publishedmedium:le monde

  • ICC submission calls for prosecution of EU over migrant deaths

    Member states should face punitive action over deaths in Mediterranean, say lawyers.

    The EU and member states should be prosecuted for the deaths of thousands of migrants who drowned in the Mediterranean fleeing Libya, according to a detailed legal submission to the international criminal court (ICC).

    The 245-page document calls for punitive action over the EU’s deterrence-based migration policy after 2014, which allegedly “intended to sacrifice the lives of migrants in distress at sea, with the sole objective of dissuading others in similar situation from seeking safe haven in Europe”.

    The indictment is aimed at the EU and the member states that played a prominent role in the refugee crisis: Italy, Germany and France.

    The stark accusation, that officials and politicians knowingly created the “world’s deadliest migration route” resulting in more than 12,000 people losing their lives, is made by experienced international lawyers.

    The two main authors of the submission are Juan Branco, who formerly worked at the ICC as well as at France’s foreign affairs ministry, and Omer Shatz, an Israeli lawyer who teaches at Sciences Po university in Paris.
    Most refugees in Libyan detention centres at risk – UN
    Read more

    The allegation of “crimes against humanity” draws partially on internal papers from Frontex, the EU organisation charged with protecting the EU’s external borders, which, the lawyers say, warned that moving from the successful Italian rescue policy of Mare Nostrum could result in a “higher number of fatalities”.

    The submission states that: “In order to stem migration flows from Libya at all costs … and in lieu of operating safe rescue and disembarkation as the law commands, the EU is orchestrating a policy of forced transfer to concentration camps-like detention facilities [in Libya] where atrocious crimes are committed.”

    The switch from Mare Nostrum to a new policy from 2014, known as Triton (named after the Greek messenger god of the sea), is identified as a crucial moment “establishing undisputed mens rea [mental intention] for the alleged offences”.

    It is claimed that the evidence in the dossier establishes criminal liability within the jurisdiction of the ICC for “causing the death of thousands of human beings per year, the refoulement [forcible return] of tens of thousands migrants attempting to flee Libya and the subsequent commission of murder, deportation, imprisonment, enslavement, torture, rape, persecution and other inhuman acts against them”.

    The Triton policy introduced the “most lethal and organised attack against civilian population the ICC had jurisdiction over in its entire history,” the legal document asserts. “European Union and Member States’ officials had foreknowledge and full awareness of the lethal consequences of their conduct.”

    The submission does not single out individual politicians or officials for specific responsibility but does quote diplomatic cables and comments from national leaders, including Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron.

    The office of the prosecutor at the ICC is already investigating crimes in Libya but the main focus has been on the Libyan civil war, which erupted in 2011 and led to the removal of Muammar Gaddafi. Fatou Bensouda, the ICC prosecutor, has, however, already mentioned inquiries into “alleged crimes against migrants transiting through Libya”.

    The Mare Nostrum search and rescue policy launched in October 2013, the submission says, was “in many ways hugely successful, rescuing 150,810 migrants over a 364-day period”.

    Criticism of the policy began in mid-2014 on the grounds, it is said, that it was not having a sufficient humanitarian impact and that there was a desire to move from assistance at sea to assistance on land.

    “EU officials sought to end Mare Nostrum to allegedly reduce the number of crossings and deaths,” the lawyers maintain. “However, these reasons should not be considered valid as the crossings were not reduced. And the death toll was 30-fold higher.”

    The subsequent policy, Triton, only covered an “area up to 30 nautical miles from the Italian coastline of Lampedusa, leaving around 40 nautical miles of key distress area off the coast of Libya uncovered,” the submission states. It also deployed fewer vessels.

    It is alleged EU officials “did not shy away from acknowledging that Triton was an inadequate replacement for Mare Nostrum”. An internal Frontex report from 28 August 2014, quoted by the lawyers, acknowledged that “the withdrawal of naval assets from the area, if not properly planned and announced well in advance – would likely result in a higher number of fatalities.”

    The first mass drownings cited came on 22 January and 8 February 2015, which resulted in 365 deaths nearer to the Libyan coast. It is alleged that in one case, 29 of the deaths occurred from hypothermia during the 12-hour-long transport back to the Italian island of Lampedusa. During the “black week” of 12 to 18 April 2015, the submission says, two successive shipwrecks led to the deaths of 1,200 migrants.

    As well as drownings, the forced return of an estimated 40,000 refugees allegedly left them at risk of “executions, torture and other systematic rights abuses” in militia-controlled camps in Libya.

    “European Union officials were fully aware of the treatment of the migrants by the Libyan Coastguard and the fact that migrants would be taken ... to an unsafe port in Libya, where they would face immediate detention in the detention centers, a form of unlawful imprisonment in which murder, sexual assault, torture and other crimes were known by the European Union agents and officials to be common,” the submission states.

    Overall, EU migration policies caused the deaths of “thousands civilians per year in the past five years and produced about 40,000 victims of crimes within the jurisdiction of the court in the past three years”, the report states.

    The submission will be handed in to the ICC on Monday 3 June.

    An EU spokesperson said the union could not comment on “non-existing” legal actions but added: “Our priority has always been and will continue to be protecting lives and ensuring humane and dignified treatment of everyone throughout the migratory routes. It’s a task where no single actor can ensure decisive change alone.

    “All our action is based on international and European law. The European Union dialogue with Libyan authorities focuses on the respect for human rights of migrants and refugees, on promoting the work of UNHCR and IOM on the ground, and on pushing for the development of alternatives to detention, such as the setting up of safe spaces, to end the systematic and arbitrary detention system of migrants and refugees in Libya.

    “Search and Rescue operations in the Mediterranean need to follow international law, and responsibility depends on where they take place. EU operations cannot enter Libya waters, they operate in international waters. SAR operations in Libyan territorial waters are Libyan responsibility.”

    The spokesperson added that the EU has “pushed Libyan authorities to put in place mechanisms improving the treatment of the migrants rescued by the Libyan Coast Guard.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/law/2019/jun/03/icc-submission-calls-for-prosecution-of-eu-over-migrant-deaths
    #justice #décès #CPI #mourir_en_mer #CPI #cour_pénale_internationale

    ping @reka @isskein @karine4

    Ajouté à la métaliste sur les sauvetages en Méditerranée :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/706177

    • L’Union Européenne devra-t-elle un jour répondre de « crimes contre l’Humanité » devant la Cour Pénale Internationale ?

      #Crimes_contre_l'humanité, et #responsabilité dans la mort de 14 000 migrants en 5 années : voilà ce dont il est question dans cette enquête menée par plusieurs avocats internationaux spécialisés dans les Droits de l’homme, déposée aujourd’hui à la CPI de la Haye, et qui pourrait donc donner lieu à des #poursuites contre des responsables actuels des institutions européennes.

      La démarche fait l’objet d’articles coordonnés ce matin aussi bien dans le Spiegel Allemand (https://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/fluechtlinge-in-libyen-rechtsanwaelte-zeigen-eu-in-den-haag-an-a-1270301.htm), The Washington Post aux Etats-Unis (https://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/fluechtlinge-in-libyen-rechtsanwaelte-zeigen-eu-in-den-haag-an-a-1270301.htm), El Pais en Espagne (https://elpais.com/internacional/2019/06/02/actualidad/1559497654_560556.html), The Guardian en Grande-Bretagne, et le Monde, cet après-midi en France... bref, ce qui se fait de plus retentissant dans la presse mondiale.

      Les auteurs de ce #plaidoyer, parmi lesquels on retrouve le français #Juan_Branco ou l’israélien #Omer_Shatz, affirment que Bruxelles, Paris, Berlin et Rome ont pris des décisions qui ont mené directement, et en connaissance de cause, à la mort de milliers de personnes. En #Méditerrannée, bien sûr, mais aussi en #Libye, où la politique migratoire concertée des 28 est accusée d’avoir « cautionné l’existence de centres de détention, de lieux de tortures, et d’une politique de la terreur, du viol et de l’esclavagisme généralisé » contre ceux qui traversaient la Libye pour tenter ensuite de rejoindre l’Europe.

      Aucun dirigeant européen n’est directement nommé par ce réquisitoire, mais le rapport des avocats cite des discours entre autres d’#Emmanuel_Macron, d’#Angela_Merkel. Il évoque aussi, selon The Guardian, des alertes qui auraient été clairement formulées, en interne par l’agence #Frontex en particulier, sur le fait que le changement de politique européenne en 2014 en Méditerranée « allait conduire à une augmentation des décès en mer ». C’est ce qui s’est passé : 2014, c’est l’année-bascule, celle où le plan Mare Nostrum qui consistait à organiser les secours en mer autour de l’Italie, a été remplacé par ce partenariat UE-Libye qui, selon les auteurs de l’enquête, a ouvert la voix aux exactions que l’on sait, et qui ont été documentées par Der Spiegel dans son reportage publié début mai, et titré « Libye : l’enfer sur terre ».

      A présent, dit Juan Branco dans The Washington Post (et dans ce style qui lui vaut tant d’ennemis en France), c’est aux procureurs de la CPI de dire « s’ils oseront ou non » remonter aux sommet des responsabilités européennes. J’en terminerai pour ma part sur les doutes de cet expert en droit européen cité par El Pais et qui « ne prédit pas un grand succès devant la Cour » à cette action.

      https://www.franceculture.fr/emissions/revue-de-presse-internationale/la-revue-de-presse-internationale-emission-du-lundi-03-juin-2019
      #UE #Europe #EU #droits_humains

    • Submission to ICC condemns EU for ‘crimes against humanity’

      EU Commission migration spokesperson Natasha Bertaud gave an official statement regarding a recently submitted 245-page document to the International Criminal Court by human rights lawyers Juan Branco and Omer Shatz on June 3, 2019. The case claimed the EU and its member states should face punitive action for Libyan migrant deaths in the Mediterranean. The EU says these deaths are not a result of EU camps, rather the dangerous and cruel routes on which smugglers take immigrants. Bertaud said the EU’s track record on saving lives “has been our top priority, and we have been working relentlessly to this end.” Bertaud said an increase in EU operations in the Mediterranean have resulted in a decrease in deaths in the past 4 years. The accusation claims that EU member states created the “world’s deadliest migration route,” which has led to more than 12,000 migrant deaths since its inception. Branco and Shatz wrote that the forcible return of migrants to Libyan camps and the “subsequent commission of murder, deportation, imprisonment, enslavement, torture, rape, persecution and other inhuman acts against them,” are the grounds for this indictment. Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron were named specifically as those knowingly supporting these refugee camps, which the lawyers explicitly condemned in their report. The EU intends to maintain its presence on the Libyan coast and aims to create safer alternatives to detention centers.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=28&v=AMGaKDNxcDg

    • Migration in the Mediterranean: why it’s time to put European leaders on trial

      In June this year two lawyers filed a complaint at the International Criminal Court (ICC) naming European Union member states’ migration policies in the Mediterranean as crimes against humanity.

