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  • The Four Horsemen of Gaza’s Apocalypse. Chris Hedges
    Joe Biden relies on advisors who view the world through the prism of the West’s civilizing mission to the “lesser breeds” of the earth to formulate his policies towards Israel and the Middle East.


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    New Year Donation Drive: Global Research Is Committed to the “Unspoken Truth”

    ***

    Joe Biden’s inner circle of strategists for the Middle East — Antony Blinken, Jake Sullivan and Brett McGurk — have little understanding of the Muslim world and a deep animus towards Islamic resistance movements. They see Europe, the United States and Israel as involved in a clash of civilizations between the enlightened West and a barbaric Middle East. They believe that violence can bend Palestinians and other Arabs to their will. They champion the overwhelming firepower of the U.S. and Israeli military as the key to regional stability — an illusion that fuels the flames of regional war and perpetuates the genocide in Gaza.

    In short, these four men are grossly incompetent. They join the club of other clueless leaders, such as those who waltzed into the suicidal slaughter of World War One, waded into the quagmire of Vietnam or who orchestrated the series of recent military debacles in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Ukraine. They are endowed with the presumptive power vested in the Executive Branch to bypass Congress, to provide weapons to Israel and carry out military strikes in Yemen and Iraq. This inner circle of true believers dismiss the more nuanced and informed counsels in the State Department and the intelligence communities, who view the refusal of the Biden administration to pressure Israel to halt the ongoing genocide as ill-advised and dangerous.

    Biden has always been an ardent militarist — he was calling for war with Iraq five years before the U.S. invaded. He built his political career by catering to the distaste of the white middle class for the popular movements, including the anti-war and civil rights movements, that convulsed the country in the 1960s and 1970s. He is a Republican masquerading as a Democrat. He joined Southern segregationists to oppose bringing Black students into Whites-only schools. He opposed federal funding for abortions and supported a constitutional amendment allowing states to restrict abortions. He attacked President George H. W. Bush in 1989 for being too soft in the “war on drugs.” He was one of the architects of the 1994 crime bill and a raft of other draconian laws that more than doubled the U.S. prison population, militarized the police and pushed through drug laws that saw people incarcerated for life without parole. He supported the North American Free Trade Agreement, the greatest betrayal of the working class since the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act. He has always been a strident defender of Israel, bragging that he did more fundraisers for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) than any other Senator.

    “As many of you heard me say before, were there no Israel, America would have to invent one. We’d have to invent one because… you protect our interests like we protect yours,” Biden said in 2015, to an audience that included the Israeli ambassador, at the 67th Annual Israeli Independence Day Celebration in Washington D.C. During the same speech he said, “The truth of the matter is we need you. The world needs you. Imagine what it would say about humanity and the future of the 21st century if Israel were not sustained, vibrant and free.”

    The year before Biden gave a gushing eulogy for Ariel Sharon, the former Israeli prime minister and general who was implicated in massacres of Palestinians, Lebanese and others in Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon — as well as Egyptian prisoners of war — going back to the 1950s. He described Sharon as “part of one of the most remarkable founding generations in the history not of this nation, but of any nation.”

    While repudiating Donald Trump and his administration, Biden has not reversed Trump’s abrogation of the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by Barack Obama, or Trump’s sanctions against Iran. He has embraced Trump’s close ties with Saudi Arabia, including the rehabilitation of Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman, following the assassination of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2017 in the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul. He has not intervened to curb Israeli attacks on Palestinians and settlement expansion in the West Bank. He did not reverse Trump’s moving of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, although the embassy includes land Israel illegally colonized after invading the West Bank and Gaza in 1967.

    As a seven-term senator of Delaware, Biden received more financial support from pro-Israel donors than any other senator, since 1990. Biden retains this record despite the fact that his senatorial career ended in 2009, when he became Obama’s vice president. Biden explains his commitment to Israel as “personal” and “political.”

    He has parroted back Israeli propaganda — including fabrications about beheaded babies and widespread rape of Israeli women by Hamas fighters — and asked Congress to provide $14 billion in additional aid to Israel since the Oct. 7 attack. He has twice bypassed Congress to supply Israel with thousands of bombs and munitions, including at least 100 2,000-pound bombs, used in the scorched earth campaign in Gaza.

    Israel has killed or seriously wounded close to 90,000 Palestinians in Gaza, almost one in every 20 inhabitants. It has destroyed or damaged over 60 percent of the housing. The “safe areas,” to which some 2 million Gazans were instructed to flee in southern Gaza, have been bombed, with thousands of casualties. Palestinians in Gaza now make up 80 percent of all the people facing famine or catastrophic hunger worldwide, according to the U.N. Every person in Gaza is hungry. A quarter of the population are starving and struggling to find food and drinkable water. Famine is imminent. The 335,000 children under the age of five are at high risk of malnutrition. Some 50,000 pregnant women lack healthcare and adequate nutrition.

    And it could all end if the U.S. chose to intervene.

    “All of our missiles, the ammunition, the precision-guided bombs, all the airplanes and bombs, it’s all from the U.S.,” retired Israeli Major General Yitzhak Brick told the Jewish News Syndicate. “The minute they turn off the tap, you can’t keep fighting. You have no capability… Everyone understands that we can’t fight this war without the United States. Period.”

    Blinken was Biden’s principal foreign policy adviser when Biden was the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee. He, along with Biden, lobbied for the invasion of Iraq. When he was Obama’s deputy national security advisor, he advocated the 2011 overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. He opposed withdrawing U.S. forces from Syria. He worked on the disastrous Biden Plan to partition Iraq along ethnic lines.

    “Within the Obama White House, Blinken played an influential role in the imposition of sanctions against Russia over the 2014 invasion of Crimea and eastern Ukraine, and subsequently led ultimately unsuccessful calls for the U.S. to arm Ukraine,” according to the Atlantic Council, NATO’s unofficial think tank.

    Image: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, Oct. 12, 2023. – Secretary Antony Blinken on X



    When Blinken landed in Israel following the attacks by Hamas and other resistance groups on Oct. 7, he announced at a press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:

    “I come before you not only as the United States Secretary of State, but also as a Jew.”

    He attempted, on Israel’s behalf, to lobby Arab leaders to accept the 2.3 million Palestinian refugees Israel intends to ethnically cleanse from Gaza, a request that evoked outrage among Arab leaders.

    Sullivan, Biden’s national security advisor, and McGurk, are consummate opportunists, Machiavellian bureaucrats who cater to the reigning centers of power, including the Israel lobby.

    Sullivan was the chief architect of Hillary Clinton’s Asia pivot. He backed the corporate and investor rights Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, which was sold as helping the U.S. contain China. Trump ultimately killed the trade agreement in the face of mass opposition from the U.S. public. His focus is thwarting a rising China, including through the expansion of the U.S. military.

    While not focused on the Middle East, Sullivan is a foreign policy hawk who has a knee jerk embrace of force to shape the world to U.S. demands. He embraces military Keynesianism, arguing that massive government spending on the weapons industry benefits the domestic economy.

    In a 7,000-word essay for Foreign Affairs magazine published five days before the Oct. 7 attacks, which left some 1,200 Israelis dead, Sullivan exposed his lack of understanding of the dynamics of the Middle East.



