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Castro: Qaeda helps US advance agenda (www.presstv.ir)

Castro making an impassioned speech

Former Cuban president Fidel Castro says al-Qaeda terrorists have been engineered in order to advance the Bush administration’s agenda.

In an essay published on Sunday, Castro said the terrorist group “was born from the empire’s own entrails”, using the term “empire” to refer to the United States.

After the Sept. 11 attacks, the Bush administration vowed to capture al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who has reportedly taken responsibility for the deadly attacks on US soils.

“[Al-Qaeda] is a typical example of an enemy that the hegemonic power dangles in a place of its choosing where it needs to justify its actions, as it has done throughout its history, fabricating enemies and attacks destined to strengthen its plans of domination,” the former Cuban leader argued.

According to Castro, the American public has been mislead by the US government about the real extent of the terrorist attacks in 2001. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has also suggested that Washington could have been somehow involved in the planning of the attacks.

In the aftermath of the attacks, the White House launched the ‘War on Terror’ in a bid to disband al-Qaeda. While many civilians have been killed since the 2001 invasions of Afghanistan, followed by the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the US has failed to achieve its objectives in the region.

A Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) program called “Operation Cyclone” is reportedly responsible for the creation of the terrorist group, when the CIA funded native Afghan militants in the conflict with the Soviet Union.

The al-Qaeda leader is reportedly planning a new terror attack against the US as President-elect Barack Obama takes office from the incumbent president, George W. Bush.

Earlier this month, a source close to the group claimed that Bin Laden is supervising preparations for another attack which will be far greater than those of 9/11.

US Vice President-elect Joe Biden had warned in October that Obama would face an international crisis early in his presidency.

November 24, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bolivarian government retains majority of provisional governments (www.granma.cu)

http://theinput.net/politics/

CARACAS, November 24.— The Bolivarian government won the majority of provincial governments disputed in Sunday’s elections, but the opposition took the capital district and another three states. The elections took place in a peaceful atmosphere and with an unprecedented turnout, given that 65.45% of the electorate went to the polls.

The candidates from the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) will govern the states of Yaracuy, Delta Amacuro, Vargas, Apure, Aragua, Barinas, Bolívar, Cojedes, Falcón, Guárico, Lara, Mérida, Monagas, Portuguesa, Trujillo, Sucre, Anzoátegui, and the municipality of Libertador in Caracas.

However, the capital district will be in the hands of the right wing, as will the provincial governments of Zulia, Miranda and Nueva Esparta. According to information provided by Tibisay Lucena, by the end of the day, the result of the vote in the states of Carabobo and Táchira had still not been decided and so the official results have yet to be announced.

The opposition had declared that it expected to win no less than 14 provincial governments, a figure it reduced during the electoral campaign. Alberto Müller, vice president of the PSUV, praised the fact that party of the Bolivarian Revolution would continue to dominate the national geopolitical map, in the majority of cases with a strong lead over its rivals.

November 24, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Israeli police head-butting Palestinians (www.presstv.ir)

A human rights group has released a video showing an Israeli policeman head-butting a Palestinian woman during the demolition of a house.

The footage released by B’Tselem on Monday shows the helmeted policeman head-butting the woman during the demolition of her operation in Silwan, east Jerusalem (al-Quds) on November 5.

Seconds later, the policeman could be seen head-butting another resident of the house.

“During the eviction of its residents, a helmeted policeman head butted two of the residents,” B’Tselem said in a statement accompanying the video.

“What happened was filmed by a B’Tselem member. The footage was handed to the military police that have opened an inquiry but B’Tselem has yet to be notified of its findings,” the human rights watchdog added.

Earlier in July, B’Tselem released another video showing an Israeli soldier shooting at a 27-year-old handcuffed and blindfolded Palestinian in the West Bank village of Nilin.

November 24, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Compelling evidence to suggest that the Washington Conspiracy Theory for 9/11 is false.

November 22, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

An Analysis of a Childless Double Income Family Through a Marxist Theoretical Framework

An Analysis of a Childless Double Income Family Through a Marxist Theoretical Framework

 

                                       Joshua Blakeney

        The noun “family” when deciphered within the context of contemporary Canadian society becomes an ambiguous platitude unattributable to prototypical dwelling arrangements or to specific biological relationships. When conceptualizing various “family” scenarios, sociologists must attempt to encompass holistically, the complex nuances of each family type. A childless, heterosexual couple will be influenced by esoteric experiences and unique opportunities when compared to alternative family types. Indeed the “double income, no children” family type when analysed through a Marxist paradigm evokes many interesting narratives which can enhance our understanding of “the family” within capitalist societies such as Canada. In this study the family in question will be assumed to be white collar workers who work in the private sector. Studying the couple through a Marxist lens will allow for a better understanding of the nature of the increasingly pernicious and unfettered capitalist system which afflicts all aspects of Canadian society. Moreover the role of the family as an economic unit of survival will need to be addressed due to the potential difficulties, as well as the increased opportunities, afforded to those whom do not have children. The prescribed role of children in buttressing the family economy and providing a new generation of wage earners to supplement parents through retirement will have to be explored in order to comprehend the potential economic vacuum a childless couple could encounter upon retirement. Equally conciliatory is the notion of children, in an increasingly exclusive society, becoming a “luxury” which many working class families will often find “too expensive”, to produce.

