28 May 2017

ANTHONY FOSTER DIED ON 26 MAY 2017 - AND WE ARE ALL DEVASTATED!



Article by Chrissie Foster in the Australian on Friday 7 April 2017

RIGHT TO THE VERY END, THE CHURCH WASN’T LISTENING

Final royal commission hearings revealed the ugly truth of indifference to victims

It is difficult to stop crying.

A child sexual abuse expert from the U.S. Bruce Perry, simply picked a random example. He spoke via video link to the Royal Commission into institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse; he was one of 36 experts in the field who gave evidence last week at the final week of the hearing titled case study 57, Nature, Cause and Impact of Child Sexual Abuse. Perry’s example was of ‘a little five-year-old child and somebody is raping you’ and he talked of what it does to the young mind.

They were painful words to hear because that is what happened to our little five-year-old Emma and, not long after, to our six-year-old Katie. To hear what their infant minds had to deal with was crushing – a dreadful add-on to the vision of rape by the priest, which already haunts us.

It was like a knife to the heart.

The priest was Kevin O’Donnell, he was 66 years older than Emma, he was our parish priest, with access to the primary school and its 300 children where I, as a Catholic, sent our girls. He went to prison in 1995 for 14 months for sexually assaulting children (rape charges were dropped in a plea bargain). I believe that from 1958 until he was arrested, he sexually assaulted at least 100 children.

Memories haunted our girls. Emma took her life aged 26 after a traumatic teenage and young adult life filled with despair, self-harming and drug addiction. Katie began binge drinking and was hit by a car while drunk. She spent 12 months in hospital and now, 18 years later, still receives 24-hour care, as she always will. Childhood sexual abuse was the cause and self-destructive behaviour was the impact.

Four weeks before came Case Study 50, titled Catholic Church in Australia, a three-week hearing during which Australia’s archbishop gave disturbing testimony.

In his evidence, on three occasions Hobart Archbishop Julian Porteous said the reason they did not act to stop child sexual abuse was because “nobody understood the seriousness of the effects of sexual abuse on children”. This common, if absurd, excuse has been used by the hierarchy, both here and overseas, since 1994. In using it, they admit knowing about the crimes. And not stopping them. Crimes that attracted the death penalty until 1961.

Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge stated: “I have no right to go to a priest, who is not an employee of mine, and say, “Excuse me, are you in a sexual relationship?” What of that “sexual relationship” was with a child?

When, on a panel of five archbishops, one described the forced, often violent, rape of thousands of children as “misbehaving”, not one of them said a word. God almighty, what is wrong with these sanctimonious men of religion? What do they need to make them understand? Another $450 million royal commission?

I once handed my most precious treasure, my three children, to the Catholic Church for their primary school education and at that school was the pedophile O’Donnell. The archbishop of Melbourne, Frank Little, knew about O’Donnell’s crimes by then. Evidence before the royal commission has told us that in 1986, the year before Emma started school, Little received a letter from a nun informing him that O’Donnell had sexually assaulted a boy over several years.

We have lost count of how many victims have taken their lives.

Little did nothing – an act of criminal neglect.

This was not the only time Little put his priests before the safety of Catholic children. In 1978 a magistrate and a barrister approached him about a boy in their parish who had been sexually assaulted by priest Bill Baker. The archbishop yelled at the two men to leave his office. But he acted: days later he transferred Baker to another parish, where his crimes were not known. As adults, some of his victims went to police. Baker was jailed for a few of his crimes and then lived on a generous church pension.

Further royal commission evidence shows the Catholic hierarchy was told in 1958 that O’Donnell was raping children. They did nothing and he raped others freely for another 34 years until retiring with an honorary title from the church.

Can today’s archbishops be trusted with the safety and lives of your children?

We don’t have to look far for the answer.

Last year some parents in Melbourne tried to remove from their parish a priest after newspapers reported that the church had made a $75,000 payout to a victim of his sexual abuse. The royal commission has established that the maximum of $75,000 is only awarded in the very worst cases. Tellingly, the church sided with the priest, who
denied the abuse, against the parents. Eventually he was transferred. His new parishioners complained. He was moved again. His present location is unknown.

