility was a real one, the pious Jews were commanded by their rabbis either to spit so that the reason for doing so would be unknown, or to spit onto their chests, not actually on a cross or openly before a church.”

But times are changing. In the Jewish state most Jewish inhibitions seem to have disappeared. In Israel Jews can spit as much as they like and on whatever they like. As we read above, in the Jewish state it isn’t just Christian symbols that are being spat on, it is actually the Goyim in general. Far more concerning, it isn’t even just kosher saliva. It is actually everything they may find at their disposal: saliva, live ammunition, bombs, missiles, WMD, white phosphorous, you name it, they spit it.

In fact, spitting is not the problem. Spiting is just a symptom of a deeply imbued cultural categorical dismissal of ‘otherness’ that distinguishes Israel as a criminal state. It is also this very dismissal of ‘otherness’ that stops the Israelis and their supporters around the world from understanding the level of resentment that is mounting against any form of Jewish nationalism.

Hatred is a form of blindness. Jewish hatred, that is culturally, religiously and spiritually orientated, is also a form of deafness. This may explain the tragic consequences in which nationalist Jews fail time after time to internalise the criticism leveled against them: against their politics and culture. This may explain why Jews fail to grasp what is the root cause of ‘anti semitism’. Rather than being reflective and engaging in self-mirroring, the nationalistic Jew would insist that the problem is always somewhere else.

As interesting as it may be, Zionism was the only modern serious Jewish collective attempt to amend the cultural abnormalities within Jewish culture. Early Zionism took anti Jewish criticism seriously. It committed itself to bring about a civilized ethical person. Zionism obviously failed completely. Yet, till the 1980’s some fading voices of “humanist Zionism”, people who wanted to see the Jews setting themselves into a peaceful nation living amongst others, could still be heard in occupied Palestine. It may also explain why the most radical and effective voices against Zionism and Jewish nationalism, are in fact people who were a product of Zionist upbringing (Shahak, I. Shamir, Sand, Burg and a few others).

In the late 1970’s a young dissident movement led by an Israeli Refusenik Gadi Elgazi protested against serving in the occupied territories. “Occupation Corrupts,” Elgazi said. He was sent to prison repeatedly. Elgazi and his supporters maintained that controlling other people would have a devastating impact on the Jewish state and its morality. They were obviously correct. Through the years Israel has become a criminal collective, complicit in genocide. With 94% of its population supporting the IDF measures in Gaza, there is no room for doubt, Israel has no room amongst nations. As if this is not enough, the level of crime within Israel is also soaring. The rate of homicidal crime is rapidly growing and it seems as if no one there knows how to tackle the problem. Elgazi’s predictions proved to be a prophecy. The occupation turned against the occupier.

Interestingly enough, it didn’t take long before Jewish cultural hatred towards Goyim and their symbols would turn inward and mature into an internal Jewish war where Jews do spit on each other. The tension within Israel’s Jewish communities is rising by the day whether it is the rapid rise of poverty or the rising social division between Israeli Jewish communities. Seemingly, there is a growing unresolved tension between the secular and orthodox Jews in Israel. As much as Jews can hate the Goyim, nothing is comparable with the way and manner in which they despise each other.

Channel 4, the brave British broadcaster that just 10 days ago exposed the cross-party Jewish lobby operating in the UK, did it again. “The Battle for Israel’s Soul” is an exposé of the feud between Jewish communities in Israel.3 Just like in the case of the occupation that turned eventually against the Israelis, hatred towards Goyim made the Israelis into a vengeful collective. Naturally it didn’t take long before the Israelis would start to spit on each other.

My message to the Palestinians is actually very simple. Give the Israelis time. They do not need enemies. With the level of self contempt they carry in themselves it is just a question of time before they totally implode.

Source: Dissident Voice

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The case against military tribunals

It's a violation of the Constitution to use the panels without a declaration of war -- and just calling it a 'war' on terror doesn't count.

