Posts Tagged ‘Mass media’

Well, not much really…. Just that when you invite people who don’t consider each other to be “within the pale”, as British columnist David Aaronovitch said, then the discussion on anti-Semitism turns into character assassination.  

No one expected a calm discussion during the debate entitled “Anti-Semitism – Alive and Well in Europe?”, which was organised by the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival. Along with Aaronovitch, the panel included Gilad Atzmon and the Observer columnist Nick Cohen. 

It’s not clear why Cohen was invited to join at the very last minute when his views, to the naked eye at least, are akin to those of Aaronovitch’s. It would be fair to describe both men as supporters of Zionism who believe that anti-Semitism is on the rise and that much of it is “unfairly” blamed on Israel’s actions. 

Atzmon’s views, on the other hand, are well-known to those who follow websites on Palestinian activism. He has very strong views on “Jewishness” and “Jewish identity”, and makes a clear distinction between Jews as a people and those who commit crimes in the name of “Jewish ideology”. 

Both Aaronovitch and Cohen launched an attack on Atzmon. Aaronovich took the podium for 18 minutes (when we were told each speaker would only have 10, and indeed Atzmon had less than 10) during which he gave a  theatrical performance, reading out paragraph after paragraph of Atzmon’s articles to prove the point that the man was “fascist”. I doubt anyone in the audience managed to grasp what he was saying, but when you spit out the word “Jews” then at least it gives the impression what you’re saying about them is bad! 

Cohen, other the hand, kept wondering, over and over again, why “upper-class”, “educated”, “white” people would waste such a beautiful spring day debating anti-Semitism with a “nutter” (well, at least I could say I learned something about racial and class prejudice that day!) 

One can imagine how shocked and angry Atzmon was by the time it was his turn to take the podium. And this is why the event became a missed opportunity. He  tried to steer the debate back to its theme, but at times his emotions failed him. In between having to answer to the attacks levelled against him by Aaronovitch and Cohen, and trying to remind people of what they came to discuss, much of his ideas were lost on those who’ve never followed his writings. 

Once the floor was opened for questions, a member of the audience said the discussion, as a whole, “was a profound disappointment”. 

So why did the Oxford Literary Festival invite Atzmon? After all, he’s the “proud self-hating Jew” who wonders how America has allowed its foreign policies to be shaped by “ruthless Zionists”. He’s the one who insists that the burning of synagogues is illegitimate, yet he believes the motivations behind such actions are political rather than religious or racial.

Cohen certainly conceded that whenever Israel launches a fresh attack on Gaza or Lebanon, synagogues and Jewish cemeteries are attacked in the UK. Yet somehow he refuses to accept the correlation between Zionist policies and anti-Semitism. He wants us to believe that anti-Semitism is fuelled by pure hatred for the Jews. After all, Chinese property wasn’t attacked in the aftermath of the Tibetan clashes last year. Sudanese property wasn’t attacked when Darfur was in the media. 

Well, Mr. Cohen, maybe it’s because China and Sudan are being condemned in the international community, especially in Britain, while Israel to this day is being hailed as the West’s indispensable partner. Maybe it’s because what Israel has committed in Gaza during “Operation Cast Lead” earlier this year has created more devastation than what happened in Darfur (and this is according to the head of the International Red Cross). Maybe it’s because it is acceptable for British Jews to join the IDF, and actively take part in Israel’s wars, while British Muslims or Chinese or whatever would never dare join a non-British army. 

The response from some members of the “upper-middle class, educated, white” audience proved that these questions are not an endorsement of conspiracy theories. They are legitimate questions. 

One man raised the question of the pro-Israeli lobby in Washington. It was their pressure that led Obama to back down on his decision to appoint Mr. Freeman as an advisor, a man well-known for his criticism of Israel. “In those circumstances,” the man asked, “is a rise in anti-Semitism surprising when democracy is affected by that type of lobbying activity that prevents Obama from being able to appoint Ambassador Freeman?” 

We know what Atzmon would’ve said, but neither Aaronovitch nor Cohen answered that question. 

None of this justifies attacking synagogues or anti-Jewish graffiti. If anything, Atzmon – whom Aaronovitch and Cohen blasted as a “fascist” and a “nutter – was saying ordinary Jewish people “must be saved of the crimes imposed on them.” The crimes taking place in Palestine aren’t being committed just in the name of Israel, but in the name of the Jewish people. That’s not a conspiracy theory, that’s a fact. If you’re in doubt, go and read the Israeli government’s statements during Operation Cast Lead. 

Is it so outrageous to ask Jews in the UK to disassociate themselves from what is happening in Israel, without being labelled as an “anti-Semite”? Apparently it is. When people applauded Atzmon for making that point in the discussion, they were attacked by Aaronovitch who shouted “Shame on you! How dare you!”, even addressing one member in the audience by saying “You Sir, are an anti-Semite.”

In the aftermath of the July 7th attacks, Muslims were attacked everywhere. It became so dangerous that a fatwa had to be issued allowing women to take off the headscarf if they felt their lives were in danger. Yet at the same time, the Muslim community was under enormous pressure to disassociate itself from the terrorists who blew up those trains and busses. While they were being attacked themselves, they were still expected to make a clear statement that what happened on July 7th does not represent them and is not being committed in their name. 

Try and say that to the Jewish community today without being called an “anti-Semite”. 

Now I don’t want to ponder too much semantics but it is very ironic that anti-Semitism has been coined as a term exclusively for Jews when most of them do not belong to the Semitic race. Arabs, on the other hand, are Semitic. So if for one moment I, as an Arab, could reclaim that definition, I leave you with one point to think about. 

In the beginning of his speech, Aaronovitch wanted to illustrate just how bad Atzmon was. He quoted the Guardian’s Jon Lewis who described Atzmon’s writings as “extremely popular in the Arab world.” Aaronovitch then fixed his audience with a gaze and asked them to keep that sentence at the very front of their minds. 

On second thought, I think I did learn something about “anti-Semitism” that day. 

Dima Omar is a Palestinian journalist and filmmaker. She is based in London. 

To listen to David Aaronovitch reading Gilad Atzmon click here

To listen to David Aaronovitch’s tantrum click here

To Listen to Gilad Atzmon deconstructing antisemitism click here

To listen to Atzmon confronted with a outraged Jewish member of the audience click here
 
To listen to a disappointed member of the audience click here
 
To link to Aaronovitch confronted with a Jewish member of the audience click here
 
To listen to Aaronovitch’s closing remarks click here
 
To listen to Atzmon’s closing remarks  click here
Since its first days, Palestine Think Tank has been supported by a wonderful site and by the truly dedicated activists there. Alter Info has been under a lot of pressure from the usual Israeli Lobby organisations, this time in France. We wish to express our support of Alter Info, to hope that they are able to win this case, and that some benefactors are able to help them with the growing legal costs. Please read their press communiqué and, if you are able to, show your support of those who provide information so that the lies and propaganda will not win, and that peace and justice will prevail.
Dear friends, Alter Info readers,

Since the beginning of our legal issues, many have supported us and showed their solidarity. Thanks to you, we managed to face adversity with dignity and honour. Therefore it is natural that I keep you informed of the legal outcomes and political games around this case in order that each of you realizes to what great extent not only this website but more generally freedom of speech and particularly individual freedoms are under attack.

In addition to the two complaints filed by UEJF & J’Accuse, I’ve been called up one more time by the police because a second complaint was filed against me; this time owing to the apparent transgressions of Ginette Hess Skandrani, an old lady and sincere militant that we know only through her writings. Nevertheless her fight was honourable and we felt that she deserved to be heard through our website. However this second complaint is unlikely to lead to legal prosecutions, which is not the case with our detractors from UEJF & J’Accuse. It’s as if their power goes beyond what the Law permits to such non-profit organisations, such that it seems like “human courts acquit the strong, and doom the weak, as therefore wrong.”**
Of the various accusations of defamation I received, death threats have had less of an effect on me than the cases filed by l’UEJF & J’Accuse; apparently being threatened with death and slandered is less important than being accused of “hate incitement” and so-called “denial of crime against humanity.” It’s unfair that in a nation under the Rule of Law the strongest is always right. Yet “power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true.”*

At the end of December 2007, we received a letter from Mr Lilti, attorney for the UEJF & J’Accuse organisations, formal notification asking for the removal of a translated article by Henry Makow entitled Capital Imperialism and published in September 2007. In this letter, Mr Lilti, among the usual clichés and predictable accusations of anti-Semitism, declared that even if we removed Ms Skandrani’s article, he would nevertheless file a case against me for “hate incitement.” What I find a little bit puzzling is that the Attorney General added a “crime against humanity” charge to the other insanities my detractors are accusing me of.

