Palestine is still the issue — Asa Winstanley on The East is a Podcast

Sinha kindly invited me onto his show, The East is a Podcast in April — and of course I jumped at the chance.

The East is a Podcast is absolutely one of my top podcasts — you should definitely subscribe!

Censored Al Jazeera film exposes anonymous Israeli blacklist — I talk to The Real News

I spoke to Aaron Mate of The Real News about our exclusive release of clips from The Lobby — USA, Al Jazeera’s censored film about groups in the US close to the Israeli government and how they are spying on US citizens.

Watch above, or read the transcript here.

Independent media for Palestine — my talk in Brighton

This is the video of a talk that Brighton Palestine Solidarity Campaign invited me to give at their annual AGM in June.

In it I talk about: the role of independent media within the Palestine solidarity movement, specifically The Electronic Intifada; and about Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs and its covert war against BDS, the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

The Nakba at 70 — my talk in Bristol

Here’s the video of a talk I gave in May at Bristol’s Palestine Museum, a great local activist project.

In it I talk about the modern day legacy of the Nakba, the Israeli ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians in 1948; BDS, the boycott divestment and sanctions movement against Israeli apartheid; and Israel’s current war against Palestine solidarity.

Thanks to the Palestine Museum for inviting me to take part.

Talking Ofcom’s ruling on Al Jazeera Israel lobby film

I spoke to Al Jazeera English about Ofcom’s ruling in favour of Al Jazeera’s undercover documentary The Lobby.

Debating the Labour Party purge on TRT World

I appeared on Turkish channel TRT World debating the current witch hunt in the Labour Party targeting leftists and supporters of Palestine. See my EI blog post for more details on the programme .

Blaming the victim in Palestine

My colleague David Sheen was assaulted by the mob at a recent “Death to the Arabs” rally in Tel Aviv, for the crime of trying to film it.

Israel also of course habitually blames Palestinians for their own deaths – in wars started by Israel. In a transparent case of psychological projection, Israel blames Palestinian civilian deaths on the (imaginary) use of “human shields” by Palestinian resistance fighters.

In reality, civilians are killed because of Israel’s habit of bombing, shelling and destroying entire civilian neighbourhoods. And, in fact, as is well documented by human rights groups, it is Israel that uses Palestinian victims as human shields.

Read the rest over at MEMO.

Uses and abuses of the word ‘Zionism’

Be under absolutely no illusions about what is going on with the Labour Party’s fabricated “anti-Semitism crisis” right now. This is nothing less than a coup attempt aimed at ending the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

Corbyn, of course, is a long-standing socialist and veteran Palestine campaigner. The embittered Ultras of the Blairite right will see the party go down in flames, sacrificing every election, before they allow a Labour government under Prime Minister Corbyn come to power.

Continue reading over at MEMO.

Deadly Israeli euphemisms

Don’t be fooled by Israel’s propaganda usage of terminology such as “targeting elimination”. The CIA too, used to invoke such double-speak.

Of black leaders such as Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, COINTELPRO documents notoriously threatened that “through counter-intelligence it should be possible to pinpoint potential trouble-makers and neutralize them”.

Read the rest over at MEMO.

Privatised psi-ops

A recurring theme of this column has been Israeli propaganda. More specifically, I have looked at some of the ways in which Israeli government entities, and Israeli corporations like to over-value and exaggerate their impact on the world and their effectiveness against their enemies.

In a way, one can understand why they do this. And there is nothing unique about it. All states and most combatants in wars engage in psychological operations against their enemies.

During the US occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, it seemed that every time the US and its allies engaged in a bombing we’d hear about a “top leader” in al-Qaida or other armed groups being offed. This even reached the stage where some armed enemies of the US have been declared dead more than once – a phenomenon the excellent American journalist Jeremy Scahill has written about many times. Clearly propaganda and exageration was at work in some of these cases.

Israeli psi-ops have taken some rather unique and disturbing forms, however.

Continue reading over at MEMO.

A new phase in Israel’s ‘lawfare’ strategy

For the last decade, a central plank of Israel’s strategy to combat its global critics has been something it terms “lawfare” – using courts around the world to attack, defame, silence and intimidate its enemies.

Since Israel is addicted to real life war, it’s no surprise to find that even its diplomats and ambassadors are seemingly unable to think and act in terms other than purely military ones (most of them are former soldiers after all). Take its response to the BDS campaign – the movement to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel until it respects Palestinian human rights.

A reporter for liberal Israeli daily Haaretz, on a recent visit to the Israeli embassy in London, noted a map that was “like the war room of a brigade on the Lebanese border.” This map showed the “front” (another military term) which consists of “the main campuses, the deployment of pro-Israel activists and the location of the ‘enemy forces.’”

Amongst such “enemy forces” are those well-known dastardly anti-Semitic hate-mongers: peaceful campaigners, academic critical of Israel (many of them Jewish) and university students.

Just this week the new Israeli ambassador Mark Regev visited the SOAS campus, in a low-key meeting with university director Valerie Amos. This prompted noisy protests by students, who objected to Regev’s presence on campus and to top-management’s coddling of this high-profile apologist for Israeli war crimes.

Read more over at MEMO.

The Palestinian Authority’s looming succession crisis

The octogenarian leader of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank will not be around forever.

Elected as president of the PA back in 2005, the democratic mandate of Mahmoud Abbas expired years ago. Armed putschist forces loyal to Abbas took over the West Bank back in 2007, several months after democratic elections to the PA’s legislative body did not go Abbas’s way.

The “Palestinian Authority” is a thorough misnomer: it has no real authority, and its ultimate loyalty is to Israel, not to the Palestinian people. Indeed, the entire raison d’être of the PA since its inception has been to act as a violent buffer between the Israeli occupation and popular Palestinian anger and resistance.

It is in fact a subcontractor for the occupation.

The PA, of course, does have some perfectly legitimate civilian functions, such as education and health. But these are dwarfed by its massive budget for “security” and policing, including of the feared mukabarat, or secret police. Some 31 per cent of the PA’s total budget is spent in this way. This far outstrips spending on health, education or agriculture. In proportionate terms, this is much more than the UK (10 per cent), India (16 per cent), Israel (20 per cent) and even the USA (23 per cent).

Read more over at MEMO.