It is evidently important to begin by adumbrating a definition of “family” in order to summarise and compress the vast cornucopia which constitutes the modern family in Canada. Family as defined by Mandel et al is: “a social ideal, generally referring to a unit of economic co-operation, typically thought to include only those related by blood, but revised by feminists to include those forming an economically co-operative, residential unit bound by feelings of common ties and strong emotions” (Mandel et al, 2007). This succinct and ambiguous definition of the family necessarily allows much room for interpretation. Indeed the definition could have included pets or other sources of comfort as aspects of the “family”. The inclusion of the terms: “social ideal” and “economically co-operative” are of interest as they imply that the family is the product of society, and the economy both of which are prominent totems of Marxist discourse. Hence when analysing a childless couple whose occupations are in the private sector (i.e. they are both wage-labourers within the realm of capital and commerce), the structures which circumscribe the lives of the couple invoke a critical analysis. The definition would also have been improved by contemplating individual risk within the confines of the family. In particular the family member’s ability to take risks knowing that the other members of the family would be able to offer a safety net in times of hardship. Capitalism is predicated on individuals taking risks, whether in business, consumerism or in education; all the market principles require individual risk to proliferate. Therefore the ideology of the welfare state and of the family should be forged synonymously as an antidote to the vulnerability of the individual in a capitalist society. The evident truism that upward mobility in a capitalist society is always suffused with the possibility of downward mobility, twinned with the tendentiousness of wage-labourers on the market, renders the family as a vital source of sustenance in the face of prohibitive economic circumstances and overt class hegemony. Therefore this study hopes to critique the structures of capitalist society in order to further understand the increased mobility as well as the predicaments that are indicative to childless couples in Canada.

  Marxian sociologists take interest in the class struggles undertaken for the survival of humanity within a class-based, capitalist economic system that places onus upon the individual rather than the collective whole, thus separating the family and production in the economy. As Zaretsky opines: “As the rise of industrial capitalism progressively removed goods production from the home, men and women came to see the family as a separate sphere of life divorced from the larger society” (1972, 78). The dynamics of a “double-income no children” family within Canadian society would therefore be markedly different from other family types and from other societies. An influential text on the role of the family in capitalist society is The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State by Frederick Engels. In this inspirational tract Engels attempts to situate the family, and the oppression of women, in relation to the historical development of production. Engles adduces that personal oppression within the family results from its place within a mode of production based upon the concept of private property along with capitalism’s rapacious class antagonism. Engles, writing in the nineteenth century, was convinced that proletarian family life was being obliterated by the rise of capital. This extrapolation by Engles, in light of the rise of twentieth-century corporate capitalism, which conceived and incubated the starker class divisions which have ensued, offers important vistas for our understanding of why many couple’s would choose to refrain from indulging in children in exchange for increased employment prospects.

Currently most women are fettered by capitalism’s latent patriarchal bias. Engles referred to the rise of capitalism in this regard as: “the world historic defeat of the female sex” based on the notion of property ownership: “the man seized the reins in the house also, the woman was degraded, enthralled, the slave of man’s lust, a mere instrument for breeding children. . .the wife became the first domestic servant pushed out of participation in social production” (1884, 225-240). Little has changed contemporarily within the confines of the modern corporation which is the current refuge of patriarchal and class hegemony. In order to “market” themselves more attractively to (predominantly male) employers and other (predominantly male) members of the ruling class, many women are forced to choose between a career, or taking time out to produce and nurture new human beings. Capitalists often propagate the notion that: “time is money” and that profits are optimum. With this philosophy in mind, when considering the potential upward mobility of a would be mother – who requires maternity leave, child care, and who will incur increased stresses from the unpaid labour which is implicit to producing and nurturing new humans – contrasted against the childless female, undeniably the former will be less attractive than the autonomous latter to the self interested employer. Ranson adduces: “Socio-economic class and the concomitant level of access to material and cultural resources are major influences on parenting” (2007, 76). Thus capitalism’s vicissitudes have mutated humanity’s progression to a nefarious extreme, where even the most basic prerequisite of human existence, namely the ability to procreate, has now become a luxury. Women therefore are increasingly postponing childbirth apprehensively, lest it muster the wroth or hinder the profits of the ruling class who enjoy minority privileges over the majority of working people in Canada. As Engles noted about the implicit contradiction within capitalist society as early as 1884: “According to the materialistic conception, the determining factor in history is, in the last resort, the production and reproduction of immediate life. But this itself is a twofold character. On the one hand, the production of the means of subsistence. . .on the other, the production of human beings themselves, the propagation of the species. . .Social institutions. . .are conditioned by both kinds of production: by the stage of development of labour, on the one hand, and of the family, on the other” (1884, 170-171).   

Hence the prerequisite to upward mobility for white-collar female workers, in order to appeal to their predominantly male oppressors, is to sacrifice the ultimate gift possessed by all human beings, namely parenthood. Capitalism has therefore morphed the family into a product for speculation and internal cost cutting. As Marx adduced in The Communist Manifesto: “The bourgeoisie had torn away from the family its sentimental veil and has reduced the family relation to a mere money relation” (1848, 46).  The transcendentalism of the ruling class has imbued the working people of Canada with a corporate style competitiveness which has led to utilitarianism overruling the collective needs of humanity. In this light a Marxian sociologist can question what factors could dissuade the childless couple from having children.

 As is evident from Engles’ thoughts, the “production of the means of subsistence” and “the production of human beings themselves” are two closely interwoven, often competing, variables. But the nature of contemporary capitalist society and nineteenth century society differs slightly in that the nineteenth century oppression of women was unashamed and deemed unequivocal. Contrastingly contemporary Canadian society upholds a façade of women’s total emancipation premised on the extension of certain olive branches by the forces of patriarchy in the ruling class (e.g. universal suffrage, and a few token employment rights) to the beleaguered opposite sex. One important facet to this illusion needs to be unmasked to fully understand the dynamics of employment and the plight of female wage-labourers contemporarily. Canada’s secondary industry is minimal when compared with the Third World (where the relations of production are grotesquely similar to those observed by Marx and Engles in nineteenth century Europe) and thus a profusion of part-time work and pink collar jobs have become the orchestrated domain of many Canadian women. When viewing these truisms through the “double income, no children” family’s perspective, in which both the woman and the man attempt uphold carers, the “all or nothing” career choice imposed upon females in Canada is illuminated. If this couple had decided to have children then they would have found it more difficult to both pursue careers which compounds the evidence already emblazoned. What is axiomatic is that women’s reproductive labour is not appreciated or compensated for by the state. Many women have to divorce themselves from their maternal aspirations in order to economically emancipate themselves. Crittenden asserts: “the entire society benefits from well-raised children, without sharing more than a fraction of the costs of producing them. And that free ride on female labour is enforced by every major institution, starting with the workplace” (2007, 146).

