16 November 2016

The Defense Cateory of the Federal Budget Is Not ONLY "The Military Budget"

The proposed federal budget - it’s that time of year . . . again.   I want to point out that the Defense category of the budget is often misconstrued as “the military budget” when in fact Military Defense is only a part of the entire Defense budget.  The topic here is how the Defense budget is categorized.   The variety of categories at the end of this article might be a surprise to some.  It certainly was to me.

The 2016 budget graphics suffice for the purpose of illustrating general categories.  (Links to currently proposed 2017 budget can be found at the end of this article.)

Notice anything missing and/or confusing in the President’s 2016 Budget in Pictures pie charts?  Allow me to point out a few incongruities.


Above, you see the pie chart of categories for the 2016 Total Spending Budget.  There are several more pie charts at the website including pie charts for Mandatory and Discretionary categories.

The first incongruity I notice is that the Veterans' Benefits category is listed as part of both the Mandatory and Discretionary pie chart budgets.  Perhaps there IS an allocation in both categories?   However, in the Discretionary pie chart the Veterans' Affairs category is part of the Defense budget. Additionally, both International Affairs and Military are itemized individually in the Discretionary Budget pie chart, however they are both considered to be part of the Defense Budget category (which is not on the pie chart).  International Affairs seems to be funded as the category of  Foreign Economic Aid (State Department and Intelligence?) in the Defense budget

According to a budgetary pie chart I was perusing a few days ago the "the military budget" is analogous to the Military Defense category of the Defense budget - NOT analogous to the Defense budget with which it is sometimes, and wrongly, used interchangeably.  It was also stated that the funds for the State Department and all Intelligence Agencies are also allocated within the Defense Budget.  But funding for both the State Department and Intelligence Agencies are noticeably absent in all of the pie charts.

Many seem to believe the Defense budget is ONLY dedicated to military costs . . . and yes, it was unclear to me also, which is why I decided to seek some clarity about what seems to be mislabeling.  Is State Department and the collective Intelligence Agency funding really provided for in the Defense budget?   If so, I suggest in the interest of accuracy, transparency, and accountability, that they need their own funding category rather than apparently being "hidden" in the Defense budget.

There are other dilemmas associated with the pie charts.  It seems there is no category for either State Department or Intelligence Agency funding - at least they are not categorized as such, nor under what could appropriately be a Diplomacy budget category.  Additionally, it seems that the category designated as "military" in the pie chart may actually be the Defense category, given there is no Defense category.  Is it any wonder there is confusion about the labels of the categories and what they encompass?

According to a more detailed itemization of categories within categories within categories, it seems apparent from another website:  Government Spending Details, which is about the proposed 2017 budget, that both State Department and Intelligence funds are part of the Defense budget, albeit not clearly listed as such, but present in that budget for all practical purposes.   Looking at how the Defense budget is roughly itemized,  Military Defense is a large category of the Defense budget, but only part of the Defense budget.  

It has been educational to peruse the categories which I found listed in the above mentioned  website.  Since the subject of my own concern, here, is the Defense budget, I have put an asterisk by items in the list, below, which are apparently NOT military related.  Many fit into what seems to be the absent State Department category.  Perhaps there are additional State Department categories not listed as such in the Mandatory budget as well?  Some categories seem to be unitemized, unclear, and unfunded "place holders".  Presumably, they  could be used for anything which likely means they fund Intelligence activities thus might or might not also be included in the Mandatory budget in some subcategory or another.

Personally, I would consider taking State Department funding and Intelligence (including FBI) funding out of the Defense budget and putting it in a category of it's own, say . . .  a  Diplomacy/Diplomatic budget, or at least making it an individual category of the Defense budget.   Would a Diplomacy budget category be appropriate in the Defense budget?  Why not?  The State Department is home to the Diplomatic Corps so when it and Intelligence Agencies (including FBI) are employed for the appropriate reasons, they are being used diplomatically.  And, in reality, Diplomacy actually IS the best defense.  So I could see a Diplomacy budget appropriately fitting into the Defense budget if it were to be more clearly designated as such AND if it were to be more clearly emphasized that the Defense budget is not analogous to "the military budget" but includes many more major categories of defense which are not militarily oriented.

Because of incongruities associated with labeling of “the military budget” I wanted to better understand the budget categories.  It didn’t take much perusing to understand there is confusion between the designation of “the military budget” and the Defense budget designation.  And after looking at further categorizing of the Defense budget I was somewhat astounded at what it includes in addition to the Military Defense category (the designation which actually IS "the military budget").  After making an effort to clarify the Defense budget categories for my own interest I have to question why the “murkiness”.  It leads to questioning whether or not there is an unacceptable purposeful effort to create unnecessary confusion.  Plus, it may indicate the same type of misleading murkiness exists throughout the entire budget - in some way of another.

It is somewhat unclear which Government Department is the abode of our Intelligence Agencies.  Department of Homeland Security?  DHS is not listed in the Defense budget which, based on the name, seem to be the place it fits.  But in reality it is a catch-all "home" to a number of Departments.   DHS is described as "the integration of all or part of 22 different federal departments and agencies into a unified, integrated Department."  But, clearly, the budgeting of it's funds certainly is not "unified and integrated".

Why not be straight forward with budgetary categories?  Diplomacy could easily be considered Defense.  But when there is not a designation of Diplomacy to put State Department and the Intelligence Agencies into, it seems there is intent to “hide” these categories.  It is no secret the State Department exists.  It is no secret the Intelligence Agencies exists.   But it seems to be a “secret” that they are funded and under what categories unless, of course, they are part of the catch-all Department of Homeland Security for which I have found no visible category of funding.

We really do need more transparency and more accountability when it comes to federal budget categories.  Again . . . what's with the unacceptable and seemingly purposeful effort to create unnecessary organizational confusion?  The response of our Legislative Branch in the past year or so to debating and approving a budget is certainly evidence of the prevalence of our Legislative body's collective budgetary confusion . . .  which should not be as pronounced as it has been.  I advocate budgetary categories being analogous to organizational framework categories.  Clearly, if budgetary categories were analogous to the departments of which they are part, budgeting would be less problematic.

To conclude, here are some official government sources: 
The President's Budget for Fiscal Year 2017 at the White House Website.

Budget of the U.S. Government Fiscal Year 2017 Office of Management and Budget, a  detailed 165 page PDF (with a list of contributors)

From the Defense Department website, President Obama's proposed budget request of $582.7 billion in discretionary budget authority to fund the Department of Defense in Fiscal Year 2017 (FY 2017) 

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FYI the Defense budget categories, below, are from the 2017 Government Spending Details. The website actually provides all categories of the budget and funds allocated.  Anyone interested in discussing the budget with elected and appointed government officials might find it worth perusing.  There are likely a number of websites presenting the same information in a variety of forms.

