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SAFETY PIN SOLIDARITY!

YOUR PUT DOWNS OF SAFETY PINS ARE NOT ENOUGH!
& YOUR PETTY CALL OUT ACTIVISM
IS AN EMBARRASSMENT!

There have been a few articles and several social media posts mocking the proposal that people wear safety pins to proclaim, in this new UhMurikan landscape, that “I am a safe space.” It’s a way for those of us in an unfamiliar place or under attack to identify an ally who will defend us or accompany us if we encounter violence, hate speech, threats or intimidation because of our real or assumed membership in a targeted group. One article appeared, written by a white presenting cis het presenting man, in the Huffington Post, that bastion of social responsibility and grassroots mobilization. (Snark!)

 Of course the safety pins are NOT ENOUGH.They’re a symbol, a statement, a promise and a commitment.

Are these publish worthy leftists also for the abolishment of: buttons and t-shirts (which must be manufactured, marketed and sold), banners, signs. How are these any different? Are we against any symbolism? What about ribbons? arm bands?

This petty self promotion  and put down of other activist efforts is tiresome. After all not EVERYONE gets Huffington Post press access.

The safety pin solidarity started in England after the passage of Brexit with the targeting of immigrants.  In England there may have been an issue with the pins, that it was a white thing: an insufficient badge of respectability, guilt, remorse, penance. But in the U.S., Occupied Amerikkka the targets are MOST OF US. And there are still people totally complicit from all demographics, so the symbol is important, easy, accessible, inexpensive, UNFUCKINGMARKETABLE, so we can let people know we are ready to take action; (and then we need to come through; that we are here for each other). After all with the increased rhetoric and the emboldened extreme right, white supremacist (rebranded, normalized, alt-right),  only white Christian cis het, ENabled, body normative men aren’t targeted. The vast majority, the rest of us are!

For way too long activism has moved from the grassroots, to self promotion, individualism,  survival of the fittest, scarcity resources and competition. Allies who aren’t movement stars (there’s a clear double standard here!)  are told they should just not show up, not take up space, sit down, shut up, listen, read more, go shopping.  There has been very little engagement in what real allyship might be, what solidarity looks like, how we check each other and check ourselves, from a position of responsibility, accountability and transparency, and not from a place of obedience, acquiescence and silence.  Hopefully the broad targeting of so many of us is a wake up call, that we need all our bodies on the line, and that we can’t do this in separate groups (which fuels the alt right’s rebranding, as it appropriates that language with claims that it is simply a civil rights movement for white people and that we all have our place in our separate nations.)

Maybe the movement stars who are so used to making it all about themselves:  the self promoters, the individualist who have for too long used “activism” as their own personal starting line in that great competition for speaking engagements, publicity and  non-profit managerial positions can show some solidarity instead of crapping on this very basic grassroots organizing effort. Maybe we can move the dialogue from whose voices matter to how we can assure our movement is as large and inclusive as possible (day care, DISability access, language translation, financial accessibility). Maybe we can start to have the difficult discussions around transparency and accountability around unlearning racism, sexism, ableism,  ageism, classism and all the other ways marginalization keeps us down and apart.

So let this be the start and not the end. Let the lists of other ways of showing solidarity, of putting our bodies, minds, reputations on the line for each other begin, but let us start with “AND” and not “BUT”.

Sure the safety pins are not enough, and your grandstanding is getting real tired, too.

 

 

 

 

We’ve been looking for a good list of organizations that are locally based that do good work. Most of the lists we’ve seen are screenshots, which means blind readers and anyone who uses screen readers to access the internet, can’t read them. These lists also don’t include a link or the name of the person or organization who put the list together.

This list comes from Edwidge Danticat

DO NOT GIVE ANY MONEY TO THE RED CROSS. THE RED CROSS IS SIMPLY ONE MORE EXTENSION OF WESTERN IMPERIALISM AND NEOLIBERALIST NEOCOLONIALISM!!!!

https://www.facebook.com/edwidgedanticat/posts/10154104280978165

“Many of you have asked for suggestions of organizations to donate to in the wake of Hurricane Matthew’s devastation in Haiti. Here are a few suggestions. These are primarily organizations that have been working in the most affected areas for years and are, for the most part, Haitian-led. A few of these organizations are schools or educational institutions. When a school–however small–has been a trusted part of a community for a long time, families will look to that place for immediate and ongoing support in rebuilding after a disaster like this. Thank you for your concern and support.”

1. Gaskov Clerge Foundation
http://gaskov.org

2. Fondation Aquin Solidarite–https://www.gofundme.com/aquinhaiti

3. The Three Little Flowers Center–https://3littleflowerscenter.org

4. Paradis des Indiens
http://www.friendsofpdi.org

5. Project Saint Anne
http://projectstanne.org

6. Fonkoze
http://fonkoze.org

7. The Lanbi Fund of Haiti
http://www.lambifund.org

8. Flying High for Haiti
http://flyinghighforhaiti.com

9. Saint Boniface Foundation
http://haitihealth.org

10. PRODEV
http://www.prodevhaiti.org

 

12742381_1148681611831584_587840668109962858_nSuggested donation 5$ (no one turned away for lack of funds, ever!)