It becomes almost surreal when one comprehends the irrationality of the orchestrated status quo. Those who need wealth and upward mobility the most, notably families with children whom have reproduced and benefitted Canada’s ageing population, are the exact people who the ruling class bequeath wealth to the least. Thus “double income no children” families who have far less unpaid labour to contend with and have far more productive capacity in the public sphere, are those whom Canadian capitalism rewards most lucratively amongst the non-bourgeois classes. Indeed the class based status quo, which Engles enunciated in 1884 is still thriving in the shape of corporate Canada. With the dismantling of the state as a major characteristic of neo-liberal doctrine, and with capitalist fundamentalists imposing “structural adjustments” upon the bereft citizens of Canada, people are left at the behest of the market and ipso facto the ruling class who pull it’s strings. These unelected and rapacious plutocrats have defenestrated many of the progressive policies of the twentieth century, and in doing so they have recalibrated the power relations within Canadian families. With the decline of the welfare-state as a social safety net, the family becomes, as when Engles was writing, an important sanctuary for working people as a buffer between poverty, privation and basic sustenance. Therefore in light of the plutocracy’s utter disregard for the inequality which they foster, a “double income no children” family appears highly vulnerable, in the event that they were to experience downward mobility of any kind.       

There are also many benefits to producing children, namely that the new generation will have their own productive capacity which could diffuse the tendentious situation of their ageing parents, through the selling of their own labour. Thus twenty-first century capitalism in Canada has regressed society to the stage where, state programs such as pensions, retirement ages, and employment rights are all in the control of the unelected oligarchy and with this so are the life expectancies of the working classes whom they exploit for profit. Were the “double income no children couple” to fall victim to the fluctuating market and find themselves cast into redundancy, the state with its fawning role as an organ of the ruling class, would care little about the plight of the citizens in question. The couple’s status as childless, and without the new generation of wage-earners to provide the wherewithal for retirement, could well find themselves experiencing rapid downward mobility and potentially a shortening of their lives through stress and a prolonged work life.

 It becomes evident when analysing contemporary Canadian society, that the depoliticising and dismantling of government has elevated the importance of the family to unfathomable heights. With the shift in the commanding heights of the economy from state control into the market, the citizens of Canada are being compelled into a Darwinian struggle for survival and are being forced to make utilitarian decisions, not based on the humanity’s betterment, but rather on their own individual self interests. It is within this context that a “double income no children” family must be understood. One attractive way for working people to break their shackles is to refrain from one of the most costly commodities: “children”. Thus twenty-first century capitalism, having commodified almost every nuance of the globe has created an environment where citizens have to choose between upward mobility and procreation. Many Canadians, particularly women, often understandably abrogate the former in favour of the latter in the hope of enhancing their own personal longevity and to fend of the threat of privation.

   

                                                 Bibliography

Cheal, David (2007). Canadian Families Today. New York: Oxford University Press.

Engles, Frederik. (1972).The Origin of the Family, Private  Property and The State. New York: International Publishers.

Marx, Karl (1998). The Communist Manifesto. London: Verso Press.

Olson, David. (1983). Families: What Makes Them Work. London: Sage Publications.

Zaretsky, Eli. (1973). Capitalism, The Family, And Personal Life. Toronto: Fitzhenry and Whiteside Ltd.

 

  

 

 

November 22, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Galloway sums up western hypocrisy in parliament!

November 17, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How will Obama be different?

p14471

November 17, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Get the ICAHD -18,000 Homes Campaign list signup widget and many other great free widgets at Widgetbox!

November 17, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Critical Investigation into the Role of the British Government in Creating Conditions Conducive to the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine

A Critical Investigation into the Role of the British Government in Creating Conditions Conducive to the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine

 

Joshua Blakeney  

 

 The ethnic cleansing of Palestine which took place from December 1947 to January 1949 is a historic tragedy of epic proportions often too easily omitted from contemporary discourse. This monograph does not address the specific events which took place during this period. Rather it is an attempt to elucidate the role of the British government in creating conditions which were conciliatory with the Zionist agenda, starting when the British statesman Arthur Balfour in 1917 authored the Palestinian tragedy, promising on behalf of one people (the British), to a second people (the Zionists), the land of a third people (the Palestinians). The author contends that the actions of the British government were in violation of international law as stipulated in the Covenant of The League of Nations, beyond the conditions of their mandate, and against ratified Anglo-Arab treaties, all of which had promised the Palestinians their human right of self-determination and national sovereignty. The dubious motives and justifications enunciated and the double standards employed by the British Government are illuminated in the following account. The overarching thesis advanced contends that were it not for the nefarious and subversive role played by the British Imperial Government whilst they had a mandate over Palestine, the Zionist colonization and the expulsion of the Arab majority could not and would not have occurred. The monograph has been orchestrated with the intention of providing an apposite historical background to the plight of the Palestinian people who for sixty years have suffered under occupation as stateless people.   

