Thursday 25th of July 2024

the western media provide cover........

Last Sunday, Israel closed Al Jazeera’s office in occupied East Jerusalem, confiscating broadcast equipment and taking the channel off air. Israel’s targeting of journalists and their families, the closure of Al Jazeera’s Jerusalem office, the imprisonment and alleged torture of journalists, and the refusal to let foreign journalists enter Gaza amounts to a war on journalism.


Israel’s war on journalism    By Jeremy Rose 


Palestinian journalist Ahmed Alnaouq’s first published story dealt with what he described as Israel’s murder of his brother Ayman in 2014.

The IDF would call it self-defence or mowing the lawn – a common phrase in Israel for the periodic attacks on Gaza aimed at depleting Hamas’s military capacity.

The essay – published on the We Are Not Numbers website – describes Ayman coming home, in the early 2000s, after five of his primary school mates had been killed by Israeli soldiers, and another 12 injured while playing.

By the time Israel invaded Gaza in what it dubbed Operation Cast Lead in 2008, Ayman was in secondary school and once again he saw friends being killed.

Operation Cast Lead left 1400 Palestinians dead, 46,000 homes destroyed and more than 100,000 homeless. Thirteen Israeli soldiers died during the invasion.

The blockade that followed the war left Ayman and Ahmed’s disabled, taxi driver father unemployed as the supply of petrol dried up. As the eldest son Ayman took on the role of breadwinner.

Then in 2012 Israel again “mowed the lawn” in Operation Pillar of Defence – and once again hundreds were killed and thousands left homeless.

“When this war was over, Ayman was not the same,” Ahmed wrote.

His older brother joined Hamas’ armed resistance force – the Al Qassam Brigades.

It was a decision that would cost him his life. In 2014, Israel yet again invaded Gaza and Ayman was killed by a missile fired from an F16 as he as he made his way to battle the IDF.

The world is divided on what to call the likes of Ayman. To Palestinians he’s a martyr, a freedom fighter, and a patriot – to Israelis he’s a terrorist.

Some will praise him for his decision to join the armed struggle. Others will condemn him.

Ahmed chose another form of resistance: journalism.

In 2014 he helped set up We Are Not Numbers, a website that provides a platform for young Gazans to share their stories, in English, with the outside world.

Then in 2019, he teamed up with Israeli journalist Yuval Abraham to bring the stories to an Israeli audience in Hebrew in a project called We Beyond the Fence.

On October 21 of last year, Israel dropped a bomb on Ahmed’s family home, killing 21 members of his family – including 14 of his nieces and nephews all under the age of 13.

The house was in the south of Gaza in an area Israel had declared a safe zone.

Ahmed heard of the massacre in the UK where he was on scholarship.

He’s been tirelessly telling people the stories behind the numbers ever since.

But as we enter to seventh month of what leading Holocaust scholar, Hebrew University professor Amos Goldberg, last week, declared to be a genocide, the numbers tell other important and horrific stories.

The media has been updating the death count daily – currently it’s over 34,000 the vast majority women, children and civilian men – but there are other numbers that are less well known.

Around 100 journalists – 10% of Gaza’s journalists have been killed to date. It’s by far the most deadly war for journalist in the 21st Century.

The reason I’ve fudged the numbers is twofold: firstly, whatever figure I use is likely to be out of date by the time this story goes to print; and, secondly there’s a discrepancy between the figures given by the Committee to Protect Journalists which reports that 92 Palestinian, three Lebanese and two Israeli journalists have died since the Hamas’ October 7 attack and the Gaza media office which claims more than 140 journalists have been killed.

The PJS also reports that 84 media offices have been bombed – including the We Are Not Numbers offices.

Prof. Goldberg includes the targeting of journalists in his carefully argued case for declaring the assault of Gaza to be genocidal.