* indicates that the items below in the Defense budget are NOT military related but are defense related, in the Diplomatic and Security sense, and would seem to fit into absent State Department and Intelligence (or DHS) categories or; * indicates categories which seem to be “place holders” as yet unitemized and unfunded

Defense budget
    [+]      Military defense        
        [+]     Department of Defense -- Military (not expanded below)   
        [+]     Atomic energy defense activities    
        [+]   *  Defense-related activities
    [–]  *    Civil defense  (nothing itemized/funding not disclosed)        
    [+]      Veterans   (not expanded, below)        
    [+]      Foreign military aid  (i.e.  International security assistance)
    [+]  *    Foreign economic aid
        [+]  *   International development and humanitarian assistance    
        [+]  *   Conduct of foreign affairs    
        [+]  *   Foreign information and exchange activities    
        [+]  *   International financial programs
    [-] *     R and D Defense  (nothing itemized/funding not disclosed)
    [-] *     Defense n.e.c.  (nothing itemized/funding not disclosed)


Some sections as above - expanded:
[–]      Military defense  (3 sections)
    [+]     Department of Defense -- Military (unexpanded here)
    [–]     Atomic energy defense activities    
        — *    Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Fund   
        — *    Administrative Expenses, Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation
                 Fund       
        — *    Other Defense Activities   
        — *    Defense Environmental Cleanup   
        — *    Nuclear Energy   
        —     Weapons Activities   
        — *    Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation   
        — *    Salaries and Expenses   
        —     Naval Reactors   
        — *    Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program   
        — *    CDC-Wide Activities and Program Support   
    [–]     Defense-related activities    
        — *    Salaries and Expenses   
        — *     Payment to Radiation Exposure Compensation Trust Fund   
        — *    Payment from the General Fund, Radiation Exposure Compensation Trust
                 Fund
        — *     Radiation Exposure Compensation Trust Fund   
        —     Payment to Military Retirement Fund   
        —     Federal Contributions, Military Retirement Fund   
        — *    Federal Contributions, DoD Medicare-Eligible Retiree Health Care Fund       
        —     Maritime Security Program   (Coast Guard, perhaps)
        — *     Operating Expenses   
        — *     Procurement, Construction, and Improvements   
        — *     Infrastructure Protection and Information Security   
        — *     Management and Administration   
        — *     Salaries and Expenses   
        — *     Central Intelligence Agency Retirement and Disability System Fund   
        — *     Research and Related Activities   
        — *    Intelligence Community Management Account
[–] *     Civil defense  (nothing itemized/funding not disclosed)   
[+]      Veterans (unexpanded here)
[–]      Foreign military aid  i.e.  International security assistance
     [–]     International security assistance        
        — *    Peacekeeping Operations   
        — *    Economic Support Fund   
        — *    Nonproliferation, Antiterrorism, Demining, and Related Programs   
        —     International Military Education and Training   
        —     Foreign Military Financing Program   
        —     Foreign Military Financing Loan Program Account
[–] *     Foreign economic aid        
     [–] *    International development and humanitarian assistance         
            —     Mechanism for Peace Operations Response   
            — *    Complex Crises Fund   
            — *    International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement   
            — *    Global Health Programs   
            — *    Democracy Fund   
            — *    Migration and Refugee Assistance   
            — *    United States Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund   
            — *    International Organizations and Programs   
            — *    Contribution to the International Development Association   
            — *    Contribution to the Asian Development Bank   
            — *    Contribution to the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
                     Development     
            — *    Contribution to the African Development Bank   
            — *    Contribution to the Green Climate Fund   
            — *    Operating Expenses of the Agency for International Development   
            — *    Operating Expenses, Office of Inspector General   
            — *    Development Assistance Program   
            — *    Transition Initiatives   
            — *    HIV/AIDS Working Capital Fund   
            — *    International Disaster Assistance   
            — *    Development Credit Authority Program Account   
            — *    Capital Investment Fund of the United States Agency for International
            — *    Assistance for Europe, Eurasia and Central Asia   
            — *    MENA Loan Guarantee Program Account   
            — *    Economic Assistance Loans Liquidating Account   
            — *    Gifts and Donations, Agency for International Development   
            — *    Miscellaneous Trust Funds, AID   
            — *    Overseas Private Investment Corporation Program Account   
            — *    Overseas Private Investment Corporation Loans, Negative Subsidies   
            — *    Overseas Private Investment Corporation Noncredit Account   
            — *    Trade and Development Agency   
            — *    Peace Corps   
            — *    Millennium Challenge Corporation   
            — *    Expenses, Public Law 480, Foreign Assistance Programs, Agriculture Liquidating
                     Account
            — *    Food for Peace Title II Grants   
            — *    McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program   
     [–]  *   Conduct of foreign affairs    
            — *    Consular and Border Security Programs, Machine Readable Visa Fee   
            — *    Consular and Border Security Programs, Expedited Passport Fees   
            — *    Consular and Border Security Programs, Passport Security Surcharge   
            — *    Consular and Border Security Programs, Western Hemisphere Travel
                     Surcharge   
            — *    Contributions for International Peacekeeping Activities            
            — *    Contributions to International Organizations            
            — *    Diplomatic and Consular Programs   
            — *    Office of the Inspector General   
            — *    Embassy Security, Construction, and Maintenance   
            — *    Payment to Foreign Service Retirement and Disability Fund   
            — *    Consular and Border Security Programs   
            — *    Federal Contributions, Foreign Service Retirement and Disability Fund   
            — *    Salaries and Expenses   
     [–] *    Foreign information and exchange activities    
            — *    National Endowment for Democracy   
            — *    Educational and Cultural Exchange Programs   
            — *    International Broadcasting Operations   
     [–] *    International financial programs        
            — *    Exchange Stabilization Fund   
            — *    Special Defense Acquisition Fund   
            —     Deposits, Advances, Foreign Military Sales Trust Fund   
            —     Foreign Military Sales Trust Fund   
            — *    Export-Import Bank Loans, Negative Subsidies
[–] *     R and D Defense    (nothing itemized/funding not disclosed)        
[–] *     Defense n.e.c.   (nothing itemized/funding not disclosed)

16 April 2016

In Support of BDS and the Russel Tribunal on Palestine

Israel Was Tried For War Crimes Today, The Testimony Will Break Your Heart

"I’ve been in Brussels today witnessing the Russell Tribunal on Palestine which is assessing Israel’s war crimes in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge.  The full testimony is available on the Tribunal’s website, but I have captured some key excerpts from my live reporting today."

This link above is to an article about the heart breaking testimony presented at the Russell Tribunal on Palestine 2014, regarding the 2014 genocidal attack on Gaza by the political Zionist government of Israel.  A Russell Tribunal was set up "to examine the violations of international law, of which the Palestinians are victims, and that prevent the Palestinian People from exercising its rights to a sovereign State." 

I highly recommend accessing the Russell Tribunal on Palestine (rtop)  at the link offered in the excerpted first paragraph, above.  The Tribunal is named after Bertrand Russell, and the Bertrand Russell Foundation supported setting up a Russell Tribunal on Palestine.  Much more of value can learn more about the Russell Tribunal on Palestine by clicking the above link.  The link directly below is the opening paragraph on the Russell Tribunal on Palestine About page which tells more about the establishment of Russell Tribunal and also about the specific Russell Tribunal on Palestine.

“May this Tribunal prevent the crime of silence“…

…declared Lord Bertrand Russell to define the spirit and the objective of the International War Crimes Tribunal constituted in 1966 to investigate crimes committed in Vietnam and judge them according to international law. Initiated by Lord Russell, Nobel Prize of literature in 1950, and supported by eminent intellectuals such as Jean-Paul Sartre, who chaired the Tribunal, Lelio Basso, Guenther Anders, James Baldwin, Simone de Beauvoir, Lazaro Cardenas, Stokely Carmichael, Isaac Deutscher, Gisèle Halimi, Laurent Schwartz…, this Tribunal was named the Russell Tribunal."

I happened upon this article about the Russell Tribunal, yesterday, on the page of a new Facebook friend.  I recommend the article as an introductory read for anyone, especially for those who have no idea of the viciousness of intent and action that was carried out on inhabitants in the most recent genocidal attack on Gaza; an attack which demonstrably has nothing to do with Israel's claims of targeting terrorists.  It is an "open secret" that the government of Israeli has long employed targeted assassination, worldwide, and has untold numbers of political Zionist agents in place worldwide, particularly in the middle east posing as Arabs; and untold numbers of hired assassins to do it's evil deeds.  It is no figment of anyone's imagination.  It is actuality.  As such, the government of Israel has no need to try to obliterate Gaza from the map in order to pursue terrorists, though such was the claimed reason for the attack.

This is a long discussion.  So, for those who are aware of the issues - there is no need to read further. But for those  who are not, well . . .  let's just say that exposing yourselves to some righteous, warranted anger expressed lucidly, though what might seem harshly to some, is also an introduction to issues that will not be resolved until a critical mass understanding of the issues has been reached.  I urge readers to become part of that critical mass of understanding which is the only way an actual solution to the problem of ideological political Zionism as illegally perpetrated on Palestinians, will be reached.  The problem actually compromises world peace, increasingly so for the past few decades.  Continue reading if you do not know how it does so.