In the uproar caused by Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr.'s announcement that the alleged planners of the 9/11 attacks are to be tried in U.S. District Court in New York City, and the suspects in the attack on the U.S. destroyer Cole will go on trial before military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the public discourse has lost sight of the fundamental principles that guide the government when it makes such decisions. Unfortunately, the government has lost sight of the principles as well.

When President George W. Bush spoke to Congress shortly after 9/11, he did not ask for a declaration of war. Instead, Republican leaders offered and Congress enacted an Authorization for the Use of Military Force. The authorization was open-ended as to its targets and its conclusion, and basically told the president and his successors that they could pursue whomever they wanted, wherever their pursuits took them, so long as they believed that the people they pursued had engaged in acts of terrorism against the United States. Thus was born the "war" on terror.

Tellingly, and perhaps because we did not know at the time precisely who had planned the 9/11 attacks, Congress did not declare war. But the use of the word "war" persisted nonetheless. Even after he learned what countries had sponsored terrorism against us and our allies with governmental assistance, Bush did not seek a declaration of war against them. Since 9/11, American agents have captured and seized nearly 800 people from all over the globe in connection with the attacks, and now five have been charged with planning them.

Virtually all of those seized who survived interrogation have been held at Guantanamo Bay. Bush initially ordered that no law or treaty applied to these detainees and that no judge could hear their cases, and thus he could detain whoever he decided was too risky to release and whoever he was satisfied had participated in terrorist attacks against the U.S. He made these extra-constitutional claims based, he said, on the inherent powers of the commander in chief in wartime. But in the Supreme Court, he lost all five substantive challenges to his authority brought by detainees. As a result, some detainees had to be freed, and he and Congress eventually settled for trying some before military tribunals under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and subsequent legislation.

The casual use of the word "war" has lead to a mentality among the public and even in the government that the rules of war could apply to those held at Guantanamo. But the rules of war apply only to those involved in a lawfully declared war, and not to something that the government merely calls a war. Only Congress can declare war -- and thus trigger the panoply of the government's military powers that come with that declaration. Among those powers is the ability to use military tribunals to try those who have caused us harm by violating the rules of war.

The last time the government used a military tribunal in this country to try foreigners who violated the rules of war involved Nazi saboteurs during World War II. They came ashore in Amagansett, N.Y., and Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and donned civilian clothes, with plans to blow up strategic U.S. targets. They were tried before a military tribunal, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt based his order to do so on the existence of a formal congressional declaration of war against Germany.

In Ex Parte Quirin, the Supreme Court case that eventually upheld the military trial of these Germans -- after they had been tried and after six of the eight defendants had been executed -- the court declared that a formal declaration of war is the legal prerequisite to the government's use of the tools of war. The federal government adhered to this principle of law from World War II until Bush's understanding of the Constitution animated government policy.

The recent decision to try some of the Guantanamo detainees in federal District Court and some in military courts in Cuba is without a legal or constitutional bright line. All those still detained since 9/11 should be tried in federal courts because without a declaration of war, the Constitution demands no less.

That the target of the Cole attackers was military property manned by the Navy offers no constitutional reason for a military trial. In the 1960s, when Army draft offices and college ROTC facilities were attacked and bombed, those charged were quite properly tried in federal courts. And when Timothy McVeigh blew up a federal courthouse in Oklahoma City; and Omar Abdel Rahman attempted in 1993 to blow up the World Trade Center, which housed many federal offices; and when Zacarias Moussaoui was accused in the 9/11 attacks,all were tried in federal courts. The "American Taliban," John Walker Lindh, and the notorious would-be shoe bomber, Richard Reid, were tried in federal courts. Even the "Ft. Dix Six," five of whom were convicted in a plot to invade a U.S. Army post in New Jersey, were tried in federal court. And the sun still rose on the mornings after their convictions.