Please make reservations. Space is limited. Let us know about any dis-ability accommodations you may need. The space is wheelchair accessible, all bathrooms are gender neutral. Off street parking by reservation only and for dis-abled guests.

Special comfortable seating available for elders and people with dis-ability. Some floor seating.

345 Douglas Street Los Angeles, Ca 90026

To make a reservation call 818 404 5784 and leave a message, or message weempowercenter@gmail.com

Po Poets,welfareQueens & Krip hop Nation in LA
Performance collaborating with Krip-Hop Nation member and LA based Hip-Hop artist, DJ Quad of 5th Battalion. Saturday afternoon and night will be a Hip-Hop/Spoken Word performance with Po’ Poets of POOR Magazine/welfareQUEENs (Muteado SIlencio, Vivi T, Laure McElroy, Tiny Lisa Gray-Garcia, Queenandi XSheba, Aunit Frances, Dee Allen) ) & Leroy Moore & DJ Quad of Krip-Hop Nation.
_________________________________

This event is part of :

13120902_10154697996945616_229212038_oThe Nation-wide tour of “wealthy” neighborhoods across the US which launched in San Francisco on “Earth Day” is co-led by “Poverty Skola” Lisa “Tiny” Gray-Garcia and fellow Race, Disability, Indigenous Skolaz from POOR Magazine/Prensa POBRE, Leroy Moore from Krip Hop Nation and 1st Nations Ohlone Warrior Corrina Gould and on Day 1 of the LA tour will go to Venice Beach area where hundreds of elders and families face Ellis act evictions and displacement, while others live in multi-million dollar designer homes and on Day 2 go into Beverly Hills to offer an innovative healing solution to the disease of wealth and resource hoarding.
“We Black, Brown, homeless, disabled and 1st Nations people are peacefully crossing the visible and invisible lines that separate us poor folks from the “very rich” to ask them to begin the healing, change-making, process of decolonizing, redistributing and reparating their stolen and/or hoarded, inherited wealth and/or land ,” Concluded Lisa Tiny Gray-Garcia.
12510365_1124708227562256_7057866320787099612_nThe Stolen Land/ Hoarded Resources tour is loosely based on the Bhoodan Movement of India launched by Vinoba Bhave who walked through India asking wealthy “land-owners” to gift their land to landless peoples. With a similar vision, this small group of landless and indigenous peoples being hit the hardest by displacement and gentrification will be Intentionally crossing the invisible and visible lines between the land and resource hoarders aka the very rich and the victims of generations of white supremacy, theft, colonization, criminalization, racism, eugenics and silencing, aka the very poor.
“Los Angeles is where me and my mama became homeless when i was 11years old, after she became disabled. We were arrested and harassed multiple times for the sole act of sleeping in our car,” concluded Lisa “Tiny” Gray-Garcia, who is the author of Criminal of Poverty , Growing Up Homeless in America, which chronicles the life of a homeless, disabled, mixed race mother and daughter struggling to survive in LA and their work to launch POOR Magazine the organization and the landless peoples movement called Homefulness-one of the models being highlighted as a powerful move of redistribution and reparations in this tour.
Black, Brown, Broke & Disabled Hip Hop & Spoken Word Tour

L.A. Tour Date: June 10-11, 2016

Stolen Land / Hoarded Resources Redistribution, Decolonization & Community Reparations Tour Comes To LA with Black, Brown, Broke & Disabled Hip-Hop/Spoken Word Show

13090253_1198001956899549_1881245443_nThe Tour will be in LA on June 10-11/16 ending with a performance collaborating with Krip-Hop Nation member and LA based Hip-Hop artist, DJ Quad of 5th Battalion. Saturday afternoon and night will be a Hip-Hop/Spoken Word performance with Po’ Poets of POOR Magazine/welfareQUEENs ( Muteado SIlencio, Vivi T, Laure McElroy, Tiny Lisa Gray-Garcia, Queenandi XSheba, Aunit Frances, Dee Allen) & Leroy Moore & DJ Quad of Krip-Hop Nation at BNB… & Inner-City Arts’ The Rosenthal Theater.

June 10, 2016: A Krip-Hop Nation: Where Are my Crippled Homies At by Watts Villiage Theater
(Time to be announced) Inner City Arts Rosenthal Theater: 720 Kohler St, Los Angeles, CA 90021

June 11, 2016: Po Poets,welfareQueens & Krip hop Nation in LA13120654_10154698026325616_1284031348_o
Performance collaborating with Krip-Hop Nation member and LA based Hip-Hop artist, DJ Quad of 5th Battalion. Saturday afternoon and night will be a Hip-Hop/Spoken Word performance with Po’ Poets of POOR Magazine/welfareQUEENs (Muteado SIlencio, Vivi T, Laure McElroy, Tiny Lisa Gray-Garcia, Queenandi XSheba, Aunit Frances, Dee Allen) ) & Leroy Moore & DJ Quad of Krip-Hop Nation.

