Thursday, May 17, 2018

Polite Discussion on Zionism: Is it Possible?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Talking to Jews (or Not)

The very sweet Prof. Kevin MacDonald thoroughly analyzes my last blog entry:


Polite Discussion on Zionism: Is it Possible?

Expand Messages
  • World View
    Apr 25, 2007
    The Zionist philosophizes that the Palestinian is not a human
    (Israel was a land without a people). The Anti-Zionist argues that
    the Palestinian is a human being. So what is the moderate viewpoint?
    The Palestinian is a quasi-human? That seems to be the American
    Progressive Jewish position. Amazing isn't it?

    Polite Discussion on Zionism: Is it Possible?
    Karin Friedemann - ummyakoub @
    April 25, 2007
    World View News Service

    I found very interesting because it is
    the first time I have come across a progressive Jew so honest about
    his racism. Usually when confronted, these confused souls just get
    indignant and refuse to speak to you for a few months. I always
    wondered how a person could think that Israel has a "right"
    to "security" and shrug off this amazing assumption with the
    accusation that anyone who has questions about your definitions is
    accusing you of being an evil murderer. Why would any sane person
    think that he has the right to live unharrassed on someone else's
    stolen property? Even the cute kids waving Israeli flags are
    participating in a criminally insane political ideology.

    Progressive Jews want to make the bottom line "Jews are nice
    people." But that is not the bottom line. As Hillel mentioned, the
    bottom line is that you don't do to others what you don't want
    others to do to you. What would we expect if our neighbor, with or
    without warning, bulldozed our house?

    First, we would call the police. If the man with the bulldozer
    failed to stop bulldozing the house, the police officer would have
    the duty to disable the vehicle and he might even shoot him. I'm
    talking about American law. The bulldozer man would be stopped. He
    would be considered a criminal. He would be put on trial. He would
    go to prison. If he had killed people in the process of bulldozing
    the house, he might even be executed. The owner of the house that
    was bulldozed would be entitled to damages plus extra for pain and
    suffering. The law requires that his property be restored to the
    original state that it was in. That includes replanting the trees
    and fixing the pavement around the house.

    The emotional defensiveness of Jews is actually quite amusing, where
    they want to argue that the bulldozer man was not evil, he was not a
    murderer. The family that moved into the stolen property are just
    innocent idealists. They may be misguided, or mistaken, but for some
    reason Jews want to argue that they are not evil. What they are
    really saying is that they don't want Jews to be held legally
    accountable for their actions. They want to enjoy the privilege of
    being "protected" from the laws that apply to other people.

    A law does not cover the "evilness" of a criminal. It covers actions
    and consequences.

    If international law were followed, the Israeli "government' would
    never have kicked out any Palestinians. The entire existence of
    Israel is based on the condition made by the UN that Palestinians
    would remain in their homes and receive equal citizenship in the new
    nation state. That condition was not followed. Therefore, there is
    no legal basis for any assumption that Israel has a right to exist,
    according to the UN. In fact, Israel does not really exist. It is a
    figment of imagination, the defensive mechanism of the neurotic
    Jewish collective consciousness. I agree that we need to stop
    arguing about isms but the next step is to follow the laws that
    already exist to solve the problems. Don't wait for the world
    community to force Israel to do it. Why don't we, as Jews, just do
    it? Why are progressive Jews wasting their time feeling emotionally
    threatened by a one state solution? The real problem is that we are
    feeling emotionally threatened by any solution. Because a solution
    means that a lot of Jews need to be prosecuted.

    The refugees need to be given back their property with extra for
    damages. Even if they fled their homes because Arab leaders told
    them to get out of the fighting zone in 1948, they have the legal
    right to return to their homes as soon as the fighting stops. Small
    wonder why Israel continues to attack people day after day.

    The refugees need to be given full civil rights. Full water rights,
    full road rights, and the full right to criminally prosecute. Every
    Jewish family in America that has any property in the Holy Land
    needs to be prosecuted as part of an organized criminal network.
    Especially if both the Palestinian and the Jewish persons are
    American citizens. For example one friend of mine, after her family
    was forced off their land by gunpoint, New York Jews bought the
    land, bulldozed everything, and planted orange trees. She knows
    where they live. She knows their names. Anyone who buys or sells
    stolen property is a criminal. They need to be prosecuted. Any Jew
    who owns stolen property in the Holy Land should have his property
    seized including their US assets and Progressive Jews should insist
    on it instead of doing these mental "I'm not evil" gymnastics.

    The Jews need to give back what they stole. I am not sure why that
    is so confusing to people. There needs to be a world tribunal like
    the Nuremburg trials to determine what was done and who was
    responsible, and to put an end to this nonsense. But failing that,
    the US legal system could solve the problem within a year if they
    just prosecuted this obnoxious real estate mafia. Why are
    Progressive Jews not lobbying for criminal penalties on Jews who
    invest in property that was cleared of its original owners by force
    in the Holy Land? There is enough room in all of Bush's new prisons
    for all these shady real estate agents. This is a simple matter of
    holding people legally accountable for the harm they cause others.

    It is exactly the same issue with dispute over the Roxbury Mosque.
    Some shady white Jewish real estate dealers were furious that the
    black community benefited from this piece of land next to the subway
    station that they wanted to develop, so now they are engaging in
    extra-legal trickery and character assassination to try to get that
    piece of real estate away from the people who own it.

