Sorry Israel: Iran Gets Green Light For Naval Base in Syria

| March 16, 2017

 Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has approved the creation of an Iranian naval base close to the Hmeymim airbase used by Russia’s air force in Syria, according to reports. 

Citing Syrian sources, Nezavisimaya Gazeta claims that the deal for an Iranian base in Syria has already been made:

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has given the go-ahead to the deployment of an Iranian naval base close to the Hmeymim airbase used by Russia’s Aerospace Forces to carry out airstrikes against the Islamic State (terror group, outlawed in Russia), some media reports said citing Syrian sources.


 Mar 17, 2017 Israel, Assad Regime Engage in Most Serious Military Incident Since US- led invasion of Syria
The Assad regime’s retaliation Thursday pointed to a decided shift in behavior toward Israel amid numerous reports on Israeli strikes


There is no official confirmation of these reports yet, but the issue was raised by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes.

Summing up the outcome of his meeting with the Russian leader, Netanyahu told reporters that Tehran’s efforts to ensure its permanent presence in Syria chiefly motivated him to visit Moscow.

Although it is unclear what the parties have agreed on, it is safe to assume that without Moscow’s tacit consent, Assad would have hardly approved Tehran’s plans.

Mohammad Bagheri, Chief of Iran’s General Staff, earlier said that the Iranian Navy could soon need bases in Syria and Yemen.

At that time, that statement was seen as a propaganda move, but now the situation seems to have changed considering that Tehran is one of Damascus’ key allies in the fight against IS extremists.

“If regular Iranian troops take part in military operations in Syria, Assad will win,” asserted military expert Yury Netkachev. “This is very bold scenario. The United States, Israel, NATO member-countries, including Turkey, which is formally considered Iran’s ally in the peace process organized within the framework of Astana, will work vigorously against this,” he noted.

Meanwhile, political scientist and expert on Iran, Vladimir Sazhin, said that Tehran could play a more significant role in ensuring Syria’s defense capacity. “According to official statements, Iran sent only military advisers and instructors to Syria.

However, according to unofficial data, the Iranian armed forces, primarily the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, are participating in the fighting in that country. The Iranian forces in Syria have done a lot to save the Assad regime, but they could do more,” the expert emphasized.

 

Now we just have to wait for confirmation from Assad. Netanyahu is going to have a stroke

Zionists scrambling to the defense of the anti-Semitic Saudi regime

Soldiers don’t “give” their lives for you and I. They are killed for profit. They are killed for oil. They are killed for the 1%.

 

Feb 19, 2017

“Iran aimed to “undermine stability in every country in Middle East … their main destination at the end of the day is Saudi Arabia,” Avigdor Lieberman told delegates the Munich Security Conference, saying he was looking forward to hearing comments from Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.”

 Israel’s defense minister says Iran wants to undermine Saudi Arabia

 

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Israel’s defense minister said on Sunday Iran had an ultimate objective of undermining Saudi Arabia in the Middle East and called for a dialogue with Sunni Arab states to defeat “radical” elements in the region.

Iran aimed to “undermine stability in every country in Middle East … their main destination at the end of the day is Saudi Arabia,” Avigdor Lieberman told delegates at the Munich Security Conference, saying he was looking forward to hearing comments from Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.

“The real division is not Jews, Muslims … but moderate people versus radical people,” he said.

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Iranians commemorate the 1979 overthrow of the US-backed Shah

The US government hates Iran. One reason for this is that when the Iranian people overthrew a brutal dictator in 1979 they also inflicted a massive blow to US imperialism in the Middle East.

Hundreds of thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets to begin a nationwide celebration of the 38th anniversary of the country’s 1979 revolution.

Marchers chanted traditional slogans against the United States and Israel as they gathered in the main streets of the capital Tehran on Friday.

In an address to crowds gathered at the Azadi [Freedom] Square, President Hassan Rouhani issued a warning to those using “threatening language” against the country.

 
The rallies commemorate the 1979 overthrow of the US-backed Shah [Mohammad Ali Najib/Al

“Some inexperienced figures in the region and America are threatening Iran … They should know that the language of threats has never worked with Iran,” Rouhani said.

“They should learn to respect Iran and Iranians … We will strongly confront any war-mongering policies.”

The official Mehr News Agency reported that Major General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force, and Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the atomic energy agency, had also joined the Tehran march.

Thirty years ago Iran’s revolt struck a blow against US imperialism and showed the power of workers in the Middle East

The US government hates Iran. One reason for this is that when the Iranian people overthrew a brutal dictator in 1979 they also inflicted a massive blow to US imperialism in the Middle East.

Up until the revolution, Iran – alongside Saudi Arabia and Israel – was central to upholding US policy to ensure the stability and safety of Western oil supplies in the region.

Iran’s ruler, the Shah, was a despotic monarch brought to power in 1953 by a coup organized by the CIA and British intelligence.

The 1953 coup toppled Iran’s popular prime minister, Mohammad Mossadeq.

British and US leaders were angry at Mossadeq for nationalizing the oil industry, which was owned and run by Britain’s Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (now BP).

Image result for the shah of iran and nuclear energy

This is an ad from the 1970s purchased by a number of U.S. power companies using the puppet Shah’s nuclear power program to convince Americans of the necessity and safety of nuclear energy.