Two Performances

2:00 PM: Purple Barn Gallery at DragonflyHill Urban Farm, 345 Douglas Street Los Angeles, CA 90026. Wheelchair accessible. For further accommodations please inquire 72 hours in advance. Reservations Required, space is limited. For more information contact Cafe Intifada cafeintifada@earthlink.net

Evening program Time and Location to be announced

Fundraising to cover labor and travel costs to bring these amazing artists and activists to Los Angeles.
Lodging will be provided at DragonflyHill Urban Farm. Respect the Space: Community Values, Principles and Guidelines
Sponsored by: Cafe Intifada of The WE Empowerment Center
ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE.
The Wonderful Accomodation Where We’ll Stay: DragonflyHill Urban Farm, Echo Park, LA
When the dust settled and the bulk of our restoration of this amazing but battered 1913 Craftsman house was finished, what remained was a multi-talented team who wanted to continue working here and working together. Core values of our work include attention to detail, fine craftsmanship and cultivating community. We strive to provide our neighborhood and the greater Los Angeles area with a variety of services based on integrity they can count on from us.
Bed and Breakfast Experience: We have two beautiful suites that provide short term lodging for travelers, people resettling, between homes, emergency housing, visiting scholars, artists and activists and anyone looking for a temporary housing solution. We offer elegant, comfortable, safe and sober, child friendly, LGBTQIA and dis-ability (disability) affirmative, anti-racist, anti-sexist accommodations with free parking, wifi and breakfasts.
Event and Space Rental: The Studios at DragonflyHill Urban Farm provide space for a variety of events and efforts including rehearsal space, photography, yoga, dance, film, healing arts, massage, reiki, and meetings
Film Locations: We can accommodate all budgets– large and small, though the services we can provide differ. Talk to us about your project and let’s work together to make this space work for you. We can assist with set design and construction and provide a professional staff to assure your shoot here is a total success

Links
DragonflyHill Urban Farm: https://dragonflyhill.wordpress.com/
Poor Magazine: www.poormagazine.org
Krip-Hop Nation: www.kriphopnation.com
Contact info: 818-404-5784 cafeintiafada@earthlink.net

 

We are very excited to announce that we are now a project of The WE Empowerment Center, a new 501c3 organization dedicated to smaller community organizing and creative efforts. When our former financial receiver went under due to the mismanagement and misappropriation of funds, we lost our non-profit status. The larger IHC projects quickly found financial receivers, but smaller projects like our own had no where to go…

Until The WE Empowerment Project was formed, specifically in response to the experience of many of the smaller IHC projects.

So, WE’RE BACK! And planning a few programs and events.

Future events to look forward to is a film series– Occupation 101, a look at colonization and the geography and anatomy of imperialism and conquest.

and we never quite left, though our blog posts became less frequent, we were more prominent in our facebook page, providing information, cultural and social and political updates, so continue to follow us on line.

And if you really love us, consider supporting our work. We’ve made it through quite a bit, from blacklisting, death threats and police raids, and the fall of the IHC, we’re still here.

Cafe Intifada: Art and Activism:
Donate Button with Credit Cards

By Emma Rosenthal

An important discussion has inadvertently come to a head within the Palestine solidarity movement that focuses on the nature of solidarity, agendas within movements, white savior syndrome, the nonprofit industrial complex and alliance building and accountability. While the differences exposed by this discussion have been an issue within the movement for sometime, the discussion is long overdue. 

This all came to a  head when Alison Weir, founder of If Americans Knew, (IAK), and president of the Council for the National Interest, (CNI), responded publicly to the internal decisions, communicated to Weir in personal letters,  of two other Palestine Solidarity organizations; Jewis Voices for Peace (JVP)   and The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (USCEIO)  that it was inconsistent with their anti-racist human rights agenda to work with Weir or her organizations. Weir and her supporters were outraged over the decision by these two groups to dis-associate from her.

What is curious is the response of Weir and her supporters here  and here  including assertions that this was:  the act of zionist infiltrators,  McCarthyism,and that Weir was being silenced, censored and attacked (“by zionists”).  Most notable in the responses to these internal documents is that in calling out what both organizations believe to be in contradiction to their anti-racist principles, they were being “divisive” and “playing into the hands of the zionists.”

No one is silencing Weir. Not working with Weir isn’t silencing her. She is not entitled to every panel, conference and coalition. The definition of zionism* isn’t “disagreeing with Alison”.

