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Media Elite Denounce Looting Even as Billionaires Reap Record Profits from Taxpayer-Funded Bailouts

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 30/05/2020 - 6:55am in

The extrajudicial killing of African-American man George Floyd by Police Officer Derek Chauvin sparked a storm of protests both in Minneapolis and across the country. These have included large peaceful demonstrations, but also arson, destruction of property and looting. Police have abandoned multiple precincts in the face of overwhelming popular rage.

The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. consistently argued that looting is the language of the unheard and oppressed, a physical manifestation of their marginalization. However, many in the establishment, particularly on the right, have not interpreted the events as such, and appear scandalized by them. 

Fox News host Tucker Carlson condemned the uprising as “a form of tyranny” and “oppression.” Referring to the suffocation of George Floyd, Carlson said police brutality was “bad;” “But none of it was nearly as bad as what you just saw. The indiscriminate use of violence by mobs is a threat to every American,” he said, calling for something to be done. President Trump was even more forthright, suggesting that the National Guard be sent in to open fire on “thugs” and “looters.” “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” he tweeted from both his personal and White House accounts. 

Yet a new and updated report from the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) reveals that the looting in Minneapolis pales into insignificance compared with the enormous wealth American’s billionaire class has managed to accrue during the pandemic. In the ten weeks since the nationwide lockdown first began, the group calculates that billionaires have increased their wealth by $485 billion – equal to 16.5 percent. This half-trillion-dollar rise, for Chuck Collins, Director of the IPS’ Program on Inequality and the Common Good, is something close to looting the whole economy.

“The wealthy are economically distancing from the rest of society. Worse, some are pandemic profiteering, looting government stimulus programs and taking advantage of market monopolies,” he told MintPress News. 

The enormous explosion in wealth, even amidst a pandemic that has caused the economy to collapse, businesses to close, and demand to dwindle, is down in no small part to the passing of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, one of the greatest upwards transfers in wealth in history. While the bill, passed in late March, includes a check of up to $1,200 for most Americans, the vast majority of the benefits go to the ultra wealthy. 

A report from the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), a nonpartisan congressional body, found that almost 82 percent of the tax breaks and other financial benefits go to those already earning over $1 million per year. In contrast, less than three percent will go to the great majority who earn under $100,000 annually. The loopholes around capital gains tax will especially benefit the richest few hundred Americans. The JCT also projects that the tax cut will add almost $170 billion to the deficit over the next ten years. 

Some of the biggest winners in the last few weeks, according to the IPS, include Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (up over $34 billion in two months), Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg (up over $25 billion) and Microsoft’s Bill Gates, who increased his already enormous fortune by $8 billion. Meanwhile, Elon Musk, whose California Tesla car plant was closed for months, has seen his net worth increase by almost 50 percent, to over $36 billion. Even in the last week, America’s billionaires’ fortunes have increased by $50 billion.

At the same time, unemployment has surged to over 40 million, and food banks across the country are inundated with customers desperate for anything they can get. Around one third of renters in the United States failed to pay their rent in April and May. 

“When the wealth of billionaires surges at the same time that tens of millions lose their lives and livelihoods, it undermines the solidarity required for us to pull together and help one another during a pandemic,” Collins added. 

While many among the elite may be aghast at the scenes of low level looting in Minneapolis, the enormous siphoning off of public funds to further enrich billionaires has gone largely unnoticed. A mountain of sociological studies on wealth inequality have shown that it has a corrosive effect on social cohesion, with the more unequal a society gets, the less likely people are to see themselves as participants in a community, viewing others as threats. More unequal societies also commonly favor more repressive policing tactics like the ones seen in Minneapolis this week. Although many might not realize it, the enormous looting by billionaires and the petty looting by protestors in Minneapolis might have more in common than first meets the eye.  

Feature photo | A man carries items past a burned out Auto Zone store near the Minneapolis Police Third Precinct, May 28, 2020, after a night of rioting and looting as protests continue over the death of George Floyd. Jim Mone | AP

Alan MacLeod is a Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent. He has also contributed to Fairness and Accuracy in ReportingThe GuardianSalonThe GrayzoneJacobin MagazineCommon Dreams the American Herald Tribune and The Canary.

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As Establishment Condemns China for Hong Kong Repression, Trump Tweets About “Shooting Looters”

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 30/05/2020 - 5:10am in

Republicans and Democrats alike have come together to condemn a new law proposed by the Chinese government that would likely stifle the year-long protests in Hong Kong. The State Department, headed by former CIA Director Mike Pompeo, published a press release yesterday presenting the city as a “bastion of freedom” amidst a repressive state, claiming Beijing was undermining the one country, two systems framework established at the end of British colonial rule in 1997. The framework has allowed Hong Kong a host of special economic and political privileges that the mainland lacks.

Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was similarly forthright in her denunciation of China. “This excessive law brazenly accelerates Beijing’s years-long assault on Hong Kong’s political and economic freedoms… All freedom-loving people must come together to condemn this law,” she wrote, adding, “If America does not speak out for human rights in China because of commercial interests,” then it would “lose all moral authority to speak out elsewhere.”

President Trump has been similarly condemnatory and is scheduled to speak about China at a press conference later today. This morning he attempted to shift attention away from Minneapolis by simply tweeting “CHINA!”

Yet even as Trump was denouncing oppression abroad, he hinted that the military should move into Minneapolis and fire on protestors. “When the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank You!” he said, adding that he would not stand back and watch a “great city” be overrun by “thugs” and looters. The tweet was quickly hidden by Twitter moderators for breaking their terms of service with regards to encouraging violence. The White House’s official account, therefore, repeated Trump’s incitement. Earlier today, a team of CNN journalists, led by presenter Omar Jimenez, were arrested by state police live on air for supposedly not following law enforcement instructions.

Both terms – “thugs” and “looters” – have become deeply racialized codewords in American society, referring chiefly to lower class African-Americans. The former is overwhelmingly reserved for black people, even when it is barely applicable. Meanwhile, after being abandoned by the state after Hurricane Katrina, poor black Louisiana residents desperately trying to find enough food to eat amid the flooding were presented as “looters” and were treated as such by the authorities and racist vigilante groups alike, who shot them with impunity.

