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Palestine a new UN member

By: JAMAL KANJ*

November 29, 2012

TODAY, Mahmoud Abbas the president of the Palestinian Authority (PA) will formally request the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to vote on Palestine’s application for an Observer member state at the international club.

This comes exactly 65 years to the day after the Assembly voted to partition Palestine between its native inhabitants and new Jewish immigrants.
 
On November 29, 1947 guilt-ridden Western cohorts, the Soviet Union and a bunch of newly independent vassal states voted in favor of granting 55 per cent of historical Palestine to Jews fleeing the European Holocaust.

The vote to divide Palestine was originally planned for November 26. Failing to garner the two-thirds majority needed to pass the resolution, the meeting was postponed by three days.

Several nations spoke of pressure orchestrated by the Zionist Organization (ZO) in New York to get them switch their vote.

ZO headquarter was established in Berlin at the turn of the 20th century. At the time, Germany represented the center of European power and the country with the greatest influence over the Ottoman Empire who had control over Palestine.

Following WWI victory, Great Britain became the new center of power and the Mandate Authority over Palestine. ZO abandoned Berlin and moved its headquarter to London.  

WWII propelled the US to a new preeminence on the world stage. In a predictable fashion, ZO made New York its new home. 

From its new headquarter ZO succeeded in enlisting 26 US Senators- many with strong influence on foreign bills- to send a telegram urging wavering nations to support the partition plan.

Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru of India expressed frustrations with Zionist attempts to buy India’s vote. Liberian Ambassador to Washington spoke of threats to cut US foreign aid.

The Philippines’ representative General Carlos Romulo warned the UN not to embrace “a policy which is clearly repugnant to the valid nationalist aspirations of the people of Palestine.” Following pressure from the US, the Ambassador was recalled and the Philippines' vote changed.

After guaranteeing a favoring vote, the 56 Assembly members met on November 29. Thirty three countries were in support of the partition, thirteen opposing, ten abstained and one absent.

After 65 years of being stateless and more than 20 years of serpentine negotiations, the Palestinians are seeking UN recognition on merely less than 22 per cent of historical Palestine.

The UNGA has changed dramatically since 1947. The organization today is about four times larger. To be admitted to the UN, a new state must receive support from more than 127 nations.

But one thing remained unchanged. The Israeli lobby is again using US Congress to blackmail the international community to block Palestine’s admission at the UN.

To that end, the World Zionist Organization’s lobbying arm- ZO changed its name in 1960- coerced Congress to pass special law (22 USC 287e) prohibiting US funding “for the United Nations or any specialized agency thereof which accords the Palestine Liberation Organization the same standing as member states”

Last September, a US communique warned European countries that granting Observer status to Palestinians will force the US to stop ”financial support for the Palestinian Authority.” 

It is almost certain the PA is posed to get the 2/3 majority for seat number 194 at the UN. A year ago, the Israeli proxy US veto at the Security Council delayed the inevitable course of history for one year.

Today however, the US fruitless opposition for Palestine’s membership at the UN will go down in the annals of history- along with the ill-treatment of Native Americans and slavery- as one of the most abominable and darkest eras in American history.

*Jamal Kanj writes frequently on Arab World issues and the author of “Children of Catastrophe, Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America”, Garnet Publishing, UK. Jamal’s articles can be read at www.jamalkanj.com, his email address is jkanj@yahoo.com
 
 
Gaza needs deeds, not visits

By: Jamal Kanj

November 21, 2012

ISRAEL’S wars on Gaza have never ceased since Palestinians exercised their free democratic election in 2006. The relentless warfare has taken alternating facets of bloody and muted wars for at least six years.

Let’s first clarify some distortions.

Contradictory to most Western media reporting the current escalation was sparked by Israel’s extra judicial assassination of Ahmad Al Jabari, a Hamas military leader, not by rockets from Gaza.

The targeted killing came 48 hours following an Egyptian mediated ceasefire between Israel and militant Palestinian organizations. 

