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No Comment, I am a Marxist from Lebanon. Not a Lebanese Marxist. Big Difference Folks!

Updated: 2018-01-21T19:41:48.124+02:00


The Great Arab Spring and Its Implications


A wave has been sweeping over the Arab world, and US Foreign Policy journal wondered that who would be the next Arab dictator to go down. I would like to dissect the latest events and their broader implications for the long run:The Revolutions themselvesSeveral Westerners considered the revolutions as sparked by a man who set himself on fire in Tunisia. This is a reductionist approach where US intelligence misread (probably on purpose given the available wrath of your average Arab “Joe” or “Omar”) with the hope that stability would prevail over the wishes of the average Arab citizen. I have to admit, I did anticipate that Tunis would eventually go head to head with its dictator, but like many, I thought that the first spark would be in Egypt. Moubarak’s regime has bled dry his society and the Egyptian revolution informally started since 2000 against the regime. By revolution; I define people going down the streets and demanding a simple request under the threat of the gun: “Freedom of Expression.”General Petreus warned last year that the Arab-Israeli conflict (well I would like to define it these days as Palestinian/Lebanese conflict with Israel) has serious impact on the US interests. The brutality of the Israeli conflict on different fronts and the fact Israel on daily basis is criticized for its on-going settlements, destroying the prospects of peace, and a regional bully. The fact that the US Administration blindly supports Israel; US troops are under constant threat and furthermore US interests in the region are under threat. General Petreus’s comments came 9 years late (if not at least four decades late). As the Second Intifada exploded; its spill-over hit Egypt. Protestors hit the streets in solidarity with the Palestinian civilians while Hosni Mubarak’s apparatus simply crushed the demonstrators with an Iron Fist. Since then, solidarity with the Palestinians became the symbol of resisting Hosni Mubarak. For those who have no clue about Palestine’s symbolism on the Arab world (and by Arab I do not mean Muslim only). Palestine proper (which includes currently Israel) has been regarded as the last of European colonialism by the Arabs; especially the Western support it harvested. The fact dictators of the Arab world (excluding Syria even though Syria and the US always flirted with each other) shook hands with the following agreement: “Pro-West alliances at the expense of the average citizen.” The Arab citizen has been oppressed by dictators who seek to renew their mandate indefinitely and the West who seek “stable Middle East” (a synonym for oil and imposing normalization with Israel on the people without Israel itself coming into terms on how it was founded on genocidal base). In my opinion, pride as humans, economic repressions, Orientalism, and ongoing colonialism played its role. The Arab-Israeli conflict is included within all of them. The Palestinian question, as Arabs (Christians and Muslims) regard that the Palestinians historically have been most wronged among the Arabs. The fact the UN has been (till recently Libya) has been regarded a muscle show forum among the regional and international powers). They remained crippled against on-going atrocities (especially due to the veto power) and the very fact that the US-UK coalition simply by-passed the UN and invaded Iraq for securing the oils. In a way, the average citizen lost voice; their dictators are praised as democratic or “friend of the West”. The Arab citizen has been depicted as stupid, Islamist conservative, and a hopeless case for evolving towards Western standards (as if your American average Joe as a clue at least about the geography of the world or Israel itself is really Western). There was no greater irony than Obama giving the greatest speech on Human Rights in Cairo in 2009 amidst mass demonstrations against Hosni Mubarak. Whether Obama was aloof (on purpose or not), but he did not mention the dictator of over 80,000,000 people. Some people argued that faceook created those revolutions., I doubt that at all[...]

Natanyyaho's Optimism


Find it amusing!
He hopes that the Palestinians will continue with the peace talks despite the fact that crazy settlers are building in an insane matter on a land that is not their own; on a claim that is based 2000 years ago. Fascists.

Besides what is his optimism based on? It is more like: "We are stealing your land and hopefully you will want to reach peace with us?"

Or the fact Leiberman's lineage proposal involves race values to decide borders (instead of 'democracy'), on what is Jewish or not, hence what is race or not, hence Leiberman is a racist, Nazi style of racism that focuses on race and lineage (the fact a person can come from a Jewish Father but non-Jewish Mother means that their offspring has almost zero rights, due to lineage). Now that is fascism.

I find it even more amusing to see apologists justifying all that genocide... those supporters carry the blood of the dead children of the Palestinians on their hands... whatever they think... that is how history will remember it.... just as they tried to delete Palestine pre-1948 and failed.


Irene Ship Irony


Taken from the comment section in Haaretz about the Holocaust survivor being attacked by the IDF: this man who survived the NAZIs now have to face IDF

Link: Jewish Gaza Bound Activists: IDF Used Excessive Force in Naval Raid

I find it ironic that in less than a week, a nobel prize winner, a former IAF, and a Holocaust survivor suffered IDF brutality. They were also lucky, imagine if they were Palestinians...

Also, I love seeing how Israel got slapped in the face after the activists shattered the image of IDF boarding a Jewish Ship "peacefully". Even Jews are not safe from Zionism...


Finkelstein: Crocodile Tears


Reflects my sentiments exactly!
We are fed up of those crocodile tears every time we talk about apartheid or ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.