      The court’s Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, must decide whether she wants to open a preliminary investigation into the criminality of Europe’s treatment of migrants.

      The challenge against the EU’s Mediterranean migrant policy is set out in a 245-page document prepared by Juan Branco and Omer Shatz, two lawyer-activists working and teaching in Paris. They argue that EU migration policy is founded in deterrence and that drowned migrants are a deliberate element of this policy. The international law that they allege has been violated – crimes against humanity – applies to state policies practiced even outside of armed conflict.

      Doctrinally and juridically, the ICC can proceed. The question that remains is political: can and should the ICC come after its founders on their own turf?

      There are two reasons why the answer is emphatically yes. First, the complaint addresses what has become a rights impasse in the EU. By taking on an area stymying other supranational courts, the ICC can fulfil its role as a judicial institution of last resort. Second, by turning its sights on its founders (and funders), the ICC can redress the charges of neocolonialism in and around Africa that have dogged it for the past decade.
      ICC legitimacy

      The ICC is the world’s first permanent international criminal court. Founded in 2002, it currently has 122 member states.

      So far, it has only prosecuted Africans. This has led to persistent critiques that it is a neocolonial institution that “only chases Africans” and only tries rebels. In turn, this has led to pushback against the court from powerful actors like the African Union, which urges its members to leave the court.

      The first departure from the court occurred in 2017, when Burundi left. The Philippines followed suit in March of this year. Both countries are currently under investigation by the ICC for state sponsored atrocities. South Africa threatened withdrawal, but this seems to have blown over.

      In this climate, many cheered the news of the ICC Prosecutor’s 2017 request to investigate crimes committed in Afghanistan. As a member of the ICC, Afghanistan is within the ICC’s jurisdiction. The investigation included atrocities committed by the Taliban and foreign military forces active in Afghanistan, including members of the US armed forces.

      The US, which is not a member of the ICC, violently opposes any possibility that its military personnel might be caught up in ICC charges. In April 2019 the ICC announced that a pre-trial chamber had shut down the investigation because US opposition made ICC action impossible.

      Court watchers reacted with frustration and disgust.
      EU migration

      An estimated 30,000 migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean in the past three decades. International attention was drawn to their plight during the migration surge of 2015, when the image of 3-year-old Alan Kurdi face-down on a Turkish beach circulated the globe. More than one million people entered Europe that year. This led the EU and its member states to close land and sea borders in the east by erecting fences and completing a Euro 3 billion deal with Turkey to keep migrants there. NATO ships were posted in the Aegean to catch and return migrants.

      Migrant-saving projects, such as the Italian Mare Nostrum programme that collected 150,000 migrants in 2013-2014, were replaced by border guarding projects. Political pressure designed to reduce the number of migrants who made it to European shores led to the revocation and non-renewal of licenses for boats registered to NGOs whose purpose was to rescue migrants at sea. This has led to the current situation, where there is only one boat patrolling the Mediterranean.

      The EU has handed search and rescue duties over to the Libyan coast guard, which has been accused repeatedly of atrocities against migrants. European countries now negotiate Mediterranean migrant reception on a case-by-case basis.
      A rights impasse

      International and supranational law applies to migrants, but so far it has inadequately protected them. The law of the sea mandates that ships collect people in need. A series of refusals to allow ships to disembark collected migrants has imperilled this international doctrine.

      In the EU, the Court of Justice oversees migration and refugee policies. Such oversight now includes a two-year-old deal with Libya that some claim is tantamount to “sentencing migrants to death.”

      For its part, the European Court of Human Rights has established itself as “no friend to migrants.” Although the court’s 2012 decision in Hirsi was celebrated for a progressive stance regarding the rights of migrants at sea, it is unclear how expansively that ruling applies.

      European courts are being invoked and making rulings, yet the journey for migrants has only grown more desperate and deadly over the past few years. Existing European mechanisms, policies, and international rights commitments are not producing change.

      In this rights impasse, the introduction of a new legal paradigm is essential.
      Fulfilling its role

      A foundational element of ICC procedure is complementarity. This holds that the court only intervenes when states cannot or will not act on their own.

      Complementarity has played an unexpectedly central role in the cases before the ICC to date, as African states have self-referred defendants claiming that they do not have the resources to try them themselves. This has greatly contributed to the ICC’s political failure in Africa, as rights-abusing governments have handed over political adversaries to the ICC for prosecution in bad faith, enjoying the benefits of a domestic political sphere relieved of these adversaries while simultaneously complaining of ICC meddling in domestic affairs.

      This isn’t how complementarity was supposed to work.

      The present rights impasse in the EU regarding migration showcases what complementarity was intended to do – granting sovereign states primacy over law enforcement and stepping in only when states both violate humanitarian law and refuse to act. The past decade of deadly migration coupled with a deliberately wastrel refugee policy in Europe qualifies as just such a situation.

      Would-be migrants don’t vote and cannot garner political representation in the EU. This leaves only human rights norms, and the international commitments in which they are enshrined, to protect them. These norms are not being enforced, in part because questions of citizenship and border security have remained largely the domain of sovereign states. Those policies are resulting in an ongoing crime against humanity.

      The ICC may be the only institution capable of breaking the current impasse by threatening to bring Europe’s leaders to criminal account. This is the work of last resort for which international criminal law is designed. The ICC should embrace the progressive ideals that drove its construction, and engage.

      https://theconversation.com/migration-in-the-mediterranean-why-its-time-to-put-european-leaders
      #procès

  • Confronting racism is not about the needs and feelings of white people

    Too often whites at discussions on race decide for themselves what will be discussed, what they will hear, what they will learn. And it is their space. All spaces are.

    I was leaving a corporate office building after a full day of leading workshops on how to talk about race thoughtfully and deliberately. The audience for each session had been similar to the dozens I had faced before. There was an overrepresentation of employees of color, an underrepresentation of white employees. The participants of color tended to make eye contact with me and nod – I even heard a few “Amens” – but were never the first to raise their hands with questions or comments. Meanwhile, there was always a white man eager to share his thoughts on race. In these sessions I typically rely on silent feedback from participants of color to make sure I am on the right track, while trying to moderate the loud centering of whiteness.

    In the hallway an Asian American woman locked eyes with me and mouthed: “Thank you.” A black man squeezed my shoulder and muttered: “Girl, if you only knew.” A black woman stopped me, looked around cautiously to make sure no one was within earshot, and then said: “You spoke the truth. I wish I could have shared my story so you’d know how true. But this was not the place.”

    This was not the place. Despite the care I take in these sessions to center people of color, to keep them safe, this still was not the place. Once again, what might have been a discussion about the real, quantifiable harm being done to people of color had been subsumed by a discussion about the feelings of white people, the expectations of white people, the needs of white people.

    As I stood there, gazing off into the memory of hundreds of stifled conversations about race, I was brought to attention by a white woman. She was not nervously looking around to see who might be listening. She didn’t ask if I had time to talk, though I was standing at the door.

    “Your session was really nice,” she started. “You said a lot of good things that will be useful to a lot of people.”

    She paused briefly: “But the thing is, nothing you talked about today is going to help me make more black friends.”

    I was reminded of one of the very first panels on race I had participated in. A black man in Seattle had been pepper-sprayed by a security guard for doing nothing more than walking through a shopping center. It had been caught on camera. A group of black writers and activists, myself included, were onstage in front of a majority-white Seattle audience, talking about the incident. Fellow panelist Charles Mudede, a brilliant writer, film-maker and economic theorist, addressed the economic mechanisms at work: this security guard had been told that his job was to protect his employers’ ability to make a profit. He had been told that his job was to keep customers who had money to spend happy and safe. And every day he was fed cultural messages about who had money and who didn’t. Who was violent and who wasn’t. Charles argued that the security guard had been doing his job. In a white supremacist capitalist system, this is what doing your job looked like.

    Well, at least he was trying to argue that point. Because halfway through, a white woman stood up and interrupted him.

    “Look, I’m sure you know a lot about all this stuff,” she said, hands on hips. “But I didn’t come here for an economics lesson. I came here because I feel bad about what happened to this man and I want to know what to do.”

    That room, apparently, wasn’t the place either. According to this woman, this talk was not, or should not have been, about the feelings of the man who was pepper-sprayed, or those of the broader black community, which had just been delivered even more evidence of how unsafe we are in our own city. She felt bad and wanted to stop feeling bad. And she expected us to provide that to her.

    At a university last month, where I was discussing the whitewashing of publishing and the need for more unfiltered narratives by people of color, a white man insisted that there was no way we were going to be understood by white people if we couldn’t make ourselves more accessible. When I asked him if all of the elements of white culture that people of color have to familiarize themselves with just to get through the day are ever modified to suit us, he shrugged and looked down at his notebook. At a workshop I led last week a white woman wondered if perhaps people of color in America are too sensitive about race. How was she going to be able to learn if we were always getting so upset at her questions?

    I’ve experienced similar interruptions and dismissals more times than I can count. Even when my name is on the poster, none of these places seem like the right places in which to talk about what I and so many people of color need to talk about. So often the white attendees have decided for themselves what will be discussed, what they will hear, what they will learn. And it is their space. All spaces are.

    One day, in frustration, I posted this social media status:

    “If your anti-racism work prioritizes the ‘growth’ and ‘enlightenment’ of white America over the safety, dignity and humanity of people of color – it’s not anti-racism work. It’s white supremacy.”

    One of the very first responses I received from a white commenter was: “OK, but isn’t it better than nothing?”

    Is it? Is a little erasure better than a lot of erasure? Is a little white supremacy leaked into our anti-racism work better than no anti-racism work at all? Every time I stand in front of an audience to address racial oppression in America, I know that I am facing a lot of white people who are in the room to feel less bad about racial discrimination and violence in the news, to score points, to let everyone know that they are not like the others, to make black friends. I know that I am speaking to a lot of white people who are certain they are not the problem because they are there.

    Just once I want to speak to a room of white people who know they are there because they are the problem. Who know they are there to begin the work of seeing where they have been complicit and harmful so that they can start doing better. Because white supremacy is their construct, a construct they have benefited from, and deconstructing white supremacy is their duty.

    Myself and many of the attendees of color often leave these talks feeling tired and disheartened, but I still show up and speak. I show up in the hopes that maybe, possibly, this talk will be the one that finally breaks through, or will bring me a step closer to the one that will. I show up and speak for people of color who can’t speak freely, so that they might feel seen and heard. I speak because there are people of color in the room who need to hear that they shouldn’t have to carry the burden of racial oppression, while those who benefit from that same oppression expect anti-racism efforts to meet their needs first. After my most recent talk, a black woman slipped me a note in which she had written that she would never be able to speak openly about the ways that racism was impacting her life, not without risking reprisals from white peers. “I will heal at home in silence,” she concluded.

