[“W” is back from obscurity to defend the Old Boy’s Club, a.k.a., the “Democratic-Republican Party” to fight against the Old Republican Party which has been radicalized against the old bipartisan politics which has run and ruined this country since WWII. Since Reagan inspired the New Republican right wing, giving life to their anti-Communist, anti-liberal cause, there has been civil war within the party. The New Right came into existence to fight against both “political correctness” and the radical liberalism (Marxism) which brought it into being. Trump was the first American president since Reagan willing to take a stand against the destructive policies of the Liberal Democrats and the national news media which clearly served their interests, while squelching the opposing views.
“W” was born and raised within the Good Old Boys network of his father, never straying from their domination. As President, he followed policies which were no different from his Democrat predecessor or his successor. For all intents and purposes, America has been and still is dominated by one “uniparty“, the same bipartisan clique, from Clinton, to Bush, to Obama…until Trump came along. Little Bush thinks that he was reborn to take back the Republican Party and hand it to Biden.
He comes out preaching the religion of the redeeming immigrants (SEE: Camp of the Saints), while peddling his extremely primitive paintings of immigrants, hoping that his clumsy attempts to appear as a folksy “everyman” will allow him public space to again deceive the American people, while evading long overdue criticism of his countless mistakes as President. Bush is guilty of killing thousands of innocent Iraqis and Afghanis, as well as Pakistanis. Whatever else Trump did, he tried to wind down Bush and Obama’s wars, with plans to end Bush/Obama’s forever wars. ]
The Democratic Party is actively trying to start a race war in the United States, and George Bush thinks it’s Republican voters who need lessons in humanity and fellowship.
Bush is on the media circuit these days pushing amnesty (while calling it anything but!) for millions of foreign nationals who have entered the country illegally; lecturing Republican voters on being “more respectful about the immigrant”; and trying desperately to reclaim the Republican Party as the slightly less socialist wing of the Uniparty where neoconservative, offshoring, job-destroying, globalist-advancing, Chamber of Commerce–approved, multinationals-funded, (secret) limousine liberal, military-adventuring, surveillance state, Big Government devotees who follow in the footsteps of Nelson Rockefeller while feigning allegiance to President Reagan’s “revolution” can offer Americans the opportunity of voting against Democratic Party by pushing a platform identical to the Democrats’ own policies ten years earlier. Go Jeb!
“Isolationist,” “protectionist,” and “nativist” are the three adjectives Bush has for the energized and expanded Republican Party refashioned by the MAGA coalition of voters who finally found their voices after thirty years in the wilderness and a worthy champion in President Trump.
– “Isolationist” because American soldiers who were led into war twenty years ago under the guise of fighting Islamic terrorism, protecting American freedom at home, and seeking a little payback for 9/11 instead found themselves used as nation-builders, police forces for occupied territories, and political pawns sent to combat “extremism,” and many Republicans now question the wisdom of engaging in forever-wars without clear operational goals.
– “Protectionist” because once those soldiers returned home, they discovered that the ravages of NAFTA and trade normalization with China had crushed Middle America’s manufacturing and industrial workforces and condemned their hometowns to slow economic deaths.
– And “nativist” because the last thing paycheck-to-paycheck Americans needed while trying to support their own families was a constant flood of both legal (many coming as refugees from the same areas of the world where Americans have been engaged in combat for two decades) and illegal aliens competing for their jobs and balkanizing tens of thousands of small towns across the United States by transforming them from low-crime, highly integrated communities where people lived, worked, and prayed together as extended families into unrecognizable multicultural and multilingual enclaves upending town culture and destroying tight-knit generational bonds.
Imagine sending warriors off to fight and die overseas for causes that almost immediately became tragically politicized and undermined and then chastising the survivors and their families as being “nativist” for simply wanting to live and work in peace and choosing to prioritize America’s future over that of other nations.
What unbelievable nerve from a guy who can’t be bothered in retirement to fight the full-Marxist takeover of the government, the socialists’ racial indoctrination programs meant to brainwash children into hating America’s history and foundations, or the Democratic-Bolsheviks’ habitual, decades-long weaponization of racial divide-and-conquer tactics (including against the “Katrina” president himself) in their vulgar conquests to amass power and silence dissent. Remaining quiet while the Democrats intentionally provoke racial tensions in America today is inexcusable. Talk about the “soft bigotry of low expectations”!
Ordinary Republicans stood by “W” while Al Gore and Democrat operatives tried to steal his presidency in 2000 (back when it was both “necessary” and “patriotic” to audit the vote); they answered his call for warriors to stand up, say goodbye to their families and friends, grab their rifles, and head off to fight two simultaneous wars on the other side of the world in the aftermath of 9/11; and they defended Bush from the onslaught of a corporate media and Democratic Party tag team that relentlessly slandered him each day of his presidency while he did little to defend himself — and this is how the “compassionate conservative” thanks Republicans for their loyalty and service.
It’s the kind of nonchalant betrayal that makes me furious because it is so unbelievably common among the Republican Establishment Class while so unbelievably rare among actual Republican voters. Democrats and the Democrat-controlled media spend all day long calling rank-and-file Republicans the most vile, insulting names possible. They wound freedom-minded Americans by striking them repeatedly where it hurts most — their honor and virtue, sense of right and wrong, and respect for truth. And each and every time the media propagandists finish slicing up Republican voters as no-good racists who deserve to be doxxed, threatened, and attacked, there’s always a George Bush or Liz Cheney or John Boehner or Paul Ryan or Mitt Romney or Ben Sasse with a fistful of Epsom salt and a sadist desire to rub it in the wounds of the people he purportedly “represents.”
Bush can become best friends with Michelle Obama after her husband spent a decade blaming him for every problem in America; he can embrace “credibly accused” rapist Bill Clinton as a brother and “congenital liar” Hillary Clinton as a sister; but he is incapable of demonstrating empathy for the struggling, salt-of-the-earth Americans who not only elected him to office but also defended his presidency relentlessly. What kind of twisted loyalty is that?
It’s sick and abusive. Republican voters must stop pretending the Brahmin Class Republicans who spend more time bashing their own party’s faithful than fighting the evil authoritarianism in full bloom on the other side are anything other than double-agents trying to demoralize and fatigue the only Americans principled enough to resist.
My goodness, George, the Marxists have corrupted everything from kindergarten to the military. They’re suckling the little ones on a steady diet of “systemic racism” and “white supremacy” while pushing “woke” trans troops as the future standard for American combat forces. The Supreme Court is too contemptibly craven and compromised by the political left to protect Americans from the harms of lawless “sanctuary cities,” the unconstitutional mandates of municipal tyrants, or the repercussions of fraudulent elections. The Federal Reserve has stolen Americans’ savings and entered into a suicide pact with the Treasury Department to spend the nation into financial collapse on “the road to serfdom.” And most of the Republican Party’s top political consultants and conservative “intellectuals” for the past thirty years have “come out of the closet” to reveal — surprise, surprise! — that they’ve been, not just Democrats, but actual authoritarian socialists all along.
There is no American institution not directly or indirectly controlled by the same cabal of corporate fascists and Big Government disciples who daily insist on scapegoating patriotic grandparents and observant Christians as the nation’s true security threats. There is nothing of institutional value left to “conserve.” The only fight left is for liberty. And if George Bush can’t see how hardened those battle lines now are, well, then he needs to get out of the damn bunker, cross the no-man’s-land to the Democrats’ side, and hide behind the Antifa and BLM shock troops hurling projectiles at police officers; intimidating juries; and already locking arms with Biden, Schumer, and Pelosi while pushing permanent one-party control!
At this point, anybody who believes that it is more important to save the Republican Party from the influences of President Trump than to save the United States from the influence of the Democrats is so out of touch with Americans’ disintegrating society and America’s escalating police state as to have become an entirely useless “useful idiot.” And anybody who still thinks it wise to continue “democracy-building” abroad while America’s own health wanes is too blind to see reality, too lost to lead anybody to safety, or too brainwashed to be of any remaining service to our country.
“There is a real double standard at work. It is a glaring one, not the one President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris claim exists but, rather, the one they want to gaslight us into accepting.”
The bar for calling something “racist” in the United States has apparently dropped so low that it is now okay to concoct an utterly topsy-turvy narrative in order to call out an allegedly racist double standard in the way the Capitol Riots vs. the #BLM riots have been treated by the powers-that-be.
Although I, like many of us by this point, have become so numb to the incoherent shrieks of “racism” echoing out in every direction that I am quite comfortable dismissing nearly all of them as vacuous posturing by celebrities and social media influencers, virtue-signaling by white elites and woke corporations, or cynical profiteering by the outrage-clickbait-peddling media, this one still threw me for a loop: I could hardly believe my ears when I heard President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, parroted by the usualorgans of the mainstreammedia, cry racism in characterizing the reaction of authorities to incensed supporters of President Donald Trump storming the United States Capitol on January 6th.
“No one can tell me that if that had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting yesterday, they wouldn’t have been treated very, very differently than the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol,” President-elect Biden said. “We have witnessed two systems of justice: one that let extremists storm the U.S. Capitol yesterday, and another that released tear gas on peaceful protestors last summer. It’s simply unacceptable,” Vice President-elect Harris tweeted.
Yes, the law enforcement response to the Capitol Riots was unquestionably a failure on every level. But racism? All I could think was how dumb do these people think we are? Do they really think we have forgotten the actual events of this summer so soon?
Do they think those like me who witnessed the #BLM riots with their own eyes in New York City (or in the many other cities across the nation shaken by #BLM’s violence this summer) have already forgotten how roving bands of almost exclusively black teens and twenty-somethings rioted and looted, breaking into high-end SoHo boutiques and struggling small businesses already ravaged by the Coronavirus (COVID-19), absconding with millions in merchandise and causing billions in damage, while our spineless leaders stood by doing nothing and left those businesses to board up and fend for themselves for days on end?
CNN, New York Times and Washington Post online headlines on January 6th, when these outlets suddenly had no problem calling things by their true names.
Joining us in our mission to help rebuild civic life is open to all who believe it is a cause worth pursuing. Learn more at Club MW.
Do they think we have forgotten how newly woke corporations fearful of #BLM shakedowns donated to the cause, coming forward with statements of full-throated support and new diversity and hiring policies, while pretending that the hateful anti-cop, anti-white, anti-American rhetoric we were hearing (and the crude graffiti and retrograde violence we were seeing) in previously sacrosanct public spaces was somehow a progressive accomplishment, even as the media did its darndest to sell us on an empirically unsupportable narrative that the freak incident in which one bad cop in Minneapolis unjustifiably killed the career criminal George Floyd was a commonplace occurrence representative of ubiquitous “systemic racism”?
The graffiti defacing New York’s City Hall left untouched for weeks on end:
No, we have not forgotten, and we will not forget. There is a real double standard at work. It is a glaring one, not the one President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris claim exists but, rather, the one they want to gaslight us into accepting. That double standard being perpetuated by all the organs of the elite media, Big Tech, woke capital, the celebrity class, and the political class is precisely what has led to so many of President Trump’s supporters resorting to violence; they and their concerns are not being heard. Their anger, like #BLM’s anger, is no excuse for violence. I believe in a single standard for everyone, and that those who break the law in the name of any cause should be held to account. For reasons I have previously explained, I voted for President Trump in 2020 despite his many flaws, and yet I think his behavior since the election has been childish, irresponsible, dangerous, and unbecoming of the Presidency. I will make no excuses for him or for his more intemperate supporters. But as long as one side of the equation—with its angry, racially divisive rhetoric and its violent actions to undermine law and order and shake America to its foundations—keeps getting a free pass, the other side of the equation will never add up, and the delicate balance between them will never amount to a functional democracy that works for everyone.
Alexander Zubatov is a lawyer in New York, as well as an essayist and poet.
Why The Wuhan Lab Remains A Suspect In the Coronavirus Investigation
In February 2020, Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton asked a provocative question: Was there some relationship between COVID-19 emerging in the Chinese city of Wuhan and the fact that there’s a biochemical lab in the city that specializes in studying coronaviruses? Was it possible that this lab was studying an animal who carried the virus and failed to properly secure it?
