Issue #15 - Against imperialism

US imperialism is the culprit in Palestine.

This week my friends Ali Abunimah and Rania Khalek had a really interesting and insightful discussion about Palestine in the wider global context. They talked about why it’s important to view the issue of Palestine in light of US imperialism and its domination of much of the globe, with its hundreds of military bases spread the world over.

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The conversation took place on Rania’s excellent show on BreakThrough News.

Ali was in Jordan recently, so Rania asked him about how Iranian, Syrian and Hizballah military aid to Palestinian resistance factions in Gaza is perceived there, as opposed to how it is in Lebanon — a country from which Rania has reported frequently.

It’s a great episode of the show and you should watch it in full. Ali makes the important point that “most people would say, well Palestinians have a right to receive support from wherever they can get it, and this is who’s willing to help them.”

The issue of the false equation of US imperialism with the foreign policies of other regional or world powers such as Iran or China — that “all imperialisms matter” — was one that we also discussed with Rania back in April on The Electronic Intifada podcast.

All of this is a good reminder that Palestine is a global issue. It cannot be divided from the region or from the rest of the world.

Whether or not we in the West (including on the mostly powerless left) like the governments and systems that rule in Syria and Iran, it is a completely fruitless dead-end to ignore the fact that Iran, Syria and Hizballah are the only powers that actually give real military aid to the Palestinian resistance factions.

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By way of a good news story this week, you couldn’t possibly do any better than reading my friends Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton’s latest wonderful piece for The Grayzone.

It’s the story of how an entitled trust-fund brat and clueless wannabe posing as a journalist — Sulome Anderson — tried and failed to use her millions to crush our comrades at The Grayzone in revenge for their years of committed journalism exposing the depredations of American empire.

Ben wrote a short piece in 2018 reporting on how Anderson herself had admitted that one of her alleged “Hizballah sources” in Lebanon had proven themselves (in her words) “incredibly unreliable,” after she put out (and soon deleted) a series of absurd tweets with videos she initially alleged showed an Iranian attack on Israel (they were not).

Anderson did not contest the facts presented in the piece (after all, it all relied on her own words).

Instead, she flew into a rage and threatened Ben, saying “I’ll destroy him :)”. She thus launched a lawsuit against The Grayzone, in a failed attempt to get a court to order discovery against Max and Ben, in order to unveil a (totally imagined and fabricated) Russian-Iranian-Venezuelan conspiracy behind what she claimed was their “assault on a free press” (i.e. reporting facts).

Quite ironic considering she was blatantly attempting to shut down an independent leftist website for the crime of reporting facts that are inconvenient to US empire.

Long story short, Max and Ben have totally won the case. A judge threw it out of court with total contempt, concluding that:

Indeed, the defendants [Max and Ben] called the plaintiff [Anderson] sloppy and irresponsible – but the statements that the defendants made were in response to an article which the plaintiff wrote which contained factually incorrect information. That is not and cannot be defamation.

Pretty unvarnished for a judge!

But the facts speak for themselves. Read the whole article. It’s well worth your time, especially for its long list of “mainstream” media dupes and shills who completely backed Anderson’s bullshit to the hilt.

You should also watch the latest episode of the always-brilliant Moderate Rebels podcast, where Max and Ben get even live. An absolute classic:

My work this week

Not an article by me, rather an article about my work. Ali Abunimah reports on a legal threat we got from the Labour Party, in response to my article of the previous week.

The original article reported on the anti-Palestinian (and anti-Semitic) racism of Kim Bolton and Scott Horner, the two Labour officials (one in an elected position) who outlawed debate on sanctions against Israel in a local Labour CLP in Hove on the pretext that it could be “anti-Semitic”.

I approached Labour at the time for comment but (as usual these days) they totally ignored my emails. But some days after publication, they decided they don’t like our reporting and have demanded we censor it.

We politely told them where to go.

Note that at no point has anyone from Labour contested a single fact in my article, which of course remains unaltered.

Click here to read Ali’s report.

In the latest episode of The Electronic Intifada podcast, we talked to Yacoub Odeh, who as a boy was a survivor of the Nakba — the Zionist expulsion of the Palestinians in 1948.

I had to hold back a tear doing this interview. Yacoub’s words are so heartfelt and honest. Watch or listen to it on YouTube and all our other usual streaming and download platforms.

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Two MEMO columns this week. The first:

It is a sad fact of history that it is often not until such shockingly violent injustices are exposed to the public and in plain sight for all to see, that there is a reaction powerful enough to make actual change.

This is also the case in Palestine. It is unusual to see the corporate media paying attention until Palestinians begin firing back, or otherwise responding to Israeli violence.

The expulsions by Israel of Palestinians from East Jerusalem neighbourhoods such as Sheikh Jarrah that have been highlighted by activists over the past few months are really nothing new. Indeed, as many activists have pointed out, all of Palestine is Sheikh Jarrah in one way or another.

Why is Israel in the Eurovision anyway? Because it is a creation of European imperialism:

Zionism's founder Theodor Herzl was quite explicit on this point: the Zionist state in Palestine would be a European colonial phenomenon. At the time, Palestine was under the control of the Ottoman Empire. In The Jewish State, Herzl wrote: "If His Majesty the Sultan were to give us Palestine… we should there form a portion of a rampart of Europe against Asia, an outpost of civilisation as opposed to barbarism."

MEMO has also translated this piece into Spanish.

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