“What is happening in Gaza is genocide because the level and pace of indiscriminate killing, destruction, mass expulsions, displacement, famine, executions, the wiping out of cultural and religious institutions, the crushing of elites (including the killing of journalists), and the sweeping dehumanisation of the Palestinians — create an overall picture of genocide, of a deliberate conscious crushing of Palestinian existence in Gaza.”

Reporters Without Borders filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court on October 31 last year, asking for an investigation into the targeting of journalists by Israel, which it believes constitutes war crimes.

And in February, a group of UN experts, including four special rapporteurs, issued a statement calling on the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court to look into the targeted killing of journalists in Gaza.

“We have received disturbing reports that, despite being clearly identifiable in jackets and helmets marked “press” or travelling in well-marked press vehicles, journalists have come under attack, which would seem to indicate that the killings, injury, and detention are a deliberate strategy by Israeli forces to obstruct the media and silence critical reporting.”

Ahmed Alnaouq is far from alone among Gaza’s journalists in having multiple family members murdered. Last week he tweeted: “Israel killed my sister and all her children while sheltering in my home in October. Today they have bombed her husband’s home. This home sheltered over 70 people. 7 flats.”

Al-Jazeera’s bureau chief, Wael Al Dahdour – probably Gaza’s best known journalist – lost his wife, son, daughter and grandchild, when an Israeli airstrike hit their home in the Nuseirat refugee camp on 25 October last year.

On 7 January his son, Hamza Al Dahdouh, a journalist, was killed by an Israeli airstrike while travelling in a car, marked press, along with a colleague.

It’s an open question whether Israel is targeting not just journalists but their families.

What is certain is that Israel has a terrifyingly high threshold for the number of civilian deaths resulting from its targeted killing.

Yuval Abraham – who worked with Ahmed on the We Beyond the Fence project – published an investigation on the progressive +972 website which revealed an AI programme called Lavender that identified 37,000 suspected militants in the first weeks of the war.

The article, based on interviews with six IDF intelligence officers, claimed Israel systematically targeted those on the kill list while they were home usually at night.

Another automated system called Where’s Daddy? was developed to identify when suspected militants arrived home.

Two of those interviewed claimed that in the early weeks of the war it was permissible for 15 to 20 civilians to be killed for every militant targeted.

The Committee to Protect Journalists issued a statement in December saying it was alarmed by journalists in Gaza reporting death threats and subsequently their family members being killed.

“The killing of the family members of journalists in Gaza is making it almost impossible for the journalists to continue reporting, as the risk now extends beyond them also to include their beloved ones,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour.

Last Sunday Israel closed Al Jazeera’s office in occupied East Jerusalem, confiscating broadcast equipment and taking the channel off air.

The move comes almost exactly two years after an IDF soldier shot and killed the American-Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh while covering a raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the Israeli-occupied West Bank for Al Jazeera.

At first, Israel claimed Abu Akleh, who was wearing a blue vest identifying her was media has been shot by a Palestinian militant. When that story became untenable, due to video evidence, the IDF launched its own investigation which declared there was a high probability that the Al Jazeera journalist had been accidentally hit by an IDF bullet and there would no further criminal investigation.

Israel’s targeting of journalists and their families, the closure of Al Jazeera’s Jerusalem office, the imprisonment and alleged torture of journalists, and the refusal to let foreign journalists enter Gaza amounts to a war on journalism.

Ahmed Alnaouq remains committed to the craft of journalism, but he’s critical of much of the mainstream coverage of Israel’s assault of Gaza.

“The Western media played a pivotal role in the murder of 21 members of my family, including my parents, siblings, nieces, and nephews,” he tweeted on X.

“Yes, Israel executed the attack and the US supplied the weaponry, BUT the Western media provided cover. I hold every propagandist for Israel and every Western journalist who repeated the narrative of “Israel’s right to self-defense” against the civilian population of Gaza, including children and women, accountable. The era of diplomacy is past. It’s time to call these terrorists by their true name: enablers of genocide. I refuse to tolerate Israeli propaganda any longer. I refuse to be intimidated any longer, and neither should anyone else.”