In fact, news reports three weeks ago indicated that the assassinated Hamas leader was negotiating a long term ceasefire with Israel.  Moreover, Mr. Al Jabari was instrumental in limiting Hamas’ retaliation to repeated Israeli violations of a previous ceasefire.

What motivated Israeli to violate the latest agreement?

Israeli governing political parties thrive on conflict.  Almost every major war waged in the last 15 years, whether in Palestine or Lebanon coincided with a scheduled election (1996, 2006, 2009.) As a militaristic society, Israeli polls correspond favorably by voting for the party of war.

A second political objective is preempting and reframing Obama’s peace agenda during his second term.

Third motive is to distract attention or delay Palestinian bid for an Observer status at the United Nations later this month.

On the military level, Zionist warmongers sacrificing Palestinian and Jewish blood to test US financed Iron Dom in preparation for their more destructive war with Hezbollah and Iran.

In a week of clashes, the American made and taxpayers paid smart technology targeted residential areas killing more than 140 Palestinians; a “collateral damage” of mostly innocent women, children.  

The current carnage is inseparable from Israel’s 64 years old violent attempts to subjugate the Palestinian people. 

War crimes rationalized by the US and most European countries as self-defense. These are the same nations which ostensibly back Arab’s trot towards democracy.

This is beyond hypocritical.

While pontificating on Arabs to embrace democratic values, they had been nonchalant to the inhumane blockade on Gaza or Israeli suzerainty on the rest of Palestine. Occupation is the worst form of rules, combined with a military siege, it is the highest level of aggression. 

Other form of aggression is Israel’s silent war manifested by its military supervised starvation “diet” rationing the entry of food and preventing fishermen in Gaza from accessing 85 pc of sea fishery resources. 

A study prepared for the United Nations Conference of Trade and Development (UNCTAD) last September predicted that under current conditions, Gaza would become “fundamentally unlivable” city by 2020. 

Israeli evil have continued only because the international community remained indifferent to Israeli illegal settlements in the West Bank and a wicked siege on more than 1.4 million people in Gaza.

This was also possible because Arab governments choose to do very little. Rhetoric speeches and feel good visits to Gaza may raise morale. Financial support, if dispensed, is recycled in the never-ending rebuilding process.

What Gaza needs are deeds to compel Western powers to come back to their senses and stop defending Israel’s malevolent policies. 

For example, minor tweaking in oil production or delay in delivery lots would be enough to jiggle vulnerable Western economies forcing leaders to become more attuned to their national interests, not Israeli lobby.

For a ceasefire to take footing, its final outcome must be inclusive of halting all forms of warfare, ending the blockade on Gaza and a cessation in building illegal Jewish only settlements in the West Bank.

Israelis should not continue to enjoy peace while Palestinians suffer under occupation. Reconciliation and repression are incongruent.

*Jamal Kanj writes frequently on Arab World issues and the author of “Children of Catastrophe, Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America”, Garnet Publishing, UK. Jamal’s articles can be read at www.jamalkanj.com, his email address is jkanj@yahoo.com
 
 
 
US elections, a diminishing democracy

JAMAL KANJ*

November 7, 2012

THE results of US elections are eccentric. While re-electing Obama for the White House, voters also chose members of the opposing party as their Representatives. Pundits refer to this as division of powers at its best.

Today, next to President Barack Obama, Abigael Evans, the four-year-old from Fort Collins Colorado must be the second happiest person presidential election is finally over.

Last week leading to election, Abigael became an instantaneous American celebrity after her mom posted on Youtube her tearful 22 second clip declaring “I am tired of Bronco Bama and Mitt Romney." As of yesterday, her video received more than 13 million hits.

She was not alone.  

Living in a swing state, the little girl was the recipient of the brunt of an estimated one million presidential election ad. For anyone who lived through a US election, the immediate relief is not the polling’s outcome, but the end of incessant bombardment of primetime slanted commercials advising electorates of who not to vote for instead of who they should elect.

In this election cycle, presidential candidates and Super Political Action Committees (SuperPACs) broke a new record raising and spending more than $2 billion.