From the early 1970s, Iran was home to the CIA’s Middle East headquarters, with 24,000 “military advisors”.

It was also the world’s largest arms importer in that decade.

The British backed the Shah right up to his downfall.

Recently released documents show the British ambassador to Iran reported in 1978, “The Shah remains in complete control of the country and of the government. The security forces remain effective and, I believe, loyal to the Shah.

“I do not foresee any serious trouble in the near future. There will be ups and downs, but in the short term I think the Shah will not be forced to make any radical alterations to his policies and will be able to govern, as he is at present, without any genuinely dangerous opposition from any quarter.”

The ambassador could not have been more wrong.

The Shah had pushed through a harsh programme of capitalist development (including of nuclear technology) that alienated sections of the traditional religious establishment and the millions of poor people forced to leave the countryside to seek a livelihood in the slums of the cities.

Abject poverty existed next to fabulous wealth. Political dissent was ruthlessly crushed and national minorities suffered bitter oppression.

Crushed

The Shah also crushed all opposition from the working class and the left – jailing and torturing over 20,000 political prisoners.

The Shah’s state seemed impregnable. The secret service, known as the Savak, was everywhere. Only Savak-endorsed trade unions were allowed.

But in 1975 a drop in oil revenues – Iran’s main source of income – led to a serious economic crisis. This set the stage for the protests that eventually toppled the Shah.

While the Muslime clergy had gained a base among the poor, the left concentrated on a guerrilla struggle against the regime.

In June 1977, the first protests against the Shah in 14 years took place. They involved thousands of slum dwellers from Tehran, the capital city.

Cuts in wages also sparked strikes, which peaked in July when workers at General Motors set their factory on fire in protest.

The protests by workers and the urban poor forced the Shah to allow some dissent.

He hoped that this would allow the movement to let off steam and prevent it becoming a real problem.

Instead it encouraged other sectors of society to openly protest against the regime. Intellectuals, who had previously been silenced, joined the protests, as did the clergy and their allies – the traditional merchants, shopkeepers and small business owners.

As in every great spontaneous revolution, many different sections of the population were involved.

Public poetry readings attracted tens of thousands onto the streets. Between October 1977 and September 1978, anti-Shah protests grew from being weekly to daily events. The protests culminated in a demonstration of some two million people on 7 September 1978.

The Shah imposed martial law and his troops massacred more than 2,000 demonstrators.

In response 30,000 oil workers joined the strikes. Coal miners struck in support.

Rail workers refused to let the police or army onto trains.

Dockers would only unload food and medical supplies or paper for campaigning against the regime. Units of the army began to rebel.

The movement grew as an insurrectionary one. Factory managers often simply fled.

Where that happened, elected strike committees took over the running of the factories. The working class, even though it was a minority of society, wielded enough power to be the tipping point against the regime.

As late as June 1978 the Shah was still boasting, “No one can overthrow me. I have the support of 700,000 troops, most of the people and all of the workers.”

Yet just a few months later – on 16 January 1979 – the Shah was forced to flee the country.

Armed militias defeated the last of the Shah’s troops. The prisons were opened and the radio announced the victory of the revolution. Strike committees – known as shoras – were formed again in the factories.

Peasant villages established their own shoras and began seizing the land from the landlords.

The shoras were the beginning of the type of organsation that could see workers take power.

Demonstrations

The peasants demanded land reform, women fought for liberation, and national minorities demanded the right to self-determination.

The revolution was an enormous blow to imperialism in the Middle East. It created a carnival of rejoicing as people spilled onto the streets.

An establishment politician was made the new prime minister, but mass demonstrations demanded his resignation too.

On 1 February Ayatollah Khomeini returned from exile and declared himself head of state.

Since the early 1960s he had been the most prominent religious leader to conduct an extended propaganda campaign against the Shah.

But the clergy wasn’t in control of the movement. There was an intense battle to decide the course of the revolution, and the type of society that would replace the Shah’s dictatorship.

The proponents of national capitalism sought to restore order.

The “liberal” upper middle class joined up with sections of the clerical establishment linked to the small capitalists and traders to work together against the left.

Khomeini was opposed to the growing power of the shoras. He knew they represented a threat to the clergy’s power and refused to recognise them.

The new provisional government declared that workers’ intervention in management affairs was “unIslamic”.

It moved to re-establish capitalist control. It was not an easy battle.

As one Shell worker said at the time, “What have workers got to do with religion? Workers are exploited all the same.

“That bloody manager who has been sucking our blood has suddenly become a good Muslim and tries to divide us by our religion. The unity through the shora is the way to win.”

The strength of the workers’ movement was shown on the May Day demonstration in Tehran in 1979. Unemployed men, women and their children led a march of 1.5 million.

The slogans of the demonstration were education for children not child labour, nationalisation of all industries, equal pay for men and women, long live real unions and real shoras, and death to imperialism.

The clergy fought back. Gangs were organised to attack the left and enforce “morality” against women who refused to wear the veil.

Offensive

At the same time, a military offensive was launched against Kurds and other national minorities who had gained some autonomy during the revolution.

But the clergy could only win control of the movement by changing tack. Sections of the small capitalists and traders, along with the clergy around Ayatollah Khomeini, wanted to maintain their independence from the US while smashing the left.