    Once the Palestinians get their land back and all the Zionist
    organizations' assets are confiscated to repair all the damage they
    have done, then we can talk about whether or not "the Jewish People"
    have the right to "self-determination" in the form of an
    ethnocentric nation state.

    I learned when I was a kid that the way to get self-determination -
    ie, the ability to do what you want when you want how you want - is
    to behave yourself. The Jews are not behaving themselves, and there
    is nothing okay about it. When a progressive Jew starts
    whining, "You think I'm evil!!" he or she breaks the heart of the
    human being who is trying to have peace with this person. It ends
    all rational discussion. It ends all hope for peace.

    Sometimes Palestinians find it easier to deal with right wing
    Zionists than left wing because at least they are honest. A
    Palestinian can say to a right wing Jew, "You stole my property."
    The right wing Jew will say, "Yeah, and what are you going to do
    about it? My religion says I can steal your property." Then the
    Muslim can with dignity say, "Well my religion says that God curses
    the man who puts another man out of his home, and that I have the
    right to fight you." So that actually can be done in the context of
    a polite dialogue. A peace plan is even potentially possible.
    Because then the Jew can say, "Well, I don't want you to kill me and
    I can see why you would think that I deserved it, because if you did
    the same thing to me I would certainly kill you. So let's make a
    deal. I'll let you live in the garage." This is still insulting
    behavior, but it's in the process of being made less sadistic.

    On the other hand, if a Palestinian says to a progressive Jew, "You
    stole my property!" The progressive Jew will usually shut down
    entirely. I have seen a fifty year old man start crying and
    insisting he's not evil. This is the behavior of someone who is
    guilty as sin. Like when you accuse your husband of adultery and he
    starts guilt-tripping you about how you don't believe in him
    (hypothetical but common scenario).

    The other reaction is to get maliciously angry and start doing
    character assassination via gossip so that none of the other
    progressive Jews will greet that person who brought up the "touchy"
    subject. But they will be told that this person is an "enemy of
    peace" - so that it will be politically correct to shun them the
    same way that we avoid eye contact with skinheads and Bible
    thumpers. Progressive Jews are the most amazingly idealistic people
    on the planet. They want to be able to continue to sit on someone
    else's stolen property (or at least vacation on it) and not only
    they think they have a "right" to travel around unharmed, ride the
    buses, shop and eat pizza while the people they made homeless have
    no water or food - but they want their victims to LIKE them. The
    Jews are the only conquerors in the history of the planet that
    expected the conquered people to LIKE them! If they don't like us,
    we feel offended and outraged. And what Jews consider as "liking
    behavior" is never mentioning the property they stole.

    It's amazing. I've discussed some of this with Avigail Abarbanel, an
    ex-Israeli psychiatrist in Australia. She views Zionism as a mental
    illness that can be treated. But Zionism is just a symptom of a
    deeper problem, the delusional belief that you have "rights" which
    do not exist. Like a kid thinking he has the right to hit his
    sister. It's a failure to apply the Golden Rule to one's personal
    sense of responsibility in certain situations. The inner conflict
    that arises from these "situational ethics" certainly does create a
    clinically diagnosable mental inability to process certain types of
    information that trigger the neurotic or sometimes even psychotic
    defensive reaction.

    Unfortunately, when it comes to Israel, Jews are defensive in the
    sense that they cannot process the type of information that is
    necessary to create peaceful behaviors. For example, if a Jew and
    Palestinian live next door to each other in New Jersey, the Jew
    being the "owner" of a condo built on the Palestinian person's
    property, don't you think the Jew should offer to give it back, if
    he expects the other's friendship? If the Palestinian, as is normal,
    invites the Jew over for tea and politely doesn't bring up the
    subject, does the Jew feel that this means it's OK what he did? That
    he can forgive himself? That is what Jews want after all. We want to
    be forgiven without apology for everything we have done AND
    everything we are about to do. Is this a rational approach to peace?
    Is it working?

Talking with Jews (or not)
Kevin MacDonald

A topic that is not discussed enough is the screaming, in-your-face, hostile aggression that people must withstand when they dare to trample on Jewish sensibilities. We are not talking about the sophisticated rationalization one sees in the op-ed pages of the mainstream media, or even the smear techniques of organizations like the ADL or the SPLC. We are talking about interpersonal aggression. There is something absolutely primal about it.

Now comes a refreshingly frank blog post by Karin Friedemann, an ethnically Jewish anti-Zionist. She notes the “violent intolerance” that defenders of Israel show towards people with different opinions.