With leading Holocaust scholars like Amos Goldberg declaring Israel guilty of genocide, it’s time for media outlets to ask themselves whether Ahmed Alnaouq has a point.








genocidal Aussies....


How Israel relies on up to 1,000 Australians and other foreign fighters to carry out its war crimes    By Ali Bakir and Mehmet Rakipoglu



Thousands of people from countries around the world have joined the war against Palestinians.

The US recently threatened to impose sanctions on Netzah Yehuda, an Israeli army unit established around 25 years ago to integrate ultra-Orthodox men into the military.

While the prospect of sanctions against this unit might appear to be a positive development, there are concerns that the move aims to improve the overall image of the army as a law-abiding force, as Washington continues to provide financial, military and intelligence support to Israel’s war machine.

As the war on Gaza has continued for more than six months, Israeli soldiers have flooded the internet with photos and videos of themselves stealing from the homes of Palestinians, wearing the lingerie of dead or displaced women, riding stolen bicycles, and boasting of attacks on civilian infrastructure. Even the army’s top lawyer concluded they had crossed a “criminal threshold”.

Since the war began last October, Israeli forces have killed more than 34,500 Palestinians, 72 percent of whom were women and children. The army’s deliberate and systematic killing of Palestinian civilians, along with the weaponisation of food and water, has few precedents in the context of modern warfare.

Even after the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to prevent acts of genocide, soldiers continued as if nothing had happened. Why?

When the Israeli army was created, terrorist Zionist organisations such as Haganah, Palmach and Irgun, among others, formed its backbone. The state of Israel was born out of large-scale terrorist operations by Zionist groups, with the aim of occupying Palestinian lands.

David Ben-Gurion, who later became Israel’s first prime minister, summed this policy up by writing in 1937: “We must expel Arabs and take their place.”

‘Tremendous operation’

David Charters, a professor of military history, has asserted that Zionist terrorism in 1940s Palestine “was both tactically and strategically significant … [and] created the conditions that facilitated both the founding of Israel and the creation of an Arab-Palestinian diaspora”.

Among the atrocities committed by Zionist groups against the Palestinian people, with the aim of large-scale displacement and land seizure, was the Deir Yassin massacre.

In the 2017 documentary Born in Deir Yassin, former Haganah member Meir Pail detailed how Zionist militias massacred Palestinian civilians, including women and children. In one of the historical documents revealed in the documentary, Yehuda Feder, a member of the Lehi paramilitary group, boasted proudly of executing girls with a machine gun and looting their village: “This was a really tremendous operation, and it is with reason that the left is vilifying us again.”

Like tens of thousands of Zionists who came to Palestine as refugees from Europe and elsewhere, Feder was a Jew from Poland. After Lehi was dismantled, he joined the Israeli army, and from 1986-94, he served as chairman of the Likud branch in Jerusalem.

In April 2001, he was reportedly given the “Jerusalem Notable Citizen” award. This is just one example of foreign terrorist fighters who created the Israeli army later being rewarded for their massacres.

The longstanding practice of absorbing foreign fighters is still active in the Israeli army today, including a significant American component. According to the Israeli army, more than 23,000 US citizens currently serve in Israeli ranks; in fact around 10 percent of the army’s fatal casualties since the invasion of Gaza have reportedly been American.

Last December, a French lawmaker revealed that more than 4,000 French citizens have been embedded in the Israeli army during the war in Gaza. There are also reportedly up to 1,000 Australians, 1,000 Italians and 400 IndiansBritain, Germany, CanadaRussia, Ukraine, Finland and South Africa, among others, also constitute a source of foreign fighters for Israel.

Ideological indoctrination

In addition, the army recruits volunteers to assist with tasks such as packing medical supplies and preparing combat meals, with organisations like Sar-El bringing in thousands of volunteers from dozens of countries worldwide. The minimum age for volunteering is 16.

