Speaking out against the ‘apartheid’ perpetrated against Palestinians

February 2, 2017

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CNN reports that amid the evacuation of Amona, Naftali Bennett — the Jewish Home party leader and education minister in Benjamin Netanyahu’s government — told his supporters: “From the ruins of Amona we will move to build a new settlement. From this mountain we will move towards applying Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria”.

A few months ago in the Friend, Miles Fielding wrote:

Following on from Don Mason’s excellent letter, ‘Re-defining anti-Semitism’ (23 September), I am extremely disturbed by the current attempts by the pro-Israel lobby to change the meaning of the word ‘antiSemitism’.

Anti-Semitism is described in the English dictionary as ‘…a hostility towards or discrimination against Jewish people’.

This is far removed from speaking out against Israel and those who have a Zionist ideology.

Speaking out against the ‘apartheid’ perpetrated against Palestinians by the Israelis is no worse than speaking out against the apartheid that used to be present in South Africa and which, thankfully, is no longer in existence.

The pro-Israel lobby in Britain and, indeed, across the world is in the process of trying to redefine the phrase anti-Semitism in an attempt to gag any open criticism, and this cannot be allowed to happen.

Miles Fielding Brigflatts Meeting, Cumbria (presently attending Forres Meeting, Moray): the Friend, 7 October 2016

The latest ‘sovereign’ development:

west-2-bank-new-building

 

 

 


Beware the exaggerated portrayal of Russia as the unprovoked aggressor and the fragile western alliance as innocent defenders

October 21, 2016

In the FT, Professor Robert H. Wade, LSE Professor of Political Economy,comments on a reference in an article by Ivo Daalder, president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and former US permanent representative to NATO.

robert-2-wade 

Daalder argues that Russian president Vladimir Putin “needs the antagonism of the west to protect his standing at home”, and therefore acts as the unprovoked aggressor in order both to generate that antagonism and to expand the boundaries of Russia’s territorial control. Daalder therefore advocates that the west must strengthen the western alliance’s military forces around Russia (“The best answer to Russian aggression is containment”).

Wade questions Daalder’s statement that “the core of our strength is western unity”: stating that “In fact, western unity is fragile”. As Mr Putin needs the antagonism of the west to protect his standing at home, so the west needs the antagonism of Russia (helped by China) to glue the fractious alliance together.

Intelligence of the ‘dubious, politically ‘fixed’ kind used 12 years ago to ‘justify’ the US-led attack on Iraq’

The western exaggeration of the Russian government’s role in the civil war in Ukraine is cited by Wade and we are informed that eight retired US intelligence analysts wrote a letter to German chancellor Angela Merkel in August 2014 warning her that the intelligence supporting the accusation of a major Russian invasion of Ukraine “seems to be of the same dubious, politically ‘fixed’ kind used 12 years ago to ‘justify’ the US-led attack on Iraq”.

He warns Western voters and taxpayers to be wary of western governments’ exaggerated portrayal of Russia as the unprovoked aggressor and themselves as innocent defenders, which serves to fortify the fragile western alliance.

And adds that it also satisfies the arms industry, for which weapons systems against threatening states are much more profitable than those against terrorists . . . advising that if the aim is genuinely to curb Russian aggression, western states and NATO have to be less aggressive towards Russia.

 

 

 


People from these countries visited the site this week

October 19, 2016

c3-vistors

 

 

 


Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko: for more than 27 years, quiet symbols of a now pacifist nation

August 12, 2016

A televised speech by Emperor Akihito of Japan is being described by the country’s media as his final act of resistance against the prime minister, a bid to halt the return to Japan’s aggressive pre-war attitudes and policies as Japan’s remilitarization is steadily underway with a revived weapons industry and rising armaments sales.

Emperor_Akihito_2

The emperor remembers the war and its aftermath first hand and was thought to be making a lightly veiled reference to these issues in some passages: “I have considered that the first and foremost duty of the Emperor is to pray for peace and the happiness of all the people. At the same time, I also believe that in some cases it is essential to stand by the people, listen to their voices, and be close to them in their thoughts.”

