HOME FOR CHILDREN OF CATASTROPHE
Every people in the world lives in a place. For Palestinians, the place lives in them.” DR
A Palestine story

Journey From A Palestinian Refugee Camp to America
 
 
Archives
 
 
 Month/Day/Year format
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Last Thought (11/20/10)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 

 
 


 


Why I’ll vote for the Jewish candidate in US presidential election?

Jamal Kanj*

September 25, 2016

 

Let me start with a confession: I didn’t get it right when I speculated the Republican Party would not nominate Donald Trump for US president. I argued in an earlier column that if they did, the narcissistic Trump would most likely run as an independent candidate.

In such scenario, I had posited, or hoped Bernie Sanders would do the same and run against the nominated Democratic Party establishment. The Republican leadership however, chose Party unity over what was best for America. And Sanders folded under the Democratic Party for the same obvious reasons. 

Four major candidates could have signaled an end to the two-party dictatorship that had dominated US election since 1792.  The governing monopoly of the two-party system has made American election process too lengthy, expensive and stale. That is unlike the shorter and much more dynamic European elections.

Today, American voters are left to choose between the lesser of two evils. The unpopularity rating for Clinton and Trump hovers around 60%.  Meaning, most registered voters don’t support neither Clinton nor Trump to be the next US presidents. Possibly for the first time in American election, the new White House resident will be the least disliked of the two unfavorable picks of the two-party system.

In 2000 elections, electorates faced the same quandary having to choose between George W Bush/Dick Cheney and Al Gore/Joe Lieberman tickets. Or cast their votes for the no evil alternative that had little chance of winning.

I chose the greater good: the ticket led by the lifelong consumer advocate Ralph Nader. I rejected some of my friends’ argument that voting for Nader was a vote for the “other evil.”

Three years later, it became very palpable that “evil” flock together: Democrats and Republicans. To make the case for war, Bush most loyal asset in US Senate was Gore’s running mate, Lieberman. The Democratic vice presidential candidate who ran against the “evil” Bush, was the most faithful warrior in Bush’s “evil” army in US Senate.

Hilary Clinton wasn’t far behind Lieberman in supporting Bush’s war. She was an opportunist and voted to the sentiment of the majority of Americans who supported Bush’s adventure at the time. Leadership is to be in front of the carriage, not behind it. She failed her biggest leadership test.

Experience aside, Clinton and Trump are not much different:  She’s wicked in politics, he’s evil in business. She supported unjust wars. He exploited workers and bankrupted businesses.

That’s why in 2016, I refuse again to vote for the lesser evil. Just as I supported the Jewish candidate, Sanders, in the Democratic primary I have decided to cast my vote next November for the Jewish US presidential candidate.

Jill Stein refuses to sell her soul to the “evil doers” who finance US election. She speaks for millions of students who are overburdened by bank loans. Her Green Party platform advocates living wages for hard working Americans. She stood up to American Zionist financiers of the two-party system: Shedlon Adelson supporting Trump and Haim Saban backing Clinton. Heads or tails, Zionist financiers can count on a winner in the White House.

Stein is the only candidate with the courage to tell Israeli leaders that US taxpayers’ money will be contingent on peace talk. Unlike current and previous presidents, Stein promised to withhold U.S. financial aid if Israeli continues flaunting American human rights values.

In an interview with the Israeli Newspaper Haartz, Stein warned Israeli leaders that “Home demolitions, occupation, assassination, apartheid…” against Palestinians wouldn’t be tolerated in her administration.

Despite my dissatisfaction with Barak Obama presidency especially when it comes to Palestine question. The truth to be said however, Obama wasn’t your typical party establishment candidate and he had succeeded in many other ways. He had created more than 14 million jobs since February 2010 and 20 million new Americans have gained health insurance coverage under his Affordable Care Act.

On the International front, he ended most of Bush and the Zioncon’s wars.  He ended America’s last cold war relic and established relationship with Cuba. And to a lesser extent, he stood up to the hubris Israeli rightwing prime minister and the powerful Israeli lobby in Washington.

Optimistic maybe, but I still hope that Obama will garner the audacity to establish an enforceable framework for peace in Palestine before he leaves office.

If it wasn’t for eight miserable years under Bush, Americans might have not taken a chance on someone, like Obama who came from outside the Party establishment.

The worst that could happen in November is electing the less experienced evil. Unfortunately, Americans would likely suffer as a result. Short pain, but hopefully long term gain. The bigger the evil in the White House, the better is the chance for no evil candidate next election.

I shall not vote for the lesser evil. That’s why I decided to vote for Jill Stein for US president. 

*Jamal Kanj (www.jamalkanj.com) writes regular newspaper column and publishes on several websites on Arab world issues. He is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America.


 

Chilcot verdict: Tony B_liar

By Jamal Kanj

July 14, 2016

How many words does it take for the British to say a liar? 2.6 million words to be exact.

The Chiclot report had also painted Tony Blair as submissive to George W Bush, and lacked rudimentary judgment when evaluating intelligence data.

According to the report, eight months before the invasion of Iraq, Blair authored a six-page personal memo to Bush. In the memo Blair posited deeply entrenched oxymoronic colonial view suggesting that occupation would “free up the region.” He somehow believed he could free the poor Iraqis by occupying them, just like his ancestors argued long ago that colonialism was altruistic deed to help the colonized. And while he was in a roll, he forgot to claim that torture in Abu Ghraib prison was a dividend of the exported democracy.

The most revealing part of that personal memo was however, Blair’s pledge to Bush: "I will be with you whatever." I did a double take on it, for the statement sounded more like a communication between two teenagers who were high on drugs rather than world leaders committing to a war with incalculable consequences.

Blair attempted to rationalize deferring to Bush the decision to take the UK to war so he can influence US policy after the occupation of Iraq. In the life of me, I couldn’t understand how Blair would be able to influence a cowboy after he had already committed “whatever” to him eight months before the war.

I had argued myriad of times in this column that the Iraq war was designed in the dens of US Pentagon by a team of Israeli firsters―some of whom were investigated by the FBI for being Israel spies―including Paul Wolfowitz, David Frum, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Michael Ledeen to name just few.

Blair adopted the Israeli firsters’ view of the contrived Iraqi threat and ignored his own UK joint intelligence committee which had concluded that unlike Iran or N Korea, Iraq didn’t have immediate capabilities to produce enough fissile material for a weapon. In fact now, Blair’s deputy at the time, John Prescott who supported the war, had turned against his previous boss admitting that the basis for going to war were “tittle-tattle”

American Zioncons had designed the blue print to breakup Iraq several years before Bush’s election. The Israeli firsters envisioned a war financed by US taxpayers and fueled by the blood of American soldiers. They worked in Israeli think tanks in Washington and waited patiently for a gullible megalomaniac president to come to the White House.

Their blue print design was manifested by the first acts of the Zioncons’ appointed US administration in Iraq.  It dismantled the Iraqi army, imposed a sectarian political system and expanded the autonomous regional powers along sectarian and ethnic lines. The US Zioncons’ deeds in Baghdad germinated the seeds of Al Qaida and IS to grow in the new fertile sectarian environment. 

Ruining Iraq wasn’t enough for Bush. The Washington cowboy rewarded the ex UK prime minister with leading the so called Middle East Peace Quartet. Under Blair’s leadership the Quartet had become a fig leaf allowing the extremist Israeli rightwing government of Benjamin Netanyahu to violate with impunity all of Israel’s previous commitments to peace.

Eight years under his leadership, the Quartet achieved nothing but unfulfilled promises of economic crumps to Palestinians while the “Jewish only” colonies on stolen land grew at a faster pace.

Starting almost a century ago, colonial political chameleon Winston Churchill divided the Arab world with the French and transformed Palestine from a multi-cultural majority country into a European imported ethnocentric Jewish dominance.

In the post-colonial era, another political chameleon with his trademark strained facial muscles confused for a smile, coalesced with a Texan cowboy to implement the Israeli firsters’ vision of fragmenting the sub-nations and gulping what remained of Palestine by messianic “Jewish only” enclaves to end all hopes of peace in this region.

*Jamal Kanj (www.jamalkanj.com) writes regular newspaper column and publishes on several websites on Arab world issues. He is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America.

 

 
 

Mohamed Ali: An American tale


JAMAL KANJ

June 16 2016

It is fair to assume that most readers today can’t name the current heavyweight boxing champion. The same people would most likely name of the champion from fifty years ago.

That’s what makes Muhammad Ali unique. The champ or the “Greatest” brought a special aura to the ring. It didn’t matter whether it was the formidable US government in court, or fighting the unbeatable in the boxing ring.  He won.