They were also afraid of cutting themselves off from the masses – who still expected to gain from the revolution.

So Khomeini ordered an occupation of the US embassy, and moved against allies considered “moderate”.

This helped to seal Khomeini’s domination of the post-revolutionary state.

Khomeini and his allies argued that national unity was needed to defeat the US. Any dissenters were enemies of the revolution. The left didn’t know how to respond.

Most of the left believed that Iran was not ready for socialism and needed a capitalist revolution before a socialist one.

This meant arguing for workers and the poor to make alliances with “progressive” capitalists – so effectively falling in behind the arguments for national unity.

The left’s focus on guerrilla struggle also meant they were isolated from the masses. They had no strategy to overcome this.

The price for workers was enormous as the new regime repressed one organisation after another.

After Iraq’s invasion of Iran and the start of the eight-year war between the two countries, the Islamic government crushed all opposition, fully consolidating its power.

This was not inevitable – for several months the future of the revolution hung in the balance.

The left’s failure to organize independently among workers and the poor to fight for socialism allowed Khomeini to consolidate power.

But the 1979 Iranian revolution sent shockwaves around the world.

It showed that Western-backed dictators could be overthrown by a revolution from below.

It also showed the power of workers in the Middle East and raised the possibility of workers’ control of society.

North Korea May Reach the US, but Not With Nukes

The United Nations passed so-called sanctions again on North Korea, and they’ve said they ‘will exercise their preemptive right to a nuclear attack.’ I don’t think this ought to be taken kindly. -Oliver North

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 Where’s the evidence they have them?

thedailybell

The terrifying truth about North Korea’s nuclear weapons …”North Korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the US,” President-elect Donald Trump tweeted on January 2. “It won’t happen!”

  However, the terrifying truth is that North Korea, the only country to have tested nuclear weapons in the 21st century, has just as much of a say in whether its potential nuclear arms can or will reach the US as Trump and the US do.

According to people who make their living assessing threats, North Korea has nuclear weapons and is quickly making more of them. But our research shows quite clearly that TNT can be substituted easily for atomic material and that, in any case, using nuclear material may be a good deal more difficult than is commonly made out.

Do we believe North Korea has nuclear material. Possibly. Is their program moving along the way they claim it is. Probably not. But nonetheless, according to professional watchers, North Korea is making rapid progress toward inter-continental missiles.

“It can be difficult to make assessments about North Korea’s nuclear capabilities given that we have very little access to North Korea’s missile facilities,” Kelsey Davenport, the director of nonproliferation policy and a North Korea expert at the Arms Control Association, told Business Insider.  “But it’s clear that North Korea has made significant advances both with nuclear warheads and with ballistic missiles,” Davenport said.

North Korea’s nuclear arsenal is still in its early phases, but Kim Jong Un, the country’s leader, commands about 100 missile launchers with several missiles for each, according to Jeffrey Lewis, the founding publisher of Arms Control Wonk.  While there’s some debate about North Korea’s stockpile of nuclear materials, “you’re looking at a few tens of warheads, but that number’s going to keep going up every year,” Lewis told Business Insider.

In comparison, the US has 1,796 nuclear missiles deployed, another 4,500 stockpiled, and 2,800 retired and waiting to be dismantled, according to the Arms Control Association.  Furthermore, North Korea presently has no way of reaching any part of the US with a missile of any sort, but Pyongyang is “likely at the point now where it could mount a nuclear warhead on a medium-range missile, and that would put South Korea, Japan, and US military installations in range of the North Korean nuclear threat,” Davenport said.

The article sounds suitably terrifying until one begins to examine the underlying evidence. Then it all begins to fall apart. According to the article, experts have “every reason to believe Kim regarding his missiles.” Really? Why is this?

We were told that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were wiped out by nuclear bombs, but this evidently isn’t true. Perhaps a nuke was dropped on these two cities, or perhaps not. But they certainly were bombed using standard incendiary devices. See here.

Nor is it true that a video of even a single nuclear test was released to the public without significant alteration. See here.

According to the article, North Korea’s nuclear threat can’t easily be halted. It will only get stronger over time. All three participants, the United States, North Korea, and South Korea, all plan to go first. ”It’s a dangerous situation people haven’t thought through,” Jeffrey Lewis said.

But surely a lot of it is simply exaggerated. Here’s our thought: There won’t be an actual nuclear confrontation with North Korea, or if there is one, it won’t involve nuclear weapons.

It’s easy to build up the Korean threat, but there’s little to no proof for any of it.   Just like there’s very little proof for previous nuclear threats, by North Korea or other countries.

Trump wants enemies and North Korea is a convenient enemy. But that doesn’t mean it’s a real one. There’s no real evidence for the nukes that North Korea says it has.

It’s mostly rhetoric just as it has been for years. Saying that North Korea has been building super mini-nukes or other kind of special nuclear weapons is just so much talk.

The idea  has been to demonize North Korea to make its “nuclear threat” more real. People need to fear other nuclear powers, especially because the Pentagon has just asked for a trillion dollars to overhaul its nuclear  program.

But chances are the Pentagon has exaggerated its nuclear  program just as North Korea has. Just because the Pentagon says it has dramatic numbers of nuclear weapons doesn’t mean they actually exist.

