• All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.

  • I.F. Stone

zondag 25 februari 2018

Herdenking Februaristaking 2018


Toespraak Roel Walraven herdenking februaristaking 2018





With Guns, The Boys Are Not All Right

Photo
I used to have this one-liner: “If you want to emasculate a guy friend, when you’re at a restaurant, ask him everything that he’s going to order, and then when the waitress comes … order for him.” It’s funny because it shouldn’t be that easy to rob a man of his masculinity — but it is.
Last week, 17 people, most of them teenagers, were shot dead at a Florida school. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School now joins the ranks of Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Columbine and too many other sites of American carnage. What do these shootings have in common? Guns, yes. But also, boys. Girls aren’t pulling the triggers. It’s boys. It’s almost always boys.
America’s boys are broken. And it’s killing us.
The brokenness of the country’s boys stands in contrast to its girls, who still face an abundance of obstacles but go into the world increasingly well equipped to take them on.
The past 50 years have redefined what it means to be female in America. Girls today are told that they can do anything, be anyone. They’ve absorbed the message: They’re outperforming boys in school at every level. But it isn’t just about performance. To be a girl today is to be the beneficiary of decades of conversation about the complexities of womanhood, its many forms and expressions.
Boys, though, have been left behind. No commensurate movement has emerged to help them navigate toward a full expression of their gender. It’s no longer enough to “be a man” — we no longer even know what that means.
Too many boys are trapped in the same suffocating, outdated model of masculinity, where manhood is measured in strength, where there is no way to be vulnerable without being emasculated, where manliness is about having power over others. They are trapped, and they don’t even have the language to talk about how they feel about being trapped, because the language that exists to discuss the full range of human emotion is still viewed as sensitive and feminine.
Men feel isolated, confused and conflicted about their natures. Many feel that the very qualities that used to define them — their strength, aggression and competitiveness — are no longer wanted or needed; many others never felt strong or aggressive or competitive to begin with. We don’t know how to be, and we’re terrified.
Case in point: A few days ago, I posted a brief thread about these thoughts on Twitter, knowing I would receive hateful replies in response. I got dozens of messages impugning my manhood; the mildest of them called me a “soy boy” (a common insult among the alt-right that links soy intake to estrogen).
And so the man who feels lost but wishes to preserve his fully masculine self has only two choices: withdrawal or rage. We’ve seen what withdrawal and rage have the potential to do. School shootings are only the most public of tragedies. Others, on a smaller scale, take place across the country daily; another commonality among shooters is a history of abuse toward women.
To be clear, most men will never turn violent. Most men will turn out fine. Most will learn to navigate the deep waters of their feelings without ever engaging in any form of destruction. Most will grow up to be kind. But many will not.
We will probably never understand why any one young man decides to end the lives of others. But we can see at least one pattern and that pattern is glaringly obvious. It’s boys.
I believe in boys. I believe in my son. Sometimes, though, I see him, 16 years old, swallowing his frustration, burying his worry, stomping up the stairs without telling us what’s wrong, and I want to show him what it looks like to be vulnerable and open but I can’t. Because I was a boy once, too.
There has to be a way to expand what it means to be a man without losing our masculinity. I don’t know how we open ourselves to the rich complexity of our manhood. I think we would benefit from the same conversations girls and women have been having for these past 50 years.
I would like men to use feminism as an inspiration, in the same way that feminists used the civil rights movement as theirs. I’m not advocating a quick fix. There isn’t one. But we have to start the conversation. Boys are broken, and I want to help.