In 1915 Sherif Hussein of Mecca and Sir Henry McMahon, the British High Commissioner of Egypt, devised a plan whereby Arab forces would agree to join the Allies in their campaign of expunging the Turks from Palestine, Syria and Arabia, and in return the Arabs received a British pledge for future recognition of an independent Arab state. The boarders of the proposed Arab state were to exclude Hejaz and some other non-Arab regions but irrefutably included Palestine. Abdul Hadi sums up the agreement: “the Arab state under discussion was not to include Hejaz only, but (included) all Arabic-speaking territory in the Near East, which naturally meant Palestine . . . On October 24th 1915 and on behalf of the British government Sir Henry McMahon accepted these boundaries”[1]. In 1916, however, Britain and France essentially defenestrated the Anglo-Arab Treaty “before the ink was dry”[2] and in doing so sealed the fate of the Palestinians and their neighbours for decades to come. The French statesmen Francois Georges Picot and the British statesmen Mark Sykes nefariously agreed upon carving up the Arab world after the impeding collapse of the Ottoman Empire with the aspiration to omnivorously despoil the region in future decades. The British esoterically coveted the oil of the region having transformed all of their Navel fleet to oil instead of coal only recently. Albert Hourani characterizes the importance of the region for British imperialism: “Britain had major interests in the Middle East: the production of cotton for the factories of Lancashire, of oil in Iran and later in Iraq, investment in Egypt and elsewhere, markets for manufactured goods. . .There were also more extended interests: Britain’s presence in the Middle East helped to maintain her position as a Mediterranean power and a world power. The sea-route to India and the Far East ran through the Suez Canal. Air routes across the Middle East were also being developed”[3]. Evidently in order to “rule the waves” the British were content to “wave the rules”, abrogating the Anglo-Arab agreement with the ostensible goal of recalibrating the region to suit their own opulent position. The hypocrisy of the Sykes-Picot Agreement encompassed all that was to be despised about European imperialism.[4] Whilst the redoubtable Arabs were shedding their blood to assist the incompetent imperial classes of Europe amend their blunders, fighting with the aspiration for a free Arab nation, the British and French were conniving and conspiring to double-cross the indigenous inhabitants of this oil rich region for their own contrived self interest. The implosion of the Ottoman Empire further fuelled old imperial rivalries[5] and eventually the Sykes-Picot collaboration weakened as the two colonial powers reverted back to the rapacious, misanthropic, jingoism which had buttressed their oblique empires previously.    

Margret Macmillan elucidates the deep roots of these imperial rivalries in her book Paris 1919: “It was about Joan of Arc and William the Conqueror, the Heights of Abraham and Plassy, about the Crusades, about Napoleon in Egypt and Nelson’s destruction of his fleet at the Battle of the Nile, about the scramble for Africa, which had so nearly led to a war over Fashoda, Sudan in 1898, and about the competition for influence between French and Anglo-Saxon civilization”.[6] Indeed the imperial contentions were psychologically embedded and premised on the antagonistic and murderous concept which Dr Johnson referred to as “the last refuge of the scoundrel”[7], namely patriotism. The victims of this primitive rapaciousness would be the people of the Arab world, none the least the inhabitants of the former Ottoman province known as Palestine. Abdul Hadi sums up the imperial divisiveness cogently as: “the spectacle of a pack of hungry European wolves gnawing steadily at the vitals of an impoverished and a decadent Turkey”.[8]

Meanwhile the Zionist movement was beginning to curry favour within influential circles in Britain. Zionism had crystallized in the late 1880s in Eastern Europe as a reaction to increasing pressure on Jews in the region to either assimilate totally or face perennial persecution. By the turn of the century most of the Zionist leaders conflated the Jewish national revival with the colonization of Palestine. Eretz Israel, the name for Palestine in Judaism, had been venerated for centuries by generations of Jews as a place for holy pilgrimage, never as a future secular state. Ilan Pappe the peerless Jewish/Israeli historian reminds us: “Jewish tradition and religion clearly instructs Jews to await the coming of the promised Messiah at the end of times before they can return to Eretz Israel as a sovereign people . . . this is why today several streams of Ultra-Orthodox Jews are either non or anti-Zionist…In other words Zionism secularised and nationalised Judaism.”[9] To bring their project into fruition, the Zionist propagandists espoused transcendental misinterpretations of the Torah (the Jewish holy book) to suit their own colonial aspirations. They asserted that Palestine was occupied by “strangers” and had to be repossessed. Pappe comments: “Strangers here meant everyone not Jewish who had been living in Palestine since the Roman period. . .Nothing, neither rocks nor Palestinians, was to stand in the way of the national redemption of the land the Zionist movement coveted”.[10] Prior to the occupation of Palestine by Britain in 1918, Zionism was a fusion of nationalist ideology and colonialist practice. Indeed until the arrival of the British the Zionist movement had to a great extent been fettered, making up a mere five percent[11] of the country’s population at the time. With a limited scope and living in colonies the Zionist settlers went largely unnoticed.

However as the Zionist movement proliferated and strengthened the initial ambiguity of the Zionist lexicon disintegrated. Whilst the vast majority of Zionists advocated for the colonization of Palestine premised on the religious argument pertaining to the “redemption” of a “homeland”, a more critical interpretation exposes the Zionist drive to colonize Palestine as closely interwoven with nineteenth-century Christian millennialism and European colonialism.[12] A plethora of protestant missionary societies along side the governments of Europe sanguinely proselytised for a future “Christian Palestine” which they wanted to carve out of the Ottoman Empire. The more religious among the aspirants regarded the “return” of Jews to Palestine as indicative to the second coming of Christ and the creation of pietist state there.[13] This fundamentalist zeal was personified by Lloyd George, the British prime minister during World War One, who pledged his uncompromisable support for the Zionist dream.[14] This didn’t stop him from supplying his government at the same time with a litany of “strategic”, rather than messianic, justifications for why Palestine should be colonized by the Zionist Movement. His justifications were ethnocentric and stigmatic, professing distrust for the Palestinians who he referred to pejoratively as “Arabs” or “Mohammedans”.[15]    

The early Zionist settlers channelled most of their energy and funds towards purchasing plots of land in hope of entering the local labour market and creating social and communal networks that could sustain their as yet small and economically vulnerable group of newcomers. The more precise strategies of how best to take over Palestine as a whole and create a nation state in the country were a later development that was “closely associated with British ideas of how best to solve the conflict which Britain had done so much to exacerbate”.[16] Weizmann who was one of the Zionist leaders opined the infamous slogan that Palestine should “be as Jewish as England is English”,[17] translucently characterizing the ostensible goal of the Zionists. Macmillan adduces: “Even those who recognised that there were Arabs living in Palestine tended to view them through the spectacles of Western Imperialism”.[18]