Conclusion: So much of what our leaders tell us isn’t true. What should nuclear weapons be any different.

Israel Urges Trump, UN To Act Against Iran After Ballistic Missile Test

How come they don’t talk about the 300 nukes Israhell has?

“We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets of our air force.”

No country has provided evidence that missiles Iran is testing are designed to carry a nuclear warhead, a senior Russian diplomat says, adding that the Islamic Republic’s ballistic missile tests “don’t violate a UN Security Council resolution” in any way.

“We do not think these launches violate Resolution 2231, because the resolution does not ban the tests,” the head of the ministry’s Department for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Weapons Control, Mikhail Ulyanov, told the Interfax.

Israel is urging the world to take action after a US official said Monday that Iran carried out a test launch of a medium-range ballistic missile over the weekend, seemingly in violation of UN Resolution 2231, which forbids the Islamic Republic from carrying out such tests for a period of eights years.

The United Nations Security Council was scheduled to hold an emergency meeting on the test at the request of the United States. The US request came after Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon called for the meeting, saying of the test, “This aggression is not only directed toward Israel, it is directed toward the entire Western world.”

New US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley was expected to take part in the Security Council talks. The call for the meeting was the first such request that the US has made since Haley was confirmed for her post last week.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that in light of reports of the Iranian ballistic missile test, one of the issues he will raise with US President Donald Trump during their meeting on February 15 will be the re-imposition of sanctions on Iran. He said it is forbidden that Iranian “aggression” go without a response.

Intelligence Minister Israel Katz told Army Radio on Tuesday that “there is no doubt that further sanctions on Iran are needed,” following the ballistic missile test.

Katz said that not only Iran’s ballistic missile program, but also its entrenchment in Syria and the aid it gives to Hezbollah constitute threats to Israel’s security.

The intelligence minister suggested that the Trump administration, and its stance on Iran, offers new opportunities to thwart Iran’s hegemonic ambitions in the region that endanger Israel.

“The Trump administration – I was briefed on the conversations between Trump and the Saudi king, and other leaders – sees Iran in a negative light. This is a significant development in this region. There are initiatives, and it is possible, to advance initiatives to levy sanctions on Iran to prevent the aid that Iran gives to Hezbollah, preventing Iranian meddling in the region, preventing Iran’s entrenchment in Syria. These are goals that we must promote,” Katz said.

According to a US official speaking on condition of anonymity, the medium-range ballistic missile launched by Iran in Sunday’s test exploded after 630 miles.

The official said the test was carried out from a site near Semnan, east of Tehran. The official added that the last time this type of missile was test launched was in July 2016.

The White House said it was aware that Iran had tested a missile.

“We’re looking into that. We’re aware that Iran fired that missile. We’re looking into the exact nature of it, and I’ll try to have more for you later,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer said during a press briefing.

Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, condemned Iran on Monday and said he would work with other lawmakers and Trump’s administration to hold Iran accountable.

On Tuesday, Iran said that the ballistic missile tests carried out by the country were neither part of a nuclear agreement with world powers, or the UN Security Council resolution endorsing the deal.

Neither confirming or denying US accusations that Iran had carried out a missile test on Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stated that Iran would never use missiles made in Iran to attack another country.

Zarif also said that such tests were not part of any United Nations resolution ratifying accord.

“The missiles aren’t part of the nuclear accords. Iran will never use missiles produced in Iran to attack any other country,” said Zarif, speaking at a joint news conference held with French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. “No Iranian missiles have been produced to carry nuclear warheads.”

Ayrault told reporters at the conference that France had made clear its concerns over the Iranian ballistic missile test, adding that it harmed the international community’s confidence in Iran and contravened UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

Reuters contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared on the Jerusalem Post. 

Fake Activist Exposed: The Real Linda Sarsour

She is still active so I thought to share. Ikhras is never wrong and neither is Jonathan Azaziah. Myself, I haven’t been paying attention but it’s actually easy to spot the fakes, they are always full of dead giveaways. For example when she said “I do believe Israel has a right to exist”.  A decent, right thinking  person who knows the subject would never say that! I wouldn’t need anymore. But here is more information for total validation.

The following report is partly based on a visit by Ikhras to Brooklyn, New York late last year and interviews with local community activists, former friends and colleagues of Sarsour, and Sarsour family members.]

May 10, 2016
Linda Sarsour is the Executive Director of the local taxpayer-funded Arab-American Association of New York (AAANY) where she began her “activism” over ten years ago. A Sarsour family friend and AAANY founder, Basemah Atweh, invited her to join the organization and assured her if she volunteered she will eventually be offered a paid position

. Less than two months after her “volunteer work” helping newly arrived immigrants get settled and adjust to life in the U.S. Sarsour was hired in a paid, full-time capacity.

Even in those very early years former colleagues who worked with Sarsour noticed she was driven exclusively by personal interests and eager to insert herself in the forefront, especially if an opportunity to meet with members of the local political establishment and power elite presented itself. After surviving a car crash in which Atweh was killed, Sarsour took over the organization.

It was at this time that she reached an arrangement with her husband and family members providing her with the luxury of devoting all her time and attention to transforming herself into a full-time, career activist of the worst kind.