Capitalism as Obstacle to Equality and Democracy



Capitalism as Obstacle to Equality and Democracy: the US Story

Photo by Coco Curranski | CC BY 2.0
The Cold War displaced the legacies of the New Deal. Time and Trump are now displacing Cold War legacies. Where capitalism was questioned and challenged in the 1930s and into the 1940s, doing that became taboo after 1948. Yet in the wake of the 2008 crash, critical thought about capitalism resumed. In particular one argument is gaining traction: capitalism is not the means to realize economic equality and democracy, it is rather the great obstacle to their realization.
The New Deal, forced on the FDR regime from below by a coalition of unionists (CIO) and the political left (two socialist parties and one communist party), reversed the traditional direction (to greater inequality) of income and wealth distributions in the US. They shifted toward greater equality. US history thus illustrates Thomas Piketty’s argument in his 2014 Capital in the 21st Century about long-term deepening of inequality that can be punctuated by interruptions. Indeed, the New Deal reversal was such an interruption and featured just the sorts of taxation of corporations and the rich that Piketty favors now to correct/reverse capitalist inequalities.
Yet, after World War Two the resumption of capitalist accumulation undid the New Deal and has since returned modern global capitalism to new depths of inequality. What Piketty proposes now again as a remedy proved then to be merely temporary. The reversal was itself reversed. After 1945, corporations and the rich devoted their profits and their high incomes/wealth to buy even further control of the two major political parties. That extra control enabled them to undo the New Deal and to keep it undone.
US history thus exemplifies more than capitalism’s tendency to deepening inequality and the use of taxation to reverse that inequality. It also teaches us how and why that reversal was unable to be more than temporary. That lesson implies skepticism about whether tax-based – or indeed, any – reversals can be more than temporary given capitalism’s proven success in undoing them. Such skepticism hardens when parallel evidence emerges from other capitalist countries’ likewise merely temporary reversals of basic tendencies to deepening inequalities.
The conclusion to be drawn from the US story is not that efforts to reverse deepening inequality are foredoomed to failure. It is to face the fact that mere reforms such as tax law changes are inadequate to the task. To make reforms stick – to overcome temporariness across so many histories – requires going further to basic system change. Because capitalism tends toward deepening inequality and can defeat reversals by keeping them temporary, it is capitalism that must be overcome to solve its inherent inequality problem.
Capitalism presents a parallel problem in its structural contradiction to democracy. The “democracy” label that so many modern nations use to describe themselves has always been a misnomer. The political sphere was indeed, at least formally, a place where governmental decisions were made by persons accountable eventually to a one-person-one-vote election. In that precise sense, those required to live with a decision exercised the democratic right to participate in making that decision via the accountability of governmental officials.
However, the economic sphere was never organized in a parallel democratic manner. The leaders of enterprises – the owners, shareholders, and the directors they chose – made all the basic capcrisisenterprise decisions. These included deciding what, how and where to produce and what to do with the net revenues (or surplus or profits) of the enterprise. The leaders were not at all accountable to the people – all the other employees – who had to live with the results of those basic enterprise decisions. The latter were excluded from participating in key economic decisions affecting and shaping their lives. In short, “democracy” has been applied to societies whose political/residential sphere was at least formally democratic but whose economic sphere was decidedly not.
The ideological rigidity of most brands of anti-statism across US history served nicely to keep the focus forever on state/public versus individual/private in thinking and acting about social change. Democracy was redefined in practical terms as the liberty of the individual/private from the intrusion of the state/public. The democratic quality of the individual/private enterprise – the central structure of the economy – was exempted from analysis or even from view in terms of its structural incompatibility with democracy. Legalistic equations of capitalist corporations with individual personhood also helped to distract attention away from the undemocratic structure of the corporation. Likewise, the US government’s commitment to a “democratic foreign policy” fostered the reproduction elsewhere of the same undemocratic economic structure that characterized the US.
The right wing of US politics has long understood and responded to social movements for equality and democracy as threats to capitalism. Its leaders built their coalitions by working to mobilize public opinion against those movements as threats to the “American way of life.” It built its ideology on the notion that democracy meant a state kept from intruding on the lives and activities of persons and enterprises rendered as equivalently “individuals.” Equality to them meant equality of opportunity, not outcomes: and then only if opportunity was strictly disconnected from the wealth, income and social position each individual was born into.
The left wing of US politics has always tried hard to sustain the notion that capitalism was not only compatible with egalitarianism and democracy. It would also be strengthened, not threatened, by moving capitalist society closer to equality and democracy. In practical terms it contested against the right wing by insisting that the mass of people – the workers in capitalist enterprises – would become disaffected from and disloyal to capitalism if it indulged its anti-egalitarian and anti-democratic tendencies. Capitalism, it argued and argues, will be strengthened not threatened by less inequality and more democracy.
Both left and right – and their expressions in the leaderships of the Republican and Democratic Parties – live in fear, conscious or otherwise, that the mass of people, the working class, will become disaffected from capitalism. “Populist” is the currently popular epithet that expresses this fear.  Both parties contest for the support of the leaders of capitalism – major shareholders and the corporate boards of directors they select – by offering their alternative strategies for avoiding, controlling, or safely channeling mass disaffection with capitalism.
The GOP offers a mix of (1) repression for egalitarian and democratic (i.e., populist) social movements, (2) support and subsidy for capitalists, and (3) symbolic gestures and policies pandering to certain sectors of public opinion (fundamentalist religion, patriotism, nationalism-anti-immigration, and so on). The Democratic Party offers a mix of limited, gradualist support for movements toward less inequality and more political democracy. It offers itself as the means to bring marginalized groups into full participation in capitalism, thereby keeping them from populism. Each party leadership deplores populists and tries to associate them with the other party. Democrats especially see populism in Trump; Republicans and quite a few centrist Democrats see it especially in Bernie Sanders. Both parties rarely refer to “capitalism” per se. Both proceed as if no critique of or alternative to capitalism exists or makes any sense.
Not only the Republican Party, but also the Democratic Party support, serve and reinforce the capitalism that stands as a basic obstacle to economic equality and democracy. Because those goals are never achieved they have long served as objectives to which both Parties offer lip service. The absurd contradiction of their shared position is now giving way to the recognition that the necessity for system change is the lesson of US history. If, in place of capitalist enterprise structures, a transition occurred to worker cooperatives with democratic organizations and procedures – likely to distribute net revenues far less unequally among enterprise participants than capitalist structures did – it would have removed a key obstacle to a broader social movement toward equality and democracy.
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Political Revolution to Cure the Epidemic of Depression