The protests in Minneapolis erupted earlier this week after images of police officer Derek Chauvin killing unarmed black man George Floyd went viral. In videos posted on social media, Chauvin can be seen kneeling on Floyd’s throat for over seven minutes, as onlookers and Floyd himself pleaded that he was being suffocated. The Minnesota police department described the incident on their website with the headline “man dies after medical incident during police interaction.” Chauvin, a police officer of 19 years, has a long history of shooting and killing civilians while in uniform. Anger turned to rage throughout the week, and much of the city is currently still burning as demonstrations turned violent. This afternoon Chauvin was finally taken into custody, although it is not clear whether it is for his own safety as much as for his actions.

As for Hong Kong, tensions flared up in March last year over a proposed extradition treaty between the island city, the mainland, and Taiwan, after a Hong Kong resident murdered his pregnant girlfriend while on vacation in Taiwan, fled back home, and authorities were unable to prosecute him due to no agreement between the nations. Many in Hong Kong felt that Beijing would use the new treaty to arrest or persecute opponents of the Chinese state currently residing there. The United States has offered its full support to the protesters, meeting and promoting many of their most notable representatives, including student leader Joshua Wong. While the conflict has been raging for over a year, authorities have not been responsible for any deaths.

China’s new law would ban sedition, secession, and other methods of subversion. The Chinese government argues that it is a necessary step for national security, given that much of the protests appear to be funded and supported from abroad. However, critics say it is aimed at stifling legitimate dissent and would effectively be the end of the one country two systems framework of governance.

While the United States establishment is united in condemning Beijing for its overreach, with Trump encouraging the National Guard to open fire on any “thugs” or “looters” they might find, it may be time to turn the gaze closer to home to find examples of state repression.

Feature photo | A protester confronts National Guard soldiers deployed against protesters in Minneapolis, May 29, 2020. Carlos Barria | Reuters

Alan MacLeod is a Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent. He has also contributed to Fairness and Accuracy in ReportingThe GuardianSalonThe GrayzoneJacobin MagazineCommon Dreams the American Herald Tribune and The Canary.

The post As Establishment Condemns China for Hong Kong Repression, Trump Tweets About “Shooting Looters” appeared first on MintPress News.

“Deadly Exchange”: America’s Racist Policing Has Roots in Israel

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 30/05/2020 - 2:25am in

Racism and violence against people of color in the U.S. is nothing new. In fact, the United States, with its claims to be “the land of the free,” has always been a racist, genocidal and violent state. It was founded on genocide of the native people and on the backs African slaves. The United States committed the most egregious war crimes in the history of mankind, including genocide, the use of nuclear weapons, destruction of democracies and support for murderous dictators around the world, and the list goes on and on from the earliest days of the Union to this very day.

The state of Israel, which historically speaking is a new creation, was also founded on genocide and racism. For close to one hundred years the Zionist movement which created Israel has been engaged in a brutal campaign to rid Palestine of its indegenous population and give the land to Jewish colonizers. It should, therefore, come as no surprise that good relations exist between the United States and Israel.

There are countless areas of life in the U.S. in which Israel and various Zionist organizations influence and interfere. The Jewish Federation, the Anti-Defamation League, and AIPAC are the most commonly recognized but are only three out of countless organizations that operate throughout the fifty states and relentlessly pursue Israeli interests in all facets of American life.

These organizations interfere in U.S. elections by pouring money into the campaigns of  pro-Israeli candidates; they are engaged in heavily influencing the outcome of trials where the defendants are Arabs or Muslims, and they finance campaigns to edit and rewrite curricula in public schools so that the Middle East is always taught in a way that supports the Zionist narrative.

 

A deadly exchange

As the video clip of a Minnesota police officer slowly and callously choking George Floyd to death went viral, many people, including myself, remembered Palestine. Officer Derek Chauvin, who casually placed his knee on George Floyd’s neck, could have easily been an Israeli soldier or police officer holding down a Palestinian. The way he just sat there, took a knee on Floyd’s neck, ignoring Floyd who repeatedly said he cannot breathe, ignoring Floyd as he begged him to allow him to breathe and ignoring the fact that the man under his knee was slowly suffocating to death made it clear that this cop was a predator and George Floyd was merely his prey.

American Israeli police

Since 9/11, many American police forces have been trained by Israeli security experts. Photos | AP

This happens in America just as it happens in Palestine. The similarities are no coincidence and they may well be the result of what has become known as the “Deadly Exchange,” a collaboration between the two racist states who see no problem in executing and watching the slow agonizing death of black and brown people.

Deadly Exchange is the name of a campaign to stop the collaboration between police departments across the United States and the state of Israel. The campaign put out an extensive report that outlines the cooperation between law enforcement in the U.S. and Israel. The report also lists the dangers and threats that this exchange poses to people of color in the United States.

 

Israeli democracy and security

Israel is wrongly heralded as a democracy facing perpetual threat. In reality, it is an apartheid state and its security apparatus is dedicated neither to safety nor security as it claims, but rather to the subjugation of Palestinians. During training sessions in Israel, U.S. law enforcement delegations meet with Israeli military, police, and intelligence agencies. They are given “opportunities” to learn about what Israel calls counterterrorism, but is in fact no more than “refining methods of racial profiling.”

Cynically taking advantage of the 9/11 attacks, within months of the attacks, American law enforcement representatives set out to Israel for their first official training expeditions. The purpose was to learn from Isreal’s so-called “expertise” in what has become known as counter-terrorism. Counter-Terrorism, it is worth noting here, is a euphemism for the violent means used to subjugate oppressed people.

The very first delegation to Israel, according to Deadly Exchange, included police chiefs and deputies from California, Texas, Maryland, Florida, and New York. The delegation also included FBI and CIA agents, future ICE officers, and directors of New York City MTA security.

Among the sponsors of this exchange program are the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which claims to fight the defamation of Jewish people, but in fact is dedicated to defamation of Arabs and Muslims, and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). JISNA claims it is dedicated to “educating Congressional, military and civilian national security decision-makers on American defense and strategic interests,”  the cornerstone of which, according to JINSA, “is a robust U.S.-Israeli security cooperation.” Both groups are well funded Zionist organizations that are dedicated to promoting and defending Israeli violence and racism no matter what.