The framers of the Constitution feared letting the president alone decide with whom we are at war, and thus permitting him to trigger for his own purposes the military tools reserved for wartime. They also feared allowing the government to take life, liberty or property from any person without the intercession of a civilian jury to check the government's appetite and to compel transparency and fairness by forcing the government to prove its case to 12 ordinary citizens. Thus, the 5th Amendment to the Constitution, which requires due process, includes the essential component of a jury trial. And the 6th Amendment requires that when the government pursues any person in court, it must do so in the venue where the person is alleged to have caused harm.

Numerous Supreme Court cases have ruled that any person in conflict with the government can invoke due process -- be that person a citizen or an immigrant, someone born here, legally here, illegally here or whose suspect behavior did not even occur here.

Think about it: If the president could declare war on any person or entity or group simply by calling his pursuit of them a "war," there would be no limit to the government's ability to use the tools of war to achieve its ends. We have a "war" on drugs; can drug dealers be tried before military tribunals? We have a "war" on the Mafia; can mobsters be sent to Gitmo and tried there? The Obama administration has arguably declared "war" on Fox News. Are Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly and I and my other colleagues in danger of losing our constitutional rights to a government hostile to our opinions?

I trust not. And my trust is based on the oath that everyone who works in the government takes to uphold the Constitution. But I am not naive. Only unflinching public fidelity to the Constitution will preserve the freedoms of us all.

Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is the senior judicial analyst at the Fox News Channel. His next book is "Lies the Government Told You: Myth, Power, and Deception in American History."

Source: LA Times

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United against the state

There is a new alliance between the left and right in America, inspired by the threat to liberty – can the same happen here?

The New York Times has revealed an interesting new alliance between US conservatives and liberals that has formed against the criminalisation of the public by a slew of vaguely drafted criminal laws, brought in by the federal government.

Given the rancour in the American public discourse, the two sides making common ground on this issue is truly a "remarkable phenomenon," as the director of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Norman Reimer, put it.

The left and right have bent to a point where there is now agreement on many issues. In the area of criminal justice, the whole idea of less government, less intrusion, less regulation has taken hold.

Both sides seem to blame each other for the trend of punitive laws, the implications of which few seem to understand. Still, the new consensus is important and one hopes something similar is emerging here.

Liberals blame the climate created by the Bush administration, while someone like Edwin Meese, arch conservative and attorney general under President Reagan, suggests that "liberal ideas of extending the power of the state" were to blame for an out-of-control criminal justice system. "Our tradition has always been," he said, "to construe criminal laws narrowly to protect people from the power of the state."

The right-wing Heritage Foundation, where Meese was speaking, suggests that there are some 4,400 criminal offenses in the federal code, which lack a requirement that the prosecution proves traditional criminal intent.

This chimes with the 3,000 new criminal offences created by Labour in Britain, sometimes by statutory instruments that go undebated in parliament, and especially of the erosion of the important legal concept of innocence.

On both sides of the Atlantic, a generation of politicians grew up in the incredibly tolerant conditions of the sixties and seventies but then displayed a surprising authoritarian streak when they came to power. The rebels of the permissive age often began to imitate the disciplinarian traits of an older generation but – oddly – without showing its reflex respect for liberty.

In Britain, a supposedly left government kept in step with a decidedly right-wing government in the United States, but is that really so surprising? When you dig deep into the political instincts of people like Blair, Blunkett, Clarke, Straw and Reid what you find are the trace elements of neo-conservatism, as well as the more frequently identified statism of their youthful creed. New Labour was a distinctly odd hybrid, fashioned by people with an ideological past for an age where few cared about the details of politics as long as they could spend.

We are at a different moment now and it will be interesting to see what James Purnell says about personal power at a Demos event this week because of course the whole drive of the government which he belonged to has been to remove power from the individual in favour of the state. This is something which has to be admitted by people like Purnell before Labour's rehabilitation can begin.