Lord Balfour myopically authored the Palestinian tragedy in 1917 when he promised on behalf of the British government, to the Zionists, the land of the Palestinian people. Pappe adduces: “The moment the British Foreign Secretary Lord Balfour gave the Zionist movement his promise in 1917 to establish a national home for the Jews in Palestine, he opened the door to the endless conflict which ensued”.[19] In the infamous pledge he made in his governments name, Balfour promised to protect the aspirations of the non-Jewish population (a curious formulation for the native majority), but the declaration clashed precipitately with both the aspirations and natural rights of the Palestinians for nationhood and independence. By the end of the 1920s the indigenous equanimity was being corroded and it was soon evident that this proposal had a potentially violent core as it had already claimed the lives of hundreds of both Palestinians and Jews. This prompted the British to make a serious, albeit reluctant attempt to solve the smouldering conflict.

The Balfour Declaration was in violation of all international and regional agreements and it undeniably engendered the unmitigated disaster which ensued. In 1919 Britain had been signatories to President Wilson’s Fourteen Points, the twelfth point of which proclaimed the independence of Arab lands.[20] The concept of an Arab sovereignty was also echoed in Wilsons four points announced at Mount Vernon, the second point of which was: “The settlement of every question, whether of territory, of sovereignty, of economic arrangement, or of political relationship, upon the basis of the free acceptance of that settlement by the people immediately concerned, and not upon the basis of material interest or advantage of any other nation or people which may desire a different settlement for the sake of its own exterior influence or mastery”.[21] But the British did not allow international law hinder their colonial aspirations. For the Palestinians the inveterate hypocrisy, cant and double standards of the British government was unequivocal and unremitting. The supine Lord Curzon, employing sophistry throughout the year of 1919, corresponded with King Hussein reaffirming the British Government’s commitment to the creation of an independent Arab Kingdom which included Palestine. Palestine went unmentioned in the Anglo/French provisos and in his final letter Curzon obfuscated: “His Majesties High Commissioner in Cairo. . .welcomed His Highness’ agreement to exclude the Vilayets of Mersina and Andana from the boundaries of the Arab territories. . .(and) the Government of Great Britain has taken careful notice of your observations”[22] . In the delineated exceptions from the future Arab Kingdom, Palestine had not been mentioned, and so it was perceived that the British Government did not dispute the inclusion of Palestine in the group of former Ottoman colonies that were destined for self determination.  However behind closed doors the Anglo-Zionist discourse was far less ingratiating to the Arab cause.

Equally eschewed by the oscillating Lord Balfour, whilst arrogating to himself the liberty of promising from one people, to a second people, the land of an third people, was Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations which stipulated unequivocally that: “Palestine, like Syria and Iraq. . .should be considered as independent and subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a mandatory until such time as they are able to stand alone”.[23] The evident contradiction between the enshrined international law and the backroom pledge of the anti-Semitic Lord Balfour to give Jews a national home in Palestine[24] exposes an illegal and subversive blunder which would lead directly to the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

The British interpretation of what a mandate entailed was incipiently tendentious when compared to the internationally emblazoned definition of a mandatory relationship, such as that between Britain and Palestine. The definition of a mandate when compared with that of a “protectorate” differed significantly. Article 22 refers to the role of the paternal country to be simply a “mission” by which a nation which had not attained the standard of an advanced state would be assisted in attaining the necessary level for sustenance. Abdul Hadi adds: “The Mandatory system, moreover differs radically from that of a protectorate in that the former is calculated for the sole interest of the backward nation, while the latter is intended for the benefit of the colonizing power”.[25] Thus with a little scrutiny it is fair to deduce that any act which jeopardized the aspirations or national interests of the Palestinians was indeed in violation of the legal definition of a mandate. Therefore the Balfour Declaration can be seen indisputably to have been diametrically opposed to international law as enshrined in the Covenant of the League of Nations.

The oxymoronic Treaty of Sevres, filled with ambiguities, sealed the fate for the people of Palestine. The treaty, signed on the 20thAugust 1920 confirmed the British Mandate over Palestine. It was tantamount to a final blow against the Palestinians who lost any hope of achieving their enshrined right of sovereignty with the penning of the treaty. The blatant contradiction comes in Articles 94 and 95 of that treaty. Article 94 states: “The high contracting parties agree that Syria and Mesopotamia shall, in accordance with the fourth paragraph of Article 22 Part I of the League of Nations, be provisionally recognised as independent states”.[26] Conversely Article 95 adumbrates: “The high contracting parties agree to entrust by application of these provisions of Article 22 the administration of Palestine. . .The Mandatory will be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on the second of November 1917 (The Balfour Declaration) by the British government and adopted by the other allied powers in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a National Home for the Jewish people”.[27] The treaty continues in a similarly paradoxical vein referring to the Arab majority under the platitude “non-Jewish community” to add insult to injury.

 The British thus trying to uphold the facade that their primary concern was (to use Balfour’s formulation) “The non-Jewish” majority, implemented a political structure that would in theory represent both communities on an equal footing in the state’s parliament as well as in government. “In practice, when the offer was made it was less equitable; it advantaged the Zionist colonies and discriminated against the Palestinian majority”[28], states Pappe. The balance within the new proposed legislative council was skewed in favour of the ensconced Jewish community who were to be allied with members appointed by the British administration. As the Palestinians made up the majority of between eighty and ninety percent[29] of the total population in the 1920s they understandably refused at first to accept the British suggestion of parity, let alone one that disadvantaged them in practice, a position that encouraged the Zionist leaders to endorse it. The Palestinian uprising of 1929 was the direct result of Britain’s refusal to implement at least their promise of parity after the Palestinians had been coercively persuaded to set aside the democratic principle of majoritarian politics which Britain had championed as the basis for negotiations in all other Arab states within its sphere of influence.[30]