I grew up with Mohammed Ali’s memories. In the 1960s, I lived in a Palestinian refugee camp in north Lebanon where we had no electricity. My father and his friends gathered around a battery powered radio listening live to the broadcast of Muhammad Ali fights.  He was the subject of conversations at homes and among pupils at school.

We followed his battle in US courts when he refused induction in the army during the Vietnam War. He was stripped of his championship and served time in prison. Years later, we also celebrated the US Supreme Court unanimous knockout ruling (8-0) reversing his earlier verdict.

I remember, albeit with a tinge of jealousy his 1974 visit to another Palestinian refugee camp in south Lebanon. He saw firsthand that Israel wasn‘t the panacea of Jewish refugees. But it was the product of an ideology that exploited Jewish suffering in Europe to justify the making of Palestinian refugees in another part of the world.

After his visit to Ein el Hilwa camp, the Champ decried Zionism influence on US politics and avowed “support for the Palestinian struggle to liberate their homeland and oust the Zionist invaders.”

Four years later, I attended college in Houston Texas and worked a night shift, six to six, at a Gulf self-service petro station. The night shift allowed me to go to school during the day and study inside the kiosk during low traffic in the early morning hours.

On Friday September 15 1978, I had a conflict with my work schedule. I wanted to watch Mohammad Ali’s fight against Leon Spinks in New Orleans. My job paid the minimum $2.35 per hour and couldn’t afford taking the night off. To watch the fight however, I risked my job and hid a small 12 inch black and white TV under the counter inside the kiosk. The rented TV ended up costing almost half of my wage for the night. But it was all worth it. For it was Muhammad Ali’s third and last time in his career to regain the world championship title.

Even while very sick, Muhammad didn’t coward from a fight. Last December Republican candidate Ronald Trump called for a ban “on Muslims entering the United States.”  Muhammad admonished him and called on political leaders “to use their position to bring understanding” and “clarify these misguided murderers (IS) have perverted people's views on what Islam really is."

In the same week, the now Republican presumptive nominee Trump ridiculed US President Barak Obama for saying “Muslims are our sport hero.” Trump tweeted back, “What sport is he (Obama) talking about, and who?”

Still, on June third Trump tweeted: “Muhammad Ali is dead at 74! A truly great champion and a wonderful  guy. ”

It took Trump only six months to answer his own question.

Trump is an opportunist and Schadenfreude. He got “excited” for the housing meltdown in 2008, and to vindicate his racist views, he slobbered over the blood of the Orlando gay bar victims.

This is an American tale of two men: One who was inspired by his belief to object an unjust war. And a rich kid who supported the war, but his wealthy father bought him a medical exemption to escape it.

Today, we mourn the life of the consciousness objector turned humanitarian activist. And dread the draft dodger morphed into an immature politician vying to become US president with the power to send more poor kids to new wars.

*Jamal Kanj (www.jamalkanj.com) writes regular newspaper column and publishes on several websites on Arab world issues. He is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America.

 
 

What cost Israel…

Jamal Kanj*

May 15, 2016

 

Much had been argued about the creation of Israel and the ensued 1948 ethnic cleansing of non-Jewish Palestinians. Sadly however, most had become a desensitized academic debate. A lifeless abstract portrayal failing to depict what it really meant for one to be a refugee without a country.

On this 68th commemoration of the Nakba or catastrophe, I wanted to show what Nakba meant to one Palestinian refugee.

On May 15, 1948 Zionist Jews danced and fire crackers burst over the streets of New York celebrating the founding of Israel. About the same time, and on the other side of the world, Zionist terrorist’s mortar exploded in the middle of Jebal al Luz (mountains of almonds) burning homes and forcing civilians to flee their village.

In the middle of the night, Abu Musa carried his physically disabled blind mother on his shoulders. His wife, Um Musa picked up their infant baby Musa and joined throng of refugees escaping for their lives. Abu Musa’s family hid in a ditch at the outskirt of their village. The morning sun exposed the scattered refugees hiding in nearby bushes and under trees.

Sorties after sorties, Zionist planes strafed the area pushing the villagers further north toward Lebanon. Chaotic and confusion under heavy gun fire, panicking civilians ran in all directions. Abu Musa picked up his newborn son and ran for his life. Um Musa followed on his footsteps. 

Panting for air an hour later, Abu Musa realized he had left his blind mother behind.

Zionist forces continued to bomb from air and ground. Abu Musa attempted to go back, but all was in vain. The next day and during a lull in the Zionist terrorist bombardment, Abu Musa went looking for his mother. But she was nowhere to be found. He came across local villagers who returned to check on their properties. They told him they had just buried the remains of what had appeared to be an elderly woman. Her body ripped apart by animals.

Was my mother eaten alive by wild animals? Or had she been murdered by Zionists? Those questions haunted Abu Musa all his life. The loss of his country and mother were just the start of his lugubrious life until his death in the mid-1990s.

Abu Musa ended up settling in the same camp as my parents. In addition to baby Musa, he had three more children in the camp, two boys and a girl.

Musa who had left Palestine as an infant, joined the revolution in the early 1970s and returned to Palestine. He was murdered by the Israeli army and was buried in unmarked grave.  Abu Musa, who did not see his mother’s corpse, was unable to see or bury his eldest son either.

A short time after losing Musa, Abu Musa became disabled. I made it a point to call on him whenever I visited the camp. It broke my heart during the last visit before his death as I watched him crawling out of the bathroom like a little baby. I kneeled down and kissed him; he kissed me back and then asked, “Who are you, my son?”

Calamity was a continuum to this one refugee.  In the early 1990s his youngest son Kamal was murdered while he was on his way to school in Tripoli, Lebanon. He was butchered in the year he would have had graduated from high school.

For Israel, Abu Musa and the other Palestinian refugees like my parents were dispensable nuisances. In a 1948 foreign ministry study, Israel predicted the refugees “… will waste away. Some will die but most will turn into human debris and social outcasts … in the Arab countries.”

To Israel’s chagrin, the grandchildren from Abu Musa’s surviving son and daughter did not turn to “human debris.” 68 years later, Abu Musa’s progenies are more determined to find and bury their great-grandmother’s remains, in their original village.


*Jamal Kanj (www.jamalkanj.com) writes regular newspaper column and publishes on several websites on Arab world issues. He is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America.

 
 
 

American election: the two death options

JAMAL KANJ

April 08, 2016

Donald Trump could change American electoral history for the better. Before explaining how, let’s first explore the politics and predicament of the 2016 Republican primary election.

About six weeks ago I projected that Trump would win the Republican nomination. That was before traditional Republican leadership came out of hibernation to spoil Trump’s chances. It was however, a little too late. It almost certain now that Trump will end up with the most delegates at the summer convention. Although, it might not be enough to give Trump a simple majority to become the outright Republican nominee at the next November election.

Republican leadership has no one else to blame for the Trumpmania frenzy. The Party had cultivated the extreme rightwing of the American electorate for more than thirty years. They had pandered to Jerry Farwell’s “Moral Majority,” Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America and Michelle Buchman’s Tea Party.

Republican leadership was content with the secured rightwing vote for their candidates. They turned unsettled however, when the extremist’s base posited their own to challenge traditional leadership.

This is universally true in all cases of breeding self-righteous groups to serve a short term interest of the more dominant party. Once they garner influence, the self-righteous proponents become attracted to power like sharks are drawn to the smell of blood. Ultimately, their illusionary perception of supremacy inspires them to impose their agenda on others.

In the early 1980s, Ronald Reagan administration nurtured Islamists ideologues to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. For as long as those fighters were the fuel to serve the US strategy, they were compared by Regan to the “founding fathers.” But when Reagan’s adopted Islamists became powerful enough to implement their own agenda, conflict ensued.

Israel encouraged the development of alternative Islamists Palestinian leadership in the hope of weakening the more secular PLO.  Up until then, the Israeli public didn’t know the meaning of the walking rockets (suicide bombers) blowing themselves up in the middle of Tel Aviv.

In 1982, Israel dislodged the PLO from Lebanon. It weakened the secular Lebanese National Movement and created a vacuum that was soon filled by Hezbollah.

Today, Israel is repeating the same stratagem by collaborating with Al Qaida affiliates in the hope to break up Syria.

At one point, the Zionist movement foresaw the rise of Nazism in Europe (they do today) as an opportunity to induce Jewish immigration to Palestine. That is until the Nazi experiment went out of control.

It was the same results in all cases regardless of whether the self-righteousness groups were Jewish, Christians or Muslims.