With public recognition comes public scrutiny.  At the very least, books get reviewed, and to disagree with a particular author or to choose not to create a forum with or for that author isn’t McCarthyism or a personal attack or censorship.  Despite the protestations of her followers, no one is infringing on Weir’s employment, ability to travel outside the U.S., arresting her, blacklisting her,  keeping her from other forums or from creating forums of her own. She is not at risk for imprisonment, deportation or execution.  (THAT would be McCarthyism, a movement that singled out Jews and Blacks disproportionately.) In pointing that out, I would hope we could focus on fair and honest argumentation and avoid insults, ad hominem and strawmen. We should avoid terms that define a person in ways that they would not define themselves  and instead identify ideas and actions that are racist, white supremacist and zionist and explore their impact and significance.   In that context, a person who is truly anti-racist would want to check themselves out of concern that unintentionally they may have done harm. “I’m not racist but…” is not the response of accountability.  Furthermore “Alison doesn’t have a racist bone in her body” obfuscates the issue and avoids actual accountability.

It was Weir that made this discussion public,  but it is much bigger than her, or her organizations with implications for social justice activism and advocacy in general.  I hope in this article to inform that discussion in a deeper way than has been offered up until now, and I expect in its wake will come even more discussion and understanding, as well as unfortunate insults, ad hominems, strawmen and abuse. I would hope those who believe in their positions would chose to articulate  them in ways that add to our greater understanding and leave insults and derailing obfuscations to those whose positions have little substantiation beyond their own opportunism and bigotry.

This article will not focus on Weir in particular, but rather on the key issues, ideologies and contradictions  that fuel the differences of the current dialogue. Notably this discussion involves core assumptions and entitlements. Without the willingness to explore the root of these premises no one is qualified to then assert that racism isn’t an underlying factor, regardless of all good intentions and “better judgement.”

Divisiveness: or don’t talk about the elephant.

The assertion that those who raise the issue of racism (sexism, ableism etc) are divisive is a common defense against and a way of derailing any discussion of racism and oppression within social justice activism. But discussing already existing divisions doesn’t create them. Denial doesn’t make differences go away. A healthy movement should be able to air differences and account for them, determine which differences are deal breakers for forging alliances and which are healthy in that they allow for a diversity of opinions, experiences and voice.

Discussing Differences: Two Major Tendencies

There are two basic tendencies within what is broadly known as Palestine solidarity with implications in regard to U.S. global policy and social activism as well. One tendency, and the one that I identify with, comes from a tradition of anti-racist, anti-imperialist and anti-colonialist work, which often includes a critique of capitalism at its root. In no context does it see the U.S. as a neutral party, an agent of benevolence or the Great White Hope.  It views Western support for Israel as an extension of and consistent with western imperialism, colonization and conquest.  This tendency doesn’t deny the power of the zionist lobby (The Lobby), but sees that power not as an exception but rather as functioning well within the lobby system itself and the entire infrastructure of U.S. empire and capitalism.  Many of the members of this tendency, myself included,  have been attacked, surveilled and blacklisted by the The Lobby and the zionist establishment.  The problem isn’t with The Lobby in particular, but rather with the political structures that allows for powerful corporate lobbies to exist at all and with how The Lobby exists to support those systems.  This perspective asserts that The Lobby doesn’t just consist of  Israel, its Jewish U.S. supporters  or the self proclaimed “Jewish” organizations (the ADL, Stand with Us, AIPAC). It  also includes the vast number of Christian zionists and the Christian fundamentalist churches, the oil industry, the construction industry, the security industry and by no short measure, the arms industry, all of which profit quite favorably from escalating Israeli militarism.  (In the U.S, while there are less than 6 million Jews, zionist and anti-zionist, there are over 40 million Christian zionists.) Israeli brutality and militarism is consistent and in dialogue with, and developing alongside the growing militarization of police forces within U.S. cities, the prison industrial complex, and urban warfare as well as the militarization of the border with Mexico and U.S. empire.

Within this tendency though, and Weir points this out to JVP,  is the tolerance by some of “soft zionism”.  JVP should address internally as well as publicly its refusal to denounce zionism if it’s going to be consistent with its assertion that it does not work with racists. The attempt by “soft zionists” to present zionism as somehow consistent within a larger human rights narrative is impossible.  In my opinion, Weir is quite correct in this assertion.

The other tendency’s ideology is based in white supremacist assertions and ideology. This tendency sees the problem as an ethnic/foreign one, with one outside agent (Israel) with its internal agents (usually diaspora Jews, with little or no discussion of the vast number of Christian zionists) having “undue influence” via The Lobby, on the U.S. government. This tendency breaks down into two groups:  The first group espouses  outright ideological white supremacy: KKK, Nazis, David Duke, Stormfront, Ron Paul, Paul Craig Roberts, David Icke, Gilad Atzmon, among others, who identify particular Jewish qualities as the core issue and envision themselves engaged in an existential struggle against “World Jewish Domination” and the rising numbers of people of color. Generally they openly fear the growing number of people who are not white, both within occupied Amerika and the world at large, and are overt in their concern for the “eventual extinction” of white people.  They don’t actually care about Palestinians. They just hate Jews more and see Palestine as the front line of a global struggle against white annihilation. They use terms like Jewish power, Jewishness, ZOG (Zionist Occupied Government) and  the Hollowcause;  they doubt that there ever was a Holocaust but assert that if there were it was because the Jews brought it upon (them) (our) selves.