PERSONAL HEALTH 

It Will Take a Political Revolution to Cure the Epidemic of Depression

We need to change the nature of work, community and wealth distribution.
Photo Credit: khuncho007 / Shutterstock
What causes depression and anxiety? I have been a practicing psychologist and psychoanalyst for almost 40 years and have seen hundreds of patients suffering from both. In my experience, some factors are obvious. People who suffer from depression and anxiety have experienced stresses and traumas in their development that predispose them to mood disorders. Garden-variety psychodynamic theory teaches us that issues involving loss, neglect, guilt, and rejection usually figure prominently in the backgrounds of people who present with significant symptoms of depression and anxiety.
In addition, over 50 years of research into the neurobiology of mood disorders strongly suggests that genetic and biological factors usually accompany, if not underlie these painful affective states. As a result of these assumptions, the treatment of depression today usually relies heavily on pharmacology, and drug companies have spent billions making sure this explanation is widely accepted. Some one in five US adults is taking at least one drug for a psychiatric problem; nearly one in four middle-aged women in the United States is taking antidepressants at any given time; and around one in 10 boys at American high schools are being given powerful stimulants to make them focus.
Since it's well known that psychological events produce biological changes, it remains debatable whether or not disorders of our biochemistry are causes or effects. What we do know is that untold amounts of money have been spent by the pharmaceutical industry to finance research and public relations designed to enshrine biochemistry and pharmacology as primary in the diagnosis and treatment of depression and anxiety.
However, what of the social, cultural and even political contexts that contribute to emotional suffering? We owe writer and journalist Johann Hari a great debt for illuminating these broader contextual factors in his new book, Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression—and the Unexpected Solutions. Hari first debunks the "received wisdom" that assumes the jury is in regarding the neurochemical basis of depression and the efficacy of antidepressants. He points to research based on the unpublished studies done by pharmaceutical companies on the efficacy of antidepressants, that almost unintentionally reveal a profound placebo effect underlying the clinical improvements reported. When depressed people who are being studied feel cared for by psychiatric researchers, they improve at astoundingly high rates (sometimes by as much as 40%). Thus, the pure biochemical antidepressant effect of these medications is much smaller than has commonly been assumed. In addition, when patients do get better, a commonly seen phenomenon, within a year at least half of them are again clinically depressed.
We have to acknowledge that some real people get better in real ways on antidepressants. However, it is also true that these benefits are less than advertised and results often diminish over time. Locating the cause of depression entirely in the brain and advocating a primarily pharmacological approach to its treatment is a paradigm with limited efficacy.
Hari argues that depression and anxiety should be considered two sides of the same coin. He asserts that everything that causes an increase in depression also causes an increase in anxiety, and the other way around. He points out that these two types of distress "rise and fall together." Again, this aligns with my own clinical experience treating patients with depression and anxiety: It's rare to see one without the other.
Most of Lost Connections presents the author’s account of the research done on the social and cultural causes of depression. For example, in the 1970s, British researchers George Brown and Tirril Harris and their team extensively interviewed 115 women living in a working-class suburb of London who were diagnosed with depression and compared their responses to a second group of 344 so-called normal—that is, not depressed—women from the same income group. Their findings were stunning at that time: The depressed women were three times more likely to have experienced certain major life stressors in the year prior to their diagnosis than the non-depressed women. The depressed women had more stressors, more trauma and fewer factors thought to provide psychological resilience, such as close friends and supportive extended family.