After the first provisional order, a second one was canceled thanks to the perspicacity of the President of the High Court: I had sent a letter to the President of the Paris court and tried to show good faith by removing the offending article before a second provisional order could be issued. I told him about the nefarious plot of our detractors and the fallacious reasons brought up just to harm us financially and shut us up. For reasons unknown to me, the Attorney General of Mulhouse proceeded nonetheless to quote from the second provisional order in order to accuse me of “denial of crime against humanity.” Despite the lucid decision of the President of the Paris court, UEJF & J’accuse intend to use the second provisional order as a new tool of censorship and coercion. Having failed miserably in their provisional order attempt, they still managed to coerce the Mulhouse Attorney General to hear their complaint.

The provisional order requires us to remove the article and pay damages to the two plaintiffs. It galls me to submit to this insidious blackmailing, especially as we had taken precautions before publishing the article. We included a preamble forewarning the reader of the article’s tendentious words. I naively thought that the Court of Appeals would analyze the substance rather than the form of the case – normal procedure during provisional orders – so we decided to appeal its decision. We were amazed that despite having proven the dishonesty of our detractors – who drew analogies and comparisons between our case and the Muhammad drawings case (for which precedents would have favoured our case), the Court of Appeals nevertheless sided with UEJF & J’accuse.

“Noble passions are like vices; the more they are satisfied, the greater they grow.”*

So, according to our attorney, on May 17th 2008, the appeal judge confirmed the provisional order conclusions. In addition, he doubled the damages. Though we have not yet received legal notice of the appeal judgment, the attorneys and solicitors of the plaintiffs are rushing us to pay for their fees and the costs we are also liable to. However, not having received a legal notice of the appeal judgment, we can still lodge an appeal with the Supreme Court – for up to 30 days after receiving this document.

Since December 2007, our detractors have induced financial costs exceeding more than 5 times the yearly operating budget of our association i.e. more than 20,000 euros.

UEJF & J’Accuse, two so-called anti-racism organisations, are sub-agencies of CRIF (Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions). This self-proclaimed institution assumes the right to speak and act in the name of all French Israelites and Jews. At annual dinners, the leaders of this organization don’t hesitate to lecture our political and media elites, “suggesting” legislation, even humiliating some attendants. We don’t know which legal or moral right, which values allow this organization to hold such strong political influence and to hijack the voice of all French Israelites, given that less than 4% of this population are members of CRIF.

The deeds of organisations whose methods are similar to those of CRIF sub-agencies UEJF & J’accuse are not democratic at all and are in fact contrary to any republican principle. Indeed, lobbying is a common and legal activity amongst Anglo-Saxon societies, and even if European Union institutions are trying to integrate lobbying into their governance model, the French Constitution does not allow lobbying. Their constitutionality notwithstanding, some lobbies have greater political influence than others and often they are the ones responsible for instigating social tension.

If the CRIF and its sub-agencies were only lobbying on behalf their members (which is after all their raison d’etre), even though morally reprehensible, it would be acceptable to a certain extent. The trouble is that CRIF is more likely to fight for the interests of Israel than to address the problems faced by its members or the rights of the community it’s meant to defend. While the CRIF is trying to take all French Jews hostage, see what some anti-Zionist associations like the UFJP (French Jewish Union for Peace) think of the CRIF in the open letter below:

Letter from the UJFP to the CRIF
Sunday, February 8th 2009
French Jewish Union for Peace (UJFP)

Open letter to the leaders of the CRIF

The masks have fallen and that’s enough for now!

You have absolutely no right to speak neither in our name nor in the name of our own who were penned in ghettos, murdered in pogroms, killed in death camps, but who were also part of all the struggles, from the International for a better world to the Resistance against the Nazi intruder, against colonialism and for freedom, justice, dignity and equality of rights.

You cheered and supported the crimes of the IDF, crushing under its bombs the population you call “a hostile entity”, bringing down houses, devastating crops, targeting schools, mosques, hospitals, emergency cars and even a graveyard … Now you are on the side of the Apartheid supporters, oppressors and modern barbarians, and the blood of their victims is spilling on you.

Meanwhile, you lost all human sentiment, all compassion in front of this distress, you’ve outraged and soiled us by assimilating all the Jews to the supporters of a bunch of war criminals in the same way you soiled the memory of Rachi, Edmond Fleg, Emmanuel Levinas and many others – all that French Judaism was carrying in terms of human worth, intelligence and light.

You’ve tried to transform a colonial and geopolitical conflict into a communitarian conflict and by pretending that “95% of the French Jews support the Israeli invasion”, you stir up anti-Semitism while claiming to be concerned with its return, like pyromaniac firemen. No, Ladies and Gentlemen who are leading the so-called “representative” council of the French Jewish Institutions, in our eyes you represent nothing except the zelators of an abject slaughter.

UJFP national office on 02-07-2009 Union Juive Française pour la Paix (UJFP) – 21 ter rue Voltaire, 75011 Paris. Phone: 06 61 33 48 22. E-mail: contact@ujfp.org. Website: www.ujfp.org

Following the Zionist entity’s attack against Lebanon in 2006 and more recently against the martyred people of Gaza, the CRIF can no longer hide its real nature. By the way, the UEJF, one of the associations who initiated legal proceedings against us, was leading the demonstrations supporting the IDF while it was committing atrocious crimes against children, women, poor and elderly – already exhausted from hunger and misery.

For any political leader to explicitly and cynically support a foreign power by accepting CRIF directives that are detrimental to the interests of his nation is not only morally reprehensible, it’s high treason.

Israel is more than a morally illegitimate state; it’s the fruit of an abject colonialism under the guise of an heroic and romantic epic, cleared by the myth of the wandering people, oppressed for more than 2,000 years. Oppressed yes, wandering no!

In addition their oppressors have always been Europeans; never in the territory of Islam did Jews experience pogroms or mass crimes. On the contrary, each time Jewish communities were oppressed they always found shelter in the territory of Islam.

However, Zionist propaganda takes effect insidiously and stirs up anti-Muslim racism. The CRIF has several masks; a public one that allows this organization to maintain the illusion of inclusiveness within inter-faith and inter-community dialogues; and a more hideous, insidious one serving dark schemes that seed hate and fear between communities and try to muzzle any criticism of Zionism and Israel.

The story of the “wandering People” is just an historic myth serving an ideology, a biblical alteration, a mythology that justifies the application of so-called “divine right” that supersedes even international right. We can’t fix an injustice by creating a greater one. This is however the role these self-proclaimed organizations are limited to; monopolizing noble causes like the fight against racism, while diverting them from their original goal in order to benefit the Zionist ideology.

These details about the CRIF are important since they help us understand the abject methods this multifaceted organization uses in serving one single goal: to defend Israeli policy at all cost. It uses front agencies like UEJF in order to maintain its status as an honorable organization. By the way, Marc Knobel, President of the J’Accuse organisation, and co-plaintiff, is one of its active members.

*Honoré de Balzac
**Jean de la Fontaine
Traduit par
http://www.sott.net/

WRITTEN BY William A. Cook

“Become more human, and humans will love you.”

(Text of the Gospel of Phillip, 143)

Predictably, the United States Senate and House of Representatives voted to support Israel’s carnage in Gaza thereby handing the new President yet one more war to contend with, one unhappily more dangerous to America than those in Iraq or Afghanistan. That may seem to be, on its face, a strange thing to say unless one understands that we are in Iraq fighting for Israel and, with this vote, our Congress has indebted itself to the Israeli forces that govern the United States (as Ariel Sharon said long ago), forces that will use endangerment of Israel as leverage to attack Iran and Syria, countries already in their military sites since 1992.

Our Senate’s indebtedness is unanimous; while 20 in the House abstained and five voted against the resolution, all the rest voted to support. The reasons offered: Israel has a right to defend itself even though we do not know where Israel is: that is, Israel has yet to define its borders and remove itself from occupied territories; and the rockets fired over the last 8 years must stop, even though Israel, with one shell in Gaza, killed 43 at the UN school, twice the number killed by rockets in 8 years. But logic, international law and international opinion, and fundamental moral law cannot sway our Congress; money can and does. Obama may have a Senate majority and a Democratically controlled House of Representatives, but he cannot respond to the desires of the American people for change – no more wars – nor to the United community of nations that have voted with their feet against the actions of the Israeli government in open and defiant dissent against their governments in London, Ireland, Scotland, Europe and through out the Arab world including Jordan and Egypt. Our Representatives represent Israeli wishes and policies not those of the American people; the people voted overwhelmingly for change not the continued support of Israel represented by these votes or the appointments made by Obama as advisors.