We have lost count of how many victims of priests have taken their lives. Of course, the crimes parents and grandparents of victims, siblings, spouses and children of victims, and loving friends. Emma’s closest friend Lu, took her own life five months after Emma.

Where were the church hierarchy representatives at this final royal commission hearing? There was much they stood to learn about the damage their colleagues had done to the 4445 victims in their care. They might have better understood those blighted lives, perhaps even developed some empathy for them. But no. They stayed away. All of them.

They didn’t care then and they don’t care now.

My husband, Anthony, and I have attended 108 days of royal commission hearings and seen many other days of evidence via webcast. We are grateful to the royal commission for seeking truth and justice about these crimes. Without it, victims would still be fighting a losing battle against a powerful and once influential institution.

The royal commission will release its findings on December 15 but these will go nowhere unless politicians act on them. We hope they vote for the safety and protection of voiceless, innocent children and not cave in to the untrustworthy churches and their manipulative lawyers and lobbyists.

Implementing the recommendations will help make Australia the safest country in the world for children.

Who doesn’t want that?


Chrissie Foster is the author of Hell on the Way to Heaven with Paul Kennedy.


Anthony Foster died on Friday 26 May 2017 when he was taken off life support.

The following is probably the last tweet he made – a few weeks ago:

Anthony Foster @Anthony Foster_.Apr 6

“RIGHT TO THE VERY END, THE CHURCH WASN’T LISTENING” By Chrissie in today’s Australian tinyurl.com/zrqspx7#caRoyalComm @australian


It was almost prescient! But very tragic for everybody.

17 May 2017

ABC - ABSOLUTE BLOODY CRAP!

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation under its new leadership is a disgrace and deserves censure in every way for so much rubbish it is producing on television and radio, so much so that it is difficult to know where to begin.

The easiest way of dealing with those matters of most concern to me is to number each item which is to be commented on.

1) ABC TV News has now become a stroboscope which for those of us who get affected by stroboscopic effects is disastrous to watch. Michelle Guthrie seems to think that jazzing everything up will bring in an audience of 15 to 50 year olds. I wish her luck.

2) Keys to Music - what has Graham Abbott done to deserve being given a graveyard shift for his programme, now having been moved from midday on Sundays - a marvellous time for such an interesting and informative and entertaining programme - to 7pm on Monday nights - in time for the infamous ABC TV news. How crass is that!!!

3) Don't get me started on ABC Classic FM - my name is Mannie De Saxe and I am no longer listening to ABC Classic FM!!!

We are told - now that Overnight has had presenters returned at midnight after ridiculously removing them to save sixpence! - that programmes are being presented by some of our favourite presenters! Yes??? try finding the names of presenters for overnight on any ABC Classic FM online site and see how lucky you don't get!

4) Listen to the numerous non-stop promos for ABC Classic FM programmes and try and hear what the person is saying over the accompanying music - or is it the person is trying to speak through the music and not the other way round. 

5) We keep being told about the ABC's left wing bias and all we get is right wing reactionary rubbish which has become unwatchable, and unlistenable to, and decide where the bias is coming from. 

6)Ms Michelle Guthrie, who will be paid $900,000 a year to steer the ABC as its first female managing director, received a traditional welcome by the conservative flank of the Liberal Party, with dumped minister Eric Abetz​ urging the new boss to "stop the lefty love-in". 

14 May 2017

NORWAY'S LARGEST TRADE UNION FEDERATION ENDORSES FULL BOYCOTT OF ISRAEL TO ADVANCE PALESTINIAN HUMAN RIGHTS



Norway’s largest trade union federation endorses full boycott of Israel to advance Palestinian human rights 

From Mondoweiss 12 May 2017



 
Members of BDS Norwary (BDS Norge) protest weapons sales to Israel in Oslo, 2016. (Photo: BDS Norway).

 
Today, the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO), representing close to one million workers, endorsed a full boycott of Israel to achieve Palestinian rights under international law. LO is the largest and most influential umbrella organization of labor unions in Norway.