Many poor and working class men and women with far more talent and potential to contribute to their communities do not have the luxury of devoting any amount of time to causes they genuinely believe in, let alone a full-time career as a fake activist without even requiring the services of a paid babysitter.

With the increased media exposure she has been recently receiving, her entire public persona has now become a masquerade inundated with pretense and exaggeration. While much of it has provided entertainment for Arab-Americans in NY, activists are now concerned the activities of this fraudster have become politically corrosive to the issues and causes of concern to the community.

Israel has a right to exist”

Early Years At AAANY

Early Years At AAANY

 

So what’s the first thing a self-described Arab-American activist does when she decides to run for local public office? For Sarsour the answer to that question was obvious, you declare your acceptance of and support for the Zionist colonial project in Palestine.

Sarsour, who was born and raised in Brooklyn, is planning a run for the NY City Council. In preparing the groundwork for her 2017 campaign, the ambitious Palestinian-American revealed she is ready and willing to abandon her own Palestinian community and betray her tormented country of origin.

In this interview with a local news channel Sarsour states “I do believe Israel has a right to exist”, a euphemism for normalizing and legitimizing the Zionist entity, ethnic cleansing and settler-colonialism.

In the same interview Sarsour is also quoted as rejecting “violence” [armed resistance in Palestine], as if someone sitting in the comfort and safety of their NY home has a right to lecture a colonized people on the other side of the world on the appropriate and acceptable strategies and methods of their own self-defense and resistance to military occupation.

  Sarsour does not deviate very far from the rigid Zionist narrative that dominates discourse on Palestine in this country. Always careful to not offend the political sensibilities of the U.S. ruling class, she maintains her mild criticism of Israel within strictly defined parameters.

She has repeatedly attacked Palestinian resistance fighters including members of her own family living under occupation in Palestine. One especially disgraceful example of this can be found here. In another appearance as part of a “focus group” of Muslim Americans Sarsour reiterated her support for Israel’s so-called “right to exist.

When pressed by the professional manipulator Frank Lutz the political adolescent was oblivious to the racist implications of the questions. With her political ambitions clearly foremost on her mind, she strained to provide answers that do not deviate from acceptable public discourse.

In doing so, she played into the Zionist narrative and revealed a complete lack of conviction and inability to defend the cause of Palestinian liberation in any forceful or coherent fashion. She was, however, able to exploit her Palestinian background in order to claim some type of native insight or legitimacy which is a common tactic among many establishment Arab-Americans.

Sarsour, who now regularly invokes the Palestine cause and claims “Palestine has always been my passion”, has never been active on Palestinian issues until relatively recently and only when it became a bit safer to do so as a result of the hard work of many other courageous Palestine solidarity activists.

These same activists have shunned Sarsour for her exploitation of the Palestine cause and labor theft of other people’s solidarity work which she claimed as her own. Sarsour also earned the ire of Palestinian-Americans after describing Palestinians protesting in NY as “thugs”, an epithet she had exclusively reserved to describe a certain segment of African-Americans. Sarsour’s racism will be fully addressed below.

Sarsour does not speak for Palestinians in NY, across the diaspora or under occupation, and her views do not reflect the Palestinian consensus or their national aspirations. She also does not represent the views of the larger Arab-American community.

The political exigencies of running for NY City Council require Sarsour to pursue her amateurish version of a political triangulation strategy, posing as a champion of Palestine while reaffirming Israel’s “right to exist.”

However, there are 11 Million Palestinians and over 300 Million Arabs who are not running for NY City Council in 2017. Their position and the position of the Palestinian and Arab-American communities remains unchanged.

The structures and institutions of the Zionist entity created in 1948 must be fully dismantled, and all Palestinian refugees and their descendants have an inalienable right to return to their homes and lands of origin with full restitution of all their confiscated property in a single, unified, and liberated Palestine.

“Iftar” At Gracie Mansion With Mayor De Blasio During 2014 Ramadan Massacre

 

“Iftar” At Gracie Mansion

During the first year of his term NY Mayor Bill de Blasio gave an outrageous, but not unusual, speech at an AIPAC conference in which he expressed his full support for Israel.

By that time Sarsour was already featured on the White House website as a “champion of change”, a sure indicator an Arab or Muslim-American has been vetted, approved, and attained that coveted entry into the American mainstream.

Rather than being featured on US government websites or invited to government-hosted “Iftars”, truly dedicated activists that defend Palestinian rights have usually been persecuted by the government.

See here, here, and here. Framing herself as a radical champion of the people while working with the Muslim Democratic Club of New York to advance her career, she decided to maintain close ties to the Democratic Mayor.

Later that same year, July 2014, Israel launched its third onslaught on Gaza since dismantling its illegal, Jewish-only colonies and occupation coordination centers and repositioning its occupation army outside the narrow coastal strip of Palestine.

The massacre, which happened to coincide with the month of Ramadan, resulted in the wholesale slaughter of over 2100 defenseless Palestinian civilians.

The same week de Blasio came out in support of the massacre he also extended an invitation to Sarsour to attend an “Iftar” at Gracie Mansion as the ostensible representative of the NY Muslim community.

Sarsour accepted the invitation and as she sat down to enjoy her breaking of the fast (Sarsour does not fast and is hardly religious although she does invoke religion when it serves her purpose) the bombs were still falling on the children of Gaza.