To answer my earlier proposition on Trump, traditional Republicans had finally come face to face with the juvenile they reared; and they have come to dislike their creation. At next summer’s convention, Party traditionalists are expected to abandon Trump and unite behind the second least hated alternative: Ted Cruz. Or to quote a Republican leader, to choose between "Death by being shot or poisoning"

It is very plausible that Trump with an ego larger than the Republican Party, will end up walking out of the convention. Trump has already hinted that he would recant his pledge to support the Republican candidate if he wasn’t on the November ticket.

If and when Trump decides to break away from the Republican Party, this is should be an opportunity for Bernie Sanders to do the same at the Democratic side.

Riding Trump’s ego is the best hope for Americans to end the two hundred year old Democratic and Republican monopoly over US presidential election. The traditionalist against the independent candidates to end the two Party reign.

Sanders has a better chance in the general election to halt his Party’s retrograde and beat the Democratic traditionalist who was rejected by Party voters eight years ago. Then continue the march to defeat the “shot or poisoning” death option of the Republican candidates.

*Jamal Kanj (www.jamalkanj.com) writes regular newspaper column and publishes on several websites on Arab world issues. He is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America.

 

 

Defeating Israel

Jamal Kanj

March 3, 2016

 

Last week Palestinian journalist Mohammed al-Qiq ended a record 94 days hunger strike protesting the so called administrative detention in Israeli jail.

Administrative detention is a misnomer procedure used to hold Palestinian activists in military confinement without charges or due-process. The six months administrative order can be extended indefinitely without informing the detainee of the charges or affording them or their counsel the right to examine the evidence against them. It is just one Israeli oppressive occupation instrument that drives the civil movement underground and transforms it to violent resistance.

Under international law, administrative detention could be permissible under exceptional circumstances. It comes however, with rigid restrictions on its application. In the case of Israel, the exception is the norm.

The latest political prisoner al-Qiq was on the verge of death when Israel finally agreed not to extend his detention beyond the current six months order. According to the Israeli organization Physicians for Human Rights, al-Qiq’s hunger strike lasted longer than the 1981 hunger strikes by members of the Irish Republican Army who were held by Britain in Northern Ireland.

Al-Qiq’s lawyer Jawad Boulus’ earlier appeal to Israel’s Supreme Court to release his client was rejected. The Court ruled that the military judge’s order to detain him was legal. According to Boulus, the Supreme Court was "briefed on classified material” that he was neither allowed to review nor challenge.

About eight years ago, Al-Qiq served 16 months in Israeli jails for political activities on the elected student council at Birzeit University. At the time of his detention, the 33-year-old father of two worked as a TV correspondent for Saudi’s Almajd television.

Al-Qei was arrested during an Israeli military raid in the middle of the night at his home in the city of Ramallah. The city, according to agreements signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority is located in Area A, ostensibly under the PA’s full civil and security control.

On November 25, 2015 four days following his arrest, Al-Qiq started a hunger strike to protest ill treatment and his detention without due process. Henceforward, a battle of will ensued between the captive and his jailers. In early January, he was strapped to his bed for four days and was forcibly fed intravenously.

On February 1 al-Qiq's wife, Fayha Shalash told reporters that her husband had requested not to receive any medical treatment, even if he loses consciousness. “His decision is very clear: either free or dead, not in between.”

Israeli jailers continued to monitor his deteriorating health hoping the “self-torture” pain would eventually force him to end his strike. Driven by pure devilish schadenfreude, Israeli authorities watched him on closed circuit TV screaming of agony as his internal organs started to fail. Gravely ill but not total collapse, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected Al-Qiq’s petition on February 16 to transfer him to a Palestinian hospital. The court sided with the military’s secret evidence that he would represent a threat if he was released from Israeli custody.

In the last week of February, Al-Qiq lost the ability to speak and was at risk of death. Realizing he would never surrender, his jailers ultimately agreed not to extend his current six months administrative detention order. Unfortunately, it took Al-Qiq 94 days of extreme agony to show the world that Israel had no imperative cause to detain him in the first place.

While there were very few instances when Israeli Jews were held in administrative detention, the law was applied disproportionally to Palestinian activists.  Israel compares only to apartheid South Africa who used administrative detention widely in an effort to crush the opposition to Apartheid.

Israel failed to break the will of another prisoner. And like apartheid South Africa, it will not succeed in subjugating the will of a people longing for justice and freedom from an imported ethnocentric occupation.


*Jamal Kanj (www.jamalkanj.com) writes regular newspaper column and publishes on several websites on Arab world issues. He is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America.


Israel’s apartheid character

JAMAL KANJ*

February 28, 2016

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom made a maelstrom in Israel merely for demanding a “… credible investigation into these (Palestinian) deaths in order to clarify and bring about possible accountability.” Israel declared the Swedish official persona non grata for daring to request what no Arab official, least Palestinian, to investigate Israeli extrajudicial killing of Palestinian kids.

Since 1948, Israel was empowered by the international community’s indifference to the plight of Palestinian refugees and for its occupation of the West Bank since 1967. In the last four months alone, Israeli vigilante has murdered close to 170 Palestinians. It is undisputable that Palestinian defiance to Israeli malevolent occupation has reached unprecedented levels. After nearly a quarter century of negotiations, and more than quadrupling the number of illegal settlers in Jewish only colonies, the Palestinian citizen has taken the initiative into her hand.

Almost 50 per cent of the murdered Palestinians were under the age of 20, girls and boys born after the Oslo agreement. If an illegal Jewish settler were to be killed at the hand of a frustrated lone wolf Palestinian, the whole community would be shut down after a summary execution of the accused perpetrator and the house where she lived would be demolished.

The same doesn’t apply if the terrorist was Jewish.

Israel has succeeded, to a great extent, in neutralizing the tired traditional Palestinian leadership. Hamas is content with its fictional empire in Gaza, and members of the Palestinian Authority (PA) are more concerned with preserving the special VIP privileges granted by the occupation power.

While the number of murdered Palestinians is edging closer to 200, the PA continues its security coordination with the military occupation. Unfortunately, deeming Palestinian life worthless and providing Israel with unofficial license to continue the onslaught against those resisting occupation.

In one case, a video shows a 13 year old Palestinian soaked in her blood and bleeding to death on the sidewalk. She was murdered by a “Jewish hero” who sacrificed another Palestinian soul, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1OAstsb57M).

There were only two instances when a kill received media attention. The first was when Israeli vigilante shot Eritrean immigrant Haftom Zarhum who was then lynched to death by a Jewish mob; (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwVG5_78G7o).The second was the shooting of an Israeli Jew. In both cases the victims were mistaken for Palestinians.

Yet, and with help of the internationally controlled Zionist media, Israel is able to portray the oppressed as the aggressor, and present the occupier as a benevolent victim. This is especially true for the New York Times newspaper (January 23, 2016) in its media hyperbole coverage providing vivid images when referring to Israeli fatalities, “amid a wave of Palestinian stabbings and attempted stabbings, car rammings and gun attacks.” In the following sentence however, it applies linguistic euphemism to downplay Israeli murders, stating simply: “About 150 Palestinians have been killed during the same period.”

In the midst of all this, outgoing UN Chief has finally realized the evil of Israeli occupation, telling the UN Security Council last month that Palestinians under Israeli occupation behave "As oppressed peoples have demonstrated throughout the ages, it is human nature to react to occupation.”

Current conditions are not likely to change under Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He came to office on a pledge that if he were to be reelected, a Palestinian state would not be created.

Meanwhile, leading US Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton kowtowed to her Zionist benefactors promising to reward Netanyahu by inviting him “to the White House in my first month in office.”

Eight years under Hillary and Netanyahu will certainly gobble what left of land slated for the future Palestinian state. On the bright side however, they would inadvertently bring us one step closer to the one state solution or force Israel to own up to its Jewish apartheid character.   

*Jamal Kanj (www.jamalkanj.com) writes regular newspaper column and publishes on several websites on Arab world issues. He is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America.
 



Trump: A test of American democracy

Jamal Kanj*
Feb 18, 2016

American election is in full swing. For those who are unfamiliar with what appears to be a perplexing democratic exercise. It is important to remember that this is an internal Party election’s phase. Republicans and Democrats hold their own state’s primaries (elections) to choose delegates for each Party’s national convention, held usually in July or early August.

Primaries take place between February and June of the election year. The national presidential election is conducted on Tuesday after the first Monday in the following November.

In this cycle, the Democratic side has two well-known and long serving politicians. On the Republicans side it is loud hodgepodge basket of candidates led by copycats pandering for the hardcore extreme right wing of the Party. The top three Republican candidates are: a businessman/reality TV show personality Donald Trump, Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Ruboi. Cruz’s father and Rubio’s parents were Cuban immigrants. The scion of immigrant parents got into heated exchange in Spanish in last Republican’s debate where each tried to outdo Trump by promising to shut the door that granted refuge to their parents.