The notion that trauma and stressful life experience cause depression and anxiety is really no longer controversial. In the mid-1990s, Vincent Felitti of Kaiser Hospital in San Diego conducted an extraordinary and simple study, called the Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACE Study. He sent out a questionnaire to 17,000 people who were seeking healthcare from Kaiser, asking people to check off which of 10 different categories of childhood trauma they had experienced. These trauma included most of the terrible things that can happen to you when you're a child, including various types of sexual, physical or emotional abuse. In addition, respondents filled out a detailed medical questionnaire testing for all sorts of things that could be problematic, such as obesity, addiction or depression. The results stunned even Dr. Felitti: For every category of traumatic experience someone went through as a child, that person was radically more likely to become depressed as an adult. The correlation was almost perfect: the greater the trauma, the greater the risk for depression, anxiety or suicide. For example, if you had six categories of traumatic events in your childhood, you were five times more likely to become depressed as an adult than someone who didn't have any. If you had seven types of traumatic events as a child, you were 3,100 percent more likely to attempt suicide as an adult.
The notion that depression isn't a disease, but a normal response to abnormal life experiences wouldn't surprise most of us, except for the fact that we live in a culture which pathologizes psychic suffering as a disorder within individuals, rather than as suffering that makes sense given a pathological environment. The cost of such victim blaming is high. If you believe = depression is solely a result of disordered brain chemistry, you don't have to think about your life and about what other people may have done to you. It's painful to think along these lines, which may be one of the reasons why a biological explanation is often easier. As Hari says, quoting Dr. Robert Anda who worked on the ACE study, "When people have these kinds of problems, it's time to stop asking what's wrong with them, and time to start asking what happened to them."
Hari believes that the social and cultural causes of depression all involve some form of "disconnection." He argues that people in our culture are disconnected from meaningful work, citing as evidence a huge Gallup poll about work conducted in 2011 and 2012 that included millions of workers across 142 countries. Gallup found that only 13% of people described themselves as "engaged" in their jobs, meaning that they were enthusiastic about and committed to their work and pleased with their contribution to their organization. Sixty-three percent reported themselves "not engaged" and 24% described themselves as "actively not engaged," which in this survey, meant that they acted out their unhappiness, undermining their coworkers and even seeking to damage the companies where they work. Nearly twice as many people hate their jobs as love their jobs. The prevalence of deadening, routinized and alienated work leads people to feel unappreciated, unrecognized and frustrated, with little or no sense of contributing to something bigger and better than themselves. Disempowerment and indifferent hierarchies at work cause depression.
Hari explores another form of disconnection that is more obvious, namely being disconnected from other people. Social isolation and loneliness have been shown to have a wide range of negative physical/health consequences. Feeling lonely causes our cortisol levels to soar, a hormonal outcome that causes wide-ranging damage to the body and mind. In fact, acute loneliness is seen as every bit as stressful as being physically attacked. Human beings are wired to be in groups, and when we are alone for too long, we feel alienated and insecure.
Loneliness and social isolation is increasingly a public health epidemic in America. As sociologist Robert Putnam has shown, the percentage of Americans actively involved in community organizations has radically declined. From 1985 to '95—just one decade—active involvement in community organizations decreased almost 50 percent. We seem to have stopped banding together and have found ourselves increasingly shut away in our own homes. We do things together less than any generation that came before us. And finally, we know that being alone changes our brains and that curing that loneliness changes our brains, so if we're not looking at social as well as biological factors, we can't understand what's really going on with depression today.
Hari goes on to talk about another form of disconnection: being disconnected from "meaningful values." In this section, he offers a critique of our consumer culture clearly dominated by an addiction to material possessions, money and status. He points out that advertising experts have admitted since the 1920s that their job is to make people feel inadequate and to then offer their products as the solution to the very inadequacy they have created. A capitalist economy and culture that tells us that there is never enough, and that we are never enough, provides us with what Hari calls "junk values." Materialism has never been associated with health and happiness. In fact, when people are asked to reflect on what really matters to them they usually admit to such deep values as meaningful work, community, family, or being a loving person in service to others. When we are estranged from ourselves, we suffer.