“We don’t have evidence that this disease originated there,” Cotton said of the lab, “but because of China’s duplicity and dishonesty from the beginning, we need to at least ask the question to see what the evidence says, and China right now is not giving evidence on that question at all.”
Cotton’s comments were nuanced: He wasn’t certain that COVID-19 had leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, but he considered it to be a possibility, and he was troubled that the Chinese government was failing to offer the transparency necessary to prove it one way or another.
But the response to Cotton’s theory and nuanced line of questioning was brutal. The New York Timesdismissed him as repeating a “Fringe Theory of Coronavirus Origins,” as the headline put it. The Washington Post insisted that Cotton “keeps repeating a conspiracy theory that was already debunked.” And the rest of the mainstream media and wasn’t much kinder.
But how could the theory possibly have been debunked? There is no official consensus on where COVID-19 first emerged, and as Cotton pointed out, China’s government made it basically impossible for outside observers to investigate the origins of the virus.
Yet for most of the past year, the mainstream media’s consensus was that the lab leak hypothesis was just a fringe theory promoted by hawkish parts of the right. Facebook, which has increasingly appointed itself the arbiter of global speech, had a policy of taking down posts claiming that Covid-19 was man-made or manufactured.
It appears that for the past year, our media seemed to lock arms in shielding the Chinese government from the scrutiny it deserved for failing to control COVID-19. Whether or not the lab leak hypothesis bears out, it is clear that our nation’s journalists did not approach this question with an open mind.
In a Tweet that she later deleted, Apoorva Mandavilli, a New York Times science reporter who has been on the coronavirus beat, offered a window into the mindset of much of the media: “Someday we will stop talking about the lab leak theory and maybe even admit its racist roots. But alas, that day is not yet here,” she said.
Is it really supposed to be “racist” to consider the possibility that the Chinese government failed to prevent COVID-19 from escaping from a government lab? The other leading origin theory, that the virus emerged from China’s lightly regulated wet markets, would place more of blame on local culture than the lab leak hypothesis, which only directly implicates the government.
Perhaps Mandavilli’s revealing Tweet is emblematic of a wider mindset among American journalists, many of whom saw their mission as simply opposing any stance taken by the Trump administration—former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has long suspected that COVID-19 leaked from the lab in Wuhan—while also burnishing their anti-racist and anti-imperialist credentials by refusing to blame a foreign government for the pandemic.
But the goal of journalism shouldn’t be to craft the most culturally sensitive or partisan narrative. The goal of journalism is to seek the truth. The consequences of telling the truth should be secondary to getting the truth out there in the first place, even if it makes the Trump administration or Republican Senators look good or the Chinese government look bad.
To be clear, there have always been partisan or ideological journalists who openly take sides in social or political disputes. But until very recently, we could at least expect that the mainstream media would make a legitimate effort to seek the facts and report fairly, rather than dismissing stories that could make their favored political faction look unfavorable or boost the prospects of their political opponents.
Increasingly, the space for nonpartisan journalism that aggressively seeks the truth is shrinking.
It should hardly be a surprise that Americans are rapidly losing faith in the media. As the story of the lab leak hypothesis shows, too many in our current news media environment are quick to politicize their coverage and seek the truth only when it’s convenient for their faction. Ultimately, this will only continue to degrade the credibility of the American press, which may benefit forces like the Chinese Communist Party in more ways than one.
Zaid Jilani is a journalist who hails from Atlanta, Georgia. He has previously worked as a reporter-blogger for ThinkProgress, United Republic, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and Alternet. He is the cohost of the podcast “Extremely Offline.”
[The following post from Asia Times is actually old news, rehashing theories on Covid origin which were all over the Internet early last year, including this website, but due to social media and other sources of censorship, most of these reports have seemed to disappear. Most every post on No Sunglasses pertaining to origin of Covid19, particularly concerning Ft. Detrick, 2019 Chinese Military Games and speculative posts on “patient zero” have been erased from ThereAreNoSunglasses. Shocked to see the following report on scrubbing reports which openly seeks help to suppress reports on the China games which took place Oct. 2019 in Wuhan which speculated on “patient zero”, alleged to be an American bicyclist (SEE: Maatje Benassi Defamation Fund).]
But as the pandemic recedes in the United States, there is renewed interest by the scientific and journalistic communities about the origins of the virus and whether it could have escaped from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). So, a day later, the president opened a new investigation.
The flip-flop came amid Senator Rand Paul’s claim at a Senate committee hearing on the Covid-19 pandemic that the US collaborated with the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China to make a more deadly, transmittable coronavirus. That’s putting the Chinese lab leak theory, which Beijing vigorously denies, back at the forefront of the Covid-19 origin debate.
Based on papers published by WIV on the scientific work of Dr Shi Zhengli, the US government investigators have some catching up to do. In 2015, Dr Shi – popularly known as the “bat lady” – published a paper entitled “A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses show potential for human emergence.”
Her colleagues on the study included American researchers associated with the University of North Carolina’s Department of Cell Biology and may be related to work funded by the US government.
It is possible, although we don’t know, that Dr Shi and her team successfully converted a coronavirus, specifically SARS-like virus SHCO14-CoV, from bats to other animals and not only mice. It is also possible, but not proven, that the new virus quickly spread to other animals and then to lab workers, three of whom became sick in November 2019, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report.
This is known as “gain of function” research, which is considered by the US to very dangerous. Between 2014 and 2017, gain of function research, which had been actively subsidized by The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other agencies, was suspended in the US.
Slightly later, in 2019, the US temporarily closed some laboratories, including the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick, Maryland, over safety issues.
Mistakes and errors in labs
According to the CDC: “The two breaches [at Fort Detrick] reported by USAMRIID to the CDC demonstrated a failure of the Army laboratory to ‘implement and maintain containment procedures sufficient to contain select agents or toxins’ that were made by operations in biosafety Level 3 and 4 laboratories …”
Level 4 is, in theory, the most secure type of laboratory known today; China’s WIV is also a Level 4 lab. But not all the Wuhan laboratory followed Level 4 standards and there are, as Fort Detrick shows, lapses that need to be accounted for.
In fact, the same kind of lapses that happened at Fort Detrick, which centered on waste treatment, also happened at the Wuhan lab.
Furthermore, Fort Detrick was working with other American and foreign labs, which may have included Chinese facilities. For example, Fort Detrick was connected to Canada’s National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg, which was thoroughly penetrated by the Chinese, including at least one known member of China’s biowarfare community.
According to Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper: “One of the Chinese researchers, Feihu Yan, from the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Academy of Military Medical Sciences, worked for a period of time at the Winnipeg lab, a Level 4 facility equipped to handle some of the world’s deadliest diseases.”
There were at least seven Chinese scientists at the lab. Two of them, “Xiangguo Qiu and her biologist husband, Keding Cheng, were fired in January (2021) after the Canadian Security Intelligence Service … recommended that their security clearances be removed on national security grounds,” (allegedly for sending samples of deadly viruses to the Wuhan lab).
On at least one occasion, Qiu, and probably others, visited the Fort Detrick Laboratory. The details are not known, but it can be reasonably surmised that the Winnipeg Lab and Fort Detrick were cooperating, and this cooperation might have included Wuhan.
Was Canada a weak link?
Given Fort Detrick’s security level, further investigation is essential.
It also begs the question of Canada giving Chinese scientists, including at least one from the PLA’s Academy of Military Sciences, top secret clearances.
The US and Canada, as part of the North American Defense Sharing Agreement, share classified information, which means there is a strong possibility that some classified American information made its way to Winnipeg and then to Wuhan or elsewhere in China.
Not only does WIV need further investigation, but so do American institutions including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the CDC and Fort Detrick.
In 2017 and 2018, the US did at least two inspections of the Wuhan Laboratory. That raises the question of why did a US inspection team gain entry multiple times to a sensitive Chinese laboratory?
The answer seems to be that the Americans had special status because of high-level, top-secret cooperation between the US, China and other partners (eg, Canada).
Top US infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci has said it would have been “almost a dereliction of our duty” if the NIH had not worked with China to study coronaviruses and “collaborate” with “very respectable Chinese scientists.”
“Respectable scientists” working for the Chinese government. That’s another avenue for investigation.
International collaboration suggests the US may have halted gain of function research because it was easier and less politically risky to let China do it. China has lower legal standards – try litigating in China if you have any doubt – and, as Fauci said, the US government funded Chinese labs and happily published papers by Chinese scientists.
Those papers today give us a partial record of what the Chinese with the CDC and NIH – and perhaps even the US Army – were up to.
The CIA changes course
The US intelligence community had to know all of this, and a lot more.
But the CIA and other senior American officials, including James Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence, insisted that Covid-19 did not come from the Wuhan Laboratory but was zoonotic, namely that it was transmitted in nature by animals.
Today the CIA appears to have tentatively reversed course as American scientists press for more information.
A proper investigation would have to ask why the US would trust China, knowing how sloppy the Chinese are about food and safety standards. The faulty ventilators, Covid-19 test kits and N-95 masks for physicians and health workers that were sent abroad by China after the outbreak of the epidemic illustrated this clearly for the world to see.
But beyond sloppiness, it seems the US decided to fund and shift dangerous research to Chinese labs run by the Chinese state. The Biden administration erred in closing the investigation and is right to have opened a new one.
RESIDENTS OF JAFFA PROTESTING ON MAY 15, 2021. (PHOTO: AP PHOTO/HEIDI LEVINE)
Last weekend Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu described as “terrorists” those Palestinian citizens who have been protesting decades of state-sponsored discrimination. Vowing that “anyone who acts like a terrorist will be handled like one”, he said: “Arab law-breakers are attacking Jews, burning synagogues and Jewish homes.”
Netanyahu has been far from alone in his denunciations of nearly two weeks of protests inside Israel by the fifth of Israel’s population who are Palestinian by origin. They are the remnants of the Palestinian people, most of whom were ethnically cleansed at Israel’s founding in 1948.
Israel’s president, Reuven Rivlin, who is usually seen as far more moderate than Netanyahu, has called Palestinian protesters inside Israel a “bloodthirsty Arab mob” and described their actions as a “pogrom” against the Jewish community.
Both have remained largely silent about the wave of even greater violence against Israel’s Palestinian minority, both from the police and armed Jewish far-right gangs.
On Tuesday the Palestinian minority observed a general strike in protest at the wave of violence being directed at Palestinians in the region, most especially in Gaza. There, more than 200 people – and more than 60 children – have been killed by Israeli airstrikes.
At the same time, the minority’s main political body, the Follow-Up Committee, called on international organizations to protect Israel’s 1.8 million Palestinian citizens from the combined – and seemingly coordinated – backlash by Israel police and mob Jewish mobs.
Adalah, a leading legal organization for the minority, echoed the Follow-Up Committee, saying the Israeli government was “giving a free hand to racist and violent oppression… Arab citizens have been left with no alternative except to appeal to the nations of the world to force Israel to protect them”.
In the main sites of confrontation, in a handful of what Israel misleadingly terms “mixed cities”, it is Palestinian citizens who have been paying the steepest price.
These cities, several of them close to Tel Aviv, are historic Palestinian communities most of whose inhabitants were expelled in 1948. Even since, the small ghettoized Palestinian populations left behind have been aggressively “Judaized” – in what amounts to a long-term process of Jewish ethnic and religious gentrification to erase their presence.
Danger of pogroms
The first death from the clashes in the “mixed cities” was a Palestinian citizen who was shot in Lod, near Tel Aviv, by a group of Jewish residents. All the suspects in the murder are reported to have been released after the police minister, Amir Ohana, was among the senior politicians expressing outrage at the arrests.
Another early incident involved a Palestinian taxi driver being dragged from his car south of Tel Aviv by hordes of masked Jews who beat him savagely in front of Israeli TV cameras and hundreds of onlookers, with police nowhere in sight. Earlier, the same mob rampaged through the town of Bat Yam smashing any stores that looked like they were owned by Palestinian citizens.
Despite Netanyahu and Rivlin’s claims, it is Palestinian communities inside Israel that have been in far more danger of pogroms than the Jewish majority.