American Jews are actually being trained since childhood to interact with non-Jews in a deceitful and arrogant manner, in coordination with each other, to emotionally destroy Gentiles and Israel critics in addition to wrecking their careers and interfering with their social relationships. This is actually deliberate, wicked, planned behavior motivated by a narcissistic self-righteous fury….
The problem is that Gentiles are taught through emotional pressure and violence via the media and the school system to be very sensitive to Jewish suffering so when a Zionist becomes outraged at them for challenging their world view, the Gentile really has to fight against his own inner self in a huge battle against his "inner Jew" making him feel inadequate and intimidated. But the Jew doesn’t care how much he or she hurts others. Jews only care about what's good for the Jews. …

I once reduced a 50 year old man to hysterical sobbing tears because I told him gently and lovingly that Jews were not that unique. I just told him the Jews, like everyone else, have had good times and bad times. Times when they were slaughtered and other times when they slaughtered others. Just like everyone else. Guess what he did next. He emotionally abused me in an insulting way and then cut off all further communication. Jewish behavior is so predictable that it's truly scary. …

If you mention cutting off the money or if you mention the possible compromise of living with Palestinians as equals in one state they become very angry and start using bullying tactics, unless they have some reason to fear you, in which case they shun you and complain about you to the authorities, try to get you arrested or try and destroy your career or social status through character assassination. …

Zionists all believe in the myth of "1000 years of Jewish suffering" and feel that the world owes them compensation for their ancestors' "unique" suffering. It's a criminally insane viewpoint. They cope with the contradictions between their belief that they are the good guys and what Jews are actually doing to their neighbors, both in the Middle East and in the US, by developing mental health issues. Most Zionists are functional schizophrenics.

My take:

· These tactics are not restricted to critics of Zionism. As one who has experienced a barrage of hostile email from my faculty colleagues, I can certainly attest to this. One quickly notices that assertions of the legitimacy of white identity and interests will also result in a barrage of hostility. This despite the fact that support for racial Zionism is strong throughout the entire Jewish political spectrum (see below). A correspondent sent me the following recently:
I have encountered many liberal, politically correct Jews who react vociferously (almost violently) to the most innocuous comments about any topic related to Israel or Jews. One Jew upon my mentioning that my wife and I had been to Russia spent several minutes virtually frothing at the mouth about Russians. Another upon hearing me say I was sympathetic to the problems of the Palestinians demanded to know who I was and how dare I say such a thing. Often zero tolerance for any difference in opinion.

· The media constantly present images of Jewish suffering—most recently the endless glut of Holocaust movies. But the media ignore instances, such as the early decades of the USSR and now in Greater Israel, where Jews have inflicted horrible suffering. Right now I am reading E. Michael Jones’ The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit and Its Effect on History. It is striking to read his account of Jewish violence against non-Jews in the ancient world, particularly the persecution of Christians whenever Jews had the power to do so. Long before Christians had any influence on Roman policy, Christians’ complaints about Jews were not stereotypes based on historical memory but resulted from direct experience with Jews: “Origen understood that Jewish calumny helped to cause Christian persecution, and that Jewish hatred was a fact of life for the Christians, continuing unabated after the repeated defeats of Messianic politics” (i.e., the defeats of Jewish rebels at the hands of the Romans in 70 and 135 ad) (p. 69). This is the basis of my concern on what will happen to whites when Jews become part of a hostile elite in white-minority America.

· Non-Jews absorb these media images and as a result feel inadequate, emotionally intimidated. Eventually they identify with the aggressor, much like a browbeaten hostage or, as Friedemann suggests, an abused spouse. Or they maintain their friendships but studiously avoid talking about anything related to Israel. Non-Jews do the bidding of their “inner Jew” because they have internalized images of Jewish suffering. They therefore aid and abet Jewish brutality and aggression.

· Non-Jews who persist in criticizing the organized Jewish community are threatened with loss of livelihood and social ostracism. As I noted in a previous article the organized Jewish community does not believe in free speech. It is important to keep in mind that when Jews were dominant in the first decades of the Soviet Union, the government controlled the media, anti-Semitism was outlawed, and there was mass murder of Christians and the destruction of Christian churches and religious institutions.

As Friedemann notes, the situation is nothing less than a sign of serious mental health issues for the mainstream Jewish community: “Most Zionists are functional schizophrenics.”

I think this is what happens when people who deal with Jewish issues finally realize that there is no hope for dialogue and begin to think of what to do next. Honest people finally realize that when it comes to critical issues like Israel and multicultural America, the divisions among Jews are an illusion. (Friedemann herself has renounced her Jewish identity.) As Friedemann’s husband, Joachim Martillo, notes, “Jews, who want to be decent human beings, have no choice but to renounce being Jewish and serve the anti-Zionist struggle (right now).”

Exhibit A for this right now is the murderous Israeli invasion of Gaza. We know (see, for example, John Mearsheimer’s article in The American Conservative) that this invasion occurred after a prolonged period when Israel restricted supplies into Gaza and then attacked tunnels between Gaza and Egypt. We know that the invasion was designed to “to inflict massive pain on the Palestinians so that they come to accept the fact that they are a defeated people and that Israel will be largely responsible for controlling their future.”

The tone of Mearsheimer’s article suggests a dramatic shift in attitude where the usual inhibitions on public discourse are finally beginning to fall, even for a respected academic:
There is … little chance that people around the world who follow the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will soon forget the appalling punishment that Israel is meting out in Gaza. … [D]iscourse about this longstanding conflict has undergone a sea change in the West in recent years, and many of us who were once wholly sympathetic to Israel now see that the Israelis are the victimizers and the Palestinians are the victims.

The gloves are coming off. This is what happens when smart and honest people who work hard to get the scholarship right are nevertheless smeared as anti-Semites guilty of the vilest misdeeds. Not surprisingly, Abe Foxman — a premier defender of the racial Zionist status quo in Israel — devoted an entire book to smearing Mearsheimer and Walt. Quite simply, there is no point to talking to such people or taking seriously what they say about us.