    Is it better than nothing? Or is the fact that in 2019 I still have to ask myself that question every day most harmful of all?

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/mar/28/confronting-racism-is-not-about-the-needs-and-feelings-of-white-people
    #racisme #inégalité #subalternité #silence #pouvoir #trauma #traumatisme #safe_place #porte-parole #espace_public #parole_publique #témoignage #liberté_d'expression #Noirs #Blancs #USA #Etats-Unis
    #can_the_subaltern_speak?

  • Les #gilets_jaunes vus de New York...

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    Driving was already expensive in France when in January 2018 the government of President Emmanuel Macron imposed a tax that raised the price of diesel fuel by 7.6 centimes per liter and of gasoline by 3.8 centimes (about 9 and 4 cents, respectively); further increases were planned for January 2019. The taxes were an attempt to cut carbon emissions and honor the president’s lofty promise to “Make Our Planet Great Again.”

    Priscillia Ludosky, then a thirty-two-year-old bank employee from the Seine-et-Marne department outside Paris, had no choice but to drive into the city for work every day, and the cost of her commute was mounting. “When you pay regularly for something, it really adds up fast, and the increase was enormous,” she told me recently. “There are lots of things I don’t like. But on that I pushed.” In late May 2018, she created a petition on Change.org entitled Pour une Baisse des Prix du Carburant à la Pompe! (For a reduction of fuel prices at the pump!)

    Over the summer Ludosky’s petition—which acknowledged the “entirely honorable” aim of reducing pollution while offering six alternative policy suggestions, including subsidizing electric cars and encouraging employers to allow remote work—got little attention. In the fall she tried again, convincing a radio host in Seine-et-Marne to interview her if the petition garnered 1,500 signatures. She posted that challenge on her Facebook page, and the signatures arrived in less than twenty-four hours. A local news site then shared the petition on its own Facebook page, and it went viral, eventually being signed by over 1.2 million people.

    Éric Drouet, a thirty-three-year-old truck driver and anti-Macron militant also from Seine-et-Marne, created a Facebook event for a nationwide blockade of roads on November 17 to protest the high fuel prices. Around the same time, a fifty-one-year-old self-employed hypnotherapist named Jacline Mouraud recorded herself addressing Macron for four minutes and thirty-eight seconds and posted the video on Facebook. “You have persecuted drivers since the day you took office,” she said. “This will continue for how long?” Mouraud’s invective was viewed over six million times, and the gilets jaunes—the yellow vests, named for the high-visibility vests that French drivers are required to keep in their cars and to wear in case of emergency—were born.

    Even in a country where protest is a cherished ritual of public life, the violence and vitriol of the gilets jaunes movement have stunned the government. Almost immediately it outgrew the issue of the carbon taxes and the financial burden on car-reliant French people outside major cities. In a series of Saturday demonstrations that began in mid-November and have continued for three months, a previously dormant anger has erupted. Demonstrators have beaten police officers, thrown acid in the faces of journalists, and threatened the lives of government officials. There has been violence on both sides, and the European Parliament has condemned French authorities for using “flash-ball guns” against protesters, maiming and even blinding more than a few in the crowds. But the gilets jaunes have a flair for cinematic destruction. In late November they damaged parts of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris; in early January they commandeered a forklift and rammed through the heavy doors of the ministry of state—the only time in the history of the Fifth Republic that a sitting minister had to be evacuated from a government building.

    The gilets jaunes are more than a protest. This is a modern-day jacquerie, an emotional wildfire stoked in the provinces and directed against Paris and, most of all, the elite. French history since 1789 can be seen as a sequence of anti-elite movements, yet the gilets jaunes have no real precedent. Unlike the Paris Commune of 1871, this is a proletarian struggle devoid of utopian aspirations. Unlike the Poujadist movement of the mid-1950s—a confederation of shopkeepers likewise opposed to the “Americanization” of a “thieving and inhuman” state and similarly attracted to anti-Semitic conspiracy theories—the gilets jaunes include shopkeepers seemingly content to destroy shop windows. There is an aspect of carnival here: a delight in the subversion of norms, a deliberate embrace of the grotesque.

    Many have said that the gilets jaunes are merely another “populist movement,” although the term is now so broad that it is nearly meaningless. Comparisons have been made to the Britain of Brexit, the United States of Donald Trump, and especially the Italy of Cinque Stelle. But the crucial difference is that the gilets jaunes are apolitical, and militantly so. They have no official platform, no leadership hierarchy, and no reliable communications. Everyone can speak for the movement, and yet no one can. When a small faction within it fielded a list of candidates for the upcoming European parliamentary elections in May, their sharpest opposition came from within: to many gilets jaunes, the ten who had put their names forward—among them a nurse, a truck driver, and an accountant—were traitors to the cause, having dared to replicate the elite that the rest of the movement disdains.

    Concessions from the government have had little effect. Under mounting pressure, Macron was forced to abandon the carbon tax planned for 2019 in a solemn televised address in mid-December. He also launched the so-called grand débat, a three-month tour of rural France designed to give him a better grasp of the concerns of ordinary people. In some of these sessions, Macron has endured more than six hours of bitter criticisms from angry provincial mayors. But these gestures have quelled neither the protests nor the anger of those who remain in the movement. Performance is the point. During the early “acts,” as the weekly demonstrations are known, members refused to meet with French prime minister Édouard Philippe, on the grounds that he would not allow the encounter to be televised, and that sentiment has persisted. Perhaps the most telling thing about the gilets jaunes is the vest they wear: a symbol of car ownership, but more fundamentally a material demand to be seen.

    Inequality in France is less extreme than in the United States and Britain, but it is increasing. Among wealthy Western countries, the postwar French state—l’État-providence—is something of a marvel. France’s health and education systems remain almost entirely free while ranking among the best in the world. In 2017 the country’s ratio of tax revenue to gross domestic product was 46.2 percent, according to statistics from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)—the highest redistribution level of any OECD country and a ratio that allows the state to fight poverty through a generous social protection system. Of that 46.2 percent, the French government allocated approximately 28 percent for social services.

    “The French social model is so integrated that it almost seems a natural, preexisting condition,” Alexis Spire, a sociologist of inequality at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, told me recently. A number of the gilets jaunes I met said that despite the taxes they pay, they do not feel they benefit from any social services, since they live far from urban centers. But anyone who has ever received housing assistance, a free prescription, or sixteen weeks of paid maternity leave has benefited from the social protection system. The effect of redistribution is often invisible.

    And yet the rich in France have gotten much richer. Between 1983 and 2015, the vast majority of incomes in France rose by less than one percent per year, while the richest one percent of the population saw their incomes rise by 100 percent after taxes. According to World Bank statistics, the richest 20 percent now earns nearly five times as much as the bottom 20 percent. This represents a stark shift from the Trente Glorieuses, France’s thirty-year economic boom after World War II. As the economist Thomas Piketty has pointed out, between 1950 and 1983, most French incomes rose steadily by approximately 4 percent per year; the nation’s top incomes rose by only one percent.

    What has become painfully visible, however, is the extent of the country’s geographical fractures. Paris has always been the undisputed center of politics, culture, and commerce, but France was once also a country that cherished and protected its vibrant provincial life. This was la France profonde, a clichéd but genuinely existing France of tranquil stone villages and local boulangeries with lines around the block on Sundays. “Douce France, cher pays de mon enfance,” goes the beloved song by the crooner Charles Trenet. “Mon village, au clocher aux maisons sages.” These days, the maisons sages are vacant, and the country boulangeries are closed.

    The story is familiar: the arrival of large multinational megastores on the outskirts of provincial French towns and cities has threatened, and in many cases asphyxiated, local businesses.1 In the once-bustling centers of towns like Avignon, Agen, Calais, and Périgueux, there is now an eerie quiet: windows are often boarded up, and fewer and fewer people are to be found. This is the world evoked with a melancholy beauty in Nicolas Mathieu’s novel Leurs enfants après eux, which won the Prix Goncourt, France’s most prestigious literary prize, in 2018.

    The expansion since the 1980s of France’s high-speed rail network has meant that the country’s major cities are all well connected to Paris. But there are many small towns where the future never arrived, where abandoned nineteenth-century train stations are now merely places for teenagers to make out, monuments of the way things used to be. In these towns, cars are the only way people can get to work. I met a fifty-five-year-old truck and taxi driver named Marco Pavan in the Franche-Comté in late November. What he told me then—about how carbon taxes can seem like sneers from the Parisian elite—has stayed with me. “Ask a Parisian—for him none of this is an issue, because he doesn’t need a car,” Pavan said. “There’s no bus or train to take us anywhere. We have to have a car.” I cited that remark in a Washington Post story I filed from Besançon; in the online comments section, many attacked the movement for what they saw as a backward anti-environmentalism—missing his point.

    Few have written as extensively as the French geographer Christophe Guilluy on la France périphérique, a term he popularized that refers both to the people and the regions left behind by an increasingly globalized economy. Since 2010, when he published Fractures françaises, Guilluy has been investigating the myths and realities of what he calls “the trompe l’oeil of a peaceful, moderate, and consensual society.” He is one of a number of left-wing French intellectuals—among them the novelist Michel Houellebecq, the historian Georges Bensoussan, and the essayist Michel Onfray—who in recent years have argued that their beloved patrie has drifted into inexorable decline, a classic critique of the French right since 1789. But Guilluy’s decline narrative is different: he is not as concerned as the others with Islamist extremism or “decadence” broadly conceived. For him, France’s decline is structural, the result of having become a place where “the social question disappears.”

    Guilluy, born in Montreuil in 1964, is something of a rarity among well-known French intellectuals: he is a product of the Paris suburbs, not of France’s storied grandes écoles. And it is clear that much of his critique is personal. As a child, Guilluy, whose family then lived in the working-class Paris neighborhood of Belleville, was forcibly relocated for a brief period to the heavily immigrant suburb of La Courneuve when their building was slated to be demolished in the midst of Paris’s urban transformation. “I saw gentrification firsthand,” he told Le Figaro in 2017. “For the natives—the natives being just as much the white worker as the young immigrant—what provoked the most problems was not the arrival of Magrebis, but that of the bobos.”

    This has long been Guilluy’s battle cry, and he has focused his intellectual energy on attacking what he sees as the hypocrisy of the bobos, or bourgeois bohemians. His public debut was a short 2001 column in Libération applying that term, coined by the columnist David Brooks, to French social life. What was happening in major urban centers across the country, he wrote then, was a “ghettoization by the top of society” that excluded people like his own family.