For better or worse, and absent of an alternative option, Trump is poised to win the Republican nomination. Rubio and Cruz are miniature ideological copy of Trump and vying for the same angry hordes.

Republican debates have become TV entertainment episodes. Trump is the lead chorus’ star and the cheerleader. The Party’s voters are attracted to political entertainment. It is reminiscent of the time when John McCain selected Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate in 2012.

Large enthusiastic crowd turned out to be entertained by her cheeky criticism of Obama. In her footsteps, Trump is too having large turn outs listening to his caustic attacks against Muslims, “Mexicans rapists” and to advocate the return to torture. Like a professional comedian who gets his clue from laughing audience, Trump gets his from ruckus cheers approving his racist rants.

Trump is extremely self-absorbed. For example he reckoned his latest win in New Hampshire because "(voters) like me a lot." He lavishes himself with attributes of greatness, even when addressing his failures. Explaining his four corporate bankruptcies in 1991, 1992, 2004 and 2009 he said "I used the law four times and made a tremendous thing. I did a very good job."

He showers his entertainment seeking supporters with talks but little substance. “You’re going to love it,” or that he would be “the greatest jobs president that God ever created.”

He speaks adult gibberish to his boisterous crowd, like promising “phenomenal — phenomenal,” health care system and “so many victories ... it’s gonna be coming out of your ears.”

He pledged to build a free and "Far better, far higher" Mexican paid wall to stop "killers" and "rapists" invaders coming across the Southern borders. His example was the Israeli separation wall paid for by U.S. taxpayers.

Trump has candy for every occasion. Even when a train chugged down the tracks near where he was speaking in Iowa, he diverted from his speech saying, “that train’s going to be moving a hell of a lot faster.”

Trump, the businessman is accustomed to saying and promising anything to conclude a deal. But voters must realize that running for the office of the president of the most powerful nation is not a business where bankruptcy is an option.

It is highly unlikely that Trump could hold his feet against any opposition candidate in national election. It would be, however, premature to dismiss him. Empirical experience shows that democracy has a fatal flaw when voters flock behind a charismatic demagogue who can skillfully exploit people’s fear, insecurity and anger. By exploiting the same, the democratic experiment has brought us in past and present the likes of Hitler, Mussolini, George W Bush and Benjamin Netanyahu.

 *Jamal Kanj (www.jamalkanj.com) writes regular newspaper column and publishes on several websites on Arab world issues. He is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America.
 
 
 
 
The most dangerous Palestinian

By: Jamal Kanj

February 11, 2016


In last week’s column I wrote on the banned love story from the Israeli high school reading list. The Israeli Ministry of Education claimed that young Jewish students might not comprehend “the significance of miscegenation” for “maintaining the national-ethnic identity of the [Jewish] people.”

Oddly enough, the Israeli argument to maintain the Jewish “ethnic identity” from dilution finds similar root in long gone or irrelevant racist movements spanning from Nazi Germany to the Ku Klux Klan in America.

From my own life experience, and in the small circle of friends I had in California, I enjoyed the company of several mixed couples. Out of those, I had known at least three Jewish and Arab intermarriages.

The first involved a Palestinian, the second a Lebanese woman and the third was a Saudi man.   

In the early 80s my best friend met a young Jewish girl who lived next door. It was during the peak of our student activism confronting Zionist Jewish students at the University campus on daily basis. Yet, my best friend saw his new girlfriend only as a human being who happened to be Jewish. Fortunately, she did the same.

In the late 80s I met a Lebanese woman while doing community outreach during the first Palestinian Intifada. She was married to a Jewish man. Not surprisingly, their love transcended the Zionist’s parochial race. We became best of friends and two years later our first sons were born. We still cherish in our memory our two babies pictured lying side by side on our bed when they we were only weeks old.

During the same period, I met a friend from Saudi Arabia who was raising his children with his ex-Jewish wife. While divorced, they both were dedicated to their half Arab half Jewish American children.

In the three cases, they all were blessed with well acculturated and naturally more tolerant children who weren’t any less Jewish or any less Arabs. They did not threaten the “identity of the (Jewish) people,” but rejected the premise of separation advocated by the Zionist ideology. Zionism is an 18th century European chauvinistic movement that exploited historical injustice against Jews to justify inflicting the same against non-Jewish Palestinians.

Back to Israel’s intimidating novel, a little over a year ago I was asked by American Jewish bestselling author Michelle Cohen Corasanti to co-write a love story between a Jew and a Palestinian who came from diametrically opposed backgrounds. Michelle was the author of The Almond Tree, a book that was published in 19 languages. I wrote a review of it on the pages of this newspaper almost three years ago.

In preparation for her book, Michelle lived in Palestinian villages inside Israel and mastered the Arabic language. The experience gave the writer the insight to write about Palestinian life and social customs. Hence, the ability to genuinely depict the life and struggle of Palestinians who remained in what became Israel in 1948. In a rarely seen authentic display, she showed a people who held tight to their Arab Palestinian identity despite Zionist attempts to erase their national memory.

After initial reluctance―I was in the midst of writing my own novel― here we are today having completed two novels. I wrote from the point of view of the Palestinian protagonists, while Michelle used her background and personal experiences to step into the American Jewish character. Rich in history, the stories are about breaking down stereotypes and discovering the human inside Jews and Palestinians.

The novels will present an antithesis character to the omnipresent Zionist painted image of the demonized Palestinian; a hero the reader can truly route for and identify with. Thus, introducing the most “dangerous” Palestinian, Israel doesn’t want the world to meet.

 

*Mr Kanj (www.jamalkanj.com) writes regular newspaper column and publishes on several websites on Arab world issues. He is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America.


Forbidden love tales in Israel …

JAMAL KANJ*

February 5, 2016

How can a two year old novel become a best seller? Censorship is the short answer. The important question is however, why would the “Jewish democracy” censors a love fiction between a Jew and non-Jew?

The banned book Borderlife, was based on a love story between an Israeli woman and Palestinian man. According to Haartez newspaper, the novel was recommended in 2015 for Hebrew high school literature classes by “a professional committee of academics and educators, at the request of a number of teachers.”

The Israeli Ministry of Education rejected the fiction work for fear it could corrupt young Jewish minds. In explaining its decision, the ministry wrote “Intimate relations between Jews and non-Jews threatens the separate identity.” The Israeli Education Ministry wrote that “Young people of adolescent age don’t have the systemic view that includes considerations involving maintaining the national-ethnic identity of the [Jewish] people and the significance of miscegenation.”


In layman terms, the educational authorities in the only “democracy” in the Middle East wanted to protect fledgling Jewish minds from the plague of assimilation and intermarriages between people of different races. Wasn’t this what Adolph Hitler had advocated for the Aryan race?

But in an Orwellian love is hate doublethink, Dalia Fenzig, the head of the Israeli ministry committee that decides the Hebrew Literature matriculation reading list, told Israel’s Army Radio. “The (love fiction) book could incite hatred…” 

Fenzig further implied that Israelisocietal racism rendered the book unfit for Israeli students. “Many parents in the state school system would strongly object to having their children study the novel,” she said.

Shlomo Herzig, the ministry’s head of literature studies that recommended the book was more forthright in addressing Israeli structural racism: “The acute problem of Israeli society today is the terrible ignorance and racism that is spreading in it.”

In a newspaper interview with the Telegraph, Israeli book author Dorit Rabinyan talked about the real fundamental issue for banning her work, “My book’s only ‘harm’, if you want to call it that, is that a young (Israeli) person may get another perspective on Palestinians to the one they’re being exposed to by politicians and the news… he’s (the Palestinian) a young guy who is cool and friendly and you can identify with him,” she says. “I think that is what is most intimidating for this nationalist government: he’s a Palestinian and a full human. That is the power of the book and the reason for it to be banned.”

It is worth noting that the book’s author is anything but an ardent Zionist. She espoused the racist Zionist ideology that gave her Jewish parents the right to emigrate from Iran to live on land stolen from native Palestinians. This is while, like most Zionists, she rejects the right of those Palestinians to return to their homes.

Not surprising, the whole fiasco was very likely engineered by the ex-American, Israeli Minister of Education Naftali Bennett who previously said such things as “when Palestinians were climbing trees, we already had a Jewish state” and “I’ve killed lots of (Palestinians) Arabs in my life, and there’s no problem with that.” Bennett sees his educational role, “in the only ethnocentric democracy” as the national custodian to ensure Jewish blood remains pure and Palestinian-free, even in fiction tales.

In the face of blatant Israeli ethnocentric racism against non-Jews, the onus is on Jewish civil right organizations, especially those advocating equality in the US and Europe to speak up against Jewish racism in Israel.