Something of an alliance is beginning to form here but it is perhaps less organised and activist. I often find myself joining progressive and conservative politicians on platforms to talk about the erosion of civil liberties and the growth in state power. To be honest, it would be hard pressed to slide a piece of paper between Tony Benn and David Davis on so many of these issues, or for that matter Sir Ken Macdonald and Dominic Grieve. This is because one of the great divides in our post-ideological politics is now about the power of the state. Do you trust the state and give it every sort of power at the expense of parliament and the people, or do you believe that increasing state powers are not just a menace to individual liberty but a cast-iron guarantee of bad government?

This is one of the core issues of the next election and it needs to be much better articulated by the opposition parties. One of the duties of the next government must be to repeal many of the badly drafted laws brought in during the last 12 years as well doing away with established opinion that increasingly holds that we are all potentially criminals; that we all have something to hide. "Show me the man," said Stalin's head of police Lavrenty Beria, "and I'll find the crime." It's strange to discover a noted liberal lawyer from Boston, Harvey Silverglate quoting this at the beginning of a talk about his new book, Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent, but it is the measure of the times on both sides of the Atlantic that democrats on the left and the right can shake their heads at what has been allowed to happen.

Source: The Guardian

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Obama Treason Charges Advance In Tennessee Grand Jury

On June 10, 2009 I wrote about formal treason charges filed against Barack Hussein Obama, aka Barry Soetoro, in - Is Obama Guilty of Treason? I followed that column up with - Why Commander Fitzpatrick Is NOT Guilty of Mutiny! on June 13. Since then, numerous others have filed similar treason charges against Obama/Soetoro with little or no fanfare…

If Obama is indeed guilty of treason - then we have a growing list of folks who are also committing treason. Namely, every member of law enforcement and the justice system who have taken an oath to uphold and defend the US Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic - along with every individual in Washington DC and beyond who has chosen to look the other way while denying American citizens their day in court - claiming that no citizen has the “legal standing” to ask who in the hell Barack Hussein Obama really is…

After visits from the Secret Service and months of rejection by the courts, Commander Walter Fitzpatrick may get his day in court.

On Tuesday December 1st 2009, Retired Navy Commander Walter Fitzpatrick III will present the evidence behind his treason complaint against Obama/Soetoro to all thirteen members of a Tennessee Grand Jury in Monroe County Tennessee.

The road to justice has been bumpy, to say the least. Commander Fitzpatrick has been ridiculed, blocked in court house halls, threatened, accused of mutiny and labeled a “crackpot” by Obama supporters who see no need for a standard background check for the most powerful office in the world.

Fitzpatrick had to go so far as to file criminal obstruction charges against Grand Jury Foreman Pettway before he would gain access to the court.  Despite it all, Commander Fitzpatrick forged ahead and on December 1st, his complaint will be heard by his local Monroe County Tennessee Grand Jury.

Now, this places the Tennessee Grand Jury squarely in the middle of the biggest Constitutional Crisis in U.S. history. Fitzpatrick will be under oath before the Grand Jury on Tuesday. If the Grand Jury has any doubts about Fitzpatrick’s testimony, they must arrest him for perjury on the spot. If they don’t arrest him for perjury, they are accepting his testimony as true and accurate…

If Article II—Section I—Clause V of the U.S. Constitution means nothing—then no part of the Constitution means anything today. On the other hand, if the Monroe County Tennessee Grand Jury follows its oath to uphold, protect and preserve the Constitution and apply the law equally to all, then the charge of treason must be allowed its day in court.

The Monroe County Grand Jury appears ready to act on its oath and authority. But if they don’t, they could become thirteen new members of a long list of folks equally guilty of treason, for turning their heads the other way and denying the American people access to the courts in what might be the greatest case in U.S. political history.