Sarsour later tweeted a picture of herself with de Blasio adding the words “honored to dine with Mayor de Blasio at Gracie Mansion.” At the time ikhras still maintained a cordial relationship with Sarsour and expressed directly to her our disappointment.

She responded by saying she had to ignore it because she was trying to “play politics and its dirty” and she had “two campaigns [Muslim school holidays and NYPD intelligence practices] she needed to see through.” (We later learned she was known to have previously been very cooperative with NYPD intelligence practices).

When we pressed her she became very defensive, said something indecipherable about an “inside out strategy”, and attacked other Palestinian “activists” (she used the quotes) and organizations.

She specifically mentioned Al-Awda and Adalah suggesting they were not doing anything and that she cannot be expected to do it all herself. We asked her to consider the impact she could have had and imagine how our community would have supported her had she declined the invitation and publicly stated it was due to the de Blasio’s endorsement of the massacre.

In the end, the seduction of a photo-op with the Mayor and the perceived petty prestige that comes with it was apparently just too much to resist. The willingness of a second generation Palestinian-American to ignore de Blasio’s endorsement of an ongoing massacre goes well beyond the ordinary, unprincipled political pandering in the interest of careerism. It is downright immoral and speaks volumes about the character and motivations of such an individual.

 “Brooklyn Homegirl In A Hijab”

Former friends of Sarsour tell us with her rising public profile came a remarkable change in her private and public behavior. Her unabashed, self-serving approach has alienated many people and her early connections to the community and former colleagues are now virtually non-existent.

She has also cultivated a public persona that those who knew her tell us is dramatically unlike the Sarsour they had encountered and previously worked with. Even Palestinian-Americans who do not know Sarsour personally recognize a caricature type quality to her public behavior.

In what is apparently an attempt to adhere to some stereotypical Brooklynite image, complete with an exaggerated and pretentious accent, she now comes across as an Arab parody of Rosie Perez. While most of it is amusing, at least for a short while, one public stunt was very troubling.

"Brooklyn Home Girl"

“Brooklyn Home Girl”

 

In September of 2014 Sarsour claimed she was the victim of a hate crime, but in the Brooklyn neighborhood where the alleged incident took place there is a consensus this was nothing but an attention-seeking hoax and media ploy.

Sarsour claimed she was attacked by a man who hurled slurs and threatened to behead her. It turned out the alleged assailant was a well-known 45-year old mentally ill, local homeless man.

Residents of the Bay Ridge neighborhood where Sarsour maintains her office and the alleged incident took place told ikhras he has been a permanent fixture in the neighborhood for years and is totally harmless. He is so well known, in fact, he has been dubbed “the bum of Bay Ridge.”

Local residents were shocked when they heard her story because he has never attacked anyone in the past. Among those who were most skeptical of Sarsour’s story were local Mosque attendees and members of her own family.  “He would always be drunk and say stupid things”, one resident said, “but he has never attacked anyone.”  

The alleged attacker did have a previous arrest record for non-violent, petty misdemeanors, but we could not find a single person in the neighborhood who considered him a threat. Another interesting fact casts more doubt on Sarsour’s story.

On the day of the alleged incident Sarsour had called the police before the alleged attack reporting the alleged assailant as a “suspicious person” as if he is unknown.

This is rather strange given that the “suspicious person” was a regular fixture in the neighborhood well-known to Sarsour and the rest of the residents by name. In all likelihood, the homeless, neighborhood drunk was, as usual, making stupid comments and kicking around a trash can.

Instead of providing him with a hot meal and helping him find shelter, Sarsour decided to exploit his presence near her office to fabricate a hate crime casting herself as the fearless defender of the community under attack for her work on our behalf.  

Sarsour took to Twitter and Facebook assuring everyone she was doing fine, thanked them for their concern and condolences, and pledged to never be intimidated or back down. After all, she is tough and everybody knows you “don’t mess with Brooklyn.”

In post 9-11 America Muslim women wearing the hijab are the most vulnerable segment of our community. They have endured everything from shaming and suspicious gazes to harassment to outright violence and murder.

Last year’s shooting deaths of three Muslim students in Chapel Hill, N.C. was undoubtedly a hate crime. It was only because two of the three victims were women wearing the hijab that the ignorant murderer was able to identify the otherwise all-American-looking students as Muslims.

For Sarsour to exploit the current environment of Islamophobia and the very real dangers encountered by Muslim women wearing the hijab to engage in a publicity stunt is not only manipulative and unethical, but outright disgraceful. It also provides further insight into her motivations while revealing a complete lack of a moral compass.

Image result for ayaan hirsi ali books

Roll me another one, just like the other one. Sansour is bashing Hersi recently, it’s a red herring. They are working for the same puppet master

Black Lives Votes Matter

In addition to her cynical manipulation of the Palestine cause, Islamophobia, and other issues of specific concern to the Arab and Muslim communities, Sarsour has recently began peppering her Rosie Perez imitation with the stereotyped affectation attributed to Black inner-city youth by the racist White media and attached herself to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.

With its growing strength, Sarsour has calculated that deepening her ties to the movement will serve her well in any future campaign for public office.