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Israel and the US


"It isnt Israeli terrortists that are trying to bomb us. Can we befreind those who wish to destroy us" - Haaretz commentatorThe recent condemnation of Clinton to the Bibi government doesn't express much except how much the US is expected to serve Israeli interests. To the Haaretz commentator, it is about Israeli ongoing terrorism. It is not about Palestinian terrorism, rather it is about who destroyed Palestine in the first place, with records of British archives that the Zionists owned by 1948 only 6% of Palestine proper (with 50% of that 6% being owned by the Jewish Agency and its accessories). You cannot build an argument that "Israel had been occupied by the Arabs for 2000 years. As far as we know, the current Palestinians probably are the direct descendants of those 'biblical' Jews while the Jewish diaspora which is supposed to return has no means to prove anything. Probably the Arab Jews can prove to be descendants, but that is it. Jerusalem was never Jewish, it had been rather a mixed city for all. Since Zionists love to go back to the past, the place where Jews enjoyed best treatment in the past was during the Ottoman Empire, and even before. Shlomo Sands argued that during the Islamic conquests of the Arab peninsula, they played their cards right: Imagine that the Caliphate empire suddenly in the 21st century arrived to USA and promised everyone exemption from the IRS taxes if they converted, would they?So who destroyed who? That is the question to always refer to back to 1948. That year is not that old for us, since the same genocidal messages continue to carry on:1) Same logos used by the terrorists (later awarded prime ministers) of the Irgun/Stern/others. As far as I am concerned, there is no difference between the Haganah or Stern2) An entity that is based on genocide, bans the remaining natives from practicing their identity. The co-director of the Award nominated Ajami is the biggest example of crying racism against his people. He reinforced his Palestinian identity while denounced Israel as an entity that doesn't represent him or his rights. Someone will say: "if he hates it, he should leave", I argue that this is a real native, and has the right to pin-point racism. It is like saying to a native of Latin American or North America (with the latter denied identity and dubbed Indian) to leave the Americas if not happy.3) Someone will highlight the post 1948 massacres of Jews in the Arab world. I agree, those were horrible brutality, and Arab leaders need to recognize those massacres. Nevertheless, given the temporal framework, Zionism brought racism to the Jews in the Arab World due to its behavior with the Palestinians. 4) Even if someone would tell me: there was never Palestinians, if that holds true, is it justified to murder all those "Arabs" and ethnically cleanse them, and demolish their towns? Clinton's latest statements are nothing new. AIPAC's fury from heavens. Even that tiny chunk of land which is designated for the Palestinians is being ethnically cleansed. Gaza is under a worst siege in modern times (yes, I would bluntly argue worse than Sarajevo because no one is denouncing the siege). The West Bank is gradually losing to more settlements, while East Jerusalem is gradually being eliminated from natives, due to fascistic biblical claims (or let us call it superstition). Had Clinton been serious about those negotiations, Biden wouldn't have had pledged the "We die for Israel's security" logic. I am certain the people in the White House are having headaches from Israel. Nevertheless, due to AIPAC, condemnations have been only words. Obama's administration's problem, to AIPAC, is that it is not giving the Israeli administration any greenlight enjoyed under the war-criminal Bush Jr.Of all the countries in the world, Israel in theory should be the easiest country to pull all strings. Without the US, in terms of financial, military, and polit[...]

Jews of the world: denounce Zionism!


MFL notes: An excellent piece of Class Struggle on Zionism and the Jews, taken from, the link is here and was written by an Israeli Communist. Having said Israeli Communist, it means that the comrade doesn't believe in identities, rather, simply the struggle of the working class. Due to the on-going blunders of the Zionists in Israel, along with their religious die-hards and Torah based fanatics, I was forgeting the ABC of Marxist thought towards the case of Palestine. Of course, coming from the other side of the borders, I have more to say on the issue, but it is always great to see our comrades fighting for the working class wherever they go. I am certain that this author is also under persecution in Israel because those religious fanatics cannot swallow what he said. The crimes of the Zionist ruling class in Israel against the Palestinian people have been rightly condemned by all progressive and left people around the world. However, there are reactionary right-wing elements that try to exploit this to push an anti-Semitic agenda. Genuine socialists reject both Zionism and anti-Semitism. The solution to ethnic and national conflicts is to be found in the class struggle and socialism. We publish this contribution on the question from a Jewish Marxist living in Israel.During and after the Israeli massacre in Gaza, the world was flooded by an overwhelming wave of resistance to the Zionist crimes. How could anyone not protest at such a grotesque crime against a whole people, a people that has been without a genuine homeland ever since Israel was created?However, there is also another side to this situation, an attempt by small Fascist and neo-Nazi groups in Europe to exploit this wonderful display of international solidarity to their own advantage. These forces take advantage of Zionist crimes, such as the bombing and invasion of Gaza a few months back, to promote their own anti-Semitic propaganda. They claim that these crimes and the refusal of the bourgeois governments throughout the world to intervene against them are "proof" of an inherent evil nature of Jews in general. They also use this to spread filth about the supposed desire for “world domination” on the part of the Jews. This is all reminiscent of anti-Jewish Nazi propaganda.This attempt to divert a progressive and justified struggle along racist lines has produced its effects. Anti-Semitic crimes have risen substantially recently, particularly in Europe. The Gaza massacre gave rise to anti-Semitic incidents, not seen in Europe for quite some time. Surprisingly, the reactionary forces behind these attacks are being aided by the Jewish leaders throughout the world: they were mostly silent in taking a stand against the Zionist massacre. Mostly they collaborated with the Zionist and anti-Semitic lie that portrays Israel as the state of the Jewish people and Zionism as the national movement and sole representative of the Jewish "nation".The truth is, that ordinary Jews from within, and particularly from without Israel have nothing to do with the massacre. They have nothing to do with Zionism altogether. But as long as they continue to support the Israeli state and the Zionist movement that gave birth to it and its crimes, the anti-Semitism fuelled by the fallacious associations made between Zionist barbarism and the Jewish people as a whole is likely to continue, putting many innocent Jews in jeopardy.(Zionism cynically regards any criticism, as sounded and justified as it may be, against its crimes, as anti-Semitism. Drawing by Latuff.)Zionism and anti-SemitismZionism cynically regards any criticism, as sounded and justified as it may be, against its crimes, as anti-Semitism. This, in turn, helps to confuse the progressive struggle against Zionism with the reactionary forces behind anti-Semitism. Both Zionism and anti-Semitism benefit from that confusion. It would not be the first time that Zionism and anti-Se[...]