I would like to imagine that most people remember the most recent genocide of 2014 which the government of Israel launched on Palestinians in Gaza, and anyone else who happened to be there at the time.  I would like to imagine that most people know enough minimal history to understand the injustice, not only of the repeated political Zionist genocidal efforts, but also of how the inadequately addressed problem of political Zionism has increasingly  corroded world peace since around the turn of the 20th century . . . thus for nearly a century.

It is a long complex history interrelated to modern geopolitics, though not related to the claim of political Zionists that the problems are due to a millennia long "ongoing biblical conflict" (*see note below) from before the time of both Christianity and Islam.  People of all religions coexisted peacefully in Palestine throughout most of modern history even sharing in one another's religious celebrations.

Lest there be an assumption that "genocide" is an exaggeration, it is not an exaggeration according to the description of genocide in the "Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide", to which I offer the link below, and the Article II section which itemizes the acts of genocide.  This Convention was formulated after WWII so that nothing of a similar nature would ever again occur  - whether it occurs over a period of a few years (like the genocide of the Nazi regime, and several other genocides since that time), or occurs sporadically over a period of several generations (like in Palestine).  The genocide perpetrated by the ideological political Zionist regime of Israel fulfills ALL of the itemized acts considered to demonstrate genocidal intent.  But committing any one of them is considered to indicate the intent of genocide.

Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide


Article II
In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Israel's genocide has been consistently occurring in some of the above ways, and more sporadically occurring in others, since before 1948 when political Zionist terrorist groups decided to kill Swedish Count Bernadette who was the UN Security Council's unanimously appointed mediator in Mandated Palestine.  Before that time there had already been a concentrated sniping effort targeting Palestinians.  Shortly after assassinating Count Bernadette, the political Zionist terrorist groups rampaged through Palestine killing as many Palestinians as they could and promising to kill those who did not leave.  Thus, the 1948 exodus of Palestinians from their homes which resulted in, to date, several generations of Palestinians living in what were intended to be temporary refugee camps when they were establish by the U.N. in Palestine and neighboring nations. 

Count Bernadette had been tasked by the U.N. Security Council with mediating a peaceful equitable division of Palestine so that the political Zionists would be granted an equitable portion of Palestine for a Jewish only nation.  However there was nothing equitable about it nor about the deceit that perpetrated the division effort.  Taking a portion of Palestine and displacing the Palestinians who lived there was an ideological political plan that arose long before WWII.  In fact it's early roots were back in the 1830s - in Europe.  Yet, if the political Zionists' hasbara which differs from fact, is to be believed, partitioning the land had everything to do with WWII and nothing else.  That apparent contradiction is an example of a red flag which indicates a problem with facts not agreeing.   As is usually the case regarding contradiction, it arises based on omitted pertinent facts.  And upon investigation, ordinarily the red flag contradictions will expose a twisted truth and/or an actual lie i.e. intended as disinformation in both cases.

But there was a plan to partition Palestine long before WWII started.  The inhabitants of Palestine had been promised by the allied nations of WWI that if Palestine supported them against the Turkish, the allies would support Palestine in becoming a nation with the Ottoman Empire's dissolution after the war.  It was the same promise extended to other areas in the region of what, at that time, were also part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire with whom the allied nations were at war during WWI.

The allies reneged ONLY on their promise to the Palestinians.  Because, there had been a clandestine agreement between the British and the political Zionist leadership to give some of Palestine to the political Zionists for a "Jewish only" nation intended to become modern "Israel".  In actuality, the clandestine promise was made to those who embraced the irreligious political ideology of Zionism, those whose primary strategy was to use and abuse the religion of Judaism by any means they deemed necessary, for the purpose of appropriating all of Palestine, eventually, to be peopled ONLY by those who claimed to be Jewish (religion) no matter their ethnicity or their nation of origin. 

Demonstrably, though as with most promises from the ideological political Zionists, it was nothing more than hot air, a twisted truth, a contradictory double standard promise, and remains so to this day.  Consider that African Jews who emigrated to Israel have been viciously discriminated against rather than welcomed.  So too non-Jewish workers from other nations living in Israel temporarily, when they want to stay permanently.  Even so no other groups are victimized to the extent of Palestinians in Israeli Occupied Palestinian Territory (oPt)

Worse, Palestinians who live in oPt, as if imprisoned - especially Muslim Palestinians - have always been deemed by political Zionists to be cannon fodder.  Of course the government of Israel has little trepidation about also targeting Palestinian Christians, but most actively targets populations and cities that are predominately Muslim.  With Israel's "blessing" the illegal settlers target the cities, villages, and rural areas, both Muslim and Christian, when the Israeli military is not tasked to target them. 

What the settlers and soldiers do to Palestinians and their land is completely unconscionable.  The facts are presented in the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, and by many journalists.  The facts have the capacity to make one feel ill in a number of ways, simply reading about them, and/or listening to people who know about them and/or who have directly experienced the crimes, and lived to tell about the abuse, torture, and violence.  Those same crimes have been perpetrated on Palestinian children and young adults who are imprisoned in Israeli prisons for no reason except that they were kidnapped by settlers or the Israeli military - and survived to tell about it.

What is my purpose in wanting people to be informed?  Well there are several reasons, all equally important.  The first is that nations signatory to the Geneva Conventions have agreed to abide by them. However, because the government of Israel does not abide by the agreements to which it is signatory, an entire nation of Palestinian people has been victimized by a decades long genocide that was started by a highly organized group of terrorists who wanted the land indigenous Palestinians (of all religions) lived on - but without Palestinians living on the land it wanted to appropriate.  As a result there has been a systematically committed genocide on the  population of non-Jewish Palestinian people in oPt for over half a century.  All the other reasons people should be informed, become informed, and stay informed about the issues are associated with that reason.

Secondly, followers of the political ideology of Zionism are using and abusing the religion of Judaism, thus it's adherents, in claiming all its illegal actions are in support of Judaism and Jews, thus inferring they are condoned by the religion of Judaism.  However, none of the crimes committed by the ideological political Zionist government of Israel are condoned by Judaism.  Jewish folks are increasingly recognizing that as a problem and refusing to support Israel's crimes.  The situation is little different than the current one that people know more about because it is in the news regularly, that of crimes being committed by the irreligious ideological political terrorists who claim to do what they do in support of Islam, and that it is  condoned by Islam, although none of the crimes they commit are condoned by Islam.  Different perpetrators of evil - in name only - but not in spirit of ill-intent.

Thirdly, Christians worldwide who support the actions of the political Zionist government of Israel are complicit with the ideology of political Zionists when they try to persuade the government's of their nations to support the vicious illegal genocide of the political Zionist government of Israel.  Apparently their support is based on some sort of man-made theology unique to several Christian denominations.  It has been a major problem in the U.S.A. for decades and remains one that is perpetrated by lobbies in the U.S. which illegally represent the foreign nation of Israel and it's political desires, to our U.S. Congress. 

Foreign lobbies are illegal.  But, the Israel lobbies, collectively, are constantly pressuring Congress, by any means they can, to do Israel's bidding . . . to do what is right for Israel even when it is wrong for our nation i.e. those folks in Congress are known as "Israel firsters".  People used to imagine most of those "Israel First" folks were Jewish.  But such is not the case.  With Israel firsters, who are predominately Christian, populating our Congress, it is no mystery that we witness an increasingly bold use of religious reasoning being offered up for the domestic choices made for our nation; nor a mystery that religious reasons are used when the "Firsters" want to persuade other members of Congress - as if doing so does not push beyond the limits of our so-called "church and state" constitutional clause.