    Guilluy crystallized that argument in a 2014 book that won him the ear of the Élysée Palace and regular appearances on French radio. This was La France périphérique: comment on a sacrifié les classes populaires, in which he contended that since the mid-1980s, France’s working classes have been pushed out of the major cities to rural communities—a situation that was a ticking time bomb—partly as a result of rising prices. He advanced that view further in 2016 with La Crépuscule de la France d’en haut—now translated into English as Twilight of the Elites: Prosperity, the Periphery, and the Future of France—a pithy screed against France’s bobo elite and what he sees as its shameless embrace of a “neoliberal,” “Americanized society” and a hollow, feel-good creed of multicultural tolerance. In 2018, one month before the rise of the gilets jaunes, he published No Society, whose title comes from Margaret Thatcher’s 1987 comment that “there is no such thing as society.”

    In Guilluy’s view, an immigrant working class has taken the place of the “native” working class in the banlieues on the outskirts of major cities. This native class, he argues, has been scattered throughout the country and become an “unnoticed presence” that France’s elite has “made to disappear from public consciousness” in order to consolidate its grip on power. Cities are now the exclusive preserve of the elites and their servants, and what Guilluy means by “no society” is that the visible signs of class conflict in urban daily life have vanished. This is his trompe l’oeil: rich, insulated Parisians have convinced themselves that everything is fine, while those who might say otherwise are nowhere near. “The simmering discontent of rural France has never really been taken seriously,” he writes in Twilight of the Elites.

    Since November, much of the French press has declared that Guilluy essentially predicted the rise of the gilets jaunes. They seem, after all, a fulfillment of his prophecy about “the betrayal of the people” by the elites, even if he is always elusive about who exactly “the people” are. While critiques from the movement have remained a confused cloud of social media invective, Guilluy has served as its de facto interpreter.

    No Society puts into words what many in the gilets jaunes have either struggled or refused to articulate. This is the hazy middle ground between warning and threat: “The populist wave coursing through the western world is only the visible part of a soft power emanating from the working classes that will force the elites to rejoin the real movement of society or else to disappear.”

    For now, however, there is just one member of the elite whom the gilets jaunes wish would disappear, and calls for his violent overthrow continue even as the movement’s momentum subsides.

    An intense and deeply personal hatred of Macron is the only unifying cry among the gilets jaunes. Eighteen months before the uprising began, this was the man who captured the world’s imagination and who, after populist victories in Britain and the United States, had promised a French “Third Way.” Yet the Macronian romance is already over, both at home and abroad.

    To some extent, the French always turn against their presidents, but the anger Macron elicits is unique. This is less because of any particular policy than because of his demeanor and, most of all, his language. “Mr. Macron always refused to respond to us,” Muriel Gautherin, fifty-three, a podiatrist who lives in the Paris suburbs, told me at a December march on the Champs-Élysées. “It’s he who insults us, and he who should respond.” When I asked her what she found most distasteful about the French president, her answer was simple: “His words.”

    She has a point. Among Macron’s earliest actions as president was to shave five euros off the monthly stipends of France’s Aide personalisée au logement (APL), the country’s housing assistance program. Around the same time, he slashed France’s wealth tax on those with a net worth of at least €1.3 million—a holdover from the Mitterand era.

    Macron came to office with a record of unrelentingly insulting the poor. In 2014, when he was France’s economic minister, he responded to the firing of nine hundred employees (most of them women) from a Breton slaughterhouse by noting that some were “mostly illiterate.” In 2016 he was caught on camera in a heated dispute with a labor activist in the Hérault. When the activist gestured to Macron’s €1,600 suit as a symbol of his privilege, the minister said, “The best way to afford a suit is to work.” In 2018 he told a young, unemployed gardener that he could find a new job if he merely “crossed the street.”

    Yet nothing quite compares to the statement Macron made in inaugurating Station F, a startup incubator in the thirteenth arrondissement of Paris, housed in a converted rail depot. It is a cavernous consulate for Silicon Valley, a soaring glass campus open to all those with “big ideas” who can also pay €195 a month for a desk and can fill out an application in fluent English. (“We won’t consider any other language,” the organization’s website says.) Google, Amazon, and Microsoft all have offices in it, and in a city of terrible coffee, the espresso is predictably fabulous. In June 2017 Macron delivered a speech there. “A train station,” he said, referring to the structure’s origins, “it’s a place where we encounter those who are succeeding and those who are nothing.”

    This was the moment when a large percentage of the French public learned that in the eyes of their president, they had no value. “Ceux qui ne sont rien” is a phrase that has lingered and festered. To don the yellow vest is thus to declare not only that one has value but also that one exists.

    On the whole, the gilets jaunes are not the poorest members of French society, which is not surprising. As Tocqueville remarked, revolutions are fueled not by those who suffer the most, but by those whose economic status has been improving and who then experience a sudden and unexpected fall. So it seems with the gilets jaunes: most live above the poverty line but come from the precarious ranks of the lower middle class, a group that aspires to middle-class stability and seeks to secure it through palliative consumption: certain clothing brands, the latest iPhone, the newest television.

    In mid-December Le Monde profiled a young couple in the movement from Sens in north-central France, identified only as Arnaud and Jessica. Both twenty-six, they and their four children live in a housing project on the €2,700 per month that Arnaud earns as a truck driver, including more than €1,000 in government assistance. According to statistics from France’s Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques (Insée), this income places them right at the poverty line for a family of this size, and possibly even slightly below it. But the expenses Arnaud and Jessica told Le Monde they struggled to pay included karate lessons for their oldest son and pet supplies for their dog. Jessica, who does not work, told Le Monde, “Children are so mean to each other if they wear lesser brands. I don’t want their friends to make fun of them.” She said she had traveled to Paris for gilet jaune protests on three separate weekends—journeys that presumably cost her money.

    Readers of Le Monde—many of them educated, affluent, and pro-Macron—were quick to attack Arnaud and Jessica. But the sniping missed their point, which was that they felt a seemingly inescapable sense of humiliation, fearing ridicule everywhere from the Élysée Palace to their children’s school. They were explaining something profound about the gilets jaunes: the degree to which the movement is fueled by unfulfilled expectations. For many demonstrators, life is simply not as they believed it would be, or as they feel they deserve. There is an aspect of entitlement to the gilets jaunes, who are also protesting what the French call déclassement, the increasing elusiveness of the middle-class dream in a society in which economic growth has not kept pace with population increase. This entitlement appears to have alienated the gilets jaunes from immigrants and people of color, who are largely absent from their ranks and whose condition is often materially worse.2 “It’s not people who don’t have hope anymore, who don’t have a place to live, or who don’t have a job,” Rokhaya Diallo, a French activist for racial equality, told me recently, describing the movement. “It’s just that status they’re trying to preserve.”

    The gilets jaunes have no substantive ideas: resentment does not an ideology make. They remain a combustible vacuum, and extremist agitators on the far right and the far left have sought to capitalize on their anger. Both Marine Le Pen of the recently renamed Rassemblement National and Jean-Luc Mélenchon of the left-wing La France Insoumise have tried hard to channel the movement’s grassroots energy into their own political parties, but the gilets jaunes have so far resisted these entreaties. The gilets jaunes also found themselves at the center of a diplomatic spat: in early February Italy’s deputy prime minister, Luigi Di Maio, met with two of their members on the outskirts of Paris in a jab at Macron. Two days later, France withdrew its ambassador to Rome for the first time since 1940, but the gilets jaunes have not attempted to exploit this attention for their own political gain. Instead there was infighting—a Twitter war over who had the right to represent the cause abroad and who did not.

    The intellectual void at the heart of an amorphous movement can easily fill with the hatred of an “other.” That may already be happening to the gilets jaunes. Although a careful analysis by Le Monde concluded that race and immigration were not major concerns in the two hundred most frequently shared messages on gilet jaune Facebook pages between the beginning of the movement and January 22, a number of gilets jaunes have been recorded on camera making anti-Semitic gestures, insulting a Holocaust survivor on the Paris metro, and saying that journalists “work for the Jews.” Importantly, the gilets jaunes have never collectively denounced any of these anti-Semitic incidents—a silence perhaps inevitable for a movement that eschews organization of any kind. Likewise, a thorough study conducted by the Paris-based Fondation Jean Jaurès has shown the extent to which conspiracy theories are popular in the movement: 59 percent of those surveyed who had participated in a gilet jaune demonstration said they believed that France’s political elites were encouraging immigration in order to replace them, and 50 percent said they believed in a global “Zionist” conspiracy.

    Members of the movement are often quick to point out that the gilets jaunes are not motivated by identity politics, and yet anyone who has visited one of their demonstrations is confronted with an undeniable reality. Far too much attention has been paid to the symbolism of the yellow vests and far too little to the fact that the vast majority of those who wear them are lower-middle-class whites. In what is perhaps the most ethnically diverse society in Western Europe, can the gilets jaunes truly be said to represent “the people,” as the members of the movement often claim? Priscillia Ludosky, arguably the first gilet jaune, is a black woman. “It’s complicated, that question,” she told me. “I have no response.”

    The gilets jaunes are also distinctly a minority of the French population: in a country of 67 million, as many as 282,000 have demonstrated on a single day, and that figure has consistently fallen with each passing week, down to 41,500 during “Act 14” of the protest on February 16. On two different weekends in November and December, other marches in Paris—one for women’s rights, the other against climate change—drew far bigger crowds than the gilets jaunes did. But the concerns of this minority are treated as universal by politicians, the press, and even the movement’s sharpest critics. Especially after Trump and Brexit, lower-middle-class and working-class whites command public attention even when they have no clear message.

    French citizens of color have been protesting social inequality for years without receiving any such respect. In 2005 the killing of two minority youths by French police in the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois ignited a string of violent uprisings against police brutality, but the government declared an official state of emergency instead of launching a grand débat. In 2009, the overseas departments of Guadeloupe and Martinique saw a huge strike against the high cost of living—a forty-four-day uprising that also targeted fuel prices and demanded an increase to the minimum wage. In 2017 an almost identical protest occurred in French Guiana, another French overseas department, where residents demonstrated against household goods that were as much as 12 percent more expensive than they were in mainland France, despite a lower minimum wage. The French government was slow to respond in both of these instances, while the concerns of the gilets jaunes have resulted in a personal apology from the president and a slew of concessions.

    Guilluy, whose analysis of la France périphérique ultimately fails to grapple significantly with France’s decidedly peripheral overseas territories, does not shy away from the question of identity. He sees a racial element to the frustrations of la France périphérique, but he does not see this as a problem. Some of the most frustrating moments in his work come when he acknowledges but refuses to interrogate white working-class behavior that seems to be racially motivated. “Public housing in outlying communities is now a last resort for workers hoping to be able to go on living near the major cities,” he writes in Twilight of the Elites, describing the recent astronomic rise in France’s urban real estate prices. “These projects, mostly occupied by immigrant renters, are avoided by white French-born workers. Barring some utterly unforeseeable turn of events, their expulsion from the largest urban centers will be irreversible.” It would not diminish Guilluy’s broader point about la France périphérique if he acknowledged that victims of structural changes can also be intolerant.