Commenting on this significant BDS victory in Norway, Riya Hassan, the Europe Campaigns Coordinator with the Palestinian BDS National Committee, said:

The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) salutes the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) for endorsing a full “international economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel” as a necessary means to achieve Palestinian fundamental rights, including the right of return for the refugees and equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel.

By courageously heeding the Palestinian BDS Call, issued by an absolute majority in Palestinian civil society in 2005, LO joins some of the world’s most important trade union federations, including South Africa’s COSATU, Brazil’s CUT, Quebec’s CSN and the IrishICTU, in calling for meaningful BDS pressure on the corporations and institutions that have enabled decades of Israeli occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid.

The BNC hopes to closely coordinate with Norwegian partners within LO, particularlyFagforbundet, to translate this new policy into effective measures of accountability at the academic, cultural and economic levels to uphold human rights and international law. We also call on LO to apply pressure on the Norwegian government to end all its military ties with Israel’s regime of oppression and to divest its sovereign fund from all companies that are complicit in Israel’s occupation and illegal settlement enterprise.


About Palestinian BDS National Committee
The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) is the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society. It leads and supports the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. For more information, visit www.bdsmovement.net/BNC.

Other posts by Palestinian BDS National Committee.

- See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2017/05/federation-endorses-palestinian/?utm_source=Mondoweiss+List&utm_campaign=780c8716ce-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b86bace129-780c8716ce-316844969&mc_cid=780c8716ce&mc_eid=9cb4f973c1#sthash.hW9gBLOo.dpuf

12 May 2017

SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY - NO SANCTUARY FOR PALESTINIAN SCHOLARSHIP


No Sanctuary for Palestinian Scholarship



Edward Said mural. Lead Artists: Fayeq Oweis & Susan Greene
Battleground San Francisco State University

At a March 2017 conference of the National Association of Ethnic Studies held at San Francisco State University (SFSU), President Leslie Wong boasted about the University’s role as a sanctuary campus. He referenced  SFSU’s proud history of engaged  social justice scholarship going back to the 1968 Third World strike by students which established the first Ethnic Studies College  in the country.

To Terry Collins, an alumnus of SFSU who was a member of the Black Student Union that started the Third World strike, and is the current Board President of KPOO community radio, Wong’s words rang hollow.  “We fought for a radical vision of what ethnic studies should mean,” Collins told me.

  “Last spring students had to protest and even hunger strike just to keep Ethnic Studies alive after it was threatened with major cuts.  They won a few crumbs but so much more is needed.  And Palestinian faculty, students and programs have been under constant attack! Where’s the sanctuary for them at SF State?”

Collins, an adamant supporter of Palestine since the sixties, was referring to a series of incidents over the past year at SFSU that have targeted the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) ,Professor Rabab Abdulhadi, and the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas (AMED) program which she founded.  Most recently, racist, Islamophobic posters were plastered  across campus on May 3rd and to date there has been no public denunciation of this hate speech by President Wong.

  While such attacks are not unique to SFSU, they have been escalating at a campus which has been a battleground for social justice struggles of many types, including Palestine, over decades.
In April 2016, the Israeli mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, was invited to speak at SF State.  A coalition of SFSU student groups, led by GUPS, protested against his talk citing Barkat’s extreme policies of expulsion and violence against Palestinian residents, including home demolitions, evictions, lock downs and collective punishment of entire neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. The day after the peaceful protest, which succeeded in interrupting Barkat’s speech, President Wong ordered a full investigation of the protest, reportedly after a telephone conversation with Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center who urged this course of action.  Hier referenced the successful prosecution of the Irvine 11, students who had interrupted the speech of Israeli ambassador Michael Oren in 2010 and were convicted of conspiracy to disrupt a public meeting in 2011.

Over the course of the next five months, GUPS members and other students, primarily women, were not only subject to an intensive, disruptive official investigation but were also targeted by death and rape threats, and a vicious online campaign by  Canary Mission seeking to derail their academic careers.  The University investigation exonerated the students on most of the charges in September 2016, but the students’ lives had been turned upside down.  None of the threats or harassment by pro-Zionist groups were ever addressed by the University.   In their statement responding to the report, GUPs pointed out the degree to which their education, lives and safety had been compromised in the name of protecting pro-Israel free speech. “Not only were we subjected to this hate monger [Barkat], but we were investigated for months and publicly smeared as violent and anti-Semitic.”