 

Systemic racism

One of the many similarities between Israel and the United States is their propensity for systemic racism. From the very beginning, Israel has imposed an apartheid regime in occupied Palestine and Palestinian citizens of Israel are subjected to systematic profiling. This means that interactions with the Israeli police regularly lead to “excessive and often lethal use of force deployed with impunity.”

Not unlike the United States where black and brown Americans make up the majority of the prison population, in Israeli prisons, Palestinian citizens of Israel represent a disproportionate number of those incarcerated. A report in the Israeli publication Mekomit states that Palestinian citizens of Israel, who make up about 20 percent of the overall population, comprise over 40 percent of the prison population, in fact, according to Mekomit, only about a quarter of prisoners held in Israeli prisons are Jewish, and amongst minors being held in Israeli prisons, only about 13 percent are Jews.

palestinian children

Israeli police place a Palestinian boy in a chokehold in Jerusalem’s Old City, July 17, 2017. Mahmoud Illean | AP

If we include “security prisoners,” who come from the occupied Palestinian West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip, the numbers are even more grotesque, raising the percentage of Palestinians within the Israeli prison population to a staggering 73 percent.

Israeli policing utilizes an official policy where an entire population is guilty until proven innocent and naturally, this is part of the so-called counterterrorism training offered by Israel. It reinforces institutionalized racial profiling and even the targeting of social movements that demand racial justice.  

The Israeli government uses false claims of “terrorism” to treat all Palestinians as potential enemy combatants. The excuse of terrorism is also used in order to subjugate Palestinians to a different system of laws, which inevitably leads to more policing and higher rates of incarceration.

 

Media

The training Israel offers also includes methods to control the media. Members of law enforcement who have received the training reported that they “learned about how to intervene and shape media access and coverage of violence committed by the military and police.” The Israeli methods taught include how to use the media as an arm of the government and “reframe coverage of state violence.”

The Israeli government utilizes the office of the military censor to control all reporting on Israel’s use of force. It also reviews all books and other material before it can be made available to the public. The IDF Spokesperson’s office which also yields power over Israeli journalists, acts as Israel’s de facto public relations office, restricting and shaping local coverage of what it considers to be “security affairs.”

It should be noted that in Israel there is very little criticism when it comes to the work of the army and other security agencies and reporters work very closely with the military to present its violence against Palestinians as justified. Palestinian dissent, even when it is expressed in the most peaceful methods, is regularly reported as violence and borderline terrorism.

Israel has “normalized” the use of military force to stamp out popular protests, thus contributing to the undermining of basic civil rights of Palestinians. These violent, forceful methods of controlling dissent are shown to the American police delegations through briefings and even live demonstrations.

 

Parallels to Palestine

The violent encounters black communities in the U.S. experience with the police have led many people to draw parallels between Palestinians and people of color in the United States. This created a real sense of solidarity between U.S. social movements and the Palestinian struggle for liberation, a solidarity that is increasingly becoming stronger and can potentially turn the tide of public opinion on this issue in the U.S.

In its report, the Deadly Exchange Campaign demands that “the American government end its violence in the name of security.” The report also states that “We hope that local governments nationwide heed the calls from communities across Palestine and the United States to help build a world with real safety that we all can inhabit with dignity.”

Feature photo | Israeli police frisk a Palestinian man in Jerusalem, Jan 29, 2020. Mahmoud Illean | AP

Miko Peled is an author and human rights activist born in Jerusalem. He is the author of “The General’s Son. Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and “Injustice, the Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.”

The post “Deadly Exchange”: America’s Racist Policing Has Roots in Israel appeared first on MintPress News.

APA Election Results

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 28/05/2020 - 5:28am in

Tags 

News, philosophy

The American Philosophical Association (APA) has announced the winners of its recent elections.

The newly elected are:

Board of Officers 
Member-at-Large: Carol C. Gould (City University of New York)

Central Division
Vice President: Jennifer Lackey (Northwestern University)
Executive Committee Member-at-Large: Eric Wiland (University of Missouri–St. Louis)
Nominating Committee Members: Brian Kim (Oklahoma State University), Sara Bernstein (University of Notre Dame), C. Thi Nguyen (Utah Valley University/University of Utah), Julia Staffel (University of Colorado Boulder)

Eastern Division
Vice President: Miranda Fricker (The Graduate Center, City University of New York)
Executive Committee Members-at-Large: Selim Berker (Harvard University), Adam Omar Hosein (Northeastern University)
Nominating Committee Members: Lori Gruen (Wesleyan University), Rachana Kamtekar (Cornell University)

Pacific Division
Vice President: Seana Shiffrin (UCLA School of Law)
Representative to the Board: Michael Burroughs (Kegley Institute of Ethics)
Executive Committee Member-at-Large: Anand Vaidya (San Jose State University)

Additionally, an amendment to the divisional bylaws was approved, as was an amendment to the association bylaws to add the Graduate Student Council chair to the APA board. Additionally, the APA board recently approved the appointment of a new APA ombudsperson concerning discrimination and sexual harassment, Adam Hosein (Northeastern University), to take over from Laurie Shrage (Florida International University) when her term ends at the end of the year.

(via Amy Ferrer)

The post APA Election Results appeared first on Daily Nous.

EU Foreign Policy Chief Calls for Rapprochement with Russia and End of “American-led System”

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 28/05/2020 - 5:23am in

A significant change in the global balance of power may be in the offing if we are to believe declarations made by EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell while addressing a group of German ambassadors on Monday in Brussels. Borell reportedly “created a diplomatic headache” when he called for the end of the “American-led system” and made the case for ushering in an “Asian century” centered around stabilizing European relations with Russia.

Borell ruffled more feathers earlier in the week when he publicly opposed “any Israeli initiative toward the annexation of parts of the West Bank,” but stopped short of articulating any concrete steps the EU might take to curb Israeli abuses in the region, stating that the EU would limit itself to “diplomatic action in order to avoid any unilateral action” by Israel in Gaza, despite support by several European nations for punitive actions against the apartheid state.

