No One Needs Fake Friends. But…

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Regarding what seems to be happening on The Electronic Intifada website, in relation to my efforts to have a voice there, I can only agree that no one needs fake friends. Perhaps Ali or others who help with management of that site believe that I’m a fake friend and choose to shun me accordingly. But what would such a belief be based upon? I’m a real friend whose comments, which I attempt to attach to various articles I read on that website, are regularly disappeared. Could it be gatekeepers? That is, If it’s a gatekeeper, or gatekeepers (in the sense in which I use the term), could he (or…) be ‘that’ effective? If ‘yes’, that’s truly frightening. (And I am dismayed by the fact that as my blogging continues, and blog posts add up, the hit count drops. There’s almost zero activity on my blog! Just random hits from curious web surfers should result in more activity. What’s with that?)

And so, a few days ago, I sent Ali Abunimah an email in which I simply asked him about this. I’ve had no reply. This is the email I sent (on Dec 28/’16) to Ali:

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Hello. I absolutely agree with shunning those who are fake friends, which isn’t always easy to do. I’m not a fake friend of Palestinians and it hurts me when your site regularly disappears my comments. I have no idea whether your organization is plagued with ‘gatekeepers’ or whether you’re just another progressive who complains about the way those with power and privilege exclude those without. You can clear that up. Or not. I noticed some time ago that comments I attached (easily, not that it mattered it turns out) to articles on your website. I wasn’t sure at first that I wasn’t just mistaken, because I thought to myself “These guys need all the moral support they can get and I’m happy to give it and I abhor the Israeli state’s treatment of Palestinians. They wouldn’t disappear my comments in support of Palestinians.” So I started to pay closer attention.

If it’s my criticism of aspect of Muslim culture that I find to be barbaric, feel free to say so. It won’t change my mind about Israel’s barbaric behavior or any other group’s. But at least I’ll know. And, yes, I will share that with others via my blog. It’s called sunlight.

Rick Battams

“Ali Abunimah is another progressive who denounces exclusion but practices it, especially if no one notices or cares.” – http://bit.ly/2i92HQo
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Source: US lets Security Council pass resolution against Israeli settlements | The Electronic Intifada

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An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Ali Abunimah follows:

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The UN Security Council has voted by 14-0 with one abstention – the United States – to condemn Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

The resolution passed on Friday demands that Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard.”

It is a clear declaration that Israel’s settlement activities are illegal, but as I explained in an analysis on Thursday, existing resolutions – that have been unenforced for decades – already do that.

This resolution, like its predecessors, sets out no concrete consequences for Israel if it fails to comply.
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My online response (including typos) to the above linked-to article follows:

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As I’ve noted elsewhere, At this time of year (Christmas), parents, including progressive parents, lie to their children more than they usually do. Everyone uses God. The world is mostly ant-God and anti-religious and will soon enough turn on organized religion everywhere. Godless religious leaders have brought this upon themselves with their failure to properly represent Jehovah God and their willingness to sell favors (like a prostitute) to ruling classes in return for survival and a share of that rule. Those favors are primarily ‘approval’, which means something to the millions of dupes who follow those religious leaders (away from God).

‘Using’ God ranges from the seemingly (but revealing) innocuous (irreverent speech such as “Oh my God!) to the egregious, such as we see in the video on this website where racist, fascist Israelis perversely chant and sing, calling for death to dog Arabs and claiming that their heavenly Father supports and protects them. As if ‘they’ are being attacked by the ‘prisoners’ of Gaza! Leftists – probably most – have a real hate on for God, while they (Naomi Klein and Greg Palast for example) bemoan the ‘exclusion’ of their preferred victims, who may indeed be (some of the) victims of the corporatocracy.

Nazi Israel’s rabid snarling will not end until that godless (and there are actually no godly corporatocracy states) nation is wiped from the surface of the earth – by the same God who they call to to “Bring it!” by their perversity, cruelty and slaughter of God’s standards.
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Noam Chomsky provides an interesting example of the standard US approach to even handed, and ultimately anti-Palestinain, speechifying about Israeli treatment of Palestinians in the book titled “Gaza In Crisis – Reflections On Israel’s War Against The Palestinians” by Noam Chomsky & Ilan Pappe, edited by Frank Barat. From pages 206 – 208:

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Barack Obama’s June 4, 2009, Cairo address to the Muslim world kept pretty much to his well-honed “blank style – with little of substance, but presented in a personable manner that allows listeners to write on the slate what they want to hear. CNN captured its spirit by headlining a report “Obama Looks to Reach the Soul of the Muslim World.” Obama had announced the goals of his address in an interview with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. “‘We have a joke around the White House,’ the president said. ‘We’re just going to keep on telling the truth until it stops working and nowhere is truth-telling more important than the Middle East.'” The White House committment is most welcome, but it is useful to see how it translates into practice.

Obama admonished his audience that it is easy to “point fingers… but if we see this conflict only from one side or the other, then we will be blind to the truth: the only resolution is for the aspirations of both sides to be met through two states, where Israelis and Palestinians each live in peace and security.”

Turning from Obama-Friedman Truth to truth, there is a third side, with a decisive role throughout: the United States. But that participant in the conflict Obama omitted. The omission is understood to be normal and appropriate, hence unmentioned: Friedman’s column is headlined “Obama Speech Aimed at Both Arabs and Israelis.” The front-page Wall Street Journal report on Obama’s speech appears under the headin “Obama Chides Israel, Arabs in His Overture to Muslims.” Other reports are the same.

The convention is understandable on the doctrinal principle that though the U.S. government sometimes makes mistakes, its intentions are by definition benign, even noble. In the world of attractive imagery, Washington has always sought desperately to be an honest broker, yearning to advance peace and justice.. The doctrine trumps truth, of which there is little hint in the speech or the mainstream coverage of it.

Obama once again echoed Bush’s “vision” of two states, without saying what he meant by the phrase “Palestinian state.” His intentions were clarified not only by the crucial omissions discussed elsewhere, but also by his one explicit criticism of Israel: “The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop.” That is, Israel should live up to Phase I of the 2003 Road Map, rejected at once by Israel with tacit U.S. support, as noted – though the truth is that Obama has ruled out even steps of the Bush I variety to withdraw from participation in these crimes.

The operative words are “legitimacy” and “continued.” It is useful to recall that it was Netanyahu’s 1996 government that was the first in Israel to use the phrase “Palestinian state.” It agreed that Palestinians can call whatever fragments of Palestine are left to them “a state” if they like – call them “fried chicken.” By omission, Obama indicates that he accepts Bush’s vision: the vast existing settlement and infrastructure projects are “legitimate,” thus ensuring that the phrase “Palestinian state” means “fried chicken.”

Always evenhanded, Obama also had an admonition for the Arab states: they “must recognize that the Arab Peace Intiative was an important beginning, but not the end of their responsibilities.” Plainly, however, it cannot be a meaningful “beginning” if Obama continues to reject its core principles: implementation of the international consensus. To do so, however, is evidently not Washington’s “responsibility” in Obama’s vision; no explanation given, no notice taken.
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