Ironically our “only democratic ally” in the mid-east, as constantly reiterated by our mainstream media and talking heads, has locked the media out of Gaza in order to isolate truth to its Public Relations campaign begun the day it invaded Gaza three weeks ago. Consequently, Americans receive their news from those that decided to break international law and their own responsibilities as an occupying force under the Geneva conventions. No truth, no morality, only raw force serves this Zionist nation beholden only to itself and those it owns, including our Congress. Yet the news gets out. The people of Gaza transmit the truth by phone cameras and a handful of Al Jazeera  journalists that report from the killing fields. These pictures inundate the Internet and even a European press on occasion.   

Contrast the reality of the coverage with that provided to Americans. In Sderot, the little town used by Israel to portray its misery, devastation, and ultimate demise at the hands of the “terrorists,” the citizens have taken to the hillside overlooking Gaza — binoculars, sunglasses and beach chairs in tow — to watch the rain of Israeli terror by air, sea and land on an imprisoned people. (Shashank Bengali, “Israelis, sipping Pepsi, watch bombardment of Gaza town,” 1/5/2009, McClatchy). Are they in danger? Perhaps, although they do have bomb shelters and warning sirens, something that the people of Gaza do not have. And as I have noted elsewhere (in Counterpunch, 1/5/2009), they have been bombarded on average with 2 rockets per day for 8 years. Twenty three have died over these 8 years, an unsupportable number killed by meaningless use of force. Nonetheless, this has become the rationale for Israel’s current killing that now approaches 1000 half of whom are children. Disproportionate? Not to our Representatives.

Now consider what we are not shown, an image that the western media finds “pornographic,” “irresponsible journalism,” “too graphic,” “too emotional” for public consumption; yet the rest of the world sees these images, hundreds and hundreds of them. This alone should give our representatives pause to reflect on how their subservience to the barbaric behavior of Zionist Israel plays out in the world that is not controlled by American corporations or complicit congressmen. You can go to www.al-ayyam.ps/znews/site/pdfs/7-1-2009/p01.pdf. There you will see the head of a little girl looking forlornly though vacant eyes, mouth still open, completely buried from the neck down in rubble from her crushed home; indeed, too graphic, too emotional to contemplate, just another unnamed casualty of war where death happens … unfortunately, and “we’re sorry.” This appeared in multimedia, a Norwegian site, where you can also hear Sven Egil Omdel, the Director, explain why he decided to publish the photo even though it is against policy: “It is (the publication) a conscious provocation and we have two reasons for it: Israel keep (sic) all western journalists away from the war in Gaza. … The most important reason for us to show this face, is that the Arab world sees pictures like these from Gaza every day. Not a single still, but hours and hours of TV images of hospital floors full of small, dead bodies. Four year olds, two year olds, seven year olds, newly borns – These pictures represent the war in Gaza for millions of muslims – and we wonder why the hatred against Israel and the west grows? (translation)” This now is Obama’s war whether he wants it or not including the 3000 tons of ordnance being shipped now to Israel by the United States to supplement what they are currently using in Gaza.

Americans must understand the timing of this “war” that is not a war but a slaughter of caged people that have no where to hide, no where to go and even then, when following IDF orders, find themselves in a building targeted for destruction, their destruction. Deceit governs; racism motivates; hatred compels and greed for others’ land is the bed rock of action.

Why now? For two years, during the election campaign for the US Presidency, Israel imposed a siege on Gaza, a calculated act of slow, insidious decimation of the people planned in 2004 (www.infoimagination.org) to ultimately compel the Palestinian people to submit to Israeli dominance, without a state, without an army, without freedom of ingress and egress, unclassified and wholly dependent on Israel. Included in that strategy was the need to complete “Securing the Realm,” the document drawn up by our faithful Neo-Con “servants” that drove the policies of Bush’s administration and called for regime change in Syria and Iran in addition to Iraq. During the political campaign, while press coverage crowded out virtually all other news, the Zionist forces destroyed the infrastructure of Gaza, began the locking down of gates and the slow but methodical destruction of Gaza’s economy. Simultaneously they sought, but failed to get in time, Bush’s approval of attacks on Iran’s nuclear sites. Now, as the days of the Bush reign of terror ends, they are desperate to force Obama into a continuation of absolute and unquestioned support of Israeli policies in the mid-east. With the Congress in hand, with the vote made public in America and its continued commitment made known to the world, they believe that hey have locked Obama in a prison not unlike that surrounding Gaza.

What now? Reflection on the past few years, since 2005 to present, especially in the United States, makes possible this observation: the people of the United States and the people of Israel no longer see eye to eye on matters of mutual concern and, indeed, have already expressed that reality in fact. What do I mean? Beginning with the Downing Street memo and the disclosures of Richard Clark and Ambassador Wilson, the ability of the main stream press to hide the truth from the American people could no longer hold. As 2005 evolved, more and more disclosures unraveled the lies protected by the “fair and balanced reporting” of the corporate owned and controlled media. Fair and balanced was neither fair to truth nor balanced. To put two items on a scale, one for, one against, does not present truth or a balanced report. It simply shows two different perspectives, one for and one against. But as facts and documents became available to the American people, items available over the prior years on various Internet publications, the American people reacted by throwing out Bush supporters in the 2006 and 2008 elections and Bush support eroded into the mid-twenties.

They wanted “change” promised from the start by Senator Obama and mimicked eventually by most of the other contenders to the throne. Change meant getting out of Iraq immediately and return to a government that had a concern for America, including less absolute and blind support for Israel. The vast majority of the American people do not accept the disproportionate and cruel invasion of Gaza by Israel. As more and more pictures and videos become available on the Internet, especially the recurring images of savagery on You Tube, the American people are traumatized by the horror, especially the uncountable number of deaths of children. Our representative government does not represent the American electorate; it represents only scared politicians who depend on AIPAC money, men and women who fear for their political seats regardless of what their constituents believe and want.

By contrast Israeli citizens are faced with an election that has all three contenders fighting to convince the electorate that he/she is the one that will inflict more force to subjugate the Palestinians to Israeli will. The focus of this campaign resonates around the war monger Benjamin Netanyahu; both Livni and Barak must demonstrate that they are better leaders to take Israel against the Palestinians, the Syrians and the Iranians. Israel’s future is one of continued war which means in turn continued American billions to sustain their ambitions against their perceived enemies. They do not talk of “talk” with neighbors, only unending war against those that oppose the Jews. One does not speak of Israel as a state or government when “victimhood” is needed to induce unyielding support for the Israeli governments need to acquire more land and control the regimes of its neighbors, one must turn to the bias against Jews that is world wide and endemic. Sympathy cannot be rung from criticism of a government’s policies.

Horribly, the invasion of Gaza can be viewed quite accurately as a campaign war where Livni and Barak have made evident to the electorate that they will use force to ensure Israel’s right to dominate the area regardless of international pressure and opinion, international law or international justice. They know they can do this because they have control of the American Congress and administration including the veto power of the United States in the Security Council. World opinion means nothing. The Israeli electorate, with modest exception, does not want change.

Ultimately, it’s AIPAC’s will against the American citizens’ expressed desires as they voted for this man of change. Who will win? Will the blatant exposure of Israeli violence and mercilessness, in pictures and videos, turn the tide? Can Israeli hacking of Internet sites like that done to The Palestine Chronicle and the attempted erasure of sites that contain the pictures and videos described above stop the flow of sympathy for the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza and quell the building animosity that has arisen world-wide against the cruelty employed by Israel in its savage destruction of Gaza?

Will Obama turn to diplomacy, as he preached when a candidate and, thus doing, fulfill the truth enunciated by Phillip, “Become more human, and humans will love you”? Will he turn to negotiations with those engaged in these brutalities, to stem the violence? Will he recognize the impossible absence of the democratically elected Hamas government from deliberations with Israel over Gaza? How absurd. Will he reconsider the bribery that Bush employed to keep Egypt and Jordan in collusion with Israel despite the agony the people of Egypt and Jordan experience as they watch their people die in Gaza? Will he seek justice by returning to the resolutions of the UN that demand Israel return to the borders of 1948 or 1967, to leave the occupied lands of Palestine including East Jerusalem, to recognize the right of return of the refugees, to realize that Palestinians have a right to their state just as Israel has a right to its, something recognized by Hamas though never recognized as true by our main stream press. (Guardian, 1/12/2006 and Ynet, 1/30/2006). Will Obama seek peace that America might be free of its entanglement with a rogue state that blindly leads America into the darkness of unending conflict and death? Will he demand of Israel that its support from America depends of its recognition that it can only survive if it lives in harmony with its neighbors not out of fear but out of brotherhood? Will he suggest that the Israelis consider a diametrically opposite road to peace, one that understands “People will love you if you become more human”?

