The ANC was a national liberation movement. In that era, revolutionary freedom fighters looked not to placating the west, but to each other as they built not only rhetorical, but very real material links.
Mandela visited the revolutionary leaders of Algeria in 1962, he built links with Fidel Castro’s Cuba, and with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
Just came across this from when I was on the Islam Channel last month:
Note this discussion took place before last night’s news about the French team’s contrary report. But note also that the Swiss report (you can read it in full here), which concluded Arafat died from polonium poisoning, remains the only published forensic investigation of Arafat’s remains. Here is Clayton Swisher’s latest report.
My latest MEMO column on the new Spinwatch report on the Israel lobby:
The Israel lobby often operates in the darkness, making it harder to expose. But this does also make it particularly susceptible to the light of scrutiny – such as the light shed by this report.
Understanding the way the Israel lobby works is most important. Do not be intimidated or despair. They are strong, but not all-pervasive as they would like us to think.
Probably the most controversial thing I have ever written (controversy generated by Israel’s propagandists generally being falsified). Alternative judgements rendered on Twitter: “Good,” “Brilliant,” “Spot-on” and (my favourite of the insults) “someone throwing up on their keyboard”:
But we can now say with confidence that none of these uprisings has constituted a revolution. Of course, the immense struggles and sacrifices that people have made may yet sow seeds for the future… To say Syria is now a disaster is a massive understatement. This is a sectarian civil war which could continue for a decade if the regime’s enemies, led by the brutal Saudi tyranny, continue to wage their proxy war on the country.
As usual, read the rest of this column over at MEMO.
UPDATE, 26/11: After pressure, MEMO has decided to to withdraw this article because they deemed it “offensive.” It has been deleted from their website and replaced with a note (although a copy was preserved on the Internet Archive).
I totally stand by the article, the full text of which is below. 28/11: Jacobin magazine has also now republished it on their site.
Syria: the revolution that never was
By Asa Winstanley
What has happened in the Arab world since Tunisian icon Muhammed Bouazizi burned himself to death in protest in December 2010?
A series of popular uprisings, each feeding off the next, swept the region. From Morocco to Oman, there were varying degrees of protest against ossified regimes, demanding everything from the downfall of the regime to more simple reforms.
But we can now say with confidence that none of these uprisings has constituted a revolution. Of course, the immense struggles and sacrifices that people have made may yet sow seeds for the future.
Pro-war Times columnist David Aaronovitch even told the veteran Palestinian journalist Abdel Bari Atwan on a BBC News panel discussion this weekend that he was talking “nonsense” to accuse Israel of doing it. And the third panellist dismissed it all as Arab “conspiracy theories.”But when such “evidential certainty” – laid out over a 108-page expert report – is dismissed out of hand as Arab conspiracy theory it’s time to question who are the real “conspiracy theorists”.
A long article published in last weekend’s New York Times revealed that Israel is a high-priority target for NSA spy operations. Scott Shane wrote of documents showing NSA’s “tracking of ‘high priority Israeli military targets,’ including drone aircraft and the Black Sparrow missile system”. It is the latest tantalizing glimpse into the complicated intelligence relationship between Israel and America
The NSA papers revelations continue:
In a Le Monde article co-written with a French journalist, Greenwald revealed that Israel had almost certainly been behind a May 2012 hacking attempt on the French president’s network. According to an unnamed expert quoted in Greenwald and Jacques Follorou’s article, the attack “was not part of an act of sabotage… [but aimed] to be permanently installed invisibly at the centre of the Presidency”.
Read the rest of my article over at MEMO.
The very fact the bogus story spread around so quickly before being debunked (even making it onto popular American blog The Huffington Post) tells us something about the successes to date of the BDS campaign. It is having a far-reaching impact amongst Israelis, showing that BDS activists are punching way above their weight, compared to their modest means.
My latest column, on the centrality of the Right of Return to the Palestinian struggle:
For all the tragedies and hardships faced by the Palestinian people today there is one constant root, exacerbating or causing all the others in turn: Israel’s block on the refugees’ right to return to their homeland. In every war, the office of the UNHCR, the UN’s refugee agency, has as its primary goal “to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily”. But the UNHCR does not have primary responsibility for Palestinian refugees: there is a whole separate UN agency for them, the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).
On why Zionist anti-Semitism is a thing:
To return to Brummer’s comments, there is a more sinister element to what he told the Today programme – something that went almost entirely unnoticed by commentators. As proof the Mail could not possibly be anti-Semitic he said it was “one of the most pro-Israel papers on Fleet Street.” This statement is itself anti-Semitic, since it implies all Jews are responsible for the actions of Israel. If that was not bad enough, he made this vile equation more explicit, claiming that the other papers’ “demonis[ing]” of Israel ipso-facto “demonise[s] the broader Jewish community”. There you have it: according to Brummer “Israel” is equivalent to “the broader Jewish community”. This is a disgusting anti-Semitic statement, but it is a common argument for Zionists to make.
Pew found that 82 percent of white evangelicals “believe God gave the land of Israel to the Jewish people” compared to less than half of many of Jewish Americans who believe the same. In fact, the proportion of Jews who believe as much (40 percent) is actually lower than the general public in America.
With Israel doing everything it can to market and present itself as “the Jewish state,” this may all come as a surprise. But take a step back and consider some other salient facts.
Said was a moral inspiration, not least because of his refusal to be bowed or intimidated by systems of power. These systems included Arab regimes, as well as imperial America and colonial Israel.
Time and again as one reads through Said’s collected newspaper columns (which you can do in books such as “Peace and its Discontents”, “The End of the Peace Process” and his final collection “From Oslo to Iraq and the Roadmap”) a constant theme is denunciation of the brutal and corrupt dictatorships that rule in the Arab world. He ridiculed and denounced subservient Arab intellectuals and journalists, the court stenographers of oil sheikhs and dictators.
In that respect, Said pre-empted 2011′s popular Arab uprisings by decades (although I am personally convinced that he would, like me, have disliked the Western imposed label “Arab spring”).