The various Israeli lobbies collectively pressure Congress to provide increasingly more military aid to Israel through 10 year memorandums of understanding (mou). There is a requested increase from the most recent $30+ Billion mou, to over $45+ Billion for a subsequent 10 year mou.  The lobbies make a stink about everything Israel wants from Congress that it doesn't get, but will grudgingly acquiesce about many items on their shopping list to Congress, when our government continues to provide and increase military aid.  But just think about and imagine the benefits that over $45 Billion could provide towards creating a truly equitable system of both health care and higher education for our own nation of people.

Fourthly, the U.S.A. is the staunched military materiel supporter of the political Zionist regime which makes it complicit in the genocide against Palestinians living in oPt; which also makes it complicit in the appropriating of increasingly more oPt land by the political Zionist regime of Israel.  The question arises how my nation could support a regime which blatantly purports exclusivity for people of a specified religion, at the cost of displacement of those not of the specified religion who are criminally persecuted, even unto death, for not being of the specified religion.  My nation certainly makes a human rights issues out of that type of situation when other nations violate.  So why does it enable and condone Israel's human rights violations? It's another red flag double-standard contradiction that has no adequate justification.

Besides the crimes being wrong by anyone's standards, there are also Geneva Conventions which outline how an occupied people must be treated and cannot be treated.  Israel violently and illegally violates them.   Given U.S. laws, thus the intended mind-set of our nation which prevents religion and government from abusing one another and from abusing the citizenry in the name of religion, I ask, again, how is it the U.S.A. is so willing to staunchly support Israel's violent and illegal crimes which Israel purports are in the name of the specified religion of Judaism?  But that is a topic for another time.  It is also a question we, the people, all need to be asking our elected and appointed folks in government who are supposed to be representing our wishes about what is best for our nation.

Do I seem angry?  Well, of course I am, and have felt highly infuriated and outraged about the problem for several decades once I started making an effort to objectively learn why the reported news simply did not add up but instead came across as being contradictory.  That started for me shortly before the war of many names started i.e. the Six Days war, the June War, the War of 1967, 1967 Arab–Israeli War,Third Arab–Israeli War started.  That was shortly before the end of the third quarter of my freshman year in college.

Pursuit of answers to the contradictions started for me because of a news article a fellow student had written about the pending war based on a letter from his mother in Jordan telling him the war would soon start.  He asked me to type it for him because he could not type.  When I asked how he knew there would be a war he insisted, absolutely insisted that I read the letter his mother had sent which spoke of the inevitable war.  When the war did start several days after the article was published in our college newspaper, the mainstream news reports on t.v., radio, and newspapers were aghast about it having been so unexpected.  Yet, I knew it was going to happen because someone who lived in the area knew it, and said so.  That seeming paradox was a huge incongruous contradiction I could not ignore which also included a dimension of concern about controlled news, thus freedom of our press.

I started to learn the history associated with that contradiction, and became determined to continue investigating until I found some valid answers to the nature of the increasingly more unconscionable contradictions I was happening upon, as I learned more. The problems became abundantly clear.  I happened upon so many cause and effect facts that differed from what the news reported.  I was astounded, of course.  I am still astounded by the blatant misleading information from news reports - a large amount of it being due to the problem of omission of pertinent facts which in turn leads to twisted truth "analysis" that places blame on Palestinians when it is actually the political Zionists who are persecuting the Palestinians. News reports have been presented that way for decades.  It is always a celebration when there is actual news coverage.

Here is my fifth, final, and larger reason for wanting people to become informed.  The problem of political Zionism actually has been increasingly threatening world peace for several decades.  To learn about the problem of the ideology of political Zionism as demonstrated by it's ongoing genocidal intent towards Palestinians in oPt, is to understand how and why that is fact.

So even though I would like to imagine that people remember, if not the several genocidal attacks on Gaza, at least the most recent one; that people are willing to speak up about not being willing to tolerate such actions - I know this is not the case.  Even though I would like to imagine that people know enough basic history to be aware of the illegality of the occupation of the Palestinian land and people, by the political Zionist regime of Israel, I know this is not the case. 

But I do want to believe that decent people everywhere are not willing to tolerate what the article presents about the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, and what the video within the article exemplifies.  Perhaps, most importantly, what I want to point out is that the responsible Palestinian population has long chosen to "fight" a self-declared nemesis, non-violently.  That nemesis is the war declared on Palestinians  by the political Zionist regime simply because Palestinians live on land Israel wants to claim for Israel, as a nation where only Jews are welcome to live permanently and be treated decently.

Why does it seem the problem of ideological political Zionism comes from being stuck in the mentality of WWII which other nations have transcended, relegating it to sorrowful history?  Yet Israel seems stuck in perpetrating the same kind of problems, with the same intent of exclusivity and privileged arrogance that was a hallmark of the Nazi regime.  An end must be put to the type of criminal behavior such problems foster.

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine is a world-wide non-violent effort to put an end to the problem.  The only other non-violent means available in which everyone can participate is the boycott, divestment, and sanction (BDS) of Israel, using the model that was applied to South Africa.  The worldwide effort applied to South Africa  eventually gained enough support to do what needed to be done, and what it was intended to do.  It caused the replacement of a corrupt racist government that excluded and attacked indigenous people by creating laws to manifest circumstances intended to keep the indigenous population disadvantaged and discriminated against, increasingly so by depriving them of decent living conditions, education, work.  Yet, many South African folks who lived through those change say conditions are worse for the indigenous Palestinians (of all religions) than they were for indigenous South Africans.

I want to believe that decent people everywhere are not willing to tolerate the type of criminality exemplified in the article, the video, and the tribunal.  I also know that most people are not able to make time in their lives to do on-going thorough and objective academic research about the problems created by the ideology of political Zionism.  Therefore, I also believe BDS is necessary, and have been advocating since the early 90s, for decent people everywhere to support and advocate for BDS as the most effective non-violent way in which everyone can participate to put an end to the problems created by the political Zionist regime of Israel. 

Israel's political Zionist regime not only victimizes Palestinians with it's genocidal intent, but also increasingly threatens world peace, primarily by persuading other nations to become embroiled in it's contrived battles against the neighboring nations - the nations the political Zionist regime considers to be threatening to Israel.  As it happens those nations are all the nearby nations which happen to be predominately Muslim; and which, like Israel, do not legally insure that religion and government will be prevented from having an untoward effect on one another and thus on their nations' populations. 

The nature of the government in the predominately Muslim nations is a different topic than the one treated here.  However, none of those nations would have had reason to be a threat to Israel had Israel not become threatening to them because of trying to expand the territory that political Zionist terrorist groups seized in 1948, then declared to be the nation of Israel.  Additional territory was again seized from neighboring nations in subsequent altercations in the following decades by the political Zionist government; a government which was peopled by the same folks who had comprised the terrorist organizations that rampaged through Palestine killing Palestinians in 1948, then declared Israel to be a nation.

In actuality one of the worst problems perpetrated by the ideology of political Zionism is that it makes war on religion.  Do not be fooled into imagining the ideology has not also been perpetrating a war on Judaism.  As previously stated, above, it has, does, and continues to do so simply because it blames Judaism for all of it's criminal actions by suggesting the crimes are condoned by and for the benefit of Judaism.  The ideology has also clearly declared war on Islam, primarily because it is the predominate religion of the nations in that region.  It has less clearly declared war on Christianity, perhaps even less clearly than on Judaism because most of it's manipulations have been aimed at evincing the support of Christians, particularly Christians who serve in government in America. 

The effort of Israel's illegal U.S. lobbies is a more twisted, convoluted tale of political Zionist deceit, than what has already been mentioned above, and also a topic for another discussion at another time.  For those who have a further interest, Cynthia McKinney who represented Georgia in the House of Representative is one of those folks who had the integrity and scruples to not bow down to the pressure of Israel's lobbies.  She is also willing to talk about what that did to her career in Congress - "courtesy" of Israel's U.S. lobbies.  The same has happened to the careers of many other folks in Congress for not doing the bidding of the moneyed Israeli lobbies.