    Guilluy also regularly recycles anxieties over immigration, often from controversial theorists such as Michèle Tribalat, who is associated with the idea of le grand remplacement, the alleged “great replacement” of France’s white population by immigrants from North and Sub-Saharan Africa. In making his case about “the demographic revolution in process,” Guilluy has been accused of inflating his statistics. France, he wrote in Fractures françaises, “welcomes a little less than 200,000 legal foreigners every year.” But these claims were attacked by Patrick Weil, a leading French historian of immigration, who noted in his book Le sens de la République (2015) that Guilluy failed to consider that a large number of those 200,000 are temporary workers, students who come and go, and others of “irregular” status. Guilluy has not responded to these criticisms, and in any case his rhetoric has since grown more radical. In No Society he writes, “Multiculturalism is, intrinsically, a feeble ideology that divides and weakens.”

    Whether the gilets jaunes will eventually come to agree with him is a crucial question. Like Guilluy, they are responding to real social conditions. But if, following Guilluy’s lead, they ultimately resort to the language of race and ethnicity to explain their suffering, they will have chosen to become a different movement altogether, one in which addressing inequality was never quite the point. In some ways, they have already crossed that line.

    On the afternoon of Saturday, February 16, the prominent French intellectual Alain Finkielkraut got out of a taxi on the Boulevard Montparnasse. A crowd of gilets jaunes noticed him and began hurling anti-Semitic insults. The scene, recorded on video, was chilling: in the center of Paris, under a cloudless sky, a mob of visibly angry men surrounded a man they knew to be Jewish, called him a “dirty Zionist,” and told him, “go back to Tel Aviv.”

    Finkielkraut’s parents were Polish refugees from the Holocaust. He was born in Paris in 1949 and has become a fixture in French cultural life, a prolific author, a host of a popular weekly broadcast on France Culture, and a member of the Académie Française, the country’s most elite literary institution. In the words of Macron, who immediately responded to the attack, he “is not only an eminent man of letters but the symbol of what the Republic affords us all.” The irony is that Finkielkraut—another former leftist who believes that France has plunged into inexorable decline and ignored the dangers of multiculturalism—was one of the only Parisian intellectuals who had supported the gilets jaunes from the beginning.

    I spoke to Finkielkraut after the attack, and he explained that the gilets jaunes had seemed to him the evidence of something authentic. “I saw an invisible France, neglected and forgotten,” he said. “Wearing fluorescent yellow vests in order to be visible—of being a ‘somewhere’ as opposed to an ‘anywhere,’ as Goodhart has said—seemed to me an absolutely legitimate critique.” The British journalist David Goodhart, popular these days in French right-wing circles, is the author of The Road to Somewhere (2017), which sees populist anger as the inevitable response to the widening gulf between those “rooted” in a particular place and cosmopolitans at home anywhere. “France is not a ‘start-up nation,’” Finkielkraut told me. “It can’t be reduced to that.”

    Finkielkraut said that the attack was a sign that the reasonable critiques orginally made by the gilets jaunes had vanished, and that they had no real future. “I think the movement is in the process of degradation. It’s no longer a social movement but a sect that has closed in on itself, whose discourse is no longer rational.”

    Although the Paris prosecutor has opened an investigation into his attackers, Finkielkraut has not pressed charges. He told me that the episode, as violent as it was, did not necessarily suggest that all those who had worn yellow vests in recent months were anti-Semites or extremists. “Those who insulted me were not the nurses, the shopkeepers, or the small business owners,” he said, noting that he doubted he would have experienced the same prejudice at the roundabouts, the traffic circles across the country where gilets jaunes protesters gathered every Saturday. In a sense, these were the essence of the movement, which was an inchoate mobilization against many things, but perhaps none so much as loneliness. The roundabouts quickly became impromptu piazzas and a means, however small, of reclaiming a spirit of community that disappeared long ago in so many French towns and villages.

    In Paris, where the remaining gilets jaunes have now focused most of their energy, the weekly protests have become little more than a despicable theater filled with scenes like the attack on Finkielkraut. There is no convincing evidence that those still wearing yellow vests are troubled by the presence of bigotry in their ranks. What is more, many gilets jaunes now seem to believe that pointing out such prejudice is somehow to become part of a government-backed conspiracy to turn public opinion against them.

    Consider, for instance, a February 19 communiqué released in response to the attack on Finkielkraut from La France en Colère, one of the movement’s main online bulletins. “For many days, the government and its friends in the national media seem to have found a new technique for destabilizing public opinion and discrediting the Gilets Jaunes movement,” it begins. “We denounce the accusations and the manipulations put in place by this government adept at fake news.” But this is all the communiqué denounces; it does not address the anti-Semitic violence to which Finkielkraut was subjected, nor does it apologize to a national figure who had defended the movement when few others of his prominence dared to do the same.

    A month after our last conversation, I called Priscillia Ludosky back, to see if she had any reaction to the recent turn of events in the movement her petition had launched. She was only interested in discussing what she called the French government’s “systematic abuse to manipulate public opinion.” She also believes that a government-media conspiracy will stop at nothing to smear the cause. “If there was one person who ever said something homophobic, it was on the front page of every newspaper,” she told me.

    In the days after the attack, Finkielkraut lamented not so much the grim details of what had happened but the squandered potential of a moment that has increasingly descended into paranoid feverishness. As he told me: “This was a beautiful opportunity to reflect on who we are that’s been completely ruined.”

    https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2019/03/21/low-visibility-france-gilet-jaunes

  • An Interview with Ryszard Kapuscinski: Writing about Suffering
    https://quod.lib.umich.edu/j/jii/4750978.0006.107/--interview-with-ryszard-kapuscinski-writing-about-suffering?rgn=mai

    Wolfe:

    Were you trained as a journalist? Kapuscinski: No, never. I started in journalism in 1950 — I was 18, just finishing secondary school, and the newspaper people came to ask me to work. I learned journalism through practice.

    Wolfe: How would you describe your genre?

    Kapuscinski: It’s very difficult to describe. We have such a mixture now, such a fusion of different genres… in the American tradition you would call it New Journalism. This implies writing about the facts, the real facts of life, but using the techniques of fiction writing. There is a certain difference in my case, because I’m trying to put more elements of the essay into my writing… My writing is a combination of three elements. The first is travel: not travel like a tourist, but travel as exploration, as concentration, as a purpose. The second is reading literature on the subject: books, articles, scholarship. The third is reflection, which comes from travel and reading. My books are created from a combination of these three elements.

    Wolfe:When did the idea of Aesopian writing enter into the genre, the idea of putting layers into official texts?

    Kapuscinski: Well, this is not a new thing — it was a nineteenth-century Russian tradition. As for us, we were trying to use all the available possibilities, because there wasn’t any underground. Underground literature only began in the 70s, when technical developments made it possible. Before that, we were involved in a game with the censors. That was our struggle. The Emperor is considered to be an Aesopian book in Poland and the Soviet Union. Of course it’s not about Ethiopia or Haile Selassie — rather, it’s about the Central Committee of the Communist Party. The First Secretary at the time was named Gierek, and he was very much the emperor with his court, and everybody read the book as being about him and the Central Committee.

    Wolfe: But you didn’t write explicitly about the Central Committee.

    Kapuscinski: No, but of course the authorities knew what it was about, and so it had a very small circulation, and it was forbidden to turn it into a film or a play. Aesopian language was used by all of us. And of course, using this language meant having readers who understood it.

    Cohen: The other day we were discussing the crisis of readership, and wondering whether people were still capable of doing the double reading, of taking apart a text that has been written in a complicated way.

    Kapuscinski: The limitation of sources under the Communists had a very political effect on reading. People had just one book, and nothing else — no television or other diversions — so they just read the same book very carefully several times. Readership was high, and very attentive. It was people’s only source of knowledge about the world. You have to understand that the tradition of Russian literature — and Russians are great readers — is also an eastern tradition of learning poetry and prose by heart. This is the most intimate relationship between literature and its readers: they treat the text as a part of themselves, as a possession. This art of reading, reading the text behind the text, is missing now.

    Cohen: When did you first arrive on the African continent?

    Kapuscinski:My first trip to Africa came when the first countries south of the Sahara became independent, in 1958. Ghana was the first African country I visited. I wrote a series of reports about Nkumrah and Lumumba. My second trip was just two years later, when I went to cover the events surrounding the independence of the Congo. At that time, I was not allowed to go to Kinshasa — it was Leopoldville at that time — but I crossed the Sudan-Congo border illegally with a Czech journalist friend, since there was nobody patrolling it. And I went to Kisangani, which was called Stanleyville then.

    Cohen: Were you in Leopoldville during the actual transfer[1]?

    Kapuscinski:No, afterwards. It was a moment of terrible international tension. I remember the atmosphere of danger: there was the expectation that the Congo might begin a new world war. I say this today and people just smile. But that’s why everybody was so nervous: Russians were going there, Americans were going there, the French, the United Nations… I remember one moment at the airport in Kisangani, thinking that Soviet planes were coming — all the journalists were there, and we all expected it to happen.

    Cohen: At that time, in the early 1960s, there weren’t more than three regular American journalists covering Africa.

    Kapuscinski:There were very few, because most correspondents came from the former colonial powers — there were British, French, and a lot of Italians, because there were a lot of Italian communities there. And of course there were a lot of Russians.

    Wolfe: Was there competition among this handful of people?

    Kapuscinski: No, we all cooperated, all of us, East and West, regardless of country, because the working conditions were really terrible. We had to. We always moved in groups from one coup d’état to another, from one war to another… So if there was a coup d’état of leftist orientation in some country I took my Western colleagues with me and said “look, let them come in,” and if there was one of rightist orientation they took me, saying “no, he’s okay, give him a visa please, he’s going with us, he’s our friend,” and so on. I didn’t compete with the New York Times, for example, because the Polish press agency is a small piece of cake, not important. And because conditions were so hard. For example, to send the news out, there was no e-mail, nothing: telex was the only means, but telex was very rare in Africa. So if somebody was flying to Europe, we gave him correspondence, to send after he arrived. I remember that during the period leading up to independence in Angola in 1975, I was the only correspondent there at all for three months. I was in my hotel room when somebody knocked on my door - I opened it, and a man said, “I’m the New York Times correspondent.” The official independence celebration was going to be held over four or five days, and a group of journalists from all over the world was allowed to fly in, because Angola was closed otherwise. So he said, “I’m sorry, but I’m the new man here, and I heard you’ve been here longer, and I have to write something from Angola, and this is the article I have to send to the New York Times. Could you kindly read it and correct things which are not real?” And he brought a bottle of whiskey. And whiskey was something which was absolutely marvelous, because there was nothing: no cigarettes, no food, nothing…The difference at that time, in comparison with today, was that this was a group of highly specialized people. They were real Africanists, and not only from experience. If you read articles from that time in Le Monde, in the Times, you’ll find that the authors really had background, a knowledge of the subject. It was a very highly qualified sort of journalism — we were all great specialists.