Nevertheless, Borell’s most recent comments before the German ambassadors are noteworthy for the simple fact that Germany is set to take over the presidency of the EU, as well as the UN Security Council in July, giving the EU’s chief diplomat’s words particular resonance and may point to a new phase in the broader Atlanticist geopolitical playbook.

 

Playing both sides

Borell, a Spanish politician who took over the EU’s top diplomat spot in December of 2019, has straddled the fine line Europe has taken between siding with American insistence on maligning the Asian superpower with claims of trying to block an investigation into the origins of the Coronavirus earlier this month and calling China a “partner country” in a recent article he penned in several European newspapers.

Ultimately, the European Union’s role in advancing Atlanticist designs in Asia hinges on its ability to play mediator in the tense relationship between the other world superpower – the United States, together with its proxy state, Israel – and China. To this end, Borell calls for the EU to “maintain the necessary collective discipline” against the threat of Chinese economic hegemony in their natural sphere of influence, which includes nations like India, Japan, Indonesia, and Russia.

For this reason, Borell’s message to the German ambassadors revolved around mending relationships with Putin’s Russia and strengthening ties “with the rest of democratic Asia,” suggesting that the EU should put their full support behind the Russian port of Vladivostok and Trans-Siberian transportation routes in order to skirt China’s One Belt One Road Initiative and thus weaken its position throughout Asia.

Germany’s close commercial ties to Russia have been a recurring bone of contention against the American-led intransigence against Putin in recent years, and as the Teuton nation prepares to assume a leading role in the 27-nation bloc government and the UN it looks as though the Atlanticist playbook is being tweaked as they discover that the strategies applied so far are only bringing its enemies closer together.

 

Filling the powder keg

As the geopolitical chess match continues to unfold amidst this pandemic-induced global economic reset, the real purpose of Israel as the linchpin of the entire Atlanticist project might soon be revealed to the world.

Should the EU’s rapprochement with Russia bear the desired fruit and the Kremlin indeed begins to forge closer ties with Europe instead of China, the balance of power will shift away from the U.S.-Israeli axis, at least momentarily. But, it will also set the stage for what Borell – perhaps only intuitively – expressed as the “pressure to choose sides.”

The EU is Israel’s biggest trading partner and Borell himself underlined that it was important for Europe to have “the best relationship with Israel” as a new coalition government between Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz finally begins to take shape in the Middle Eastern state. Borell’s rhetoric about supporting Palestinian sovereignty might be nothing more than a bone thrown to the more conscientious EU members so that the aforementioned “collective discipline” might be achieved and Russia may be successfully lured into the fold and halt any further nurturing of Sino-Russian relations.

The American position on Israel is unambiguous and, in addition to the scandalous and continued subsidizing of the Israeli state, completely backs its most ambitious annexation plans in Gaza and beyond in complete contradiction to the position several European countries are currently taking.

Once the economic corridors have been ironed out and Russia comes on board to serve as the Atlanticists’ Silk Road into all of Asia – not to mention Russia’s own “huge investment potential,” in “natural resources, fisheries, and tourism,” a more isolated China could become fatally vulnerable to a manufactured war sparked by Israel and Washington, which the EU – at that point – might have no choice but to support.

Feature photo | Secretary of State Mike Pompeo walks with European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Josep Borrell on Feb. 7, 2020, to meet with media at the State Department in Washington. Kevin Wolf | AP

Raul Diego is a MintPress News Staff Writer, independent photojournalist, researcher, writer and documentary filmmaker.

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“Germ-Ridden Masses” – How America’s Wealthy Elite Describe the Rest of Us

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 28/05/2020 - 4:34am in

Many of the world’s super wealthy are trying to wait out the COVID-19 pandemic on their luxury yachts. But how to get to them without interacting with the public and catching the virus themselves? Such are the difficult quandaries only billionaires have to deal with. Fortunately, financial news outlet Bloomberg has solved the big question of the current era. A new company, it excitedly informs its readers, offers chartered private jets from your location to the Mediterranean island of Malta, without the need to “risk exposure to the germ-ridden masses.” New York-based reporter Suzanne Woolley, who has recently penned articles such as “How to arbitrage your U.S. taxes for difficult economic times” and “Where to invest $1 million right now,” notes that aviation company VistaJet allows its clients to reserve its freshly sanitized jet to take them to Malta. “Lest anyone be worried that the island nation itself is germ-ridden,” she writes, the World Health Organization has praised it for its capable fight against the coronavirus.

One big problem, however, is where your yacht is. The article explains that “if your yacht is moored in Antibes [France] or Porto Cervo [Italy], you’re out of luck,” taking for granted that anyone reading does own one, also suggesting that now would be the perfect time to shop for a Maltese passport, as the island, an E.U. member state, levies no income or capital gains taxes on that earned abroad, and there is no estate tax on the island. All you need is $1.3 million in cash or property.

The article’s tone, especially twice describing the general public, even of Malta, one of the richest states in the world, as “germ ridden masses,” highlights the increasing gap between the world’s super wealthy and the rest of us, and the contempt and disgust the haves feel for the have-nots. In April, Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was met with a storm of criticism after posing in front of her enormous refrigerator costing tens of thousands of dollars, revealing her penchant for deluxe ice cream at $12 per tub. For many, the centi-millionaire and wife of one of California’s richest men telling others how to survive lockdown while residing in a mansion was a Marie Antoinette-like moment of pure ignorance.

Since the lockdown began, America’s billionaires have seen their wealth balloon by $434 billion according to the Institute for Policy Studies, even as the economy crashes and nearly 40 million Americans have been made unemployed. Among the biggest winners from the worldwide suffering has been Michael Bloomberg himself, owner of the eponymous news network. The former Mayor of New York has added $12.3 billion to his net worth in the last two months, increasing his fortune by over 25 percent. Bloomberg spent around $1 billion on his recent failed presidential run, amassing only 43 delegates before pulling out. Regardless, his big money media campaign flop pales in comparison to the fortune he has reaped thanks to the Trump administration’s CARES Act, perhaps the largest wealth transfer in human history, in which 82 percent of the tax savings will be enjoyed by those who earn over $1 million per year.