We know that the government of Israel is firmly in the hands of the racial Zionists — followers of Vladimir Jabotinsky and his view of the racial distinctiveness and superiority of the Jewish people. Indeed, the only question in the Israeli election is which brand of racial Zionism will form the next government. One knows that racial Zionism has completely won the day in Israel when Kadima — the party of Ariel Sharon, Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni and the Gaza invasion — is now described by Benjamin Netanyahu as the party of the left. (The LA Times dutifully calls it “centrist” but, as Israeli peace activist Uri Avnery writes, Livni “cries to high heaven against any dialogue with Hamas. She objects to a mutually agreed cease-fire. She tries to compete with Netanyahu and [Avignor] Liberman with unbridled nationalist messages.”) Indeed, Netanyahu’s only worry is that the openly racist Liberman — a disciple of the notorious Meir Kehane — will take away too many votes from Likud.

The situation is analogous to a US election where Pat Buchanan is the candidate of the far left. (I can dream.)

Avnery analogizes the election to a joke where a sergeant tells his men: “I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that you are going to change your dirty socks. The bad news is that you are going to exchange them among yourselves.”

Once again we see at work the general principle that within the Jewish community, the most extreme elements carry the day and pull the rest of the Jewish community with them. As I noted in "Zionism and the Internal Dynamics of Judaism," "over time, the more militant, expansionist Zionists (the Jabotinskyists, the Likud Party, fundamentalists, and West Bank settlers) have won the day and have continued to push for territorial expansion within Israel. This has led to conflicts with Palestinians and a widespread belief among Jews that Israel itself is threatened. The result has been a heightened group consciousness among Jews and ultimately support for Zionist extremism among the entire organized American Jewish community."

The fanatics keep pushing the envelop, forcing other Jews to either go along with their agenda or cease being part of the Jewish community. Ominously, if elected, Netanyahu promises that a top priority will be "harnessing the U.S. administration to stop the threat" of Iran's nuclear program.
Incidentally, E. Michael Jones (The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit and Its Effect on History, p. 42ff) has expanded this argument to the ancient world. He shows how the Jewish community was pulled in the direction of fanaticism by the Zealots who expelled the followers of Jesus from the synagogue and adopted a disastrous path of revolution against Rome, leading ultimately to the defeats of 70 and 135 a.d.

A good example of the schizophrenia described by Friedemann comes from the fact that around 80% of American Jews voted for Obama but around the same percentage blames Hamas for the escalation of violence and believes that the Israeli response was “appropriate.” These results of the poll on the Gaza invasion were proudly announced by Abraham Foxman of the ADL, an organization that is one of the principal forces in promoting a post-European America. The Jewish left is a pillar of multi-cultural America but strongly supports racial Zionism in Israel.
This same schizophrenia was on display at a recent presentation at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles by Chris Hedges and Mark Potok — he of the Southern Poverty Law Center. The program dealt with the usual bogey-men of the organized Jewish community: Christian fundamentalists, skinheads, David Duke, and (I am gratified to report) The Occidental Quarterly. In a comment on the alliance between Christian conservatives and Zionists, an audience member mentioned (to stifled applause) that “There are Jewish fascists.” But the moderator, Ian Masters, saved the day when he stated that “the vast majority of American Jews are secular and liberal” — a comment that brought much applause, presumably because it reassured the many Jews in the audience that they weren’t like THOSE Jews. For his part, Potok, that stalwart warrior against white America, expressed his support for what he sees as a beleaguered Israel on the verge of apocalypse at the hands of the Arabs. Schizophrenia indeed.
The politicians who are running Israel are, if anything, more racialist and nationalist than anything even remotely on the horizon in American or European politics. As Avnery notes:
In every other country, Liberman’s program would be called fascist, without quotation marks. Nowhere in the Western world is there a large party that would dare to advance such a demand [to annul the citizenship of Arabs]. The neo-fascists in Switzerland and Holland want to expel foreigners, not to annul the citizenship of the native-born. …

When Joerg Haider was taken into the Austrian cabinet, Israel recalled its ambassador from Vienna in protest. But compared to Liberman, Haider was a raving liberal, and so is Jean-Marie le Pen. Now Netanyahu has announced that Liberman will be “an important minister” in his government, Livni has hinted that he will be in her government, too, and Barak has not excluded that possibility.

The optimistic version says that Liberman will prove to be a passing curiosity. … There is also a pessimistic version: Fascism has become a serious player in the Israeli public domain. The three main parties have now legitimized it. This phenomenon must be stopped before it is too late.
So I have a suggestion for the Foxmans, the Potoks, the neoconservatives, and the secular Jewish liberals of the world: If you want to fight racism and ethnic nationalism, start in your own backyard. And my suggestion for the rest of us is to get rid of what Friedemann calls the “inner Jew.” I know it’s hard to do. But once you tune out the screaming hostility (and assuming you don’t fear losing your job), it’s easy. Just don’t expect a pleasant or rational conversation.

Kevin MacDonald is a professor of psychology at California State University–Long Beach.

Permanent URL:

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Bus Driver Union: "Dump Veolia"

Boston: Corporation which Exploited Syria & Iraq Opposed by Black Bus Drivers' Union "Dump Veolia" campaign. Workers also helped "Free Aafia" Movement. Islam forbids Private Ownership of Natural Resources.