Jewish organizations cannot demand justice and equality when in the minority, while supporting a government perpetuating inequality under a self-proclaimed Jewish state majority.

*Mr Kanj (www.jamalkanj.com) writes regular newspaper column and publishes on several websites on Arab world issues. He is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America.
 
 

Rights of Palestinian Israel citizens

JAMAL KANJ*
January 28, 2012

Palestinian civic organizations inside Israel have declared January 30, 2016 the Day of Solidarity with Palestinian Israeli citizens.

Israel was established in 1948 on the ruins of more than 500 native towns and villages and the forceful displacement of approximately 780,000 Palestinians. Only 153,000 Palestinians remained under what became Israel. Of which approximately 25 per cent became refugees in their own country when their homes were destroyed and their land was expropriated by the new state.

Palestinians who continued to live in what became Israel were governed until 1966 by martial laws under appointed Jewish military governor.  Unlike Jews, Israeli citizen Palestinians couldn’t travel inside Israel without special military permit, lived under the threat of curfew, administrative detention and expulsions. Israel expropriated their land allegedly for military use before they were turned over for the exclusive civilian use of Jewish Israeli citizens.

No wonder in 1948 Palestinians owned 80 per cent of the land. Following the establishment of Israel their land had shrunk to less than 3.5 per cent. The same laws were used extensively in the West Bank to confiscate Palestinian land, which were later handed to Israeli settlers to build “Jewish only” colonies.

Israel has two systems: one for its Jewish citizens and another for Palestinian non-Jewish citizens. 

In education, a 2001 report by Human Rights Watch described Israeli run Palestinian schools “a world apart from government-run Jewish schools." A Committee on Arab Education inside Israel found in 2005 that Israel spent an average of $192 a year on Palestinian students compared to $1,100 for Jewish students.

These discriminatory policies translated to great economic disparity between Jews and non-Jews. As a result, they are under-represented in civil service, high technology and financial sectors while over-represented in meagerly paid low-skilled trades. For example, out of 150,000 employees in the high-tech sector, only 460 are Palestinian Israeli citizens.

Palestinians Israeli citizen represent 20% of the population, they however account to more than 50 percent of the impoverished families in Israel. In fact, out of the 40 Israel communities with the highest unemployment rates, 36 are Palestinian towns.

Discrimination in health care at an early age is equally striking. According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz in December 2014, infant mortality rate among Palestinian Israeli citizens is more than double the rate of Jewish babies —2.5 for Jewish babies and 6.3 for Palestinian.

On the housing front, discrimination is more blatant. Since 1948, Israel has established more than one thousand new Jewish cities and towns on the land expropriated from it original Palestinian owners. On the other hand, Israel did not build one single new (non-Jewish) Palestinian community despite the fact that their population grew ten folds.

Israel building policies choke Palestinian communities by restricting construction permits and demolishing homes of Palestinian Israeli citizens as in the case of December 15, 2015 in the town of Tamra. Currently there are active official orders to demolish 50,000 homes purportedly built without government permits.

Another salient case of Israeli discrimination against non-Jewish Israeli citizens is the Prawer-Begin plan to depopulate 35 unrecognized Palestinian Bedouin communities in the Negev desert. In one instance, Israel demolished and Palestinian Israeli citizens rebuilt the village of Al-Araqeeb 93 times in the last five years.

The Prawer-Begin plan is part of a larger racist strategy aimed to increase the sparse Jewish population in the Negev desert by building 22 new Jewish communities. This is while eradicating Palestinian villages that predated the establishment of the state Israel.

In the face of the unmitigated wave of additional formalized discrimination by the current ultra-rightwing Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinians inside Israel are bringing their grievance to the attention of the international community. Israel can’t continue to use the Jewish victims of the Holocaust to justify its racist and malevolent policies against non-Jewish citizens of Israel.

*Mr Kanj (www.jamalkanj.com) writes regular newspaper column and publishes on several websites on Arab world issues. He is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America.
 
 
 
 
Deviated “war on terrorism” made us unsafe…
 
JAMAL KANJ
November 19, 2015

On a Thursday night, terrorists blew themselves up in the streets of Beirut. The next day, coordinated terrorist attacks in des rues of Paris. The same perpetrators targeted Muslims and Christians in the two different capitals.

Just a month ago, it was a moving scene watching European women and men holding signs welcoming refugees arriving at train stations. Thus, the horrific attacks would become even more appalling if there was any truth to the news these terrorists might have hid among refugees to reach France. Especially since refugees found better reception in Europe than anywhere else, including many of the Arab and Muslim countries. And for these terrorists to exploit that hospitality is neither Arab nor a Muslim value.

There could be no rationalization to the terrorist attacks in Paris or the atrocious murders in Beirut, Baghdad, Damascus or Nigeria. Putting aside our virtuous indignation, however, we mustn’t forget the so called Islamic State (IS) was the illegitimate child of George Bush’s “birth bangs of democracy.”  The misguided US led Western interventionist policies created the environment that gave birth to the refugees and terrorists.

A program designed for Israel by Zioncons’ appointees in the dens of the US State Department and the Pentagon.

Lasting conflicts and fragmentations of the Arab world were envisioned more than 30 years ago by former Israeli foreign minister official Oded Yinon. In a 1982 treatise in Kivunim (Directions), the official Journal of the World Zionist Organization, Yinon argued that the future priorities for the “Jewish State” (JS) are “The dissolution of Syria and Iraq … into ethnically or religiously unique areas.” Almost thirty years earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Moshe Sharett proposed the same for Lebanon.

IS and JS have a shared strategy: a perpetual conflict between Islam and the West is critical for their respective survival. 

“IS” gets its oxygen from US and Western powers' unchecked diplomatic and financial support for “JS”. “IS” ideology flourishes on Western pandering to “JS” as an exceptionalist state beyond reproach, defying UN resolutions with complete impunity. Following Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent visit to Washington, Israel is in line to be rewarded, again, for its intransigence and attempts to derail the nuclear deal between the West and Iran.

Israeli planned and Western executed “dissolution of Syria and Iraq,” Lebanon, Yemen and Libya into ethnic or religious entities have become fertile grounds for dissention. Offering Islamist’s demagogues the perfect recipe to manipulate feeble minded individuals to rally around “IS” believing they were avenging their religion.

Alas, all of this was already predictable; a known consequence and anticipated outcome by US intelligence agencies.

In August 2002, CIA analysts authored a study ‘The Perfect Storm: Planning for the Negative Consequences of Invading Iraq.’ It predicted the breakup of Iraq, regional instability, and surge of global terrorism.

In a pre-war briefing, the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence was presented with two intelligence assessments warning that the Iraq invasion would lead to anarchy and rise of terrorism. In January 2003 the National Intelligence Council think-tank issued an assessment forecasting that “many angry young recruits” would fuel the rank of Islamic extremists.

Despite the red flags, the Bush administration opted to heed the advice of Israeli advocates. Ideologues who were trained at the offices of America Israel Public Affairs Committee and Israeli think tanks in Washington. After election, large donors from the winning party recommend them to occupy policy making positions in the Pentagon and the State Department.

The Zioncons redirected the war compass from Al Qaida to fight Israel’s wars. According to a Bush administration insider’s book during a policy discussion, Israeli firster Paul Wolfowitz advocated, “We don't have to deal with al Qaeda … We have to talk about” Iraq.

Just one day before the Iraq invasion, US Vice President Dick Cheney delivered a speech, which was likely prepared, or at least proofed by Zioncon and Chief of Staff Scooter Libby where Cheney foolishly claimed “we will … be greeted as liberators” in Iraq.

Today it’s not enough to mourn Paris or Beirut’s victims. We must also remember the estimated 1.3 million people who banished directly and indirectly by the deviated “war on terrorism.” For the Zioncons’ conceived war has offered more than 1.3 million reasons to recruit terrorists.

* Mr Kanj (www.jamalkanj.com) writes regular newspaper column and publishes on several websites on Arab world issues. He is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America.

Is Erdogan a great leader?

By JAMAL KANJ
November 13, 2015

It is high time for Recep Tayyip Erdogan to step aside if Turkey to continue progressing democratically, and flourish economically. Great leaders know when and where to pass their torch.

Regardless of whether one believes Erdogan is an authoritarian or an egalitarian leader, it can’t be disputed that Turkey before him is not the same country after 13 years under his reign. While it is still to be seen, Erdogan’s legacy might equal or even surpass that of Mustafa Kamal Ataturk.  

For more than fifty years, Turkish democracy was frequently interrupted by military coups. Even when not in direct control, the military played a central role in governing Turkey. Since the demise of Ataturk, the military has appointed itself as the custodian of the secular constitution changing governments at their whim. One of Erdogan’s major achievements―overlooked by his critics― is his success in removing the shadow of the military out of Turkey’s political process.