US election laws do not allow citizens to contribute more than $2,500 to a candidate in an election year. SuperPACs however were permitted in a 2010 Supreme Court ruling to raise money from undeclared individuals or corporations and spend unlimited cash during an election cycle.

This gives more significance for this election as Obama could potentially fill more than half of the seats on the high court, the first time since President Dwight Eisenhower.

In October alone SuperPACs supporting both political parties invested more than $526 million in US election.

The main Republican inclined Super PACs were Mitt Romney Restore Our Future, American Crossroads, and Crossroads GPS. An important financier for Romney’s PAC was casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.

Adelson, who brags of being "the richest Jew in the world” was cited by the British Guardian on November 1st to support the hawkish current Israeli prime minister as a “necessary bulwark” to peace talks and “Palestinian statehood, a prospect he abhors.”

On the Democratic side, the Pro Obama Super PAC Priorities USA Action funded among others by Hollywood tycoons like Haim Saban, of Saban Entertainment and DreamWorks founders Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg.  

Saban, according to New York Times on April 9, 2009, threatened to withhold campaign contributions to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi if Israeli firster Jane Harman was not appointed to an intelligence post in a Congressional committee. 

DreamWorks presented Israeli president Shimon Peres last March with the original piece of artwork from their first animated feature film "Prince of Egypt." Peres in turn applauded Hollywood influence on youth for "children believe the actors more than the politicians."

Ironically, the above major Bankrollers for elections’ winners and losers share one thing: special affinity to Israel; ensuring that irrespective of the victor, an Israel-first financier will have special access to the resident of the White House.

The Economist Magazine special report on October 12 suggested that 80% of the total SuperPACs money “comes from fewer than 200 donors.” Statistically, this means that less than 0.0000007% of the US population has the largest impact in shaping the outcome of US elections.

Chrystia Freeland editor of Thomson Reuters Digital sees newfangled status symbol transformation for the super-rich from “conspicuous consumption” to influencing “public policy.”

She cautioned that "Democracy is supposed to be one person, one vote. But when economic disparity grows and transfers into political disparity, well, you have to ask where it's going."
 
*Jamal Kanj writes frequently on Arab World issues and the author of “Children of Catastrophe, Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America”, Garnet Publishing, UK. Jamal’s articles can be read at www.jamalkanj.com, his email address is jkanj@yahoo.com
 

Netanyahu: intoxicated by arrogance

Jamal Kanj

October 30, 2012

IN my weekly column last August I predicted “Closer to Election Day and as the President’s reelection becomes certain, a credible scenario would be for Israel to strike Iran preempting Obama’s new term at the White House.”   

Benjamin Netanyahu’s performance at the United Nation’s (UN) opening session deflated that possibility. The cartoon’s bomb spectacle was the ex-furniture salesman’s final desperate stunt before conceding.

Concluding from Netanyahu’s speech an Israeli strike is now less likely. Not only since Obama’s reelection next Tuesday was becoming uncertain, but because Netanyahu was a victim of his vain swaggering arrogance.  

Politicians tend to get intoxicated in private room meetings losing their inhibition when articulating, off the record, their candid opinions.

In a 2001 closed room meeting, unbeknown to him, Netanyahu was caught on video bragging to an Israeli settler’s family on how easily he can manipulate the US “I know what America is… America is a thing you can move very easily.”

He boasted on his plans to sabotage the Oslo Peace Accord with Palestinians: “I'm going to interpret the accords in such a way that would allow me to put an end to this galloping forward to the '67 borders.”

Netanyahu was however side blinded by his condescension view of American democracy- in the Iran case- where he failed to appreciate the role US military might play over war issues. 

American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is undeniably one of the strongest lobbying groups in Washington and arguably the undisputed foreign lobby leader in the nation’s capital. It remains however of no match to the US military’s influence.

Preempting Netanyahu, AIPAC and Israeli firsters from both parties, Obama mobilized his military by sending the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey to Tel Aviv in late January reiterating the President’s demand for Israeli refrain from any unilateral military move without prior notice to Washington.

