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JEWS, JUDAISM & JEWISHNESS

December 17th, 2010

GILAD ATZMON

Since Israel defines itself as the ‘Jewish state’ we are entitled to consider what the word ‘Jewish’ stands for.

I tend to differentiate between three distinct (yet occasionally confusing) categories.

1. Jews - the people

2. Judaism - the religion

3. Jewishness - the ideology

During my study of Zionism, Jewish politics, 'identity politics' and culture, I have managed to avoid embroiling myself in the complexity involved with the first category -- I do not deal with Jews as a race or an ethnicity. I also generally avoid dealing with Judaism (the religion). In fact, I am the first to admit that the only Jewish collective to support the Palestinians, are groups that exist within the Torah Jews. That such groups support Palestinian self-determination and autonomy is proof enough that aspects of religious Judaism can be interpreted as emphasizing ethical precepts.

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Obama’s last card - Will he play it?

December 16th, 2010

By Alan Hart

President Obama ought to have trouble sleeping at night knowing that by allowing Israel to continue its illegal settlement activity on the occupied West Bank he has made himself, and his country, openly complicit in the Zionist state’s defiance of international law. In a different America that ought to be enough to have any president removed from office.

Do I have a picture in my mind of a different America? Yes. In a recent interview with Der Spiegel, Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter’s National Security Adviser, said that most Americans are “stunningly ignorant” about the world. By definition a different America would be one in which Americans were aware of the fact that almost everything they have been conditioned to believe about the making and sustaining of the conflict in and over Palestine that became Israel is Zionist propaganda nonsense. (Properly informed Americans would understand, for example, why continued, unconditional White House and Congressional support for the criminal state of Israel is not in America’s own best interests and is, actually, provoking a real and growing threat to them).

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The United States of War Criminals

December 16th, 2010

Mickey Z.

"People from poorer places and poorer countries have to call upon their compassion not to be angry with ordinary people in America." - Arundhati Roy

More than half (53.3%) of US tax dollars go to a criminal enterprise known as the US Department of Defense (sic), a.k.a. the worst polluter on the planet . We hear about tax cuts this and budget that and all kinds of other bullshit from the US government and the corporations that own it…but the reality remains: Roughly one million tax dollars per minute are spent to fund the largest military machine (read: global terrorist operation) the world has ever known.

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You are on your own. It's official!

December 15th, 2010

Michael Collins


Some of us have known this for a long time. Some of us just found out and some will find out very soon. There are few, if any, elected officials who really care about our interests unless we're one of the few thousand ultra rich who control Congress and the White House.

The Obama-Republican tax plan was just approved in the United States Senate. It will become law soon. What did we lose?

The Senate put the Social Security system at risk with a 33% cut to employee payroll taxes, from 6.2% to 4.2% of wages. Social Security is doing well with a $2.5 trillion surplus. But this major change begins the starvation of the system. Those who voted in favor will turn around sometime soon and say that Social Security is faltering. Of course, their cynical actions will be at fault. They'll conveniently avoid mentioning that.

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Middle East Economic and Political Institute

December 15th, 2010

Civil rights for Palestinian refugees

Written by Dr. Franklin Lamb

The European Union can redeem its charter and alleviate widespread suffering in Lebanon’s refugee camps.

The Palestine Civil Rights Campaign—Lebanon (PCRC) was organized in Washington DC and Beirut, Lebanon in late 2009 with the goal of achieving, in concert with Lebanese based NGOs, the enactment in Lebanon’s parliament of two basic civil rights for more than 400,000 UNRWA registered Palestinians. These are the basic civil rights to work and to own a home.

With a series of popular support efforts, including a civil rights march on parliament on 27 June 2010 and a series of informational and analytical reports distributed widely on the Internet and in hard copy, the PCRC continues to intensify its work. Currently lobbying members of parliament, as well as pursuing several initiatives, including an International Petition which aims to collect one million signatures (it currently has 600,000 signatures from 105 countries), the PCRC in Lebanon pegs success on international and particularly European Union involvement.