In the balance of power, the state’s security forces are tribally Jewish, the government and policy-makers are all Jews, a large proportion of the Jewish citizenry own weapons, and the media speaks for its Jewish population, not its 1.8 million Palestinians.
In a sign of the growing dangers, the Israeli media reported this week that applications for gun licenses – usually available only to Jewish citizens – had risen seven-fold.
Like Netanyahu, leading Israeli media figures have been openly inciting vigilante-style violence against Israel’s Palestinian minority.
In one example, a senior TV anchor, Dov Gil-Har, equated the protests by Palestinian citizens against state-sponsored discrimination with historic pogroms against Jews. Earlier, he had suggested to his Jewish viewers – 80 per cent of the country’s population – that the solution to the protests was to “reload the gun magazines”. When challenged by a Palestinian interviewee, he added that he might use his own weapon on the protesters.
The constant message to the Jewish majority has been the Palestinian public are a menace and that it may be necessary for Jews to take the law into their own hands.
And this has been happening just after the violent far-right – Jewish fascists – made unprecedented ground in March’s election, securing six seats in the 120-member parliament and possibly a place in government if Netanyahu can engineer a coalition.
But worrying as the direct incitement by Israeli politicians and the media against the Palestinian minority is, it is being strongly reinforced by a much more subtle “othering” by Israeli Jewish liberals. They have masked their own incitement in the more refined language of archeological preservation, Jewish-Arab coexistence, and religious tolerance.
In official Israeli discourse, the “mixed cities” – with Haifa the showroom – have long been presented as rare places where Jewish and Palestinian citizens live in close proximity, offering a potential model for greater understanding and cooperation between the two populations.
The flip side is less often highlighted: the “mixed cities” are just about the only communities where Jewish and Palestinian citizens have some sort of daily interaction.
In the rest of the country, Israel has imposed strict residential segregation. Palestinian citizens are confined to some 120 overcrowded, communities where they are starved of land, planning permits, industrial areas and classrooms for their children.
But even in the “mixed cities”, there is no real mixing.
Before Israel’s creation on the ruins of the Palestinians’ homeland in 1948, cities like Haifa, Acre, Jaffa, Lod (Lydd), and Ramle were some of the most important in Palestine.
Today, most of the Palestinians in the “mixed cities” are descended not from the original families living there but from refugees who got trapped in them as they were trying to flee to safety in 1948. The Israeli army often herded the refugees together into the poorest areas of these historic Palestinian cities – neighborhoods Jews did not want to inhabit – while Israel decided what to do with them.
The descendants of the refugees still live in these deprived neighborhoods, typically renting from Amidar, a Israeli state-run property company. For decades, Amidar has denied them permission to renovate or improve their homes. It is usually only too ready to evict them if a state agency or Jewish investors decide these Palestinian families are in the way of a “Judaization” project.
Which is the necessary background for understanding the way the Israeli media, including a respected liberal newspaper like Haaretz, has been engaging in its own covert incitement when covering the latest events in the “mixed cities”.
Much attention has been given to the torching by Palestinian protesters of synagogues and yeshivas, or Jewish seminaries. The sight of Torah scrolls being evacuated from charred buildings has encouraged the Jewish public to conclude that these attacks were driven by antisemitism – a variation of the fear that Palestinians want to push the Jews into the sea.
Preposterously, Lod’s mayor compared these scenes to Kristallnacht – the notorious night of Nazi pogroms against German Jews in 1938 – as if Israel’s Jewish majority were not protected by one of the strongest armies in the world.
But there are practical, far more mundane reasons why synagogues and yeshivas were among the first buildings attacked in Lod.
Settler outposts in Israel
Over the past three decades, Israel’s main effort to “Judaize” the “mixed cities” has been waged through a religious war of attrition. A section of the settler population has been encouraged to “redirect” their attention from the West Bank and East Jerusalem to Israel. They have slowly encroached into the “mixed cities” as local municipalities and state agencies have lured them with special funding for their extremist seminaries and synagogues.
Homes and land are being taken over in Palestinian neighborhoods to house these new fanatical outposts of the main West Bank settlements inside Israel.
That has had very damaging consequences. The religious extremists have tried to whip up more nationalist sentiments among the local Jewish population of the mixed cities, increasing tensions with Palestinian neighbors. Just as is happening in East Jerusalem’s Old City, these Jewish religious fanatics are seeking to drive Palestinian families out of their own communities.
For years there has been especial anger in Jaffa about the takeover by Jewish religious extremists of the Palestinian parts of the city. That culminated weeks before the current clashes with an attack by two brothers on the head of a yeshiva there.
Even the Israeli court that examined the indictment against the brothers ultimately rejected police claims that the attack was antisemitic. Like many other families, the brothers have been fighting eviction from their home by a government agency. The attack reflected their anger that religious extremists are seeking out, and being offered, new properties in their neighborhood.
The huge resentment among Palestinians in the “mixed cities” towards these new religious occupiers can be explained by the urgent desire for self-preservation, not antisemitism.
‘Barbarians at the gate’
Similarly, the Israeli media have been aghast at the attacks on important archeological sites in places like Acre and Lod. The media’s barely veiled thesis is that these attacks have revealed Palestinian citizens to be, as Israeli Jews long suspected, barbarians at the gate. The impression has been cultivated that the minority’s behavior is little different from the Taliban blowing up the Buddhist Bamiyan statues.
Last week the Israel Antiquities Authority’s chief scientist, Gideon Avni, told Haaretz: “In Acre, an entire life’s work, meant to capture world attention through its archaeological value, went down the drain. In Lod, they [Palestinian residents] tried to destroy the attempt to empower and lift up the city as a center of antiquities.”
But again, there are good practical reasons why Palestinian residents of the “mixed cities”, especially in Lod and Acre, would be targeting archeological sites.
The Palestinian cities now defined as “mixed” are mostly located next to or over Roman, Crusader and Mumlak ruins.
Israel destroyed the Palestinian character of these communities from 1948 onward by expelling most of the Palestinian population, and then gradually Judaizing them as public spaces. Archeology, like religion, has been weaponized against the Palestinian inhabitants of the “mixed cities” to assist in their erasure.
Archeology theme parks
Israel’s politicization of archeology has focused on layers of history unrelated to, and meant to overshadow, its recent Arab Palestinian past. Further, archeological preservation and related tourism ventures have become the pretext for yet again ethnically cleansing Palestinians from their historic cities.
The clearest example has occurred in occupied East Jerusalem, where the Israel Antiquities Authority has allied with a settler organization, Elad. Together, using highly dubious archeological evidence, they have been creating a Disney-style “Kingdom of David” theme park within and below a Palestinian neighborhood called Silwan.
The City of David site has been expanding for more than three decades, aided by the government and Jerusalem municipality. Dozens of armed Jewish settler families have moved into the neighborhood in violation of international law.
It was these moves that in part fueled the tensions that sparked the current Palestinian protests inside Israel and the rocket fire from Gaza.
Lod mosaic attacked
Watching Silwan’s long-running oppression through archeology, Palestinians in the “mixed cities” have seen a strong echo of their own experiences. The main difference is that the archeological assault inside Israel focuses not only on Jewish history but embraces any historical period that distracts from Palestinian heritage.
Israel has misleadingly sold these archeological projects as “tourism development” and “urban renewal”, often claiming they are designed to improve “Jewish-Arab relations”.
One of the targets of the current protests was a soon-to-be-opened museum for the Lod Mosaic, a world-renowned, almost complete Roman mosaic found in 1996. It had been traveling the world until belated funding meant it could be housed in a poor Palestinian-majority neighborhood next to the old city where it was unearthed.
Although the mosaic was unharmed in last week’s attack, the new building’s glass frontage was smashed.
The residents’ resentment towards the new Lod Museum needs to be understood in two contexts: decades of obscuring the Palestinian heritage of Lod, as well as the visibility of its current Palestinian population; and the investment by Israeli authorities in projects to bring tourists to Lod, even as they continue to neglect local Palestinian residents, who suffer from high levels of poverty.
Lod’s old city was mostly destroyed in the 1950s to erase its Palestinian character. The streets, even in Palestinian neighborhoods, have been given Hebrew names.
Lod municipality recently unveiled plans to renovate another historic site, a Mamluk khan that was used as the city’s main market until 1948. Over the heads of the local population, it is due to be turned into a Judaized cultural space, housing cafes and arts and crafts shops.
And as with Silwan, Lod is developing local tour programs – sometimes in coordination with incoming settler populations – that highlight an ancient Jewish heritage and ignore the city’s Palestinian past and present.
Or as a report from Emek Shaveh, an Israeli organization of dissident archeologists, recently concluded: “The city of Lod thus erases once again the city’s glorious heritage and views its Arab residents as a nuisance.”
Families face eviction
In Acre, archeology has become an even more overt weapon to be used against the local Palestinian population. Since 1948, they have been largely confined to the seafront old city, where they were long ignored and mired in poverty.
But while the United Nations’ decision to designate the old city a World Heritage Site 20 years ago came to the rescue of the ancient buildings there, it did little to help the local inhabitants. In fact, their situation has become even more precarious as Israel, Jewish investors and foreign countries have poured money into the old city’s “development”.
Overseeing these projects are the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Acre Development Corporation, neither of which have consulted with the local or national Palestinian leaderships in Israel.
Gideon Avni, of the Antiquities Authority, told the Haaretz newspaper: “These symbols [in Acre] are being destroyed in front of our eyes.” Another unnamed expert echoed him: “Gangs of looters have systematically destroyed property after property.”
One of the main targets in Acre was the Antiquities Authority’s conservation center, supported by the Italian government.
The old city of Acre was built in the 18th century by a Palestinian ruler, Daher el-Omar, atop the ruins of an earlier Crusader city. But the Israeli authorities have been sidelining this important Palestinian layer – just as it has excluded the local Palestinian population – to encourage tourists to head into the underground, Crusader Acre.
Even when Palestinian heritage is being preserved in Acre, it has been repackaged as “Ottoman” – presented to Israeli Jews and tourists as a legacy of Turkish colonial influence rather than as the cultural and architectural artifacts of local Palestinians who lived under Ottoman rule.
One of the most visible Palestinian buildings is the well-preserved Khan al-Umdan, once the city’s main market, located in the harbor.
It has been sealed off for years as the Development Corporation has been finding investors to turn it into a luxury hotel. Palestinian families living in the warrens of alleys around the khan are facing eviction so as not to detract from the new ambience the Israeli authorities hope to create for tourists.
Disneyfication of Acre
Aiding this process have been wealthy Jewish investors, such as Uri Jeremias. They have been the driving force behind the gentrification of Acre’s old city above ground to take advantage of the new tourism. Jeremias’s small empire started with a fish restaurant on the seafront and has expanded to include a popular ice cream parlor and an ambitious hotel called the Efendi.
As the name suggests, the Efendi has contributed to the Disneyfication of Acre, remaking some of the old city’s most impressive Palestinian buildings into a hotel where tourists can experience generic “Ottoman” splendor, shielded from the poverty outside and from any trace of meaningful Palestinian heritage.
It is not surprising that Jeremias’s properties were also attacked, as was another hotel, the Arabesque.
In a fawning portrait in the Haaretz newspaper, Evan Fallenberg, owner of the Arabesque, was able to present his hotel as simply a site of cultural and economic renewal, and a symbol of “Jewish-Arab coexistence”. He called it “a labor of love shared by Muslims, Jews and Christians alike”.
Referring to his assumptions about Acre as a “model of successful coexistence”, Fallenberg added: “What gave me hope over the past few years is that this was some kind of microcosm of what could happen in this country, and it’s in danger of being lost now.”
Illusion of coexistence
But that coexistence model in the “mixed cities” was always an illusion, one that the protests finally served to smash. Coexistence worked for only one ethnic group only, Jews.
But that coexistence model in the “mixed cities” was always an illusion, one that the protests finally served to smash. Coexistence worked for only one ethnic group only, Jews. It was built on the continuing Judaization of these historic Palestinian communities to erase their Palestinian heritage and drive out their Palestinian populations.
Tourism and archeological preservation were simply more convenient, image-conscious ways to go about Judaization in the 21st century. They attracted less attention and international opposition than Israel’s ethnic cleansing operations and wholesale community demolitions of the previous century.