Then there are the neo-liberal/neo-colonialists, whose premise is also white supremacist,  in that they support ruling class interests that favor and promote white power and privilege.  They include Mearsheimer and Walt, Jimmy Carter, Kathleen and Bill Christison, Paul Findley, Anne Wright and Ray McGovern. Their concern is with particular market interests and U.S. foreign policy strategy.  They frame their concern in terms that are white supremacist because they assume U.S. largess and exceptionalism, like “American interests”,  “American core values, “American founding principles”,  “America’s good name and good will”  and the need to “appeal to middle (aka white) America”.  While Weir and her supporters painted all those who call out this inherent racism, as zionists, interestingly, zionism is not so much of a problem for most of this group, but rather the extent of Israeli (perceived) power and disobedience as a client state.  Many of the neo-liberals (including Paul Findley–who, as a U.S. congressman, never opposed South African apartheid, U.S. intervention in South and Central America or the Vietnam War) qualify their critique of Israel with support for a two state solution that would include a specifically Jewish state, run by and with particular advantage to Israeli Jews.  (In case you missed that, it’s essentially zionist, unless by zionist, one mean “Jews”.)  While The Lobby advocates a war economy, the neo-liberal objective is to create markets and promote industry and debt dependency,  which is difficult under extreme military conflict. We could refer to this group and their two state solution as Maquiladora (sweatshop) labor and Halal McDonalds. However to expand markets the neo-libs need the absence of war. They need a passive population to serve the interests of multinational corporations.

The adherents to ideological white supremacy and neoliberalism focus on what they see as the undue influence of Israel on U.S. policy and in many cases present the U.S. as the victim, even the ultimate victim of zionist brutality and aggression.  They are not, for example, offended or concerned that a U.S. spy ship  (the U.S.S. Liberty) was in the Mediterranean spying on Israel and Egypt,  because they recognize that as a significant right of “American” exceptionalism.  They don’t concern themselves with the fact that this was a military target and as such, not innocent, in the way civilians are innocent. They are offended that the ally they gave “so much money to” (bought and paid for) would bomb “our” spy ship.  They are not offended by settler colonialism, racism, apartheid, manifest destiny. The concern of this tendency isn’t with imperialist power, capitalism, hegemony or settler colonialism per se, but rather with what they see as the threat: Israel and by extension,  the Jews. Those who harbor ideological white supremacy locate Jews and Jewishness, as the problem. The neo-liberals focus on Israel: a foreign power, that exercises these systems of oppression outside of what they identify as (their) U.S. interests.

This is to say these two tendencies represent very different ideologies and motivations. One is a movement against racism, imperialism, capitalism and empire. The other sees Israel as an obstacle to imperialism, capital and empire, and rejects any suggestion that this agenda might be fundamentally problematic, supremacist and unjust. This is the root of the objection to Weir, IAK and CNI.  It isn’t personal, it isn’t McCarthyism (which requires the power of the state!). It’s simply a different and opposing politic.

White supremacist opportunism has colonized this movement, columbused* this movement, taken it on as its own, framing it in Amerikanisms, as if the Palestinians were superfluous to their own struggle. Senior Editor Gordon Duff of “Veterans Today”’ referred to Palestinian activists  as “Supposed Palestinian Activists.   Greta Berlin referred to Ali Abunimah, as “Ali Ayatolah,”  Atzmon referred to Palestinian activists  en masse as demonstrating “intellectual intolerance” and to Ali Abunimah as a Sabbath Goy answerable to his Jewish masters.  And many  Gilad Atzmon and Greta Berlin supporters disregarded a widely diverse call from Palestinian activists and scholars, that racism, including antisemitism* has no place in the Palestinian movement here and  here; as if Palestinians had no right to direct the message and the terms of their own struggle.

If Americans Knew, according to its own web page, states:  “she (Weir) founded an organization to be directed by Americans without personal or family ties to the region who would research and actively disseminate accurate information to the American public.”  This false and entitled “objectivity” disregards the politics of experience and pretends that only those not directly impacted negatively can be trusted to come to rational or objective conclusions and make legitimate assertions, or at the very least, to run and direct an organization intended to inform “Americans”. This is so essentially supremacist and in this regard, IAK provides the most ideological framework for stripping the Palestinian struggle of Palestinians and for disregarding the insights of Jewish anti-zionists when it comes to  navigating the distinction between real anti-Jewish racism and  false accusations of antisemitism against any and all critiques of Israel and zionism. One can scroll the pull down menu at the top of the IAK web page and barely find any mention of Palestinians at all. It’s truly striking and offensive – Palestinian struggle without Palestinians, where Palestinians, little more than statistics, with their “personal or family ties” aren’t to be trusted to direct the movement or present “objective” viewpoints. This is the job for the fair-haired Amerikan saviors.  who “read dozens of books on the topic.” 