Hari also reviews some of the usual suspects that come up in any discussion about emotional well-being, including being disconnected from status, respect and social approval by virtue of the gross and radical imbalances of income and wealth in our society, as well as being disconnected from the natural world and animals in a society in which most people live in cities and conduct most of their lives indoors. There is powerful scientific evidence that suggests societies with greater equality have less psychiatric illness and that being out in nature reduces depression and anxiety.
Hari wants to be clear that he is not saying genetics and neurobiology have no effect on depression. What he is saying is that the brain and even our genes respond to signals from the world. When scanned, the brains of London cabdrivers who have to memorize the entire map of London, reveal that the part responsible for spatial awareness is bigger than in other people's brains. Experience changes the brain. Clearly, once changes in the brain have occurred, they gain a momentum of their own and contribute to, or reduce, emotional distress. Genes can significantly increase our sensitivity to environmental stress, but that's a far cry from saying that they are a primary cause of depression. Hari points out that historically depression and anxiety were regarded as moral failures, and as a result, the notion that depression is primarily biological can be seen as a defense against blame and judgment. However much such a defense may help some people fend off social disapproval and private shame, the question of causation isn't answered.
The importance of understanding the social and cultural conditions that seem to produce depression and anxiety is that it points the way toward interventions and social changes that could yield tremendous psychological benefits on a mass scale.  Obviously, I'm a believer in psychotherapy and I've also repeatedly seen the short- and medium–term benefits of medications. However, to truly deal with the epidemic of depression and anxious suffering in the world we need to consider making more radical social and political changes. Reducing inequality is not merely in the interest of justice, but would likely produce a significant decrease in depression and anxiety. Further, experiments in cooperative, more democratic and egalitarian work arrangements have shown that such innovations, by reducing the alienation and estrangement people feel at work, can significantly decrease stress while not sacrificing success in the marketplace. Hari suggests we ask depressed people not “What's the matter with you?” but instead, “What matters to you?”
Such "solutions" involve making radical changes in social life. However, I think that our movement acquires a greater degree of urgency and validity if we understand how much emotional suffering can potentially be remediated. Such understanding can even inform political proposals like those that call for a universal basic income, or UBI, in which people are given a fixed amount of money every year, completely without conditions, to do with whatever they wish—something that has been tried experimentally in many places in the world. Such projects not only directly address the problem of poverty and income inequality, but emotional health and welfare as well. The UBI gives people the freedom to live and work in ways aligned with their deeper non-materialistic, non-junk values. They can hold out for work that is less alienated and more safely connect with their families and communities. The research into these experiments has shown that they greatly enhance the overall levels of emotional as well as physical well-being.
When we privilege explanations of depression and anxiety that emphasize our internal biology, we let society off the hook. We privatize psychological pain even as the role that our culture contributes to that pain goes unchallenged. Johan Hari’s new book helps us tell a different story. As Hari points out, it is even a story endorsed by the World Health Organization, the leading medical body in the world, which in 2011, summarized the evidence this way: "Mental health is produced socially: the presence or absence of mental health is above all a social indicator and therefore requires social, as well as if individual, solutions.” In its official statement for World Health Day in 2017, the United Nations explained that "the dominant biomedical narrative of depression" is based on "biased and selective use of research outcomes" that "cause more harm than good, undermine the right to health, and must be abandoned."
Hari eloquently states this case in his last chapter, when he says: "You aren't a machine with broken parts. You are an animal whose needs are not being met. You need to have a community. You need to have meaningful values, not the junk values you've been pumped full of all your life, telling you happiness comes through money and buying objects. You need to have meaningful work. You need the natural world. You need to feel you are respected. You need a secure future. You need connections to all these things. You need to release any shame you might feel for having been mistreated.”
I think it's fair to say that in order to achieve these things, we need a revolution.
Michael Bader is a psychologist and psychoanalyst in San Francisco. He is the author of "More Than Bread and Butter: A Psychologist Speaks to Progressives About What People Really Need in Order to Win and Change the World" (Blurb, 2015).