She has all but declared she is running for NY City Council next year and has publicly stated it is a “small first step” towards being the “first hijabi in Congress.” Although the African-American community is not heavily represented in the city council district she would be running to represent, it does compromise about 35% of the district she would be running for in any future Congressional bid.

Here again, we see the amateurish version of political triangulation at work as she strives to ingratiate herself with the racist White system while simultaneously posing as a friend of the Black victims of that same system.

Sarsour Getting Arrested At BLM Protest

Sarsour Getting Arrested At BLM Protest

 

When Trayvon Martin was murdered Sarsour penned an article titled “My hijab is my hoodie” and declared herself “among the millions mourning the killing of Trayvon”, but had this young black youth been living in Sarsour’s neighborhood he would not have been allowed into her home or anywhere near her own kids and family.

And when Michael Brown was murdered Sarsour found the time and resources necessary to fly to Ferguson, MO and position herself strategically in front of the media cameras. S

ince then she has continued with her shameless, attention-grabbing tactics including periodic orchestrated arrests. African-Americans did not endure police brutality including getting beaten, hosed down, attacked by police dogs and killed during the Civil Rights Movement so a second generation Arab-American in the early 21st Century can joyfully get arrested in front of the cameras before being released a few minutes later to continue the “revolution.”

In our visit to NY we encountered a strong backlash against this aspect of Sarsour’s activities among those who know her best. It turns out Sarsour is known to harbor an ugly racism towards African-Americans which makes her latching onto the BLM movement all the more galling.

She rarely associated with or interacted with African-Americans (this explains why she views African-Americans through the prism of racist, media stereotypes) until the “activist” with political aspirations realized it can be to her benefit.

Sarsour’s racism which she is now trying to hide is common knowledge among the Arab-American community in NY, and it is members of this community that have a moral obligation to point out the foul racists and two-faced hypocrites.

Given the close familial and social ties that exist among Palestinian-Americans in NY does not absolve us of this responsibility and failing to do so makes us complicit in their racism.

Although not all activists within the BLM are familiar with the real Sarsour, many have, nevertheless, begun expressing reservations about her current role in the movement:

We’re concerned that the group’s liberal politics and their ties to the mayor’s office, and for instance, someone like Linda Sarsour, with political aspirations, will prioritize being conciliatory at a time when liberal gatekeepers must be challenged and held accountable,” the activist said. “Despite their rhetoric, their actions are already interpreted as watering down progressive and human rights work in the city.”

BLM activists can be certain that for the Palestinian-American who was “honored to dine” with the Mayor during an ongoing massacre of Palestinians that he endorsed, nothing matters more than returning for another meeting or photo-op. And Sarsour has managed to use the BLM movement precisely for that purpose:

After two NYPD Legal Affairs Bureau officers were assaulted on the Brooklyn Bridge in December after a large demonstration, Mayor de Blasio met with members of the Justice League, who, the mayor said, agreed to identify anybody who “seeks to harm the police or harm anyone and undermine their non-violent peaceful progressive movement.”

The mayor seemed to be positioning the Justice League as a wedge between him and more radical elements of the movement. The Justice League issued a press release right after the meeting that did not address this assertion.

Still, some members of the group began to vehemently deny the mayor’s claim on Twitter. Sarsour blamed the “corporate media,” not de Blasio, for trying to discredit and spread division between protesters. The next day, the group tweeted a statement saying they would not work with the NYPD to identify protesters.

Sarsour is increasingly on the defensive but we must ensure that pressure is maintained and she is fully exposed. We need real solidarity between Arab and Black and all communities of color, especially among the poor and working class. Excellent solidarity relations have already been established and a solid foundation has been laid as we move forward: see here, here, here, and here.

We must continue to broaden, deepen and strengthen Arab-Black solidarity and that requires us to extirpate the unprincipled opportunists motivated by personal ambitions from exploiting and manipulating our joint struggle. Failure to do so will eventually undermine and reverse the achievements that have already been made in this area.

Sarsour At Sanders Campaign Rally

Sarsour Raises The Clenched Power Fist At Sanders Campaign Rally

 

Feign The Bern

More recently Sarsour has attached herself to the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. Sarsour, like others within the Arab and Muslim communities, has been fawning over Sanders for his mild criticism of Israel and conceding Palestinians are human beings deserving of respect and dignity.

We are not as impressed with Sander’s position on Palestine and disagree with his Arab and Muslim supporters in this country, but that is a discussion beyond this blog post. We do recognize that many of his Arab and Muslim American supporters, which include many of our own friends, support him in good faith and deserve our respect. However, unlike his good-faith supporters that genuinely “feel the Bern”, Sarsour’s support is disingenuous, opportunistic, and, like all her “activism”, motivated by self-interest.

Her role in the Sanders campaign in NY has been invaluable in preparing for her own campaign next year. It provided her even more media access and presented her with yet another opportunity to latch on to an independent phenomenon in the name of the Arab and Muslim communities.

But Sarsour simply cannot reconcile her claim that her support for Sanders is partly based on his recognition of the humanity and dignity of the Palestinian people with her support for other Democratic politicians that wholeheartedly support the Zionist project in Palestine and endorse Israeli massacres.