In a characteristic salesman bluff, Netanyahu responded by canceling the largest ever US-Israel war exercise that was scheduled to take place in April. The Prime Minister wanted to send an indirect message to the Obama administration of a possible unilateral strike during spring 2012.

The US military was unmoved by the Israeli tactics and continued to verbalize its opposition to war. The American military public position neutralized Israeli supporters and war advocates in both houses.

Israeli lobby’s inability to exert political pressure on the US military, a backpedaling Netanyahu surrogate told Ynet news on August 11 that Israel is willing to “reconsider” unilateral attack if Obama would set an ultimatum to stop Iran’s enrichment.   

Refusing to abate, the military went on the offensive. US Joint Chiefs Dempsey was quoted in the British Guardian on August 30 that an Israeli strike would only succeed in unraveling the “crippling international sanctions” against the Iranian government.

He went further making a statement no US politician would dare to utter: “I don't want to be complicit if they [Israel] choose to do it."

Only American military leaders are invulnerable to political intimidation from Israeli firsters and its lobbying arm. Unlike the myopic view of elected officials, military leaders understand the cost of war and the limitation of its own might in what could be a very costly protracted conflict.

Next Wednesday America will wake up to a new term president at the White House. To the chagrin of Israeli leaders, the US military might have derailed for now another world disaster.

*Jamal Kanj writes frequently on Arab World issues and the author of “Children of Catastrophe, Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America”, Garnet Publishing, UK. Jamal’s articles can be read at www.jamalkanj.com, his email address is jkanj@yahoo.com
 
 
 
 
The wiles of foreign influence

By: Jamal Kanj

October 23, 2012

THE US State Department is circulating a confidential letter urging European Union members (EU) and other “friendly” countries to help block the Palestinian initiative for a non-member observer state at the United Nations General Assembly.

The memorandum, seen by this writer, falsely asserts that “The United States and its Quartet partners continue to work toward …, democratic Jewish State of Israel and a Palestinian State as a homeland for the Palestinian people.”

While the Peace Quartet has endorsed the establishment of an independent Palestinian State on the 1967 occupied land, it never agreed on defining Israel as “Jewish State.” In fact this issue was the sticking point leading to the failure of Quartet’s meeting in July 2011.

The State Department communique claims that it continues “to urge both parties to avoid provocative one-sided actions that could undermine trust….”

Sadly, the US is conspicuously treating Palestinian diplomatic efforts at an international organization as more serious than the one sided Israeli interminable unilateral breaches of the 20 year old Oslo Accords.

Phlegmatic on Israeli violations, the State Department is execrably mobilizing its diplomatic corps at Israel’s service to undermine Palestinian basic human rights for a state of their own.

In the private document, the administration cautioned that “A General Assembly resolution on Palestinian statehood could also open the door to Palestinian participation as a state in other international fora, including at the International Criminal Court …”

What is the impetus for US concerns?

The nonmember state observer status will only grant Court jurisdiction over war crimes committed within the geographical area of the state. Absence of war crimes, the Court’s jurisdiction becomes immaterial.

Unless of course, the US apprehension over Palestinian entry into the international body- with power to adjudicate on matters related to war crimes- is an implicit admission of Israeli culpability in such crimes.

The letter carried an oblique warning to European countries that joining the UN will have “significant negative consequences,” including “our ability to maintain our significant financial support for the Palestinian Authority;” implying that EU countries will be left with the burden of supporting an economy strangled by Israeli occupation.

Israel’s grip on US foreign policy is bizarre. Last month, since Israeli Prime Minister could not arrive along with the other leaders, the President had to cancel a 20 year old tradition of meeting with world leaders attending the UN session.  

To avoid the appearance of meeting world leaders but not with Benjamin Netanyahu, Obama called off his meetings all together. 

This irrational Israeli influence over American foreign policy was investigated at length in a book called “The Israeli Lobby and US Foreign Lobby,” by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt who argued: “It is time for the United States to treat Israel not as a special case but as a normal state, and to deal with it much as it deals with any other country.”