Zionist Terror. Western Hypocrisy

Israeli terrorism reduced to “nationalist” crime by New York Times


Israel’s visible gun culture has been downplayed by The New York Times.
 Najeh HashlamounAPA images
Israelis, according to The New York Times, carry out “nationalist” attacks against Palestinian civilians; Palestinians commit “terrorism” against Israeli civilians.
So indicates correspondent Isabel Kershner this week in the “newspaper of record.”
In a “Fact Check” piece, Kershner references Baruch Goldstein’s attack on Palestinian civilians in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron. She writes, “There have also been occasional nationalist attacks against Palestinians by armed Israelis, such as the massacre perpetrated by Baruch Goldstein in Hebron in 1994 with an army-issued automatic rifle.”
The words “nationalist” and “massacre” are appropriate, but can Israeli settlers not commit “terrorism”? The absence of the word speaks to the fact that The New York Times regards some forms of violence as more acceptable than others, particularly the violence of a colonizing occupying force and its accompanying settlers against an occupied population.
The violence and intimidation brought to bear by that settler-colonial force is consistently described in less menacing terms than the response from those subjugated. This article is a clear example of such thinking.
Kershner reinforces this message throughout. “Palestinian gunmen carried out deadly terrorist attacks on a school in Maalot, near the border with Lebanon, in 1974 and at a rabbinical seminary in 2008,” she writes.
Kershner does not explain why this Palestinian violence is terrorism, but the Israeli violence is not. Readers are forced to conclude that terrorism is something Palestinians do, but Israelis simply act out of “nationalist” belief. These beliefs, evidently, shelter Israel from charges of terrorism.
Routine Israeli military gun violence against Palestinian civilians is not mentioned. Nor is there a mention of the impunity for Israeli soldiers responsible for the deaths of Palestinian school children in even the most egregious cases such as that of Iman al-Hams, which was reported by The New York Times at the time. She posed no threat, was repeatedly shot at close range and yet the Israeli officer who killed her was cleared.
Similar impunity for police officers and “stand your ground” vigilantes in the US is not cited, though racial bias pervades the legal systems of both countries.