The winners from the CARES Act – America’s billionaires – have also chosen New Zealand as a convenient destination to avoid a pandemic. A new company is doing a roaring trade designing and installing nuclear bunkers in remote areas of the Pacific nation’s South Island. They are designed so that even locals are unaware they are there. Prices begin at $2 million for the simplest designs but can rise to over $11 million, depending on the level of luxury desired.

Increasingly, journalists at establishment publications come from and represent the one percent that they claim to be holding to account. A study published in the Journal of Expertise found that editors and writers for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and The New Republic were actually slightly more likely than billionaires to have attended an elitist institution like Harvard University or the Columbia School of Journalism, where attendance costs well over $100,000 per year. As the study concluded: “Elite journalists resemble senators, billionaires and World Economic Forum attendees in terms of educational attainment.” This elitism begins to seep into writing, hence the inability to understand political movements like those around Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders, or the temptation to casually demonize human beings as “germ-ridden masses” in news reporting.

As of Wednesday, there have been over 5.7 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 354,762 reported deaths.

Feature photo | Former Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg pauses as he speaks to supporters about the suspension of his campaign, and his endorsement of former Vice President Joe Biden for president, in New York, March 4, 2020. Eduardo Munoz Alvarez | AP

Alan MacLeod is a Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent. He has also contributed to Fairness and Accuracy in ReportingThe GuardianSalonThe GrayzoneJacobin MagazineCommon Dreams the American Herald Tribune and The Canary.

The post “Germ-Ridden Masses” – How America’s Wealthy Elite Describe the Rest of Us appeared first on MintPress News.

As Chief Prosecutor, Klobuchar Declined to Bring Charges Against Cop that Killed George Floyd

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 28/05/2020 - 4:06am in

Tags 

News, Police

The latest example of America’s racist police brutality problem was caught on camera in Minneapolis Monday, as Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on 46-year-old African-American George Floyd’s neck for over seven minutes until he passed out and died. In its headline on its website, Minneapolis police described the event as “man dies after medical incident during police interaction,” laundering themselves of any responsibility. Chauvin continued his assault even as Floyd desperately pleaded that he could not breathe, while bystanders protested his brutality. “You’re fucking stopping his breathing there, bro,” warned one concerned passer-by. Even after passing out, Chauvin did not release pressure on his neck. Chauvin has killed multiple times before while in uniform, has shot and wounded others and is well-known to local activist groups.

 

A history of racist policing, thanks to Klobuchar

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, who Joe Biden recently asked to undergo vetting to be his running mate for November, issued a very tepid statement about the incident, describing the police killing of an unarmed black man over an alleged forged check as merely an “officer involved death,” – a copaganda word often used by police as a euphemism for “murder.”

Klobuchar also called for a “complete and thorough outside investigation into what occurred, and those involved in this incident must be held accountable.” However, this is unlikely to occur, in no small part because of Klobuchar herself and the precedent she set while serving as the state’s chief prosecutor between 1999 and 2007. In that time, she did not bring charges against more than two dozen officers who had killed citizens while on duty – including against Chauvin himself.

Chauvin was involved in a fatal accident in 2005, killed Wayne Reyes in 2006, shot another man while in uniform in 2008, and had a litany of complaints against him. To be fair to Klobuchar, the Reyes shooting happened in October 2006, as her time as state prosecutor was coming to an end and she was campaigning for the senate. By the time Chauvin’s case finally made it to a grand jury, she had relinquished her role.

Senator Klobuchar Police

Klobuchar poses with Minneapolis Police while announcing a bill to fund more cops on the street. Photo | Minneapolis PD

At the same time, however, Klobuchar was ramping up the number of arrests as part of her tough-on-crime agenda, something which inordinately affected people of color. In her first year in office alone, the prison sentences for first-degree drug crimes doubled. Activists allege her embracing of the broken window-style policing was a deliberate strategy to win support in the white suburbs of Minneapolis, to the detriment of the city’s non-white communities, bolstering her successful run for senate in 2006. A case in point is Elsayed Salim, who was convicted of failing to declare a secondary income that put him above the threshold for welfare and food stamps. A judge sentenced Salim to 364 days in jail – deliberately attempting to protect him from deportation by keeping his sentencing under a year which downgraded the case from a felony to a gross misdemeanor. An outraged Klobuchar appealed the decision, lobbying for an upgrade and condemning the state’s judges for “letting offenders off the hook too easily.” Mr. Salim was subsequently deported.

While it may not be the first city that comes to mind, data shows that Minneapolis is among the most racist cities in the United States for racial profiling and police stops. The police force’s own data shows that, while black people make up only 18 percent of the population, they were involved in nearly half of all police stops. Conversely, whites make up 60 percent of the population but figured in less than 21 percent of the stops. 62 percent of body searches and 63 percent of people whose cars were searched were also black. Thus, Floyd’s killing is merely a viral example of a wider phenomenon, a spark that ignited a powder keg of resentment that had been building for some time.

 

Outrage at an unlawful killing

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, massive protests have erupted across Minneapolis in response to Floyd’s killing, with thousands of people marching through the city. Police attempted to suppress the demonstration last night, firing rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades, even though there were many children present.

“This is a disgusting display,” said City Councilman Jeremiah Ellison, “I’m here on the southside, helping people as I can with milk, water, and towels. So far, I have been unable to prevent the police from firing indiscriminately into the crowd. Moments ago, I held a towel to a teenage girl’s head as blood poured from it.”

Thus, it appears that Klobuchar’s milquetoast response was out of keeping with those she represents, and even the public more generally, judging by replies left below it, which included, “This was murder, plain and simple,” “Those cops need to be arrested today,” and “What is there even to investigate?! This cop is a murderer and the other cop is an accessory to murder.” The incident was also the top story on Reddit and Twitter on Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

Other public officials denounced the killing far more forcefully. Melvin Carter, Mayor of St. Paul, said that the video was “one of the most vile and heartbreaking images I’ve ever seen,” adding that “The officer who stood guard is just as responsible as his partner; both must be held fully accountable.” Ilhan Omar, an African-American congresswoman representing the city claimed that watching a black man helplessly begging for his life sickened her. “Black lives matter isn’t just a chant, it’s a call for justice. It’s a call for our humanity to be recognized,” she said, “There needs to be an immediate DOJ investigation into this.”