In one recent statement Weir defends this segregated approach to organizing, citing the value of ethnic-specific organizations, though she doesn’t think anti-zionist Jews or Palestinians know what antisemitism is as she has yet to call out anything within the movement as antisemitic including Atzmon and a host of Holocaust deniers with whom she is closely affiliated and in Atzmon’s case, has publicly defended (against the better judgement of Palestinian activists). She claims that the ethnic makeup of her organization is important to reach a particular constituency. NO DOUBT!  and that’s pretty much the point. Unless one is reaching out to white Amerika to confront their racist entitlement,  from an anti-imperialist anti-racist perspective, one is just reinforcing their entrenched bigotry to the benefit of the ruling class,  especially if one uses language that reinforces that hegemony.

Opportunistic white supremacy advances an agenda in which the Palestinians are superfluous to the struggle and the movement. It pretends that since zionist organizations assert that all and any critiques of Israel and zionism are antisemitic, then nothing is. It uses the Palestinian struggle and other popular concerns to normalize and advance a U.S. imperialist agenda that is racist to its core, and to normalize it, even on the left, significantly on the left.  It is not only anti Jewish,  it is anti-black, anti-immigrant, anti-Native American, anti-Asian, anti-the global south, anti-Arab, anti- everyone the U.S. foreign and domestic policy has hurt, attacked, stolen from and killed, over the last hundreds of years.  Hiding behind scapegoats and particularly Jewish stereotypes to perpetuate an exceptionalism it only opposes when those who embody it are Jewish or “foreign”. The problem with Israel in this context obviously isn’t settler colonialism, or racism, or imperialism, or genocide. It’s the understanding that it is carried out by and for Jews.

But it isn’t. It’s being carried out by U.S. empire– a reality which is easily eclipsed by focusing on  Israel and the Jews, as if in the fight for human rights, U.S. interests were in any way noble. As if the U.S. had a good name to destroy, had core values that were virtuous, as if the U.S. ruling class had suddenly lost the ability or the will to advocate for itself. The appeal to middle (aka white) Amerika betrays and abandons every other movement for liberation and justice.  And this is a key difference: One tendency joins the Palestinian struggle to global struggles for human rights and the other tendency, to white Amerikan entitlement and empire. This is not a minor difference and in recognizing these fundamental contradictions one is not divisive. The existing division is wide, deep and longstanding.

That members of this second tendency may be Jewish or Black or from a group targeted by white supremacy, doesn’t preclude them from espousing and advocating white supremacy. White supremacy is an ideology, and as such can be advanced by anyone. Jewish and Black white supremacists provided a greater illusion of objectivity to the racist assertions.

To be clear, I am not saying we must work on every issue and for every cause. I am not calling out specialization and specification. Yet surely in deciding to devote our attention to one particular cause, we must not sell out others or sell short the larger issues of social justice and we certainly should not colonize causes for what is basically an imperialist objective.

Those within the second tendency have colonized this movement for their own white supremacist agenda, with no concern for the consequences of their analysis and refusing to consider the racist implications of their assertions. White Amerikans will not bear the brunt of any association of Palestinian liberation with anti-Jewish stereotypes and ideology. Victims of U.S. empire will, targets of white supremacy will, Palestinians and Jews will.  Palestinians most of all.

Zionism is racism not only because of the relationship it establishes regarding Jews and Palestinians, it is racist because it is a settler colonialist enterprise of U.S. and western empire.

Between ideological white supremacy and the neo-libs there is incredible overlap in both ideology and endorsement as well as in underlying core assumptions.  That members of these two groups not only express their entitlement to the support of the anti-imperialist tendency, but that they rely on and align with each other is not insignificant.

And there are a few leftist cheerleaders, or those who would have us think they are leftists, for example, Counterpunch magazine,  James Petras,  Cynthia McKinney and Cindy Sheehan who either advocate a Lobby exclusivist perspective or promote those who do to the exclusion of other points of view. These leftists also tend to promulgate conspiracy theories, many of which are rooted in traditional antisemitism and distract activists from supporting human rights and opposing U.S. empire. The promotion of unsubstantiated conspiracies as fact, makes addressing documentable grievances more difficult, as they get caught in the cacophony of the unbelievable. Conspiracism as a ruling class tool,  abandons documentation and material dialectics and replaces them with unsubstantiated accusations,  magic secret societies and outright lies. When Sheehan granted Mckinney and Atzmon quarter on her soapbox she not only refused to allow any other voice to counter Atzmon and the racism that Palestinians have rejected, she blocked and unfriended those of us who attempted a dialogue and critique in the form of comments.

European Christian Origins of Zionist Ideology

In response to two organizations declining to work with Weir, several of her supporters signed a petition defending her.   https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1oyHWpfZtMvDez5XThztcbRMbgzQqMnCibkVk4Rjh3Hw/viewform  Many of the leading names on the petition were predictable, and include many Holocaust deniers, former U.S. governmental officials and CIA and miltary operatives. If Weir doesn’t appreciate their support she needs to disassociate from them (and in some cases, endorsing them).  Endorsement is more than “guilt by association” it is complicity by affiliation and alliance.