For hundreds of years, Turkey and Europe had enjoyed a love hate relationship. Ever since the aging Ottoman Empire, successive Turkish leaders sought to integrate their country into the European continent. In recent history, the European Union (EU) has tantalized the allure of membership to succeeding Turkish governments, but never good enough to join.

Unlike other Turkish leaders, and without abandoning that goal, Erdogan didn’t place “all of his eggs” in the European basket. Under his leadership, Turkey had finally overcome its religious and cultural identity crises and turned eastward to expand its economic power and leadership.

In his first challenge as the mayor of Istanbul in 1994, Erdogan surprised the more than 74% of the electorates who voted to other candidates. He approached his job as a pragmatic politician rather than a religious ideologue. He rolled his sleeves not just for ablution, but to deal with his city’s chronic problems. Despite his profound religious background, Erdogan realized something most religious parties fail to understand: the running of government requires much more than relying on supernatural power.

He tackled Istanbul’s water shortage, traffic chaos, air pollution, garbage and entrenched civil service corruption. He invested in building pipelines, bridges, trash recycling facilities and instituted financial accountability in managing municipal funds. He spent over four billion dollars on improving the city’s infrastructure and paid off most of Istanbul’s municipality debt.

Climbing the ladder to national leadership in 2002, Turkey owed $23.5 billion to the International Monetary Funds (IMF). After a little more than a decade under his leadership, Turkey was declared debt free by the IMF.

In the years under the Justice and Development party, Turkish public debt as a percentage of annual GDP was reduced by more than 40%. In fact, Turkey today has a better ratio of public debt to GDP and lower budget deficit to GDP ratio than the vast majority of EU members.

In the last 13 years, minimum wage in Turkey has grown by almost 300% with another 30% increase planned for next January. The increase in minimum wage didn’t cripple Turkey’s competiveness, but to the contrary it was credited in part for 64% growth in real GDP and a 43% increase in GDP per capita. According to S&P credit analyst Aarti Sakhuja, the current proposed minimum wage hike, is expected to “boost domestic demand” and contribute to the growth of Turkish economy.

Unlike what typically takes place in the West during tough economic times where governments resort to austerity measures by reducing public services. Erdogan’s government doubled the number of free universities and offered healthcare to all.

Debunking the perceived image of Islam, in 2003 the Turkish government joined with UNICEF in a campaign called "Come on girls, let's go to school." The objective was to close the gender-gap in education between boys and girls.

Why should he step aside then?

Erdogan has a fatal human weakness. Much like Mahathir Mohamed of Malaysia, he has a gargantuan ego. While that could be the driver behind his success, however, leaders must realize also that greatness of country overarches all egos.

The coming years will tell which is far more important for Erdogan: his eternal legacy, or temporal greatness disposed to slide into dictatorship. History has plenty examples.

* Mr Kanj (www.jamalkanj.com) writes regular newspaper column and publishes on several websites on Arab world issues. He is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America.
 

 

 
 
 

Blair and the other sucker…

By JAMAL KANJ
November 4, 2015

“I apologize for the fact that the intelligence we received was wrong,” Tony Blair told Fareed Zakaria during a CNN interview. The TV interview came ahead of the much delayed British Chilcot―expected now by next summer―report investigating Iraq war.

He also apologized “for some of the mistakes in planning” the war. It didn’t however come clear from the interview what were “some of” the correct decisions made in planning for the war.

The war was neither a mistake, nor “wrong” intelligence. It was well thought of by those who cooked the intelligence book and sold it to two suckers named: George W Bush and Tony Blair.

The plan intended to break up Iraq, destroy the knowhow by assassinating Iraqi scientists and to dismantle the Iraqi army. Not because Iraq was a threat to America, but it was an Israeli agenda.

On February 21, 2003, Jeffrey Steinberg wrote in the Executive Intelligence Review that Blair’s infamous dossier on Iraq’s WMD included 11 pages copied “verbatim, from an Israeli journal Middle East Review of International Affairs.”  According to Steinberg, Blair dossier was “cooked-in-Israel propaganda” to drive the US to invade Iraq.

Complementing Blair’s hoax, US Zioncons waged a misleading campaign to influence American public opinion and to deceive officials on the cost of war and its aftermath.

On July 11, 2002, Richard Perle a Pentagon official, who was on Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s payroll in mid-90s, professed that the war will end “after the first whiff of gunpowder.”

His ex-boss, Netanyahu, gave a Congressional testimony two months later where he promised America, “If you take out Saddam regime, I guarantee it will have enormous positive reverberation on the region.” He then added another fallacy, "there is no question whatsoever that Saddam is … working and is advancing toward the development of nuclear weapons -- no question whatsoever."

About a month before the war, Israeli firster and American official Kenneth Adelman published an Op-ed in the Washington Post, positing that the war “would be a cakewalk.”

In briefing the Armed Services Committee on February 25, 2003, General Eric Shinseki, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army warned that “several hundred thousand soldiers” would be needed to secure postwar Iraq. Days later civilian Zioncon Paul Wolfowitz countered: “The notion that it will take several hundred thousand troops … are wildly off the mark.”

In his book “Plan of Attack" Bob Woodward wrote that Secretary of State Colin Powell used to refer to the Office of Special Plans—war bureau—as “a separate government.” The Office was led by Zioncos: Lewis Libby, Wolfowitz and according to Powell, it was run from Douglas Feith's "Gestapo" office.

Soon following the invasion, Wolfowitz assured the House Appropriations Committee, and American taxpayers that the war cost and rebuilding “doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money.” We have “a country that can really finance its own reconstruction.”

Wolfowitz’s statement cost the taxpayers between two to six trillion dollars.

After the Zioncons WMD (Weapons of Mass Deception) was exposed, Wolfowitz offered a new fallacious assessment. He claimed that removing Saddam will help in the peace between Israel and the Palestinians. 

The Zioncons undue influence came under Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). There were public reports in July 2004 of a probe by the FBI into potential Israeli spies in the Pentagon who might have influenced US decision on the war. The FBI suspected the Israeli mole was a senior analyst closely associated with two senior officials: Zioncons Wolfowitz and Feith. The FBI believed that “highly sensitive information” was passed to Israel via “the pro-Israel lobby group American Israel Public Affairs Committee.”

The FBI inquiry was quashed and Americans never discovered the Israeli spies who blundered America and Britain’s human and financial resources on a made for Israel war.

Hence, Chilcot has an opportunity now to bisect the Israeli “sacred cow” and identify the source of the “wrong” intelligence. It should start by deciphering the palpable link between US Zioncons’ ideologue and Israel.  

Undeniably, Saddam was a brutal dictator. But the war, the preceding economic blockade and Netanyahu’s promised “enormous … reverberation on the region” is causing more human death than Saddam ever did.

The world might be better with one less Arab dictator. Though, it would have been a much better place without Bush and his British toady.

* Mr Kanj (www.jamalkanj.com) writes regular newspaper column and publishes on several websites on Arab world issues. He is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America.
 
 
 

Israeli self-inflicted hate…

Jamal Kanj*
October 25, 2015

Haftom Zarhum, a 29-year-old Eritrean was lynched by Jewish Israelis simply because he looked different. After being shot in the legs, a mob circled him like hyenas over a bleeding prey, (www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwVG5_78G7o) throwing a bench over his head and chanting the unofficial Zionist’s anthem of hate: “Death to Arabs”, “Arabs out!” and “Am Israel Hai”.

Disowning culpability and playing the traditional victim, Israeli foreign ministry spokesman, Emmanuel Nahshon blamed the incident on the “terrible situation we are in.”

At a similar scene, a week earlier a video showed a despondent Palestinian child lying in a pool of blood. A puzzled appearance engulfed the child’s face as he gazed at a Jewish racist who was screaming “Die, you son of a whore, die.”

Had Mr. Zahrum been an innocent Palestinian bystander, it would have been a different story. Of the approximately fifty Palestinians who were murdered by the Israeli army, police, or Jewish vigilante in the last three weeks, at least twenty were allegedly threatening Israeli life.

Resisting occupation, by all available means, is a right guaranteed by international conventions. Hence, there were instances when desperate Palestinians using basic home tools confronted occupying Israeli soldiers or armed Jewish settlers. But certainly, it wasn’t in all twenty cases.

It was definitely not in the case of the slain Jew that Israeli soldiers suspected for a Palestinian. According to Yehuda Meshi-Zahav the chairman of Zaka emergency response organization, at first it appeared he was like all others, “When I was asked to deal with the body, I realized that he was a Jew, and that he was mistaken for a terrorist (Palestinian)."