Thirteen members of the Monroe County Grand Jury hold the future of Constitutional Law in their hands. Come Tuesday, they will have an opportunity to keep their oath to the American people - the citizens of Monroe County and state of Tennessee. Of course, they will also have an opportunity to do what several civil and criminal court judges have already done on the matter. They can turn their heads and deny citizens their right to be heard…

But with each passing day, the stakes get higher and higher in the case over who Obama/Soetoro really is and whom he really serves. Atop the growing list of unconstitutional acts by the Obama administration is the Samson Alabama story in which—
An Army investigation has found that the use of armed military policemen from Fort Rucker in response to mass murders in Samson violated federal law.” —reports the Associated Press.

“The Army earlier confirmed that 22 military police and an officer were sent to Samson after the mass slaying of 10 people on March 10. - The Department of Army Inspector General found a violation of the Posse Comitatus Act, which restrains the use of the military for civilian law enforcement purposes.”

Yet ten months after inauguration, Obama’s entire past remains a mystery under lock and key. Obama has spent almost $2 million in legal fees to keep his life Top Secret, not counting millions in tax-payer funded road blocks thrown up by Obama’s Justice Department, which has sent numerous federal attorneys into court after court to file dismissal requests on the basis of “standing” - with great success. They don’t want the courts to ever decide Obama’s Constitutional eligibility on “merit,” because if discovery ever goes forward and Obama’s files are opened up, Obama is finished and so is his Marxist Global Agenda!

Make no mistake… The courts have clearly ruled that NO AMERICAN CITIZEN has the “proper standing” to ask even the most fundamental questions about Barack Hussein Obama (aka Barry Soetoro). The American press has not only ignored these facts, but mocked anyone willing to ask the right questions - of the right people - in the right way.

Tuesday, the Monroe County Grand Jury will get an opportunity to make history and reverse the modern trend of denying citizens their day in court. The people have a right to know who and what Obama really is. Let’s see if the Monroe County Grand Jury has the backbone to force Obama to answer that question.

When an unconstitutional resident of the White House rushes a laundry list of unconstitutional policies through, including the use of the Military against U.S. citizens—against the demands of the American citizens, it’s time to ask some very serious questions and the American people deserve no less than honest answers.

The Monroe County Grand Jury will hear these and other charges Tuesday December 1st. God help this nation if they lack the courage to take a stand with the citizenry of this great nation.  The future of American justice hangs in the balance! The people deserve much more than a simple birth certificate. They deserve a legitimate government - limited to its constitutional authority - and they deserve a justice system willing to uphold those foundational principles and values.

All eyes across this nation will be on Monroe County Tennessee this week!

Source: Canadian Free Press

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The First Casualty

Ten years following the cessation of the First World War, Arthur Ponsonby, a member of British Parliament published his ground-breaking study, Falsehood in War-Time: Containing an Assortment of Lies Circulated Throughout the Nations’ During the Great War. Ponsonby’s book begins with several quotes, the most well-remembered being “When war is declared, truth is the first casualty.” Although Ponsonby did not credit the author, most attribute the quote to US Senator Hiram Johnson who said in 1917, “The first casualty when war comes is truth.” It is more likely however that Ponsonby was recalling Greek playwright Aeschylus who in the fifth century B.C. wrote, “In war, truth is the first casualty.”

Ponsonby, with an eye to the next terrible conflict between nations, set out to prevent such bloodletting with his slim but powerful volume. He declared,

“None of the heroes prepared for suffering and sacrifice, none of the common herd ready for service and obedience, will be inclined to listen to the call of their country once they discover the polluted sources from whence that call proceeds and recognize the monstrous finger of falsehood which beckons them to the battlefield.” 1

While Ponsonby recognized that most of the falsehoods of World War One had their origins in official propaganda, he also recognized the effect such propaganda had on the well-meaning masses. He wrote, “A sort of collective hysteria spreads and rises until finally it gets the better of sober people and reputable newspapers.”2 He points out that upon deciding for war, governments present one-sided justifications to support their actions. Ponsonby explains that while a moment’s reflection by any thinking person would reveal “such obvious bias cannot possibly represent the truth,” most people willingly delude themselves in order to justify their own actions.