Islam often presents itself as the Middle Path between the two extremes of Capitalism and Communism. Islamic Law would eliminate the need for class struggle by creating a society where property owners are held accountable. Yet, no Islamic society exists in this century. What is important to understand however is that Islam considers environmental and mineral resources to belong to Allah. That means nobody can own them. An Islamic movement has to protect and utilize natural resources for the public benefit. Leftist speech refers to "The People" while Islamic speech invokes "Allah" - but essentially they are both saying the same thing: that water and other resources belong to the government and cannot be privatized.

We have been hearing the word "privatization" a lot as local governments for example Flint, Michigan take the water and sewage infrastructure out of public control and give it to a private company that then contaminates the water and destroys the pipes. The Flint move was touted as part of "austerity measures," even though the privatization actually cost the city much more. It was really about corporations lining their pockets with public money. When a government hires a "private" company to run basic civilian infrastructure, we are not talking about a small private company with scientific expertise to solve environmental or organizational problems. These "private" companies are actually huge international corporations, which are steadily consolidating their power to create what increasingly appears to be a global takeover of control that is able to overrule local governments and impose its will on the people via distribution or non-distribution of water, food, and resources. Islamic hadith prophesied the coming of such a global rule - Dajjal - that represents an evil force of oppression, which rules by controlling access to food, water, and other resources.

The poorest of the poor, from India to South America suffer from lack of access to clean water while their freedom of movement is often brutally hindered. These conditions do not arise because of the backwardness of the people but are due to deliberate maneuvers by the political elite. The poor are further degraded by unsafe working conditions and inadequate compensation from corporate bosses that prevent workers from organizing to demand improvements. The ongoing current struggle against multinational corporations is being spearheaded by labor unions and social justice groups in a wide variety of locations. Because of increasing global communication, activists involved in protests and strikes all over the world are not only able to offer solidarity but compare notes on the common global enemy and strategies for defeating it. An increasingly organized, informed and supported labor movement can only be a good thing.

The business connections between those building the wall between the US and Mexico and those building walls surrounding Palestinian areas are unsurprising, but not everyone is aware of the vast extent of the massive web of international corporate control of water, sewage, and transportation systems around the globe. A particularly evil French corporation named Veolia, which dates back to the time of Napoleon, made huge profits from French colonization of the West Indies and Algeria by building railways and water treatment plants. In 2013 the UN hired Veolia to destroy Syria's chemical weapons. Veolia thus profited off the Syrian civil war, while engaging in a political charade, as the UN continued to allow Assad to destroy infrastructure and mass murder political opponents using non-chemical weapons. Veolia is also profiting off the US occupation of Iraq, as the Iraqi Ministry has employed Veolia to build a water treatment plant.

This same company, Veolia, is currently engaged in privatizing the water and transportation systems in many cities around the US, committing fraud and embezzlement, contaminating water, reducing services to poor areas while increasing fees, and breaking union contracts.
In 2013, Veolia also took over the management of Boston Public School Bus transportation, sparking an ongoing struggle by the school bus drivers union USW Local 8751 against Veolia's unfair labor practices including payroll shortages, impossible demands on bus drivers, overcrowding of buses, failure to provide agreed upon benefits, and bad faith negotiations resulting in the attempted prosecution and termination of union organizers. Veolia's efforts to crush Boston's only black and immigrant-majority union failed due to hundreds of protesting bus drivers and incredible support from solidarity activists. This union's struggle is important on many levels because not only are they resisting a corporation that has already destroyed many other cities' water supply and workers' rights on several continents, but Boston bus drivers themselves have a decades-long history of supporting people's justice issues. They played a huge role on the front lines of desegregation, escorting black children to school through angry racist white mobs. Not only has the bus drivers' union stood against Israeli Apartheid but they did much of the organizing and provided the sound system for Boston's recent rally to support Dr. Aafia Siddique on March 8, 2016.

The Dump Veolia campaign is growing in many countries around the world from Chile to India, resulting in a surge of political and social networking. "Veolia is just one window to understand the need for joint struggle, how corporatization entangles us with past histories of oppression and present global resistances," writes Maia Brown for Stop Veolia Seattle. "When we understand the historical continuities, exemplified by Veolia, between early structures of Western Imperialism and industrialization and today's globalization and neoliberalism, we strengthen our ability to form new solidarities and communities of struggle." 

Jahar: Short Film Review

An Alternative View of the Alleged Marathon Bomber. Loyalty or Treachery? Did he do it?

On Saturday, April 23, 2016 I attended the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City to see the 13 minute student film entitled, "Jahar" at the Bow Tie Cinema in the neighborhood of Chelsea. 

"In the days after the Boston Marathon bombing, a young man must come to terms with the fact that one of his friends is involved," reads the blurb on the Film Fest schedule. The director, Henry Hayes, was born and raised in Cambridge, MA. He moved to New York in 2011 to attend NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. He now lives in Brooklyn and works as a commercial editor.

The screenwriters were Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Henry Hayes. The cast was only four actors: Devante Lawrence, Andre Ozim, Andrew Raia, and Alberto Rosende.

The film starts out with the young men watching the TV news, which is announcing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlan as the Boston Marathon bombers. Then it cuts to "Two Years Earlier." Jahar is portrayed as a short, dorky white guy, even though in reality he is over 6 feet tall. He is shown in high school being ridiculed. "What kind of name is Dzhokhar?"