The Reality Behind Isreal's War of Words


Again, today, another Syrian official reminded Israel of the disadvantages of war, its results would be catastrophic. Apparently Israel, with maximum under-estimation of its historic enemy, doesn't care. The whole issue started with the arrival of Lieberman, an ultra-Zionist nutcase, and his clown, Ayalon. Displaying Israeli superiority complex, Ayalon insulted the Turkish ambassador in Israel. Ayalon argued that it was vengeance on what Turkey's spearhead, Mr. Tayeb Ordogan said in the World Economic Forum. The Turkish official simply highlighted the atrocities committed by the Israeli Defense Forces on Gaza. This was approved by the United Nation's Human Rights Committee, and voted on with a majority in the UN. Of course, the USA shut it down. As Gaza's war left Israel militarily victorious, Israel hoped to boast its confidence in overcoming the defeat they suffered in 2006 by Hezbollah and the various civilian resistance movements (which included refugee relief, media wars, and exposing Israel for its real face: a Fascist state). The plans of Israel backfired drastically. Ever since 2009, the majority of the world was disgusted by Israel's brutality. Another problem Israel faced is its arrogance, the majority of the world no longer looks at Israel as a victim, definitely, those World War II images were wiped out finally by its brutality on Gaza. As a matter of fact, a think tank in Israel argued that the entire world is hateful of Israel, and the last frontier was the United States. Even in the United States, according to the think tank, various informational hubs, university activists, left-wing activists, and others are exposing Israel for its reality, a fascist state that was based on ethnic cleansing. The think tank predicted that if Israel doesn't do anything drastic, Israel's final bastion for protecting its reputation (along where the real veto power lays) will collapse. Such a collapse is not any collapse, it is Israel's life-line supplier, the United States of America. The Goldstone Affair played a role in exposing Israel's disgusting thoughts. Goldstone, a Zionist Jew himself, was traumatized to see what has happened in Gaza. A Zionist bashed Israel's Zionist regime for its inhumane activities. Israel accused its supporter of anti-semitism, which of course, remains the name of the game of shutting out critics. This reflected badly on Israel. As a matter of fact, 2009/2010 as two chronological years, appear as the breakdown of Israel's "anti-semitism" technique. Of course, Israel acknowledged that it used banned phosphoric bombs, and "persecuted" two high ranking officers. This accusation was launched during the July War on Lebanon as well as evidence of Israel's usage of banned weaponry. The world is fed up of Israel breaking International Law. The blame of this hate, according to Lieberman and Ayalon, was directed on little Mahmoud Abbass, a clown that is selling everything in his power in the name of the Palestinians, and in the name of the 4.2 million Palestinian refugee (estimates on that number go as far as 7.2 million). Abbass, and the current form of Fatah, have been holding peace talks that was supposed to include 22% of historic Palestine. Earlier officials cut down the talks to 80% of the 22% of Palestine proper (preserving major settlements of the Zionists). Eventually, Sharon and his goons (special thanks to the Apartheid Wall and expanding settlements) cut down the negotiations to 42% of the 80%, which rotated around Gaza, West Bank, and East Jerusalem. The last corner, as a matter of fact, had been gradually undergoing Palestinian expulsions while being replaced illegally by Zionist settlers. If anything, the Palestinians, according to Jonathan Cook (Disappearing Palestine), the Palestinians are left to negotiate for 42% of the 80% of the 22% of the 100% of their national homes. What a deal to the real natives of the land. It is no[...]

Ironies and Lebanon's Democracy


One of the biggest contradictions about Lebanon is the symbolism it represents. For starters, Lebanon represents co-existence and the symbol of peace, where 18 sects co-exist with each other. The Lebanese President even praised the Lebanese model as "a model of coexistence". The other face of Lebanon is the fact it is the next of sectarianism. Sectarian wars that exploded in 1958, 1975 – 1990, 2008, are a proof also that Lebanon is a model for war. I am certain that a lot of Lebanese abroad spend a lot of their time explaining to the world that Lebanon is divided according to sectarian lines, but all Lebanese love each other. Personally, I agree with the former position, sectarianism is imposed from above, and was legitimated since the French mandate. Like all 19th and early 20th century colonial empires, the French mandate imposed a political body that was aimed to divide the communities in order to renew their mandate. The French are gone, but that type of a regime, that suits the traditional family leaders, remained. Few politicians are exceptions to the norm, they bulldozed their way and became integrated into the system. Coexistence also includes the abolishment of sectarianism towards the Palestinian refugees, seek common solutions with them, and the obliteration of racism towards foreign labor (unless they come from the West, then they are treated with royalty). Lebanon is "Modern and European" but also "Backward". Sure, wherever the Lebanese go, everyone calls Beirut as the "Paris of the East", or dub Lebanon "Switzerland of the East". Of course the difference is, Paris with all its historic glory, is the symbol of academic discussions on racism exploding there: what it means to be a real French. Switzerland is famous for its historic breakthroughs in patching up its communities and enjoy a prosperous peace. Lebanon on the other hand, enjoys a unique night life that is undisputed by any capital in the world. Dubai, Tel Aviv, Istambul, and others tried to recreate that "rich night life" in Lebanon, but so far it didn't reach Beirut's standards. Nevertheless, Beirut, was the city that demolished on daily basis. Theodor Hanf highlights the remarkable phenomenon, during the 1975 – 1990 civil war, how Beirut was rebuilt itself every time there is a seize fire. Nevertheless, it gets demolished again. After the end of the Israeli aggression on Lebanon in 2006, Beirut automatically restored its night life after the Israeli siege of Lebanon was lifted. As a matter of fact, while Israel was bombing Lebanon, nightlife was also booming in Beirut's nightlife. Couple of pub and nightclub managers told me that their profits maxed out to a new level (two in Ras Beirut, two in Gemayzi) during the Israeli aggression. The time when night life plumbed down was during the 2008 mini civil war we experienced, everyone hid in their houses with few peace activists who were trying to build a front for peace. However, nightlife is not a standard measure for modernity. Such a belief makes some people to become backward. Backward is not to have a religious community as well. It is about sectarianism. Backward is not remembering that the politicians need the people, and not as it currently stands, the people need the leaders. Lebanon is the beacon of "democracy in the Middle East", but Lebanon is ruled by feudal lords. Hence, is it really democratic when the bourgeoisie elites meet up for months and months discussing the layout of the electoral constituencies whereby most of the results are already determined by the borders and alliances? Sure, Lebanon has a democratic competition between two gigantic coalitions, nevertheless, the results of the competitive coalitions appear when only few constituencies determine the real victor. Usually, such constituencies, have the real balance of power. Another side of the coin is how sectarian or political mi[...]