That is why Mr. Zahrum’s life had no value. The murderers rightly assumed their actions were “like all others,” had no consequences. It was proven more than twenty times in the preceding three weeks when Jewish killers walked free as heroes. 

Israel has two systems of justice. It demolishes homes and revoke “Israeli” citizenship of Palestinians accused of violence. While Jewish terrorists arrested for burning alive a Palestinian child last year, are celebrated as heroes and continue to own government subsidized homes in Jewish only colonies.

Even after it was discovered that Mr. Zahrum—who looked more African than a typical Palestinian—was from Eritrea when someone found his Israeli issued Visa and shouted “he’s Eritrean, he’s not a terrorist (Palestinian).” It was already too late to stop the hyenas’ insatiable thirst for blood.

Life in Israel is either Jewish or goyim. It’s been established that taking a non-Jewish life is inconsequential. The Israel newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported in 2013 that Economy and trade minister Naftali Bennett boasted, “I have killed lots of Arabs (Palestinians) in my life – and there is no problem with that.”

As for black immigrants, two years ago current Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev called Africans a "cancer in Israel's body." She was not alone.

Following a wave of anti-African demonstrations in Tel Aviv, a poll conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute in 2013 found that 52% of Jews agree with Regev that blacks living in Israel are “a cancer.”

As to excuse something like Zahrum’s murder, one third of Israelis in that poll agreed, “that unlawful, vigilante violence against non-Jewish African immigrants is fine with them.”  A whopping majority of Jewish Israelis, 83% supported the anti-African protests.

Screaming at an injured Palestinian child soaked in blood, a racist mob lynching Zarhum, or killing a Jew who was mistaken for a Palestinian were further manifestations of Israel’s culture of hate. It was espoused by no less than the Israeli Minister of Culture, and supported by the majority of Israelis.

The hate crimes against the African immigrant by a Jewish mob or the Jew, who was thought to be a Palestinian, were not the exception. The only exception, they were not just numbers to be added to the more than fifty murdered Palestinians.

 
* Mr Kanj (www.jamalkanj.com) writes regular newspaper column and publishes on several websites on Arab world issues. He is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America.
 
 

Israel’s haunted Temple

Jamal Kanj
October 08, 2015

Tension in Jerusalem has escalated to dangerous levels in response to deliberate Israeli provocations at Haram Al Sharif or Noble Sanctuary. The fragile situation was further deteriorated by new Israeli government decrees to blow up Palestinian homes and to grant its army a free rein to deal with protestors.

Since then, at least eight Palestinians were murdered and hundreds injured by live ammunitions and rubber plated bullets. In the West, the violence became news headlines only after the killing of two armed illegal Jewish colonists in the occupied West Bank.

Missed from the Zionist’s controlled media, ten days earlier and while Palestinians were preparing to celebrate the Eid—The Sacrifice of Abraham—an Israeli soldier murdered a young Palestinian woman in Hebron. The unchecked Israeli hasbora, media deceit, claimed the 18 year old Hadeel Hashlamun was a threat to the Israeli soldier.

The claim was belied by a video tape showing the young girl being shot at close range in cold blood.

Fawaz Abu Eisheh, who witnessed the slaying, told AP, "One of the soldiers shot directly at her left leg, she fell down and didn't move. After 10 to 15 seconds later, he shot another bullet at her right leg, after 10 seconds, he shot four, five bullets at her abdomen and chest area, and then after five, 10 seconds he shot another bullet from one metre away."

According to news reports and UN sources more than 35 Palestinians have been killed at the hands of Israeli forces and or armed Jewish hooligans since January 2015.

For years, fundamentalist Jewish incursions at the Noble Sanctuary, escorted by heavy military guard, had invariably provoked friction between the Israeli army and Palestinians. While access to the site is normally unimpeded to non-Muslim visitors through Bab al Maghariba Gate, clashes occur only when Jewish fanatics barge into the Muslim holy site disturbing prayers and demanding right to perform Jewish rituals.

Just imagine if Muslims or even worse, if Palestinian Christians raised the Cross and tried to hold their mass at the Jewish weeping wall during Easter. Mind you, according to UN witnesses Palestinian Christians from the West Bank weren’t even allowed to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher for Easter. 

Al Aqsa, Muslim’s third holiest mosque has stood as a historic testimonial at the Noble Sanctuary since the dawn of Islam. Built over a vacant hilltop during the life of Prophet Mohamed and several years before the second Muslim Khalifa, Omar ibn Al Khattab liberated Palestine from the Byzantine Empire in 637 CE.

The Khalifa’s first actknown as the Omariyya Covenantwas to guarantee civil and religious freedom for Palestinian Christians. He also allowed Palestinian Jews to live in Jerusalem after they were barred under the Roman’s occupation.

The first recorded history of a specific Jewish claim for a place of worship near the Noble Sanctuary was made almost 1000 years after the Muslim leader allowed Jews back in Jerusalem.

Now under occupation for nearly fifty years, Israeli archeologists have turned the old city into craters’ land and the Noble Sanctuary hovered over a cavity as they desperately scoured for evidence of the alleged Temple of Solomon.

History and archeology hitherto continue to debunk the Zionist myth. According to a report in the Jerusalem Post by Israel’s foremost archeologist and university Professor Israel Finkelstein, after all the digging, “There is no historical or archaeological evidence to back the biblical narrative on … Joshua's conquest of Canaan,” or “Temple of Solomon” to have ever existed in the city.

To fulfill its delusional prophecy, Israel has a better chance collaborating with the misnomer Islamic State and doomsday Christians to breed the unblemished bovine red heifer before finding the haunted mirage under the Noble Sanctuary.

While Christian and Muslim Palestinians clutch physically to time immemorial heritage symbols in Jerusalem, European Zionist’s Khazar Jewish converts are chasing a phantom.

 
 
 
 

US Muslim presidential candidate

 

JAMAL KANJ
October 01, 2015

Lagging in the polls, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump came from behind ranting Mexican migrants. Trump exploited a real topical complex issue to mobilize the White Republican base and rode to the top of the ticket deriding Mexicans.

Ben Carson was however more inventive. He created a fictitious candidate to rally the same delusional crowd. Carson declared that the Muslim faith could disqualify a person from being a US president.  

Within days, Carson crowded Trump to the top of the Republican ticket by bashing the imaginary Muslim candidate. Even though there was none, Carson made the “Muslim candidate” the hottest topic for US news and talk shows outdoing Trump’s sordid attacks against Mexican immigrants.

In one of his tirades, Carson claimed that "Muslims feel that their religion is very much a part of your public life and what you do as a public official," and warned against the creeping Muslim “Sharia.”

Never mind that Carson must not understand that Islamic jurisprudence even in Muslim majority countries clearly states that “non-Muslims are not required by law to follow Islamic religious or social standards (Sharia).”

Academically speaking, the Republican candidate’s baseless concerns over the Sharia are hogwash and cheap electioneering demagoguery; unless Carson plans to become a Muslim and move to a place governed by the Sharia.

But even then, he will have difficulties. There are at least fifty Muslim majority countries around the world where the vast majority are not governed by Sharia.

Instead of arguing a very unlikely fictional scenario, Carson should be most troubled by his support to American polices, like the invasion of Iraq when the US replaced a very secular constitution with a new dominated by religious authorities.

Carson should also know that the only secular democracy in the Middle East is a Muslim country: Turkey. The other widely acclaimed democracy, Israel, is a Jewish and not a secular democracy.

In propagating fear mongering to indulge the ignoble Republican Evangelist base, Carson brings up unintentionally an important issue: Religion and the Constitution.

It is indisputable that religions across the board are not compatible with many aspects of the US constitution. But it is not the imaginary Muslim candidate who is a threat to the constitution. It is the Republican contestants who have made religion an important part of their candidacy and are attempting to subjugate the US constitution to their belief.

Recently, Carson along with most Republican candidates rallied behind Kim Davis who preached her own definition of “God’s authority” to subjugate the law of the land and refused to issue same sex marriage licenses in Rowan County, Kentucky.

Carson explained on September 8 to Fox news that Davis was right to defy the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the US constitution. “This is a Judeo-Christian nation in the sense that a lot of our values and principles are based on our Judeo-Christian faith,” he said. Translating to how faith should guide “a public official” in conducting their life.

Putting aside Carson’s xenophobic demagoguery and his pandering to the extreme rightwing Republican base, it would be worth noting that women were elected to head two of the world’s most populous Muslim countries. An ambitious reality, women in the US are still struggling to achieve more than a decade later.

When John F Kennedy’s (JFK) faith was questioned in 1960, he eloquently said “… it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been, and may someday be again, a Jew— or a Quaker or a Unitarian or a Baptist … Today I may be the victim, but tomorrow it may be you —.”

