This speech was so powerful I felt the need to post it.
Rest in peace to our champion.
God bless this Rabbi.
This speech was so powerful I felt the need to post it.
Rest in peace to our champion.
God bless this Rabbi.
There are many remnants, some visible others more underlying, of the age of colonialism.
Since the collapse of the USSR, foreign exploitation has taken new forms, and so too has the resistance against it.
It has been argued that the US foreign policy in the ME has been partial in the favor of Israel – the last colony.
Some argue for a two-state solution, but this ignores Israel’s purpose, which isn’t a haven for Jews after WWII, but rather, an economic outlet and political outpost for the West – namely the US (Jews were safer in the ME before Israel was established).
I appreciate those who are liberal in their approach, but idealism has died in Israel, and the right has won. Expansion is the agenda – I argue it always has been.
Is this not why Palestine is continually disappearing?
Since the collapse of the USSR, resistance to Western (US) imperialism has been fragmented, and furthermore, Western tactics have grown more complex, intricate and psychological.
Russia and China’s resurgence and assertiveness in my view is a sign of balancing in the modern international arena. Ironically, anarchist movements have created opportunities for cooperation between the West and the periphery.
America’s history hasn’t always been expansive. This changed when the rest of the world’s democracies rejected the tradition of containment, and sought arbitrary, unjust colonialism. Since the late 19th century, the US has been dragged into endless battles to shore up its allies. The last remnant of this tradition is Israel, which has convinced the US to violently engage all political entities showing resistance to Zionism.
Until this continuation of colonialism ends, Islamism will continue, Russia will become more assertive, and the loose organization of anti-colonial states, be it in rhetoric or practice, will grow closer, all of which are challenges to US imperial alliances and initiatives as well as global security.
Is the US a benign hegemony or a self-righteous imperialist? I like to believe the former. I think that the culture of domination exists in America, and continues to try to destabilize and stump social, economic or political progress in the US. Ideological fanatics operating on the fringes of the political spectrum serve to the detriment of democracy and the future of US prosperity. Fanatics like this include the more overt, like Donald Trump, but also the more elusive, like former president George W. Bush. These individuals have a “vision” for society that transcends practicality and morality. The invasion of Iraq was a fantastical mission with no objective based on a false premises, resulting in the loss of almost half a million Iraqi lives and 4,491 American lives. This tradition, has poisoned American society and its foreign policy. Democracy is dying in America, and trying to export it where it isn’t welcome is consequential. Israel is the remaining legacy of this neoconservative ritual, in the Middle East. Before we can peace and stability, the US must contain itself, perhaps in the same manner it sought to contain the vanity of the USSR.
Israel is not a democracy by definition of human rights and equality – and democracy does not guarantee justice. States are unitary actors. Mixed economy; mixed theory.
Dear brothers and sisters of the Jewish faith, my name is Danny Krikorian and I am a Syrian-Armenian American.
My ancestors are originally from Palestine and Armenia. My roots are deep in Jerusalem.
I am writing you because we have reached a peak in levels of hatred in the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict, and I believe the most crucial force in combatting this hate could be you. Why?
First and foremost, I must add that I have a Christian father and a Muslim mother. As a Syrian with this religious diversity, I was given freedom as a thinker to discover the world on my own. For this I am ever so grateful.
Eventually I came across Jewish literature. I was blown away.
To me, Judaism is genius and has produced geniuses.
From Einstein to Freud, Arendt to Woody Allen, Larry David to Seinfeld; the list is endless.
But what I have been encountering is startling. The “liberal” tradition of Judaism has been challenged, especially in the twentieth century, by this paranoid sense, spurned by WWII & the Holocaust. Ever since Israel was created, in the words of prominent Jewish scholar Avi Schleim, the Jews have experienced the greatest threats to their existence; an unprecedented instability. The irony – Israel was created as a form of refuge, but has essentially intensified conflict. Fanatical right-wing ideology has almost replaced the Jewish left. I think this is partly due to one major reality…liberalism and Israel are incompatible.
You see at one point a Kingdom of Israel was fathomable, at a time where all civilizations were dominated by kings, emperors, gods and pharaohs. But in today’s world, where principles of human rights, democracy and self-determination have become the bedrock of modern society, these Israeli-ideals seem out of place.
Not to mention, they are also inconsistent with the Jewish creed. What do I mean? Well, according to Jewish theology the three oaths commanded by God that the Jews remain loyal to their nation-states after the destruction of the second temple. God also forbade the recreation of Israel.