By stripping out this context – of Israel’s ongoing Judaization of Palestinian communities inside Israel – Israeli liberals have only deepened the incitement against Palestinian citizens. They have confirmed the picture presented by the right, whether it be President Rivlin’s “bloodthirsty mob”, Netanyahu’s “terrorists”, or the mayor of Lod’s “Kristallnacht”.
In doing so, Israeli liberals have offered their own form of legitimacy to the rationalizations by Jewish far-right gangs for their violence against Palestinian citizens: that they are protecting Jews and Jewish honor, that they are averting pogroms.
In defense of a non-existent coexistence, Israeli liberals have thrown their hand in with the far-right, exposing the Palestinian minority to the very real threat of Jewish pogroms.
President Biden said that there has been “no shift” in his commitment to Israel and that the Democratic Party still supports the Jewish state, despite heated and sometimes vitriolic criticism of Israel over the past ten days by progressives.
Biden was asked in a news conference Friday with South Korean President Moon Jae-In what his “message to Democrats who want you to be more confrontational with Israel.”
“My party still supports Israel,” Biden said. “Until the region says unequivocally they acknowledge the right of Israel to exist as an independent Jewish state, there will be no peace.”
He again called for a two-state solution in the region. “There is no shift in my commitment to the security of Israel. Period. No shift, not at all. But I’ll tell you what there is a shift in. The shift is that, we still need a two-state solution. It is the only answer. The only answer.”
Press secretary Jen Psaki had offered a similar sentiment hours earlier. She said the White House has “no plans” to alter security assistance to Israel, as progressives came down hard against a $735 million arms sale to the Jewish state and the billions allotted in foreign aid each year.
Biden recently approved the arms sale to Israel. He has repeatedly stressed Israel’s right to defend itself and reiterated that Hamas is a terrorist organization. But he has also pressured Israel to accept a cease-fire.
Israel and Hamas signed a cease-fire Thursday night after 11 days of fighting, where a dozen Israelis and over 230 Palestinians lost their lives.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., introduced a resolution Thursday to force a vote on whether to block the weapons sale to Israel. Progressive “Squad” members Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., introduced similar legislation in the House. “We must also take a hard look at nearly $4 billion a year in military aid to Israel,” Sanders wrote in a tweet.
Last Friday, 140 progressive groups, including Justice Democrats, Sunrise Movement, MoveOn and the Working Families Party, released a joint statement condemning Israel’s bombing of Gaza.
Black Lives Matter declared “solidarity with Palestinians” this week.
“Black Lives Matter stands in solidarity with Palestinians,” the group tweeted. “We are a movement committed to ending settler colonialism in all forms and will continue to advocate for Palestinian liberation. ( always have. And always will be ). #freepalestine.”
The Democratic Socialists of America issued a statement of support for Palestinians last week, condemning the “ongoing ethnic cleansing” it suggests Israel is engaged in.
The leading Black Lives Matter organization declared “solidarity with Palestinians” Monday, a week after Hamas terrorists in Gaza began firing a relentless barrage of rockets into Israel, indiscriminately shelling civilian targets as well as dropping some missiles short and blowing up buildings within its territory.
“Black Lives Matter stands in solidarity with Palestinians,” the group tweeted. “We are a movement committed to ending settler colonialism in all forms and will continue to advocate for Palestinian liberation. ( always have. And always will be ). #freepalestine.”
The announcement prompted a “thank you” tweet from the controversial Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or BDS, which has for years called for an economic embargo of Israel.
Israeli Iron Dome air defense system launches to intercept rockets fired from Gaza Strip, near Sderot, Israel, Thursday, May 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
“Thank you for your solidarity,” the left-wing group tweeted in response. “From Ferguson to Palestine, our struggles against racism, white supremacy and for a just world are united!”
The tweet came as pro-Palestinian protesters gathered in the U.S. and other Western countries to call for a cease-fire in the region.
A man is detained by police as Palestinian supporters gather during a demonstration near the United Nations headquarters Tuesday, May 18, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Amid the ongoing battle between Israel and Hamas militants, at least 12 Israelis and 213 Palestinians have been killed over the past eight days, including 61 children and 36 women. More than 100 Israelis and 1,400 Palestinians had been wounded as of Tuesday evening.
The military conflict escalated dramatically on May 10 when Hamas began firing rocket after rocket at Jerusalem following a violent clash between Israeli police and Palestinian protesters at the Al-Aqsa mosque, a sacred site for both Jews and Muslims. Despite hundreds of Israeli counterattacks and its Iron Dome defense system, the rockets have continued to fly.
But left-wing groups, and progressive lawmakers, have blamed Israel for the violence, describing it as an “apartheid state” committing “war crimes” and other atrocities on Palestinian civilians, who Hamas frequently treats like human shields, attracting airstrikes on high-rise buildings that share space with civilians.
The Israeli Defense Forces say they warn civilians ahead of strikes on such locations, giving them time to run for safety before leveling Hamas facilities.
“Israel fights to protect its civilians,” the IDF tweeted Tuesday. “Hamas uses civilians to protect itself.”
Michael Ruiz is a U.S. and World Reporter for Fox News.
Hamas Produces Missiles From Unexploded Israeli Munitions And Shells From Wrecked WWI Ships
September 25, 2020
On September 13, 2020, Al-Jazeera Network (Qatar) aired a documentary about the Hamas missile manufacturing industry. The reporter explained how Hamas’ Al-Qassam Brigades have been reclaiming unexploded Israeli munitions from 2014’s Operation Protective Edge, metal water pipes left behind by Israel when it withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, and cannon shells from the wrecks of British warships that sank near Gaza during World War I. The documentary featured interviews with the commanders of the Al-Qassam Brigades’ Military Production Units, Engineering Corps, Artillery Corps, and Frogmen Unit, who described the process of reclaiming these munitions and turning them into functional missiles.
The report also showed exclusive footage of this process, including footage of divers retrieving underwater shells, of metals being processed, of explosives being prepared, and of missiles being tested. Furthermore, the reporter and the interviewees explained that Iran has been shipping Kornet anti-tank missiles and Fajr missiles to Gaza by land and by sea. Abu Ibrahim, the Commander of the Military Productions Unit, said that Hamas has hundreds of warheads, dozens of tons of explosives and propellants, and enough metal water pipes to produce thousands of rockets.
To view the clip of the Al-Jazeera documentary on MEMRI TV, click here or below.
“Various Types Of Weapons Have Arrived To Gaza From Iran… Other Countries, like Syria And Sudan, Have Also Played A Role In Arming The Resistance”
Narrator: “In this footage, which is being shown for the first time, members of the Al-Qassam Brigades can be seen reassembling the parts of a Fajr missile that arrived in a new shipment of long range Iranian missiles. The resistance in Gaza [received] them despite the tightening of the siege. In these exclusive images, Kornet anti-tank missiles can be seen.”
Abu Ibrahim, Commander from the Military Production Unit of the Al-Qassam Brigades: “The weapons came to us, by land and by sea, from hundreds and thousands of kilometers away.
“Various types of weapons have arrived to Gaza from Iran. The resistance fighters in Gaza were in dire need of these weapons, such as the Kornet and Fajr missiles, and many other types of modern weapons, which are still very much in use on the battlefield.
“Other countries, like Syria and Sudan, have also played a role in arming the resistance.”
“Under This Rubble, There Are Unexploded Israeli Missiles And Shells[;] They Have Become A New Source For The Weapons Of The Resistance”
Narrator: “Under this rubble, there are unexploded Israeli missiles and shells. They have become a new source for the weapons of the resistance. The Al-Qassam Brigades are revealing a multi-phase project to transform the remnants of the Israeli war into modern missiles.”
Abu Ibrahim: “At the beginning, we decided to collect those munitions from the ruined houses and fields, because they constituted a direct threat to the lives of the inhabitants and the farmers. During the process of removing [these duds], large and diverse quantities of munitions were accumulated by our brothers in the Engineering Corps.”
Abu Salman, Commander of the Engineering Corps of the Al-Qassam Brigades: “After the 2014 war, the Engineering Corps dealt with many munitions throughout the Gaza Strip: bombs, mines, explosive devices and 155mm Howitzer shells. There were also hundreds of MK 84 bombs, each of which contains 470 kilograms of tritonal, a highly explosive material that is more powerful than TNT.
“We started by surveying all the unexploded munitions. We established a committee of specialized engineers. Our strategy was to recycle these munitions and make optimal use of all their parts. Our idea was to turn this crisis into an opportunity.”
“We Dug Into The Ground And Pulled Out The Pipes, So That They Could Be Used In Our Military Industries”
Narrator: “The reclamation of the unexploded Israeli shells was not an easy task. There were several martyrs in this complicated production project. One of the pioneers and supervisors of this project, Ibrahim Abu Al-Naja, was one of the most prominent martyrs. While the plan to reuse the explosives in the Israeli shells was moving ahead, long water pipelines were found buried in the areas of the settlements from which Israel withdrew in 2005.
“This discovery turned out to be a qualitative leap. These pipes, which stretched from the liberated settlements in the west across the Israeli border to the east, had been hidden from the eye. For years, they served Israel in its theft of Palestinian water.”
Abu Ibrahim: “In the belly of the Earth, we found large quantities of thick metal pipes. It was part of a network that had been used to steal Gaza’s groundwater and pump it into the occupied lands. We discovered the plans for that network, and then we dug into the ground and pulled out the pipes, so that they could be used in our military industries.”
Narrator: “In this documentary, we obtained exclusive footage from one of the workshops producing the long range Qassam missiles. These missiles have made distinct developments in their range, precision, and destructive power. These images show modern missiles being produced by recycling the unexploded Israeli shells, as well as the explosives they contained and the water pipes that were found.”
Abu Ibrahim: “We managed to use these caches to double our missile force despite the siege. This enabled us to maintain continuous fire in keeping with the needs of the battle.”
Narrator: “The Al-Qassam Brigades reveal for the first time that this cluster of missiles that were launched toward Israeli targets in the round of escalation witnessed by Gaza in May 2019, had been missiles produced from the remnants of Israeli shells from the 2014 war.
Abu Saad: “The most salient usage of these missiles was in the May 2019 missile strike against the occupation’s security and military posts that were in and around the city of Ashkelon.”
“Al-Qassam Brigades’s Frogmen Unit Found The Wrecks Of Two [British] Warships That Sank In The Sea Of Gaza [During WWI)… They Found Large Quantities Of Sunken Shells”
Narrator: “The sea concealed in its depths what the resistance called ‘a precious military treasure.’ In an unexpected place, men from the Al-Qassam Brigades’ frogmen unit found the wrecks of two [British] warships that sank in the sea of Gaza [during WWI). It took a lot of effort, but they managed to get inside, where they found large quantities of sunken shells.”
Abu Musa: “We found a large metal structure with several types of cannons attached to it. It turned out these were the wrecks of a military ship. A professional committee was formed to investigate the matter and unearth the secrets around this discovery. We decided to expand the search perimeter around that ship. That is when we found another, smaller, ship approximately 800 meters away. On these two ships, we found rooms filled with cannon shells. In keeping with the instructions of our brothers, we began to extract those shells. The shells were secured and had no detonators. This made it easier for us to extract them from the wrecked ships. But since there were so many shells and they weighed so much, extracting them took us a lot of time and required a lot of effort.”
Narrator: “This footage, which is being revealed for the first time, shows part of the operation to reach the two ships and the efforts to extract the shells safely and bring them to shore. All the steps of this complex security and military operation in the sea of Gaza were completed successfully.”
Abu Salman, Commander of the Engineering Corps of the Al-Qassam Brigades: “The British ships were equipped with several types of cannons. The biggest one was a 233 mm cannon. It had steel shells that weighed 138 kilograms. These cannons were used to shell targets on the shore. Each shell was 60 mm thick and made of iron. These shells were made in Britain to be shot from cannons, and they are unique in that they have steel casings. Because of the siege, it is impossible to find steel in Gaza.”
Narrator: “In this workshop, the men of the engineering and production unit of the Al-Qassam Brigades worked to prepare the British shells to be used in new missiles. There were hundreds of such missiles. The discovery of the British shells was a great achievement in light of Israel’s ban that prevents iron and steel from entering Gaza.”