So what is my own "end game"?  World peace?  Yes, or course.  But also what is necessary to lead to it, that being educating ourselves and doing what we can to understand the issues; for example paying attention to the goings on of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine; and supporting the BDS effort.  

One of the largest contributors to preventing world peace, increasingly for over half a century, is the self-declared nation of Israel, conceived in greed and dedicated by the adherents of the ideology of political Zionism, to the genocide of Palestinians.  If the crimes committed by Israel, as demonstrated and documented in the article, it's video, and the Russell Tribunal, are not enough to convince decent people to actively support BDS, then I encourage making a personal objective effort to learn history.  Of course I always encourage personal research anyway, but also understand the time constraints of life.  There are many more articles and videos about the problems by journalists of the highest integrity, a large percentage of whom are Palestinian.  What they say is an excellent way to start recognizing the myriad of contradictions that exist in the differences between what are essentially documentary accounts, and what the reported news to which we are exposed, reports inaccurately often because of what it neglects to report.

I learned, early on, in researching this topic that any contradictions to be found will dictate the direction and extent of research needed.  And there will be contradictions at every turn, and it will demand a lot of time and effort to do the research.  But even if you doubt that the political Zionist regime of Israel is THE complex problem it actually has become, before or instead of doing your own research, I am requesting that people consider supporting BDS simply because it is clear that the attacks by Israel on Gaza are the type of attacks that can not and should not be tolerated by anyone, no matter the nation that perpetrates them, no matter who the people that are being targeted.

Supporting BDS is support for a  non-violent effort that is intended to stop Israel from continuing to violate UN treaties to which it is signatory, thus intended to stop Israel from continuing to commit genocide on the Palestinian people in oPt.  The treaties were formulated for the purpose of preventing the type of genocide that was a hallmark of WWII.  To ignore them and allow repeated instances of genocide is an indicator that people have not learned the lessons of WWI and WWII.  And when we ignore and refuse to learn the lessons of history then we repeat them. 

Please join decent folks worldwide in learning about and supporting the non-violent BDS effort.   The only people who do not consider it a realistic, peaceful, and viable solution to a deadly problem, are the ideological political Zionists who the government of Israel represents.

                                          ------------ 30 -------------

note:  There are indications (i.e. "from the Nile to the Tigris-Euphrates" as carved in stone above the entrance to the Knesset) that the ideology of political Zionism, considers itself the representative of ancient Israel . . .  also Judea (there having been irreconcilable differences within historic ancient Israel that caused a split into two nations).  The nations existed only for a relatively short period of time in history.  Yet the nation of Israel has chosen to recreate and embrace an attitude of personal injury in the form of an "eye for eye, tooth for a tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot" as a political  and territorial grudge against an ancient Babylon Empire that no longer exists, either, except in history.  That period of time was long before either Christianity or Islam existed.  It can also be pointed out that the primarily civil Babylonian Code of Hammurabi was apparently used as a model for what is the later primarily religious Hebrew law.  But which was first is a topic of discussion for another time given that some consider it debatable.

15 April 2016

Political Zionists on a Mud Slinging Rampage about Simone Zimmerman's Opinions

That didn't take long.   There is a petition to reinstate Simone. I signed.

The ideological political Zionists didn't take long to start slinging mud at Simone Zimmerman.  What was it . . . three days?  Here we have another example of personal opinions posted on social media that get folks in trouble with employers.  The comment in question was made March 2015 - long before Zimmerman was hired. Who would go looking for something in social media to complain about other than ideological political Zionists who support Bibi's arrogance and deceit on behalf of Israel?  Her personal opinion (no matter how public it became) does not mean she is unable and unwilling to represent Sanders' in a professional capacity as Outreach Director.

My guess is that the people who might be offended by Simone's comments, had she not made them, would be so offended by her opinion of the evils of the destructive ideology of political Zionism, they would have complained about that endlessly, in an effort to get her fired.  That they found some vulgarly stated truth simply speeded up that process. 

The question is:  Do Simone's personal opinions garner more support for Sanders or alienate more potential supporters?

Her opinions should not really matter as long as she is good at directing outreach.  But it is a matter of the any-means-to-an-end type of influence the U.S. lobbies representing Israel in Congress have isn't it?  Clearly, the methods of extortion employed in persuading Congress to make Israel first choices at the expense of what's best for our own nation, hold more sway with Congress than does the constituency, don't they.  And perhaps with Bernie Sanders too . . . or not?  If a Jewish candidate can't or won't stand up to the illegal foreign nation Israel lobbies then how can anyone else?  The election was so bought off by big money in support of the Clinton campaign from before day one of the campaigning, there was never a chance of any other Democratic candidate being selected.  Yes, I would like to be wrong about this - truly I would.  But that is probably not the case. 

That Sanders has done so much better than the Clinton campaign expected, to the point that he clearly could win the vote of we, the people, is irrelevant because of all the convoluted ways in which the conventions are rigged when it comes to choosing candidates.   We really have no say in who the candidates will be, anyway, unless we are delegates.

If it weren't for the of couple of vulgar words she used in speaking the truth would Zimmerman have been suspended while being investigated?  I would have voted for Sanders because of Simone if that opportunity arose . . . but I am once again undecided about whether or not to vote for any of the presidential candidates who have been offered up to us for our consideration.

Here's the story from Gawker.
Bernie Sanders Suspends Staffer for Criticizing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Here's the story from the New York Times.
Bernie Sanders Campaign Suspends Jewish Outreach Coordinator for Vulgar Remarks About Netanyahu


And here's the petition for those inclined to sign it.

https://www.change.org/p/bernie-sanders-istandwithsimone-reinstate-simone-zimmerman-now

14 April 2016

What Could Convince Me to Become a Sanders Supporter

Bernie Sanders Names Anti-occupation Activist as Jewish Outreach Coordinator
by Uriel Heilman Apr 13, 2016 1:34 PM

"Simone Zimmerman objects to Jewish federation funding for Israeli projects in the West Bank and wrote favorably of a pro-BDS group and protested the 2014 Gaza war."

If so, that could decide it for me . . . and I would become a supporter of Bernie Sanders for president.  Because, my last trepidation about his candidacy was associated with his as yet unstated current position on the political Zionist government of Israel ( as it has been for all candidates since I have been old enough to vote way back when . . . at age 21 not 18, or 17 as it currently is in some places).  

Sadly, I suppose Bernie Sanders' courage to make that choice could have the potential to seal the vote for "Hilliam" i.e. a third term for the Clintons.  I have two trepidations about another Clinton presidency.  Those who participated in discussions during the first Clinton candidacy know that a large number of people referred to it as a "Billory" candidacy.  And when you read the extent to which she actually was involved with decision-making in the administration, it is clear those folks were correct.  I support abiding by not only the law but as well the spirit of the law i.e. no third term. 

Additionally, and perhaps more importantly the current Clinton candidate is embroiled in too many questionable issues of corruption which have elicited initial responses from her that demonstrate a lack of integrity not forgotten after the back-peddling to find words that reflect an apparently newly contrived attitude more acceptable to the American public.  That does not instill trust. 

Thus, I would like to have more faith in the decency of the American people than to actually believe Sanders' choice of integrity for a Jewish Outreach Coordinator would seal a third term for the Clintons who have been embroiled, repeatedly, in scandals which suggest a lack of required integrity and trustworthiness most would like to be able to expect of anyone in the position of president. 

Of course I have been criticized, foolishly, of "gender bias" because of my two reasons for being unable to support another Clinton presidency.  But that is a matter of who is doing the criticizing, as it is with most intended criticism leveled by most people.  The intent and the manner in which comments are made and considered to be criticism by some, instead, is often simply a matter of stating facts. 