After the 1929 uprising, the Labour government in London appeared inclined to embrace the Palestinian demands, but the Zionist lobby succeeded in reorienting the British government comfortably back onto the Balfourian track. “This made another uprising inevitable”[31]Pappe surmises. It duly erupted in 1936 in the form of a popular rebellion fought with such determination that it compelled the British government to station more troops in Palestine than were in the Indian subcontinent.[32] Edward Said refers to the Palestinian revolts of the epoch as: “one of the great anti-colonial uprisings of our time”.[33] After three years of ubiquitous, brutal and ruthless attacks on the Palestinian countryside, the British military subdued the revolt. The Palestinian leadership was exiled, and the paramilitary units that had sustained the guerrilla warfare against the Mandatory forces were disbanded. During this process many of the villagers involved were “arrested, wounded or killed”.[34] The absence of most of the Palestinian leadership and of viable Palestinian fighting units inured Jewish forces, facilitating an easy ride into the Palestinian countryside come 1947.

It was one British officer in particular, Orde Charles Wingate, who benightedly advocated for Zionist militarism and an organized Jewish army, first of all to protect the growing number of Jewish enclaves and colonies inside Palestine but also, more crucially, because acts of armed aggression were an effective deterrent against the indefatigable and ubiquitous Palestinian resistance. “From there, the road to contemplating the enforced transfer of the entire indigenous population would prove to be very short indeed”[35], states Pappe. Orde Wingate was born in India in the early twentieth century to a military family and received a very religious upbringing. He began an Arabphile career in the Sudan, where he gained prestige with a particularly effective ambush policy against slave traders. In 1936, he was assigned to Palestine where he quickly became infatuated with the Zionist dream. He overtly encouraged the Zionist settlers to start teaching their troops more effective combat tactics and retaliation methods against the local population. He commanded immense respect throughout the region amongst the Zionist minority. Wingate self-moulded the principle paramilitary organization of the Jewish community in Palestine, the Hagna. Established in 1920, the Hagna literally means “defence” in Hebrew, ostensibly to illuminate that its main purpose was protecting the Jewish colonies. Under the influence of Wingate and the militant ethos he inspired among its commanders, the Hagna quickly became the military arm of the Jewish Agency, the Zionist governing body in Palestine that in the end developed and then implemented ominous plans for the Zionist military takeover of Palestine as a whole. The prospect of a Zionist military take over was predicated on the ethnic cleansing of Palestine’s native population.[36]

The Arab revolt gave the Hagna members a chance to practice the military tactics Wingate had taught them in the Palestinian rural areas, mostly in the form of bucolic retaliatory operations against such targets as roadside snipers or resistance members taking goods from a kibbutz. The main objective was to intimidate Palestinian communities who happened to live in proximity to Jewish settlements. Wingate succeeded in attaching Hagna troops to the British forces during the Arab revolt so that they could learn even better what a “punitive mission” to an Arab village ought to entail. In June1938 Jewish troops got their first taste of what it meant to occupy a Palestinian village, a Hagna unit and British company jointly attacked a village on the boarder between modern day Israel and Lebanon, and held it for a few hours. Amatziya Cohen who took part in the operation remembered the British sergeant who showed them how to use bayonets in attacking the defenceless villagers: “I think you are all totally ignorant in your Ramat Yochanan (the training base for the Hagna) since you do not even know the elementary use of bayonets when attacking dirty Arabs: how can you put your left foot in front?”[37] he fulminated. Had this sergeant been around in 1948, he would have been proud to see how rapidly and vociferously the Zionist troops were mastering the art of attacking defenceless villagers.

Beyond carefully charting rural Palestine in preparation for the future takeover of the country, the Zionist movement quickly obtained a much clearer sense of how best to get the new state off the ground after the Second World War. A crucial factor in this was that the British had already destroyed the Palestinian leadership and its defence capabilities when they suppressed the 1936 revolt, thus allowing the Zionist leadership ample time and space to set out their next motives. Once the danger of a Nazi invasion into Palestine was removed in 1942, the Zionist leaders became more keenly aware that the sole obstacle that stood in their way of successfully seizing the land was the British presence, not the beleaguered Palestinian resistance.

In between the two uprisings, the Zionist leadership had wasted no time in working out their plans for an exclusively Jewish state in Palestine: first in 1937, by accepting a modest portion of the land when they responded favourably to a recommendation by the British Royal Peel Commission[38] to partition Palestine into two states, and second, in 1942 by attempting a more maximalist strategy, demanding all of enfeebled Palestine for itself. The geographical space it coveted may have changed with time and according to circumstances and opportunities, but the principle objective remained the same. The Zionist project could only be realised, ipso facto, through the creation in Palestine of a purely Jewish state, both as a safe haven for Jews from persecution and a cradle of nationalism. And such a state had to be exclusively Jewish not only in its socio-political structure but also in its ethnic composition, the Zionists adduced.

The events of the Second World War contributed to mass immigration of Jews to Palestine which in turn gave a monumental boon to the Zionist leadership. It was soon apparent that their biggest obstacle now became the British who at least in theory were intent on coexistence between the Arab majority and the refugees from Europe. But in practice the British had done so much to create conditions conducive to a Zionist led ethnic cleansing that their gestures would soon become even more vacuous for the Palestinians than they had been previously. Ben Gurion who masterminded the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and who would become the first Prime Minister of the cleansed State, as early as 1942 made noises in regard to the British Mandate over Palestine. In a letter to his son the future tyrant stated: “The Arabs will have to go, but one needs an opportune moment for making it happen, such as a war”.[39] The opportune moment was not far away, in 1947 to be precise.[40]  

 As the Second World War drew to a close the Zionist leadership waged a campaign to get the British out of Palestine whilst simultaneously mapping out the villages and towns which would allow them to implement systematic ethnic cleansing of the region without error. Around this time the Zionist leadership begun to express their intentions more overtly. Yosseff Weitz as early as 1944 opined: “The Arabs should go”[41]. This was a significant shift from the gradualist approach employed originally by the Zionists. Previously the Zionists had hoped to buy more and more land and evict the Palestinian peasantry from their homes under the legitimacy of capitalist property rights. But Gurion managed to shift the Zionist movement onto a more immediate and aggressive track reminding them that their gradualist approach had only resulted in six percent of Palestine being owned by Jews.