His friend defends him, saying, "His name is Jahar." His friends, two black and one white, treat Jahar in an inclusive, yet condescending way. "That's my nigga right there," says "Mo" as they hang out in the basketball court smoking blunts. "That's my boy, my brother." They also call him "Jizz," which Jahar was clearly not comfortable about. Their conversation is vacuous.

In Jahar's mother's version of events, Tamerlan told her he was on his way to pick up Jahar from school, when the police started chasing them. In this film version of events, Jahar gets a call on his cell phone after his friends asked him for a ride somewhere. "Sorry, I got to go help my brother," he says. "Help him with what?" they ask. "I don't know," Jahar answers and leaves.

Without any transition, the film cuts to the three friends minus Jahar standing back on the basketball court in communal shock, contemplating what had just happened.
Only Jahar's friend, "Mo" was loyal. "Who was the one who drove us all home that night after the party? Eight drunk guys and one in the trunk and he was able to get us past the police. We know him," Mo insisted. The "Mo" character is supposed to be the screenwriter, Zolan.

But the other friend says, "I don't know man. Do we really know him?"

"That's our boy, that's our nigga," Mo continues to insist.

The film ends with the FBI asking Mo, "What was he like?"

After the film, native New Yorker Karina asked the director and artists if deep down inside they may think he's innocent? Any time in their mind did they ever think he was framed?

"They both said no they do not think he's framed, they believe he's guilty, and both looked at me like I had 10 heads. Rude, and clearly ignorant, making a film without any real research into the case," Kitty told NT. "I'm pissed at the producers who are so arrogant... They loving the success of this while their "friend" is on death row for something he didn't do."

Whether he was innocent or guilty, one would expect more personal concern from true friends. It was a very disappointing reaction, since the movie was actually quite moving regarding the one friend's defense of Jahar. It made me think a lot about loyalty.

Clearly, these young men were capitalizing off the fact that they knew the Boston Bomber in high school, without engaging in any character development or political challenge. The film seems quickly thrown together rather than deeply thought out. It only made the festival due to the high profile content. The line-up for the Question and Answer session had more participation from the makers of Jahar than from any other producers of short films, which added to my impression that the film was receiving special treatment. Zolan has now been given a job writing for the Boston Globe, at a time when many writers have been laid off.
"Seems strange that he would be right in with the propaganda media. Maybe that's the deal they offered him if he went along with the official narrative. The look on the actors face playing him at end made you think he got scared at that point," Karina told NT.

It was, on one hand, somewhat daring to stir up sympathy for the accused. However, the filmmakers' demeanor afterwards just made me think of traitors. Because if your friend truly did something like that, you would want to ask him why. Or if you believed he was innocent you would stand by that. The film gave the impression of some students that knew him superficially and decided to make themselves popular by using him.

"What was their point of making the film? For a different perspective? Why do they care about portraying a different perspective if they believe he's guilty? More questions than answers for me," said Nicole, who had driven from Vermont to see the film.

Jihad Jane: A Special Prison Visit

Jihad Jane: A Special Trip To Visit an Islamic Woman in Prison who Threatened Cartoonists of Prophet Muhammad, Pbuh. 

On Saturday, May 7, 2016 I traveled to Tallahassee, Florida's Federal Correctional Institution to visit Colleen "Fatima" LaRose, also known as "Jihad Jane." She was sentenced to ten years for conspiracy to commit murder overseas, for her role in a 2009 failed plot to kill Lars Vilks, the Swedish cartoonist who mocked the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). She spent four years in solitary confinement but now resides in general population in a unit containing 60 women.

Fatima was very surprised to see me, as she has not been receiving any mail for two months, ever since I sent her the article I wrote about her for New Trend. Oddly enough, the prison counselor never received my visitor request form in the mail either. Thankfully, he was very kind and expedited the approval process after I overnighted him a second form. Fatima has not received a visitor in years. She greeted me warmly with a long, tight embrace. The 52 year old convert to Islam wore a khaki prison suit with a white hijab. She was in good spirits and seems to be well-liked by the guards and the co-prisoners. The guard had joked to her laughingly, "Are you gonna behead me?" She calls the other women, most of whom are much younger than herself, "my babies." "I never had children before I came to prison," she laughs.

We shared a delightful 1 ½ hour visit eating cookies and drinking soda from the vending machine in a visiting room full of families sitting at round tables. There were also tables outside in the courtyard, but Fatima preferred to stay in the air conditioning. She had me cracking up, telling me a lot of funny stories about life in prison. For example, she likes to sneak food from the kitchen. One time she had a bra full of eggs and another inmate came up to her and gave her a big hug! She was later caught bringing a tomato to a cellmate, and lost her kitchen job. She is now relegated to the dishroom but occasionally sneaks into the kitchen to help her friends cook.

She spoke of her admiration for Br. Osama bin Laden. "You can see from his face that there is a light about him." She does not believe the news about Osama being killed by US forces and dumped into the sea. She hopes that he is still alive somewhere. I mentioned to her that he is likely to have died from kidney failure. Regarding 9/11, she said, "Osama explained to the Jews and them that the Muslims don't want your western ways and you need to get your troops out of our lands. He told them again and again. They were forewarned." She listens to the news and continues to be very interested in ongoing developments such as ISIS.