One of my dearest friends and fellow Pro-Palestine Blogger, Steve Amsel wrote a post about a “tool” I mentioned to him and other friends. Please visit his site to join in the discussion. Below his post is the post by Sinéad of http://irish4palestine.blogspot.com/ , who remarks on another group of organised pro-Israel “net warriors”. Great comments there too.

ZIO WEB ATTACKS ~~~ ARE YOU A ‘VICTIM’?

 

Do you write articles giving the truth about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict? Do you have a Blog known for its anti zionist viewpoints? Have you been getting extra ‘visitors’ to your Blog who leave negative comments or participate in polls? 
 
If yes to any of the above, there is a good reason for all of this….it’s a project called Megaphone Israel.It is a new desktop tool that alerts its subscribers to any entries that might be anti Israel or anti zionist. 
 
After notification, the ‘warriors’ jump into action and attack the source of the article. Are we to quiver in our seats because of this? Are we to stop posting because of this? I THINK NOT! 
 
As long as Israel continues its existing genocidal policies and actions against the people of Palestine, Blogs such as this one will continue to expose their crimes. Where the media fails to, we will present the facts. 
 
So Megaphone Israel should be kept busy for the next (hopefully) short while. 
 
Do any of my readers have suggestions as to how we might also be alerted….. to racist or zionist postings on the Web? We too should be posting OUR comments on their sites, just to let them know we are aware of their ‘games’. 
 
Thanks to Mary Rizzo for the alert on this situation…..

 

21/02/09 Online Censorship by Israel

What do BLOGGER, YOUTUBE, FACEBOOK, and WIKIPEDIA have in common?

Following up on yesterday’s post “Is Israel Controlling the Internet” today we will learn about Israel’s Government and the IDF attempting to censor and control the internet, face book, you tube and many other social networks, blogs, message boards and news organisations. Today I will be discussing these groups who work online for Israel and the IDF (Israeli Army).

These groups came about after the many genocidal murders committed by Israel and the IDF. Hundreds upon thousands of Lebanese, Palestinians being killed, with the majority of them being innocent civilians, women and children. Israel need helps to re-create its image worldwide. What better place than the internet?

Why the internet? Because the internet is a huge echo chamber. It also influences what news you see on your television or MSM news sites, like CNN, ABC, MSNBC and CBS for instance. It also influences what you read in your newspapers worldwide. With today’s 24 hour news cycle, the need for fresh news is quite important for retaining viewers and readers. So, many news publications and organisations turn to the internet to see what the “buzz” is and then report on that. Also, due to the internets wide range of people and access to webcams, videos and blogs, many times regular individuals get important news online before main stream media does. Given these facts, who ever controls the internet controls the news and controls the battle for the hearts and minds of the general public.

Winning public opinion is extremely important, remember Americans vote, and they could, if organized, exert pressure on their government and President to stop handing over their hard earned tax dollars to Israel. . Another important reason is “war” Israel needs Americans to be afraid of Muslims, it needs Americans to think everyone in the Middle East are either terrorists, supporting terrorists, swayed by terrorists, and that only little isolated Israel (with the 4th largest army in the world AND having nuclear weapons) is the only friend America has, and on this premise, Americans should back everything Israel does as they are our “friends” (even though they murder American military and cover it up, see below)

Their “job” is to win the battle of public opinion online. In other words, they want to influence what people think of Israel. Why is this important? Well, the obvious answer is NOT that Israel really cares what you think if it. After all, if it did perhaps it would begin adhering to some of the more than 60 UN resolutions it has against it, or perhaps stop breaking international law, or perhaps allowing international investigations when it murders people in Palestine, Lebanon and US Military men onboard the USS Liberty;

The USS Liberty off the coast of Egypt was attacked without warning. The attack lasted 40 minutes and 34 Americans were murdered, with 17o injured and the Ship destroyed.

theories as to why Israel would take such drastic action against its superpower ally is that the Liberty, a $40m state-of-the-art surveillance ship, was eavesdropping on an Israeli massacre of Egyptian prisoners of war.

The assertion of a cover-up was lent weight by a 2003 independent commission of inquiry which reported that the attack on the Liberty “remains the only serious naval incident that has never been thoroughly investigated by Congress”.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/6690425.stm
also here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bH-oZHBzOe8

So, to sway public opinion of Israel and its war crimes in Lebanon and Palestine, back in 2000 they decided to create an online group called JIDF or Jewish Internet Defence Force, to manipulate polls and message boards and blogs by spamming comments and votes. However, this has now progressed into removing sites, videos and blogs that critisize Israel or it’s genocide in Palestine, also sites that are against Zionism, which, importantly, is NOT the same as being against Jews!! And there is another group as well, called GIYUS, or “Give Israel Your United Support”

first look at GIYUS:

GIVE ISRAEL YOUR UNITED SUPPORT
Why do I need to report?

GIYUS.ORG spends a lot of effort tracking down online articles  and surveys that members should see and act upon.
After installing the Megaphone application, you will receive alerts on these articles so that you can voice your opinion on
them.

You can help even more! Report relevant articles and surveys to
GIYUS.ORG and help Israel win the public opinion front.

Now let’s look at the other group called JIDF, e.g Jewish Internet Defense Force, sounds very miltary doesn’t it now?
“One of their campaigns has already led to 106 Facebook groups being removed”See here:

The Jewish Internet Defense Force, (JIDF) is approximately 8 years old as a collective of activists and has operated under the name the “Jewish Internet Defense Force”

The JIDF is involved in mass email campaigns, we work to discuss the issues on many fronts, in various forums. We report our concerns of TOS violations to many companies. We advocate for Israel, and we work to unify our people who share our concerns. We write emails to the media, to the internet companies, to law enforcement, and to the government. We also have a major campaign involving YouTube, where we report hateful videos or videos which are promoting violence or terrorism. We work to keep things neutral on Wikipedia,

We have also been a leading pro-Israel force online, and the success often comes in the form of inspiring someone new, who eventually becomes a solid soldier in our online army.

Jewish Internet Defense Force

http://www.thejidf.org

Leading the Fight

So let’s just have a look at the groups they target listed below with excerpts from the JIDF site itself:

FACEBOOK

Through the creation of 4 proactive Facebook groups, The JIDF initiated a 35 day campaign urging 5,000 people to report all the following groups. During that time, 106 groups were deleted, Many more groups crop up daily. Jewish Leadership must coordinate with the management of Facebook to help develop plans to fight this problem.

YOUTUBE

The JIDF believes the following channels and videos most likely break YouTube’s rules against promoting hatred and/or violence. As you can see by the amount of channels which have been suspended we have a pretty good track record. (NOTE: Too many for me to list here, but take link to see the entire list of suspended accounts http://www.thejidf.org/2008/02/problematic-youtube-channels-and-videos.html  scroll down and further down the page you will see the 100’s of accounts they are currently targeting)
http://www.thejidf.org/2008/02/problematic-youtube-channels-and-videos.html

Below are links and comments pasted exactly from their VERY long list of youtube users they want suspended, or videos removed. Admittedly some are from skinheads and truly are racist, but the vast majority are just normal videos with excerpts from credible news sources or photos from news sources. Note that the comments under the links are the actual notes this group has made regarding the video in the link it wants removed.

http://www.youtube.com/user/LaydeeLiberty123
1 video, many problematic favs

(NOTE FYI Meaning she favourited other peoples videos and got her account closed!!)

(But here is the best one of all!!)

http://www.youtube.com/user/FedFarmer
1 video – (might not be against the rules)

Now, this video is a documented media video from a British reporter and an Israeli Human Rights organisation no less. And they want to close this person’s youtube account because they uploaded this video? Why? Because as usual, the video shows human rights abuses by Israelis, so we can’t have that now can we?? Even when it’s an Israeli group that uncovered it and made the documentary, so they attempt to censor their own people!!