Shortly after the report exonerating the students was released, another front of assault was opened against Palestinian scholarship at SFSU.   An online petition was launched by the Middle East Forum (MEF), an Islamophobic, pro-Israel group led by Daniel Pipes and David Horowitz, calling on President Wong  to terminate a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU )with An-Najah University in Nablus in the Palestinian West Bank.  The MOU was established in 2014, initiated by Dr. Abdulhadi ,with the stated purpose of encouraging exchange and partnership between the two universities and with the AMED Studies program. The petition accused An-Najah of “incitement to violence, anti-Semitism and the glorification of terrorism.”  The vilification of An-Najah, which is consistently ranked as a leading academic institution in the Arab world, was accompanied by a specific attack on Dr. Abdulhadi who was condemned for initiating the MOU and for her “record as an anti-Israel activist.” Some of the examples given included her role as a founding member of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel and her service as faculty advisor for GUPS.

The catalyst for this attack was a conference, Freedom Behind Bars, held at An-Najah in March 2016. This author attended the conference as part of the Prisoner, Labor and Academic Solidarity delegation to Palestine convened by Dr. Abulhadi.  To the delegation, the conference  was an exciting model of what international academic exchange between activist scholars should be.  To the MEF authors of the anti-An-Najah petition, the conference was a threatening example of the powerful potential of unfiltered exposure to Palestinian scholarship taking place in occupied Palestine.

Our delegation immediately issued an open letter in response to the petition, calling on President Wong  to uphold the importance and validity of the MOU with An-Najah, to reject the defamation of Dr. Abdulhadi and to expand institutional support for the AMED program.  Wong’s office issued a lukewarm response, endorsing all of the University’s exchange programs without specifically upholding the one with An-Najah.    As our open letter was rapidly gaining signatures by students and faculty at SFSU and around the country, an even more egregious act of hate speech occurred on the SFSU campus as well as at UC Berkeley and UCLA.

On the morning of October 14, 2016, students arrived at SFSU to find numerous posters with racist caricature portraits plastered all over campus, defaming Professor Abdulhadi  and Palestinian student leaders by name and labeling them “Jew Haters” and “terrorists.” The posters were signed by the Horowitz Freedom Center, a virulently anti-left and Islamophobic organization. Students immediately went across campus tearing the posters down while University administration did nothing for hours.  President Wong finally issued a statement calling the posters “bullying tactics” but did not even mention that the Horowitz Freedom Center was responsible for them or label them a hate crime.

In response to these posters, numerous articles, statements, and petitions were issued by a wide variety of media and organizations including Palestine Legal, Arab Resource and Organizing Center, UAW Local 2865, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network,  Jewish News and the Jewish Studies Department at SFSU.  They called on Wong to pursue an investigation of the posters as a hate crime and to defend GUPS, AMED, Dr. Abdulhadi and the Arab and Muslim community at SFSU. To date none of this has happened.

As Terry Collins points out, the incidents of the past year are just an intensification of long time problems  facing the AMED program and the Palestinian and Arab communities at SF State.  Dr. Abdulhadi was recruited to SFSU in 2007 from the University of Michigan, Dearborn.  Her recruitment was part of the implementation of the recommendations of a campus/community Task Force that was formed at SFSU in order to address a backlash against Palestinian and Arab students in the post 9-11 era.  According to Dr. Abdulhadi, she accepted the position at SFSU in order to create a program whose explicit purpose was the production of knowledge for social justice. Given the history of social justice engagement at SFSU, the large Arab and Palestinian population in the Bay Area, and the progressive political climate in the region, she believed that it would be an ideal place for her to develop this type of program.   In her recruitment contract she was promised two additional faculty positions for the program as well as administrative support.  However, none of these contractual obligations have ever been met.