The tree-lined bunkers that could change the face of the Middle East


An Excellent Article by Robert Fisk, taken from hereIt looks like a hop, skip and a jump. There's the first electrified fence, then the dirt strip to identify footprints, then the tarmac road, then one more electrified fence, and then acres and acres of trees. Orchards rather than tanks. Galilee spreads beyond, soft and moist and dark green in the winter afternoon - a peaceful Israel, you might think. And a peaceful Lebanon to the north, tobacco plantations amid the stony hills, just an occasional UN armoured vehicle to keep you on your toes. "Major Pardin says you cannot take pictures," a Malaysian UN soldier tells me. Then a second one says the same. Then along comes a Lebanese army intelligence officer and stares at our papers. "OK, you have permission," he declares, and I snap away with my old 36-frame real-film Nikon; the fields, the frontier fence, the high-tech surveillance tower on the horizon. This must be the most photographed border in the world. Of course, the gentle countryside is an illusion. Benjamin Netanyahu and his colleagues in the Israeli government have been announcing that the only "army" of Lebanon is the Hizbollah, the Iranian-armed and Syrian-assisted guerrilla force whose bunkers and missiles north of the Litani river might just tip the balance in the next Hizbollah-Israeli war. And Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, the chairman of the Hizbollah, has been making some even more interesting threats: that his forces will "change the face of the Middle East region" if there is another war with Israel. No-one is in much doubt about what this means. The newly resurfaced Lebanese roads near the border - courtesy of Hizbollah money - suggest that someone might want to move men at high speed towards the frontier. Perhaps even to cross the border. That's what the Israelis suspect, too - and it makes sense of Nasrallah's warning last week. The Hizbollah claimed that the 2006 war with Israel was a "divine victory" - it didn't feel that way to us in southern Lebanon at the time - yet even Israel admits it was a near-defeat for its own ill-trained soldiers. But how would Israel react if the Hizbollah managed to enter Israel itself? Israeli army commanders are talking about this in the Israeli press. A fast, dramatic spring across the frontier to the west - in the direction of Naharia, perhaps, or a grab at the settlement of Kiryat Shmona - and Hizbollah would announce it had "liberated" part of historic "Palestine". Israel would have to bomb its own territory to get them out. This is no game. The Israeli army wants to revenge itself on the Hizbollah, which humiliated it in 2006. Nasrallah - on giant-wide screens, for security reasons - often talks as if he's the Lebanese president. Did the Israelis really think al-Qa'ida or the Hizbollah were behind the attempted killing of two Jordanian diplomats between Amman and the Allenby bridge, Nasrallah asked. No friend of al-Qa'ida, Hizbollah would have succeeded in blowing them up if it had been involved. The crowd roared its agreement. But the threats continue. The Israeli defence minister, Ehud Barak, says that the Lebanese government will be held responsible for any future war and the Lebanese have had the usual warnings from Israel. Lebanon's infrastructure will be attacked, its bridges and highways destroyed, its villages erased. Israel, Mr Barak has been saying, was restrained in 2006 - when it attacked Lebanon's infrastructure, destroyed its bridges and highways and erased its villages. Plus ça change. But there's a good deal of "change". Syria is being courted by the Obama administration. Its old allies in Lebanon - Druze leader Walid Jumblatt among them - are uttering honeyed words to Damascus. Indeed, Jumblatt has been meeting both Nasrallah and his old enemy Michel Aoun, and concluding that he is three-quarters of the way down the road to Damascus. [...]

IDF Kidnaps Lebanese Citizen on Lebanese Grounds


A shepherd, leading his flock, was kidnapped by the Israeli Deranged Forces as he was tending his sheep close to Shiba'a Farms. The IDF crossed and "arrested" him. The article is found here

As for the Israeli media, as always, they distorted the news, as Israeli army arrested a Lebanese carrying an army knife. Excuse me, if the poor lad was a shepherd, it is natural to have a knife wondering around. Haaretz, also failed to mention that the citizen was kidnapped on Lebanese grounds, rather claimed that the victim was in Sheba'a farms.

Then, of course, Israel wonders: Why Hezbollah are so damn popular in Southern Lebanon? Need a clue? Their brutality!

Israel Is Becoming as Religious as Saudi Arabia


In Saudi Arabia, activists are doing their best to empower women against all odds. Israel on the other hand, is heading exactly towards the opposite direction, becoming as religious as Saudi Arabia fundementalists. Currently, they are half way in legalizing gender seperation on buses and elsewhere, a phenomenon that exists in the Arab Gulf areas. I can arrogantly say that Lebanon is more religious moderate than a country ruled by a fascist organization called Zionism, holding its own Jews as hostages by speaking in their name, and gradually becoming more and more religious zealots. Anyone want to tell me this is democracy (other than the fact non-Jews are also treated as class B or class Z citizens?)

This article below was written in Haaretz's staff

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) said on Sunday that Israel would allow the ultra-Orthodox community continue to run their private bus lines segregated by gender, but could not officially recognize the practice on public bus lines.

The minister was responding to a petition sent by the Israel Religious Action Center and a women's rights group to the government and to the Egged and Dan transportation companies.

Katz declared in his response that Israel does not disapprove of buses which separate between men and women to accommodate the Hardi community, but that segregation could not become institutionalized.

The minister added that buses should be permitted to hang signs explaining the ultra-Orthodox community's request to separate seating between men and women, however the request could not be enforced if passengers chose not to adhere to it.

Kats also said that violence and the disruption of order on segregated buses must be stopped, and instructed professional security forces on the matter.

Currently, there are 56 segregated bus lines operating throughout the country, a total of 2,108 buses a day. All the buses will be permitted to remain segregated so long as they choose to, but passengers will not be forced to adhere to the decision, only to respect it at will.

Most of the buses cater to ultra-Orthodox passengers.

"The minister expressed a worthy attitude towards the ultra-Orthodox community and he understands the publics' needs," Rabbi Shimon Stern of the Rabbis Transportation Committee said in praise of the decision.

Segregated buses are a relatively new phenomenon in Israel, with the first one appearing 10 years ago on a line between Jerusalem and neighboring Beit Shemesh

(MFL final note: Religion is the Opium of the Masses)

The Business of the Holocaust Memorial


Anyone who objects to Israel's fascism and racism becomes anti-semite. This politics of anti-semitism of attempting to shut down opponents of Israel is losing its touch. Embarassingly, non-Zionist Jews are currently (after the Palestinians) the biggest victims of Zionism. The Zionists should realize that their tactics are no longer working except probably in the United States, and even there, the voices of the Palestinian victims are becoming heard ( when more than 50 congressman petitioned to Obama to be more strict with Israel's on-going fascist settlements, and the commentary of Haaretz wondered: "How did AIPAC allow that to happen"). I never knew that the US representatives have to answer to AIPAC on everything that relates to the Palestinians.