"I want to support them," she said, "But I think they've gone too far, burning that guy alive." I explained to her what I had learned from New Trend, that the man was a fighter pilot whose plane had gone down after he had firebombed people. "Oh, I never knew that!" she exclaimed. "In that case, he deserved it."

She said there are about 15 Muslim sisters in her prison, who attend jummah prayers. She is the only one keeping hijab. "They all call it 'high-jab!'" she laughs in her charming southern accent. She wears a black hijab to work and the white one other times.

Fatima has a very sunny disposition, she is energetic and friendly to everyone and seems to be respected and loved by the women in her unit. She has found a way to bridge the gap between Muslims and non-Muslims by staunchly refusing to back down from her own beliefs and values at the same time as graciously and lovingly accepting other people for who they choose to be - one of her favorite people to socialize with is a Spanish-speaking religious Jew who is also transgender. She introduced me to a pretty young black woman passing by. "Her husband is my baby." The "husband," Fatima's cellmate, is injecting male hormones and growing a beard.

"There's a lot of that going on in here!" she whispers, laughing cheerfully at the juicy gossip.

Fatima, who is expected to be released in Pennsylvania in 2018, is looking forward to becoming a part of a real Muslim community. Her interaction with the Ummah was almost entirely online. Fatima had become obsessed with jihad after learning about the situation in Palestine.

Fatima said people often asked her if she will do anything jihad-related again, once she is released but she says no. "They are not going to ask me to do anything else. I have already proved myself," she said of her mentors, whom she believes to be with al Qaeda. "I was very honored as a woman to be chosen for a mission. Usually they give those kinds of jobs to the brothers. I don't like that I'm in prison, but it's not that bad." She has always been very patient with the decision of Allah, even when she was in the Special Housing Unit (SHU) in solitary.

Regardless of what one believes about her choice of action, it says a lot about her character that she was willing to sacrifice herself in order to stand up for her brothers and sisters around the world, that she had never met, who had done nothing for her. Fatima's future plan upon release is to grow flowers and vegetables. For now, she is looking forward to fasting for Ramadan.

[New Trend urges readers to write to the sister.]

Register Number: 61657-066

Demo Condemns Extra Judicial Killing of Usaamah Rahim

On June 2, 2016, about 45 demonstrators called out by Mass Action Against Police Brutality commemorated the one year anniversary of the coordinated police and FBI assassination of 26 year old Al Hajj Usaamah Rahim in Roslindale, Massachusetts, where he was ambushed in the parking lot of CVS.

After murdering Rahim, the JTTF raided the home of his nephew, David Wright in Everett, Massachusetts and arrested him on charges of conspiracy to provide material support to ISIL, obstruction charges, and charges to commit terrorism across national boundaries. The crowd of protesters was majority Black, many Muslim, and very diverse.

After marching from Roslindale Square, flowers were strewn at the spot where Rahim died, and Imam Farooq of Masjid Alhamdulillah made a dua. Then white balloons were released into the air while reading al Fatiha. His mother and other close friends and family wore all white. Many people driving by seemed supportive or curious, and those who slowed down, as well as pedestrians we passed, were handed a leaflet headlined, "Justice for Usaamah Rahim!"

Rahim was on his way to work at CVS that morning on June 2, 2015 in broad daylight. FBI claimed the brother was wielding a knife, but the surveillance video clearly shows that the federal agents and police officers suddenly approached him, one with gun drawn. No federal or municipal judge served any warrant for Rahim. This was not a situation gone bad while someone was resisting arrest. This police killing appears to be premeditated murder organized by the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF).

The government claims that Rahim and Wright were in contact online with Junaid Hussain, whom Obama assassinated by drone in August 2015 in Raqqa, Syria. Hussain was a 21 year old British-Pakistani hacker who once posted Tony Blair's personal information online, and was later said to be recruiting volunteers for the Islamic State online, according to the government.

"This dangerous precedent of government abduction based on science fiction-like speculation and prognostication is a threat to the rights of everyone," states Mass Action. "It is also very concerning that the Boston Police force is involved with an FBI investigation blurring the line of the duties of local police and federal government. This is all part of the ever increasing expansion of police agencies and police powers that target the residents of this country in the name of fighting the 'War on Terror.'"

Wright's legal case has similarities to others' like Tarek Mehanna and Ziyad Yaghi, as well as Yassin Aref, in that the JTTF, BPD and FBI followed these young men for months previous to their arrest. The government has not provided any evidence of a conspiracy other than wiretapped conversations, which they claim contain hidden code words. For example, "going on vacation" to them meant "going for jihad." The government also claims that Rahim and Wright were planning to behead Pamela Geller. Wright, who maintains his innocence, has been held in the brutal Plymouth facility for one and ½ years awaiting trial.

The protesters demanded the indictment and prosecution of all police, FBI and others involved in the military tactile assassination of Al Hajj Usaamah Rahim; Full and complete investigation of all officers and personnel involved in the murder and plotting of the murder; Release of the full unedited video of the shooting to the public; Freedom for David Wright, imprisoned since June 2 2015; and and an End to the targeting of Blacks and Muslims!