    Woodford: Professor Piotr Michalowski[2] says that when he was growing up in Poland, people lived through your reports in a very special way: they were like a big, exotic outlet, given the state of world politics. People of all ranks and stations followed these adventures. When you went back, did regular Poles, non-educated people, also want you to tell them about what it was like to see these things?

    Kapuscinski:Yes, very much so. They were very interested in what I was writing. This was a unique source of information, and Africa held incomparably greater interest for them at that time than it does now. People were really interested in what was going on because of the international context of the Cold War.

    Wolfe: What did the Poles know about Africa?

    Kapuscinski: They had very limited knowledge. This was very typical of the European understanding of Africa, which is full of stereotypes and biases. Nevertheless, there was a certain fascination with Africa. Maybe it has something to do with our literature: we have Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, for example, and Conrad is considered in Poland as a Polish writer. The similarity between Africa and Poland - and this is an argument I have always had with people in Africa - is that we were also a colonized country. We were a colony for 130 years. We lost independence at the end of the 18th century, and only regained it in 1918, after the First World War. We were divided between three colonial powers - Russia, Prussia, and Austria. There’s a certain similarity of experience. I’ve often quarreled with African friends about this. I’ve asked, “How long were you colonized?” "Eighty years," they’ve answered, and I’ve responded, “We were colonized 50 years longer, so what can you say about colonialism? I’ll tell you what colonial experience is.” And they’re shocked. But though there is a similarity of experience, the common people are not conscious of this.

    Wolfe: At the end of the Copernicus Lecture, you said that you wrote Imperium because it was important to bring a Polish way of seeing things to your topic. How did you come to a sense that there was a Polish way of seeing things? Did it emerge from your experiences in Africa, or in relationship to Russia?

    Kapuscinski: It developed in relation to Russia in particular. Our history, the history of Polish-Russian relations, is very tragic, very harrowing. There has been a lot of suffering on our side, because Stalin killed all our intelligentsia. It wasn’t just that he killed 100,000 people, it was that he purposely killed the 100,000 who were our only intelligentsia… When I started writing Imperium, I had a problem with my conscience, because if I wrote strictly from the point of view of this Polish experience, the book would be completely unacceptable and incomprehensible to the Western reader…So I had to put aside our Polish experience, and to find an angle, an objective way of writing about Russia.

    Wolfe: Isn’t there something inherently difficult in writing about suffering? How does one go back and forth between a sense of causation in daily suffering on the one hand, and an understanding of the purges as a social phenomenon, on the other? How does one attempt to understand the cultural propensity of Russians to suffer?

    Kapuscinski: There is a fundamental difference between the Polish experience of the state and the Russian experience. In the Polish experience, the state was always a foreign power. So, to hate the state, to be disobedient to the state, was a patriotic act. In the Russian experience, although the Russian state is oppressive, it is their state, it is part of their fabric, and so the relation between Russian citizens and their state is much more complicated. There are several reasons why Russians view the oppressive state positively. First of all, in Russian culture, in the Russian Orthodox religion, there is an understanding of authority as something sent by God. This makes the state part of the sacred… So if the state is oppressive, then it is oppressive, but you can’t revolt against it. The cult of authority is very strong in Russian society.

    Wolfe: But what is the difference between Soviet suffering and something like the battle of the Marne, the insanity of World War I and trench warfare?

    Kapuscinski: It’s different. In the First World War, there was the sudden passion of nationalism, and the killing took place because of these emotions. But the Soviet case is different, because there you had systematic murder, like in the Holocaust. Ten or 12 million Ukrainian peasants were purposely killed by Stalin, by starvation, in the Ukrainian hunger of 1932-3…It was a very systematic plan… In modern Russia, you have no official, formal assessment of this past. Nobody in any Russian document has said that the policy of the Soviet government was criminal, that it was terrible. No one has ever said this.

    Woodford: But what about Khrushchev in 1956?

    Kapuscinski: I’m speaking about the present. Official Russian state doctrine and foreign policy doesn’t mention the Bolshevik policy of expansion. It doesn’t condemn it. If you ask liberal Russians - academics, politicians - if Russia is dangerous to us, to Europe, to the world, they say: “No, it’s not dangerous, we’re too weak, we have an economic crisis, difficulties with foreign trade, our army is in a state of anarchy…” That is the answer. They are not saying: “We will never, ever repeat our crimes of expansionism, of constant war.” No, they say: “We are not dangerous to you, because right now we are weak.”

    Cohen:

    When Vaclav Havel was president of Czechoslovakia, he was asked whether the state would take responsibility for the deaths, the oppression, the confiscations of the previous governments of Czechoslovakia, and he said “yes.” The same questions were asked in South Africa of the Mandela government. And I think Poland is now struggling with how much responsibility the government will have to take for the past. But the Russian official response has been that Stalin can be blamed for everything.

    Kapuscinski:This is a very crucial point: there is a lack of critical assessment of the past. But you have to understand that the current ruling elite is actually the old ruling elite. So they are incapable of a self-critical approach to the past.

    Polish-born journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski worked as an African correspondent for various Polish periodicals and press agencies from 1958 to 1980. In his book Imperium (Granta Books, 1994), he turns a journalist’s eye onto the Russian state, and the effects of authoritarianism on everyday Russian life. Kapuscinski delivered his November, 1997 Copernicus lecture: "The Russian Puzzle: Why I Wrote Imperium at the Center for Russian and East European Studies. During his visit, he spoke with David Cohen (International Institute); John Woodford (Executive Editor of Michigan Today ); and Thomas Wolfe (Communications). The following is an excerpted transcript of their conversation.

    Sei Sekou Mobutu seized control of the Congo in 1965. After the evolution, the name of the capital was changed from Leopoldville to Kinshasa, and in 1971 the country was renamed Zaire, instead of the Congo. return to text

    Piotr Michalowski is the George D. Cameron Professor of Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations and Languages at the Unversity of Michigan.

    Kapuscinski, more magical than real

    What’s the truth about Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski
    https://www.newstatesman.com/africa/2007/02/wrong-kapuscinski-african

    https://de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryszard_Kapu%C5%9Bci%C5%84ski

    #presse #littérature #reportage

  • Israel releases PFLP leading member Khalida Jarrar
    Feb. 28, 2019 12:25 P.M. (Updated : Feb. 28, 2019 12:25 P.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=782702

    JENIN (Ma’an) — The Israeli authorities released leading member of the PFLP and former Palestinian lawmaker, Khalida Jarrar, early Thursday, after being held under administrative detention for 20 months.

    Jarrar was released at the Salem Israeli military checkpoint, in the northern occupied West Bank district of Jenin, in the early morning hours to prevent family and activists from organizing a welcome ceremony for her.

    Israeli forces had detained Jarrar on July 2nd, 2017, a year after her release, and confiscated her personal belongings including a computer and a mobile phone; her detention was renewed four times.

    Jarrar, a leading member of the PFLP, deputy at the PLC (Palestinian Legislative Council), heads the PLC’s prisoners’ committee and acts as the Palestinian representative in the Council of Europe, an international organization promoting human rights and democracy around the world, was previously detained in 2015 and had spent 14 months in Israeli jails.

    #Khalida_Jarrar

    • Israël libère une députée palestinienne après vingt mois de détention
      Khalida Jarrar avait été arrêtée en 2017 pour des activités au sein du Front populaire de libération de la Palestine, mouvement considéré comme « terroriste » par Israël.
      Le Monde, le 28 février 2019
      https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2019/02/28/israel-libere-une-deputee-palestinienne-apres-vingt-mois-de-detention_542952

      #guillemets #Palestine #FPLP #détention_administrative #prison

    • Ashrawi: ’Israel’s administrative detention an assault on human rights’
      March 1, 2019 10:53 A.M. (Updated: March 1, 2019 10:53 A.M.)
      http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=782711

      RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Commenting on Israel’s release today of Palestinian lawmaker and prominent human rights defender Khalida Jarrar after spending 20 months in administrative detention, Hanan Ashrawi, Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee Member, said Israel’s administrative detention policy is “an assault on universal human rights.”

      Ashrawi said in a statement, on Thursday, “After twenty months in Israeli captivity, Khalida Jarrar is finally free. This imprisonment was yet another chapter in a lifetime of persecution and oppression from the Israeli occupation to this prominent human rights defender and elected representative, including several arrests, house arrest, and a ban on travel due to her activism against occupation and her work in defending the national and human rights of her people.”

      She added, “As we celebrate the release of Khalida, we must not lose sight that nearly 500 Palestinian citizens, including children and other elected officials, are languishing in Israeli prisons, without charge or trial, under so-called administrative detention.”

      “This form of open-ended detention is a tool of cruel punishment and oppression that the Israeli occupation regime has employed against thousands of Palestinian activists throughout the past fifty-two years of occupation. It is an abhorrent practice that violates international law, including international humanitarian law and international criminal law, as well as the basic rights and dignity of Palestinians.” (...)

    • Israël libère une députée palestinienne après 20 mois de détention
      Par RFI Publié le 28-02-2019 - Avec notre correspondante à Ramallah, Marine Vlahovic
      http://www.rfi.fr/moyen-orient/20190228-israel-libere-une-deputee-palestinienne-apres-20-mois-detention

      Khalida Jarrar avait été arrêtée en juillet 2017 à son domicile de Ramallah en Cisjordanie occupée par l’armée israélienne. Membre du Front populaire de libération de la Palestine (FPLP), un parti placé sur la liste des organisations terroristes par Israël, les Etats-Unis et l’Union européenne, cette députée palestinienne a passé près de deux ans en détention administrative, sans véritable procès, avant d’être finalement libérée ce jeudi 28 février. (...)

  • Il n’y a pas beaucoup d’articles en anglais sur les #Gilets_Jaunes, et celui ci tombe dans certains pièges, mais il est plutôt meilleur que la moyenne :

    Popular Uprising in Paris and Left’s Fear of Populism
    Ranabir Samaddar, Alternatives international, le 14 décembre 2018
    https://ici-et-ailleurs.org/contributions/actualite/article/les-gilets-jaunes-vus-d-inde

    Ca, par exemple, c’est trop précis pour être vrai :

    The Yellow Vests call for : (a) No one be left homeless ; (b) end of the austerity policy ; cancellation of interest on illegitimate debt ; end of taxing the poor to pay back the debt ; recovery of the 85 billion Euros of fiscal fraud ; (c) creation of a true integration policy, with French language, history and civics courses for immigrants ; (d) minimum salary €1500 per month ; (e) giving privilege to city and village centres by stopping building of huge shopping malls and arcades ; (f) more progressive income tax rates ; and finally (g) more taxes on big companies like Mac Donald’s, Google, Amazon and Carrefour, and low taxes on little artisans.

