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The Juggernaut that is BDS.

Last night at about 6:00pm, 9th September 2011, about 80 – 100 activists in the city of Adelaide, South Australia, took part in yet another protest in support of the BDS campaign against the racist and oppressive policies of the Zionist state of Israel. While 100 activists may not seem a huge amount, when taken in context of the Australian governments almost sycophantic support of Israel and the relentless portrayal of all BDS protesters as anti-Semites by the Murdoch dominated Australian media, (and the atrocious weather!) this number is significant. And the numbers are growing.

The protest took place in Adelaide’s main shopping precinct, Rundle Mall. For the last 11 months groups of about 15 to 30 activists, from all walks of life, have once a week been picketing the Israeli based cosmetics company, Seacret, in Adelaide’s Rundle Mall. These protests have been very well recieved by the majority of the South Australian public and thousands of people have stopped to encourage the activists, eager to hear the reason why Israeli companies have been targeted by such a campaign. Virtually all those in support of the Zionist regime come from the ranks of Christian Zionists. These Zionists come from one or two extreme Pentecostal churches in Adelaide and most of the mainstream Pentecostal movement have distanced themselves from these extremists. It has been my experience that Christians who stand on street corners waving Israeli flags, telling sinners that they are all doomed to hell if they do not convert to their version of the Christian faith, do very little to warm the average Australian to the cause of Zionism.

Ignoring the clear teaching of scripture that the Gospel is a message of reconciliation of all sinners to God, justice and renewal, the Christian Zionists who weekly come out to counter the BDS protests are a part of the wider group of Christians in Adelaide that feel the need to fill Adelaide’s main shopping precinct with a message of God’s threat/promise that if we don’t love Him, He will personally see to it that we are tormented forever in unbearable and eternal agony. Good news…hey?

In the last few weeks, hundreds of teenagers have countered the message of these supporters of Israel, and general preachers of God’s wrath for sinners, with hours of  long protests crying out for such messages of hatred, Islamaphobia and homophobia to be banned from our streets, and  some have even cried out for a message of God’s merciful acceptance of sinners as a real means for bringing change in our world. When confronted with the reality of the hatred and anger they have generated in the public, the Christians usually reply that it is all just an attack of the devil and they will only intensify their message of God’s wrath for sinners. They no doubt consider themselves to be a far braver breed of Christian than those “touchy feelly” liberal Christians who support Palestinian rights and think the Gospel is an excuse to “coddle” sinners. They thrive on a type of Christian “macho”; proving their devotion to God by alienating themselves from the Godless.

The irony of all this is that while the media portrays the BDS campaign as a haven of anti-Semites and racists bent on dividing the people, taking our orders from…Tehran I guess, the fact is that it is clearly the supporters of Israel that are filled with people who are from overtly fascist organisations and others who believe that reconciliation between Arab and Jew is impossible, contrary to 13 centuries of history in the Middle East before the arrival of Zionist colonialism. The tag of anti-Semitism as the true motivation for the BDS campaign is so easily refuted by the existence of tens of thousands of Jewish people who support the movement, that I believe the public is becoming deaf to these lame arguments. Certainly the BDS campaign is not remotely concerned with them.

I truly believe that the days of Israeli apartheid are numbered; God’s will for justice and the desire for equality in the hearts of the vast majority of people will simply not allow it to go on for ever. Governments and media can do what they will to support racism and inequality in the Middle East, be it in Israel or the Arab nations, but it will not last. Justice will prevail and the tide is turning. That really is good news!

Craig Nielsen

ACTION FOR PALESTINE

Following anti-Democratic Arrests and Intimidation Attempts: Israeli Citizens in Solidarity with Australian BDS Activists!

We, Israeli citizens, members of Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within, would like to express our solidarity with the numerous Australians who are involved in the burgeoning BDS campaign in Australia.Witnessing first-hand the brutality of our government against the Palestinian people, we have joined the July 2005 Palestinian call for a comprehensive boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against the state of Israel and its institutions. Such means should be applied as long as Israel continues to flout international law and UN resolutions and refuses to acknowledge the Palestinian people’s universally recognized human rights: The rights of Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories, the rights of Israel’s Palestinian citizens, and the rights of Palestinians who were expelled from their homes during the Nakba (the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine).