Detroit, Michigan: The Shocking Case of Lacino Hamilton

It was July 1994 when Lacino Hamilton's foster mother was shot and killed inside her home. The Detroit woman who had raised Lacino was named Willa Bias, but he called her "Mom." Lacino, who was 19 at the time he was found guilty of the murder, is now 41 and imprisoned at Thumb Correctional Facility in Lapeer, Michigan, serving a sentence that will not expire until he is at least 71. He has always insisted that he loved his foster mother and that he is not the murderer. He was convicted based on the testimony of a "jailhouse snitch" in exchange for a lighter sentence, and a coerced confession from a friend who later refused to testify against him in court, but they still used the written confession.

In a personal letter, Lacino demonstrated a deep sense of self-reflection. He told me that while he is innocent of the murder, he was not "innocent." He was a drug dealer participating in the gangster lifestyle. Investigators speculate that Willa was murdered for the $70,000 cash Lacino had been storing in the basement. Lacino hopes that upon his release, he could work with urban youth to teach them positive alternatives to crime. He has spent his two decades in prison reading and writing many thoughtful essays addressing the problem of the "school to prison pipeline" and the irrational US policies that marginalize the poor.

"How some of us live is not a mistake; neither is it the product of a broken system. We live like that because it is profitable to a lot of people businesses: pawn shops, pay-day loan services, slum lords, creditors, social services and others who traffic in misery," he wrote.

Lacino also wrote letters to thousands of journalists, lawyers and colleges hoping someone would listen to his story of wrongful incarceration. Finally he heard back from Claudia Whitman, the director of the National Death Row Assistance Network, which recommends cases to the Innocent Project. At last an attorney, Mary Chartier, agreed to take on the case pro bono. If all goes well, Lacino will receive a retrial next year and hopefully be released.

In 2013, an investigator looking into Lacino's case contacted Christopher Brooks, who decided to finally speak out about Lonnie Bell, the man he saw exiting Willa Bias' home shortly after the murder, now that Lonnie is dead as a result of gang warfare. Lonnie had admitted to Christopher over lines of cocaine that he had committed the murder "because she was supposed to be dead." Lonnie also told Christopher that if he said anything, he would kill him too. Spooked, Christopher moved to Monroe, Michigan, a town near the Ohio border, to avoid Lonnie.

The informant, Olivera Rico Cowen, who is responsible for Lacino's false conviction, died of AIDS after he got his sentence reduced from 15 years to one year in exchange for "cooperating" with homicide detectives. Even though Olivera was the key witness in six other murder convictions, his testimony was accepted in lieu of evidence, leading to Lacino's 80 year sentence.

"In many cases, even if all the witnesses have recanted, or if a person claims innocence, it's still difficult to [overturn a conviction]. The courts are more concerned with whether the trial has been procedurally proper," Attorney Mary Ownes told Truthout.

However, US police, and in particular the Detroit Police Department, are coming under increasing scrutiny from the Federal Department of Justice and the public. Detroit police are notorious for withholding evidence from trials, that would prove the suspect's innocents. Detectives routinely provide witnesses with prewritten statements to memorize. Corruption in the homicide department led to the closure of the DPD's crime lab in 2008, while the FBI discovered that Detroit's former mayor, Kwame Kilpatric, who is now imprisoned, was discovered having a romantic affair with the federal monitor on police reforms, who had been sent to look into a report that Detroit police committed the highest number of fatal shootings compared to all other police forces in the US.

"Thinking broadly about the ways incarceration is constructed and reconstructed, or alternatives to incarceration, is complicated by networks of social control. Which operate to legitimize who has the authority to speak about incarceration, what can be said about incarceration, and what is sanctioned as true about incarceration," writes Lacino in the introduction to a book he is writing.

"One important mechanism for challenging the system of incarceration, then, is incarcerated men and women, and the communities in which they come from, must begin to speak for themselves. Incarcerated people can articulate an analysis of incarceration from the particular vantage point of lived experience. Use this to analyze policies and practices that support incarceration. And generate alternatives to caging people for part or all of their lives.

"These subjugated analyses about the world of incarceration define that world and possibilities differently. Thus, listening to and learning from the analyses and experiences of incarcerated men and women can help the broader society get a clearer understanding of the ordeal of retribution style justice; and suggest more imaginative alternatives for repairing harms caused in our society," Lacino concludes.

Lacino's investigative attorney team continues to track down witnesses and collect affidavits and push for a retrial. Please keep him and other wrongfully incarcerated people in your prayers.

Lacino Hamilton #247310
Thumb Correctional Facility
3225 John Conley Dr.
Lapeer, MI 48446

This article is based on a report by Aaron Cantu entitled "Ring of Snitches: How Detroit Police Slapped False Murder Convictions on Young Black Men," published March 31, 2015 in Truthout.

Attempt to Use Quds Day in Support of Assad Regime

Al Quds Day should only be for Palestine

I was confused by Al Quds day in Boston on July 1, 2016. The organizer was trying to "tie in" the issue of Syria, Yemen etc, condemning ISIS, Taliban, al Qaeda and talking about "stability in the Middle East" (code words for supporting Assad.]

When I mentioned that the Russians, Hizbollah and Assad bombing is what is destabilizing the region, and demanded why they are trying to limit Al Quds day for Shia and Assad loyalists, she would not budge from that position, and only one brother (a Palestinian refugee) defended my argument for keeping this strictly about Palestine so as not to alienate Sunni Muslims. Most people were saying I was really rude. It was disappointing to see exclusionary sectarian politics taking over what should be a unified mass movement in support of Palestine.