Neither faith nor race is an indicative of a good leader. JFK was a good example. An anti-abolitionist with the “right faith” could have succeeded in mobilizing Carson’s reactionary crowd a century ago. Ironically, Carson, the black man wouldn’t have been allowed to vote in that election.

 
* Mr Kanj (www.jamalkanj.com) writes regular newspaper column and publishes on several websites on Arab world issues. He is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America.
 
 

UK Labor Party revolution

Jamal Kanj
September 20, 2015

The election of veteran socialist Jeremy Corbyn to lead the Labor Party in the UK is a revolution by all means. In a Party grassroots election, the 66 years old outsider defeated a lineup of traditional Labor candidates.

Corbyn’s victory was a rejection of Tony Blair’s wing as much as it was a swing to the left. Blair who came back from hibernation to campaign against Corbyn was rebuffed by the file and rank of the Labor Party. Party membership didn’t forgive Blair’s disgraceful servitude role to George Bush and his Israeli fabricated “dossier” to sell the invasion of Iraq.

Additionally, the outcome of the Labor Party vote must be seen in consort with the wave of anti-austerity sentiment sweeping throughout Europe. During the last economic crises, European and US taxpayers bailed large financial institutions and endured cuts in public services. With the improved economic conditions, bankers were back receiving huge salaries and large bonuses while average wages stalled and pension cuts became modus operandi for governments’ austerity programs.

Greek voters led the European Spring by rejecting the Central Bank’s conditions for bailout and elected the anti-austerity Syriza Party to power.  To the north, the Scottish overwhelmingly rejected Labor, as an alternative to the Tories and casted their votes for the Scottish National Party (SNP). In Spain, the emergence of Podemos is shaking the Spaniards political system. Even in the US, the presumed traditional Democratic frontrunner, Hilary Clinton is facing serious challenge from presidential candidate and self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders.

Approximately 60 % of the more than 400,000 registered Labor Party members who supported Corbyn—even those believing he was unlikely to win a national election—sent a strong message to Britain’s pompous traditional political class and hammered the last nail in the Blairites coffin. 

Euphoria aside, Corbyn must now learn from previous progressive victory lessons. In 1980, the anti-austerity candidate Michael Foot defeated James Callaghans and the old Labor guards’ choice to unseat Margaret Thatcher. However soon after his election, Foot faced a rebellion when four senior officials, known as the gang of four, walked out and formed the new Social Democratic Party (SDP).

The SDP became the darling of corporate media overnight and was posited as an alternative to the Labor. In June 1981, SDP joined in an alliance with the Liberal Party forming a new centrist party, the Liberal Democrats.

The Labor Party swung further to the left and ran on what the media described then as “suicide manifesto”. Shortly thereafter, the substantial lead Foot enjoyed over the conservative government milted faster than an ice cube under August desert sun.

Despite Corbyn’s large grassroots mandate, it is not surprising that traditional Labor autocrats have joined hands with the corporate media to undermine the new Party leader. Soon following his election, Stephen Pollard editor of the Jewish Chronicle wrote that Corbyn “barely fit to be an MP,” and accused him as someone who “doesn’t just hate America,” but “hate Britain itself.”  Pollard had literally plagiarized the tired US Republicans and FOX news chorus’ name calling and aspersion strategy used against Barak Obama.

It is worth noting here that when Foot ascended to the Labor leadership, he enjoyed a double digit lead over Thatcher; Corbyn is starting with a double digit deficit to David Cameron.

The new Labor leader has already proven special ability to run from behind. According to BBC and other news reports, Corbyn was a 200-1 outsider when he ran for the Party’s leadership three months ago.

Today, Corbyn has five years to bridge the deficit gap and defeat the conservative government of Cameron. He has a unique opportunity to make the Labor Party more inclusive by reaching out to the large reservoir of marginalized British voters and to work with SNP supporters to make Britain more of a United Kingdom.

 
* Mr Kanj (www.jamalkanj.com) writes regular newspaper column and publishes on several websites on Arab world issues. He is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America.
 
 
 

Burned alive

Jamal Kanj
September 10, 2015

Five years ago at a stop during my book signing tour in San Diego, I met an adorable toddler named Farah. She was being treated in the US from severe burns she received at the age of two. Farah was one of thousands of civilians who were either injured or killed when Israel rained white phosphorus bombs on Gaza in 2008/2009.

The insidious phosphorus bomb that burned through Farah’s angelic flesh was American made and paid for by US taxpayers. Ironically, so was Farah’s treatment.

Last Sunday Reham Dewabsha a mother of two took her last breath from burn injuries. On July 31st, Reham, her 18 months old Ali, his four year old brother Ahmed  and their father cuddled on a floor mattress in their small room. Outside, the stars were glistering in the clear sky of a warm summer night in the village of Duma, Palestine.

Ahmad complained it was hot. Saad his 32 years old father decided to open the window to allow in the cool breeze blowing in the fields of their peaceful village. The 18 months old Ali spread his tiny legs and was first to fall asleep followed by Ahmed. Reham kissed her babies goodnight and covered them to keep the mosquitos away before she and Saad dozed in after a hard day working in the farm.

In the middle of that Friday night, Reham was startled from her sleep by Ali’s loud wail. Her vision was blinded by the bright blaze engulfing her baby’s small body. She jumped over Ahmad to reach Ali when another firebomb landed between them, setting Reham, Saad and Ahmad on fire.

Ali, the 18 month old baby was burned to death. Saad succumbed to his fate a week later. Reham joined them after more than a month in coma. Four years old Ahmad is still fighting for his life.

The perpetrators celebrated their feat by spraying their signature and symbol of pride, start of David on nearby walls. Israeli police arrested known extremist from a nearby illegal Jewish only colony. Most were released later and no one was charged.

This is in a country that brags about its superior security service.

Had this been the plight of an illegal Jewish settler family, no doubt their faces would have been paraded on TV screens and newspapers. Their names engraved in our brains and we would be reminded of the Holocaust memories. But in this case, I dare to say, most haven’t heard of Reham or her family.

Meanwhile, Israeli subsidized Jewish settler Moshe Orbach wrote “Kingdom of Evil”, an instruction manual on how to set fire to mosques, churches and Palestinian homes.

I always wondered about Jewish terrorists’ fascination with burning. Last year, they kidnapped Mohamed Abu Khdeir, a 16 year old Palestinian teenager from the streets of Jerusalem and took him to a nearby forest area. Mohamed was forced to swallow petrol before they burned him alive.

This is not just an Israeli fringe.

Since July, Israeli army and its terrorist settler’s branch murdered more than ten Palestinians, ordered the building of thousands of Jewish only homes in illegal colonies, and marked 14,000 Palestinian homes for demolishing.

Matan Vilnai, a high level Israeli government official once threatened Palestinians in Gaza with "shoah," a Hebrew term used to mean Holocaust. Former Israeli Sephardic Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu pontificated that Judaism doesn’t prohibit “the indiscriminate killing of civilians.”

The world can’t continue to turn a blind eye on Israel’s ethnic cleansing and its direct responsibility for crimes committed by its subsidized terrorist settler population. While Holocaust deniers are jailed in Europe, in Israel, “Jewish” proponents of “new shoah,” and those who burned Ali, Reham, Saad and Ahmed roam free.  

Human incinerators, whether delivered efficiently by a gas chamber, military means, injected into the mouth, or by a torch through a window, all have one thing in common: Burning is how racists manifest hate.

* Mr Kanj (www.jamalkanj.com) writes regular newspaper column and publishes on several websites on Arab world issues. He is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America.
 
 
Europe refugees’ threat
Jamal Kanj
August 30, 2015

Many years ago I read “Men in the Sun,” a novel by late Palestinian writer Ghassan Kanafani― he, along with his young niece, Lamis were blown up by Israel in 1972. In the story, Kanafani told the tale of three desperate Palestinian refugees from Lebanon who hid in an empty water tanker trying to reach Kuwait and find work.

The truck was delayed at the borders and the three travelers suffocated quietly inside the empty tank. The tormented driver tried desperately to understand why they didn’t try to escape their fate. The parable: daring death rather than facing the look in the eyes of their starving children waiting in the camps.

I always believed Kanafani was a brilliant writer and a great illustrator. But I never thought his novel was to portend the extent of desperate measures, desperate people were willing to take. Today, you can see Kanafani’s prophecy all over the faces of Arab refugees jumping from unsafe boats trying to reach European shores or waiting in camps under rain or sun seeking sanctuary in a strange land.

And those are the lucky ones; for thousands of their compatriots were either swallowed in deep sea water, decomposed in truck containers or left behind to choose between a dictatorship regime and the crueler alternative.

It is a shame, when non-Arab countries are more hospit