    Screenshot from The New York Times

    “Although the Middle East remains beset with perennial challenges,” he writes in the original version of the essay, “the region is quieter than it has been for decades,” adding that in the face of “serious” frictions, “we have de-escalated crises in Gaza.”

    Sullivan ignores Palestinian aspirations and Washington’s rhetorical backing for a two-state solution in the article, hastily rewritten in the online version after the Oct. 7 attacks. He writes in his original piece:

    At a meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, last year, the president set forth his policy for the Middle East in an address to the leaders of members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan. His approach returns discipline to US policy. It emphasizes deterring aggression, de-escalating conflicts, and integrating the region through joint infrastructure projects and new partnerships, including between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

    McGurk, the deputy assistant to President Biden and the coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa at the White House National Security Council, was a chief architect of Bush’s “surge” in Iraq, which accelerated the bloodletting. He worked as a legal advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority and the U.S. ambassador in Baghdad. He then became Trump’s anti-ISIS czar.

    He does not speak Arabic — none of the four men does — and came to Iraq with no knowledge of its history, peoples or culture. Nevertheless, he helped draft Iraq’s interim constitution and oversaw the legal transition from the Coalition Provisional Authority to an Interim Iraqi Government led by Prime Minister Ayad Allawi. McGurk was an early backer of Nouri al-Maliki, who was Iraq’s prime minister between 2006 and 2014. Al-Maliki built a Shi’ite-controlled sectarian state that deeply alienated Sunni Arabs and Kurds. In 2005, McGurk transferred to the National Security Council (NSC), where he served as director for Iraq, and later as special assistant to the president and senior director for Iraq and Afghanistan. He served on the NSC staff from 2005 to 2009. In 2015, he was appointed as Obama’s Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL. He was retained by Trump until his resignation in Dec. 2018.

    An article in April 2021 titled “Brett McGurk: A Hero of Our Times,” in New Lines Magazine by former BBC foreign correspondent Paul Wood, paints a scathing portrait of McGurk. Wood writes:

    A senior Western diplomat who served in Baghdad told me that McGurk had been an absolute disaster for Iraq. “He is a consummate operator in Washington, but I saw no sign that he was interested in Iraqis or Iraq as a place full of real people. It was simply a bureaucratic and political challenge for him.” One critic who was in Baghdad with McGurk called him Machiavelli reincarnated. “It’s intellect plus ambition plus the utter ruthlessness to rise no matter the cost.”

    [….]

    A U.S. diplomat who was in the embassy when McGurk arrived found his steady advance astonishing. “Brett only meets people who speak English. … There are like four people in the government who speak English. And somehow he’s now the person who should decide the fate of Iraq? How did this happen?”

    Even those who didn’t like McGurk had to admit that he had a formidable intellect — and was a hard worker. He was also a gifted writer, no surprise as he had clerked for Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist. His rise mirrored that of an Iraqi politician named Nouri al-Maliki, one careerist helping the other. That is McGurk’s tragedy — and Iraq’s.

    [….]

    McGurk’s critics say his lack of Arabic meant he missed the vicious, sectarian undertones of what al-Maliki was saying in meetings right from the start. Translators censored or failed to keep up. Like many Americans in Iraq, McGurk was deaf to what was happening around him.

    Al-Maliki was the consequence of two mistakes by the U.S. How much McGurk had to do with them remains in dispute. The first mistake was the “80 Percent Solution” for ruling Iraq. The Sunni Arabs were mounting a bloody insurgency, but they were just 20% of the population. The theory was that you could run Iraq with the Kurds and the Shiites. The second error was to identify the Shiites with hardline, religious parties backed by Iran. Al-Maliki, a member of the religious Da’wa Party, was the beneficiary of this.

    In a piece in HuffPost in May 2022 by Akbar Shahid Ahmed, titled “Biden’s Top Middle East Advisor ‘Torched the House and Showed Up With a Firehose,’” McGurk is described by a colleague, who asked not to be named, as “the most talented bureaucrat they’ve ever seen, with the worst foreign policy judgment they’ve ever seen.”

    McGurk, like others in the Biden administration, is bizarrely focused on what comes after Israel’s genocidal campaign, rather than trying to halt it. McGurk proposed denying humanitarian aid and refusing to implement a pause in the fighting in Gaza until all the Israeli hostages were freed. Biden and his three closest policy advisors have called for the Palestinian Authority — an Israeli puppet regime that is reviled by most Palestinians — to take control of Gaza once Israel finishes leveling it. They have called on Israel — since Oct. 7 — to take steps towards a two-state solution, a plan rejected in an humiliating public rebuke to the the Biden White House by Netanyahu.

    The Biden White House spends more time talking to the Israelis and Saudis, who are being lobbied to normalize relations with Israel and help rebuild Gaza, than the Palestinians, who are at best, an afterthought. It believes the key to ending Palestinian resistance is found in Riyadh, summed up in a top-secret document peddled by McGurk called the “Jerusalem-Jeddah Pact,” the HuffPost reported. It is unable or unwilling to curb Israel’s bloodlust, which included missile strikes in a residential neighborhood in Damascus, Syria, on Saturday that killed five military advisors from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and a drone attack in South Lebanon on Sunday, which killed two senior members of Hezbollah. These Israeli provocations will not go unanswered, evidenced by the ballistic missiles and rockets launched on Sunday by militants in western Iraq that targeted U.S. personnel stationed at the al-Assad Airbase.

    The Alice-in-Wonderland idea that once the slaughter in Gaza ends a diplomatic pact between Israel and Saudi Arabia will be the key to regional stability is stupefying. Israel’s genocide, and Washington’s complicity, is shredding U.S. credibility and influence, especially in the Global South and the Muslim world. It ensures another generation of enraged Palestinians — whose families have been obliterated and whose homes have been destroyed — seeking vengeance.

    The policies embraced by the Biden administration not only blithely ignore the realities in the Arab world, but the realities of an extremist Israeli state that, with Congress bought and paid for by the Israel lobby, couldn’t care less what the Biden White House dreams up. Israel has no intention of creating a viable Palestinian state. Its goal is the ethnic cleansing of the 2.3 million Palestinians from Gaza and the annexation of Gaza by Israel. And when Israel is done with Gaza, it will turn on the West Bank, where Israeli raids now occur on an almost nightly basis and where thousands have been arrested and detained without charge since Oct. 7.

    Those running the show in the Biden White House are chasing after rainbows. The march of folly led by these four blind mice perpetuates the cataclysmic suffering of the Palestinians, stokes a regional war and presages another tragic and self-defeating chapter in the two decades of U.S. military fiascos in the Middle East.