So while in ancient time the menace against God was polytheism; in the modern world, the are now two menaces against God (socially-liberal monotheism) which are: “disbelief” (polytheism, paganism, atheism, fanaticism) & “Zionism”. In fact, the two are inseparable. Zionism has replaced liberal Judaism, and has essentially made Jews feel like they do not belong to the religion without loyalty to the modern Israeli state. This has politicized Judaism, and been the premise for all military measures taken against the Arab people. Arab independence movements that followed the Ottoman collapse brought hopes of a new opportunity for prosperity in the Arab world. This would be interrupted by the colonial establishment of Israel in the heart of the Middle East.
This is an especially useful tactic, but now you’ve got the modern Israeli state echoing what it believes to be the voice of God; the God of the Israelites.
As a liberal monotheist, I am in favor of modernized political systems that respect all religions. In my home country, Syria, this tradition is known as “secularism”. The word has a different meaning here in the West, where it is perceived as the force against religion.
I believe that ideologies like Zionism, Christian Evangelism, and Islamic Wahhabism, to be frank, are all similar in orientation. They all share the common thread of hate and violence, and all have transformed their positions of believing in God into being the voices of God on earth. This is dangerous and threatening, to the Middle East, as much as it is to the liberal traditions of the West. This is because the West, namely America, has entangled itself in this conflict between Zionism and Judaism, Israelis and Palestinians.
The important thing to keep note of is the difference between portrayals of reality, and what could be reality.
I hope that be expressing my sentiments here, that the Jewish people can begin to understand, and spread the message that Judaism and Israel are not mutually exclusive, and that the human rights of Palestinians must be spoken of before any mention of a religious state.
Social liberalism, economic prosperity and freedom of expression are not compatible with the principle of zionism. Let us stop exporting our ideologies abroad. The Middle East was safer for Jews before the establishment of Israel. All Middle Eastern tyrants were born after this event. The Middle East is a religious holy land. Exporting democracy to that region is ignorant of its culture. Furthermore, exporting zionism is ignorant of its religious diversity and of religious history, be it Jewish, Christian or Islamic.
We can however preserve American democracy and western liberalism by rejecting the fascist ideals of Christian Evangelism and Zionism which are so intertwined, and have dominated the conservative Republican Party.
Furthermore, we can begin to address our own problems here in America, such as Islamophobia, police brutality, racism and the vast disparity in income between rich-and-poor.
The hypocrisy would be appalling were it not so functional: the biggest impediment to both the reform of Islam and peace in the Middle East that Americans have the ability to remove is our support for a militant Jewish ideology that few Arabs and Muslims have ever accepted.
The 9/11 Commission concluded that US policy in Palestine was part of the reason for the attacks, but that analysis was whittled down to a few sentences– even as the head of the commission said that the Iraq war was launched to protect Israel. (And Condi Rice said the war would provide “strategic relief” to Israel and Colin Powell said it was dreamed up by the Zionist thinktank the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs).
And this blog– for which the Iraq war was the core issue– began after my brother told me that he had demonstrated against the Vietnam War but his Jewish newspaper said this war might be good for Israel; and this blog got pushed out the door at the New York Observer, then the Nation Institute.
Bernie Sanders and I both opposed the Iraq war. Most American Jews opposed that war. But Sanders’s assertion that there is a war for the soul of Islam is hollow, cheap and condescending so long as he and the mainstream Jewish community continue to suppress the war for the soul of Judaism.
That war is happening all around us in the margins; but the west will not be able to rid the earth of ISIS and the radical Islamism that we are told is not Islam (believe me, I can’t wait for their demise) till we conduct a similar scathing inventory of Jewish political beliefs.
Yesterday James North and I wrote here that we’re not monocausal; even if there was justice in Palestine it would not end Islamist violence. I stand by that point. But the ultimate question is the one Bernie Sanders raised last night, What can we do to end the religious element of the conflicts in the Middle East? And the answer is that Jews must end their support for Zionism, which has turned out to be religious, fascistic and militant, and is fueling rage across the Middle East and further.
How long can Jews not have this conversation? Hannah Arendt wrote in 1944 that opposition to Zionism drew on great understandings: the “realization of the fatal, utopian hyperbole of the demand for a Jewish commonwealth and a rejection of the idea of making all Jewish politics in Palestine dependent on the protection of great powers.”
It was an American problem then and it’s an American problem now. We have set aside our own secular values when it comes to the Middle East. We should stop lecturing Muslims about their backward ideas till we reckon with our own.
– See more at: Mondoweiss
If this doesn’t speak to Sander’s blind populism or Hillary’s overt power hunger then I don’t know what does!
America is at a real turning point in its political culture.
Many ideologies are on the table.
Where are the minorities?