A year after Dr. Abdulhadi was recruited in 2008, the Department of Jewish studies at SF State received a gift of $3.75 million from the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund to create an endowed chair in Israel studies, which SF State boasted put it “at the forefront of an emerging new academic field.”  Since then Israel studies has continued to grow, while the AMED program has never expanded beyond Dr. Abdulhadi.  Recently Dr. Abdulhadi was told by President Wong that due to budget constraints, the only way that the two promised faculty positions could be added would be if the program itself could bring in large gifts or grants.

The problems confronting the AMED program have developed in the context of nationwide attacks on Palestinian scholarship including employment termination, disciplinary actions, suspension of student groups and cancellation of course sections.  As the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement has gathered momentum on college campuses across the U.S., the Israeli government and its allies have prioritized the targeting of all scholarship and activity that includes an anti-Zionist, anti-colonial, pro-Palestinian perspective.  Meanwhile, in the same period as online harassment and academic investigations were occurring at SFSU, students at An-Najah and other Palestinian universities have been subject to a mounting wave of raids and arrests. Since it is illegal for Palestinian students to organize protests on campuses, and campus political organizations are banned, there is a constant pretext for the Israeli military occupation to arrest students arbitrarily.  The increasing criminalization of speech and activism about Palestine on U.S. campuses represents a move in the same direction.

Yet despite the election of Trump, the acceleration of openly Islamophobic  policies, and the appointment of ultra-Zionist David Friedman as U.S. ambassador to Israel , the colonial reality of Palestine is breaking through the American wall of denial in unprecedented ways.  On April 16, 2017 the New York Times published a searing op-ed by Marwan Barghouti, a Palestinian leader and political prisoner, indicting the Israeli colonial prison system and announcing a hunger strike by over 1,500 Palestinian prisoners which has continued into May.  A week later, Omar Barghouti,  a co-founder and leader of the BDS movement,  accepted the Gandhi Peace Award at Yale University after an international outcry pressured Israel to reverse a travel ban it had imposed on him.  And on April 27th, the Washington Post published an interview with Palestinian parliamentarian and former political prisoner Khalida Jarrar in which she explains her support for the prisoner hunger strike and highlights the particularly cruel conditions to which Palestinian women prisoners are subjected.
Not surprisingly at the same time, the backlash has been escalating at San Francisco State.  In the beginning of April, Cinnamon Stillwell, the West Coast representative of Campus Watch and a graduate of SF State, accelerated the call to revoke the MOU between An-Najah and SFSU by denouncing the inclusion of former prisoners in the U.S. delegation that participated in the An-Najah conference.  And Nir Barkat, intensified the pressure on President Wong when he canceled a speaking engagement  at SFSU  claiming that SFSU hadn’t  sufficiently publicized the event  and therefore was continuing its “marginalization and demonization of the Jewish state. “

On May 3, students once again found dozens of anti-Palestinian posters plastered around campus, vilifying Palestinian feminist leader Rasmea Odeh,  Students for Justice in Palestine and a Jewish Voice for Peace.  In an urgent message to Wong, GUPS responded clearly, ““Once again SFSU administration has failed to protect us and provide a safe work and study environment for students, faculty and staff.   Claims of being a sanctuary campus must be evidenced in deeds not in words. This applies equally to Muslims, Arabs and Palestinians as it applies to everybody else.”  Their email included numerous pictures of the racist posters before they were taken down.    In a Kafkaesque response, Wong responded the next day with an email claiming that he couldn’t do anything because the campus police “were unable to find any of the posters.”  He encouraged students to call the police and campus counseling if they felt unsafe.

2017 marks the tenth anniversary of the Edward Said mural which was created at SF State in a collaborative effort between students, artists and community members to honor this preeminent Palestinian scholar.  Like everything related to Palestine at SFSU, the mural has been the subject of ongoing bitter controversy, fanned by outside Zionist organizations.  The SFSU administration cites the mural as a symbol of its commitment to “healthy debate,” and “respectful solutions.”  To Terry Collins, the battle at SF State has never been about healthy debate or free speech.  “They’re trying to make an example of the students, GUPS, the AMED program because they’re standing up for Palestine’s freedom, just like the BSU stood up for Black freedom back in 1968,” Terry stresses. “It’s up to those of us in the community to have their backs!”
Diana Block is the author of a novel, Clandestine Occupations – An Imaginary History (PM Press, 2015) and a memoir, Arm the Spirit – A Woman’s Journey Underground and Back (AK Press, 2009).  She is an active member of the California Coalition for Women Prisoners  and the anti-prison coalition CURB. She is a member of the editorial collective of The Fire Inside newsletter and she writes periodically for various online journals.
 
