Will Israel’s treatment of Omar and Tlaib finally wake Democrats up?

Now that Israel has banned entry to Democratic Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, will Democrats affirm the right to boycott and hold Israel’s feet to the fire? Five takeaways.

U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. (Leopaltik1242/CC BY-SA 4.0)

U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. (Leopaltik1242/CC BY-SA 4.0)

1. Don’t let the headlines fool you: neither Ilhan Omar nor Rashida Tlaib had any intention of visiting Israel when they announced their trip to the region. They had hoped, instead, to visit the occupied West Bank, where Tlaib’s family hails from. The fact that Israel is the sole sovereign between the river and the sea and can decide who and what can enter or exit the West Bank is one of the most fundamental aspects of Israel’s 52-year military occupation.

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2. One must also take stock of Israel’s priorities when it makes decisions about who is or isn’t welcome. While authoritarian leaders such Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro, President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte, Hungar’s Viktor Orban and Vladimir Putin are welcomed with open arms, these two Democratic congresswomen are turned into enemies of the state. Why? Because they believe in the right to hold Israel to account, including through boycotts.

3. BDS, one should recall, is a nonviolent and legitimate tool of resistance, especially when considering that Israel has for decades been crushing all other forms of Palestinian resistance, be it violent or nonviolent. Boycotts of and divestments from businesses that profit off human rights violations and war crimes are common in various struggles for social justice.

Meanwhile, even Israel supports the use of international sanctions when it serves its political goals. But only when applied to Israel’s decades’ long occupation and apartheid policies — with the express purpose of promoting freedom, equality, and democracy for Palestinians  — are boycotts, divestment and sanctions demonized.

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4. This is where parts of the left, whether in Israel, the U.S., Europe or elsewhere, also share the blame. Large segments among both Democrats and the Zionist left have historically taken part in delegitimizing BDS as a political tool for Palestinian liberation. By isolating BDS supporters, those on the left have paved the way for Netanyahu and Trump to go after Tlaib and Omar.

This can and should be a decisive moment. We are already hearing Democrats such as Nancy Pelosi and left-wing and liberal groups such as Jewish Voice for Peace and J Street denouncing Israel for the decision. Even AIPAC is demanding Israel backtrack and allow the congresswomen freedom of movement.

5. As long as these statements are not followed by real action, nothing will change. Israel has become immune to criticism, whether coming from friends or foes. If Democrats don’t turn their statements into full support for the right to boycott and actively try to stop institutional attempts to silence criticism of Israel in the U.S., nothing will change. As long as the international community sits back and the U.S. continues to offer Israel diplomatic immunity and a blank check, Israel will continue to deny Palestinians their basic human and civil rights.

The post Will Israel’s treatment of Omar and Tlaib finally wake Democrats up? appeared first on +972 Magazine.

Red tape is being weaponised in India to declare millions stateless | Shoaib Daniyal

what happens when fascist are in power!

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In Assam, a draconian exercise forces people to prove ‘genuine’ Indian heritage – or be branded illegal immigrants

Anti-immigrant hysteria is sweeping the world: it has powered Trump, enabled the Brexit vote and is roiling the politics of continental Europe. And while the damage done by this politics has been well documented in the west, one country rarely discussed in this regard is India. Yet millions are about to be declared stateless in the country on the grounds that either they or their ancestors came over as undocumented migrants from India’s eastern neighbour, Bangladesh.

Currently, the north-eastern state of Assam is updating its National Register of Citizens: a supposed listing of genuine Indian nationals. Anyone who does not find their name on this NRC will be branded an illegal migrant. The NRC released a draft list in 2018 that declared more then 4 million people to be foreigners. The final list is expected on 31 August.

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Thursday Open Thread | 12 Black Elected Officials In Charlotte Receive Trump Inspired Racist Letters

At least 12 local elected officials, including black county commissioners, Charlotte City Council members who are people of color, and the black chair of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools board, received similar letters in recent days, according to representatives of those bodies. The letter, which the Observer obtained a copy of from a City Council member, is also addressed to the local police and fire departments.

The letter to Leake invoked the name of President Donald Trump, said blacks need to “assimilate” to Charlotte and the United States and blamed “twisted media” for problems.

https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article233797097.html

“Nothing good will come to you if you don’t change,” the letter to Leake and other commissioners stated. “You need to go back to where you came from … Your freedom was born on the backs of great Americans, white Americans, who fought for you, so get over it. Assimilate.

“One of these days, someone … will round you up. All of you. And send you screaming to the concentration camps where you belong … Be very careful.”

A Mecklenburg County commissioner says she has asked the FBI to investigate who sent her and other black elected officials a racist, threatening letter that said “Black Democrats should be tarred and feathered and run out of town” and sent “screaming to the concentration camps.”

The letter, which Commissioner Vilma Leake read aloud at a recent public meeting, was received by mail at her county office address. It is a nearly two-page-long rant that threatens “someone” may “blow up” a statue of Martin Luther King, Jr., and also says, “I would love it if they would blow you up.”