Such programmes expose volunteers to ideological indoctrination, aiming to strengthen the bond between them, Israel and its army.

Another programme to enlist foreign volunteers, Mahal, was initially founded decades ago when volunteers from around the world came to help the Haganah, and later the Israeli army. In addition, the Lone Soldiers programme provides support for “highly motivated” fighters who have no family in Israel. So-called lone soldiers, of whom there are more than 7,000, earn twice the regular monthly salary. According to Israeli army estimates, 35 percent of them are from the US. In 2020, nine percent of the ‘lone soldiers’ in the Israeli military were from Canada.

The most controversial category of foreign recruits, however, are mercenaries hired through contractors. There have been reports of mercenaries fighting in the Gaza war, including videos and images suggesting that American mercenaries have been operating alongside the Israeli army.

Just like Israeli soldiers, all these categories of foreign fighters enjoy full impunity, which perhaps explains why some have been behaving in such a cruel and reckless manner, bragging about their crimes online and publishing evidence of them violating various rules of war.

Indeed, despite widespread protests against such activities, only South Africa has expressed a serious willingness to pursue criminal penalties.

In previous cases, nationals of western countries who travelled to fight against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, for example, were investigated, penalised, criminalised, and jailed, even if their activities were limited to fundraising rather than actual combat operations against the Assad forces.

Beyond the obvious double standards applied here, the impunity granted for foreign fighters joining the Israeli army will result in severe consequences for the Palestinian civilians if these fighters remain and for internal security back home if they return to their country of origin.

The situation risks motivating those foreign fighters to be further involved in unethical, illegal, and criminal activities. This could include participating in combat operations that result in killing more civilians, being stationed in occupied territories, living in settlements, or participating in the ongoing genocidal war against the Palestinian people.


Republished from Middle East Eye, April 30, 2024







preparing WW3 in the bowels of a german green....

bibi bombs....

Israeli warplanes pounded targets in the Palestinian city of Rafah on Monday night, hours after the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) warned civilians in the area that it was preparing to strike the city with “extreme force.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has threatened for several months to send troops into the city, arguing that such an operation is necessary to guarantee Israel a “total victory” over Hamas. 

Rafah is currently home to around 1.4 million Palestinians displaced from northern and central Gaza, and the UN has warned that an Israeli invasion would be a “catastrophe” for these civilians. 

Amid fierce condemnation from the US, EU, and scores of other countries and international organizations, Netanyahu vowed last week to press ahead with the operation. The Israeli PM also stated that he would proceed with an assault on Rafah regardless of whether a ceasefire deal is reached with Hamas.


  • 06 May 2024

    23:51 GMT

    Washington believes that the ongoing Israeli military operation in Rafah so far appears to be limited and does not represent a “major” escalation, an unnamed US official told Reuters, adding that the White House is focused on preventing a dangerous full-scale incursion into the densely populated areas.

  • 23:27 GMT

    Egypt’s al-Qahera TV has broadcast footage from the deserted Rafah crossing, with gunfire and explosions heard in the background.






social media?.....

Social media is partially responsible for the widespread international criticism of Israel’s conduct during its military campaign in Gaza, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has suggested.

The top American diplomat made the comment during an exchange with Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) at the McCain Institute’s 2024 Sedona Forum in Sedona, Arizona on Friday.

Romney asked Blinken why “the PR [has] been so awful” for Israel amid the conflict in Gaza. “Why has [Palestinian armed group] Hamas disappeared in terms of public perception? An offer is on the table to have a ceasefire, and yet the world is screaming about Israel,” he said. “Typically, the Israelis are good at PR. What’s happened here?” Romney said.

The Secretary of State recalled that when he started working in Washington in the early 1990s “everyone did the same thing,” which was reading newspapers like The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, and watching national news networks to get information about world events.