    *

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    Featured image: Blood Brothers – by Mr. Fish via Chris Hedges

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/four-horsemen-gaza-apocalypse/5847199
    The Four Horsemen of Gaza’s Apocalypse. Chris Hedges Joe Biden relies on advisors who view the world through the prism of the West’s civilizing mission to the “lesser breeds” of the earth to formulate his policies towards Israel and the Middle East. All Global Research articles can be read in 51 languages by activating the Translate Website button below the author’s name (only available in desktop version). To receive Global Research’s Daily Newsletter (selected articles), click here. Click the share button above to email/forward this article to your friends and colleagues. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter and subscribe to our Telegram Channel. Feel free to repost and share widely Global Research articles. New Year Donation Drive: Global Research Is Committed to the “Unspoken Truth” *** Joe Biden’s inner circle of strategists for the Middle East — Antony Blinken, Jake Sullivan and Brett McGurk — have little understanding of the Muslim world and a deep animus towards Islamic resistance movements. They see Europe, the United States and Israel as involved in a clash of civilizations between the enlightened West and a barbaric Middle East. They believe that violence can bend Palestinians and other Arabs to their will. They champion the overwhelming firepower of the U.S. and Israeli military as the key to regional stability — an illusion that fuels the flames of regional war and perpetuates the genocide in Gaza. In short, these four men are grossly incompetent. They join the club of other clueless leaders, such as those who waltzed into the suicidal slaughter of World War One, waded into the quagmire of Vietnam or who orchestrated the series of recent military debacles in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Ukraine. They are endowed with the presumptive power vested in the Executive Branch to bypass Congress, to provide weapons to Israel and carry out military strikes in Yemen and Iraq. This inner circle of true believers dismiss the more nuanced and informed counsels in the State Department and the intelligence communities, who view the refusal of the Biden administration to pressure Israel to halt the ongoing genocide as ill-advised and dangerous. Biden has always been an ardent militarist — he was calling for war with Iraq five years before the U.S. invaded. He built his political career by catering to the distaste of the white middle class for the popular movements, including the anti-war and civil rights movements, that convulsed the country in the 1960s and 1970s. He is a Republican masquerading as a Democrat. He joined Southern segregationists to oppose bringing Black students into Whites-only schools. He opposed federal funding for abortions and supported a constitutional amendment allowing states to restrict abortions. He attacked President George H. W. Bush in 1989 for being too soft in the “war on drugs.” He was one of the architects of the 1994 crime bill and a raft of other draconian laws that more than doubled the U.S. prison population, militarized the police and pushed through drug laws that saw people incarcerated for life without parole. He supported the North American Free Trade Agreement, the greatest betrayal of the working class since the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act. He has always been a strident defender of Israel, bragging that he did more fundraisers for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) than any other Senator. “As many of you heard me say before, were there no Israel, America would have to invent one. We’d have to invent one because… you protect our interests like we protect yours,” Biden said in 2015, to an audience that included the Israeli ambassador, at the 67th Annual Israeli Independence Day Celebration in Washington D.C. During the same speech he said, “The truth of the matter is we need you. The world needs you. Imagine what it would say about humanity and the future of the 21st century if Israel were not sustained, vibrant and free.” The year before Biden gave a gushing eulogy for Ariel Sharon, the former Israeli prime minister and general who was implicated in massacres of Palestinians, Lebanese and others in Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon — as well as Egyptian prisoners of war — going back to the 1950s. He described Sharon as “part of one of the most remarkable founding generations in the history not of this nation, but of any nation.” While repudiating Donald Trump and his administration, Biden has not reversed Trump’s abrogation of the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by Barack Obama, or Trump’s sanctions against Iran. He has embraced Trump’s close ties with Saudi Arabia, including the rehabilitation of Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman, following the assassination of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2017 in the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul. He has not intervened to curb Israeli attacks on Palestinians and settlement expansion in the West Bank. He did not reverse Trump’s moving of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, although the embassy includes land Israel illegally colonized after invading the West Bank and Gaza in 1967. As a seven-term senator of Delaware, Biden received more financial support from pro-Israel donors than any other senator, since 1990. Biden retains this record despite the fact that his senatorial career ended in 2009, when he became Obama’s vice president. Biden explains his commitment to Israel as “personal” and “political.” He has parroted back Israeli propaganda — including fabrications about beheaded babies and widespread rape of Israeli women by Hamas fighters — and asked Congress to provide $14 billion in additional aid to Israel since the Oct. 7 attack. He has twice bypassed Congress to supply Israel with thousands of bombs and munitions, including at least 100 2,000-pound bombs, used in the scorched earth campaign in Gaza. Israel has killed or seriously wounded close to 90,000 Palestinians in Gaza, almost one in every 20 inhabitants. It has destroyed or damaged over 60 percent of the housing. The “safe areas,” to which some 2 million Gazans were instructed to flee in southern Gaza, have been bombed, with thousands of casualties. Palestinians in Gaza now make up 80 percent of all the people facing famine or catastrophic hunger worldwide, according to the U.N. Every person in Gaza is hungry. A quarter of the population are starving and struggling to find food and drinkable water. Famine is imminent. The 335,000 children under the age of five are at high risk of malnutrition. Some 50,000 pregnant women lack healthcare and adequate nutrition. And it could all end if the U.S. chose to intervene. “All of our missiles, the ammunition, the precision-guided bombs, all the airplanes and bombs, it’s all from the U.S.,” retired Israeli Major General Yitzhak Brick told the Jewish News Syndicate. “The minute they turn off the tap, you can’t keep fighting. You have no capability… Everyone understands that we can’t fight this war without the United States. Period.” Blinken was Biden’s principal foreign policy adviser when Biden was the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee. He, along with Biden, lobbied for the invasion of Iraq. When he was Obama’s deputy national security advisor, he advocated the 2011 overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. He opposed withdrawing U.S. forces from Syria. He worked on the disastrous Biden Plan to partition Iraq along ethnic lines. “Within the Obama White House, Blinken played an influential role in the imposition of sanctions against Russia over the 2014 invasion of Crimea and eastern Ukraine, and subsequently led ultimately unsuccessful calls for the U.S. to arm Ukraine,” according to the Atlantic Council, NATO’s unofficial think tank. Image: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, Oct. 12, 2023. – Secretary Antony Blinken on X When Blinken landed in Israel following the attacks by Hamas and other resistance groups on Oct. 7, he announced at a press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “I come before you not only as the United States Secretary of State, but also as a Jew.” He attempted, on Israel’s behalf, to lobby Arab leaders to accept the 2.3 million Palestinian refugees Israel intends to ethnically cleanse from Gaza, a request that evoked outrage among Arab leaders. Sullivan, Biden’s national security advisor, and McGurk, are consummate opportunists, Machiavellian bureaucrats who cater to the reigning centers of power, including the Israel lobby. Sullivan was the chief architect of Hillary Clinton’s Asia pivot. He backed the corporate and investor rights Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, which was sold as helping the U.S. contain China. Trump ultimately killed the trade agreement in the face of mass opposition from the U.S. public. His focus is thwarting a rising China, including through the expansion of the U.S. military. While not focused on the Middle