Fri Dec 7th, 2018 at 09:24:42 PM EST
Currente headlines in news media and blogs expressing opinions and analysis I have done for many years.
Thanks to US billionaires supporting rightwing political causes in the Republican party and fusing with Israel's crime family headed by PM Netanyahu. In the meantime the Democrats were defeated by a common cause: the next war on Iran.
Just a few short headlines, for some this will make sense ... where to start?
Revealed: the hidden network behind Tommy Robinson| The Guardian |
The British far-right activist Tommy Robinson is receiving financial, political and moral support from a broad array of non-British groups and individuals, including US thinktanks, rightwing Australians and Russian trolls, a Guardian investigation has discovered.
Robinson, an anti-Islam campaigner who is leading a "Brexit betrayal" march in London on Sunday, has received funding from a US tech billionaire and a thinktank based in Philadelphia.
Continued below the fold ...
Two other US thinktanks, part-funded by some of the biggest names in rightwing funding, have published a succession of articles in support of Robinson, who has become a cause célèbre among the American far right since he was jailed in May for two months.
The Guardian looked into Robinson's global support after he was jailed for filming outside a rape trial involving defendants of mainly Pakistani heritage at Leeds crown court. He was released on 1 August after the court of appeal ordered that he should be retried. The attorney general is deciding whether to proceed with a retrial.
The investigation has established that:
Horowitz, the co-founder of the DHFC, told the Guardian in an email: "Tommy Robinson is a courageous Englishman who has risked his life to expose the rape epidemic of young girls conducted by Muslim gangs and covered up by your shameful government."
- A Philadelphia-based thinktank, the Middle East Forum (MEF), acknowledges it has spent about $60,000 (£47,000) on Robinson's legal fees and demonstrations staged in London earlier this year. A senior MEF executive has been closely involved in preparations for this weekend's march, though the thinktank said she was there in a personal capacity.
- A US tech billionaire, Robert Shillman, financed a fellowship that helped pay for Robinson to be employed in 2017 by a rightwing Canadian media website, the Rebel Media, on a salary of about £5,000 a month.
- A small Australian rightwing group, Australian Liberty Alliance, says it has helped fund Robinson, but did not disclose how much.
- A New York City-based thinktank, the Gatestone Institute, has published a succession of articles supporting Robinson's cause.
- The David Horowitz Freedom Center (DHFC), a California-based thinktank that describes itself as a "school for political warfare", has published a series of pieces defending Robinson, and has lobbied for him to address US politicians.
Gatestone has received more than $2m in donations, including $250,000 from the Mercer Family Foundation, which is funded by Donald Trumpís top donor, Robert Mercer, and run by the billionaireís daughter Rebekah.
Robinson was recently appointed an official adviser to UKIP, which is backing his pro-Brexit rally on Sunday. UKIP's embrace of him has caused a rupture in the party and prompted two former leaders, Nigel Farage and Paul Nuttall, and hundreds of members to leave.
Announcing his resignation this week after 25 years with the party, Farage wrote in the Daily Telegraph: "The very idea of Tommy Robinson being at the centre of the Brexit debate is too awful to contemplate."
Robinson founded the English Defence League, a far-right Islamophobic group, in 2009
For Bibi, Hondeling Over the Holocaust in Return for an Anti-Semite's Embrace | Tikun Olam |
Barak Ravid reports (Hebrew and English here) that Hungary, like Poland, is now seeking to engage in Holocaust revisionism. Just as the Poles passed a law that offered a prison sentence to anyone who blamed Poles for the Holocaust, Hungary is now getting into the act. If you asked any of the leaders of the far-right parties running these countries, not a single Pole or Hungarian was responsible for the Holocaust. Well, maybe one or two, at most.
That got the Poles in trouble with legitimate Holocaust historians, including some who are Polish, and leading international academics who pointed out that this was a falsification of history. Though Bibi Netanyahu at first endorsed the Polish legislation, he was taken aback by the fierceness of the response it elicited.
Here we see Netanyahu's enveloping embrace of the worst elements of intolerance, hate, and even anti-Semitism in both Europe and the U.S. In return for their support, he's abandoned all his former allies even in the world Jewish community. Instead, he's made common cause with a miasmatic stew of neo-Nazis, xenophobes, Islamophobes, Christian fundamentalists, and raging anti-Semites. He excuses their Jew hatred, while embracing their mutual hatred of Islam, Arabs and leftists. It's a bargain with the Devil.
Related reading ...
○ When Israel Becomes an Anti-Semitic State
○ Israel Lobby is Leading in Attack on Jeremy Corbyn
○ New Fascist Pariah States America and Israel Lashing Out
How US billionaires are fuelling the hard-right cause in Britain | The Guardian - Opinion |
Dark money is among the greatest current threats to democracy. It means money spent below the public radar, that seeks to change political outcomes. It enables very rich people and corporations to influence politics without showing their hands.
Among the world's biggest political spenders are Charles and David Koch, co-owners of Koch Industries, a vast private conglomerate of oil pipelines and refineries, chemicals, timber and paper companies, commodity trading firms and cattle ranches.
In a rare public statement, in an essay published in 1978, Charles Koch explained his objective. "Our movement must destroy the prevalent statist paradigm." As Jane Mayer records in her book Dark Money, the Kochs' ideology - lower taxes and looser regulations - and their business interests "dovetailed so seamlessly it was difficult to distinguish one from the other". Over the years, she notes, "the company developed a stunning record of corporate malfeasance". Koch Industries paid massive fines for oil spills, illegal benzene emissions and ammonia pollution.
The Kochs' chief political lieutenant, Richard Fink, developed what he called a three-stage model of social change. Universities would produce "the intellectual raw materials". Thinktanks would transform them into "a more practical or usable form". Then "citizen activist" groups would "press for the implementation of policy change". To these ends the Kochs set up bodies in all three categories themselves, such as the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, the Cato Institute and the "citizens' group" Americans for Prosperity. But for the most part they funded existing organisations that met their criteria. They have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into a network of academic departments, thinktanks, journals and movements.
The Koch brothers are famously careful with their money. According to Mayer, they exert "unusually tight personal control over their philanthropic endeavours". David Koch told a sympathetic journalist: "If we're going to give a lot of money, we'll make darn sure they spend it in a way that goes along with our intent. And if they make a wrong turn and start doing things we don't agree with, we withdraw funding." So what might have attracted them to this obscure organisation?
Spiked magazine, edited by O'Neill, appears to hate leftwing politics. It inveighs against the welfare state, against regulation, the Occupy movement, anti-capitalists, Jeremy Corbyn, George Soros, #MeToo, "black privilege" and Black Lives Matter. It does so in the name of the "ordinary people", whom, it claims, are oppressed by the "anti-Trump and anti-Brexit cultural elites", "feministic elites", "green elites" and "cosmopolitan politicians".
Its articles repeatedly defend figures on the hard right or far right: Katie Hopkins, Nigel Farage, Alex Jones, the Democratic Football Lads' Alliance, Tommy Robinson, Toby Young, Arron Banks, Viktor Orbán. They are portrayed as victims of "McCarthyites" trying to suppress free speech. It demands the hardest of possible Brexits, insisting that "No deal is nothing to fear", as it would allow the UK to scrap EU regulations.
Further reading ...
○ Geert Wilders a Likudnik sponsored by Daniel Pipes
○ Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Geert Wilders Are Islamophobes
○ US Congress Fails In Strategic Thinking Middle East