But now, in the 2020s, “we are on an intravenous feed of information with new impulses, inputs every millisecond” and social media “has dominated the narrative,” he said

"And you have a social media ecosystem environment in which context, history, facts get lost, and the emotion, the impact of images dominates. And we can’t – we can’t discount that, but I think it also has a very, very, very challenging effect on the narrative,” Blinken suggested.

However, he also stressed that another reason for Israel’s bad PR was the “the inescapable reality of people who have and continue to suffer grievously in Gaza. And that’s real and we have to… be focused on that and attentive to that.”

Israel has faced harsh criticism from the international community due to the high number of civilian casualties during its attacks in the enclave over the past seven months. In March, UN experts ruled that there were “reasonable grounds” to believe that “genocide” was being committed in the Palestinian enclave.

In recent weeks, colleges across the US have been gripped by pro-Palestinian protests, which have been marred by clashes with police and resulted in several thousand people being detained.

READ MORE: Pro-Palestine protesters disrupt college commencement ceremony (VIDEOS)


Israel launched its military operation in Gaza in response to a October 7 cross-border incursion by Hamas, in which at least 1,200 people were killed and 250 taken hostage. According to the enclave’s health ministry, more than 34,683 Palestinians have so far been killed and 78,018 others wounded in the IDF’s airstrikes and ground offensive.









Non-Semite (sic) Khazar Netanyahu calls US anti-genocidal academics "anti-Semites" (sic)

by Alfredo Jalife-Rahme

The term "Semite", which originally applied to Arabs, whether Jewish, Christian or Muslim now refers to Jews, whether Semitic (Sephardic) or European (Ashkenazi). Alfredo Jalife-Rahme, mocking this semantic shift, criticizes Benjamin Netanyahu’s propaganda tricks.

The police crackdown on pro-Palestinian genocide protesters on campuses [1] in a dozen major U.S. academic institutions, including the prestigious Ivy League, is disturbing.

In 1968, the emblematic private (sic) Columbia University (New York) was the epicenter of demonstrations against the Vietnam War, which resulted in the police arrest of over 700 students and professors.

Today, 56 years later, the same iconic university, with a total of 30,000 students, which subsumes the collective psyche of the future (as made visible by the present) of the United States, is protesting against Israeli genocide in Gaza, and has to its credit 100 students and professors arrested by barbaric police repression [2].

The astonishing university protests have spread not only to Texas and Southern California, but also to the emblematic Faculté des Sciences Politiques in Paris [3].

The famous Lexington column of the globalist neoliberal monarchy’s magazine The Economist reminds us that, as in 1968, Democrat Joe Biden risks being the candidate of chaos and war, while today pro-Palestinian students are rising up on American campuses [4].

Even the Financial Times [5] and Bloomberg [6], controlled by Israeli theologians, cannot hide the votive flame of protest by Columbia University students and professors against Israeli genocide in Gaza.

Committing a blatant act of interference in what remains of American sovereignty (sic) - strangely swept under the carpet by both parties in Congress - Prime Minister Netanyahu extra-territorially admonished pro-Palestinian American students against genocide and branded them anti-Semitic (sic): "What’s happening on American campuses is horrible. Anti-Semitic (sic) hordes (re-sic) have taken over major universities. They call for the annihilation of Israel. They attack Jewish students. They attack Jewish professors.

As usual, Khazar Prime Minister Netanyahu [7], who is of non-Semitic Polish descent, describes the protesters at American universities as anti-Semitic hordes (mega sic!) who are "attacking the Jewish faculty" (sic). What could this underground Jewish faculty possibly be?

In his thread of delirious messages on X, Netanyahu comments: "This is reminiscent of what happened in German universities in the 1930s. It must be stopped [8]," and he glorifies police repression at various universities.