I like the idea that Democrats are more egalitarian than Republicans, but is Bernie’s socialism really the solution? America’s problem isn’t just economic. It is a cultural ailment; police brutality, mass-incarceration, a terribly hawkish foreign policy dominated by foreign interest-lobbies.
Bernie is super appealing. That’s why I think Larry David fit this character so well. I am not anti-Bernie Sanders, but I am yet to be pro-anybody that isn’t critical on particular issues.
In the realm of domestic politics, we need people who aren’t afraid to point out inconsistencies.
In foreign politics; we need someone who isn’t an Israeli lapdog.
Obama has given Israel the cold shoulder; but he has also given them a blanket to stay warm.
I prefer his strategy over any of the current contenders.
Republicans have nothing to offer but war, as usual.
Imagine an Arab-American president, one that understands the struggles of the minorities inside America, but isn’t all too detached from America’s foreign policy shortcomings. Let’s be frank; America’s domestic politics is completely dependent and a direct reflection of its foreign policies. Why do you think American politicians are less encouraged to bring issues of foreign policy to the attention of the American people? Because Americans would hate to associate their “freedom-loving-democracy” with carnage and evil abroad.
We need leaders who are realists; who are not daunted by America’s history.
Hip-Hop is always vilified. Guns, crime, jewelry, flamboyance, extreme rhetoric, vulgarity.
Malcolm X once said that governments often oppress people and then chastise them when they express their discontent or attempt a revolution.
It is always easy to rationalize hate of the oppressed, especially for the privileged classes who don’t understand what it means to have nothing, to be hated, and to have their voice suppressed.
The culture of the caucasian community likes to apply harsh & strict values on society, meanwhile, their societal representatives are often caught in scandals in which they are indulging in hypocritical activities.
These ‘strict values’ emanate from a sort of, Disney-esque fairy tale conceptualization of reality, in which man is an innocent child being ‘corrupted’ by cultures like hip-hop. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the Lion King. My point is not to criticize Disney, but on the contrary, the misconstruing of such fairy-tale enterprises which often establish, engrain & enforce social constructs.
The irony is that the reality is quite the opposite.
Hip-Hop was born out of the corruption of social representatives, from politics to big business. Drawing influence from the ideologies of fanaticism, white supremacy & the Jim Crow culture became a form of institutionalized disenfranchisement which perpetuates almost permanently a state of destitute poverty.
Meanwhile the “white man”, the “Donald Sterlings” of America do whatever it takes behind closed doors to secure their fortunes, which are ironically usually made off the backs of non-whites.
The system of disenfranchisement and racism in America is closely linked to its view of the rest of the world. The late Edward Said, a prominent Palestinian intellectual, labeled this self-righteous dogma of the ‘white man’ as Orientalism, which he argued, revealed a long-standing tradition of Western Civilization’s oversimplification of Eastern (or non-Western) culture. its tools of invasion and oppression abroad, from the Middle East, to Africa, to South America, to the Far East. This ideological bigotry formed much of the cultural foundations of the Occident, or the West, which was essentially used as a justification of the enslavement and exploitation of the Orient. It was responsible for the trans-atlantic slave trade, and the modern system of disenfranchisement of African-Americans in the US.
That is why perhaps the majority of the anti-supremacist collective uprisings which arose in the 19th and 20th centuries occurred in South America, Asia, the Middle East & Africa. And all the while the propaganda and military systems have been at work in the West. Fox News is our Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi’s propaganda artist.
In their collaborative album, Distant Relatives, legendary MC Nas & Reggae godson Damien Marley express these grievances thoroughly. The following is one of the tracks off the album, “Road to Zion”, with undertones that capture the the trials of modern man, the modern Black man, in a turbulent world.
Let it also be known that just like any genre of music or medium of art can be exploited for the sake of political interests, so too can hip-hop. Since the deaths of giants B.I.G. & Pac, hip-hop’s mainstream has been left largely devoid of even the most remote references to oppression & black consciousness. Among the leaders of movement in today’s America are Kanye West & Jay-Z, whose albums never fall short of addressing personal & social grievances.
As an Arab-American, I would like to express that the modern struggle for freedom is shared by most minorities. I once heard a prominent figure within the African-American community suggest, “the Muslim is the new (black man)”. With Islamophobia and anti-Arab sentiment at its peak, not to mention the deprivation of the Palestinians at its worst condition, it is more than necessary for me to underline the importance of the role played by the cultures of the Middle East in contributing to hip-hop & the initiative for genuine art & freedom. Thanks to OkayPlayer, I came across Here is a track by another legendary MC, none other than Method Man of the Wu, titled P.L.O. Style, which surfaced at a time when the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict reached heights of unprecedented contention.