As Israeli citizens, we are angered by the outrageous attempts to exploit the horrors committed by the Nazi regime, through a comparison of the Palestinian led BDS campaign to the 1933 Nazi boycott campaign, in order to try and silence the Palestinian non-violent popular struggle for freedom and justice. The deplorable and racist Nazi boycott campaign targeted all Jews, without exception, and only for being Jewish. The Australian BDS campaign does NOT target Jewish businesses, as argued by demagogues in Australia! The lesson from the Jewish Holocaust should be, in our view, the need to oppose all forms of discrimination and violence committed against different ethnic groups in the name of nationalist or supremacist ideologies. The state of Israel has failed to learn that lesson.

To reiterate, we are concerned that some politicians in Australia have accused the activists involved in BDS of being anti-Semitic. We reject those accusations. The BDS campaign is a legitimate form of non-violent political action, whereby people and organizations are required not to participate in or support violations of international law. We take a clear stand against all forms of racism, including antisemitism and Islamophobia. Not only does the BDS campaign oppose anti-Semitism, it is also a responsible call that targets only complicit institutions rather than individuals. BDS is neither anti-Jewish nor anti-Israeli, since it does not oppose all that is Israeli because it is Israeli: the campaign simply insists that Israel abide by its obligations under international law. Furthermore, by attempting to lump together all Jews around the world as a monolithic block that is expected to support its criminal policies, the state of Israel is denying the fact that many Jews, including in Israel, oppose the occupation and apartheid policies inflicted on the Palestinian people.

The current debate within Israeli society shows us that the boycott campaign is extremely effective. The latest attempt by the Israeli government to silence its own citizens, the new anti-boycott legislation, in addition to other explicitly racist laws, is yet another indication of the need for this Palestinian-led non-violent global movement, in order to insure the rights of all people in this region.

The recent Australian BDS actions have been a great inspiration. We are encouraged to know that as far-away as Down Under there are individuals and groups active in the BDS campaign, promoting the Palestinian people’s unassailable rights. The BDS movement needs your help and support. We call upon all Australians to join and support the struggle for freedom and equality in Palestine.

With the deepest gratitude and all our support,

Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within

Will Christian Zionists stand up and denounce the ideology of a Right wing Christian Supporter of Israel?

Statements by right wing conservative Christians, and right wingers in general, denouncing and distancing themselves from the actions of the man allegedly  responsible for the recent terrorist attack in Norway, are coming thick and fast. Yet none of these groups will denounce or distance themselves from the main thrust of the ideology of this terrorist.

Right wing terrorists are always portrayed as lone lunatics in our media in order to convey the idea that it was nothing in their ideology that made them dangerous. This is done so that no-one in our mainstream media will feel any sense of shame or embarrassment due to them holding a view that is basically the same as those “lunatics”. We are encouraged to believe that only left wing, progressive, anti-colonialist, anti-imperialist, or Islamic ideology creates terrorists. Ring wing terrorism comes from the insanity of the individual, not the insanity of their ideology. Only Islam and socialism can seduce otherwise normal people into becoming terrorists.

With this in mind I decided to post the following article from the Mondoweiss website which appeared on July 24th 2011.

Breivik manifesto outlines virulent right-wing ideology that fuelled Norway massacre

by Alex Kane on July 24, 2011

A detailed manifesto reportedly written by the alleged perpetrator behind the Norway massacre was posted on the web yesterday by an American blogger.  Titled “2083: A European Declaration of Independence,” it sheds significant light on the virulent and extreme right-wing, anti-Islam and anti-immigrant ideology which appears to have fuelled Anders Behring Breivik’s murder of over 90 people on Friday.

As the Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah notes:

Anders Behring Breivik saw himself as a holy warrior and crusader engaged in a war against a “Marxist-Islamist alliance” that he feared would take over Europe if not stopped. He hoped by his actions to inspire “thousands” to follow in his path. He described himself as a “martyr” and “resistance fighter.”

He described members of Norway’s Labour Party as “traitors” because of their alleged support of “multiculturalism and Islamisation.” Behring advocated “terror” attacks on mosques, especially during Muslim religious holidays.