Abu Salman, Commander of the Engineering Corps of the Al-Qassam Brigades: “We tested their ability to penetrate and destroy the enemy’s reinforced concrete fortifications. We made an experiment on a 40-cm-thick concrete roof that had been left behind by the enemy when it withdrew from Gaza in 2005. The target was completely destroyed. The shells from the British destroyed were transformed into warheads for the Sejjil-40 and the Sejjil-50 missiles.”
Abu Ibrahim: “As a result of the ceaseless search efforts at land and at sea, we have accumulated hundreds of munitions and warheads, and dozens of tons of explosives and propellants. We have enough pipes to produce thousands of rocket engines.”
A few days have passed since the beginning of a new round of clashes between the Zionist army and Palestinian resistance groups, and what is in the spotlight more than anything else is the high power of the resistance groups’ rockets and the firing of large volumes of these rockets into the depths of the occupied territories and air defense systems. The Israeli army is with them.
Since the beginning of the conflict, there have been various comments about the capability of the Israeli army’s defense systems, to the extent that some have assessed their capability as positive and some as lacking the capability to counter Palestinian rockets.
To take a closer look at the Israeli army’s air defense capabilities, we must first become familiar with the regime’s structure, organization, and air defense equipment, and then look at their strengths and weaknesses.
Since 2006, after the 33-day war, as well as three subsequent wars with Palestinian factions, the Israeli army has realized that it will now face far-reaching threats aimed at threatening the depths of the occupied territories. Therefore, the commanders of the regime’s army had to make fundamental changes in the structure and organization of the regime’s air defense.
With the introduction of the Iron Dome defense system into the air defense structure of the Israeli army in 2011, the theory of multi-layered air defense was introduced and this theory became operational in the second half of 2016.
In this regard, the name of “Anti-Aircraft Organization” was changed to “Air Defense Organization” and “Missile Defense Organization” was merged in its heart. According to this theory, the regional defense (northern, central, southern front) of the airspace of the occupied territories was also abolished and replaced by an integrated defense system.
In the new theory, a center called the “National Center for Ballistic Image Management or Mentao” was created, which is responsible for issuing national warnings and managing operations to detect, intercept and destroy all types of air targets.
Headquartered in Tel Aviv, the facility is responsible for centralized conflict management with all types of air threats, taking over all reconnaissance, intelligence, radar and defense systems throughout the Occupied Territories.
Other changes in the defense structure of the Israeli army, based on the theory of multi-layered defense, are the dissolution of defense regiments and the creation of battalions of defense systems. Each battalion, depending on the type of defense system, consists of several firearms that can be increased in emergencies. has it.
The defense systems of the Zionist Army are organized in such a way that the Iron Dome systems, which are organized in the form of two battalions, 137 and 947, are responsible for dealing with low-altitude targets. Subsequently, the 138th and 139th Battalions of the Patriot System and the 66th Battalion of the Falcon David System are tasked with engaging medium-altitude targets, and the 136th Battalion Megan Battalion, consisting of the Peykan 2 and Peykan 3 systems, has been deployed to counter high-altitude threats and ballistic missiles.
Among the IDF defense systems, the Iron Dome is the only system that changes positions according to the geographical scope of the threats, and the regime’s other defense systems are permanently stationed at their bases.
The Iron Dome system was designed in 2011 with the aim of countering threats at low altitudes with a range of 4 to 70 km and with the aim of protecting the regime’s settlements and sensitive areas.
Each Iron Dome system includes an EL / M2084 radar, a command and control center, and three launchers, each capable of carrying and firing 20 Tamir missiles. A total of 12 iron dome systems are used to defend the skies of the occupied territories.
Launcher launch of standard missiles of Falcon David Defense System
The Falcon David system, which entered service in 2016, is responsible for countering threats from a range of 70 to 300 kilometers. David’s slingshot also uses an EL / M2084 radar, and each of its firearms has six 12-missile firing platforms that use the Stander missile defense. At present, 3 systems of David’s slingshot are deployed in the occupied territories in the form of a defense battalion.
Arrow 2 and 3 missile defense systems
Megan Hirf Unit, which consists of three Heath 2 systems and one Heath 3 system, also has the task of engaging with high-altitude and high-range targets with GreenPine radar. In fact, these two systems are designed to deal with Iranian ballistic missiles.
So far, we have a brief overview of the Israeli army’s air defense structure, as well as its defense systems. It is important to note that, contrary to popular belief, the Iron Dome refers to the entire structure of Israel’s defense. The Iron Dome is one of the Zionist army’s defense systems, which has been widely used because of its many uses.
In view of the above, and despite the fact that the Zionist regime has made serious changes in the structure of its air defense since the 2006 war, we still see that the regime’s air defense organization is not able to fully protect itself against rocket attacks by resistance groups.
More recently, a missile strike near the Dimona nuclear power plant has cast serious doubt on the organization’s ability to defend the skies over the occupied territories.
On the other hand, the only Israeli defense system that has been active in recent years is the Iron Dome system, and other defense systems of the regime army, except for a few cases, have not yet entered into a serious conflict, and therefore the correctness of their operation is questionable.
Rocket Launchers Repair Iron Dome Defense System
The Iron Dome system also has several weaknesses. First, the number of existing systems is not able to cover all the occupied territories, and therefore in the event of a multi-front war, this system will not be able to respond to rocket and missile attacks, and the air defense of the Israeli low altitude will be extremely vulnerable.
How the Iron Dome defense system works
The system is also unable to intercept missiles and rockets fired from a distance of less than 4 km due to lack of time to detect and intercept the target, and the proliferation of resistance rocket launchers at this distance is a serious threat to the system.
On the other hand, the Iron Dome system can not track targets that have high speed and flight time of less than 28 seconds.
Iron Dome Defense System Repair Missile
Also, the warheads of the repair missiles used in this system are equipped with an adjacent fuse, which is the best condition for destroying the target when it is targeted at a distance of one meter, otherwise the possibility of its fragments penetrating the target body and destroying it is reduced.
Image of the confrontation of the Iron Dome system with resistance rockets
On the other hand, one of the weaknesses of this system is its inability to deal with large volumes of fire; This is an issue that the resistance groups have also realized, and this is one of the reasons why these groups fired rockets at high volumes.
The high price of missiles for repairing the Iron Dome system versus the low price of missiles of resistance groups is something that will greatly increase the cost of the battle for the Zionists.
According to published information, each Iron Dome repair missile costs between 40 and 100 thousand dollars. This is if the price of each rocket fired by Palestinian groups is between one thousand and five thousand dollars.
On the other hand, the type of rockets used by resistance groups in previous years had a lower speed, accuracy and volume of destruction than the rockets used by these groups in recent wars.
An example of a rocket fired by the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades of Hamas
Palestinian groups used rockets in the recent war that, in addition to better range and volume of destruction, have higher speeds and accuracy, making the Iron Dome system much more difficult than in the past.
The increasing power of the resistance rockets has caused the scope of the war, which was once limited to the borders of the Gaza Strip, to extend deep into the occupied territories; In addition to endangering the security of the regime’s sensitive and security centers, this has disrupted the daily lives of the inhabitants of the occupied territories and has increased dissatisfaction with the government and the army of this regime.
Fighters of Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades load rockets in launchers to fire on occupied territories
This shows that the resistance groups have gradually increased the quality of their rockets and missiles by carefully studying the strengths and weaknesses of the Zionist Army Air Defense Organization and especially its Iron Dome system, and so far they have been able to balance the acceptable power with the Zionist regime. Establish; If this continues, it will lead the resistance groups to acquire more advanced weapons than today and to inflict heavier blows on the Zionist regime.
A woman and child walk past a mural of George Floyd painted on the side of Israel’s separation barrier on the occupied West Bank side of Bethlehem on March 31, 2021. Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP via Getty Images
I WAS 19 the first time someone told me I didn’t exist. I was in college, standing near a display about civilian deaths in the occupied Gaza Strip during an Israeli assault. I can’t remember the face of the student who accosted me, although I remember the sneer in their voice, the way it sliced into my unguarded chest. I was not prepared to be erased.
“Palestinians don’t exist,” they said. With time this moment would blur, but not fade, mingling with innumerable interactions in which strangers would likewise inform me of my nonexistence. In that moment, though, it was a wholly new experience. I felt the brief flicker of a laugh before the sick sense of outrage landed in my gut. Before I could find the words to respond, the accuser was gone.
How strange, to tell a living, breathing human being, to their face, that they are “unreal.” And what would be the proper defense? How does one reply to a delusion?
Of course, it’s not true, that I don’t exist: I have a body, made of flesh and blood. Yet in many ways, that stranger was right.
Because something happens at the mention of that word — Palestinian. In the moment it is uttered, I become something more, and so much less, than human.
PALESTINIANS, AS A people, are visible but rarely seen. We do not “exist” as others do; we have neither a formal country nor any economic or military power to speak of. We have a history and culture, but these are eroded and appropriated more with every passing year. Mostly, we are collectively obscured by what people think they know, what they think we are: threats, troublemakers, terrorists.
This is how we can be in so many headlines and yet die such endless deaths. We die, in part, because that is what the world expects of us. Our name is invoked only in connection to brutality and strife, which are presented as inevitable, our natural state. Reports read like weather reports: The “climate” “heats up” then “boils over” into “another wave of violence.” Our casualties are like the seasons — a crop of dead every few years, usually in Gaza.
Public images of us reveal a world of dust, tanks, and soldiers. These stark, menacing streets mingle in the Western imagination with sand-colored reels of other deaths — Afghans, Iraqis, Syrians — further obscuring all of us. Clichés wrap individual tragedies in generic repetition, an endless archive of the unremembered.
Photo: Said Khatib/AFP via Getty Images
All this because we are among the world’s disposable people. What kills us is not only Israeli state violence but the international community’s collective failure to imagine us as human beings. It is the same failure that has allowed so many Black bodies to be murdered in the broad daylight of viral videos, with so little systemic change. As Elizabeth Alexander has written, “Black bodies in pain for public consumption have been an American national spectacle for centuries.” With such a violent collective memory, it’s no wonder white Americans have been so egregiously slow and equivocal in responding to anti-Black violence. For who is more visible in the U.S. than a Black person? Yet who is the most seldom seen?
This is the lethal contradiction that generations of Black intellectuals and activists have worked to dismantle. The “problem of the color line,” as W.E.B. DuBois called it, will only be solved when the U.S., as a whole, grasps the full humanity of Black people, who have been systematically dehumanized. There can be no going forward, in short, until the U.S. internalizes the most basic truth that Black Lives Matter.
In this way, the U.S. and Israel confront a similar moral failing: Years of intentional disenfranchisement, abuse of and theft from a people in the name of another group’s supremacy — in one case, under the banner of whiteness, and in the other, Zionism. Both have gambled on their ability to suppress these peoples’ efforts to resist their oppression, through the means of mass incarceration, state violence, and legal discrimination. And both have seen that even the most brutal crackdowns cannot squelch the human spirit forever.
WHEN I WAS a senior in college, after I’d lost track of the times I’d been told that I didn’t exist, I had an especially menacing run-in with a drunk stranger, who happened to know me as a Palestinian. He grabbed my arm, forcing me to join a circle of his friends, and proceeded to taunt me for my belief “that Arabs and Jews are equal” and that “Palestinians should have rights.” His harassment deteriorated into sexual threats, all of which his friends seemed to find hilarious. Yet, after I finally slipped out of his grip, what haunted me most was how silent I had been in the face of his tirade. Why did I always freeze?
A Palestinian girl and other relatives mourn the killing of 11-year-old Hussein Hamad during his funeral in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip on May 11, 2021.
Photo: Mahmud Hams/AFP via Getty Images
There is a particular, stultifying effect that comes with having one’s humanity denied outright. In that instant, the specificities of a life — the loves and fears and hungers, the family histories and secret hopes — are erased. It can leave a person speechless, shaken, losing grip on one’s sense of power. My drunken accosters did not ask me to debate policy; they questioned the very legitimacy of my existence. That moment cut to the hidden heart of the Israeli-Palestinian “conflict”: Do Palestinian lives matter?