I have always chosen to research what are intended to come across as statements of facts instead of believing what I do not know is fact until doing so, because I need to be  certain that facts I don't like are not ill-intended character defamation.  For me, to grant my vote is truly a matter of decency plus the desire to elect those who will choose to be law-abiding.  Law-abiding also includes not being in a position of apparent conflict of interest without offering adequate explanation, worse without offering any explanation.

Clearly, I consider a vote for Sanders to be a vote of decency.  I would like to believe the proof of collective American decency would be in the outcome of the election. But with all the convoluted ways in which the conventions are able to choose candidates it is first the decency of those politicos at the convention that is in question - the ones with self-serving personal and political agendas.  Once again, as it demonstrably is in every election and campaign season, it is past time for Congress to address the many dimensions of election reform.

Even though Sanders is inclined to socialism he would have my vote; even though  I do not support the route to dictatorial fascism and communism that socialism so often takes, though not always.  Why?  Well, it has long been my opinion, since early adulthood, that a healthy, educated, citizenry is necessary for the our nation to actually move forward in living up to it's potential.  That means making the health, education, and welfare of our entire population a government responsibility which does not a socialist nation make.  

Instead it would provide a quality of life for all, because of equitable opportunity for all to health and education, which can and should be afforded to all, equally, through an equitable tax structure - the creating of an equitable tax structure being more work Congress has avoided doing.  More precisely I am of the opinion that our nation can not afford to continue to ignore taking that responsibility for the benefit of it's citizenry.  We can do that and actually become a more functional democratic republic.  Sanders is the only candidate to whom that seems to be clearly apparent.

The real threat to our nation is in the unchecked power of corporate conglomerates which the laws against monopolies identified and were created to prevent, decades ago.  As history has repeatedly demonstrated such unchecked power has been instrumental in leading to government dictatorship.  It is past time for us to revisit those laws as well, and revise the language so that the "loopholes" which allow corporate conglomerates (i.e. monopolies) are replaced with terminology that also make them subject to the laws that prevent the monopolies which are considered to be corporate conglomerates from being so powerful they dictate to government.

Our constitution protects government and religion from one another and in doing so prevents them from joining together to victimize our citizenry.  We also need laws to protect government and conglomerate corporations from one another; laws which protect government and conglomerate corporations from joining together to victimize our citizenry.

It is clear the Sanders' campaign understands, as we all should, that the hope of our nation is in it's youth.  In election years especially it is in the decency of our young adults, thus in the integrity of those from whom they learn.   As they go, so goes the nation.

26 February 2016

"Major American Jewish Leader Changes His Mind About Israel"

Rabbi Michael Lerner posted an item at the Tikkun website 22 February 2016 entitled  Major American Jewish Leader Changes His Mind About Israel

It is the title of Lerner's introductory comment to an article submitted to Tikkun by David M. Gordis which is entitled "An Amazing Turn for a Major Leader of the American Jewish mainstream: David Gordis Rethinking Israel."  In it he states:

"[. . .] Here is the article he [Gordis] submitted to Tikkun. We publish it with the same sadness that Gordis expresses at the end of this article, because many of us at Tikkun magazine shared the same hopes he expresses below for an Israel that would make Jews proud by becoming an embodiment of what is best in Jewish tradition, history, and ethics, rather than a manifestation of all the psychological and spiritual damage that has been done to our people, which now acts as an oppressor to the Palestinian people "

Gordis has an impressive CV, mentioned in Lerner's introduction, and is highly placed and  influential in, if not the entire Jewish community, at least the religious Jewish community.  As such the fact that Gordis speaks of "seeing the light", as it were, seems something akin to an epiphany on his part, and as a person in his position, when he has actually puts it in writing.

Gordis' article is an article worth reading (as is Lerner's introduction) even though it is a bit heavy with analysis of Israeli politics:  An Amazing Turn for a Major Leader of the American Jewish mainstream: David Gordis Rethinking Israel.  But one need not become bogged down in the complexities of internal "schizophrenic" Israeli politics to understand the big issue.  And the big issue is THE issue i.e. the ideology and movement of political zionism as embraced by the government of Israel.   As often as the Israeli government has labeled the Arab nations as being "schizophrenic", in actuality to understand the problem is to understand it is a matter of projection on the part of the government of Israel.  It is understandable how the hypocrisy and prevarication might create some type of mental instability in decent people.  Living with the contradictions on a daily basis, as a way of life, and being required to hate and kill because of them has the potential to devastate anyone.  I suggest reading Lerner's introduction and Gordis' article, if you have not already done so, before continuing on with my comments - if you so choose.

I would add two comments about the Gordis article, the first I want to add a comment to Gordis' "what happened" paragraph, near the end of his article.  The modern day successes of Israel which he points out, have been at the cost of Palestinian lives, homes, and livelihoods.   It is a fact he does not acknowledge in the article.  But to truly understand what he seems to be realizing he will need to understand such is the case.  Not only that but the successes of Israel mentioned by Gordis have also been largely financed by the U.S.A and as such are not only at karmic cost to Israel but also to my nation.  This makes them my business and the business of all Americans, since our taxes are paying for Israel's crimes.  Surely Gordis realizes that how one succeeds determines the extent to which that success is ethical, thus the extent to which karma builds up or is neutralized.

It must also be pointed out that modern day Israel's accumulating of karmic debt is at cost to the entire Arabic speaking region (and beyond into those adjacent nations that are also predominately Muslim).  Because, the region has been in increasing political turmoil since the leaders of the ideological political zionist terrorist groups within Palestine declared Israel to be a nation in 1948; then proceeded to people the government of modern day Israel with their numbers and claim that the land of Palestine was to be modern Israel where only Jews would be allowed to live.

Since that land-grab event Israel's territorial imperative efforts have punctuated the adjacent Arabic speaking region with brief, deadly wars, while appropriating Palestinian Territory (which it both occupies and continues to confiscate in an illegal manner),  Egyptian territory, Syrian territory, and from the start there have been openly stated designs on all the land between the Nile and the Tigris-Euphrates.  Once the U.S. became militarily involved 25 years ago in what became the start of the on-going reactionary sporadic combat that it has been involved in since that time, it became clear that Israel's region of intended combat, and  threatened combat, with the purpose and intent of creating destabilizing political unrest, have all been primarily focused on the entire Arabic speaking region and adjacent predominately Muslim nations. 

U.S. military involvement started at the end of the term of George H.W. Bush, as many of us recall, and as many of us by this time have learned from history.  It continued on through the Clinton administration, then through the George W. Bush administration, and into the Obama administration, and most recently the Trump Administration.  Five presidents.  And during George H.W. Bush's administration we thought Viet-Nam was a lesson learned debacle that would not be repeated any time soon.  Clearly that was not the case. 

The karmic debt with which the 25 years of U.S. military involvement with Israel's neighbors  has burdened our nation is with nations Israel has identified and insisted are not only it's "enemies" but also enemies of the entire world of nations!  So, I have to state, once again, that our nation's unconditional support of Israel's ideological political zionism, makes the criminally manipulative politics of the government of the political zionist government of Israeli my business - because the "success" of irreligious political zionim using and abusing religion to create a modern day Israel exclusively for Jews only is built entirely on the criminalitiy of the political zionist leadership.  And for the same reasons it is, again, the business of all Americans, too many of whom continue to prefer deniability by choosing to ignore the problem even though the symptoms of it have been increasing exponentially for many decades - evidenced by increasing international and domestic unrest and political instability because of Israel considering neighboring nations to be enemies..   Given harsh reality, Gordis' change of heart does seem somewhat monumental - at least it will seem so when he eventually recognizes the serious problems that have been created because of how the government of Israel has achieved it's so-called successes.

As to my second comment - what Gordis speaks of, though he does not say it in so many words - it is about the effort of the ideology of political zionism (not religious zionism) aiming to transform the religion of Judaism into being analogous to the ideology of political zionism.  As Gordis points out, Judaism is not being exemplified by the nation of modern day Israel: 

"Present day Israel has discarded the rational, the universal and the visionary.  These values [Judaism] have been subordinated to a cruel and oppressive occupation, an emphatic materialism, severe inequalities rivaling the worst in the western world and distorted by a fanatic, obscurantist and fundamentalist [interpretation of] religion which encourages the worst behaviors rather than the best."