Today, the U.S. is moving between McCarthyite totalitarianism and its new Civil War, as Alex Garland’s new film Civil War  [9] shows my interview seen by over 2.5 million people on Radio La Raza Los Angeles, which has the largest Mexican and Latino audience in the U.S. [10].

Israel has not found a convincing discourse between the emblematic October 7 (the staggering irruption of the Sunni Palestinian guerrilla group Hamas) and April 14 - when "Israel exacerbates its financial deterrence in the face of Iran’s new strategic deterrence [11]" - in unison with its genocide in Gaza and its apartheid policy against the original inhabitants of Palestine who are true Semites, who rise up against the Khazar invaders who are "fake Semites".

The omnipotent black propaganda based on the triad of anti-Semitism/terrorism/hate via the "Hasbara technique [12]" finds itself semiotically overtaken by the ongoing Israeli genocide in Gaza.

Netanyahu would do well to educate himself by reading the eminent Israeli historian Shlomo Sands in his two classic books (from 2008 and 2014) The Invention of the Jewish People [13], Shlomo Sand, Verso (2010).]] and How the Land of Israel was Invented [14] "which dismantle the entire false ideology/theology stemming from Hasbara Zionism".


Alfredo Jalife-Rahme
Roger Lagassé





fascist governments....

The Beast of Ideology Lifts the Lid on Transformation BY  

The police repression of student protests exposes sheer intolerance towards those voicing condemnation against the violence in Gaza.

The Transformation is accelerating. The harsh, often violent, police repression of student protests across the U.S. and Europe, in wake of the continuing Palestinian massacres, exposes sheer intolerance towards those voicing condemnation against the violence in Gaza.

The category of ‘hate speech’ enacted into law has become so ubiquitous and fluid that criticism of the conduct of Israel’s behaviour in Gaza and the West Bank is now treated as a category of extremism and as a threat to the state. Confronted by criticism of Israel, the ruling élites respond by angrily lashing out.

Is there a boundary (still) between criticism and anti-semitism? In the West the two increasingly are being made to cohere.

Today’s stifling of any criticism of Israel’s conduct – in blatant contradiction with any western claim to a values-based order – reflects desperation and a touch of panic. Those who still occupy the leadership slots of Institutional Power in the U.S. and Europe are compelled by the logic of those structures to pursue courses of action that are leading to ‘system’ breakdown, both domestically – and concomitantly – provoking the dramatic intensification of international tensions, too.

Mistakes flow from the underlying ideological rigidities in which the ruling strata are trapped: The embrace of a transformed Biblical Israel that long ago separated from today’s U.S. Democratic Party zeitgeist; the inability to accept reality in Ukraine; and the notion that U.S. political coercion alone can revive paradigms in Israel and the Middle East that are long gone.

The notion that a new Israeli Nakba of Palestinians can be forced down the throats of the western and the global public are both delusional and reek of centuries of old Orientalism.

What else can one say when Senator Tom Cotton posts: “These little Gazas are disgusting cesspools of antisemitic hate, full of pro-Hamas sympathisers; fanatics and freaks”?

When order unravels, it unravels quickly and comprehensively. Suddenly, the GOP conference has had its nose rubbed in dirt (over its lack of support for Biden’s $61bn for Ukraine); the U.S. public’s despair at open border immigration is disdainfully ignored; and Gen Z’s expressions of empathy with Gaza is declared an internal ‘enemy’ to be roughly suppressed. All points of strategic inflection and transformation – likely as not.

And the rest of the world now is cast as an enemy too, being perceived as recalcitrants who fail to embrace the western recitation of its ‘Rules Order’ catechism and for failing clearly to toe the line on support for Israel and the proxy war on Russia.

It is a naked bid for unchecked power; one nevertheless that is galvanising a global blow-back. It is pushing China closer to Russia and accelerating the BRICS confluence. Plainly put, the world – faced with massacres in Gaza and West Bank – will not abide by either the Rules or any western hypocritical cherry-picking of International Law. Both systems are collapsing under the leaden weight of western hypocrisy.