Gideon Levi just trashed the leadership once again over here

Mazen Kerbaj's Cartoon: My day to day life exactly


This exactly what happens to me when I talk to a sectarian person:


Lessons of the Ethiopian Airlines: Chauvinism and Political Points


The tragic horrible death of the Ethiopian airlines led to a shock, and a week of mourning. In what was a stand-off between the different reactionary parties in regards to several reforms, the plane crash bought some time. There are several shocking events that generated prior and after the terrible crash which left several people of different nationalities mourning. The first event were the reforms to be discussed in the Parliament.The first focused on reducing the voting age to 18. The advocator to such change came as a surprise, at least in terms of parliamentary blocs, Nabih Berri and his hooligan AMAL. This of course, provides a trauma for me, since AMAL are notorious to enter fist-to-fist fights with almost anyone (a tend that has been operational since the days of the Lebanese Civil War). Nabih Berri, for the past three months or so has advocated all types of change, supporting Ziad Baroud's proposals, and seems to be trying to bring back the legacy of Imam Moussa Sadre's goals for reform back in the 1970s. Berri was involved in sparking the "Cancelation of Sectarianism" act, protecting the Ta'ef Accords (ironically), the Age Act reform, and giving strength to the Parliament (which was shut down for over two years by Berri himself). The clash of reforms began with the head of the Reform and Change bloc, with lunatic General Aoun, and the other two Christian parties: Lebanese Forces and Phalange. The fear from the voting age reform scared the Christians that they will be overwhelmed by 'Muslim Votes'. The Christian parties eventually proposed that the Immigrants would have the right to vote under the basis that one reform cannot go without the other. This of course hinders all possibilities to implement the age 18 voting law. Since, the new age of the new parliament began under the banner of "Age of Love and Flirtations" among the elites, it was natural that the two camps in Lebanon bickered each other along the same alliances. Just like the 14th of March and Opposition collisions, historical insights are highlighted and others forgotten, specially when Berri attacked Aoun that the latter was not present to forge the Ta'ef Accords. The showdown between these two reached its climax when the infamous Monday parliamentary meeting was supposed to take place. Hezbollah attempted to sooth the situation, and it was anticipated that most of the blocs (pro Harriri or not) were going to avoid the making of such a meeting by making sure that the Parliament's quorum was not met. The different news media reported that meetings between AMAL and the Free Patriotic Movement remained taking place till 4:00 in the morning. The same day, the tragic death of the Ethiopian Airlines took place. This saved the politicians of the embarrassment of shooting down the parliament's meeting to take place. Naomi Klein dubbed the Haiti disaster as Shock Capitalism, with highlights to Israel's 'humanitarian' activities to cover away its past sins in Gaza which turned world opinion against it. This is exactly what took place in Lebanon. A national mourning day took place, the parliamentary session was postponed. The Lebanese-Ethiopian tragedyAs the plane collapsed, and all efforts took place in a very remarkable manner to salvage survivors, Lebanese pride rose up. Everyone on facebook, msn, and whatever placed a Lebanese flag with a black strip on their profiles. This is indeed a human tragedy. All politicians diverted their attention into supporting the Red Cross and the Lebanese Army to save the survivors. Nevertheless, Lebanese fascism sprang. Several Ethiopian blue collar proletariat in Lebanon were denied entrance to the hospitals in order to identify the bodies of their beloved. That is a typ[...]

R.I.P. Howard Zinn


By Mark Feeney and Bryan Marquard, Globe Staff - Boston NewsHoward Zinn, the Boston University historian and political activist who was an early opponent of US involvement in Vietnam and whose books, such as "A People's History of the United States," inspired young and old to rethink the way textbooks present the American experience, died today in Santa Monica, Calif, where he was traveling. He was 87.His daughter, Myla Kabat-Zinn of Lexington, said he suffered a heart attack."He's made an amazing contribution to American intellectual and moral culture," Noam Chomsky, the left-wing activist and MIT professor, said tonight. "He's changed the conscience of America in a highly constructive way. I really can't think of anyone I can compare him to in this respect."Chomsky added that Dr. Zinn's writings "simply changed perspective and understanding for a whole generation. He opened up approaches to history that were novel and highly significant. Both by his actions, and his writings for 50 years, he played a powerful role in helping and in many ways inspiring the Civil rights movement and the anti-war movement." For Dr. Zinn, activism was a natural extension of the revisionist brand of history he taught. "A People’s History of the United States" (1980), his best-known book, had for its heroes not the Founding Fathers -- many of them slaveholders and deeply attached to the status quo, as Dr. Zinn was quick to point out -- but rather the farmers of Shays' Rebellion and union organizers of the 1930s.As he wrote in his autobiography, "You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train" (1994), "From the start, my teaching was infused with my own history. I would try to be fair to other points of view, but I wanted more than 'objectivity'; I wanted students to leave my classes not just better informed, but more prepared to relinquish the safety of silence, more prepared to speak up, to act against injustice wherever they saw it. This, of course, was a recipe for trouble."Certainly, it was a recipe for rancor between Dr. Zinn and John Silber, former president of Boston University. Dr. Zinn, a leading critic of Silber, twice helped lead faculty votes to oust the BU president, who in turn once accused Dr. Zinn of arson (a charge he quickly retracted) and cited him as a prime example of teachers "who poison the well of academe."Dr. Zinn was a cochairman of the strike committee when BU professors walked out in 1979. After the strike was settled, he and four colleagues were charged with violating their contract when they refused to cross a picket line of striking secretaries. The charges against "the BU Five" were soon dropped.In 1997, Dr. Zinn slipped into popular culture when his writing made a cameo appearance in the film "Good Will Hunting." The title character, played by Matt Damon, lauds "A People’s History" and urges Robin Williams’s character to read it. Damon, who co-wrote the script, was a neighbor of the Zinns growing up. "Howard had a great mind and was one of the great voices in the American political life," Ben Affleck, also a family friend growing up and Damon's co-star in "Good Will Hunting," said in a statement. "He taught me how valuable -- how necessary -- dissent was to democracy and to America itself. He taught that history was made by the everyman, not the elites. I was lucky enough to know him personally and I will carry with me what I learned from him -- and try to impart it to my own children -- in his memory."Damon was later involved in a television version of the book, "The People Speak," which ran on the History Channel in 2009, and he narrated a 2004 biographical documentary, "Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train.""Howard ha[...]