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10 May 2017

ISRAEL'S NEW CULTURAL WAR OF AGGRESSION


Israel’s New Cultural War of Aggression


A few weeks ago my book Palestine’s Horizon: Toward a Just Peace was published by Pluto in Britain. I was in London and Scotland at the time to do a series of university talks to help launch the book. Its appearance happened to coincide with the release of a jointly authored report commissioned by the UN Social and Economic Commission of West Asia, giving my appearances a prominence they would not otherwise have had. The report concluded that the evidence relating to Israeli practices toward the Palestinian people amounted to ‘apartheid,’ as defined in international law.

There was a strong pushback by Zionist militants threatening disruption. These threats were sufficiently intimidating to academic administrators, that my talks at the University of East London and at Middlesex University were cancelled on grounds of ‘health and security.’ Perhaps, these administrative decisions partly reflected the awareness that an earlier talk of mine at LSE had indeed been sufficiently disrupted during the discussion period that university security personnel had to remove two persons in the audience who shouted epithets, unfurled an Israeli flag, stood up and refused to sit down when politely asked by the moderator.

In all my years of speaking on various topics around the world, I had never previously had events cancelled, although quite frequently there was similar pressure exerted on university administrations, but usually threatening financial reprisals if I was allowed to speak. What happened in Britain is part of an increasingly nasty effort of pro-Israeli activists to shut down debate by engaging in disruptive behavior, threats to security, and by smearing speakers regarded as critics of Israel as ‘anti-Semites,’ and in my case as a ‘self-hating,’ even a self-loathing Jew.

Returning to the United States I encountered a new tactic. The very same persons who disrupted in London, evidently together with some likeminded comrades, wrote viciously derogatory reviews of my book on the Amazon website in the U.S. and UK, giving the book the lowest rate possible rating,



This worried my publisher who indicated that how a book is rated on Amazon affects sales very directly. I wrote a message on my Facebook timeline that my book was being attacked in this way, and encouraged Facebook friends to submit reviews, which had the effect of temporarily elevating my ratings. In turn, the ultra-Zionists went back to work with one or two line screeds that made no effort whatsoever to engage the argument of the book. In this sense, there was a qualitative difference as the positive reviews were more thoughtful and substantive. This was a new kind of negative experience for me. Despite publishing many books over the course during this digital age I had never before had a book attacked in this online manner obviously seeking to discourage potential buyers and to demean me as an author. In effect, this campaign is an innovative version of digital book burning, and while not as vivid visually as a bonfire, its vindictive intentions are the same.

These two experiences, the London cancellations and the Amazon harassments, led me to reflect more broadly on what was going on. More significant, by far, than my experience are determined, well-financed efforts to punish the UN for its efforts to call attention to Israeli violations of human rights and international law, to criminalize participation in the BDS campaign, and to redefine and deploy anti-Semitism so that its disavowal and prevention extends to anti-Zionism and even to academic and analytic criticism of Israel’s policies and practices, which is how I am situated within this expanding zone of opprobrium. Israel has been acting against human rights NGOs within its own borders, denying entry to BDS supporters, and even virtually prohibiting foreign tourists from visiting the West Bank or Gaza. In a remarkable display of unity all 100 U.S. senators recently overcame the polarized atmosphere in Washington to join in sending an arrogant letter to the new UN Secretary General, António Guterres, demanding a more friendly, blue washing, approach to Israel at the UN and threatening financial consequences if their outrageous views were not heeded.