Republicans are the biggest socialists.
They claim to be self-reliant but in fact, it seems to me that if you are a republican you get a lot of social perks.
During my tenure at the office of Senator Marco Rubio, I got 25 calls a day from conservative constituents complaining about Obama’s socialism while simultaneously demanding medicare and medicaid expediency.
A true proponent of free market enterprise and democracy does not need the financial perks that come with organized religion and collective security.
Republicanism is the modern socialism and religion is their currency, welfare is their security. I feel like the majority of democrats are ironically self-reliant, established and skilled contributors to the economy. Republicans are looking for help from the government – they feel entitled because of their patriotism.
Republican nationalism, and the need for social acceptance by republican officials who appeal to the fanatical emotions of the ordinary man, is quite reminiscent of Hitlerian politics. The nationalist who hated immigrants, racial diversity, and who relied on state-sponsored welfare for sustenance had nothing to offer the world, and so he retreated to power-hunger and political vanity. It reminds me of George Bush.
American Republicanism, British Imperialism, German Nazism, Israeli Zionism – these are all forms of collective religion used for sustainment, power and the theft of individual freedom, secularism and sovereignty.
All of these systems rely on war and slavery, propaganda and state-perks for sustenance. And yet, Republicans have the audacity to claim self-reliance.
The need for power stems from the individuals desire for expression – but his lack of humility allows for the infiltration of pride, which then diverts the attention from the desire for expression to the desire for suppressing the expression of others. It is a sense of entitlement; bigotry, really.
This has been the cause of crime and misery throughout the history of the world up until today.
At the heart of all angry ideologies is the sense of exclusive domain: Hitler had no problem with the jews: he had a problem with Jews who protested against state-fascism – most of whom were likely dark skinned. Why else would the Nazi party facilitate the exodus of ‘some’ Jews to the land of Palestine under the banner of Zionism and post-holocaust sympathy. What better way to control the world’s vast resources, especially those present in the Middle East, such as oil.
But the greatest resource is the human mind, from which tyrants have prospered a fortune. These are the tactics of imperialists and dogmatists, who seek to spread a hypocritical ideology that relies not on human innovation, skill and discipline but rather a blind anger and a dependence on the services of other human beings.
Bill Maher is a closet republican. The article below elaborates.
Political comedian Bill Maher got into a heated back and forth Friday with Ben Affleck over radical Islam, with the actor saying comments Maher made about the religion were “gross and racist.”
On HBO’s “Real Time,” Maher said he and author Sam Harris, who both identify as atheists, had been trying to make the case “that liberals need to stand up for liberal principles. This is what I said on last week’s show, obviously I got a lot of hate for it.”
Maher pointed to such principles as freedom of religion and speech as well as equality for women, minorities and homosexuals.
“These are liberal principles that liberals applaud for but then when you say in the Muslim world, this is what’s lacking, then they get upset,” Maher said.
Harris added that, “I would argue the liberals have failed us. The crucial point of confusion is that we have been sold this meme of Islamophobia where every criticism of the doctrine of Islam gets conflated with bigotry towards Muslims as people. That is intellectually ridiculous.”
Affleck interjected, “So you’re saying that Islamophobia is not a real thing.”
“I’m not denying that some people are bigoted against Muslims as a people and that’s a problem,” Harris replied.
“That’s big of you,” Affleck shot back.
Maher asked Affleck, “But why are you so hostile about this?”
“It’s gross, it’s racist,” the actor said. “It’s like saying you’re a shifty Jew.”
Maher said Affleck wasn’t listening to the argument he and Harris were making.
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, also appearing on the panel, said that tolerance is also basic principle of liberalism, to which Maher replied, “but not for intolerance.”
“The picture you’re painting is to some extent true,” Kristol said, “but it’s hugely incomplete.”
Kristof added that while “plenty of fanatics and jihadists are Muslim,” there are many who are standing up to them as well.
While Kristof said the divide is between fundamentalists and moderates in any faith, Harris replied, “We’re misled to think the fundamentalists are the fringe.”
Former RNC chairman Michael Steele also agreed that there are people who are not subscribing to radical Islam within the religion, but they don’t receive the same coverage. Maher argued it’s because people are scared.
The panelists continued to argue over each other, before Maher eventually turned the subject to ISIL and the United States’ involvement in the region.
Affleck acknowledged radical groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and jihadists.
“The question is the degree to which you are willing to say, because I’ve witnessed this behavior — which we all object to — on the part these people, I’m willing to flatly condemn those of you I don’t know and never met,” Affleck said.