Ponsonby identifies the principal methods of propaganda used during World War One. There is the deliberate lie, the lie heard but not denied, the mistranslation, the omission of passages from official documents, deliberate exaggeration, the concealment of truth, the faked photograph. Perhaps the most important element that Ponsonby considers is “the general obsession, started by rumour and magnified by repetition and elaborated by hysteria, which at last gains general acceptance.” 3

Few would be so naïve to think that such falsehoods ceased with the armistice of 1918. In fact recent discoveries have revealed that information provided to the public regarding Vietnam’s “Gulf of Tonkin” incident of August 1964 was falsified to make it appear that North Vietnamese gunboats had attacked an American destroyer patrolling international waters. This incident was the catalyst President Lyndon Johnson needed to escalate the Vietnam War. 4

More recently during President George H. Bush’s Persian Gulf War of 1990-91, it has been revealed that a major public relations firm, Hill and Knowlton, headed by Craig Fuller, former chief of staff to Bush, helped package testimony about Iraq’s August 1990 invasion of Kuwait.5 A moving testimony during a Congressional caucus hearing by an “anonymous Kuwaiti refugee girl called “Nayirah” turned out in fact to be the daughter of Kuwait’s ambassador to the United States. Hill and Knowlton packaged the young girl and even rehearsed her on behalf of their client, Citizens for a Free Kuwait, an organization funded by the Emir of Kuwait.6

Another harrowing tale of Iraqi atrocities was related during a televised session of the UN Security Council on Nov. 27, 1990. While Fatima Fahed’s account of Iraqi crimes moved audiences, it was not revealed that this “refugee” was in fact the wife of Sulaiman Al Mutawa, Kuwait’s minister of planning. In addition she was a well-known Kuwaiti television personality. During an interview with one of the leaders of Citizens for a Free Kuwait, the question as to why Fahed was chosen to speak to the UN was asked. Fawzi Al-Sultan replied, “Because of her professional experience, she is more believable.” 7

In the more recent Iraq war the public has been considerably more skeptical of the official party line. The propaganda campaign issued from the White House was initially unfocused and sloppy. It appeared that President George W. Bush was attempting to find the note that would resonate best with the American people. We were told of Saddam Hussein’s brutality against his own people. We were told of alleged connections to Al Qaeda and international terrorism. Ultimately however, it was the vaguely defined Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) program which won the day. References to the 1988 gassing of Kurds stirred the collective memory of the American public recalling the gassing stories of the Second World War. Saddam Hussein was portrayed as a modern day “Hitler.”

While it may appear that truth is ultimately revealed in matters of national conflict, one war, the costliest of the last century is rarely subjected to the historian’s microscope. The Second World War remains “the good war.” Those who fought during it or even lived through it are referred to as “the greatest generation.” Here the one-sided accounts and obvious bias are embraced today as if that war were still in progress.

To be sure there has been investigation and debate over the events surrounding the attack on Pearl Harbor. While the official position has always been one of a sneak attack, a number of revisionist historians have amassed evidence that Roosevelt knew in advance of the attack and even maneuvered the Japanese into striking the first blow, so that he could use the event as a backdoor to the war in Europe. Likewise, revisionists from Harry Barnes to Gore Vidal have questioned the necessity of the two atomic bombings of Japan. To save hundreds of thousands of American lives by preventing a ground assault of Japan, Truman ordered the atom bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, or so the court historians tell us. Revisionists counter that scenario by pointing out that the Japanese had already made peace overtures and that the strikes were a means of intimidating the Soviets.

The war against Nazi Germany, however, is rarely questioned outside orthodox parameters. Those who attempt to debunk any element of the official propaganda are subjected to all forms of ad hominem attacks. Today it is virtually impossible to say anything positive about the German military during the Second World War, or to call into question any of the tactics used by the Allies to defeat them. Even the Soviet army, known for its vast brutalities against civilian populations is rarely called into question in the United States.