East, Sullivan is a foreign policy hawk who has a knee jerk embrace of force to shape the world to U.S. demands. He embraces military Keynesianism, arguing that massive government spending on the weapons industry benefits the domestic economy. In a 7,000-word essay for Foreign Affairs magazine published five days before the Oct. 7 attacks, which left some 1,200 Israelis dead, Sullivan exposed his lack of understanding of the dynamics of the Middle East. Screenshot from The New York Times “Although the Middle East remains beset with perennial challenges,” he writes in the original version of the essay, “the region is quieter than it has been for decades,” adding that in the face of “serious” frictions, “we have de-escalated crises in Gaza.” Sullivan ignores Palestinian aspirations and Washington’s rhetorical backing for a two-state solution in the article, hastily rewritten in the online version after the Oct. 7 attacks. He writes in his original piece: At a meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, last year, the president set forth his policy for the Middle East in an address to the leaders of members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan. His approach returns discipline to US policy. It emphasizes deterring aggression, de-escalating conflicts, and integrating the region through joint infrastructure projects and new partnerships, including between Israel and its Arab neighbors. McGurk, the deputy assistant to President Biden and the coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa at the White House National Security Council, was a chief architect of Bush’s “surge” in Iraq, which accelerated the bloodletting. He worked as a legal advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority and the U.S. ambassador in Baghdad. He then became Trump’s anti-ISIS czar. He does not speak Arabic — none of the four men does — and came to Iraq with no knowledge of its history, peoples or culture. Nevertheless, he helped draft Iraq’s interim constitution and oversaw the legal transition from the Coalition Provisional Authority to an Interim Iraqi Government led by Prime Minister Ayad Allawi. McGurk was an early backer of Nouri al-Maliki, who was Iraq’s prime minister between 2006 and 2014. Al-Maliki built a Shi’ite-controlled sectarian state that deeply alienated Sunni Arabs and Kurds. In 2005, McGurk transferred to the National Security Council (NSC), where he served as director for Iraq, and later as special assistant to the president and senior director for Iraq and Afghanistan. He served on the NSC staff from 2005 to 2009. In 2015, he was appointed as Obama’s Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL. He was retained by Trump until his resignation in Dec. 2018. An article in April 2021 titled “Brett McGurk: A Hero of Our Times,” in New Lines Magazine by former BBC foreign correspondent Paul Wood, paints a scathing portrait of McGurk. Wood writes: A senior Western diplomat who served in Baghdad told me that McGurk had been an absolute disaster for Iraq. “He is a consummate operator in Washington, but I saw no sign that he was interested in Iraqis or Iraq as a place full of real people. It was simply a bureaucratic and political challenge for him.” One critic who was in Baghdad with McGurk called him Machiavelli reincarnated. “It’s intellect plus ambition plus the utter ruthlessness to rise no matter the cost.” [….] A U.S. diplomat who was in the embassy when McGurk arrived found his steady advance astonishing. “Brett only meets people who speak English. … There are like four people in the government who speak English. And somehow he’s now the person who should decide the fate of Iraq? How did this happen?” Even those who didn’t like McGurk had to admit that he had a formidable intellect — and was a hard worker. He was also a gifted writer, no surprise as he had clerked for Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist. His rise mirrored that of an Iraqi politician named Nouri al-Maliki, one careerist helping the other. That is McGurk’s tragedy — and Iraq’s. [….] McGurk’s critics say his lack of Arabic meant he missed the vicious, sectarian undertones of what al-Maliki was saying in meetings right from the start. Translators censored or failed to keep up. Like many Americans in Iraq, McGurk was deaf to what was happening around him. Al-Maliki was the consequence of two mistakes by the U.S. How much McGurk had to do with them remains in dispute. The first mistake was the “80 Percent Solution” for ruling Iraq. The Sunni Arabs were mounting a bloody insurgency, but they were just 20% of the population. The theory was that you could run Iraq with the Kurds and the Shiites. The second error was to identify the Shiites with hardline, religious parties backed by Iran. Al-Maliki, a member of the religious Da’wa Party, was the beneficiary of this. In a piece in HuffPost in May 2022 by Akbar Shahid Ahmed, titled “Biden’s Top Middle East Advisor ‘Torched the House and Showed Up With a Firehose,’” McGurk is described by a colleague, who asked not to be named, as “the most talented bureaucrat they’ve ever seen, with the worst foreign policy judgment they’ve ever seen.” McGurk, like others in the Biden administration, is bizarrely focused on what comes after Israel’s genocidal campaign, rather than trying to halt it. McGurk proposed denying humanitarian aid and refusing to implement a pause in the fighting in Gaza until all the Israeli hostages were freed. Biden and his three closest policy advisors have called for the Palestinian Authority — an Israeli puppet regime that is reviled by most Palestinians — to take control of Gaza once Israel finishes leveling it. They have called on Israel — since Oct. 7 — to take steps towards a two-state solution, a plan rejected in an humiliating public rebuke to the the Biden White House by Netanyahu. The Biden White House spends more time talking to the Israelis and Saudis, who are being lobbied to normalize relations with Israel and help rebuild Gaza, than the Palestinians, who are at best, an afterthought. It believes the key to ending Palestinian resistance is found in Riyadh, summed up in a top-secret document peddled by McGurk called the “Jerusalem-Jeddah Pact,” the HuffPost reported. It is unable or unwilling to curb Israel’s bloodlust, which included missile strikes in a residential neighborhood in Damascus, Syria, on Saturday that killed five military advisors from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and a drone attack in South Lebanon on Sunday, which killed two senior members of Hezbollah. These Israeli provocations will not go unanswered, evidenced by the ballistic missiles and rockets launched on Sunday by militants in western Iraq that targeted U.S. personnel stationed at the al-Assad Airbase. The Alice-in-Wonderland idea that once the slaughter in Gaza ends a diplomatic pact between Israel and Saudi Arabia will be the key to regional stability is stupefying. Israel’s genocide, and Washington’s complicity, is shredding U.S. credibility and influence, especially in the Global South and the Muslim world. It ensures another generation of enraged Palestinians — whose families have been obliterated and whose homes have been destroyed — seeking vengeance. The policies embraced by the Biden administration not only blithely ignore the realities in the Arab world, but the realities of an extremist Israeli state that, with Congress bought and paid for by the Israel lobby, couldn’t care less what the Biden White House dreams up. Israel has no intention of creating a viable Palestinian state. Its goal is the ethnic cleansing of the 2.3 million Palestinians from Gaza and the annexation of Gaza by Israel. And when Israel is done with Gaza, it will turn on the West Bank, where Israeli raids now occur on an almost nightly basis and where thousands have been arrested and detained without charge since Oct. 7. Those running the show in the Biden White House are chasing after rainbows. The march of folly led by these four blind mice perpetuates the cataclysmic suffering of the Palestinians, stokes a regional war and presages another tragic and self-defeating chapter in the two decades of U.S. military fiascos in the Middle East. * Note to readers: Please click the share button above. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter and subscribe to our Telegram Channel. Feel free to repost and share widely Global Research articles. 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    The Four Horsemen of Gaza’s Apocalypse. Chris Hedges
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  • Explore this fully customizable succession planning roadmap PowerPoint template to provide a framework for human resource leaders. It helps to create a succession plan that aligns talent management with the company vision and guarantees the employees that the company will provide them with development opportunities to get success in the future.
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  • The Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) is a professional kabaddi league in India, featuring franchise-based teams representing various cities. It was founded in 2014 and has gained significant popularity, becoming one of the most-watched sports leagues in India.