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Permanent War Is Killing Us, Time for Solidarity

December 15th, 2010

By Margaret Flowers, MD

What do you care about?

I became a physician because I care about people’s health. Specifically, I became a pediatrician because children are our future and I wanted to be part of the community that gives each child tools for a healthy, productive and fulfilling life.

Sadly, I discovered during my pediatric practice that the health environment in this country, unlike every other industrialized nation, is heavily corporatized and so places tremendous barriers to care. This makes high quality care difficult for physicians to provide and patients to receive. Now I advocate full-time for a national health program, Medicare for all, so that every person living in the United States will have access to the same standard of high quality medical care.

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Haiti's Electoral Council Tries Alternate Ways to Legitimize Fraud

December 15th, 2010

by Stephen Lendman

It's almost surreal following Haiti's November 28 elections, a process elevating fraud to a new level. So bad, in fact, most candidates demanded voiding it and starting over, but no matter. On December 9, New York Times Deborah Sontag headlined, "Haitian Vote Results to Be Reviewed," saying:

"Seeking to defuse the violent protests that have shut down this country for two days, Haiti's electoral council (CEP) promised....to rapidly review the widely mistrusted preliminary results...."

Honest observers and most candidates condemned them, citing brazen fraud, widespread ballot box stuffing, polling stations opening late, closing early, or not opening at all, staffing them with functional illiterates, omitting voter names from rolls, others told their ID cards were invalid, and numerous other examples of electoral illegitimacy, mocking a free and open process.

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Leaked Cable: Hike food prices to boost GM crop approval in Europe

December 14th, 2010

By Rady Ananda

In a January 2008 meeting, US and Spain trade officials strategized how to increase acceptance of genetically modified foods in Europe, including inflating food prices on the commodities market, according to a leaked US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks.

During the meeting, Secretary of State for International Trade, Pedro Mejia, and Secretary General Alfredo Bonet “noted that commodity price hikes might spur greater liberalization on biotech imports.”

It seems Wall Street traders got the word. By June 2008, food prices had spiked so severely that “The Economist announced that the real price of food had reached its highest level since 1845, the year the magazine first calculated the number,” reports Fred Kaufman in The Food Bubble: How Wall Street starved millions and got away with it.

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A Zoo Of Our Own Making: We will kill for empire and a parking space - Video

December 14th, 2010

By Phil Rockstroh

In an age, when nature is besieged and the political landscape blighted, and one stands, stoop shouldered and wincing into the howling wasteland of epic-scale idiocy extant in the era, a solitary person can feel lost ... marooned inside an increasingly isolated sense of self. Whether urban, suburban, or rural dwelling, the sense of alienation, for an individual, is profound ... as discernible to the eye as the constellations of foreclosure signs stippling overgrown front lawns across the land ... as hidden as the abandoned dreams within.

The fraying ligature of the landscape of the United States reveals an inner geography of alienation and anomie. Living on the island of Manhattan, I daily negotiate an urban layout of practical, but identity-decimating grids -- a cityscape of harsh, inhuman right angles ... a geography that renders street encounters abrupt, curt and intrusive.

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Hey, American People!

December 14th, 2010

By Sheila Samples

"The time is always right to do what is right"~~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Whew. Nasty. That was one hell of a campaign season; one hell of an election. Democrats emerged, bruised and broken, yet their mindset seems to be -- hey, we survived Bush, how bad can it be? Sadly, the grim truth they refuse to face is -- we didn't survive Bush...

The radical right-wing, neo-conservative, religious-based, hate-empowered GOP once again owes the half-crazed ideologues in the Supreme Court a hearty thanks for plunging yet another dagger into the heart of democracy with its Citizens United corporate giveaway. And no Justice on that venerable body is more ideologically rigid than Dick Cheney's hunting buddy Antonin Scalia, who ramrodded the Court's 2000 Presidential "Selection" for George W. Bush, and is now out there taking aim at the century-old 17th Amendment to the US Constitution, which is literally the last barrier to a corporate-owned nation.

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