Anyone willing to ignore the wholesale slaughter of Palestinians cannot subsequently claim their support for another politician is based on his condemnation (what Sanders actually said is that Israel acted “disproportionately” in responding to “terrorism”) of the same slaughter you were willing to disregard when it served your self-interest.

We do not support Sanders and are not interested U.S. electoral politics (see ikhras FAQs #9), but it is the members of our community who support Sanders that should be most concerned with the role Sarsour has played in his campaign.

“Uncle Nihad”, CAIR And The War On Syria

Sarsour claims her support for Sanders is also based on his opposition to the criminal U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. Ironically, Sarsour has recently joined with U.S.-based Islamist organizations and activists to call for a U.S. war on Syria.  Sarsour, of course, is not an Islamist nor does she have any knowledge or understanding of any political parties or movements in the Arab world.

In the earlier stages of the war on Syria Sarsour expressed some kind sentiments towards Syrians and told us she “does not support any side” and was only concerned about the suffering of the Syrian people.

She also asked questions and showed a desire to be educated and learn about what is actually happening. Knowing she was born and raised in the U.S. and had little knowledge of Syria and Arab politics, we did what we can to help her understand and warned her about the false narratives that were being peddled by U.S regime media and the U.S.-based Islamists she had begun to flirt with at the time.

All this changed in 2013 when the ikhras-shoe-of-the-month-award-winning Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) presented Sarsour with their first “American Muslim of the Year award.” The following year CAIR invited her to MC their 20th Annual Banquet.

At that banquet Sarsour referred to CAIR Executive Director and Muslim Brotherhood supporter Nihad Awad as “Uncle Nihad.” Since then “Uncle Nihad” and the Islamists at CAIR have been able to easily manipulate the gullible, second generation Arab-American when it comes to U.S. foreign policy advocacy.

She has now begun parroting talking points fed to her by the Muslim Brotherhood contingent within CAIR and engaging in pseudo-moralistic ranting while calling on the U.S. regime to “intervene” in Syria. Sarsour is one of those clueless Arab-Americans that feign knowledge of the Arab world by invoking their ethnic heritage, another common tactic often used by members of our community.

Regardless of one’s interpretation of events in Syria, it is not the role of Arab or Muslim Americans to be calling for more imperialist wars on any Middle Eastern countries, especially when they lack even the most basic knowledge about the region, its political actors and current events.

Community Backlash  

Arab and Muslim Americans are appalled that very serious issues and challenges facing our community are being used in such a cynical and manipulative way to further the petty ambitions of a political dilettante. By now it is clear Sarsour has no genuine convictions or principles nor is she actually committed to any cause other than her own full-time hobby.

To that end she has demonstrated no hesitation to exploit any cause whether it is Palestine, combatting Islamophobia, fighting racism, police violence and surveillance, immigration reform, mass incarceration, and a myriad of other social justice issues.

In addition to a lack of conviction and principles, Sarsour has also demonstrated a very shallow understanding of her own favorite topics. Her knowledge of U.S. history, politics, and society does not extend beyond a Middle School curriculum and she approaches these subjects without any serious thought or critical analysis. Nevertheless, Sarsour has acquired important skills and abilities that have served her well.

She has, for example, demonstrated an ability to memorize and regurgitate pseudo-revolutionary rhetoric and various slogans for specific causes. She has also been adept at exploiting her different identity markers such as Palestinian, Arab and Muslim, and depending on the topic or event, is capable of offering herself as a useful prop. She has also shown a great deal of skill in latching onto independent phenomena such as the BLM or a presidential campaign when she perceives it to serve her long-term interests.

Sarsour Ignored Mayor De Blasio's Vocal Support For Israeli Massacres

Sarsour With Mayor De Blasio, A Vocal Supporter Of Israeli Massacres

 

For Sarsour, like all establishment Arab-Americans, there has been a direct inverse relationship between her access to government and media and her links to the community. Her relations with grassroots Palestinian and Arab-Americans are virtually non-existent at this point.

The few activists that once worked with Sarsour are refusing to deal with her and have been turned off by her cynical manipulation of legitimate causes and issues of concern to our community. The initial entertainment value of the “homegirl from Brooklyn” shtick has grown stale and taken on a parodic quality.

Sarsour will undoubtedly continue her ego-driven, one-person circus act. She recently hired a professional videographer to produce a self-promotional video in which she explains she is very modest and humble.

She will also continue to present herself to the Democratic establishment as someone with influence within our community and will present herself to the community as someone with influence within the establishment.

In reality, she will remain irrelevant within both, with no grassroots support within the community and no influence within the establishment. This will not, however, prevent her from pursuing her full-time career by ostensibly representing each one to the other (James Zogby has been playing this same role for decades). This irrelevance within her chosen sphere of activities should not be conflated with a lack of impact.

Her activities, especially when conducted in our collective community name, do have a corrosive impact on the causes and concerns of the Arab and Muslim communities, and undermine the hard work of dedicated activists.

When we launched the ikhras project we explained to our community and readers it was made necessary because U.S.-based Arab and Muslim “activists” and self-declared representatives hijacked our collective community name for their own self-aggrandizement and in furtherance of personal ambitions unrelated to our communities’ agenda, interests, and well-being.

Clearly enjoying a rising public profile, Sarsour is the latest manifestation of this behavior and represents a new generation of the same opportunists and careerists ikhras was launched to expose.