    Key features of the Pro Kabaddi League:

    Franchise Teams: The league consists of teams owned by different individuals and organizations, each representing a city. These teams compete against each other in a round-robin format.

    Season Format: The league typically follows a season format where teams play against each other in a series of matches. The top-performing teams advance to the playoffs, and the eventual winners are determined in the final.

    Players: The league features top kabaddi players from India as well as international players. The teams go through an auction process to acquire players for each season.

    Auctions: Before the start of each season, a player auction is conducted where teams bid for players. This process allows teams to build their squads with a mix of experienced and emerging talents.

    Rules: The Pro Kabaddi League follows the standard rules of kabaddi, with slight modifications to enhance the entertainment value. The league aims to popularize and modernize the traditional sport of kabaddi.

    Televised Coverage: Matches of the Pro Kabaddi League are widely televised, contributing to the league's popularity. The coverage includes pre-match analysis, live broadcasts, and post-match discussions.

    Seasons and Champions: As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, multiple seasons of the Pro Kabaddi League had taken place, and different teams had emerged as champions in different seasons.

    The league has played a crucial role in popularizing kabaddi as a mainstream sport in India, and it has contributed to the growth of the sport's fan base. Please note that there may have been developments or changes since my last update in January 2022, and I recommend checking the latest sources for the most current information about the Pro Kabaddi League.
    The Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) is a professional kabaddi league in India, featuring franchise-based teams representing various cities. It was founded in 2014 and has gained significant popularity, becoming one of the most-watched sports leagues in India. Key features of the Pro Kabaddi League: Franchise Teams: The league consists of teams owned by different individuals and organizations, each representing a city. These teams compete against each other in a round-robin format. Season Format: The league typically follows a season format where teams play against each other in a series of matches. The top-performing teams advance to the playoffs, and the eventual winners are determined in the final. Players: The league features top kabaddi players from India as well as international players. The teams go through an auction process to acquire players for each season. Auctions: Before the start of each season, a player auction is conducted where teams bid for players. This process allows teams to build their squads with a mix of experienced and emerging talents. Rules: The Pro Kabaddi League follows the standard rules of kabaddi, with slight modifications to enhance the entertainment value. The league aims to popularize and modernize the traditional sport of kabaddi. Televised Coverage: Matches of the Pro Kabaddi League are widely televised, contributing to the league's popularity. The coverage includes pre-match analysis, live broadcasts, and post-match discussions. Seasons and Champions: As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, multiple seasons of the Pro Kabaddi League had taken place, and different teams had emerged as champions in different seasons. The league has played a crucial role in popularizing kabaddi as a mainstream sport in India, and it has contributed to the growth of the sport's fan base. Please note that there may have been developments or changes since my last update in January 2022, and I recommend checking the latest sources for the most current information about the Pro Kabaddi League.
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  • Attract the best sales talents in the industry, using this fully editable sales commission plan PowerPoint template. You can use this PPT template to motivate the salespeople to achieve more sales than the target sales. Download Now: https://bit.ly/3rUeUhR
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  • https://youtube.com/shorts/9qVRpv6SBIU
    Adrian Danaila, a talented classical guitar player and singer from Romania, performs “Ruga Pentru Parinti”, a poem by Adrian Paunescu, one of the most famous Romanian poets. He is joined by Ana Maria Miga, a soprano singer who adds her beautiful voice to the song. This video is part of the classical guitar shorts series, where Adrian and Ana showcase their musical skills and passion for Romanian culture.
    https://youtube.com/shorts/9qVRpv6SBIU Adrian Danaila, a talented classical guitar player and singer from Romania, performs “Ruga Pentru Parinti”, a poem by Adrian Paunescu, one of the most famous Romanian poets. He is joined by Ana Maria Miga, a soprano singer who adds her beautiful voice to the song. This video is part of the classical guitar shorts series, where Adrian and Ana showcase their musical skills and passion for Romanian culture.
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  • https://youtu.be/Ezm_uX5E0z8

    Ana Maria Miga and Adrian Danaila are two talented Romanian artists who perform classical, folk, and pop music.
    Classical Guitar and Soprano Ruga pentu parinti #anamariamiga Classical Guitar and Soprano Ruga pentu parinti #anamariamiga
    They have a YouTube channel where they upload videos of their songs, such as Ruga pentru parinti, a poem by Adrian Paunescu that pays tribute to the parents who are dying and prays for their eternal youth and happiness1. You can follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and SoundCloud to enjoy their beautiful and soothing soprano voice and classical guitar.
    https://youtu.be/Ezm_uX5E0z8 Ana Maria Miga and Adrian Danaila are two talented Romanian artists who perform classical, folk, and pop music. Classical Guitar and Soprano Ruga pentu parinti #anamariamiga Classical Guitar and Soprano Ruga pentu parinti #anamariamiga They have a YouTube channel where they upload videos of their songs, such as Ruga pentru parinti, a poem by Adrian Paunescu that pays tribute to the parents who are dying and prays for their eternal youth and happiness1. You can follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and SoundCloud to enjoy their beautiful and soothing soprano voice and classical guitar.
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  • Coinbase's India Comeback | Coinbase Eyes Indian Talent | Coinbase Is Looking to Expand Its Employee | #CoinbaseIndia #CoinbaseHiring #IndiaCrypto #IndiaCryptoTalent #CoinbaseExpansion https://youtu.be/g29fV2s0ahQ
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  • In the ever-evolving landscape of the modern workplace, remote opportunities have become increasingly prevalent, and one sector that has experienced significant growth is remote live chat jobs. These positions, often in customer service or sales, allow individuals to connect with customers or clients in real-time from the comfort of their own homes. In this review article, we will delve into the world of remote live chat jobs in the USA, exploring the advantages and challenges associated with this burgeoning employment trend.

    Pros:

    Flexibility and Work-Life Balance:
    One of the most appealing aspects of remote live chat jobs is the flexibility they offer. Employees can often set their own schedules within certain parameters, allowing for a better work-life balance. This is particularly advantageous for individuals who value autonomy and seek to avoid the traditional 9-to-5 grind.

    Reduced Commute Stress:
    Commuting can be a major source of stress for many workers. Remote live chat jobs eliminate this burden entirely, freeing up valuable time and reducing the environmental impact associated with daily travel.

    Geographical Independence:
    With remote live chat jobs, location becomes less of a barrier. Talented individuals from various parts of the country can contribute to a company's success without the need to relocate. This opens up opportunities for a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

    Cost Savings:
    Both employers and employees can enjoy cost savings associated with remote work. Companies can reduce expenses related to office space, while employees save money on commuting, work attire, and meals.

    Increased Job Opportunities:
    The proliferation of remote work has expanded the job market, providing more opportunities for those who may have faced limitations due to geographical constraints or personal circumstances.

    Cons:

    Isolation and Lack of Social Interaction:
    While remote work offers independence, it can also lead to feelings of isolation. The absence of face-to-face interaction may impact team cohesion and employee morale.

    Communication Challenges:
    Effective communication is essential in any workplace. Remote live chat jobs heavily rely on digital communication tools, and misinterpretations or delays in response time can occur, potentially affecting customer satisfaction.