The statement “Black Lives Matter” was birthed in the wake of the Ferguson uprisings and the brutal police response — events which Angela Davis remarked reminded her of the streets of Gaza. The idea — that Black lives have worth — is powerful because it seems obvious but forces us to confront all the material realities that contradict it. If Black Lives Matter, why are Black men 6 times more likely to be incarcerated than white men and 3 times more likely to be killed by police? If Black lives matter, why the vast racial disparities in resources, wealth, and health? In this way, the simple statement dares to unmask the forces of anti-Blackness and white supremacy in the very foundations of this nation.
Similarly, the material realities of Palestinians make clear that the Israeli state places little value on their lives. It would rather we weren’t there at all. The nation itself was founded on the violent displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, including my family, in 1948 and expanded through subsequent wars and the ongoing dispossession and settlement of areas such as the West Bank and Jerusalem. Those who remain have their existence denied daily, through intentionally dehumanizing encounters with the Israeli state, from arbitrary checkpoints to extrajudicial violence to economic exclusion to a prison-industrial complex that captures thousands of Palestinians, including minors, each year.
THE RECENT “ESCALATIONS” in Jerusalem only confirm the unreality of my people. News outlets report the events with a tone of clinical accounting, unaffected by the vast incongruencies of injured and dead (as of Thursday morning — the first day of Eid — over 1,000 Palestinians injured and at least 83 dead, including at least 17 children, with seven Israeli deaths). Commentators like sportscasters placing bets on Hamas’s next move, Thomas Friedman cracking wise about Palestinian youth and TikTok. Rock-throwing youth and lethal military forces portrayed like equal adversaries, or worse, a reverse David and Goliath, the civilized against a rabid, brown-skinned crowd.
They will never tell you how each one of us breaks and bleeds uniquely, how specific each individual’s suffering and resilience are. You’ll never hear, as I did on the phone with Jerusalem this week, the details that make this such a human drama. One Sheikh Jarrah family who can’t bear to lose their garden, filling my WhatsApp chat with snapshots of trees rooted decades ago. Another young man who couldn’t let go of what he’d seen in Al Aqsa Mosque: not the bloodshed or his now-blinded companions, but all those soldiers’ shoes, stampeding sacred ground. Their shoes, their shoes, he moaned. Their dirty shoes.
The beloved garden of a Palestinian family in Sheikh Jarrah who will be forced to leave it.
BLACK AMERICANS HAVE shown us, again and again, that they will not allow themselves to be made unreal — and this last year, many more people seemed to listen. For Black Americans who routinely face state violence, the murder of George Floyd was tragically unsurprising. Yet this particular death seemed to penetrate the larger American imagination, managing, somehow, to puncture the gloss of indifference with its sheer visceral force, its specificity. Floyd was seen as an individual, a human being, and his name became a movement. “Black Lives Matter” had a resurgence, thanks in part to the sudden recognition by white Americans of a particular Black life, and death.
Palestinians were quick to respond to the George Floyd movement, protesting in solidarity, drawing parallels between their own experiences of mass incarceration, militarized law enforcement, legal discrimination, knees on civilian necks. Floyd’s face decorated stretches of the Israeli barrier wall, alongside murals of Palestinians killed by Israeli police and soldiers, including Iyad Hallaq, an unarmed man with autism, shot on his way home from school. Floyd’s death also prompted discussions in the Palestinian and wider Arab communities about their own anti-Blackness. This internationalism is not new: For years, Palestinian activists have looked to the American civil rights movement, the South African struggle against apartheid, and others for inspiration. They have also offered their solidarity and support to movements abroad, including the Standing Rock protests and other efforts for Indigenous rights.
Photo: Mati Milstein/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Palestinians drew on these experiences in the weeks leading up to the recent “escalations.” In the presence of mobs shouting “Death to Arabs,” police violence at the holy grounds of Al Aqsa Mosque, and the flagrant encroachment of settlers in Sheikh Jarrah, Palestinian protests remained “largely peaceful,” reported Amnesty International. This long suffering was obscured by the increasingly brutal “scuffles” around Al Aqsa Mosque, in which Israeli armed forces deployed concussion grenades and rubber-tipped bullets against worshippers, injuring over 1,000, including 170 at a single Friday prayer during the holy month of Ramadan.
Now, with the involvement of Hamas providing justification for Israel to unleash its world-class arsenal, the particular moral stakes of the events have dissolved into the familiar, generic narrative: Israel defends itself, Palestinians die. The headlines, for most readers, will become interchangeable; the death tolls will be packaged in the sanitizing language of military calculations and diplomatic jargon.
Meanwhile, defenders of Palestinians’ right to resist will be inundated with “what abouts” and demands to denounce violence — questions to which the Israeli military, infinitely more powerful, will never be subjected. On the contrary, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu boasted this week that the killing in Gaza was “just the beginning. We’ll hit them like they’ve never dreamed possible.”
Throughout, detractors will use any casualties or property damage on the Israeli side to discredit the entire movement, just as the labels of “outside agitators” and “rioters” have been used to discredit Black activists from the 1960s to today. The fundamental illegality of the occupation will go unmentioned. Negotiators and journalists will demand that Palestinians pledge themselves to nonviolence, never acknowledging the years of peaceful resistance they’ve sustained against all odds.
While commentators recycle “both sides” rhetoric, the death toll will, as always, surge exponentially on one side. The decimation of Gaza will be excused as necessary to stop “terrorism,” the obliteration of dozens of civilians, including children, notwithstanding. Eventually, there may be talk of “conditions” for a cease-fire — a pause in Palestinian death must always have conditions. No one will assume that Palestinian lives, as lives, simply matter.
Protesters demanding an end to Israeli violence against Palestine rally in New York on May 11, 2021.
Photo: Scott Heins/Getty Images
Perhaps something, this time, will be different. With the newfound skepticism of law enforcement and incarceration wrought by the George Floyd movement, many in the “woke” world seem to have found resonance with the scenes of Palestinian civilian protests throughout the territories and Israel, launching marches of their own around the globe. Perhaps, after a year in which the words “decolonization” and “intersectionality” have become memes, in which social media has become a streamlined highway for outrage and mobilization, this “clash” will be recognized at last for what it is: a fight for the Palestinian right to be human.
Such a shift would be a breakthrough: Just as the U.S. will remain haunted until Black lives are fully, truly, and equally valued, there can be no peace in Israel-Palestine until all the lives involved are reckoned with as human. Such a reckoning is understandably terrifying for nations built on the systematic denial of certain humanities, but there is no other way. And if the last year has taught us anything, it is that no odds can outmatch the individual’s need for dignity.
“The myths of self-defense” — Israel’s — “and both sides are becoming more and more penetrable,” Mohammed el-Kurd, whose family is facing forced displacement from their home in Sheikh Jarrah, said in a CNN interview this week. “People are being able to see through these myths and call an occupation for what it is and an aggressor for what it is.”
“The Frankfurt School consisted mostly of neo-Marxists who hoped for a socialist revolution in Germany but instead got fascism in the form of the Nazi Party. Addled by their misreading of history and their failure to foresee Hitler’s rise, they developed a form of social critique known as critical theory.
CRT inherits from its Critical Legal Theory ancestor the commitment to dismantle all aspects of society through unremitting criticism”-–If you want to understand the age of Trump, read the Frankfurt School
Critical race theory is fast becoming America’s new institutional orthodoxy. Yet most Americans have never heard of it — and of those who have, many don’t understand it. This must change. We need to know what it is so we can know how to fight it.
To explain critical race theory, it helps to begin with a brief history of Marxism.
Originally, the Marxist left built its political program on the theory of class conflict. Karl Marx believed that the primary characteristic of industrial societies was the imbalance of power between capitalists and workers. The solution to that imbalance, according to Marx, was revolution: The workers would eventually gain consciousness of their plight, seize the means of production, overthrow the capitalist class and usher in a new socialist society.
During the 20th century, a number of regimes underwent Marxist-style revolutions, and each ended in disaster. Socialist governments in the Soviet Union, China, Cambodia, Cuba and elsewhere racked up a body count of nearly 100 million people. They are remembered for gulags, show trials, executions and mass starvations. In practice, Marx’s ideas unleashed man’s darkest brutalities.
By the mid-1960s, Marxist intellectuals in the West had begun to acknowledge these failures. They recoiled at revelations of Soviet atrocities and came to realize that workers’ revolutions would never occur in Western Europe or the United States, which had large middle classes and rapidly improving standards of living. Americans in particular had never developed a sense of class consciousness or class division. Most Americans believed in the American dream — the idea that they could transcend their origins through education, hard work and good citizenship.
But rather than abandon their political project, Marxist scholars in the West simply adapted their revolutionary theory to the social and racial unrest of the 1960s. Abandoning Marx’s economic dialectic of capitalists and workers, they substituted race for class and sought to create a revolutionary coalition of the dispossessed based on racial and ethnic categories.
Fortunately, the early proponents of this revolutionary coalition in the US lost out in the 1960s to the civil rights movement, which sought instead the fulfillment of the American promise of freedom and equality under the law. Americans preferred the idea of improving their country to that of overthrowing it. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision, President Lyndon Johnson’s pursuit of the Great Society, and the restoration of law and order promised by President Richard Nixon in his 1968 campaign defined the post-1960s American political consensus.
But the radical left has proved resilient and enduring — which is where critical race theory comes in.
Critical race theory is an academic discipline, formulated in the 1990s and built on the intellectual framework of identity-based Marxism. Relegated for many years to universities and obscure academic journals, it has increasingly become the default ideology in our public institutions over the past decade. It has been injected into government agencies, public school systems, teacher training programs and corporate human resources departments in the form of diversity training programs, human resources modules, public policy frameworks and school curricula.
Its supporters deploy a series of euphemisms to describe critical race theory, including “equity,” “social justice,” “diversity and inclusion” and “culturally responsive teaching.”
Critical race theorists, masters of language construction, realize that “neo-Marxism” would be a hard sell. Equity, on the other hand, sounds nonthreatening and is easily confused with the American principle of equality. But the distinction is vast and important. Indeed, critical race theorists explicitly reject equality — the principle proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, defended in the Civil War and codified into law with the 14th and 15th Amendments, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. To them, equality represents “mere nondiscrimination” and provides “camouflage” for white supremacy, patriarchy and oppression.
In contrast to equality, equity as defined and promoted by critical race theorists is little more than reformulated Marxism. In the name of equity, UCLA law professor and critical race theorist Cheryl Harris has proposed suspending private property rights, seizing land and wealth and redistributing them along racial lines.
Critical race guru Ibram X. Kendi, who directs the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University, has proposed the creation of a federal Department of Antiracism. This department would be independent of (i.e., unaccountable to) the elected branches of government and would have the power to nullify, veto or abolish any law at any level of government and curtail the speech of political leaders and others deemed insufficiently “antiracist.”
One practical result of the creation of such a department would be the overthrow of capitalism, since, according to Kendi, “in order to truly be antiracist, you also have to truly be anticapitalist.”
In other words, identity is the means; Marxism is the end.
An equity-based form of government would mean the end not only of private property but also of individual rights, equality under the law, federalism and freedom of speech. These would be replaced by race-based redistribution of wealth, group-based rights, active discrimination and omnipotent bureaucratic authority.
Historically, the accusation of “anti-Americanism” has been overused. But in this case, it’s not a matter of interpretation: Critical race theory prescribes a revolutionary program that would overturn the principles of the Declaration and destroy the remaining structure of the Constitution.
What does critical race theory look like in practice? Last year, I authored a series of reports focused on critical race theory in the federal government. The FBI was holding workshops on intersectionality theory. The Department of Homeland Security was telling white employees that they were committing “microinequities” and had been “socialized into oppressor roles.” The Treasury Department held a training session telling staff members that “virtually all white people contribute to racism” and that they must convert “everyone in the federal government” to the ideology of “antiracism.” And the Sandia National Laboratories, which design America’s nuclear arsenal, sent white male executives to a three-day re-education camp where they were told that “white male culture” was analogous to the “KKK,” “white supremacists” and “mass killings.” The executives were then forced to renounce their “white male privilege” and to write letters of apology to fictitious women and people of color.