The Second World War was of course no different from wars that came before or after with its one-sided propaganda designed to portray the Allied cause as just and the Axis cause as pure evil. People became what Ponsonby called “willing dupes,” accepting every crime, every outrageous charge without question. What remains unique is the general acceptance of this story even 60 years after the event. Ponsonby wrote, “In war-time, failure to lie is negligence; the doubting of a lie is a misdemeanor, the declaration of the truth a crime.” 8 Today, in an age of perpetual war, truth may be declared a crime at any time. Those who dare shine a light on inconvenient aspects of the Second World War are denounced viciously by those who remain emotionally blind, are willing dupes, or sometimes even lying benefactors.

Still there are those of us who believe that a proper understanding of the events of the Second World War is critical, certainly for our present, if not for our future. There are those of us who, paraphrasing Ponsonby, resent having our passions roused, our indignation inflamed, our patriotism exploited and our highest ideals desecrated by concealment, subterfuge, fraud, falsehood, trickery, and deliberate lying by those in whom we have been taught to repose confidence and to whom we are enjoined to pay respect.

  1. Arthur Ponsonby, Falsehood in Wartime, Institute for Historical Review, Costa Mesa, CA., 1991, p.19.
  2. Ibid, p. 14.
  3. Ibid. p. 20.
  4. “Tonkin Gulf Reports Cooked? Historian's research finds intelligence errors covered up.” San Francisco Chronicle, October 31, 2005. Online: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/10/31/MNG99FGN521.DTL
  5. Morgan Strong, “Portions of the Gulf War were brought to you by…the folks at Hill and Knowlton.” TV Guide, February 22, 1992, pp.11-12.
  6. Ibid. p.12.
  7. Ibid.
  8. Ibid. p. 27.
SOurce: An Inconvenient History
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Call for an international campaign against the Jewish National Fund

The Jewish National Fund (JNF) has charitable status in over 50 countries, a status based on the JNF's claim that it preserves and advances Jewish culture, community, civic and political participation, rights and safety. In reality, the JNF was created in 1901 for the purpose of colonizing Palestine through the acquisition and management of land for exclusively Jewish settlement. Today, it continues to play a central role in the violent colonization and occupation of Palestine, and is a key institution in maintaining Israeli apartheid.

Where once the JNF's role was birthing the State of Israel, it is now granted special privileges and an ongoing role in State function, such as their administrative role in the Israeli Land Administration. In turn, the JNF, as a private institution, can hold in trust land and property for the State of Israel, its Jewish population and Jews living outside of Israel and openly discriminates against Palestinian citizens of Israel-preventing Palestinian leasing of JNF land. Far from the charitable organization the JNF claims to be, it is a para-statal organization-enacting functions of the State of Israel as a private organization, but without the attendant legal accountabilities or regulation.

13% of land in '48 (Israel) is controlled directly by the JNF, most of it seized from Palestinians and transferred to the JNF after May 1948.

  • The JNF and Israeli Lands Administration control, through a joint committee, 93% of the land in Israel.
  • By its own description, JNF money is also used for the ‘Judaisation' (equating to ‘de-Arabisation') of the Galilee and the Negev.
  • In addition JNF money is used to finance reservoirs in the West Bank that steal Palestinian water for settler-only use.

Most recently, the JNF has been involved in expanding Israel's colonial project into the Negev-displacing the indigenous Bedouin people from their "unrecognized" villages into "concentration zones" and destroying their economic, cultural and social way of life. More broadly, central to the mission of the JNF is the acquisition of Palestinian land and property in historic Palestine "for the purpose of settling Jews on such lands and properties." This includes JNF involvement in settler enterprises across the West Bank. When the Israeli army razed to the ground the Palestinian villages of the Imwas, Yalu and Beit Nuba villages in 1967 and expelled their inhabitants, the JNF took over the construction of the Canada National Park on the ruins. The JNF today claims to be a global environmental leader and trumpets their slogan of ‘Plant Trees and Bring Water to Israel'-a cover up to the ethnic cleansing and acquisition of Palestinian land and water involved in this process. Donors from around the world are then implicated in these crimes, as are the Canadian government and tax payers in the case of Canada Park.