In his farewell speech in 1796, the founding father and first American President George Washington presaged these type of relations forewarning of the danger of "the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government."

Indeed, Israeli lobby’s diabolic “influence” over elected American officials is the most destructive threat to US democracy.

 *Jamal Kanj writes frequently on Arab World issues and the author of “Children of Catastrophe, Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America”, Garnet Publishing, UK. Jamal’s articles can be read at www.jamalkanj.com, his email address is jkanj@yahoo.com
 
 
It is time for Palestine

By JAMAL KANJ*

October 16, 2012

Frustrated with the circuitous peace process and absence of a universal enforceable framework, Palestinians decided in 2011 to turn to UN to seek full state membership in the international body.

Palestinians’ hopes were buoyed in 2010 by US president’s speech at the UN declaring “When we come back next year, we can have an agreement that will lead to a new member of the United Nations, an independent, sovereign state of Palestine”

The vision of the US president for peace in the Middle East was however thwarted by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu who pursued instead the building of Jewish only settlements on occupied Palestinian land.  

Lack of political well on the part of the US and EU to end Israel’s violation of the Oslo Accord left Palestinians with no option but to seek UN recognition of a state on only 22 per cent of the historical Palestine.

Negating the president’s UN speech, the US led successfully last year an Israeli proxy campaign to block a Security Council vote on the application for full UN membership.

Thereafter, Palestinian leadership shelved their plans, even offering to forgo UN membership if only the US and Peace Quartet would set a reciprocal binding framework for peace negotiation. 

With the absence of serious international efforts, President Mahmoud Abbas declared again at the opening of this year’s UN General Assembly (UNGA) session his intention to bypass the Security Council and pursue instead a non-member observer state status under  UNGA rule “Uniting for Peace.”

Uniting for Peace precedence was first invoked by the US in 1950 in response to UN Security Council impasse over the situation in Korea. The rule stipulates that in case the Security Council “fails to exercise its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security” the matter can be brought directly to UNGA. 

For 20 years, the US and the EU have failed to force succeeding Israeli government to accept unconditionally the Peace Quartet’s vision for an independent Palestinian state. To the contrary, for the same period Israel more than doubled its illegal settlement’s population on occupied Palestinian land.

Peace requires two willing parties.

The current Israeli government was elected on a party platform calling unambiguously for Israel to reject “the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river” and that “The Jordan river will be permanent eastern border of the State of Israel.”

The US and EU have long ago forced the Palestinians to cancel their national charter and have isolated Hamas for refusing to change its platform.

It is high time for the US and Europeans to compel Israel governing parties for the same.

As for the US role, Palestinian leadership must stop deluding itself. The peculiar US policy in the Middle East is dictated by small number of unchecked Israeli firsters.

Thomas Mooerer, a former Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, once summed up this relation stating “I’ve never seen a President stand up to them. They [Israelis] always get what they want. If the American people understood what a grip those people have got on our government, they would rise up in arms.”

Until they “rise up”, US economy is struggling, American tax payers are footing Israel’s occupation bill, while Israelis are enjoying a prosperous economy under a de facto peace status quo.

*Jamal Kanj writes frequently on Arab World issues and the author of “Children of Catastrophe, Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America”, Garnet Publishing, UK. Jamal’s articles can be read at www.jamalkanj.com, his email address is jkanj@yahoo.com


How Israel manipulates American public opinion

By: JAMAL KANJ*

October 09, 2012

IN last week’s column, I wrote on Edward Said’s scholarly work on Western media coverage of Muslim and Arab countries. And how most of the presumed Western experts were influenced by discreet cultural biases or politically motivated.

This fact couldn’t be more pertinent than in recent coverage of protests against the film deriding Prophet Mohammed.  For days, the media was fixated on protests and ensuing senseless violence.

US presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s knee jerk reaction to the protests in Libya and Egypt was to admonish the Obama administration, blaming the violence on field ambassadors for condemning the movie and not “standing up for American values.”

The same media and candidate (until his speech this week) all but ignored the more than 30,000 Libyans who took to the streets of Benghazi protesting the attack on US consulate.