I was especially surprised to see Lawrence Davidson’s name among the signatories. Davidson has done deep and considerable work documenting the European Christian fundamentalist origins of zionist ideology.  and   He documents that European Christians envisioned a Jewish state in historic Palestine centuries before Hertzl’s first pen or the founding Zionist Congress and well before the Irgun or Stern Gang set off their first bombs.  Davidson demonstrates how the European Christian interpretation of the Biblical texts has been used to justify western colonization and imperialism: manifest destiny, conquering the wilderness, Pilgrims, the promised land, a city on the hill.

It wasn’t Jews who named Zion National Park, who named Amerikan cities Hebron and Bethlehem.  zionism is essentially a Christian ideology, not a Jewish one. t is settler colonialism, arising as political zionism in the context of 19th century nationalism and imperialism, then promoted decades later to a desperate people after a genocide of catastrophic proportions. Zionism is simply one element of Amerikan empire. Israel’s conquest and domination of Palestine is one more notch on the bedpost of U.S. enterprise.

Follow the money. Just follow the money. I know, I know, the whole rich Jew thing makes that sound silly, but put that stereotype aside and FOLLOW. THE. MONEY. While it is my considered belief that there is no form of political zionism that is not racist, the extreme example we have today is the zionism of empire (Western and Amerikan), bought and paid for. To assert anything else, is only believable because of stereotypes of the powerful Jew, Jewish dominance and Jewish money. To keep asserting these is to give cover to empire, which in turn gives cover to settler colonialism, capitalism, apartheid and racism on a global scale.

A Call for Accountability

Could the neo-liberals at least dis-associate from Ideological white supremacy and admit that there may be SOME sectors of the Amerikan ruling class that benefit from this arrangement and that at the very least campaign finance and the lobby system are systemically, and not specifically flawed?  Could they argue their position vis a vis U.S. foreign and economic policy within the context of U.S. government? Fundamentally that’s rhetorical and unlikely, because their entire premise is one of exceptionalism, empire and obfuscation.

When Lobby exclusivists claim there are no U.S. interests they are hoping we don’t notice the blood money of criminal “justice” system, security, construction, oil and arms; (where 75% of the ‘aid’ money donated by empire to Israel must be spent on US defense product and the other 25% goes to Israeli companies which are floated on the NASDAQ).

“U.S. interests” is a corrupt and outrageous basis for human rights advocacy.  If we are concerned for Palestinian human rights, it must be unconditional and not dependent on entitlements, not zionist entitlements, and not Amerikan entitlements. IAK and CNI should be honest that within the ruling class they represent a sector that may not benefit from (current levels of)  U.S. support for Israel. But to deny any interest is just columbusing* the whole discussion; “We is smart, we is kind, we is important” and thus can retell and untell any story  to make “us” look righteous. But it’s not righteousness. A society that is founded on empire and conquest is hardly the moral authority nor is its support for a smaller version of itself so surprising. U.S. support for Israel is totally consistent with U.S. policy in general: to support those regimes that support U.S. corporate interests.  And this is the basis for those who make this challenge: IAK’s premise is racist on face, not just because of anti-Jewish rhetoric or stereotyping, though the whole assertion of its premise is believable because of anti-jewish stereotypes of Jewish power, money and control; it is racist because it ignores and denies the fundamental and racist similarities between these two settler colonialist societies, and abhors the smaller while vindicating the larger.  It asserts in its very name that IF AMERIKANS KNEW they would do the right thing. But Amerikans do know. They know about slavery, Jim Crow,  police brutality, racism  reservations, immigration laws, and the growing prison system. They know about cuts to welfare, education and social services. They know about drone warfare and “honoring the troops”.  A huge sign is visible from the 5 freeway in San Diego County at the Pendleton Marine Base that proudly states “No Beach Out of Reach.” Does that not offend most Amerikans driving by, or does it fill them with pride? Who could appreciate such an arrogant and murderous imperialist attitude toward all the beaches in the whole world?  Do Amerikans not know that?  At the very least, the powerful funders and founders of IAK and CNI know. The Christisons and Ray McGovern, CIA operatives for many years, have known.  So on what basis do we believe that IF AMERIKANS KNEW about U.S. support for Israel, that (middle) Amerikans would do the right thing, would act any differently than they have on any other issue of Amerikan racist entitlement? Perhaps in pointing fingers and blaming a fifth column of (Jewish) outsiders, they assuage their guilt and reinforce their white savior syndrome. http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/03/the-white-savior-industrial-complex/254843/  When these organizations lead with “U.S. interests” how much confidence can we have in what “the right thing” might actually be? And if (middle) Amerikans really don’t know, how opportunistic is it to obscure U.S. historic and ongoing hegemony while calling on (middle) Amerikans to take on Israeli iniquity?