Here’s the video (listed above form their site) they want taken down

View it yourself

Oh no, it gets even better, and here’s another one, this is a RAP music video showing news footage and photos of those killed by Israel, again, we can’t let the world see this, they might not like us!!
CENSOR CENSOR CENSOR

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acW5hxSwCsw
(This video shows dead bodies, this is against the YouTube Community Guidelines)

and yet another one here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBa-dFdrJ7Y
(This video shows dead bodies of children, and people getting hurt, attacked, or humiliated)

 

and here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2B-PqTAXTEc
(This video shows dead bodies, and dead children)
(NOTE with regard to YouTube the JIDF also work with an American right wing NeoCon group called YOU TUBE SMACKDOWN http://smackdowncorps.org/

like minds stick together)

WIKIPEDIA

In general, please alert us to any problems of POV-Pushing, bias, subtle antisemitic jabs and the standard “Jew baiting” so commonly found on Wikipedia (WP), so we may update this list and continue cite specific examples. We are also looking to get a lot more active on Wikipedia, since much has been written about the problems and many people have pointed out unfair Wikipedia policies and implementation thereof, especially with regard to Israel and the Jewish people.

Please keep us posted as to any problems you experience on Wikipedia as it will aid in our research and approach. Please enjoy the following list of heavily biased Wikipedia editors. We have listed their “contributions” from “earliest” to most recent, since many of them are trying to pretend they are not biased as of late:

They are targeting several people in Wikipedia, one is an Arab, the other is a Jew who is against Zionism, here is what they say about the Anti-Zionist Jew on Wikipedia, notice how other Jews who are not Zionist fanatics like the JIDF are also targets:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:RolandR
User Contributions

Real name, “Roland Rance” who chairs “Jews Against Zionism” meetings

Just look at this user’s userpage. Wikipedia is supposed to have rules against using it for “soapboxing” but apparently they make an exception in this case (Mary Rizzo’s note: Rance is himself a major gatekeeper and censor… he manipulates according to his own taste pages on Gilad Atzmon, who is a bigger enemy of his than any Zionist is, apparently… but I did not write this post, just leaving my observation in).

Here is one of their complaints about wikipedia: the way, in the current Wikipedia article about Hamas, the fact that it is a terrorist organization isn’t even hinted at until the 6th paragraph!)

Heaven forbid, we have to get the word “terrorist” and “HAMAS” in the first sentance, otherwise it’s unfair to poor Israel!! what a load of bollox! As if people can’t think for themselves, we all need Israel to tell us what to think!

BLOGGER

Don’t think they are serious about closing blogs, webpages, facebook, and youtube accounts and more?

They even invented software to use to make their word easier, it is called “megaphone”, and endorsed by the IDF (Israeli army) and government!

See here:


Megaphone desktop tool
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Megaphone desktop tool is a Windows “action alert” tool developed by Give Israel Your United Support (GIYUS) and distributed by World Union of Jewish Students, World Jewish Congress, The Jewish Agency for Israel, World Zionist Organization, StandWithUs, Hasbara fellowships, HonestReporting, and other pro-Israel public relations, media watchdog, or activism organizations. The tool delivers real-time alerts about key articles, videos, blogs, and surveys related to Israel or the Arab-Israeli conflict, especially those perceived by GIYUS to be highly critical of Israel, so that users can vote or add comments expressing their support of Israel. The tool was released in July during the 2006 Lebanon War.

According the Jerusalem Post, Amir Gissin, head of the Public Affairs Department of the Foreign Ministry of Israel, has expressed support for the tool’s use. “The Foreign Ministry itself is now pushing the idea, urging supporters of Israel everywhere to become cyberspace soldiers in the new battleground for Israel’s image.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megaphone_desktop_tool

 

So, if you can’t win the public hearts and minds by doing the right thing, then just CHEAT CHEAT CHEAT, CENSOR CENSOR CENSOR

Report Jew-Hating Blogs in Less Than a Minute
Click here and then click “submit”
Then come back here and do the same thing with this one.
Do this many times a day. Many days a week and share it with all your friends and email lists.
The blogs in question are some of the most hateful sites we have seen and clearly against Blogger’s own rules.

Thanks!

And a little tidbit from the Jpost on JIDF. Notice that this JIDF group infiltrated and then took over a FACEBOOK group using some type of software, because they did not like the answer they got from FACEBOOK when they complained. The group, according to FACEBOOK was a political discourse group, and as such, FACEBOOK refused to close it down. So the JIDF took action themselves. See here:
Jul 29, 2008 21:16 Updated Jul 30, 2008 9:47

Jewish Internet Defense Force ‘seizes control’ of anti-Israel Facebook group
In the JIDF’s latest efforts, the group has been working around the clock to dismantle the group on Facebook titled, “Israel is not a country! Delist it from Facebook as a country.” That group had tens of thousands of members.
Facebook’s negligence and abdication of responsibility gave us no option but to take matters in our own hands,” the JIDF added.

The JIDF would not specify what technological methods it used to gain access to the group, but said it succeeded in doing so after the old administrators left.

The JIDF received a response from Facebook, he said, which called the anti-Israel group “legitimate political discourse.” Facebook was not available for comment.

“[The JIDF] gained control of the group without compromising Facebook’s security,” Oboler said. “What they have done… is taken away the hate that was spreading through [the group's] membership. It’s a shame that Facebook themselves did not remove it. It has taken a lot of effort from [the JIDF], while it would have taken Facebook one click.”

The JIDF said its efforts are not limited to Facebook, but extend to anti-Semitism and anti-Israel posts found throughout the Internet, including on sites such as Google, Google Earth, YouTube and Wikipedia.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1215331137728&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
So what group or site will they come for next? Beware of who you allow to join your groups and blogs, they will join and then destroy your site.

Remember this, he who controls the internet controls the news and controls the battle for the hearts and minds of the general public. If any of this makes you angry or outraged, write to your Elected Representatives and demand that Israel stop censoring the internet. Who made them “Judge, Jury and Executioner”

We are all intelligent enough to make up our own minds *if* we are allowed to see unfettered information ourselves, why is Israel so worried? Because the internet is the LAST place news is free and where news can freely be put online for all to see. Don’t’ let Israel gain control of what you see, hear and read. America must stop being Israel’s “poodle”.

More information on this subject in tomorrow’s blog, check back then or subscribe to this blog.

PEOPLE READING THIS BLOG SHOULD CHECK TO SEE IF THEIR YOUTUBE CHANNEL OR ACCOUNT IS LISTED AS A TARGET OF THE CENSORING ZIONISTS WHO WORK FOR THE ISRAEL ARMY AND GOVERNMENT

Here is the JIDF’s YOUTUBE LIST OF CHANNELS AND USERS (note the first scrolling box are all the accounts they have managed to suspend or close down, but scroll down the page more to see the active list they are currently working on now, you may be listed!)

http://www.thejidf.org/2008/02/problematic-youtube-channels-and-videos.html

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, don’t say anyhing bad about Israel, or they will come for you in the night…………………

thus concludes Sinéad’s fine report.

And this is what I found while digging into it some more:

Wage Cyberwar Against Hamas, Surrender Your PC
By Noah Shachtman EmailJanuary 08, 2009 | 1:10:27 PM

A group of Israeli students and would-be cyberwarriors have developed a program that makes it easy for just about anyone to start pounding on pro-Hamas websites. But using this “Patriot” software, to join in the online fight, means handing over control of your computer to the Israeli hacker group.

“While you’re running their program, they can do whatever they want with your computer,” Mike La Pilla, manager of malicious code operations at Verisign iDefense, the electronic security firm.

The online collective “Help Israel Win” formed in late December, as the current conflict in Gaza erupted. “We couldn’t join the real combat, so we decided to fight Hamas in the cyber arena,” “Liri,” one the group’s organizers, told Danger Room.

So they created a simple program, supposedly designed to overload Hamas-friendly sites like qudsnews.net and palestine-info.info. In recent years, such online struggles have become key components in the information warfare that accompanies traditional bomb-and-bullets conflicts. Each side tries to recruit more and more people — and more and more computers — to help in the network assaults. Help Israel Win says that more than 8,000 people have already downloaded and installed its Patriot software. It’s a small part of a larger, increasingly sophisticated propaganda fight between supporters of Israel and Hamas that’s being waged over the airwaves and online.

Help Israel Win, which has websites in Hebrew, English, Spanish, French, Russian and Portugese, doesn’t say much about how the program functions — only that it “unites the computer capabilities of many people around the world. Our goal is to use this power in order to disrupt our enemy’s efforts to destroy the state of Israel. The more support we get, the more efficient we are.”