    Potential for Distractions:
    Working from home presents its own set of distractions, ranging from household chores to family interruptions. Maintaining focus and productivity can be a challenge without a structured office environment.

    Technology Hurdles:
    Dependence on technology means that technical issues can disrupt workflow. Internet outages, software glitches, or hardware malfunctions can pose challenges for individuals working in remote live chat positions.

    Security Concerns:
    Handling sensitive customer information requires robust cybersecurity measures. Remote work introduces additional security risks, and companies must invest in secure platforms to protect both customer data and the integrity of their operations.

    In conclusion, remote live chat jobs in the USA offer a myriad of benefits, from flexibility and cost savings to increased job opportunities. However, it is crucial for both employers and employees to navigate and address the associated challenges, such as communication hurdles and potential feelings of isolation. As the workforce continues to evolve, finding a balance between the advantages and drawbacks of remote live chat jobs will be key to harnessing the full potential of this employment trend.

    CLICK HERE-- https://subratajajabar.systeme.io/livechatjobs



    In the ever-evolving landscape of the modern workplace, remote opportunities have become increasingly prevalent, and one sector that has experienced significant growth is remote live chat jobs. These positions, often in customer service or sales, allow individuals to connect with customers or clients in real-time from the comfort of their own homes. In this review article, we will delve into the world of remote live chat jobs in the USA, exploring the advantages and challenges associated with this burgeoning employment trend. Pros: Flexibility and Work-Life Balance: One of the most appealing aspects of remote live chat jobs is the flexibility they offer. Employees can often set their own schedules within certain parameters, allowing for a better work-life balance. This is particularly advantageous for individuals who value autonomy and seek to avoid the traditional 9-to-5 grind. Reduced Commute Stress: Commuting can be a major source of stress for many workers. Remote live chat jobs eliminate this burden entirely, freeing up valuable time and reducing the environmental impact associated with daily travel. Geographical Independence: With remote live chat jobs, location becomes less of a barrier. Talented individuals from various parts of the country can contribute to a company's success without the need to relocate. This opens up opportunities for a more diverse and inclusive workforce. Cost Savings: Both employers and employees can enjoy cost savings associated with remote work. Companies can reduce expenses related to office space, while employees save money on commuting, work attire, and meals. Increased Job Opportunities: The proliferation of remote work has expanded the job market, providing more opportunities for those who may have faced limitations due to geographical constraints or personal circumstances. Cons: Isolation and Lack of Social Interaction: While remote work offers independence, it can also lead to feelings of isolation. The absence of face-to-face interaction may impact team cohesion and employee morale. Communication Challenges: Effective communication is essential in any workplace. Remote live chat jobs heavily rely on digital communication tools, and misinterpretations or delays in response time can occur, potentially affecting customer satisfaction. Potential for Distractions: Working from home presents its own set of distractions, ranging from household chores to family interruptions. Maintaining focus and productivity can be a challenge without a structured office environment. Technology Hurdles: Dependence on technology means that technical issues can disrupt workflow. Internet outages, software glitches, or hardware malfunctions can pose challenges for individuals working in remote live chat positions. Security Concerns: Handling sensitive customer information requires robust cybersecurity measures. Remote work introduces additional security risks, and companies must invest in secure platforms to protect both customer data and the integrity of their operations. In conclusion, remote live chat jobs in the USA offer a myriad of benefits, from flexibility and cost savings to increased job opportunities. However, it is crucial for both employers and employees to navigate and address the associated challenges, such as communication hurdles and potential feelings of isolation. As the workforce continues to evolve, finding a balance between the advantages and drawbacks of remote live chat jobs will be key to harnessing the full potential of this employment trend. CLICK HERE-- https://subratajajabar.systeme.io/livechatjobs
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  • BDS is the most effective way to put our solidarity into action – here’s how to win
    Olivia KatbiNovember 13, 2023
    (Image: Palestinian BDS National Committee)
    (Image: Palestinian BDS National Committee)
    As Israel continues to escalate its ongoing genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, a new wave of solidarity with Palestine is emerging. Many people are learning for the first time about the Palestinian call to boycott, divest from, and sanction (BDS) Israel until it complies with international law. As a coordinator for the BDS Movement in North America for several years, I have worked on a number of BDS campaigns, and would like to lay out the basics, best practices, and some helpful tips and ideas for BDS campaigning.

    BDS 101

    First, some quick background: The BDS movement was founded by Palestinian civil society in 2005 as a way to exert pressure on Israel to comply with international law until it meets three key demands:

    1. An end to Israel’s occupation of all Arab lands and dismantling the illegal apartheid Wall;

    2. Full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel; and

    3. The right of return for Palestinian refugees.

    You can learn more about the history of the BDS Movement, the organizations that make up the Palestinian BDS National Committee, and past and current campaigns at the BDS Movement website.

    BDS is the most effective way for us to put our solidarity with Palestinian liberation into action as residents of the United States, which gives Israel an annual $3.8 billion in military funding, shields Israel from international accountability, and has countless corporations and institutions that maintain some level of complicity in Israel’s violence. BDS is inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement, during which international boycotts and sanctions played a major role in bringing about the eventual fall of apartheid, and the U.S. Civil Rights movement and its inspiring boycotts, including the Rosa Parks-led Montgomery bus boycott.

    A movement for collective action

    Many people are personally boycotting brands that have stated support for Israel, and that’s great – but I want to stress that consumer boycotts are most effective when taken as a collective action, and BDS isn’t just about consumer boycotts. More important than our own personal investments and purchases, which are symbolic gestures but not impactful alone, is working within an organization, union, or coalition to organize effective, strategic campaigns and build power globally to support the Palestinian struggle. So when you see massive lists of dozens and dozens of companies to boycott going around on social media – please keep in mind that the goal isn’t to boycott as many companies as possible, as very few people can feasibly sustain such extensive boycotts. The goal is to strategically pick a few targets and exert enough collective pressure to win a campaign – meaning, a specific company stops doing business with Israel, a specific institution divests its investments from complicit Israeli or international companies, or a specific city ends its relationship with the Israeli government or adopts a human rights procurement and investment policy.

    There are many different kinds of BDS campaigns to choose from, and you can choose the most strategic and achievable targets in your own local context. Consider these examples:

    Municipal boycott: a city ends contracts with HP or Caterpillar.

    Academic boycott: a university (or department) or academic association ends institutional collaboration with Israeli academic institutions.

    Sports boycott: US teams refuse to play against official Israeli teams, or Israel gets suspended from the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).

    Consumer boycott: a co-op grocery store stops selling Sabra hummus.

    Cultural boycott: a celebrity cancels a performance in Israel, or a US event by Israeli cultural ambassadors or sponsored by Israel (or anti-Palestinian lobby groups) is canceled.

    Divestment: A city, university, church, trade union, or pension fund withdraws its investments in corporations and banks complicit in Israeli apartheid.