Did he ever get that right!  His comment is about the effort of the ideology of political zionism which has not ceased trying to transform Judaism into something it is not, solely for the purpose of fooling everyone into believing Judaism supports a political ideology that is not equivalent to Judaism, but instead is  antithetical to Judaism.  [The brackets in the Gordis' excerpt, above, are my inserted comments. Additionally, any use by me of the singular term "zionism"  refers to the stategic movement that is ideological political zionism.]

One can not help but feel sympathy for Gordis' seeming despair.  Everyone who has realized something is awry between the reality of what Israel says and actuality of what Israel does (the crimes it wants to convince the world it commits in the name of G_d and Judaism), has started out feeling the same way.  And the something that is awry is that Judaism and the ideology of political zionism are not equivalent and in fact bear no resemblance to one another. 

Is Gordis tempted to imagine that Judaism is a fanatic obscurantist and fundamentalist religion?  Well let us hope not because it is not.  Does Gordis realize that the ideology of political zionism does not represent and is not equivalent to Judaism?  Well. it seems he does.  Let us hope so because it is not.  Clearly it is not Judaism that creates a "cruel and oppressive occupation, an emphatic materialism, severe inequalities rivaling the worst in the western world."  It is zionism.  But nowhere does he mention zionism and until he does differentiate between Judaism and zionism, by referring to the problem with it's actual name, (the ideology of political zionims)  how can we be sure?  It seems that he is recognizing it is his job too to make sure there is a clear differentiation between Judaism and the ideology of the political zionist government of Israel.  But that can not be done without actually labeling the ideology that is antithetical to Judaism for what it is i.e. zionism,   It is understandably daunting and complex work associated with one's entire belief system seeming to have become destabilized, so it is not easily accomplished at first because of the associated  emotional devastation.  Although, by the time folks actually admit the problem to others they have usually admitted it to themselves, thus have processed some of the emotional devastation.

What we do know, and what it seems Gordis is in the process of realizing, is that ideological political zionism has been fanatically and obstinately determined to make Judaism and the ideology of political zionism into one and the same, first in the eyes of Jews upon which the strategy of zionism's first success depends, then in the eyes of the world of nations and their people.  So what does it mean when the nations of the world buy into Israel's unreasonable facsimile which it promotes to the world of nations as Judaism?  Clearly nothing good.  Think about it. 

The zionist effort has been occurring far longer than a century, in fact closer to two centuries, actually.  It's banner was, simply, not so publicly and visibly being waved until the late 1800s as the political movement's leaders become confident their strategy of using and abusing Judaism would eventually produce success.  Would it reflect reality to suggest the zionist leaders were irreligious?  Well, applying Occam's Razor it is either that, or they were crazy uneducated ill-intended religious extremists as bad as any religious extremists in today's world. Think about it.

Theodor Herzl became the spokesperson for Zionism at the end of the 19th century.   People  have wondered if Herzel was as naive about what he was representing as many of us would like to believe he was, given he is said to not have been exposed to the much earlier Zionist writing at the time he published his pamphlet "Der Judenstaat" (The Jewish State) in 1896.  Perhaps that is when he come to the attention of the zionist leadership as an opportunity to be exploited?  Could it be that his lack of knowledge about the ideology of their political zionism, at least at first, would have made him the ideal believable PR person for the movement?  Think about it.

But here's the thing, in wrapping up my comments about what we can only hope is the start of Gordis dispensing with the government of Israel's superimposed "schizophrenic" ways, by fully embracing what he is already experiencing as zionism's harsh cruel reality.  Both the success of the nefarious zionist effort (to transform Judaism negatively in unrecognizable ways for the purpose of using as a weapon, to manifest it's grandiose land grab), and the lack of zionism's success, continue to dependent primarily upon Jewish folks, ethnic and/or religious, whether practicing or not - upon Jewish folks recognizing that the problem is the effort of the movement of the ideology of political zionism wanting to convince the world it is the nefarious equivalent to Judaism; recognizing like Gordis has started to that zionism's "fanatic, obscurantist and fundamentalist" perspective is not equivalent, by any stretch of the imagination, to the "rational, the universal and the visionary" values of the religion of Judaism.

And make no mistake - the ideology of political zionism was always a danger first and foremost to Judaism, then when it wanted to appropriate Palestine also to all inhabitants of Palestine regardless of their religion and ethnicity, then to everyone else.  To the extent that zionism fools Jewish folks who do not rise to the occasion required, for understanding of the problems and setting the record straight, it also fools everyone else.  That's a big karmic debt for the Jewish individuals  to take on whose preference happens to be embracing deniability as a way of avoiding the actuality of the problem of Israel's political zionist government. 

Gordis has taken his first step because he seems to have chosen Judaism instead of the unreasonable facsimile which is the nefarious land grabbing grandiose movement and ideology of political zionism.  As such there is reason to believe he might choose to continue to rise to the occasion.  Time will tell.  Let us wish him well and God's speed in dealing with what comes next.  It will not be easy though it will be easier than it was for those who arrived, earlier, at the point, where he was last year in February 2016.  Those folks are now, potentially, all part of a moral support system for him and subsequent arrivals to reality.

16 February 2016

U.S. Peripatetic Policy on Apartheid Goes Whichever Way the Wind Blows

Why do we, the people, allow our government to be exclusively selective about it's support and non-support of discriminatory apartheid that targets specified groups of people as punishment for their religion and/or ethnicity and/or race?  Apartheid punishment targets select groups of people for the purpose of economically insuring their quality of life is unconscionable; for the purpose of making them victims, repeatedly for decades, of physical attacks which result in damaged health, disability, and/or death within a targeted population. 

A Democracy Now! video from 6 May 2015 makes that clear.  Ex-U.N. Official John Dugard: Israel's Crimes are "Infinitely Worse" Than in Apartheid South Africa

The immediacy of the problems spoken of in the video still needs to be resolved after more than half a century.   Note that juxtaposition of “immediacy” and “half a century” is incongruous, as incongruous as the on going problems. 

Why is this video pertinent today nearly a year later?  Well, because of some provisions in the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015  which made it through both houses of Congress and is waiting for the President's signature.  But the bill exacerbates the long standing apartheid problems perpetrated by Israel and obstructs the same peaceful means to resolve them that eventually highly contributed to South Africa resolving it’s apartheid problems -  those peaceful means being worldwide Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions - BDS.  

As much as apartheid was a crime being perpetrated by South Africa, it is also as much of  a crime, and moreso in some ways, that is still being perpetrated by the Israeli government on Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian Territories.  That crime has been perpetrated since 1948 when Israel was declared a nation by people within several terrorist groups who, after they had been responsible for numerous massacres in Palestinian villages, then peopled the government of the modern day nation of Israel which they wanted to establish in the entire region of Palestine.

The Israeli government wants to claim that Palestinian Territory it occupies belongs to Israel.  But it is land that belongs to Palestinians which Israel occupies in criminal ways according to International Laws to which Israel is signatory.  (If you want a refresher on those laws you can find links to them here: United Nations Charter, Geneva Conventions, Protocols, and Related Documents)  And the Israeli government does NOT want anyone living on the land it wants to appropriate, other than Israelis.  Israel has made it very clear it does not want to accept Palestinian people who are not Jewish, as part of the nation of Israel; thus it’s genocidal apartheid targeting Palestinian people in the Occupied Territories.  If an example is needed of Israel's genocidal effort, recall the several unconscionable devastating attacks on Gaza which all clearly demonstrate it.  

For those who need a reminder of the agreed upon international definition of genocide, you’ll find it here:  Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide The document is clearly written, and easily understood.  It is not long.