Misleading

Elsewhere in the article, Kershner writes: “Guns are not seen as a hobby, but as a tool for self-defense, and if necessary, to help protect others from terrorism. And while Israel has sophisticated policing and intelligence aimed at stopping terrorism, it has little experience with the kinds of civilian mass shootings that have become the source of anguished debate in the United States.”
But this is grossly misleading. Israel does have abundant experience with “civilian mass shootings.” It is just that it is Palestinian civilians doing the dying – whether meted out by Israeli settlers as in the case of Goldstein or by Israeli soldiers.
Strikingly, Kershner reinforces the double standard when she recalls a Palestinian truck attack against Israeli soldiers. She notes, “Last year, a tour guide was among those who opened fire at a Palestinian driver who plowed his truck into a group of soldiers in Jerusalem.”
Kershner referred in that story to the incident constituting “terrorism.” She wrote of the January 2017 attack: “Israel buried its latest terrorism victims on Monday, the day after they were run down by a Palestinian man in a truck, enveloping them in the country’s familiar outpouring of love for its service members.”
The Electronic Intifada highlighted the flawed reporting guidelines at the newspaper at the time and quoted Jodi Rudoren, a former Jerusalem bureau chief and at the time deputy international editor, as commenting, “A truck ramming into a crowd felt like terrorism.”
An Israeli plane dropping bombs on Palestinian civilians, however, is not described as terrorism.

Perspective

Where one sits makes an enormous difference in what one regards as terrorism. The newspaper has yet to figure this out – or has ceded the language to right-wing organizations that insist one form of violence is terrorism and the other self-defense.
Anybody who has been in the occupied West Bank and confronted by an Israeli settler with a drawn weapon is apt to have a very different perspective on what constitutes legitimate resort to “self-defense.” From that perspective it looks less like self-defense than intimidation and the sensation felt is apt to be one of terror.
The Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah last month pointed out how the Israeli newspaper Haaretz has similarly resorted to the “nationalistic” motives euphemism.

“Liberal” will normally label any Palestinian who sneezes a “terrorist,” but a settler who tries to murder Palestinians is merely a “suspect” with “nationalistic” motives.
And Ahmad Tibi, a Palestinian member of the Israeli parliament, this week used an opinion piece for Haaretz to admonish European leaders for failing to denounce Israeli attacks on Palestinians while consistently criticizing Palestinian attacks.
Tibi noted this tweet from the Norwegian ambassador to Israel and similar messages from the European Union, Austrian and Cypriot ambassadors.
My condolences to the family of Rabbi Raziel Shevah who was brutally killed last night, to his wife and to his young children. There is no justification for terror, nor for glorification of such acts. The violence and killing must stop.

In the piece for Haaretz, Tibi added, “I am not opposed to expressions of empathy. But why the willful blindness to empathize on both sides?”
Tibi also criticized US ambassador to Israel David Friedman for similar behavior.
So, Amb. Friedman is horrified with death? Why didn’t I hear him being horrified when Palestinian are killed ? when Muhannad Tamimi and ibrahim abu thurayya , were killed? It’s because of such double standards.and he dares to blame people under occupation why there is no peace?


Earlier this month, Tibi made a related point regarding European double standards when he pushed backagainst a tweet from Charlotte Slente, Denmark’s ambassador to Israel, in which she praised Israel’s “vibrant democracy.”
Tibi pointed her toward work by Adalah, a group campaigning for Palestinian citizens of Israel, highlighting “over 50 discriminatory laws against non-Jews.”
Your excellency, maybe you were referring to a vibrant “Jewish Democracy”. I think you agree that having over 50 discriminatory laws against non-Jews doesn’t corresponds to a “vibrant democracy”, maily natinalty bill.


There is no other issue where quite so many people – from The New York Times to European leaders – are inclined to indulge in double standards and discriminatory practices.
Sadly, Kershner has brought forward her own double standards in an article that Second Amendment enthusiasts may cite in their ongoing battle to keep the US armed to the teeth no matter the cost to school children.
Yes, she claims that Israel has stricter gun laws, but that’s certainly not the experience of Palestinians confronted by Israeli soldiers and armed settlers in the occupied West Bank.