Beyond this, the JNF is active in countries throughout the world and supports a broader network of Zionist institutions and organizations that support the Israeli military and militant Jewish settlements with direct funds. The JNF and its network of organizations also provide the political support necessary for legitimizing and promoting public policies and aid packages for Israel. Every year they bring thousands of public officials and community leaders to Israel to lobby their support. In individual countries, these organizations censor criticism of Israel and target individuals and organizations with blacklists, violence, imprisonment, deportation, unemployment and other economic hardship.

The JNF does not do what it claims to do. It claims to exist for the well-being of the Jewish people. In reality, its activities and the organizations that it funds exist almost exclusively for the purpose of securing and expanding Israel's colonization of Palestine and the apartheid Israeli State. The JNF claims that Jewish safety depends on a secure Israeli State. But Israel does not make Jews safe. Its violence and racism guarantees instability and fear for those within Israel, the rest of historic Palestine, and endangers the safety of all people, including Jews, far beyond its borders.

We are calling for an international campaign to challenge the legitimacy and actions of the Jewish National Fund. We are calling for sanctions against the JNF as a key institution of Israeli apartheid defined by the UN as a crime against humanity. We are calling for the JNF to pay reparations to the Palestinian people for the catastrophic damages done over the course of the JNF's 107 years of existence as a vehicle for the colonial settlement of Palestine.

Demands: Our abiding demand is to revoke the charitable status of the Jewish National Fund.

From states and the United Nations we call for:

  • Sanctions against the JNF for its participation in Israeli apartheid
  • Boycotting of JNF funded, directly and indirectly, delegations to Israel

From civic society, we call for:

  • Civil suits by those whose property was confiscated by the JNF
  • Jewish divestment from JNF and its subsidiaries
  • An end to grassroots and NGO collaboration with the JNF, particularly by environmental organizations
  • An active boycott of Zionist and Israeli events organized by JNF and its subsidiaries

We will:

  • Take Legal action: challenge the charity status of the JNF and coordinate other judicial review process, support cases against the JNF by Palestinians whose land and property were stolen by the JNF and/or who were dispossessed by the JNF - from 1948 until today,
  • Research and document JNF's activities, use of funds, and impact, support investigation into JNF funding of and participation in para-statal activities, collect testimonies, produce research reports and publications, write articles, publicize findings, collect land deeds, digital stories/videos of testimony and a book of specific cases that highlight JNF role in land confiscation and discrimination as part of a broader system of occupation and colonization
  • Educate: produce printed materials, submit presentations for conferences, organize workshops and public speaking events, coordinate art exhibits, performances and speaking tours, create digital stories based on testimonies
  • Boycott and Disrupt JNF Events: JNF organized fundraisers, delegation, and cultural, educational, sporting and political events
  • Take Direct action: Petitions, letters, poster and sticker campaign, disruption of events, pickets, civil disobedience, demonstrations
  • Produce and leverage mass and grassroots media: submit editorials and article to print and online journals, organize press conferences, buy advertisement, produce grassroots media, produce and/or screen documentaries, produce and participate in public radio and television series, produce poster campaign
  • Support processes of accountability under international law: participate in review processes being organized by civil organizations to hold Israel accountable under human rights and other international law (i.e. review of Israel for its treaty implementation under the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights)

Join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaign National Committee (BNC)[1], Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Habitat International Coalition of Cairo and the International Jewish anti-Zionist Network in coordinating this campaign.

For more information, contact us at: jnf.campaign@gmail.com

Source: International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

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