Analysis from iDefense and the SANS Institute, however, reveals that computer users put their PCs at risk when they run the Patriot software. The program connects a computer to one of a number of Internet Relay Chat (IRC) servers. Once the machine is linked up, Help Israel Win can order it to do just about anything.

The Patriot program does something “fishy,” SANS Institute security specialist Bojan Zdrnja said, by retrieving “a remote file and sav[ing] it on the local machine as TmpUpdateFile.exe.” That could easily be a “trojan,” Zdrnja said, referring to a program that sneaks malicious code onto a computer.

“While at the moment it does not appear to do anything bad (it just connects to the IRC server and sites there — there also appeared to be around 1,000 machines running this when I tested this) the owner can probably do whatever he wants with machines running this,” Zdrnja wrote.

Liri, with Help Israel Win, conceded that “the Patriot code could be used as a trojan. However, “practically it is not used as such, and will never be.”

“The update option is used to fix bugs in the client, and not to upload any malicious code… never have and never will,” Liri said. “The project will close right after the war is over, and we have given a fully functional uninstaller to [remove] the application.”

It’s also unclear how much the Patriot program is really helping the Israeli side in the online information war.

La Pilla has been monitoring Help Israel Win’s IRC servers for days. “They didn’t make us download and install anything. Didn’t make us [attack] anybody. I was basically just sitting idle on their network.” The group claims to have shut down sarayaalquds.org and qudsvoice.net. But, as of now, the rest of the group’s pro-Hamas targets remain online. Meanwhile, Help Israel Win has had to shift from website to website, as they come under attack from unknown assailants.

“We began to focus on internet companies like Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia, MySpace, and Digg,

click to enlarge. By Juan Kalvellido

Over three years ago, an idea took shape. That idea was to create a network of activists that would share their material, translating things they considered important from one language, and in exchange, they would be able to circulate things translated by others. We hoped that we could contribute to a more active, involved discourse in our own milieus that would not limited by language. We believed that a good article was like a painting or a song, if it had something to communicate, it could be appreciated in a different context, and we wanted to spread the ideas around as much as we could. We already liked some of the same authors, some of the same sources, and had a common view of the major issues, not less important, we shared a bond of friendship and trust. It was intended to be “for private use”, for our mailing lists, newsgroups, blogs and personal research. We didn’t create it with the intention of making it become a site. Yet, after four months of collaboration, that group of people decided it would be a good idea to share the material we were quickly compiling in great quantity with others. There was no other solution but to open a site, which we launched officially on this day. www.tlaxcala.es

Tlaxcala at the time was a loose assembly of about 25 translator-activists who decided to pool their resources and work in a coalition by agreeing to a common ideal. There have been translation collectives before, and many sites have staff that translates, and most of us had been translating for one site or another as volunteers for a few years, so we weren’t inventing anything new when we started, but there was indeed something “different” about Tlaxcala. The difference of Tlaxcala with other groups is still quite obvious to those of us who answered that first calling to “form a group of anti-imperialist translators”. We have maintained that focus, translating a staggering quantity of material, broadening our vision as a group, but also as individuals. We are trying to keep awareness on what the struggle against “Empire” really is. Together we have discovered how the only way to support liberation from the domination of Empire (be it military, economic, cultural, social, religious, political) is to actively participate, reclaiming the miracle and the mystery of diversity, exalting it even, while making the connection between every struggle, finding their commonalities as well as discovering their unique aspects, and discovering that there are more than a few rays of hope filtering in, and the mainstream media doesn’t seem to want to let people know.

Hegemonic thinking exists in every society, anywhere there is a need for consensus. It is not necessarily damaging to the causes of liberation, and indeed, there are corners of the world where “the people” are influencing “the power elite”, and this too is important news to share. An example among many, for three days the Italian media was hounding about the “mania of dictatorship of Chavez”. The mainstream must have been convinced it was enough to paint him as a megalomaniac and dangerous demagogue, after all, they use the same “Rogue State” menu that they are taught to use by the US. Apparently, it’s easy to call someone a dictator when there is a belief that “the people would not let this happen” and it was basically a given that the Venezuelan referendum would not pass. When it actually did pass, all of a sudden there was silence, this kind of consensus doesn’t seem to find any air time between one fluff story and another. More than that, it would have created a difficult situation to handle: either implying that Venezuelans do not know what democracy is, or that our mass media was busy using a propagandistic element with the Italian public. Either way, they took the easy way out and simply made that story disappear.

Tlaxcala is a group that exists in the realm of language, one that places the struggle for freedom, peace and justice in that sphere. Language is the basis of human existence. We came into a world that was already loaded with meaning, and we learn its codes, its mores and its limits through words. Indeed, our own existence is moulded by the language that we discover, each one of us on our own. It should not be surprising that activists are not expected only to vote or march when called to do so, they are aware of the important position that discourse always has had, of how it evolves, of the way it becomes an action itself, and for an activist-translator, action and language merge their boundaries, they unite into a single instrument.

Since the founding of Tlaxcala, we have grown in number and in dedication. We have obviously fulfilled our purpose of translating material (we now also subtitle videos and have an audio-visual section on our site, in addition to coordinating or supporting international campaigns and petitions), but more than that, we have grown into “Tlaxcala”: an international group with a distinctive character. Not only that, Tlaxcala this month, due to exponential increase in its user base, is upgrading the site, which will be easier to navigate, and will integrate more language pages and with improved features. But the site is only the aspect of Tlaxcala that others see. Tlaxcala is very much more than that.

It actually is hard for me to describe what Tlaxcala really is. Without being a party, sect, social network or NGO, it has managed to create a strong community. There is a human bond and connection of respect, admiration, collaboration and commitment that is so rare it actually does stand out when it happens. I don’t believe a day has gone by when I haven’t learned something, from improving my language skills to learning about the situation in another country to finding out information that otherwise would have been very difficult for me to obtain. I don’t think I would exaggerate to say that many members of Tlaxcala can attest to the same thing. Additionally, I have come into contact with so many outstanding people, people with brilliant minds, generous hearts, a sense of humour, compassion, talent. Every new member brings a whole new patrimony to our group, it is like discovering a new branch on a family tree. Each new member is reason for celebration. This is not to say there are not passionate disputes, that we sit around the campfire singing Kumbayah, but the bond that unites us is strong enough to ALLOW room for debate, dispute and discussion. This is the private side of Tlaxcala, and it is a source of enrichment for those who participate.

Three questions were posed to our members, so that words could convey the relationship between the aspect as an activist and as a translator. Here are replies to these questions from some of our members: I asked them to reply in a language I understood, and I hope the readers of this can also understand the material that is not in English. Check the Tlaxcala site, who knows if it won’t be translated into other languages!?

1)    Do you believe that your participation in our collective has affected your own activism?

Adib: Collective work is always creative and stirs activism and new ideas, man is a social animal, thus always learns from others.  

Atenea: Without a doubt. I believe that activism is about putting your life experience and education at the service of political causes that you strongly support and believe in. Tlaxcala has become one of the key places where I have been able to combine both my profession and principles to contribute, and it has shown me many a times that collective activism is powerful and effective.

Carlos: Naturalmente que si. Primeramente, porque aprendo cada día un oficio que no me es propio, el de traductor, de muy buenos traductores de todo el mundo. Segundo, porque a través de Tlaxcala se produce un importante intercambio de información que es de gran utilidad en otras actividades que hago en redes y organizaciones, con lo que Tlaxcala transciende más allá del  grupo en sí. Tercero porque aporta un enfoque amplio en matices pero bastante estructurado que conforma un tapiz de lo que podríamos considerar una corriente universal de izquierdas en la que es posible y grato trabajar hasta el punto de lamentar muchas veces no disponer del tiempo suficiente para hacerlo. 

Cristina: Mi activismo está ya muy activado, pero Tlaxcala me permite estar al día y acceder a información que de otra manera, a lo mejor, no tenía y propagarla por el mundo.