Case Point: Robert Weissman: Shed a Tear for Our (U.S.) Democracy


Taken from Corpwatch.orgYesterday, in the case Citizens United v. FEC, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that corporations have a First Amendment right to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence election outcomes.Money from Exxon, Goldman Sachs, Pfizer and the rest of the Fortune 500 is already corroding the policy making process in Washington, state capitals and city halls. Now, the Supreme Court tells these corporate giants that they have a constitutional right to trample our democracy.In eviscerating longstanding rules prohibiting corporations from using their own monies to influence elections, the court invites giant corporations to open up their treasuries to buy election outcomes. Corporations are sure to accept the invitation.The predictable result will be corporate money flooding the election process; huge targeted campaigns by corporations and their front groups attacking principled candidates who challenge parochial corporate interests; and a chilling effect on candidates and election officials, who will be deterred from advocating and implementing policies that advance the public interest but injure deep-pocket corporations.Because the decision is made on First Amendment constitutional grounds, the impact will be felt not only at the federal level, but in the states and localities, including in state judicial elections.In one sense, the decision was a long time in coming. Over the past 30 years, the Supreme Court has created and steadily expanded the First Amendment protections that it has afforded for-profit corporations.But in another sense, the decision is a startling break from Supreme Court tradition. Even as it has mistakenly equated money with speech in the political context, the court has long upheld regulations on corporate spending in the electoral context. The Citizens United decision is also an astonishing overreach by the court. No one thought the issue of corporations' purported right to spend money to influence election outcomes was at stake in this case until the Supreme Court so decreed. The case had been argued in lower courts, and was originally argued before the Supreme Court, on narrow grounds related to application of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law.The court has invented the idea that corporations have First Amendment rights to influence election outcomes out of whole cloth. There is surely no originalist interpretation to support this outcome, since the court created the rights only in recent decades. Nor can the outcome be justified in light of the underlying purpose and spirit of the First Amendment. Corporations are state-created entities, not real people. They do not have expressive interests like humans; and, unlike humans, they are uniquely motivated by a singular focus on their economic bottom line.Corporate spending on elections defeats rather than advances the democratic thrust of the First Amendment.We, the People cannot allow this decision to go unchallenged. We, the People cannot allow corporations to take control of our democracy.There are some things that can be done to mitigate the damage from today's decision.First, we must have public financing of elections. Public financing will give independent candidates a base from which they may be able to compete against candidates benefiting from corporate expenditures. We will intensify our efforts to win rapid passage of the Fair Elections Now Act, which would provide congressional candidates with an alternative to corporate-funded campaigns before fundraising for the 2010 election is in full swing. Sponsored by Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Illinois, and Rep. John Larson, D-Connecticut, the bill would encourage unlimited [...]

Hezbollah's New Political Platform by Fawwaz Traboulsi


Translated By Zmag and Taken from here[Translator's Introduction: The following article by Fawwaz Traboulsi appeared in the Beirut daily as-Safir of December 2, 2009. Traboulsi's article is an assessment and left critique of the main themes in Hezbollah's new political platform. The platform was released on November 30 at the conclusion of a general congress that had met intermittently over several months. It was published partially or entirely in several Arabic-language media outlets, inside and outside Lebanon, in early December 2009. The platform now becomes Hezbollah's political manifesto in place of its founding document, its so-called 1985 Open Letter.Hezbollah has undergone many changes since the mid-1980's. The most significant perhaps, seen from a Western perspective that tends to stress Hezbollah's narrow Islamist focus, is its gradual shift away from the call to establish an Islamic state in Lebanon. This call, as well as the allegiance to the Rule of the Jurisprudent (Wilayat al-Faqih), were explicit in the 1985 Open Letter. The new platform renounces the call for an Islamic state in Lebanon, accepts the diversity of Lebanese society, and makes no mention of the Rule of the Jurisprudent. This is of course a welcome development. But there are other aspects in the new platform that are far less praiseworthy, which Traboulsi addresses in his article. -- Assaf Kfoury] What stands out in the political platform issued by Hezbollah at the conclusion of its recent general congress is how it assesses its own history and development since its founding in the mid 1980's. This document reviews a quarter of a century of multi-faceted experiences and sacrifices. It reflects a multiplicity of alliances and inspirations, if not splintered identities. At one and the same time, Hezbollah aspires to be a "national liberation" movement among other such movements in the world; a "resistance" movement at the regional level, with all the connotations the latter designation evokes among Arabs in relation to the Palestinian struggle; and increasingly a "force of national defense" for Lebanon. In this third designation, Hezbollah dispenses with any lingering doubt regarding its resolve to become a full partner in Lebanon's confessional system, if not its acceptance of the socio-economic conditions underlying such a system.In its quest to position itself among national liberation movements worldwide, and to contribute to the regional struggle against colonial domination, Hezbollah's new political platform borrows many formulas and ideas elaborated by leftist traditions. Among these is its realization that imperialism's global reach today calls for a global mobilization in response to it. This becomes evident in the platform's insistence on the links between the struggles of Arab peoples and leftist movements in several countries of Latin America. The platform offers a global view of the imperialist system led by the United States of which Israel is an integral part. It does not ignore the economic basis of imperialist domination, which it identifies as "savage capitalism" -- assuming it does not harbor any illusion that the alternative of "soft capitalism" will be any less cruel. Although its reference to the "military-industrial complex", rather than financial capitalism, is somewhat outdated as the determining factor shaping US policies, the platform rightly designates the latest stage of imperialism as the globalization of monopolies and military alliances. On this understanding, one would expect Hezbollah to reconsider its positions on the struggle between wealth and poverty and between oppressor and o[...]

It's only human to rage at Israeli crimes


Taken from the Daily Star here

The upcoming trip by an Israeli-Arab member of the Knesset to Auschwitz is the latest chapter in the saga of seeing accusations of anti-Semitism used to smear the Arab and Muslim world. Mohammad Barakeh of the influential party Hadash will make the trek as part of an Israeli parliamentary delegation, which has predictably angered hardline Zionists who reject the idea of an Arab being allowed to participate in an official ceremony at a place with such symbolic meaning for Jews.