    Mais ça c’est pas mal :

    The rebels donning yellow breakdown-safety vests required to keep in their cars by the government have spurned political parties. They got organized on social media, and began acting locally. The movement spread in this way on successive Saturdays. Saturdays, because on working days women raising kids with their precarious jobs cannot strike. Thus, women receptionists, hostesses, nurses, teachers have come out in unusually large numbers. It is not the banal strike that the Left engages in, but something more. The Left in France as elsewhere has surrendered before the neo-liberal, pro-business counter-reforms. The union leaders are eager to keep their place at the table. They only go through the motions of carrying out strikes. Workers were fatigued.

    #Yellow_Vests #France

  • En 2011, « Le Monde » écrivait :
    https://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2011/06/16/syrie-la-derniere-carte-de-bachar-al-assad_1536986_3232.html

    Sans l’Iran, le régime syrien revient dans le #giron_arabe traditionnel.

    En 2019 l’objectif resterait le même, malgré l’Iran
    https://www.france24.com/fr/20190103-syrie-bachar-assad-diplomatie-retour-ligue-arabe

    Interrogé par France 24, Mohammad al-Hammadi, politologue basée à Dubaï, estime de son côté [...] : « J’estime que les Arabes ont beaucoup perdu en coupant les ponts avec les Syriens, je parle du pays, et non pas du régime ou de Bachar al-Assad. Le boycott arabe a eu des conséquences directes sur le sort de la population, il faut donc que la Ligue arabe prenne une décision claire, pour que la #Syrie retourne dans le giron arabe ».

    • Arab nations inch toward rehabilitating Syria’s Assad
      https://apnews.com/beb8390d4a4e4e26accff0b26995fa28

      The debate now appears to be about when, not whether, to re-admit Syria to the Arab League. At a meeting in Cairo on Wednesday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri said Syria’s return to the League is connected to developments on the political track to end the crisis. Some officials in Lebanon insist Syria should be invited to an Arab economic summit the country is hosting next week, although final decision rests with the League.

      “It could happen slower or faster, but if Assad is going to stay where he is, then obviously countries in the region are going to try to make the best of that situation,” said Aron Lund, a fellow with The Century Foundation. “American politicians can sit in splendid isolation on the other side of an ocean and pretend Syria isn’t what it is,” he said. “But King Abdullah of Jordan can’t.”

      Les MSM occidentaux adorent cette photo avec Bachir du Soudan.

  • Un Palestinien tué par des tirs israéliens à la lisière de la bande de Gaza et d’Israël
    Environ 5 000 Palestiniens ont manifesté, vendredi, en différents points de la frontière, selon l’armée israélienne.
    Le Monde avec AFP Publié le 28 décembre 2018 à 19h36
    https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2018/12/28/un-palestinien-tue-par-des-tirs-israeliens-a-la-lisiere-de-la-bande-de-gaza-

    Un Palestinien a été tué, vendredi 28 décembre, par des tirs israéliens lors de manifestations et de heurts près de la barrière de sécurité séparant Israël de la bande de Gaza, a fait savoir le ministère de la santé dans le territoire palestinien.

    Karam Fayyad , 26 ans, a été tué à l’est de la ville de Khan Younès, dans le sud de la bande de Gaza, a rapporté le porte-parole du ministère, Achraf Al-Qodra. Huit autres Palestiniens ont été blessés lors de ces nouveaux affrontements.

    #Palestine_assassinée #marcheduretour

  • France-Israel propaganda «season» ends in failure | The Electronic Intifada

    https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/france-israel-propaganda-season-ends-failure

    A major propaganda effort sponsored by the French and Israeli governments has been a failure, Israeli officials are acknowledging.

    The so-called Saison France-Israël, or France-Israel Season, was a series of hundreds of “cultural” events backed by both governments, running for six months until the end of November.

    “We were hoping that culture would have a diplomatic impact. We put an enormous amount of money into this operation, which had zero success regarding Israel’s image in France, or that of France here,” an Israeli diplomatic source told the newspaper Le Monde last week.

    BDS France, a group that supports the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign, is celebrating the admission of failure as a victory for activism in support of Palestinian rights.

    The France-Israel Season was an attempted “whitewashing operation, cleansing the state of Israel of its crimes against the Palestinian people, its constant violations of international law and universal human rights,” BDS France stated on Saturday, noting that dozens of French artists, including legendary film director Jean-Luc Godard, had declared they would not cooperate with it.

    #BDS

  • Facebook a déjoué une campagne de propagande en français
    https://www.lemonde.fr/pixels/article/2018/11/28/facebook-a-dejoue-une-campagne-de-propagande-en-francais_5389576_4408996.htm

    Des comptes Facebook et Instagram, fermés le 4 novembre, postaient des messages liés à la politique et à la société françaises. Un rapport donne les détails de leur activité.
    […]
    En parallèle, le réseau social a fourni la liste des comptes Facebook et Instagram supprimés à une équipe d’experts, le DFR Lab, financé par le think tank américain Atlantic Council, avec qui la société de Mark Zuckerberg a noué un partenariat pour analyser les opérations de propagande. Celui-ci a publié, mercredi 28 novembre, un rapport à ce sujet écrit par les analystes Ben Nimmo et Camille François, dont Le Monde a obtenu copie.

    Le texte donne des informations plus précises sur l’étendue et l’activité des comptes ayant diffusé des messages problématiques en français sur Facebook et Instagram. Les deux auteurs du rapport du DFR Lab précisent toutefois d’emblée qu’ils n’ont pu récupérer qu’un « aperçu » de l’opération. Les comptes ayant été immédiatement supprimés par Facebook, les chercheurs se sont contentés d’analyser des « traces » gardées automatiquement en mémoire sur divers sites et sur des moteurs de recherche. Un travail « d’archéologue », forcément partiel.

    Au total, six pages Facebook et une dizaine de comptes Instagram postaient des messages ou des images en français. Tous formaient un seul et unique réseau, piloté par un ou plusieurs individus. Ils brassaient des thèmes variés, mais beaucoup abordaient, à intervalles réguliers, des questions sociales ou politiques. Trois se faisaient passer pour des femmes noires ; un autre postait des contenus liés aux femmes et à la mode musulmanes ; un compte était consacré au football ; d’autres prétendaient être un trotskiste, un militant nationaliste ou un citoyen engagé dans l’écologie. Les deux comptes Facebook semblaient, selon les éléments recueillis par le DFR Lab, aborder essentiellement des problématiques féministes.

    • Le rapport mentionné dans l’article

      #TrollTracker: Glimpse Into a French Operation – DFRLab – Medium
      https://medium.com/dfrlab/trolltracker-glimpse-into-a-french-operation-f78dcae78924

      A network of inauthentic Facebook and Instagram accounts impersonated French-speaking users whose posts ranged from soccer and fashion tips for Muslim women to attacks on French President Emmanuel Macron, in a manner similar to the Russian troll operation which targeted the United States from 2014 through 2018, according to traces of their activity left online.

      Facebook removed the accounts from its platform for “coordinated inauthentic behavior,” meaning these pages, which posed as organizations and individuals from different parts of the political spectrum or focused on opposite sides of a debate, were centrally operated. Most of the accounts were focused on building their audiences among French users, suggesting that this was an operation in its early stages.
      […]
      Before the November 13 announcement, Facebook shared the names of 11 French-language Instagram accounts, which the company identified as “inauthentic” with @DFRLab.
      Three of the accounts posed as African women: @une_camerounaise_fiere, @femme_combattante, and @moonlight_en_france. One, @football_et_france, posed as a football fan group focused on encouraging the “Ultras” across all clubs. A more political account, @france__rouge, posed as a Trotskyist, while another, @espoir_de_france, posed as a nationalist.
      Of the rest, @action_verte focused on environmental issues, @les_femmes_musulmanes on Muslim women and fashion, and @contre_guerre on conflict, especially in Africa. @la_voix_etranger and @france_pour_tous engaged on immigration issues.
      In its November 13 update, Facebook provided screenshots from two Facebook pages, named “fée-ministr” and “la France libre.” Those screenshots showed posts promoting feminist messages.
      […]
      More than half of them followed substantially more accounts than they had followers, a strong indication that they were not having great impact yet, and were actively building their audience. Many of these accounts routinely used “audience building” hashtags such as #follow4follow or #like4like, encouraging French users to engage with their content.

      In total, the French-language Instagram accounts had a little under 70,000 followers, half of that number being driven by the most-followed account in this network, @les_femmes_musulmanes. According to Facebook’s update, around 65,000 users followed at least one of the Facebook pages. This does not appear to have been a massively effective operation: nonetheless, the set is of interest as it illustrates the latest themes and techniques used by actors to target French users with coordinated inauthentic behavior online.


      Accounts following, and followed by, the accounts in question. (Source: data from Instagram, via online caches. These are therefore only estimates, as those caches may not reflect recent counts.)
      […]

      Conclusions
      Facebook determined that this network was one of “coordinated inauthentic activity.” There is insufficient evidence to provide a firm attribution to the Russian Internet Research Agency; the accounts certainly behaved like troll factory accounts, but such behavior is not confined to Russian information operations.

      The accounts did not appear to have particular impact. Other than @les_femmes_musulmanes, none achieved a significant following. Their audience-building strategies suggest that the operation was in its early stages; their followings suggest that it still had some way to go.

      While the content was largely innocuous, and even positive in some cases (quotes of famous French poets, empowering images), the fact that it was posted by a coordinated inauthentic network, and included strongly political messages, suggests that this was an attempt to gain influence and, potentially, push divisive and inflammatory messages to these audiences at a later stage.

    • On notera, que des mots contenant "russ" figurent 10 fois dans le rapport (une onzième occurrence est dans les propositions d’autres sujets à suivre à la fin du document), dont 2 dans l’introduction et 2 dans la conclusion, le reste indiquant :
      • pour rappeler que la Russie a déjà pratiqué ce genre d’opération et rappeler les thèmes préférés de cette intervention (2)
      • pour redire que la façon de procéder pour gonfler son audience ressemble à celui de la ferme à trolls russe
      • pour mentionner qu’une image utilisée contenait un mot en russe (3 occurrences, dont une dans la légende de l’image)

    • Enfin, l’article du Monde a déjà été relayé deux fois ici,
      • le 28/11 par un compte sans abonné ni abonnement et dont c’est le seul message
      • le 29/11 par un récent membre, probablement enseignant, qui a posté 48 messages depuis le premier le 23/10 et jamais étoilé de billets

  • Torture et persécution : la face sombre de l’Autorité palestinienne et du Hamas
    L’ONG Human Rights Watch dénonce le climat de violence, de répression et d’impunité instauré en Cisjordanie et à Gaza.
    LE MONDE | 23.10.2018 | Par Piotr Smolar (Jérusalem, correspondant)
    https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2018/10/23/un-rapport-denonce-la-pratique-systematique-de-la-torture-par-les-forces-de-

    « Nous allons te dévorer. » C’est la phrase qu’entendit le journaliste Sami As-Sai, en février 2017, peu après son transfert dans les locaux des services de renseignement de l’Autorité palestinienne (AP), à Jéricho. Interrogé sur ses liens supposés avec le Hamas, Sami As-Saï a été traîné avec une corde, les mains attachées, dans un couloir. Les policiers ont accroché la corde à une porte avant de la pousser lentement, pour étirer les membres. Il s’est évanoui. A son réveil, il a été frappé à la plante des pieds une vingtaine de fois. La douleur était si forte qu’après avoir été conduit aux toilettes, il n’était plus capable de remonter son pantalon seul.