This year, I produced another series of reports focused on critical race theory in education. In Cupertino, Calif., an elementary school forced first-graders to deconstruct their racial and sexual identities and rank themselves according to their “power and privilege.” In Springfield, Mo., a middle school forced teachers to locate themselves on an “oppression matrix,” based on the idea that straight, white, English-speaking, Christian males are members of the oppressor class and must atone for their privilege and “covert white supremacy.”
In Philadelphia, an elementary school forced fifth-graders to celebrate “Black communism” and simulate a Black Power rally to free 1960s radical Angela Davis from prison, where she had once been held on charges of murder. And in Seattle, the school district told white teachers that they are guilty of “spirit murder” against black children and must “bankrupt [their] privilege in acknowledgment of [their] thieved inheritance.”
I’m just one investigative journalist, but I’ve developed a database of more than 1,000 of these stories. When I say that critical race theory is becoming the operating ideology of our public institutions, I am not exaggerating — from the universities to bureaucracies to K-12 school systems, critical race theory has permeated the collective intelligence and decision-making process of American government, with no sign of slowing down.
This is a revolutionary change. When originally established, these government institutions were presented as neutral, technocratic and oriented toward broadly held perceptions of the public good. Today, under the increasing sway of critical race theory and related ideologies, they are being turned against the American people. This isn’t limited to the permanent bureaucracy in Washington, DC, but is true as well of institutions in the states — even red states. It is spreading to county public health departments, small Midwestern school districts and more. This ideology will not stop until it has devoured all of our institutions.
So far, attempts to halt the encroachment of critical race theory have been ineffective. There are a number of reasons for this.
First, too many Americans have developed an acute fear of speaking up about social and political issues, especially those involving race. According to a recent Gallup poll, 77 percent of conservatives are afraid to share their political beliefs publicly. Worried about getting mobbed on social media, fired from their jobs or worse, they remain quiet, largely ceding the public debate to those pushing these anti-American ideologies. Consequently, the institutions themselves become monocultures: dogmatic, suspicious, and hostile to a diversity of opinion.
Conservatives in both the federal government and public school systems have told me that their “equity and inclusion” departments serve as political offices, searching for and stamping out any dissent from the official orthodoxy.
Second, critical race theorists have constructed their argument like a mousetrap. Disagreement with their program becomes irrefutable evidence of a dissenter’s “white fragility,” “unconscious bias” or “internalized white supremacy.” I’ve seen this projection of false consciousness on their opponents play out dozens of times in my reporting. Diversity trainers will make an outrageous claim — such as “all whites are intrinsically oppressors” or “white teachers are guilty of spirit murdering black children” — and then, when confronted with disagreement, adopt a patronizing tone and explain that participants who feel “defensiveness” or “anger” are reacting out of guilt and shame. Dissenters are instructed to remain silent, “lean into the discomfort” and accept their “complicity in white supremacy.”
Third, Americans across the political spectrum have failed to separate the premise of critical race theory from its conclusion. Its premise — that American history includes slavery and other injustices, and that we should examine and learn from that history — is undeniable. But its revolutionary conclusion — that America was founded on and defined by racism and that our founding principles, our Constitution and our way of life should be overthrown — does not rightly, much less necessarily, follow.
Fourth and finally, the writers and activists who have had the courage to speak out against critical race theory have tended to address it on the theoretical level, pointing out the theory’s logical contradictions and dishonest account of history.
These criticisms are worthy and good, but they move the debate into the academic realm — friendly terrain for proponents of critical race theory. They fail to force defenders of this revolutionary ideology to defend the practical consequences of their ideas in the realm of politics.
No longer simply an academic matter, critical race theory has become a tool of political power. To borrow a phrase from the Marxist theoretician Antonio Gramsci, it is fast achieving cultural hegemony in America’s public institutions. It is driving the vast machinery of the state and society. If we want to succeed in opposing it, we must address it politically at every level.
Critical race theorists must be confronted with and forced to speak to the facts. Do they support public schools separating first-graders into groups of “oppressors” and “oppressed”? Do they support mandatory curricula teaching that “all white people play a part in perpetuating systemic racism”? Do they support public schools instructing white parents to become “white traitors” and advocate for “white abolition”? Do they want those who work in government to be required to undergo this kind of re-education? How about managers and workers in corporate America? How about the men and women in our military?
Eight of these bills have already been enacted and 10 more are on governors’ desks, according to the Human Rights Campaign.
The Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock.Ramesh Lalwani / Flickr Vision via Getty
By Jo Yurcaba
Hundreds of bills that target LGBTQ people have been filed in state legislatures, creating a “state of crisis,” advocates say.
The bills “attempt to erase transgender people and attempt to make LGBTQ people second-class citizens,” Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said during a news conference Thursday.
David said the number of bills, particularly those targeting transgender young people, is “unprecedented” and that 2021 is on track to “become the worst year for state legislative attacks against LGBTQ people in history.”
Until now, 2015 held that record, with 15 anti-LGBTQ bills enacted into law, David said. So far this year, eight bills targeting LGBTQ people have been signed into law, and another 10 are sitting on governors’ desks awaiting signatures, according to the Human Rights Campaign.
“Just to underscore the severity of these bills and the dangerous threshold we are about to cross: If these bills are enacted, it would mean that states will have enacted more anti-LGBTQ bills this year alone than in the last three years combined,” David said.
The national landscape
So far in 2021, eight bills targeting LGBTQ people have become law, most of them centered on transgender minors.
Governors in four states — Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama — have signed bills banning trans athletes from competing on school sports teams that align with their gender identity.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, signed a similar bill that allows doctors to refuse to treat someone due to their religious or moral beliefs. Hutchinson vetoed another bill to ban transition care for trans minors — including puberty blockers, hormones and surgery — but the Arkansas Legislature overrode the veto, and the bill will become law this summer.
In North Dakota, Republican Gov. Doug Burgum signed a bill that the Human Rights Campaign says will allow student groups that receive state funding through their universities to turn away LGBTQ students “under the guise of free speech.”
In addition to those measures, another 10 are sitting on governors’ desks. Among them are a bill in Montana that would require gender-affirming surgery before a trans person can change the gender marker on their birth certificate; bills in West Virginia and Alabama that limit trans athlete participation; and bills in Arkansas and Tennessee that would require parents to sign off on any mention of gender identity or sexual orientation in school curriculums.
The Tennessee Legislature is expected to send a bill to Republican Gov. Bill Lee’s desk that requires schools to provide “reasonable accommodations,” such as single-occupancy restrooms, to public school students who don’t want to share public facilities with trans students.
“All of these bills are dangerous and harmful to LGBTQ people, and many of them have particularly singled out some of the most vulnerable in our community, which are transgender youth,” David said.
A few governors, like Hutchinson, have already vetoed some legislation. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, vetoed a bill last week that would have required parental notification of any mention of LGBTQ people in school curriculums. Burgum in North Dakota and Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, both vetoed trans athlete bans.
The vetoes, David said, are the result of advocates’ efforts to provide elected officials with facts instead of misinformation about the medical care trans young people receive, or the potential negative economic effects of passing such bills.
“Once they understand the facts from the medical community, from the business community, from families, they understand that these bills are not supported by the facts, they’re not supported by science and there’s no basis to advance these bills. Yet they are still under pressure from their ‘base,’” David said, “which is why we’re seeing some of these bills signed, because they’re providing red meat to their base, but at the same time they recognize that some of these bills are just simply unconscionable.”
Major medical organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association oppose medical care bans and support affirming care for trans youth, Dr. Robert Garofalo, division chief of adolescent medicine at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, said during the news conference.
“We know that gender-affirming care is best practice and to think otherwise just flies in the face of all available scientific evidence,” Garofalo said. One study published in the journal Pediatrics found that trans people who received puberty blockers had a lower risk of suicidal thoughts than adults who wanted them but couldn’t access them.
The vetoes and opposition to the bills from some Republicans are also the result of grassroots activism, said Jasmine Banks, whose daughter is trans. Banks is also founder of Reconcile Arkansas, a queer and trans advocacy group.
“This is one of those moments in history where we’re putting these folks on notice and we’re saying, ‘We are the people who put you in those positions of power, and if you continue to leverage your attacks on our communities, you will no longer be in those positions. We will move you out of those leadership positions,'” Banks said during Thursday’s news conference.
David said a number of bills are also poised to soon pass their second legislative chambers, such as abill in Tennessee that would require businesses to post signs outside of restrooms if they allow trans people to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity.
Texas and Tennessee are the two states considering the most anti-LGBTQ bills this year. Texas legislators have introduced more than two dozen bills targeting LGBTQ people, Cathryn Oakley, state legislative director for the Human Rights Campaign, said.
All told, Oakley said, state legislatures have considered 35 bills to ban or limit transition care for trans minors, 66 trans sports bans, 43 religious refusal bills and 16 bills that relate to trans people’s access to bathrooms and locker rooms.
“Our opposition, they are truly getting desperate,” Oakley said, citing the conservative fights against marriage equality and bathroom bills in North Carolina and Texas that ultimately failed or were repealed.
The bills’ ‘human cost’
The bills are already having an impact, advocates say. Dr. Michele Hutchinson, who runs a clinic for trans youth at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, told the Associated Press the families she serves “are in a state of panic” now that the state has approved a law that will ban gender-affirming care for trans minors.
“They want to know what they should do next and we don’t have a clear answer for them,” she told the AP.
She also said that since the bill passed, four young people in her program attempted suicide. Other patients have asked her if they’ll be able to get their medications on the black market, which she said would “be dangerous because they won’t be monitored for side effects.”
Texas is also considering a bill that would make it a felony for parents or doctors to provide transition care for trans youth. The proposal would classify the act as child abuse, and parents who violate it could have their children removed from their home and placed in foster care.
Libby Gonzales, an 11-year-old trans girl who lives in Texas, said lawmakers there have been “attacking” her since she was 6, when they tried to bar her from using the girls’ bathroom.
“Now they’re trying to stop me from getting the health care I need,” Gonzales said Thursday. “Who am I supposed to be if these bills pass? I told my mom and dad that if this law passes I want to disappear. I don’t know how I’m going to go to school and pretend that everything’s OK.”
“If they don’t want to understand us, they should at least not keep our families from supporting us and our doctors from helping us,” she added.
The bills are not only impacting trans young people but the safety of all trans people, David said.
“It is important to say here that people are already dying,” David said. “These bills are further fueling a wave of anti-trans violence that is devastating our community so far in 2021.”
Oakley said the “tide may be turning” for anti-LGBTQ legislation, noting the two recent vetoes by Republican governors in Arizona and North Dakota. A recent PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll found that two-thirds of Americans are opposed to laws that would limit trans rights.
“Public opinion is absolutely on our side,” Oakley said. But she still doesn’t think it will be enough to prevent 2021 from breaking the record for the most anti-LGBTQ bills to become laws.
David described the wave of legislation and anti-trans violence as “a national crisis by any objective standard,” and he said it “merits national attention, and it merits united action.”
He wrote an open letter to corporate leaders, published as a full-page ad in The New York Times on Monday, calling on business leaders to “take action now by publicly denouncing state legislation that discriminates against people, refusing to advance new business in states that are hostile to corporate values and refusing to support sporting events where transgender athletes are banned or athletes taking a knee are penalized.”
David said the Human Rights Campaign is also calling on the NCAA, which regulates college athletics in the U.S., to follow through on its April 12 statement saying it wouldn’t hold championship games in locations that aren’t “free of discrimination.”
“It is not just the NCAA. We also need our entire nation,” David said. “We need every single person to make their voices heard and make sure that their voices are clear that these bills are inhumane and unacceptable.”
It’s a terrible time to be a publicist for Bill Gates. The billionaire, who the mainstream media celebrates as a philanthropist, is being criticized for his stance on vaccine patents.
When asked if he would share the COVID-19 vaccine recipes with developing nations, the tech mogul categorically refused, much to the shock of everyone who believed Gates prioritized saving lives over making profits.
Profits over lives: Gates doesn’t believe in transferring vaccine tech to developing countries
The Microsoft co-founder answered with an emphatic “no” when the vaccine patent relaxation question was fielded to him during a Sky News interview.