    As the BDS movement continues to grow at a fast pace, many activists around the world, including in Palestine, often wonder what institution or corporation to most effectively target and how. Given our limited human capacity, we want to be strategic with the targets we select. The BDS movement does not actually launch a boycott campaign against every boycottable event, product or institution, because that would make it pretty impossible to achieve concrete results. To be strategic, we carefully select our targets and how we intervene in each case. To read about current BDS targets and strategic campaigning, including why some targets are “pressure” targets instead of full-on boycott targets, please take a look at this recent statement from the BDS Movement.

    When selecting a BDS target we generally recommend considering the following four criteria:Ò€¨

    1. The level of complicity involved: The deeper the complicity, the easier it is to mobilize support for BDS action against any given target. There are hundreds of international companies and banks that are in some way complicit. Rather than targeting any international athletic footwear company that sells athletic shoes and apparel in Israel, for example, we recommend joining the campaign against PUMA, which sponsors the Israel Football Association. The IFA governs teams in Israel’s illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land.

    2. The potential for forming a broad, cross-movement coalition against the target: A divestment campaign targeting Chevron, for example, makes much more sense than a divestment campaign targeting a company that only infringes on Palestinian rights, because Chevron is a target of climate activists worldwide. Intersectional coalitions are especially crucial to maximize the potential of winning against large, nasty complicit corporations.

    3. Media appeal: If two companies are equally complicit, and we must choose, it is more effective to go after the more publicly recognized brand, as that usually attracts more media attention and allows us to educate and reach out to a much larger audience.

    4. Possibility of success: Even if the above three conditions are met, we don’t launch a campaign against a target unless we have a reasonable chance of success. And success can sometimes just mean reaching a wide mainstream audience and winning their support, rather than actually succeeding in canceling an event, or canceling a contract, but symbolic victories alone are not sufficient. We do BDS because we want to win, build power to affect policy change, and to achieve Palestinian rights ultimately, and not to merely score points and feel good about symbolic gestures. Only through sustained, cumulative, growing and mainstreaming successes can BDS achieve its objectives— which are freedom, justice and equality.

    Campaigning to win

    Once you and your group or organization (because you absolutely should not be doing this alone!) have carefully researched and chosen a target that makes strategic sense for your local context, don’t just jump out with a public campaign right away. Starting with a soft ask (due diligence) is an often overlooked step that can sometimes deliver us a win right away – and the goal is winning! For example, meeting with your union’s investment committee to see if they are willing to implement a human rights investment screening policy; privately writing a letter to your school’s procurement manager to see if there is another supplier of computers they could go with rather than HP; or getting grocery store workers to collectively request that the store no longer shelve an Israeli product. You might be surprised by how far good faith engagement, based on sharing accurate information and compelling moral appeals, can in some cases take you, particularly in smaller communities, before escalating to a larger public pressure campaign.

    In most cases, however, strategic pressure is the only effective way. For example, when we ran a campaign in Portland asking the Portland Trail Blazers to end their sponsorship with IDF sniper scope supplier Leupold and Stevens, we first sent private letters to the Blazers organization explaining our concerns and requesting a meeting to talk further about the partnership. This tactic did not work, and we then escalated to a public, year-long pressure campaign, which we won! But we had to make sure to do our due diligence first, as that in itself shows good faith and win over many bystanders.

    You should also begin reaching out to other organizations for endorsement and support. Coalition building is a must in most BDS work. Organizations in your area might be interested in campaigning together on the issue, and organizations in the U.S. can offer support for your campaign. For example, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) has talented researchers with years of BDS campaigning under their belts and a great database which can help you find reliable information on companies and investment funds. Palestine Legal can help you ensure that your campaign is as legally sound as possible and may be able to help you face legal challenges that you may run into regardless. IMEU can provide resources on connecting with the media and tips on how best to integrate communications into your campaign strategy, not as an afterthought.

    Power mapping is an important part of your campaign as well – who are the decision makers, who is best placed to pressure them, and how can we most effectively do so? Do you have any allies on the inside? What kind of opposition do you think you’ll be up against, and how can you prepare for that ahead of time? Other important parts of campaigning include creating a media strategy, a public education strategy (for example, hosting informational events like teach-ins), a timeline for escalation of your campaign, and picking strategic dates for certain actions – such as delivering a petition during a board meeting of the company you’re targeting. Is peacefully disruptive direct action (sit-in, peaceful occupation, flashmob, collective supermarket action, etc.) a useful tactic to consider, at the right time, in your strategy?

    Historically, some of the biggest and most successful BDS campaigns have taken years of strategic planning, organizing, and network building to pull off – so don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t happen for you right away. It’s worth it to be intentional in your planning and outreach. But at this unprecedented time of crisis with genocide unfolding before our eyes, there’s also no reason why a BDS campaign needs to take years. There is great urgency in the work we’re doing right now, and there’s no reason why a city council or your union leadership can’t make a decision to end its complicity right now if the political will exists. If not now, when?

    The South African anti-apartheid movement organized for decades to gain broad international support leading up to the fall of apartheid; and apartheid did fall. Freedom is inevitable. The time is now to take action to join the movement for freedom, justice, and equality in Palestine.

    Before you go – we need your support

    At Mondoweiss, we understand the power of telling Palestinian stories. For 17 years, we have pushed back when the mainstream media published lies or echoed politicians’ hateful rhetoric. Now, Palestinian voices are more important than ever.