At least, ten Libyans were killed as they ransacked offices of the group allegedly linked to the assault on the American Consulate. Western media downplayed the sacrifices of Libyans fighting the suspected killers of American diplomats.

The cultural bias in reporting is prevalent in major US media outlets. As an example on October 1st, American news program NBC reported that “three US soldiers” and “several Afghanis” were killed in a suicide attack in Afghanistan.

Listening to the news report, the viewers wouldn’t realize that the “several” were eleven human beings: four Afghani police, an interpreter and six civilians.

This pattern of reporting exemplifies a subconscious cultural bias where the loss of an American or Israeli is treated as a person, while others are “collateral damage” statistics.

The cultural bias is complemented by self-motivated reporters manipulating the Middle East news narratives read by unsuspected Westerners.

As an example many of the international correspondents in Jerusalem are reserve duty officers or have children serving in the Israeli army.

According to Jonathan Cook, a British journalist based in Nazareth “It is common to hear Western reporters (in Israel) boasting to one another about their Zionist credentials, their service in the Israeli army or the loyal service of their children.”

Major American media outlets like the New York Times never disclosed publically that its Jerusalem bureau chief between 2010 and 2012, Ethan Bronner was an Israeli citizen with a son serving in the Israeli army, nor did National Public Radio ever revealed that its correspondent Linda Gradstein’s husband was an Israeli military sniper.

Other media pundits including Joel Greenberg, once a NY Times bureau chief in Jerusalem, has served in the Israeli army and reserve duty. Mitch Weinstock, national editor of the Union-Tribune in San Diego is an Israeli military veteran.

Wolf Blitzer, otherwise known as Zev Barak by his Israeli pen name, hosts of a major CNN news program was once the Middle East foreign policy analyst and editor for Near East Report, organ for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the strongest US foreign lobby.

News correspondents, veterans or reserve army officers with conspicuous national allegiance cease to be objective especially when reporting on their own military units or government. Reporters with predisposed opinions are advocates incapable of being neutral.

The combination of a formidable Israeli lobby charting US’ Middle East foreign policy, juxtaposed with special interest reporters manipulating America’s public opinion is presage for more US involvement in new Israeli contrived Iraqi type adventures.

*Jamal Kanj writes frequently on Arab World issues and the author of “Children of Catastrophe, Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America”, Garnet Publishing, UK. Jamal’s articles can be read at www.jamalkanj.com, his email address is jkanj@yahoo.com
 
 
 
Edward Said, the quintessential Palestinian

By Jamal Kanj

October 03, 2012

Last week was the 9th anniversary of the passing of Edward Said. He died in New York following 12 year battle with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Said was born in Jerusalem 12 years prior to joining with hundreds of thousands of his compatriots in a lifelong forced journey into exile or refugee camps.  He was a towering figure in American academia and a distinguished cultural critic best known for his 1978 book Orientalism.

In this book, Said believed Western perception of the East was based on false colonial self-serving rationalization to justify imperial domination. According to Said “Western scholars appropriated the task of exploration and interpretation of the Orient’s languages, history and culture for themselves, with the implication that the East was not capable of composing its own narrative.”

More than 30 years after its publication, Orientalism continues to dominate the academic discourse and watch over Western media biases towards the East.

On the heels of Orientalism, Said wrote the Question of Palestine in 1979 followed by Covering Islam in 1983 where he gave life to Orientalism by exposing contemporary media biases covering the Islamic world.

In covering Islam, Said asserts that most professed Western experts are politically motivated by self-interest and influenced by discreet cultural biases.  He makes a compelling argument that “untruth and falsehood about Islam” is propagated and filtered in Western media under the cover of objectivity, democracy, and freedom.

I was fortunate to have met Said at a small dinner table when he was a visiting professor at the University of California, San Diego in 1989. He was eloquent in critiquing the shortcomings of Palestinian leadership as he was later that night equally articulate in making the Palestinian case before a standing room only lecture. 