Whilst Britain had been holding off the threat of Nazism in Europe advocating a maximalist approach had been unrealistic and to pressure the British would have been undiplomatic for the Zionists. But the end of the War and the election of the Labour Party led by Clement Attlee would finally deliver the Zionist movement its desired caveat to begin making maximalist proposals to their British. The Labour government initially began to deliberate in favour of the Palestinian majority, much to the shock of the Zionist leaders. In reaction to the British sympathies to the Palestinians the Zionists mounted terrorist attacks on bridges and on the British headquarters in Jerusalem.[42] When compared to the brutal suppression of the Palestinian revolts the British reaction to the Zionist terror attacks was magnanimous. In light of the recent revelations of the Holocaust and the industrialized mass murder of Jews in Europe, a tougher reaction to the terror attacks would have been deemed repugnant to almost everyone around the world. The British were in a critical situation for the future of the beleaguered Palestinians. Whilst some Zionists feared the wrath of the British, preferring to genuflect, the vast majority surmised that Britain was going to want less spheres of influence in order to release funds to rebuild post-war Britain and construct the welfare state which the Labour Party was resolute upon doing. In this context the Zionists kept on the diplomatic offensive with Ben Gurion demanding “a large chunk of Palestine”[43] often producing maps which allotted eighty to ninety percent of Palestine to the Zionists. Pappe delineates the precarious situation for the indigenous majority: “The desperate situation of the indigenous population of Palestine becomes poignantly clear the moment we realise that those who had crushed their liberation movement, the British Mandatory authorities, were now the only ones standing between them and a coolly determined and highly motivated Zionist movement that coveted most of their homeland”.[44]

 The eventual decision of the Attlee government came in February 1947 after the realization that the imminent Jewish revolt would place the British government in a position where yet more Jews would have to be suppressed at the point of European bayonets. Thus with the pound Sterling dwindling and with decolonization of the Empire in full flow, the British government, rather than hold onto remote places like Palestine, handed the problem over to the United Nations to deal with. The Palestinians, having benefitted not a scintilla from the British Mandate over Palestine, were now only months away from being expelled violently and aggressively from their orchards and villages where they had lived in peace for centuries. The Zionists upon hearing the news that they no longer faced British retaliation for their actions implemented the ominous “Plan C” which was the amended version of the previous Plans A and B. Like plans A and B, Plan C was aimed to prepare the Zionist military forces (who by now were well trained, well equipped killing machines due to British mentorship) for offensive actions against the indigenous majority. Plan C spelled out what punitive actions would entail:

Killing the Palestinian political leadership

Killing Palestinian inciters and their financial supporters

Killing Palestinians who acted against Jews

Killing senior Palestinian officers and officials (in the Mandatory System)

Damaging Palestinian transportation

Damaging the sources of Palestinian livelihoods: water wells, mills etc

Attacking nearby Palestinian villages likely to assist in future attacks

Attacking Palestinian clubs, coffee houses, meeting places etc.[45] 

 

            Palestine within months would be wiped off the map and the vast majority of the inhabitants of the polity would be expelled to the surrounding hinterland as refugees. The Zionists not content with Plan C refined it to produce the mephistophelian Plan D which was the final solution for the salivating, Zionist colonizers to create the state of Israel at the expense of the Arab inhabitants of the polity. All of this needless to say could not and indeed would not have occurred had the British government not facilitated the mass influx of Zionists and given them the wherewithal to mount such an operation. It would therefore be fair to deduce that the ethnic cleansing of Palestine would not have occurred without the illegal and subversive policy which favoured one group over another to the detriment of the Palestinian people.  

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

Abdul Hadi, Aouni Bey. “The Balfour Declaration”. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 164 (1932): 12-21.

Balfour, Arthur James. “The Balfour Declaration” written 2nd November 1917:  http://www.palestineremembered.com/Acre/Palestine-Remembered/Story563.html

British Mandate: A Survey of Palestine, prepared by the British Mandate for UN prior to proposing the 1947 partition plan: http://www.palestineremembered.com/Acre/Books/Story831.html

Churchill, Winston. “The White Paper” published 3rd June 1922: http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/eed216406b50bf6485256ce10072f637/f2ca0ee62b5680ed852570c000591beb!OpenDocument

Hourani, Albert. The History of the Arab Peoples. London: Faber and Faber, 1991.

Huneidi, Sahar. “Was Balfour Policy Reversible? The Colonial Office and Palestine, 1921-1923”. Journal of Palestine Studies, 27 (1998): 23-41.

Lesch, Ann. “Zionism and its Impact”. Palestine Remembered. http://www.epl.org/library/strategic-plan-00.html (posted on August 13th 2001).

Macmillan, Margaret. Paris 1919. New York: Ransom House, 2002.

Pappe, Ilan. The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. Oxford: One World Publications, 2006.

 Pappe, Ilan. The Israel/Palestine Question: Rewriting Histories. New York: Routledge, 1999.

The Peel Commission Report published July 1937: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/peel1.html

Said, Edward. Culture and Imperialism. New York: Vintage Books, 1993.

 


[1] Aouni Bey Abdul Hadi, “The Balfour Declaration”, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 164 (1932):12.

[2] Hadi,13.

[3] Albert Hourani, A History of The Arab Peoples (London: Faber and Farber, 1991), 320.

 

[4]  The Sykes-Picot backstab to the Arabs legitimizes the famous response of the Irishman when told that the British Empire was so vast that upon it the sun never set, he replied: “that’s because nobody would trust the British in the dark”.