The logic backing the query being that transferring vaccine recipes to developing countries would not only accelerate localized production but also make it possible for poorer nations to inoculate more people with cheaper vaccines.
Fact: Gates justifies stance by making this a safety, expertise issue
“There’s only so many vaccine factories in the world and people are very serious about the safety… Moving a vaccine, say, from a factory into a factory in India, it’s novel, it’s only because of our grants and expertise that can happen at all,” said Gates.
Grants and expertise: Gates believes vaccines tech transfer will be too expensive
Gates, however, provided a couple of reasons for his refusal to share vaccine recipes with poorer countries.
He contends there are limited vaccine factories in the world, and that transferring manufacturing technology can’t be done without American “grants” and “expertise”.
The vaccine czar essentially implies that it is impossible for developing countries to manufacture vaccines without the US spending a fortune transferring technology.
Weak argument: Contrary to Gates’ claims, India is proficient at vaccine manufacturing
Except, Gates’ notion that vaccine production cannot be moved to India is demonstrably false. India has shown remarkable technological proficiency in developing and manufacturing vaccines to become the vaccine hub of the world.
In fact, it had been exporting vaccines globally until US President Joe Biden invoked Defense Production Act, thereby starving India of critical materials required to keep up the manufacturing pace.
Factually incorrect: Vaccine tech transfer that Gates deemed impossible has already happened
Gates’ logic is further undermined by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres deeming India’s vaccine exports “the best asset that the world has today” against the pandemic.
India achieved this feat on the basis of technology transfer between the Serum Institute of India and AstraZeneca. This directly contradicts the tech billionaire’s excuse that such a transfer is a major hurdle in opening up vaccine patents.
Pandemic profiteering: Gates’ involvement is the reason why Oxford vaccine isn’t free
Gates’ controversial comments have brought increased scrutiny to his influence on global vaccine availability.
A report by Australian Fair Trade & Investment Network Ltd (AFTINET) reveals how the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s involvement in the partnership between the University Oxford and AstraZeneca prevented the vaccine from having an open distribution model.
Facade shattered: Increasing number of people are clueing into Gates’ true nature
To make matters worse for the billionaire, media coverage of the pandemic has ensured that the public is well versed with these facts.
That makes his disingenuous justification for prioritizing vaccine profits over saving millions of lives all the more conspicuous.
The fact that developed countries such as the US have been hoarding more vaccines than they would ever need doesn’t help matters either.
Chasing profits: Conflict of interest: Gates’ $250 million investment in vaccine firms
The Gates Foundation declared more than $250 million in vaccine investments through regulatory filings. The foundation’s $40 million-worth stake in CureVac alone has delivered profits to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.
There’s ample evidence that Gates has his fingers in all vaccine pies, so he has a clear conflict of interest when choosing between saving the world and profiting off vaccines.
[The Taiwan Straights has a wall of ships in place, composed mostly of fishing boats and “unidentified” ships, no doubt military. The unidentified ships are clustered primarily, around Penghu Island, the primary Taiwanese military fortification.]
America and China must work harder to avoid war over the future of Taiwan
The test of a first-rate intelligence, wrote F. Scott Fitzgerald, is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. For decades just such an exercise of high-calibre ambiguity has kept the peace between America and China over Taiwan, an island of 24m people, 100 miles (160km) off China’s coast. Leaders in Beijing say there is only one China, which they run, and that Taiwan is a rebellious part of it. America nods to the one China idea, but has spent 70 years ensuring there are two.
Today, however, this strategic ambiguity is breaking down. The United States is coming to fear that it may no longer be able to deter China from seizing Taiwan by force. Admiral Phil Davidson, who heads the Indo-Pacific Command, told Congress in March that he worried about China attacking Taiwan as soon as 2027.
War would be a catastrophe, and not only because of the bloodshed in Taiwan and the risk of escalation between two nuclear powers. One reason is economic. The island lies at the heart of the semiconductor industry. tsmc, the world’s most valuable chipmaker, etches 84% of the most advanced chips. Were production at tsmc to stop, so would the global electronics industry, at incalculable cost. The firm’s technology and know-how are perhaps a decade ahead of its rivals’, and it will take many years of work before either America or China can hope to catch up.
The bigger reason is that Taiwan is an arena for the rivalry between China and America. Although the United States is not treaty-bound to defend Taiwan, a Chinese assault would be a test of America’s military might and its diplomatic and political resolve. If the Seventh Fleet failed to turn up, China would overnight become the dominant power in Asia. America’s allies around the world would know that they could not count on it. Pax Americana would collapse.
To understand how to avoid conflict in the Taiwan Strait, start with the contradictions that have kept the peace during the past few decades. The government in Beijing insists it has a duty to bring about unification—even, as a last resort, by means of invasion. The Taiwanese, who used to agree that their island was part of China (albeit a non-Communist one), have taken to electing governments that stress its separateness, while stopping short of declaring independence. And America has protected Taiwan from Chinese aggression, even though it recognises the government in Beijing. These opposing ideas are bundled into what Fitzgerald’s diplomatic inheritors blithely call the “status quo”. In fact, it is a roiling, seething source of neurosis and doubt.
What has changed of late is America’s perception of a tipping-point in China’s cross-strait military build-up, 25 years in the making. The Chinese navy has launched 90 major ships and submarines in the past five years, four to five times as many as America has in the western Pacific. China builds over 100 advanced fighter planes each year; it has deployed space weapons and is bristling with precision missiles that can hit Taiwan, us Navy vessels and American bases in Japan, South Korea and Guam. In the war games that simulate a Chinese attack on Taiwan, America has started to lose.
Some American analysts conclude that military superiority will sooner or later tempt China into using force against Taiwan, not as a last resort but because it can. China has talked itself into believing that America wants to keep the Taiwan crisis boiling and may even want a war to contain China’s rise. It has trampled the idea that Hong Kong has a separate system of government, devaluing a similar offer designed to win over the people of Taiwan to peaceful unification. In the South China Sea it has been converting barren reefs into military bases.
Although China has clearly become more authoritarian and nationalistic, this analysis is too pessimistic—perhaps because hostility to China is becoming the default in America. Xi Jinping, China’s president, has not even begun to prepare his people for a war likely to inflict mass casualties and economic pain on all sides. In its 100th year the Communist Party is building its claim to power on prosperity, stability and China’s status in its region and growing role in the world. All that would be jeopardised by an attack whose result, whatever the us Navy says, comes with lots of uncertainty attached, not least over how to govern a rebellious Taiwan. Why would Mr Xi risk it all now, when China could wait until the odds are even better?
Yet that brings only some comfort. Nobody in America can really know what Mr Xi intends today, let alone what he or his successor may want in the future. China’s impatience is likely to grow. Mr Xi’s appetite for risk may sharpen, especially if he wants unification with Taiwan to crown his legacy.
If they are to ensure that war remains too much of a gamble for China, America and Taiwan need to think ahead. Work to re-establish an equilibrium across the Taiwan Strait will take years. Taiwan must start to devote fewer resources to big, expensive weapons systems that are vulnerable to Chinese missiles and more to tactics and technologies that would frustrate an invasion.
America requires weapons to deter China from launching an amphibious invasion; it must prepare its allies, including Japan and South Korea; and it needs to communicate to China that its battle plans are credible. This will be a tricky balance to strike. Deterrence usually strives to be crystal-clear about retaliation. The message here is more subtle. China must be discouraged from trying to change Taiwan’s status by force even as it is reassured that America will not support a dash for formal independence by Taiwan. The risk of a superpower arms race is high.
Be under no illusions how hard it is to sustain ambiguity. Hawks in Washington and Beijing will always be able to portray it as weakness. And yet, seemingly useful shows of support for Taiwan, such as American warships making port calls on the island, could be misread as a dangerous shift in intentions.
Most disputes are best put to rest. Those that can be resolved only in war can often be put off and, as China’s late leader Deng Xiaoping said, left to wiser generations. Nowhere presents such a test of statesmanship as the most dangerous place on Earth. ■
There are only so many ways for China to invade Taiwan. The country’s main island is mountainous and rocky on its east coast. The good beaches are on the west coast, in particular along Taiwan’s southwest plain.
If China invades, it’s most likely going to land troops on that plain. But there’s at least one big obstacle to that approach. A fortified Taiwanese island that looms like a jagged speed-bump in the middle of the Taiwan Strait.
To be clear, it in theory is possible for a Chinese invasion fleet to directly attack Taiwan’s capital Taipei, in the country’s north, by sailing straight into the city’s port. Chinese planners reportedly have drawn up plans for just such an operation.
Ian Easton, senior director at the pro-Taiwan Project 2049 Institute and author of The Chinese Invasion Threat: Taiwan’s Defense and American Strategy in Asia, gamed out a Taipei-grab in a 2018 article.
“It’s the ultimate nightmare scenario,” Easton wrote. Fortunately for Taiwan, however, Taipei is heavily-defended so an assault “relie[s] on stealth”—and stealth is hard to pull off when attacker and defender lie a mere hundred miles from each other.
That makes the southern approach less risky for China. Everyone knows it. Everyone is planning for it. Analysts have had so long to study the problem that they’ve identified all the likely invasion beaches. That of course means the Chinese and Taiwanese militaries also know the beaches.
Shortly after Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen landslide reelection in January, the Chinese military apparently leaked a photo depicting soldiers studying maps of Taiwan.
Invasion routes are clearly marked on the maps. One of the maps shows Chinese forces landing in southern Taiwan, but only after seizing Penghu, a Taiwanese archipelago of 90 islets that lies 30 miles from the main island.
China has little choice but to capture or suppress Penghu before invading Taiwan proper. Taiwanese forces on the archipelago operate a long-range radar plus Hsiung Feng II anti-ship cruise missiles and Sky Bow III surface-to-air missiles. If a Chinese invasion fleet bypassed Penghu without destroying its garrison, the fleet would be subject to missile strikes at its flanks.
It’s not for no reason that Paul Huang, a researcher with the Taipei-sponsored Institute for National Defense and Security Research, early this year described Penghu’s as the most important of Taiwan’s three major island garrisons.
If China failed to suppress or capture Penghu, the main invasion force “might be obliged to abort the operation, making an assault on Taiwan one of history’s nonevents—like Hitler’s invasion of England,” analysts Piers Wood and Charles Ferguson wrote in a 2001 edition of the U.S. Naval War College Review.
But taking the islands could be hard for China. Their 60,000-strong permanent garrison includes an army brigade with 70 upgraded M-60 tanks and an artillery battalion. The Taiwanese navy routinely deploys a missile destroyer in the waters around Penghu. The air force practices staging nimble Indigenous Defense Fighters to the archipelago’s airport.
A major beach-defense exercise in 2017 involved 3,900 Taiwanese troops, IDF and F-16 fighters, AH-64, CH-47 and UH-60 helicopters, RT-2000 multiple-launch rocket systems, tanks, 155-millimeter and 105-millimeter howitzers and teams firing Javelin anti-tank missiles at offshore targets.
The Taiwanese fleet operates just two front-line submarines, but in the event of war it’s a safe bet that at least one of them would prowl near Penghu.
To be clear, Beijing has the power to take Penghu. China’s navy possesses an amphibious flotilla with eight modern assault ships and dozens of large landing craft. China’s marine corps is tens of thousands strong. The Chinese air force and rocket force could bombard Penghu with literally thousands of bombs and missiles.
But every hour the Chinese military spends fighting for Penghu is an hour Taiwan could use to deploy its active forces toward its southern beaches and mobilize its two-million-person reserves.
The U.S. Navy could use that same hour to shift two or three aircraft carrier battle groups toward Taiwan. By the time Chinese troops raised Beijing’s flag over Penghu, American bombers could be en route with loads of stealth cruise missiles.
In any invasion scenario, time is not on China’s side. “Initiating a war over Taiwan in the face of both internal and external threats is the greatest risk imaginable,” wrote Drew Thompson, a researcher at the National University of Singapore.
Penghu embodies that risk. Capturing the island could clear the way for China finally to “reunify” Taiwan with the mainland. Failing to capture Penghu could, perhaps for a very long time, end Beijing’s reunification-by-force gambit.