Meeting and studying Said, you couldn’t help but walking away with the feelings that you were in the company of a genius. He was an accomplished pianist as well as an authority on topics ranging from literature, politics, culture, to art and music. 

His memoir, which he wrote during the sunset years, Out of Place was the quintessential Palestinian story of people yearning for a place to belong. It was an account most Palestinians would identify with whether they lived in refugee camps or have established successful life in exile.

I have read many of Said’s books and must confess that most are not easy to read.  His subject writing is certain to challenge the most erudite, linguistically and intellectually. 

Exceptional scholars are typically celebrated in the West. Said was the recipient of numerous academic awards, however the lack of official US acknowledgement of his unique talent was mainly due to his tireless effort fighting the most powerful and organized single issue group in America.

For instance, Anti-Semitism charge has turned into an anesthetic psychological weapon in the hand of Zionists to numb Israel’s opponents and to stifle its critics.  Said questioned this dilemma extensively in his 2003 book Culture and Resistance, pointing out that “there is a great difference between acknowledging Jewish oppression and using that as a cover for the oppression of another people.”

At a time when it became convenient for Western intellectuals to ignore Israel’s brutality to avoid the wrath of national Jewish organizations, he refused to be silenced. For Said “injustice was to be rectified, not rationalized.”

*Jamal Kanj writes frequently on Arab World issues and the author of “Children of Catastrophe, Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America”, Garnet Publishing, UK. Jamal’s articles can be read at www.jamalkanj.com, his email address is jkanj@yahoo.com
 
 
Romney does not get it…

By Jamal Kanj*

September 26, 2012

Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate for US election may have been a Harvard University smart, but his recurring gaffes are indicative of a person who is not ready to become a president.

It had been an eventful summer of blunders for Romney and company. Two months before his July public stumbles in England and Palestine, and speaking before a private $50,000 fundraiser in Boca Raton, Florida, Romney declared that 47 per cent of American electorates were irrelevant.

At the fundraiser, he labeled almost half of the Americans as non-tax payers with victim mentality, elaborating to his audience that it was not his job “to worry about those people”. Need to remind readers that according to his mother, Romney’s own father was on government welfare as a child.

Romney’s insincerity was further evident when he requested his running mate to furnish the campaign ten years of income tax, while he refused to release more than two years. In those made public, Romney paid less than 15 per cent income tax. Average tax wage withholding for Americans is typically more than 30 per cent.

After disregarding the 47 per cent Americans and moving away from the local agenda, Romney declared that Palestinian Israeli peace is “almost unthinkable to accomplish.” An outlook not coincidently aligned with the extreme Israeli rightwing political view represented by Israeli foreign minister Avigador Lieberman who proclaimed in December 2010 that peace deal with the Palestinians “is impossible”.

Attempting to make a convincing point, Romney absurdly equates Palestine conflict with other longstanding unresolved disputes between Taiwan and China and the Korean peninsula.

Although they all are old, it is simply stupid to equate an entity under complete foreign military subjugation to sovereign nations in China Sea or Korea.

By embracing Israeli rightwing viewpoint, neocon presidential advisors have always advocated American and international disengagement allowing Israel to impose its conditions while snubbing international law by building illegal Jewish only settlements on occupied Palestinian land.

Almost a year ago at a Republican debate, Romney pledged that before making important decisions, he would call his “friend Bibi Netanyahu” to ask him “would it help if I said this? What would you like me [US] to do?”

Romney supposedly met Netanyahu when they both worked at Bain Consulting Group in the 1970s. In the same debate, Romney fondly called Netanyahu “not just a friend, he’s an old friend” with whom “We can almost speak in shorthand.”

His “old friend” however, is not so sure. Responding to Vanity Fair Magazine question this summer, Netanyahu said “I don’t think we had any particular connections, I knew him and he knew me, I suppose.”

Besides lying about his friendship with Netanyahu, it was remarkable for a US presidential hopeful to commit publically to relegate US foreign policy to the leader of a foreign country.

At every corner, Republican pundits come to Romney’s defense calling the statements by the Harvard educated nominee as “not articulate”, “not elegant” or just “gaffes.”