When the issue of the Holocaust arises in Arab and Muslim countries, there’s a pretty good chance that misunderstanding will follow. Defenders of Zionism are always quick to point to Palestinian-German contacts during World War II, even though the record shows that the contacts, such as they were, had a miniscule impact of the scheme of things, and were outweighed by the contacts between Zionists and Nazis. Back then, both Palestinians and Zionists had the same enemy – the British Mandate – and were willing to work with anyone to achieve their political goals.

If we leave aside the minority of active Holocaust deniers, we can say Arabs and Muslims view the massacres of Jews with revulsion and horror. But let’s not forget the real world: the organized annihilation of a religious group in Europe has been clouded by the fact that the Jewish victims of a European crime committed in Europe were “rewarded” with a state in a land where this genocide didn’t take place, and at the expense of people who had nothing to do with it.

There’s nothing wrong with actions by Barakeh and others who commemorate the tragedy of the Holocaust. Naturally, they’re criticized in their own communities, for political reasons: why help the Israelis and Jews with such an issue when Palestinians and Arabs are being displaced and oppressed on a daily basis by the Israeli state?

This invariably leads to the difficult-to-handle idea, for some, that there is a difference between Jews, on the one hand, and Zionism and Israel on the other.

In fact, it’s perfectly logical to condemn the Holocaust and anti-Semitism, while relentlessly criticizing the policies of the Israeli state.

Israeli leaders themselves are to blame for the growing difficultly to make the distinction. They occupy land and bomb people, under the aegis of the Star of David. They insist on the Jewishness of the Israeli state. They complain about anti-Semitism being on the rise, but forget salient facts.

The Jews of the 1930s were victims. The Israelis of this decade alone have launched wars against the Palestinian Authority (2002, 2004), Lebanon (2006) and Gaza (2008). And they’re popularly (and incorrectly) seen as being complicit in the 2003 war against Iraq.

People who are angered by this track record aren’t anti-Semites. They’re just reading the news.

To The Pro-Israeli Christians: Review Your Data


Israel's fanaticism is becoming more and more public. If you are not Jewish, you won't have any cultural rights to enjoy what is supposed to be your right by birth. Now, some groups are trying to cleanse Jerusalem, the capital of the three major sects, from anything non-Jewish, and they fought Christmas, to the bone. Christmas, is the season of giving and charity.

This is the link

PS: Merry Christmas Jerusalem

Hmmm... if that is not Fanaticism, then what is?


Israel accuses its surroundings of being fanatics, nevertheless, this group of people are considered then what? Assigning supremecy to the Torah over the civil republic can be just a little bit insane. I am glad Haaretz is publishing the stories of those fundementalists. Article is taken from here.

Crazy Israeli police: Police shoot U.S. student's laptop upon entry to Israel


Well the article is taken from here, I think she is lucky because Palestinians are usually taken aside, tortured to admit they are terrorists, then imprisoned.

What makes the story funny is the comments of Zionists saying that range from "an honor to visit Israel" to "No to Peace Makers" bla bla bla

Zionism, I swear it, is a disease that needs to be cured.

Tony Cliff: Why socialists must support gays (1978)


Article Taken from here, written in 1978.

IN CLASS-INFESTED society there is oppressor and oppressed in all walks of life. Employer oppresses employee; man oppresses woman; white oppresses black; old oppresses young; heterosexual oppresses homosexual.

The true socialist is able to overcome all these divisions. An engineering worker who can only identify with other engineering workers may be a good trade unionist but he has not proved himself to be a socialist. A socialist has to be able to identify with the struggles of all oppressed groups.

We are all the children of capitalism, so we tend to conceive of the future - even the socialist future - in an ordered and hierarchical way.

It is as though the socialist revolution will be led by the Father of the Chapel in the print union, the NGA working on Fleet Street. Second in command will be an AUEW Convenor Section 1 from the toolroom in a big car factory. The lieutenants of the revolution will all be forty-year-old white male shop stewards.

If there is enough space then we'll allow blacks and women and gays to take part - providing they stand quietly at the back!

A lot of socialists still have difficulty believing that gays will be taking part in the revolution at all.

On the contrary we should took forward now to the first leader of the London workers' council being a 19-year-old black gay woman!

The system rules by dividing us. This means there is no natural way by which one oppressed group identifies with another. The most racist extremists in the Southern States of America are the poor whites - not the rich whites.

In the same way blacks do not automatically support women and women do not automatically support blacks. Gays will not automatically support other oppressed groups.

The Nazis sent thousands of gays to concentration camps. In Chile gays were castrated and left bleeding on the street.

But it is not true that, even given these facts, gays automatically become anti-fascist.

Tens of thousands of gays supported Hitler. Many were in the Brownshirts. After Hitler took power he turned on the gay support and slaughtered them in the Night of the Long Knives.

How can we explain gays joining the Nazis?

If you are an oppressed gay putting on a Nazi leather jacket and leather boots gives you for the first time a sense of power. It makes it easy to put down Jews, women and anyone else.

For any oppressed group to fight back there is need for hope.

If you are on the way down you feel despair. You look for a victim to kick.

If you are on the way up you look for a back to pat.

That's why only by building a socialist movement can you unite workers with oppressed blacks, women and gays.

And that's why it is so important for gays to organise for demonstrations like at Brick Lane and to feel able to identify themselves proudly as gays and - where possible - as revolutionary socialist gays.

Karl Marx wrote that capitalism unites the forces of opposition. But it also divides us. We have to struggle consciously for that unity.

We are one - all of us together - but only when we fight together.

Arrest Warrant for Levni


Damn it, next time we will get that war criminal: article taken from here This is what I was talking about earlier.

A British court issued an arrest warrant for former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni on war crimes charges but withdrew it on finding she had cancelled a planned trip to Britain, the Guardian newspaper reported.

Westminster magistrates court issued the warrant at the request of lawyers acting for Palestinian victims of fighting in Gaza earlier this year, the paper said in an article published online on Monday.

The warrant was later dropped after it was realized that Livni -- who had been due to address a meeting in London last weekend -- was not in Britain.

Human rights groups and UN investigators accuse Israel of war crimes in the Gaza Strip during a 22-day offensive against Hamas-led Islamist militants in which Palestinians say more than 900 civilians died -- a figure Israel disputes.

Livni, who is head of the opposition Kadima Party, played a key role in launching the offensive.

The Foreign Office said it was "looking urgently at the implications of this case."