Diego: Beh, non mi sento un attivista o, almeno, non ritengo paragonabile quello che faccio ad una qualsivoglia forma di attivismo. Detto questo, mi fa piacere far parte di una comunità di persone umane, serie ed intelligenti che, loro sì, hanno molto da insegnare e da cui sono orgoglioso di poter apprendere. Soprattutto, Tlaxcala è un modo per evadere dalla nostra miserabile condizione italiana, soprattutto per evadere dal mare di soprusi e bugie in cui affoghiamo. Tlaxcala, senza retorica, non è solo un modo per conoscere nuova gente e mentalità diverse ma, per me, è una via per far sapere alle persone degli altri paesi che qui in Italia siamo ancora molti a non arrendersi a questo declino morale e sociale che ci sta inghiottendo. In condizioni normali, le idee o gli articoli degli autori che spesso “traduco” circolerebbero senza troppi problemi attraverso i normali canali. Ma non viviamo in condizioni normali e quindi ritengo di dover fare qualcosa per fare sapere almeno all’estero che qui in Italia abbiamo tante persone che meritano di essere ascoltate. E d’altro canto, cercare di contribuire a diffondere le notizie di avvenimenti esteri che qui da noi vengono spudoratamente filtrati, manipolati o censurati. Cmq faccio tutto questo sempre nella consapevolezza che poter scrivere e fare queste cose è un lusso che probabilmente la maggioranza della popolazione mondiale non può permettersi avendo necessità di sopravvivere. E’ uno dei tanti sensi di colpa che mi tormentano da sempre: se ragionassi come molti, dovrei godermi di più la vita proprio per rispetto di chi è meno fortunato, proprio come quando i genitori rimproverano i figli che non consumano fino in fondo il proprio pasto “per rispetto ai bimbi africani”. E’ sbagliato, è come dire che bisogna consumare di più per rispetto di chi non ha niente. In realtà, bisognerebbe rinunciare concretamente ad una parte di quel che abbiamo affinché i bisogni di qualcun altro possano essere soddisfatti. Questa è l’unica via. E, a parte la rinuncia concreta che mi impongo su molte cose, Tlaxcala è un modo come diversi altri per sentirsi più vicini a quelle persone, nella speranza che mi trasmettano un po’ della loro dignità.

 

Dima: it restored my faith in collective activism…

Esteban: Yes, I’m more attentive with the various opinions.

Kourosh: Definitely. Tlaxcala has contributed to my progression immensely. Since I was invited to join the network by Manuel Talens and Mary Rizzo, I made the acquaintance of a number of mindful, intellectual, prosperous and inspirational people who are unassumingly ready for any kind of sacrifice and commitment.

Following my admission into the network, my interviews and articles, fortunately, achieved a broad feedback and reflection internationally, thanks to the constructive contribution and involvement of worldwide translators who work under the umbrella of Tlaxcala, the network of translators for linguistic diversity.

 

As a journalist who pays a high priority to the circulation of his message and the wide distribution of his productions, I’m exceptionally satisfied that my articles, interviews and reports were translated into Arabic, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Swedish and a couple of other languages pursuant to the precious and worthwhile endeavors of Tlaxcalains. I hope this could help the world to hear our call for peace, equality, improvement, tranquility and brotherhood.

 

Manuel: Le ha dado una visión mundial y ha eliminado cualquier resto de nacionalismo que pudiera quedar en mi.

Nadia:  No sólo ha afectado mi activismo, sino que cada día le da forma, de la mayor consistencia. Tlaxcala para mi es algo más, mucho más que un grupo de activistas procedentes de distintos lugares del mundo que comparten ciertos ideales, que persiguen ciertas metas en común, es una escuela, una escuela en la que perfeccionamos nuestras habilidades linguisticas, pero además, y más importante, trabajamos para construir un mundo mejor, un mundo sin exclusiones, sin prejuicios, un mundo en el que todos podamos ver más allá de la punta de nuestras narices. 

Susanne: I am a member of the local WDM (World Development Movement) group and I have been sharing some of the articles and videos with them. The articles I read on and translate for Tlaxcala provide me with view from those that are marginalised or completely ignored in the mainstream media and that helps to inform my own activism.

2)     What feelings and thoughts come to you when you are translating and then when you see your translations published?

Adib: The world is a global village; so you have to know what your next door neighbor and friend believes in to be able to associate with him in a civil manner so as both of you benefit from each other’s work, unless that next door neighbor is an intruding enemy who plans to expand to your living and bed rooms, then kick you out and replace you in them as we Palestinians are suffering with our intruding unwanted “guests”.. Translation helps you to know both your friend, to ally with him, and your enemy, to confront him and put an end to his atrocities. Know both your enemies and friends. Unfortunately what we learned from our enemy is that he is not willing to learn from his own mistakes… We learned that our enemy is digging its grave with its own hands.

When you see your translations published you earn satisfaction as you know that your time was not wasted, on the contrary it benefits others.

 

 

Atenea: I only choose to translate those articles and essays that resonate with my political convictions and interests, so the experience is always rewarding as every time I learn and/or open new windows to further strengthen my position in specific issues. I try to stay away from well-known authors in alternative media as I find it more urgent to lend my skills and profession to convey the ideas and thoughts of those who are not so popular but equally incisive and sharp. Publication and re-publication in other sites only means that we are achieving our goal as a group: giving a voice to those who would otherwise remain unheard, offering people a view into the other side of the (hi)story, and counteracting and counterbalancing the enormous amount of mainstream so-called information that bombards the world 24/7.

Carlos: Si la conciencia colectiva de una comunidad es su idioma, el esfuerzo de traducir a otra lengua diferente de la tuya, la materna, es adentrarse en un horizonte nuevo y abrirse a una nueva mentalidad, y así es como acometo un texto, que escojo en función de varias consideraciones y no sólo de mis preferencias personales puesto que influye la actualidad, la relevancia de lo tratado, los hechos que rodean el texto, su autor, etc..

Cuando un trabajo se ve después publicado pienso en la utilidad que pueda tener y para quién puede tenerla. Busco vestigios de errores y trato de tenerlos en cuenta para la siguiente traducción y también para escoger un nuevo texto. De unos trabajos te sientes más satisfecho que de otros pero, como los temporales en la mar, el peor siempre es el último.

Cristina: Hay veces (me acaba de pasar con un tema de Venezuela) en que me apasiono e implico de tal modo que me sale una traducción con mucha vida y yo llego a emocionarme. ¡Ésas son las mejores! 
No he visto aún ninguna traducción mía publicada porque soy una novata entre vosotros.

Diego: Nell’ordine: camuffare in qualche modo la mia limitata conoscenza della lingua straniera; evitare fraintendimenti e possibili querele (che da noi sono molto di moda) sperare di non commettere troppi errori, visto che tu ed altri dovete sobbarcarvi le revisioni. Quanto alle pubblicazioni fanno piacere ma più che altro implicano la possibilità che ancor più persone possano leggerle.

Dima: I recognise the importance of what we’re doing as translators, seeing the translations on the web affirms my commitment. it’s only a shame I can’t contribute as frequently as i would like to..

Esteban: Je n’en tire aucune gratification personnelle, le seul fait de savoir que le texte d’un auteur engagé pour les mêmes idées que moi sera certainement lu par des personnes qui n’auraient jamais pu le lire et par conséquent n’auraient pas pu avoir une information parallèle ou un avis en dehors du cadre de la pensée unique m’incite à catalyser les deux parties. Tous les textes de Tlaxcala (et d’autres sites également) ne seront jamais imprimés dans la presse impérialiste, et pourtant avec Tlaxcala ils sont à la portée de tout un chacun afin qu’il s’interroge et s’aperçoivent comment les médias manipulent les consciences. Le niveau des textes étant élevé, Tlaxcala est un excellent vecteur d’information, d’apprentissage, de formation et de stimulateur à la lutte.

Kourosh: At the time of writing and translating, I just try to set focus on the job which is assigned to me; a genuine concentration. Due to the overwhelming clutter of works which usually entangle me, sometimes I can not manage to draw the projects to a close and finish up the works timely, for which I should apologize to all of the Tlaxcalains; however, that’s a source of honor and pride for me to see an abundant trust and confidence which the people bestow upon me.

Manuel: Como cualquier otro traductor implicado en un trabajo político colectivo y voluntario, escojo los textos en función de mis propias preferencias. En el proceso de traducción procuro plasmar las ideas del autor original de la manera más clara posible y con la mayor corrección estilística de la que soy capaz. El lector se merece siempre un buen texto. Cuando veo mis traducciones publicadas suelo estar ya haciendo alguna nueva, así que nunca vuelvo la vista atrás.

Nadia: Una traducción publicada es un nuevo cohete qassam lanzado en contra de la ocupación de la que somos objeto, es un acto de protesta y por ende de resistencia. Tal como los combatientes que en algún rincón del mundo elaboran rudimentarias armas para defenderse de aquellos que los oprimen, nosotros, con nuestras traducciones también reivindicamos nuestro derecho a luchar elaborando cada una de nuestras traducciones. En el proceso dejamos el alma, no hay traducción que no cuente, que no aporte, cada una de ellas representa nuestro grito de protesta, ese grito que, como decía el subcomandante marcos, se sumará al de otros en distintos rincones del mundo hasta finalmente ser escuchado por aquellos que resisten y luchan con las armas en nuestro nombre, porque todos somos combatientes, todos somos palestinos, subsaharianos, iraquíes, tibetanos, todos empuñamos la misma arma.