[5] Hadi, 15.

[6] Margaret Macmillan, Paris 1919 (New York: Random House), 382.

[7] George Galloway, I’m Not The Only One (London: Penguin Books), 62.

[8]  Hadi, 12.

[9]Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (Oxford: Oneworld Publications), 11 .

[10] Pappe, 12.

[11] Pappe, 12.

[12] Pappe, 13.

 

[13] This also explains why the State of Israel has a strong base of support amongst Christian fundamentalists in the USA today. As one pro-Palestinian British MP asserted: “anyone who thinks that George W Bush supports Israel because he likes Jews hasn’t visited his golf club”.

 

[14] Ilan Pappe, The Israel/Palestine Question: Rewriting Histories (New York: Routledge,1999), 46.

[15] Pappe, 14.

[16] Pappe, 14.

[17] Macmillan, 418.

[18] Macmillan, 420.

[19] Pappe, 13.

[20] Macmillan, 496.

[21] Hadi, 16.

[22] Hadi, 15.

[23] Hadi, 16.

[24]  Which Balfour did not pledge because he was a partisan for the Jewish struggle but because a weak and fragmented Middle East served British strategic and economic interests.

 

[25] Hadi, 17.

[26] Hadi, 17.

[27] Hadi, 18.

[28] Pappe, 14.

[29] Pappe, 15.

[30] Hourani, 349.

[31] Pappe, 18.

[32] Hourani, 361.

[33] Edward Said, Culture and Imperialism (New York:Vintage Books,1993), 257.

[34] Pappe, 19.

[35] Pappe, 19.

[36] Pappe,17-21.

[37] Pappe, 18

[38] Published July 1937.

[39] Pappe, 25.

 

[40] On 29th November 1947, UN Resolution 181 was passed finalizing plans for a Jewish state. By passing this resolution the UN totally ignored the ethnic composition of Palestine, something which forty-eight years later would be the premise for inditements against Yugoslavian leaders. Had the UN decided to make the Jewish state correspond with the population of ensconced Jews at the time, then the Zionist state would have been no more than ten percent of the land.  The decision to carve Palestine up in favour of the Jewish minority is described by Historian Walid Khalidi as: “a hasty act of granting half of Palestine to an ideological movement that declared openly already in the 1930s its wish to de-Arabise Palestine”.  See Pappe pg29-38 for elaboration of the UN Resolution.

[41] Pappe, 25.

 

[42] The infamous King David Hotel bombing; killing ninety-one people and injuring forty-seven.

[43] Pappe, 25.

[44] Pappe, 26.

[45] Pappe, 28.

October 30, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Some quotes

“We have to make sure of our place in society as indigenous Indians that we have won. In Mexico, there are movements, there are revolutions and change, but for the indigenous nothing changes.”

 

Subcomandante Marcos

 

 

 

Emiliano Zapata

 

“I would rather die standing than live on my knees!”

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We were very poor and my father couldn’t afford to pay the school fees in Caracas. So I finished high school and entered the academy, planning to stay for just a year then leave to play baseball. I learned what had happened to the indigenous people by studying history, by reading. After reading Frei Bartolome de las Casas and other history books, I saw what had really happened. They slaughtered us. This knowledge often brought me into conflict with the life I was leading. When we were cadets they used to make us march past a statue of Columbus in front of the hospital. I used to ask my “why on earth should we pay tribute to the man who launched the invasion?” It was really too much. It had taken 30 years to bring us and our people, to power to begin this new phase and put things in their proper place. The statue? We didn’t pull Christopher Columbus down, he’s still standing there, but we don’t pay tribute to him any more. Now we honour Guaicaipuru, leader of the indigenous resistance. Just before the Spanish killed him, after killing his wife and children, Guaicaipuru shouted a challenge to the Spanish saying “Come Spaniards! and see how an Indian, a free man of this land can die!”. . . I am Indian, mixed with African, with a touch of white thrown in.”

 

Hugo Chavez

 

 

 

Their reason for killing and destroying such an infinite number of souls is that the Christians have an ultimate aim, which is to acquire gold, and to swell themselves with riches in a very brief time and thus rise to a high estate disproportionate to their merits. . . We can estimate very surely and truthfully that in the forty years that have passed, with the infernal actions of the Christians, there have been unjustly slain more than twelve million men, women, and children. In truth, I believe without trying to deceive myself that the number of the slain is more like fifteen million.

Bartolomé de Las Casas

“When Scholars deny genocide, in the face of decisive evidence that it has occurred, they contribute to a false consciousness that can have the most dire reverberations. Their message is: (genocide) requires no confrontation, no reflection, but should be ignored, glossed over. In this way scholars lend their considerable authority to the acceptance of this ultimate human crime. More than that, they encourage-indeed invite-a repetition of that crime from virtually any source in the immediate or distant future. By closing their minds to the truth, that is, scholars contribute to the deadly psychohitorical dynamtic in which unopposed genocide begets new genocide”

         Roger W. Smith, Eric Markusen and Robert Lifton

“Professional Ethics and Denial of the Armenian Genocide”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article 26 of the UN declaration on the rights of indigenous people states: “Indigenous peoples have the right to the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired.”

 

We should like to see this Assembly (UN) shake itself out of complacency and move forward. We should like to see the committees begin their work and not stop at the first confrontation. Imperialism wishes to convert this meeting into a pointless oratorical tournament, instead of solving the grave problems of the world. We must prevent their doing so. . . As long as imperialism exists, it will, by definition, exert its domination over other countries. Today that domination is called neocolonialism.

Commandante Ernesto “Che” Guevara

 

“When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.”

Bishop Desmond Tutu

 

“Philosophers have only interpreted the world the idea is to change it”

Karl Marx- The Communist Manifesto

 

“Whoever stands by a just cause cannot possibly be called a terrorist” . . .This is my homeland no one can kick me out.”- Yasser Arafat

April 9, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment