Created on Friday, 05 December 2008 03:26
Written by Gilad Atzmon
The Lady Between the Queen and the Tribe
by Gilad Atzmon
In spite of the fact that I monitor Israeli press and Jewish activism on a daily basis, I must admit that almost once a day I come across something new and refreshing about my ex-brethren. As it happened, yesterday I learned about an organisation named the â€œInternational Association of Jewish Lawyers and Juristsâ€ (IAJLJ). An association with such a name didnâ€™t take me by complete surprise. By now I am used to the concept of â€˜primarily-Jewishâ€™ organisations and associations. At the end of the day, it shouldnâ€™t take any of us by surprise, Israel, as we know, is the â€˜Jews-onlyâ€™ state. Furthermore, Israelâ€™s very few sporadic vocal opponents within the Jewish world tend for some reason to operate also in similar racially orientated primarily Jewish political settings such as â€˜Jews For Peaceâ€™, â€˜Jews for Justice in Palestineâ€™, â€˜Jewish Independent Voiceâ€™, etc.
Apparently, more than just a few contemporary Jews insist upon maintaining a form of segregation that allows them to operate ideologically, intellectually and spiritually within a closed racially or ethnically orientated circuit. I would agree that within the liberal democratic discourse, this is something we must accept and even approve. The ethos of multi-culturalism maintains that people of different and varied ethnic groups are welcome to celebrate their symptoms politically, ideologically and spiritually in isolation. Yet, as much as we may approve of any form of ethnic, spiritual or religious segregation, some of the primarily Jewish organisations claim to maintain a â€˜universal agendaâ€™ while pursuing â€˜human rightsâ€™. An obvious question must be followed. If universalism is what they insist they are practicing or promoting, why do they do it in isolation? Why do they practice it in racially orientated cells? If humanism is what they are really after, why donâ€™t they just join the rest of humanity in pursuing it?
Created on Friday, 05 December 2008 02:04
Written by Mickey Z
Woody Guthrie: A little recession music, please
by Mickey Z.
f you were to open your mouth and belt out the words â€œthis land is your land,â€ you could rest assured that someone nearby would add: â€œthis land is my land.â€ The chorus to Woody Guthrieâ€™s 1940 classic is common knowledgeâ€¦as are the first couple of verses. But it ainâ€™t until you get to the later versesâ€”those often omitted from official versionsâ€”that you start comprehendinâ€™ what good olâ€™ Woody had in mind:
As I was walkinâ€™ I saw a sign there
And that sign said â€œNo tresspassinâ€™â€
But on the other side, it didnâ€™t say nothinâ€™
Now that side was made for you and me
In the squares of the city/In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office, I see my people
And some are grumblinâ€™ and some are wonderinâ€™
If this landâ€™s still made for you and me
Created on Friday, 05 December 2008 01:00
Written by Naomi Klein
'We can't lose this moment'
by Naomi Klein
Kim Elliott: As you outline so well in your book and in various interviews in the U.S. media, the current financial crisis holds the possibility of being one of those moments when the shock doctrine can best be applied. Can you comment on both the Harper government's economic and fiscal statement introduced last week, and on the Opposition's response to that - that is, the formation of a coalition - in the context of the shock doctrine?
Naomi Klein: Yes, absolutely. What I think we are seeing is a clear example of the shock doctrine in the way the Harper government has used the economic crisis to push through a much more radical agenda than they won a mandate to do.
At the same time we are seeing an example of what I call in the book a "shock resistance," where this tactic has been so overused around the world and also in Canada that we are becoming more resistant to the tactic - we are on to them - and Harper is not getting away with it.
What I think is really amazing about this moment is whatever happens next - whether we end up with this coalition or not, we will have an extremely chastened Harper. So the attempted shock doctrine has failed. I think we can say that decisively.
Created on Thursday, 04 December 2008 05:12
Continuity Error: Guts, Goo and Obama's Imperial Dream
by Chris Floyd
Barack Obama's new "national security team" is a grim conglomeration of war criminals, warmongers and apologists for torture and empire who have been praised justly by some rightwingers as a continuation and validation of the Bush Regime's foreign policy. But despite the growing unease these choices have induced in some "progressive" quarters, they in no way constitute a "betrayal" on Obama's part. He has always made it abudantly clear that he stands squarely on the side of a militarist empire â€“ expansive, dominating, brooking no challenge or hindrance to its actions or its preeminence. An empire conceived in bloodshed and dedicated to the proposition that no nation is created equal to the divine American state, whose "interests" â€“ as self-servingly defined by whatever faction of the ruling elite holds temporary sway in Washington â€“ must be pursued at any and every cost. A cost to be paid, of course, by the lesser breeds beyond the Homeland's borders, and, increasingly, by the American people themselves.
Obama's forthright stand on the issue of empire was evident throughout the campaign, in speeches, on his website, in his Senate votes and in his publicly announced positions â€“ such as his always conditional, circumscribed promise to "end" the war in Iraq, on essentially the same terms by which George W. Bush claims to be ending it now. At no point in his much-ballyhooed "opposition" to the nation-gutting in Iraq did Obama ever once call it what it is: a crime. An abomination. An act of mass murder that has left more than a million innocent people dead.
Created on Thursday, 04 December 2008 04:36
Written by Chris Cook
House Wrecker: Ending the Harper Threat to Canada
by C. L. Cook
The soon to be erstwhile prime minister Stephen Harper appeared tonight in a much hyped, but ultimately postage stamp sized address to the nation. Harper's brief message, less than half the length advertised to the networks, according to the CBC's Peter Mansbridge, delivered in as contrite a tone he could summon revealed little news.
As short as his speech was, Harper did find room to fit in a couple lies. Telling whoppers as blatant as any told south of the border these last years seems to be another Bush family trait the Harper regime has taken to heart. Harper tonight looked the camera in the eye, knowing millions of concerned Canadians were hanging on every word, and told one bald-faced lie after another.