If settler colonialism is wrong, it is wrong. If stealing the best land, genocide, displacement, brutality, exploitation and militarism is wrong, if apartheid is wrong and Bantustans (modeled after Native American reservations) and extra-judicial executions, and false imprisonment, and lack of due process is wrong, if racism is wrong, if apartheid and border walls are wrong,  then there is no anti-racist basis for holding up the U.S. as a beacon, an example of magnanimity, as a paragon of justice. A human rights agenda that begins with Amerikan interests and harkens to some mythological and historically dishonest Amerikan goodness is a racist agenda on a racist premise, in its entirety, from the initial conquest, to ongoing policies toward indigenous Native Americans, to the racist criminalization system, wherein more people are currently incarcerated (in what is considered by many to be the new slavery—the privatized prison system) than were ever enslaved under Amerikan chattel slavery.  The focus on “the Jews” or on Israel, or The Lobby,  separate from or in contradiction to its benefactor, serves to obscure and exonerate capitalism and imperial predation. The racist impact and significance is much deeper and broader than antisemitism.

If their appeal to “middle America” is strategic, then they are lying to the “American people”, and appealing to their racist and jingoistic assumptions. If  the intention is truly to assert Amerikan exceptionalism, the basis is racist: It might be colonialist, it might be neocolonialist. Regardless of the motive, as long as the basis is western interests over regional self-determination  then  they are fighting racism with racism, and the result will always be racist.

If Weir and her supporters aren’t racist, then they as must we all, need to challenge entitlement, comfort, and the belief in their de facto goodness and rightness:  as white people, as Amerikans. If they expect Israel to be held accountable for systemic racism, then so too must Amerika.  For those who won’t, your double standards are showing, and yes, the words for that are entitlement, racism and supremacy.
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*Lexicon:

*Amerikan: I use this spelling to distinguishes between the U.S. and the American continent which consist of several nations and peoples. The U.S. is a settler colonialist entity, founded on a religious based doctrine of conquest and manifest destiny, contingent on massive and ongoing genocide, slavery and exploitation.

*Columbusing:  Staking claim to land and territory and then changing the narrative so that you’re a hero.

*Antisemitism: Racism against Jews, including Jewish magic, power, undue influence and wealth, Jews as outsiders, pariars. Antisemitism is an important (and ideologically central) aspect to ideological white supremacy and serves to distract the population at large from the problems of capitalism (wealth, undue influence, power) and blames those problems on the Jews.   Joseph Massad explains in detail. 

*Zionism: While the Second tendency (as described in this article) often define zionism along ethnic terms, or as anyone who calls out antisemitism, it actually refers to the belief in a specifically Jewish state, regardless of the ethnicity of the person who provides that support.

by Julia Wallace

-Dedicated to those who resist slavery: chattle, wage and prison

On this day of slavery-this Fourth of July-
Fredrick Douglass’ words challenge current lies.

Today we aren’t slaves but we still aren’t free.
Oppression still remains daily reality.

Wage slaves are slaves-we pay for food and shacks.
Frederick Douglass demanded “Freedom” from a system anti-Black

And Fredrick Douglass’ words ring truer now.
3 million locked up, Black and Brown then how…

How is a country “the land of the free”
with the most people in prison?  Its fallacy!!

The Civil War ended-slaves freed themselves-many.
Now are shackled behind bars and paid mere pennies

And jingoists yell, “If you don’t like it leave!
Go somewhere else!!” but there is no reprieve.

This country attacks all those who rebel.
Obey Uncle Sam or he’ll bomb you to hell.

The people are rising world round every day.
Keep doing that here. I won’t go away.

I will stay and fight your farce of July.
Your phony jubilation – Rotten apple pies.

Fight from inside the belly of the beast.
Disrupt the party. Spoil the feast.

The Government sings “It’s a home of the brave”!!!
A home for capitalists-a trap for wage slaves.

A home for bigots feeling safe in their system.
A home for the bullies and those who defend them.

For the oppressed and workers we are never at home.
Attacked by police, spied on by drones

Our wages are small, rent is too high.
There is no independence on the Fourth of July.

The brave have no home, no country or flag.
So keep your red, white and blue, that imperialist rag.

Celebrate the heroes who rebelled before us.
Like Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass.

Abandon the flag of stripes and stars
the butchers apron- Confederate bars. 

For the international struggle workers have no borders.
Take down the bosses, the pigs and the hoarders.

This Fourth of July read Fredrick’s word.
Freedom will be coming-act like ya heard.

But it won’t be under the flag of might.
Take the Amerikkkan flag and spark the fight.

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Julia Wallace is a social justice activist, writer, grassroots organizer in Los Angeles where she works at revolution and is  a contributor to the Left Voice news.

By Bijan Bahmani

Information for those applying for covered California who have the old green card aka permanent resident cards that don’t have an expiration date and card number (light pink color card that only has an alien number).
Covered Ca has two required boxes when filing that require a card number and expiration date. Covered CA chat answered that the following place holders should be used.
Card number: 2229999999999
Expiration date: 12/31/9999

 Keywords:  obamacare health care, card number, green card, immigration, immigrant, california care, I-551, expiration date, card number (or “without card number” and “without expiration date”), Permanent resident card, resident alien card,  required fields, required box, boxes, required boxes /Covered CA, Covered California, covered california, covered ca. covered CA, 
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