Parroting his advisors’ fed bromide remarks is Romney’s main predicament. Lacking ingenuity, and like George W Bush before him, he is aspiring to lead new advisors led presidency.

The above are not traits of a national leader, but are the qualities of a dangerous person for America, and world peace.
 
*Jamal Kanj writes frequently on Arab World issues and the author of “Children of Catastrophe, Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America”, Garnet Publishing, UK. Jamal’s articles can be read at www.jamalkanj.com, his email address is jkanj@yahoo.com
 
 
 
Who is behind the Anti-Islam film?

By Jamal Kanj*

September 18, 2012

ZIONISTS and rightwing Christian evangelists are exploiting US freedom of speech by fueling sedition and hate between two great religions.

Opposing them, rightwing religious elements are manipulating righteous indignation of Muslims by turning lawful protests into demented violence.

Meanwhile, the feeble posited US excuse that inflammatory speech is protected in the first amendment is disingenuous. I know personally of eight individuals who were unjustly dragged for 15 years in Los Angeles Federal Courts accused of distributing less than 50 copies of a news magazine.

The latest Islamophobic movie, Innocence of Muslims, is part of a trend intending to deceptively turn the memories of 9/11 into a lasting conflict between Islam and the West. It is just one facet in a calculated Zionist crusade to discredit anyone challenging Israel.

Once all the facts are revealed, we are likely to discover that Nakoula Basseley Nakoula the alleged producer is only a veneer for a pro-Israeli US group. Nakoula, a bankrupt felon who spent 21 months in jail and fined more than half a million dollar, lacked the financial resources to make the movie. His earlier assertions of collecting millions from Jewish donors provide possible clues into the money trail pointing towards the real culprits.  

The unsubstantiated pro-Israeli media spin that his wife’s family in Egypt financed the film was merely a diversionary smoke screen seeking to inflame sectarian rift in Egypt.

In fact, Israeli pundits have made it a goal to divide Egypt for 30 years. In 1982 the journal for the World Zionist Organization, Kivunim published a treatise declaring that “Breaking Egypt down territorially into distinct geographical regions is the political aim of Israel”.

In addition, the timing of the movie’s release was undoubtedly eyeing the US presidential election. It couldn’t be just a coincidence that four years ago, Clarion Fund a shadowy US pro-Israel non-profit, tax-exempt organization produced a similar anti-Muslim movie called “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West.”

As with this movie’s timing, seven weeks before the 2008 presidential election, Clarion Fund along with the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) spent over $17 million to distribute 28 million DVD in a major mail campaign and inserts in more than 100 newspaper and magazines in swing voter states.

Clarion Fund was founded by two Israeli Canadian brothers, movie producer Raphael Shore and Rabbi Ephraim Shore of the Aish Hatorah, another tax exempt pro-Israel organization.  As for EMET, its Advisory Board includes leading Islamophobic figures such as Daniel Pipes, Frank Gaffney and former Israeli ambassador Yoram Ettinger.

Sadly, while Christian evangelists were coalescing with Zionists to mock the Prophet of Islam, Jewish settlers were concurrently vilifying Christ in his native land.

Earlier this month Jewish settlers empowered financially by the same tax exempt US organizations, attempted to set a Christian Church in Jerusalem on fire after writing on the walls “Jesus is a monkey.”  

It is critical to recognize that this repulsive movie is part of a growing Islamophobic industry promoted and financed by one issue tax exempt Zionist organizations.

To this end, the West must deal firmly with this irrational, yet measured phenomenon purposely intending to incite and cause harm.

In the east, Muslims must be circumspect when rejecting hate inspired provocations. Violence only plays into the hands of those attempting to divide the followers of religions sharing same reverence for Jesus and God.
 
*Jamal Kanj writes frequently on Arab World issues and the author of “Children of Catastrophe, Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America”, Garnet Publishing, UK. Jamal’s articles can be read at www.jamalkanj.com, his email address is jkanj@yahoo.com
 

Endless robotic war

By Jamal Kanj

September 11, 2012