Susanne: Some of the articles in particular made me think about how the things are connected and how the response in the Western corporate media just doesn’t reflect the severity of some conflicts and the suffering in the world because of some powerful interests, it’s like a script being followed. I have noticed how my translations appear on a number of blogs after publication on Tlaxcala, for all those readers who want to get beyond the scripted reporting in the corporate media. It makes me happy.

3)     Have you gained in a personal way from participation in our collective, or have you lost something?

 

Adib: Definitely both in a personal and collective way. How could anybody lose in collective work. Collective efforts is like yeast that matures dough that becomes good bread when baked thus you have your fill that is consumed with pleasure.

Atenea: No original answer here: I have gained a solid network of compañeros whom I share a world and life view with, a really big thing when you actually think about it. I have lost some free time, but have become a more creative time manager!

Carlos: Aparte de algunas clases de saxofón he perdido poca cosa comparado con lo mucho que he ganado, lo más importante de todo: estar en contacto con un creciente grupo de personas extraordinarias, lo cual sería imposible de otra forma. He ganado también  aprendizaje y  posibilidades de expresión. Desde cualquier punto de vista personal la experiencia es enormemente positiva.

Cristina: He ganado el participar en un proyecto como Tlaxcala del que soy admiradora hace años.
Me enorgullece formar parte de un grupo de gente tan luchador, generoso, valiente con cuyas metas y puntos de vista coincido al cien por cien.
No pierdo nada, porque el tiempo empleado me parece un granito más de arena en la montaña que pare la injusticia.

 

Diego: Mi pare di aver risposto in parte già nella prima. Cmq, più che altro, mi pare di star “rincretinendomi”. Ma forse dipende dal fatto che è Tlaxcala stessa ad essere probabilmente qualcosa di un po’ “folle”.

 

Dima: I like being in a world-wide collective and I intend to plan some trips to countries when some Tlaxcala members have a spare bed for me to lie on (watch out everyone!)

 

Esteban: Comme j’ai dit dans la phrase en rouge ci-dessus, elle est pour moi EN PREMIER. Et donc j’ai gagné sur mon chemin personnel et j’espère encore gagner dans mon apprentissage sur les couleurs du monde, dans ma façon de penser et de réagir. Il faut dire que l’activité intense de beaucoup de militants au sein de l’association incite à aller de l’avant.

 

Je profite de ce questionnaire pour dire que : il est vrai que j’ai des préférences pour des textes et des auteurs, mais je n’ai AUCUNE retenue pour les luttes et les combats des peuples, ethnies, communautés ou individu contre l’impérialisme aliénateur. De même, il y a quelquefois des textes auxquels je n’adhère pas entièrement, alors, je m’abstiens de traduire ou de commenter ; pour autant si une majorité des membres actifs pense que ce texte peut être positif pour les luttes (même s’il n’a pas la radicalité qui me convient), alors je m’investis dans cette optique, ET JE L’ASSUME (« Je l’assume » c’est la seule raison qui me fait signer à la fin, sinon je signerais « le collectif »).

 

it’s a part of me…

Kourosh: Undisputedly, working in Tlaxcala added some new values to me. A beneficial sort of communal cooperation with a group of admirable people who are enthusiastic about their works, making new contacts with people who understand the reality of pure dedication, commitment and pledge, fueling the process of advantageous movements to help the oppressed, needy and impoverished worldwide and finally, acting upon the responsibilities which I believe are allocated to me.

Manuel: He ganado un horizonte sin fronteras y he perdido tiempo libre.

Nadia: No he perdido nada, cómo podría? He ganado mucho, he ganado un espacio de lucha y me siento privilegiada por ello, he ganado el martillo y el cincel con los que estoy contribuyendo a modelar el mundo en el que quiero vivir. 

Susanne: It’s only a short time since I have been a member, but in this time I have been very impressed and inspired by the dedication and courage of Tlaxcala’s members and friends. It is very life affirming and gives me hope that the world can be improved. 

  

The latest of Al Arabiya TV series of betrayals to the ethics of journalism and another move of manipulations of the media came today with a report it has published on its news website.

 

Al Arabiya claims that Palestinian Mothers are requesting NOT to broadcast images of children killed in Gaza because it causes fear and panic amongst the children in Gaza.

 

What A heap of Bull media Sh-t.

 

Before going to disintegrate Al Arabiya’s method of handling the coverage of Current Affairs, I would like to mention that the Foreign Ministry of Israel hailed on its website by Israel’s Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni a number of Arab journalists and recommend reading their articles regularly, and have their list of names available on the official website of the Ministry as a reference because she considers them as Israel’s ambassadors in the Arab world, for they follow exactly the Israeli line and defend its point of view to the letter. She recommended not only publishing their present articles during the last war, but all their old ones – especially the ones they wrote against Hamas, and guess what? Abdul Rahman al-Rashed, General Manager, Al Arabiya Channel and the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al- Awsat who happens to hold a US post-graduate degree in mass communications from USA, is on this so-called Honour list.

 

Regarding Al Arabiya’s report claiming that the women of Gaza complained that what their children see on TV screens of bodies or parts of bodies of Gaza children became a worrying concern and that it should be stopped.

 

I would like to borrow an old saying of my Palestinian culture book of sarcastic quotes that can be applied in this case, we were told since we were young, ‘if you want to find if a certain claim is a lie, just look how big it is’ and sure enough this lie is extra large, for everybody around the world knows that Gaza still does not have electricity to connect TV sets to, and almost the majority of the homes in Gaza have no living room or TV sets left to watch TV, let alone the fact that most of the families are left with no mothers to complain, and the mothers who were lucky to escape death are preoccupied by other concerns like finding some clean water to drink, or finding a way to visit a half burned child at hospitals, and what piece of furniture to burn next to boil some roots to eat after 19 months of siege and after Israel forces have blown up all the UN buildings that used to have some stored food. All the pictures we received are still excellent evidence that all the dishes that used to capture the signals from TV stations are on the ground half buried under the rubble with the dead bodies. What kind of false media message is Al Arabiya trying to send the world?

 

This is clearly a desperate attempt to dilute the pain and misery of the people of Gaza for they have committed the sin of choosing Hamas as their political representative which is considered as an anti-USA.

 

The mothers and children of Gaza are claimed to complain of airing their need and despair and the injustice fallen upon them, but it seems that no Palestinian mother is complaining about the collaboration of the Arab states against them and siding with the Israel and USA.

 

Since when Al Arabiya has worried about the emotions of women in Gaza or been concerned that the children can’t sleep? How else would the people around the world would know the scale of cruelty and destruction caused by the Israeli state, and how ugly the war was? Is Al Arabiya advising us to create an entertainment program backed with animation and soft music when we scream about such a huge scale of massacres? 60 years of occupation and massacres had no effect on the international conscience because of the media manipulations Al Arabiya and other media adopting Western agenda means of reporting, by considering the dead are no longer important, and only worrying about the preferences of the fragile sensitive emotions of the living. I bet Al Arabiya would prefer a little entertainment instead to wash away the blood of hundreds of children killed without any crime committed but being born Palestinians. Al Arabiya has been reporting about the handmade rockets that fell on Sderot killing nobody but injuring a worktop of a kitchen, but not once it has mentioned that Sderot was the original home for those who were desperately firing homemade rockets more like fireworks because they were desperate after 19 months of siege and being forced to live packed like sardines and pickled in their own sweat together in the most populated area in the world.

 

Al Arabiya claimed that Palestinian women (generalising as usual) do not want any pictures of the massacred, let’s see who they have claimed they were representing the Palestinian mothers in Gaza and how did they came up with such report, and who were there references….?

 

They mention two persons, this was not the Gaza mothers point of view, but one person (a male) not a mother as claimed by the article, and one journalist.

 

So… how can Al Arabiya lie and claim something the mothers of Gaza never said? The manipulations of the media seem to underestimate the intelligence of the viewer and insult Palestinian women who are still mourning their lost ones in the shadows of their wrecked homes, holding tight to bits and pieces of their lost ones, sniffing the scent of their children’s bodies mixed with the smell of white phosphorus.

 the article in question: http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2009/02/02/65521.html