"The UK is determined to do all it can to promote peace in the Middle East and to be a strategic partner of Israel," a spokeswoman said. "To do this, Israel's leaders need to be able to come to the UK for talks with the British government."

The justice ministry said it would not comment on individual cases and the interior ministry also declined to comment.

In September pro-Palestinian groups failed to persuade a London court to issue an arrest warrant for Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, whom they also accuse of war crimes.

The court said Barak, who attended the ruling Labour party's annual conference and met Prime Minister Gordon Brown, had diplomatic immunity.

(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan and Peter Griffiths, editing by Tim Pearce)

The Step By Step Return of the "Palestinian"


Palestine may have been "temprarily" obliterated a by racist colonial movement that dates back to the 19th century, but the Palestinians needed at least 30 years to bring back the case of Palestine back. One can never forget a lunatic speech delivered by Ben Gurion that traces the sufferings of the Jews to 2500 years ago. Ilian Pappe quotes him by saying: " We will establish a Christian State in Lebanon. We will break Transjordan, bomb Amman and destroy its army, and then Syria falls, an of Egupt will still continue to fight – we will bombard Port Said, Alexandria, and Cairo. This will be in revenge for what they (the Egyptians, the Aramis, and Assyrians) did to our forefathers during Biblical Times). " (I. Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of the Palestine, 144). Having heard such a statement, it is no surprise that Israel is a perverted state, carved out by a minority called Zionism that doesn't even represent the majority of the Jews in the world. As a matter of fact, Zionism was and still the greatest bad news for Jews across the world because it calls for their isolation and importing them to Israel under a crazier banner: "Unifying the Diaspora". Some Christian fanatics support Zionism based on the biblical logic of "Israel was occupied for 2000 years by Arabs." They never read on how Israel of 1948 is different from the Kingdom of Israel 2000 years ago. They never read how Israel ethnically cleansed anyone who was not a Jew: Christian or Muslim Palestinian. They never bother to know how there was an entity called Palestinian Jews who were subjected to harassments by Zionism and threats. Palestine by 1948 was omitted, and the logic of Israel was: "The Palestinians freely left their lands hence they have no right to return." Israel omits to mention Plan D which aimed way before the riots of 1947, after the partition with the Jews themselves being a minority in the Jewish half of Palestine, to clean the Palestinians out of their historical homelands. Yosif Weitz was not a manager of a luxury pub, rather the Transfer Committee of the Palestinians out of Palestine, ie , a genocidal committee since international law regards transferring populations as "an act of genocide."Whenever someone mentioned Palestine since 1948, Israel and its lobbies attack the person as anti-Semite and brings back the memories of the Holocaust. Currently, in the Arab World, there is no longer the WWII Holocaust, it is the Gaza War of 2009. This became as the new Holocaust in the heads of every person who believes in Human Rights. For Gaza, it has been suffering from a blockade worse than that inflicted on Cuba, and living conditions couldn't have been more horrible as Israel remains to break international law and expand fake settlements on Gaza, West Bank, and attempt to take over East Jerusalem. By 1951, things couldn't have been worse. The creator of the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights, Eleanor Roosevelt, visited Israel. When humanitarian activists were cheerful of her visit, and hoped she would check out the refugees in Gaza and the West Bank then, she simply said that she is only visiting some friends in Israel. That, sadly, puts the United States as a 'defender' of human rights in the bottom. Most of the Palestinian figureheads were originally from the Palestinian Middle Class. And for them, life was horrible. Edward Said, in the opening of the book Joe Sacco's Palestine, argued how by the 1960s, the term Palestin[...]

Chibli Mallat: Is Israel a democracy? It's conditional


Article taken from Daily Star(MFL notes: I wanted to take a section out of it, but since articles usually disappear the next day, so I posted the whole thing)On December 6, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI, website released a 73-page report on democracy and human rights in Israel, entitled on “Human Rights – On Condition, Democracy – On Condition.” The chapters of the report develop the characteristic list of an authoritarian state: “Freedom of Expression – as long as you have nice things to say;Harassment of Human Rights Organizations and Activists: Freedom of Expression and Activity – as long as you don’t criticize; Palestinian-Arab Citizens of Israel: Rights – as long as you’re loyal,Bedouin Rights – as long as you live where we tell you; Criminal Justice Rights – as long as you’re not suspected of a security offense; Hatred and Racism: Rights – as long as you’re one of us; Rights of the Elderly – as long as you’re young;The Right to Education – as long as you fit in; The Right to Housing – as long as you’re one of us; The Right to Social Security – as long as you’re gainfully employed; The Right to Health Care – as long as you pay;The Occupied Territories: Rights – as long as you’re Israeli;” and a conclusion entitled “Undermining the Foundations of Democracy.”As The Daily Star law page presents excerpts of the report, it is time for a serious discussion among jurists and human rights advocates on one basic premise which remains the received mantra in the West: can Israel be considered a democracy, in the same way we consider the US, France or India democracies?I have argued in my “Introduction to Middle Eastern Law,” published two years ago, that Israel does not qualify as a de­mocracy by standards a universal jury recognizes. This is not only on account of history, where patterns of ethnic cleansing and of legal discrimination are hardly in dispute. The argument of Israel not qualifying as a democracy rests on the persistence of these patterns as structural traits of Israel to date, six decades after its foundation.The evidence is plain in the treatment of all the people living under Israeli control, by which I mean those whose lives have been and continue to be determined by Israel’s legal structure and its political treatment of their daily existence. Next to 7 million Jewish Israelis who enjoy by-and-large a Western-style democracy, over a million so-called Israeli Arabs have no place in governmental representation and are subject to a large array of rights breaches; 4 million “occupied Palestinians” in the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem suffer from open legal exclusion in a system of Israeli decisions that have governed their lives for over a generation. West Bankers, Gazans and Jeru­salemites are respectively the victims of land settlement and expropriation, siege and daily physical harassment of their right to live and move freely; and 4-6 million Palestinians are denied their universal right to return to the place from which they fled or were evicted in successive waves in 1948, 1949 and 1967. To this should be added over 100,000 Syrians in the Go­lan, not to mention the 22-year occupation of south Leba­non and the victims of repeat massacres, from Deir Yasin to Sabra and Shatila, Qana and Jenin.This is a serious discussion to be undertaken on a world level o[...]