Feature photo | Protesters gather near the Minnesota Police 3rd Precinct during a gathering, May 26, 2020, in response to the police murder of George Floyd. Richard Tsong-Taatarii | Star Tribune via AP

Alan MacLeod is a Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent. He has also contributed to Fairness and Accuracy in ReportingThe GuardianSalonThe GrayzoneJacobin MagazineCommon Dreams the American Herald Tribune and The Canary.

The post As Chief Prosecutor, Klobuchar Declined to Bring Charges Against Cop that Killed George Floyd appeared first on MintPress News.

COVID-19 is Laying Bare How Big Ag is Taking America’s Small Farmers to Slaughter

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 28/05/2020 - 3:31am in

Tags 

News, food supply

There is a bottleneck in the nation’s food supply chain. Specifically in the meatpacking operations of the country’s “big four”: Tyson Foods, National Beef, Cargill, and Brazilian giant JBS – the world’s largest processor of beef and pork products. The logjam has been exacerbated by a slew of coronavirus outbreaks in Iowa meatpacking plants and several other plants across the United States, but the real problem seems to lie with big ag’s penchant for unfair antitrust practices and monopolistic designs.

In a protracted battle against the powerful industry that dates back a hundred years, the latest salvo emerged out of Kentucky last week when that state’s Commissioner of Agriculture, Ryan Quarles and Attorney General Daniel Cameron called for the Justice Department to “undertake and investigation into the potentially illegal anticompetitive practices by some meatpackers in the cattle industry.” Their jointly issued letter to the DOJ was motivated by grievances from Kentucky cattle farmers who claim the price they are being paid for their animals has dropped between 30 and 40 percent as the pandemic-induced shortfalls in production send beef prices sky-high.

Some economists, like Kansas State University’s Ted Schroeder, believe the current problem is the logical result of supply and demand forces, saying that there is “plenty of cattle” to go around and that challenges lie in getting them “through the system.” This position is, of course, shared by the companies that are under fire, like Tyson Foods, which published an open letter in the Washington Post and the New York Times back in April, warning that the shuttering of production facilities due to COVID-19 would severely impair the ability of farmers to sell their livestock.

The reality though is that these economic causalities are inextricably tied to the stranglehold of these enormous corporations, which control over 85 percent of U.S. beef production, resulting in a growing chorus calling for the break-up of these massive corporations.

 

Election-year lip service

In early May, a bipartisan group of eleven state’s attorney generals (AGs) authored a letter addressed to the Department of Justice warning of the threat of “increasing consolidation” in the beef industry and warned that the main players like Tyson, Cargill, and JBS are able to “artificially” lower the prices they pay suppliers, while simultaneously gouging consumers.

The AGs stopped short of actually calling for a formal investigation, but did recommend reviewing “regulatory strategies” that would “promote competition.” It is unclear, nevertheless, how committed legislators really are to changing the status quo and despite an executive order issued by President Trump the day after John Tyson’s open letter to keep beef processing plants open via the Defense Protection Act, the virtual monopoly currently enjoyed by the big four continues to be largely unchallenged.

Only in states like Iowa, Wisconsin, and Missouri, where a significant portion of the voter base works in farms, does there seem to be any kind of political will to address the issue. Following Trump’s order, Senators Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) asked the Federal Trade Commission to open an antitrust investigation “into the meatpacking industry and its potential to cause significant disruptions in the food supply chain.” But, just how consequential such actions will be in the end remain to be seen. Considering the long-drawn-out history of the problem, the sudden concern by politicians might just be election-year lip service.

 

Out to the slaughterhouse

A lawsuit filed by the Ranchers Cattlemen Action Legal Fund United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF) and others in April of 2019 accused Tyson, Cargill, National Beef Packing Co., and JBS of conspiring to fix beef prices and manipulate the futures market since 2015. The class-action suit accused the beef processors of “collectively reducing their slaughter volumes and purchases of cattle… manipulating the cash cattle trade” among other egregious forms of market manipulation and sabotage.

The plaintiffs claim that the big four colluded to make selling cattle “an unmanageable nightmare” thereby increasing their “collective leverage over producers.” In addition, the claimants accused the large companies of purposely blocking market access to domestic ranchers by flooding the U.S. with foreign cattle from Mexico and Canada and using loopholes in the law to label foreign beef a “Product of the USA,” a move which has seriously affected the grass-fed cattle industry in the country.

American ranchers and farmers have lost patience with the legislative and executive branches of government, who they see as not heeding their requests to curtail the big corporations’ monopolistic practices, which also extend to other sectors, such as the packaged seafood industry. They hope to take their fight to the third branch of government in hopes that the judiciary will help shift the balance of power. But, as the COVID-19-driven shutdowns continue to open the door for greater consolidation across industries, it is a battle that may have already been led to the slaughterhouse by well-entrenched transnational interests.

Feature photo | Workers leave the Tyson Foods pork processing plant in Logansport, Ind., May 7, 2020. Michael Conroy | AP

Raul Diego is a MintPress News Staff Writer, independent photojournalist, researcher, writer and documentary filmmaker.

The post COVID-19 is Laying Bare How Big Ag is Taking America’s Small Farmers to Slaughter appeared first on MintPress News.

Extortion, Entitlement and Mafia-Style Tactics Mark Israel’s Current State of Affairs

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 27/05/2020 - 11:15pm in

Anyone who is not yet alarmed may not be aware of the underhanded mafia-style tactics, political extortion, and patronizing sense of entitlement currently on display in Israel. The following developments demonstrate how the county operates both internally and in the international arena.

 

Czech Foreign Minister slammed!

As Israel prepares to formally annex large tracts of the West Bank, Tomas Petricek, the Czech Republic’s Foreign Minister, was quoted as saying that “annexation is forbidden by international law and also raises serious questions about Israel’s future as a democracy.” By any normal diplomatic standard this statement does not represent a view that is outrageous or radical in any way, nor is it out of the ordinary or untruthful in any way. In fact, it is such a reasonable statement that it is hardly deserving of a headline. The annexation of occupied lands is a breach of international law and the democratic nature of the state of Israel is already questionable.