Nothing is more obvious than Secretary of State Blinken’s scolding of President Xi for China’s treatment of the Uighurs and his threats of sanctions for Chinas trade with Russia – powering ‘Russia’s assault on Ukraine’, Blinken asserts. Blinken has made an enemy of the one power that can evidently out-compete the U.S.; that has manufacturing and competitive overmatch vs the U.S.

The point here is that these tensions can quickly spiral down into war of ‘Us’ versus ‘Them’ – ranged against not just the China, Russia, Iran “Axis of Evil”, but vs Turkey, India Brazil and all others who dare to criticise the moral correctness of either of the West’s Israel and Ukraine projects. That is, it has the potential to turn into the West versus the Rest.

Again, another own goal.

Crucially, these two conflicts have led to the Transformation of the West from self-styled ‘mediators’ claiming to bring calm to flashpoints, to being active contenders in these wars. And, as active contenders, they can permit no criticism of their actions – either inside, or out; for that would be to hint at appeasement.

Put plainly: this transformation to contenders in war lies at the heart of Europe’s present obsession with militarism. Bruno Maçães relates that a “senior European minister argued to him that: if the U.S. withdrew its support for Ukraine, his country, a Nato member, would have no choice but to fight alongside Ukraine – inside Ukraine. As he put it, why should his country wait for a Ukrainian defeat, followed by [a defeated Ukraine] swelling the ranks of a Russian army bent on new excursions?”

Such a proposition is both stupid and likely would lead to a continent-wide war (a prospect with which the unnamed minister seemed astonishingly at ease). Such insanity is the consequence of the Europeans’ acquiescence to Biden’s attempt at regime change in Moscow. They wanted to become consequential players at the table of the Great Game, but have come to perceive that they sorely lack the means for it. The Brussels Class fear the consequence to this hubris will be the unravelling of the EU.

As Professor John Gray writes:

“At bottom, the liberal assault on free speech [on Gaza and Ukraine] is a bid for unchecked power. By shifting the locus of decision from democratic deliberation to legal procedures, the élites aim to insulate [their neoliberal] cultish programmes from contestation and accountability. The politicisation of law – and the hollowing out of politics go hand in hand”.

Despite these efforts to cancel opposing voices, other perspectives and understandings of history nonetheless are reasserting their primacy: Do Palestinians have a point? Is there a history to their predicament? ‘No, they are a tool used by Iran, by Putin and by Xi Jinping’, Washington and Brussels says.

They say such untruths because the intellectual effort to see Palestinians as human beings, as citizens, endowed with rights, would force many Western states to revise much of their rigid system of thinking. It is simpler and easier for Palestinians to be left ambiguous, or to ‘disappear’.

The future which this approach heralds couldn’t be farther from the democratic, co-operative international order the White House claims to advocate. Rather it leads to the precipice of civil violence in the U.S. and to wider war in Ukraine.

Many of today’s Woke liberals however, would reject the allegation of being anti-free speech, labouring under the misapprehension that their liberalism is is not curtailing free speech, but rather is protecting it from ‘falsehoods’ emanating from the enemies of ‘our democracy’ (i.e. the ‘MAGA contingent’). In this way, they falsely perceive themselves as still adhering to the classical liberalism of, say, John Stuart Mill.

Whilst it is true that in On Liberty (1859) Mill argued that free speech must include the freedom to cause offence, in the same essay he also insisted that the value of freedom lay in its collective utility. He specified that “it must be utility in the largest sense – grounded on the permanent interests of man as a progressive being”.

Free speech has little value if it facilitates the discourse of the ‘deplorables’ or the so-called Right.

In other words, “Like many other 19th-century liberals”, Professor Gray argues, “Mill feared the rise of democratic government because he believed it meant empowering an ignorant and tyrannical majority. Time and again, he vilified the torpid masses who were content with traditional ways of living”. One can hear here, the precursor to Mrs Clinton’s utter disdain for the ‘deplorables’ living in ‘fly-over’ U.S. states.