This is according to a 1,500 page manuscript Breivik himself wrote. Norway’s public broadcaster NRK reported on the manuscript and that Breivik had admitted to writing and disseminating it (Google translation of NRK report).

In addition, the manuscript provides a more detailed look at how Breivik’s strong support for extremist Israeli policies fits into his worldview. Professed throughout the manifesto is a motif of unwavering support for Israel–a key component of Breivik and his ilk’s ideology–in addition to support for the mass deportations of Arabs and Muslims from Israel/Palestine. Here are some examples taken from an English translation of the manuscript written by Breivik:

Let’s end the stupid support for the Palestinians that the Eurabians have encouraged, and start supporting our cultural cousin, Israel…(page 338)

I believe Europe should strive for:

A cultural conservative approach where monoculturalism, moral, the nuclear family, a free market, support for Israel and our Christian cousins of the east, law and order and Christendom itself must be central aspects (unlike now). Islam must be re-classified as a political ideology and the Quran and the Hadith banned as the genocidal political tools they are…(page 661)

As part of a “draft” for a so-called “European Declaration of Independence,” Breivik also writes:

A public statement in support of Israel against Muslim aggression should be issued, and the money that has previously been awarded to Palestinians should be allocated partly to Israel’s defence, partly to establish a Global Infidel Defence Fund with the stated goal of disseminating information about Muslim persecution of non-Muslims worldwide

Max Blumenthal succinctly explains here why Israel occupies such a central role in the Islamaphobic far-right’s imagination:

While in many ways Breivik shares core similarities with other right-wing anti-government terrorists, he is the product of a movement that is relatively new, increasingly dangerous, and poorly understood. I described the movement in detail in my “Axis of Islam phobia” piece, noting its simultaneous projection of anti-Semitic themes on Muslim immigrants and the appeal of Israel as a Fort Apache on the front lines of the war on terror, holding the line against the Eastern barbarian hordes. Breivik’s writings embody this seemingly novel fusion, particularly in his obsession with “Cultural Marxism,” an increasingly popular far-right concept that positions the (mostly Jewish) Frankfurt School as the originators of multiculturalism, combined with his call to “influence other cultural conservatives to come to our…pro-Israel line.”

Breivik and other members of Europe’s new extreme right are fixated on the fear of the “demographic Jihad,” or being out-populated by overly fertile Muslim immigrants. They see themselves as Crusader warriors fighting a racial/religious holy war to preserve Western Civilization. Thus they turn for inspiration to Israel, the only ethnocracy in the world, a country that substantially bases its policies towards the Palestinians on what its leaders call “demographic considerations.” This is why Israeli flags invariably fly above black-masked English Defense League mobs, and why Geert Wilders, the most prominent Islamaphobic politician in the world, routinely travels to Israel to demand the forced transfer of Palestinians.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency also picks up the story in an article today, “Norway killer espoused new right-wing, pro-Israel philosophy”:

The confessed perpetrator in the terror attack in Norway espoused a new right-wing philosophy allied with Israel against Islam – a trend in European populist and far-right movements that has Israel worried…

European right-populist parties increasingly have been waving the flag of friendship with Israel. Last month, after it emerged that German-Swedish far-right politician Patrick Brinkmann had met in Berlin with Israeli Likud lawmaker Ayoub Kara, deputy minister for Development of the Negev and Galilee, Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman wrote to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanding that Kara be prevented from making further trips abroad.

According to Ynet, Lieberman accused Kara of meeting with neo-Nazis and causing damage to Israel’s image. Brinkman said he had reached out to Israeli rightists hoping to build a coalition against Islam

There are supporters of Israel who refuse to acknowledge the central role right-wing Zionism plays in the current attempt to gin up anti-Muslim sentiment. But the actions and words of Breivik, and those from whom he drew inspiration, make clear that it is imperative to acknowledge, understand and combat what Blumenthal aptly calls the “axis of Islamophobia.”

Alex Kane, a freelance journalist currently based in Amman, Jordan, blogs on Israel/Palestine at alexbkane.wordpress.com, where this post originally appeared. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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