Mari Yamamoto in the IAC/InterActiveCorp’s Newsweek/Daily Beast notes that in recent years, the emperor’s speeches and those of Crown Prince Naruhito have been studied for their sentiments on the importance of pacifism and the post-war constitution:

“They have remembered honestly Japan’s crimes during the war, and voiced subtle opposition to the renewed militarism of the current administration” 

japan article 9 graphicShe adds that the Emperor and his wife, Empress Michiko, have reigned more than 27 years as quiet symbols of a pacifist nation, living voices reminding the Japanese people of the horrific past that the country endured and that Imperial Japan imposed on others, whereas Prime Minister Abe and his political allies have long derided Japan’s constitution as a humiliation imposed upon the Japanese people by the United States occupation government, impinging on “basic human rights.”

On his birthday in 2013, the Emperor said: “After the war, Japan was occupied by the Allied forces and, based on peace and democracy as values to be upheld, established the Constitution of Japan, undertook various reforms and built the foundation of Japan that we know today. I have profound gratitude for the efforts made by the Japanese people at the time, who helped reconstruct and improve the country devastated by the war. I also feel that we must not forget the help extended to us in those days by Americans with an understanding of Japan and Japanese culture.”

Abe’s visit to the shrine and the problems surrounding it were taken up in the 2015 US government report, Japan-U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress (PDF). The Imperial Family, even during the previous emperor’s reign came to an end, stopped paying their respects after fourteen convicted war criminals were enshrined in 1978. Neither the current emperor nor the crown prince has visited Yasukuni since.

In recent years, the Royal Couple have visited the sites where Japanese soldiers died overseas, expressing their condolences also to the foreign nationals killed in the war, but in contrast Abe and many in his party are known supporters of the Yasukuni Shrine where Japan’s convicted war criminals such as Hideki Tojo are remembered.

“Everything the Emperor says is correct,” said the acting head of Nippon Kaigi, Tadae Takubo, in a press conference last month – a pronouncement which puts Abe and his cabinet in a difficult position.

Will he retire and see his wishes respected in a pacifist Japan,  with a constitution that guarantees basic human rights and renounces war?

 

 


Jeremy can wear both poppies

September 15, 2015

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poppies2

 

 

 

 

 

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‘U.N. resolution: Israel must renounce nuclear arms’: Washington Post

December 8, 2014

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Mark Shapiro draws attention to another article in Electronic Intifada by the author of One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse.

Summary

Israel and the United States were the only countries to vote against a UN resolution calling for the prevention of an arms race in outer space and another resolution calling for a prohibition on the development and manufacture of new types of weapons of mass destruction, both passed by the General Assembly on 2nd December.

un officials call on I to sign nptUnited Nations News Centre Top UN officials called on hold-out states to ratify treaty banning nuclear tests in 2011

Another resolution on the “risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East,” calling on Israel to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) “without delay” and noting that it remains “the only State in the Middle East that has not yet” done so was passed, with Canada and Micronesia joining Israel and the US in voting against it.

US envoy Robert Wood voted against the resolution at the committee-level last month on the grounds that the measure “fails to meet the fundamental tests of fairness and balance. It confines itself to expressions of concern about the activities of a single country.”

But Israel is the only ‘single country’ with nuclear weapons in the region, and the only country that has not signed the NPT.

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In this article in Electronic Intifada, an independent online news publication focusing on Palestine, its people, politics, culture and place in the world, the author, Ali Abunimah, also touches on Israel’s nuclear safety record. It came near the bottom of a 2012 survey by the Nuclear Safety Initiative examining the security conditions of nuclear materials held in 32 countries. He also deplores the abstention of twenty states from the resolution calling on Israel to join the NPT, including India, Germany (which gives Israel submarines on which it deploys nuclear weapons) and other EU states including the UK, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands and France:

“The usual suspects who lecture the rest of the world about “peace” but are always on hand to assist Israel to commit its crimes while shielding it from accountability”.


We will remember them – and those who sent them to their death

November 1, 2014


tower london poppies

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Soldier Harry Patch:

 harry patch quote

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