However, the government in Prague reacted to this statement in a way that is puzzling at best, and at worst, should be of great concern to our friends in the Czech Republic. According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, “the Czech prime minister and the president are reportedly weighing firing Petricek after he co-authored an editorial saying that West Bank annexation raises serious questions about Israel’s future as a democracy.”

According to a report from Radio Prague International, the article was co-written by Petricek and two of his predecessors, Lubomír Zaoralek and Karel Schwarzenberg. The report says that “In a piece in the newspaper Právo on Saturday the three said that Israel’s proposal would contravene international law.”

However, Czech President Milos Zeman is a staunch supporter of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and even promised to move his country’s embassy to Jerusalem. Zeman said that the article undermined relations between the Czech Republic and Israel.

For his part, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis criticized Petricek and Zaoralek, who is now serving as the Czech Minister of Arts, saying, “it was unacceptable for individual cabinet members to make statements on such an important foreign policy issue.”

The editorial co-written by the three ministers also stated that “Neither the Israelis nor the Americans have as yet clarified what is to happen, in the long run, to the Palestinians,” and it further posed the question, “what about Israeli democracy if the state comprises of first and second-class citizens?”

The affair has prompted the Czech parliament to hold a debate on a motion “Reaffirming our [Czech] friendship with Israel.” This friendship, which has a long history, includes selling arms to Zionist militias and then the Israeli army in the early years of the Israeli state. Those arms would later be used in a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing against Palestinians.

 

The great looting

It has been widely publicized that Israel’s international spy agency has been tasked by the prime minister to find much-needed medical equipment to combat COVID-19. There are even quotes from national security observers saying that “the Mossad’s speed, spycraft, and international networks would make it good at identifying and securing medical supplies.”

Now, a story in the Israeli paper Ynet reveals the full extent of the Mossad’s massive coronavirus protective gear haul.

“The intelligence agency’s internal report obtained by Ynet counts over 80 million face masks, nearly 30 tons of disinfectants and over 10,000 ventilators” obtained in the effort. The report further says that Mossad Chief Yossi Cohen utilized his “personal connections with various nations around the world, including countries that have no diplomatic ties with Israel.”

Mossad is known for its murderous tactics and underhanded methods used in spying operations and assassinations. Seeing this report, one dreads to imagine what methods were used to secure such enormous amounts of medical equipment.

“According to the report, the amount of medical gear and equipment obtained since the start of the outbreak includes 2.5 million protective goggles, with a further 5.5 million still to arrive; some 80 million surgical face masks, with a further 142 million still to arrive; 1.3 million of N-95 type face masks, with a further 14 million still to arrive; 180 million elastic gloves; over 30 tons of disinfectants and at least 1,300 ventilators, with another 4,700 expected to arrive between June and October.”

Israel has always prided itself in its agencies’ capacity to lie, cheat, bribe, and even kill if need be to achieve its objectives. No agency personifies these traits better than Mossad and one may safely assume that it utilized its full capacity in accomplishing this mission as well.

 

Security cooperation

As Israel announced it would move ahead with plans to annex parts of the West Bank on July 1, 2020, the Palestinian Authority (PA) announced that it will end all security cooperation with Israel in response to the annexation.

The establishment of the Palestinian Authority and its security cooperation with Israel were never meant to help Palestinians. They were created for the sole purpose of allowing Israel to strengthen its grip on Palestinian land, resources, and even the population. The Hebrew daily Maariv featured an interview with Israeli military correspondent Tal Lev-Ram who predicted that Israel’s implementation of the annexation combined with the economic difficulties posed by the coronavirus pandemic is a sure recipe for an escalation of hostilities. Lev-Ram goes on to say that security cooperation between Israel and the PA does not currently exist on any level.

Be that as it may, the truth of the matter is that the so-called security cooperation was more of a collaboration and only benefited Israel. Israeli forces operated freely in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority and the agreement offered no security or protection for Palestinians who were targeted by Israel.

Not only were Palestinians not protected by the agreement, Israel, in fact, never stopped the killing, detentions, and home demolitions which have become a part of the daily life of Palestinians. Furthermore, Palestinian officials are required to request permits from the Israeli military even for travel of short distances while Israelis roam around the West Bank freely.

The entire Zionist enterprise is based on deceit and violence and anyone paying attention will notice the duplicity and violence that are on display every day.

Feature photo | Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, wearing a face mask due to the coronavirus pandemic, looks at his lawyer inside the courtroom as his corruption trial opens at the Jerusalem District Court, May 24, 2020. Ronen Zvulun Pool Photo via AP

Miko Peled is an author and human rights activist born in Jerusalem. He is the author of “The General’s Son. Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and “Injustice, the Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.”

The post Extortion, Entitlement and Mafia-Style Tactics Mark Israel’s Current State of Affairs appeared first on MintPress News.

The Ben Uliel Case: Has Israel Won the Battle Against Jewish Terror?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 26/05/2020 - 10:08pm in

Israeli media and Zionist apologists everywhere are busy whitewashing Israel’s globally-tattered image using the rare indictment of an Israeli terrorist, Amiram Ben Uliel, who was recently convicted for murdering the Palestinian Dawabsheh family, including an 18-month-old toddler in the town of Duma, south of Nablus.

The conviction of Ben Uliel by an Israeli three-judge court on May 18, is expectedly celebrated by some as proof that the Israeli judicial system is fair and transparent, and that Israel does not need to be investigated by outside parties.

The timing of the Israeli court’s decision to convict Ben Uliel of three counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder was particularly important, as it followed a decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, to move forward with its investigation of war crimes committed in Occupied Palestine.

Considering how Israel’s extremists, especially those living illegally in the Occupied West Bank, are governed through a separate, and far more lenient system than the military regime that governs Palestinians, the seemingly-clear indictment of the Israeli terrorist deserves further scrutiny.

Israel’s apologists were quick to celebrate the verdict by the court, to the extent that Israel’s own internal intelligence agency, the Shin Bet, known for its notorious torture methods of Palestinian prisoners, described the decision as “an important milestone in the battle against Jewish terror”.

Others labored to separate Ben Uliel’s grizzly attack from the rest of Israeli society, implying that the man was a lone wolf and not the direct outcome of Israel’s unhinged racism and violent discourse directed at innocent Palestinians.