Israel’s most ardent and powerful backers are transforming the debate on Israel/Palestine policy into a cultural war of aggression. This new kind of war has been launched with the encouragement and backing of the Israeli government, given ideological support by such extremist pressure groups as UN Watch, GO Monitor, AIPAC, and a host of others. This cultural war is implemented at street levels by flame throwing militants that resort to symbolic forms of violence. The adverse consequences for academic freedom and freedom of thought in a democratic society should not be underestimated. A very negative precedent is being set in several Western countries. Leading governments are collaborating with extremists to shut down constructive debate on a sensitive policy issue affecting the lives and wellbeing of a long oppressed people.

There are two further dimensions of these developments worth pondering: (1) In recent years Israel has been losing the Legitimacy War being waged by the Palestinians, what Israeli think tanks call ‘the delegitimation project,’ and these UN bashing and personal smears are the desperate moves of a defeated adversary in relation to the moral and legal dimensions of the Palestinian struggle for rights.

 In effect, the Israeli government and its support groups have given up almost all efforts to respond substantively, and concentrate their remaining ammunition on wounding messengers who bear witness and doing their best to weaken the authority and capabilities of the UN so as to discredit substantive initiatives; (2) while this pathetic spectacle sucks the oxygen from responses of righteous indignation, attention is diverted from the prolonged ordeal of suffering that has long been imposed on the Palestinian people as a result of Israel’s unlawful practices and policies, as well as its crimes against humanity, in the form of apartheid, collective punishment, ethnic cleansing, and many others. The real institutional scandal is not that the UN is obsessed with Israel but rather that it is blocked from taking action that might exert sufficient pressure on Israel to induce the dismantling of apartheid structures relied upon to subjugate, displace, and dispossess the Palestinian people over the course of more than 70 years with no end in sight.

Richard Falk is Albert G. Milbank Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University and Visiting Distinguished Professor in Global and International Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
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08 May 2017

AUSTRALIA, NATIONALISM AND SOME NATIONALIST STATE EXAMPLES

This is a topic dear to the heart of nationalists everywhere.

Starting with a few examples from the past, some of the most notorious of the 20th century led the story for much of that time: Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Salazar, Pol Pot, Mao tse tung, Verwoerd, Peron, Pinochet - there were so many, leaving out those from our so-called "democracies".

What is nationalism?

The Concise Oxford of 1990 defines nationalism as:

1a) a patriotic feeling, principles, etc.
1b) an extreme form of this; chauvinism.
2) a policy of national independence.

What is Australian nationalism?

1) clinging to daddy (1) nationalist UK
2) clinging to daddy (2) nationalist USA
2a) being passionately and devotedly and hero-worshippingly in love with the most racist apartheid most nationalist most undemocratic most "heroic"  state of all - zionist apartheid Israel.

3) involving itself in any old imperial war which pitches up, whether it is relevant to Australia or not

4) we shall decide who comes to this country and the circumstances of how they get here.

Multiculturalism? only on our monocultural terms!

Nationalsim in Australia means never having to say something which upsets local sensitivities.

Footy? ANZAC Day? - god's own items and don't ever forget it!

So here we have a foreign not-white not anglo not originally English speaking - not culturally "kosher" according to local definitions, and what she said on ANZAC Day has outraged the locals to the extent that they would like to have her thrown out of the country!

Yassmin Abdel-Magied

That is the name of the young person who had the temerity to state on ANZAC DAY:

Lest we forget (Nauru, Manus, Palestine) {she apologised and withdrew it after there was such an outcry you could hear it all the way from RSL to parliament and the ABC and our journalists whose indignation was enough for them to explode}

and she does work on the ABC and the RSL is furious and the government is furious and so many nationalist loving citizens are furious, and the list goes on and on.

She should not have apologised and she should not have withdrawn it - it was not illegal and did no harm to anyone.

Nationalism is beloved of those who believe we will only be strong as a nation if we stick to a certain dynamic. We must be white, Anglo, English-speaking, toe the party line, so long as it is right-wing and reactionary, we must be able to be as racist as we want to be, so long as these upstart foreigners understand that they can not  think they can say what they like and get away with it.




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90 years old, political gay activist, hosting two web sites, one personal: http://www.red-jos.net one shared with my partner, 94-year-old Ken Lovett: http://www.josken.net and also this blog. The blog now has an alphabetical index: http://www.red-jos.net/alpha3.htm

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