Rousseau too, is often taken as an icon of ‘liberty’ and ‘individualism’ and widely admired. Yet here too, we have language which conceals its’ fundamentally anti-political character.

Rousseau saw human associations rather, as groups to be acted upon, so that all thinking and daily behaviour could be folded into the like-minded units of a unitary state.

The individualism of Rousseau’s thought, therefore, is no libertarian assertion of absolute rights of free speech against the all-consuming state. No raising of the ‘tri-colour’ against oppression.

Quite the reverse! Rousseau’s passionate ‘defence of the individual’ arises out of his opposition to ‘the tyranny’ of social convention; the forms, rituals and ancient myths that bind society – religion, family, history, and social institutions. His ideal may be proclaimed as that of individual freedom, but it is ‘freedom’, however, not in a sense of immunity from control of the state, but in our withdrawal from the supposed oppressions and corruptions of collective society.

Family relationship is thus transmuted subtly into a political relationship; the molecule of the family is broken into the atoms of its individuals. With these atoms today groomed further to shed their biological gender, their cultural identity and ethnicity, they are coalesced afresh into the single unity of the state.

This is the deceit concealed in classical Liberalism’s language of freedom and individualism – ‘freedom’ nonetheless being hailed as the major contribution of the French Revolution to western civilisation.

Yet perversely, behind the language of freedom lay de-civilisation.

The ideological legacy from the French Revolution, however, was radical de-civilisation. The old sense of permanence – of belonging somewhere in space and time – was conjured away, to give place to its very opposite: Transience, temporariness and ephemerality.

Frank Furedi has written,

“Discontinuity of culture coexists with the loss of the sense of the past … The loss of this sensibility has had an unsettling effect on culture itself and has deprived it of moral depth. Today, the anticultural exercises a powerful role in western society. Culture is frequently framed in instrumental and pragmatic terms and rarely perceived as a system of norms that endow human life with meaning. Culture has become a shallow construct to be disposed of – or changed.

“The western cultural elite is distinctively uncomfortable with the narrative of civilisation and has lost its enthusiasm for celebrating it. The contemporary cultural landscape is saturated with a corpus of literature that calls into question the moral authority of civilisation and associates it more with negative qualities.

“De-civilization means that even the most foundational identities – such as that between man and woman – is called into question. At a time when the answer to the question of ‘what it means to be human’ becomes complicated – and where the assumptions of western civilisation lose their salience – the sentiments associated with wokeism can flourish”.

Karl Polyani, in his Great Transformation (published some 80 years ago), held that the massive economic and social transformations that he had witnessed during his lifetime – the end of the century of “relative peace” in Europe from 1815 to 1914, and the subsequent descent into economic turmoil, fascism and war, which was still ongoing at the time of the book’s publication – had but a single, overarching cause:

Prior to the 19th century, he insisted, the human way of being had always been ‘embedded’ in society, and that it was subordinated to local politics, customs, religion and social relations i.e. to a civilisational culture. Life was not treated as separated into distinct particulars, but as parts of an articulate whole – of life itself.

Liberalism turned this logic on its head. It constituted an ontological break with much of human history. Not only did it artificially separate the ‘economic’ from the ‘political’, but liberal economics (its foundational notion) demanded the subordination of society – of life itself – to the abstract logic of the self-regulating market. For Polanyi, this “means no less than the running of society as an adjunct to the market”.

The answer – clearly – was to make society again a distinctly human relationship of community, given meaning through a living culture. In this sense, Polanyi also emphasised the territorial character of sovereignty – the nation-state as the pre-condition to the exercise of democratic politics.

Polanyi would have argued that, absent a return to Life Itself as the pivot to politics, a violent backlash was inevitable. (Though hopefully not as dire as the transformation through which he lived.)