Despite the clear indictment of Ben Uliel, the Israeli court was keen on accentuating the point that the Israeli terrorist acted alone and that he was not a member of a terrorist organization. Based on that logic, the court argued that the judges “could not rule out that the attack was motivated by a desire for revenge or racism without Ben-Uliel actually being a member of an organized group.”

The verdict was a best-case scenario for Israel’s image under the circumstances, as it deliberately absolved the massive terrorist network that spawned the likes of Ben Uliel and the Israeli army that protects those very extremists on a daily basis, while whitewashing Israel’s deservingly bad reputation as a violent society with an unjust judicial system.

But Ben Uliel is, by no measure, a lone wolf.

When the Israeli terrorist, along with other masked assailants, broke into the house of Sa’ad and Reham Dawabsheh at 4 am on July 31, 2015, he was clearly on a mission to elevate his name within the ardently racist, extremist society which has made the murder and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians a sort of a divine mission.

Ben Uliel achieved his objectives completely. Not only did he kill Sa’ad and Reham, but their 18-month-old son, Ali, as well. The only surviving member of the family was 4-year-old Ahmed, who was severely burnt.

The murder of the Palestinian family, little Ali in particular, quickly became the source of joy and celebration among Jewish extremists. In December 2015, six months after the murder of the Dawabsheh family, a 25-second video clip that went viral on social media showed a crowd of Israelis celebrating the death of Ali.

Dawabsheh Murders

Photos of one-and-a-half year old Ali Dawabsheh lie in his burned-down home in Duma. Majdi Mohammed | AP

The video showed a “room of jumping, dancing men wearing white skullcaps, many with the long sidelocks of Orthodox Jews. Some of them are brandishing guns and knives,” The New York Times reported.

“Two (of the celebrating Israelis) appear to be stabbing pieces of paper they hold in their hands, which the television station identified as pictures of an 18-month-old child, Ali Dawabsheh.”

Despite Israeli police claims that they were ‘investigating’ the hate fest, there is little evidence to suggest that anyone was held accountable for the unmitigated celebration of violence against an innocent family and a toddler. In fact, Israeli State prosecutors later claimed that they had lost the original video of the dancing extremists.

The celebration of Israeli terrorism carried on unabated for years, to the extent that on June 19, 2018, Israeli extremists chanted openly, taunting Ali’s grandfather as he was leaving an Israeli court, with such obscene slogans, as “Where is Ali? Ali’s dead,” “Ali’s on the grill”.

The heinous murder of Ali and his family, and the subsequent trial were added to an array of other events that starkly challenged Israel’s carefully concocted image of being a liberal democracy.

On March 24, 2016, Elor Azaria killed a Palestinian man, Fattah al-Sharif, in cold blood. Al-Sharif was left bleeding on the ground while unconscious after, per Israeli army claim, trying to stab an Israeli soldier.

Azaria received a light sentence of eighteen months, soon to be freed in a massive celebration, like a conquering hero. Israel’s top government officials, including Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, supported the cold-blooded murderer throughout the trial. It will not come as a complete surprise if Azaria claims a top position in the Israeli government at some point in the future.

The celebration of murderers and terrorists like Ben Uliel and Azaria, is not a new phenomenon in Israeli society. Baruch Goldstein, the Israeli terrorist who killed scores of Palestinian worshippers while kneeling for prayer at Al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Al-Khalil (Hebron) in 1994, is now perceived as a modern martyr, a saint of biblical proportions.

In such cases, when the nature of the crime is so overwhelmingly violent, the extent of which forces itself on global news media, Israel is left with only one option – to use the indictment of ‘Jewish terrorism’ as an opportunity to reinvent itself, its ‘democratic’ system, its ‘transparent’ judicial proceedings, and so on. Meanwhile, Israeli media and its affiliates worldwide labor to describe the collective ‘shock’ and ‘outrage’ felt by ‘law-abiding’, ‘peace-loving’ Israelis.

The murder of the Dawabsheh family, although one of numerous acts of violence perpetrated by Jewish extremists and the Israeli military against innocent Palestinians, is the perfect case in point.

Indeed, a quick look at the numbers and reports produced by the United Nations indicates that the Jewish settlers’ murder of the Palestinian family was not the exception but the norm.

In a report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in June 2018, UN investigators spoke of an exponential rise of Israeli settler violence against Palestinians.

“Between January and April 2018, OCHA documented 84 incidents attributed to Israeli settlers resulting in Palestinian casualties (27 incidents) or in damage to Palestinian property (57 incidents),” the report read. That trend continued, at times markedly increasing, with very little accountability.

The Israeli rights group, Yesh Din, has been following up on the small percentage of settler violence cases that were opened by the Israeli military and police. The group concluded that, “of 185 investigations opened between 2014 and 2017 that reached a final stage, only 21, or 11.4%, led to the prosecution of offenders, while the other 164 files were closed without indictment.”

The reason for this is simple: the hundreds of thousands of Jewish extremists who have been transferred to permanently settle in the occupied territories, an act that starkly violates international law, do not operate outside the colonial paradigm designed by the Israeli government. In some way, they too, are ‘soldiers’, not only because they are armed and coordinate their movement with the Israeli army, but because their ever-expanding settlements lie at the heart of the Israeli occupation and its continued project of ethnic cleansing.

Therefore, Jewish settler violence, like that committed by Ben Uliel, should not be analyzed separately from the violence meted out by the Israeli army but seen within the larger context of the violent Zionist ideology that governs Israeli society as a whole. It follows that settler violence can only end with the end of the military occupation in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza, and with the demise of the racist Zionist ideology that spews hatred, embraces racism and rationalizes murder.

Feature photo | Israeli right-wing terrorist Amiram Ben-Uliel arrives at a district court for a verdict, May 18, 2020. Ben-Uliel was convicted of murder in a 2015 arson attack that killed a Palestinian toddler and his parents. Avshalom Sassoni | AP

Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press, Atlanta). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA), Istanbul Zaim University (IZU). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

The post The Ben Uliel Case: Has Israel Won the Battle Against Jewish Terror? appeared first on MintPress News.

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