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    https://mondoweiss.net/2023/11/bds-is-the-most-effective-way-to-put-our-solidarity-into-action-heres-how-to-win/
    BDS is the most effective way to put our solidarity into action – here’s how to win Olivia KatbiNovember 13, 2023 (Image: Palestinian BDS National Committee) (Image: Palestinian BDS National Committee) As Israel continues to escalate its ongoing genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, a new wave of solidarity with Palestine is emerging. Many people are learning for the first time about the Palestinian call to boycott, divest from, and sanction (BDS) Israel until it complies with international law. As a coordinator for the BDS Movement in North America for several years, I have worked on a number of BDS campaigns, and would like to lay out the basics, best practices, and some helpful tips and ideas for BDS campaigning. BDS 101 First, some quick background: The BDS movement was founded by Palestinian civil society in 2005 as a way to exert pressure on Israel to comply with international law until it meets three key demands: 1. An end to Israel’s occupation of all Arab lands and dismantling the illegal apartheid Wall; 2. Full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel; and 3. The right of return for Palestinian refugees. You can learn more about the history of the BDS Movement, the organizations that make up the Palestinian BDS National Committee, and past and current campaigns at the BDS Movement website. BDS is the most effective way for us to put our solidarity with Palestinian liberation into action as residents of the United States, which gives Israel an annual $3.8 billion in military funding, shields Israel from international accountability, and has countless corporations and institutions that maintain some level of complicity in Israel’s violence. BDS is inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement, during which international boycotts and sanctions played a major role in bringing about the eventual fall of apartheid, and the U.S. Civil Rights movement and its inspiring boycotts, including the Rosa Parks-led Montgomery bus boycott. A movement for collective action Many people are personally boycotting brands that have stated support for Israel, and that’s great – but I want to stress that consumer boycotts are most effective when taken as a collective action, and BDS isn’t just about consumer boycotts. More important than our own personal investments and purchases, which are symbolic gestures but not impactful alone, is working within an organization, union, or coalition to organize effective, strategic campaigns and build power globally to support the Palestinian struggle. So when you see massive lists of dozens and dozens of companies to boycott going around on social media – please keep in mind that the goal isn’t to boycott as many companies as possible, as very few people can feasibly sustain such extensive boycotts. The goal is to strategically pick a few targets and exert enough collective pressure to win a campaign – meaning, a specific company stops doing business with Israel, a specific institution divests its investments from complicit Israeli or international companies, or a specific city ends its relationship with the Israeli government or adopts a human rights procurement and investment policy. There are many different kinds of BDS campaigns to choose from, and you can choose the most strategic and achievable targets in your own local context. Consider these examples: Municipal boycott: a city ends contracts with HP or Caterpillar. Academic boycott: a university (or department) or academic association ends institutional collaboration with Israeli academic institutions. Sports boycott: US teams refuse to play against official Israeli teams, or Israel gets suspended from the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). Consumer boycott: a co-op grocery store stops selling Sabra hummus. Cultural boycott: a celebrity cancels a performance in Israel, or a US event by Israeli cultural ambassadors or sponsored by Israel (or anti-Palestinian lobby groups) is canceled. Divestment: A city, university, church, trade union, or pension fund withdraws its investments in corporations and banks complicit in Israeli apartheid. As the BDS movement continues to grow at a fast pace, many activists around the world, including in Palestine, often wonder what institution or corporation to most effectively target and how. Given our limited human capacity, we want to be strategic with the targets we select. The BDS movement does not actually launch a boycott campaign against every boycottable event, product or institution, because that would make it pretty impossible to achieve concrete results. To be strategic, we carefully select our targets and how we intervene in each case. To read about current BDS targets and strategic campaigning, including why some targets are “pressure” targets instead of full-on boycott targets, please take a look at this recent statement from the BDS Movement. When selecting a BDS target we generally recommend considering the following four criteria:Ò€¨ 1. The level of complicity involved: The deeper the complicity, the easier it is to mobilize support for BDS action against any given target. There are hundreds of international companies and banks that are in some way complicit. Rather than targeting any international athletic footwear company that sells athletic shoes and apparel in Israel, for example, we recommend joining the campaign against PUMA, which sponsors the Israel Football Association. The IFA governs teams in Israel’s illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land. 2. The potential for forming a broad, cross-movement coalition against the target: A divestment campaign targeting Chevron, for example, makes much more sense than a divestment campaign targeting a company that only infringes on Palestinian rights, because Chevron is a target of climate activists worldwide. Intersectional coalitions are especially crucial to maximize the potential of winning against large, nasty complicit corporations. 3. Media appeal: If two companies are equally complicit, and we must choose, it is more effective to go after the more publicly recognized brand, as that usually attracts more media attention and allows us to educate and reach out to a much larger audience. 4. Possibility of success: Even if the above three conditions are met, we don’t launch a campaign against a target unless we have a reasonable chance of success. And success can sometimes just mean reaching a wide mainstream audience and winning their support, rather than actually succeeding in canceling an event, or canceling a contract, but symbolic victories alone are not sufficient. We do BDS because we want to win, build power to affect policy change, and to achieve Palestinian rights ultimately, and not to merely score points and feel good about symbolic gestures. Only through sustained, cumulative, growing and mainstreaming successes can BDS achieve its objectives— which are freedom, justice and equality. Campaigning to win Once you and your group or organization (because you absolutely should not be doing this alone!) have carefully researched and chosen a target that makes strategic sense for your local context, don’t just jump out with a public campaign right away. Starting with a soft ask (due diligence) is an often overlooked step that can sometimes deliver us a win right away – and the goal is winning! For example, meeting with your union’s investment committee to see if they are willing to implement a human rights investment screening policy; privately writing a letter to your school’s procurement manager to see if there is another supplier of computers they could go with rather than HP; or getting grocery store workers to collectively request that the store no longer shelve an Israeli product. You might be surprised by how far good faith engagement, based on sharing accurate information and compelling moral appeals, can in some cases take you, particularly in smaller communities, before escalating to a larger public pressure campaign. In most cases, however, strategic pressure is the only effective way. For example, when we ran a campaign in Portland asking the Portland Trail Blazers to end their sponsorship with IDF sniper scope supplier Leupold and Stevens, we first sent private letters to the Blazers organization explaining our concerns and requesting a meeting to talk further about the partnership. This tactic did not work, and we then escalated to a public, year-long pressure campaign, which we won! But we had to make sure to do our due diligence first, as that in itself shows good faith and win over many bystanders. You should also begin reaching out to other organizations for endorsement and support. Coalition building is a must in most BDS work. Organizations in your area might be interested in campaigning together on the issue, and organizations in the U.S. can offer support for your campaign. For example, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) has talented researchers with years of BDS campaigning under their belts and a great database which can help you find reliable information on companies and investment funds. Palestine Legal can help you ensure that your campaign is as legally sound as possible and may be able to help you face legal challenges that you may run into regardless. IMEU can provide resources on connecting with the media and tips on how best to integrate communications into your campaign strategy, not as an afterthought. Power mapping is an important part of your campaign as well – who are the decision makers, who is best placed to pressure them, and how can we most effectively do so? Do you have any allies on the inside? What kind of opposition do you think you’ll be up against, and how can you prepare for that ahead of time? Other important parts of campaigning include creating a media strategy, a public education strategy (for example, hosting informational events like teach-ins), a timeline for escalation of your campaign, and picking strategic dates for certain actions – such as delivering a petition during a board meeting of the company you’re targeting. Is peacefully disruptive direct action (sit-in, peaceful occupation, flashmob, collective supermarket action, etc.) a useful tactic to consider, at the right time, in your strategy? Historically, some of the biggest and most successful BDS campaigns have taken years of strategic planning, organizing, and network building to pull off – so don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t happen for you right away. It’s worth it to be intentional in your planning and outreach. But at this unprecedented time of crisis with genocide unfolding before our eyes, there’s also no reason why a BDS campaign needs to take years. There is great urgency in the work we’re doing right now, and there’s no reason why a city council or your union leadership can’t make a decision to end its complicity right now if the political will exists. If not now, when? The South African anti-apartheid movement organized for decades to gain broad international support leading up to the fall of apartheid; and apartheid did fall. Freedom is inevitable. The time is now to take action to join the movement for freedom, justice, and equality in Palestine. Before you go – we need your support At Mondoweiss, we understand the power of telling Palestinian stories. For 17 years, we have pushed back when the mainstream media published lies or echoed politicians’ hateful rhetoric. Now, Palestinian voices are more important than ever. Our traffic has increased ten times since October 7, and we need your help to cover our increased expenses. Support our journalists with a donation today. https://mondoweiss.net/2023/11/bds-is-the-most-effective-way-to-put-our-solidarity-into-action-heres-how-to-win/
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    BDS is the most effective way to put our solidarity into action – here’s how to win
    As Israel escalates its genocide in Gaza, a new wave of solidarity with Palestine is emerging. The movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel is the best way to put our solidarity into action. Here is how to make your BDS campaign a success.
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