The bill at issue is the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 with language wanting to legitimize Israel's appropriation of occupied territories; and by doing so apparently also wanting to legitimize the past genocidal efforts of Israel to clear the land of Palestinians along with whatever future genocidal activity the Israeli government wants to commit on people living on land it wants.  Israel's punishment of Palestinians is a crime, literally a crime in violation of agreed upon International law.   The only reason for the punishment is because Palestinians live on land Israel wants.  All the other associated problems through the decades stem from that irrational greed on the part of the Israeli government  

Americans too are literally committing crimes against Palestinian people in Israeli occupied Palestinian Territory and in Israel because some of the people living on Palestinian land in illegal Israeli settlements are also Americans, in addition to the American citizens who live in Israel.  And some of those American citizens have repeatedly participated in attacking Palestinians and killing them plus destroying their homes and agricultural land.  Those Americans are dual citizen American Israelis who vote in both nations.  Again, they vote in both nations and if that doesn't knock your socks off it should.

Our nation, collectively, is also committing those crimes against Palestinians in the occupied territory, indirectly, because of the ongoing military aid to Israel from the U.S.  based on 10 year memorandums of understanding (mou) that insure at least three billion dollars annually is granted to Israel.  In reality the military aid provided is much more than that annually, and there are provisions that require much of those funds to be dedicated to the purchase U.S. weaponry.  But Israel's use of the military aid makes it an illegal U.S. policy issue; because our own laws do not allow us to provide military aid to nations who use it to kill their own people, or an occupied people for whose welfare they are responsible to provide.  Again, the Gaza massacres have provided evidence, like shell casings from the bombing, which indicate our nation enabled the massacres because of our military aid to Israel. 

This brings us to the lobbying of our congress which has resulted in unacceptable portions of this bill.  If anyone has ever wondered what "the Jewish vote" means, one of it's meanings is that citing the "Jewish vote" perpetrates prejudice against all Jewish folks in the U.S. by claiming there is a monolithic political perspective among Jewish folks in support of Israel's crimes against Palestinians.  In actuality reference to "the Jewish vote" means, instead, "the ideological political zionist vote of dual citizen American Israelis"  (NOT to be confused with religious zionism).

Ideological political zionist Americans living in either Israel or America (or both nations for a certain amount of time each year) who are dual citizen Israeli Americans and who put the political interests of Israel ahead of American political interests, are who the so-called "Jewish vote" reference.  Thus, the "Jewish vote" with which AIPAC and it's ilk wield the power that threatens and manipulates our nation’s Congress.  The Israeli lobbies do indeed make and break campaigns.  They have been responsible for hasbara that persuades voters to elect those who support Israel first  in place of those already serving who support America first, as they should and as we should expect of them.  Those former Congress people are to be commended for remaining ethical instead of choosing to be anti-American as the cost of continuing to represent their constituents in congress.

The Israeli lobbies represent the interests of the foreign nation of Israel.  Lobbying on behalf of a foreign nation to our congress people is illegal.  And even though AIPAC was sued because of it and lost the case, the crime continues to be perpetrate by organizations lobbying on behalf of Israel - a foreign nation.  It should also be noted that some of the dual citizens who are American Israeli ideological political zionists, serve in American government, and  put Israel's interests before those of our nation.  So it becomes less of a mystery how the U.S. has been manipulated and extorted into serving Israel’s interest which are directly responsible for all of the U.S. involvement with combat in the middle east region - all of it.  And over half of our nation's annual budget is dedicated to those military actions meant to satisfy Israel, and to prevent Israel from going on the attack in the region, instead, or too.

Additionally, by kowtowing to the "zionist" interests when making political decisions that are to the benefit of Israel, but not our nation, our government is embracing both the religious and ethnic prejudice of the Israeli government, plus it's genocidal effort to eradicate people living on land Israel wants to claim; people who are not accepted by Israel because of their religion and/or ethnicity i.e. indigenous Palestinian people.  For our nation to condone those crimes especially when dual citizen Americans are perpetrating them, is a crime in many ways and totally antithetical to the stated values, principles, and ideals of our nation, as well as International and Humanitarian laws.  It must also be noted that both racist and ethnic discrimination exists in Israel that targets Jewish Africans living in Israel for being black Africans, and Palestinians who are legal citizens of Israel for not being Jewish.  Those Palestinian folks did not flee from the massacres leading up to Israel declaring itself a nation in 1948, and they miraculously lived.  At the time Israel accepted the U.N. demand for those Palestinians to be allowed to be citizens of Israel even though they were not Jewish.

Here is the Text of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 for those who want to read it for themselves (the “AIPAC-promoted trade bill that legitimizes Israeli occupation and fights BDS“).  It is very long of course.  And it is downloadable as a pdf.  However, the pertinent parts are provided by a Mondoweiss article.  Thanks to those folks for perusing the bill and extracting the pertinent parts. 

Here is the Mondoweiss article which has reported on the issue:
Obama to sign AIPAC-promoted trade bill that legitimizes Israeli occupation and fights BDS

Two quotes from that article:
"The legislation references 'any territory controlled by Israel' or 'Israeli-controlled territories' seven separate times, making it the first U.S. legislation effectively defining Israel as including occupied Palestine, essentially recognizing the territory of Palestine and Israel as one entity."

And the article comments on the White House press release about the bill:  "President Obama will be signing the legislation. However, the White House issued a statement hours after the bills passage stating '[W]e do not support, including a provision that contravenes longstanding U.S. policy towards Israel and the occupied territories, including with regard to Israeli settlement activity.' "

Here is the press release associated with the Bill.
Statement by the Press Secretary on the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015

It is blatant hypocrisy to present such obvious contradictions that are only meaningless hot air - though the typical double-talk offered by some White House Press Conferences.  And it insults the intelligence of the collective American public.  It simply is not possible to have it both ways.  Signing the bill is agreeing to the bill which means supporting what it says. 

Also from the Mondoweiss article quoting a "Times of Israel" article:  Obama to reluctantly sign trade bill that lumps together Israel and settlements by Eric Cortellessa February 12, 2016 :

"While the Obama administration has long expressed adamant opposition to BDS tactics targeting Israel, there are several references in the legislation to 'Israeli-controlled territories' or 'any territory controlled by Israel' as being applicable to the terms of the bill."  

The Mondoweiss article then goes on to extensively provide numerous excerpts from the Bill to which it also provides a link.  One excerpt of particular note is associated with the hypocritical U.S. double standard:

"[B]oycotts of, divestment from, and sanctions against Israel by governments, governmental bodies, quasi-governmental bodies, international organizations, and other such entities are contrary to principle of nondiscrimination under the GATT 1994 (as defined in section 2(1)(B) of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (19 U.S.C. 3501(1)(B)))"

Our government wants to talk about nondiscrimination when it has never let up trying to force the world of nations (in part with repeated vetoes in the U.N. Security Council) to politically accept the Israeli government's deadly genocidal discrimination against Palestinians as legitimate even though supporting such policies is antithetical to the very foundation of our nation?  Really?

Returning to John Dugard's statement in the video that Israel's crimes are "infinitely worse" than crimes in apartheid South Africa were (John Dugard who lived through apartheid in South Africa it must be remembered), it seems we are being left to understand that our government believes apartheid is o.k. for Israel to perpetrate on indigenous Palestinian folks in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, but it was not o.k. for  South Africa to perpetrate apartheid against it's indigenous people.  Is that because there is not a huge amount of dual citizen American South African living in South Africa?   What else could explain why the U.S. is willing to condone not only Israel's apartheid, but also the long term genocidal effort on the part of the Israel government which targets Palestinian people?  

Our nation participated in the successful and persuasive non-violent boycott, divestment, and sanction efforts to end Apartheid in South Africa.  Why is it not willing to participate in an effort to end apartheid by Israel against people in the territories it occupies when support of Israel's genocidal apartheid is not only antithetical to our nation's laws, but also to international laws?  Why?