    Lors d’un autre interrogatoire, il a été menotté dans le dos, puis suspendu ainsi au plafond. Les policiers ont menacé de l’accuser publiquement d’adultère, de l’empêcher de revoir son son fils de 10 ans, gravement malade. Au bout de treize jours de détention, Sami As-Sai a plaidé coupable pour « incitation au conflit sectaire » et « blanchiment ». La peine prononcée de quinze mois fut ramenée à trois, puis supprimée, dès lors que l’accusé accepta de payer une simple amende. Il a donc été remis en liberté à la fin de sa garde à vue. (...)

    • On compte à peu près 6000 prisonniers palestiniens dans les prisons israéliennes, un compte tenu régulièrement à jour par l’association Addameer :
      http://www.addameer.org

      On n’a en revanche à ma connaissance aucun chiffre sur le nombre de détenus par l’Autorité Palestinienne.

      Dans ce rapport de HRW, le Hamas reconnaît 4071 détenus dans les prisons de #Gaza.

      Aucune info sur la #Cisjordanie, sauf sur les cas d’atteinte à la liberté d’expression politique (manifestations, réseaux sociaux, journalistes, étudiants...) sur lesquels ce rapport insiste, à savoir les détentions préventives, les détentions administratives, et celles liées aux services de sécurité. Les chiffres tournent entre 100 et 500 personnes concernées, donc probablement loin du nombre total de détenus... Où trouver cette info ?

    • Palestinian Cabinet vows to investigate HRW report findings
      Oct. 25, 2018 1:49 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 25, 2018 3:52 P.M.)
      http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=781589

      RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, reviewed, during its weekly meeting on Wednesday, the latest Human Rights Watch (HRW) report, regarding the situation of human rights in Palestine, and vowed to investigate its findings and recommendations in cooperation with all related parties and authorities.

      In a statement issued following the meeting, the cabinet approved the formation of a ministerial committee to lead discussions related to the Social Security Law, welcomed the visit of the Chinese Vice-President and the meetings of the joint Palestinian-Turkish ministerial committee.

      During the meeting, Hamdallah stated that “The State of Palestine, the democratic state, the state of law and institution-building, and the responsible member in the international community, is committed to its obligations and is making great efforts to comply with the standards of international human rights.”

      “The State of Palestine positively considers that the law enforcement agencies within the State must respect and protect human rights, in accordance with our beliefs in the value of human beings and our responsibility for preserving the human dignity.” (...)

    • Gaza interior ministry criticises HRW’s report on torture
      October 25, 2018 at 11:30 am
      https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20181025-gaza-interior-ministry-criticises-hrws-report-on-torture

      The Palestinian Ministry of Interior and National Security accused Human Rights Watch of ignoring the reality and facts about the situation of freedoms in the Gaza Strip.

      “With great concern, we followed up the report issued by Human Rights Watch (HRW) on October 23, 2018, that included allegations against the Security Forces in the Gaza Strip accusing them of repressing dissent,” the ministry said.

      The ministry stressed that the HRW’s report “lacks accuracy and objectivity and does not reflect reality” in the Gaza Strip.

      In a statement, the ministry said that the it had “received some inquiries” from HRW “on issues related to freedoms in the Gaza Strip,” stating that the organisation “asked about certain persons who were being allegedly arrested in the Gaza Strip.”

      The ministry “clarified and elaborated all issues, explaining the grounds of all the cases in question,” stating that it was “shocked” because the organisation “ignored our explanations”.

      Meanwhile, the ministry said that it sent another message to the organisation on 22 October asking why its reply was ignored, but it received no response.

      The ministry reiterated that it maintains continuous contact with the different human rights groups, including the International Committee for the Red Cross and visit its jails and meet those held in custody.

      “We do protect the Palestinian citizens and implement the Basic Palestinian law in terms of freedom of expression and prisoners’ rights,” the ministry added.

  • US military plan to spread viruses using insects could create ‘new class of biological weapon’, scientists warn
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/us-military-plan-biological-weapons-insect-allies-virus-crop-darpa-a8

    Insects could be turned into “a new class of biological weapon” using new US military plans, experts have warned.

    The Insect Allies programme aims to use bugs to disperse genetically modified (GM) viruses to crops.

    Such action will have profound consequences and could pose a major threat to global biosecurity, according to a team that includes specialist scientists and lawyers.

    In theory, this rapid engineering would allow farmers to adapt to changing conditions, for example by inserting drought-resistance genes into corn instead of planting pre-engineered seeds.

    But this seemingly inoffensive goal has been slammed by the scientists, who say the plan is simply dangerous and that insects loaded with synthetic viruses will be difficult to control.

    They also say that despite being in operation since 2016 and distributing $27m in funds to scientists, Darpa has failed to properly justify the existence of such a programme.

    Research programme with potential for dual use: scientists fear that the Insect Ally programme by the US could encourage other states to increase their own research activities in the field of biological warfare (MPG/D.Duneka)
    “Given that Darpa is a military agency, we find it surprising that the obvious and concerning dual-use aspects of this research have received so little attention,” Felix Beck, a lawyer at the University of Freiburg, told The Independent.

    Dr Guy Reeves, an expert in GM insects at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, said that there has been hardly any debate about the technology and the programme remains largely unknown “even in expert circles”.

    He added that despite the stated aims of the programme, it would be far more straightforward using the technology as a biological weapon than for the routine agricultural use suggested by Darpa.

  • Le monde dans nos tasses

    « Thé ? Café ? Chocolat ? » Cette litanie du matin, formulée dans tous les hôtels du monde, évoque à chacun un rituel quotidien immuable : celui du petit déjeuner. Qui peut en effet imaginer se réveiller sans l’odeur stimulante d’un café, la chaleur enrobante d’un thé ou la douceur réconfortante d’un chocolat chaud ?
    Et pourtant, ces #boissons, pour nous si familières, n’ont rien d’européennes. Ni le caféier, ni le théier, ni le cacaoyer ne poussent dans les contrées tempérées. Alors comment ces produits ont-ils fait irruption dans nos tasses, et ce dès le XVIIIe siècle, au point de devenir nos indispensables complices des premières heures du jour ?
    En retraçant l’étonnante histoire du petit déjeuner, de la découverte des denrées exotiques à leur exploitation, de leur transformation à leur diffusion en Europe et dans le monde, c’est toute la grande histoire de la mondialisation et de la division Nord/Sud que Christian Grataloup vient ici nous conter.
    Ainsi chaque matin, depuis trois siècles, en buvant notre thé, notre café ou notre chocolat, c’est un peu comme si nous buvions le Monde…


    https://www.armand-colin.com/le-monde-dans-nos-tasses-trois-siecles-de-petit-dejeuner-9782200612283
    #livre #petit-déjeuner #mondialisation #globalisation #Grataloup #Christian_Grataloup #géohistoire #géographie_de_la_mondialisation #thé #café #cacao #chocolat #alimentation #RAP2018-2019

    #ressources_pédagogiques

    • Tea if by sea, cha if by land: Why the world only has two words for tea

      With a few minor exceptions, there are really only two ways to say “tea” in the world. One is like the English term—té in Spanish and tee in Afrikaans are two examples. The other is some variation of cha, like chay in Hindi.

      Both versions come from China. How they spread around the world offers a clear picture of how globalization worked before “globalization” was a term anybody used. The words that sound like “cha” spread across land, along the Silk Road. The “tea”-like phrasings spread over water, by Dutch traders bringing the novel leaves back to Europe.

      The term cha (茶) is “Sinitic,” meaning it is common to many varieties of Chinese. It began in China and made its way through central Asia, eventually becoming “chay” (چای) in Persian. That is no doubt due to the trade routes of the Silk Road, along which, according to a recent discovery, tea was traded over 2,000 years ago. This form spread beyond Persia, becoming chay in Urdu, shay in Arabic, and chay in Russian, among others. It even made its way to sub-Saharan Africa, where it became chai in Swahili. The Japanese and Korean terms for tea are also based on the Chinese cha, though those languages likely adopted the word even before its westward spread into Persian.

      But that doesn’t account for “tea.” The Chinese character for tea, 茶, is pronounced differently by different varieties of Chinese, though it is written the same in them all. In today’s Mandarin, it is chá. But in the Min Nan variety of Chinese, spoken in the coastal province of Fujian, the character is pronounced te. The key word here is “coastal.”

      The te form used in coastal-Chinese languages spread to Europe via the Dutch, who became the primary traders of tea between Europe and Asia in the 17th century, as explained in the World Atlas of Language Structures. The main Dutch ports in east Asia were in Fujian and Taiwan, both places where people used the te pronunciation. The Dutch East India Company’s expansive tea importation into Europe gave us the French thé, the German Tee, and the English tea.

      Yet the Dutch were not the first to Asia. That honor belongs to the Portuguese, who are responsible for the island of Taiwan’s colonial European name, Formosa. And the Portuguese traded not through Fujian but Macao, where chá is used. That’s why, on the map above, Portugal is a pink dot in a sea of blue.

      A few languages have their own way of talking about tea. These languages are generally in places where tea grows naturally, which led locals to develop their own way to refer to it. In Burmese, for example, tea leaves are lakphak.

      The map demonstrates two different eras of globalization in action: the millenia-old overland spread of goods and ideas westward from ancient China, and the 400-year-old influence of Asian culture on the seafaring Europeans of the age of exploration. Also, you just learned a new word in nearly every language on the planet.


      https://qz.com/1176962/map-how-the-word-tea-spread-over-land-and-sea-to-conquer-the-world
      #mots #vocabulaire #terminologie #cartographie #visualisation

  • L’#Algérie se dit prête à accueillir tous ses ressortissants présents illégalement en #Allemagne

    Les deux pays, liés par un accord de réadmission, ont réaffirmé leur « entente » sur le dossier migratoire lors de la visite d’Angela Merkel à Alger.


    https://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2018/09/18/l-algerie-se-dit-prete-a-accueillir-tous-ses-ressortissants-presents-illegal

    #accord_de_réadmission #accord_bilatéral #renvois #expulsions

    • Reçu via la mailing-list Migreurop:

      Merkel’s government wants to classify Algeria like Tunisia and Morocco as safe countries of origin in terms of asylum law. Rejected asylum seekers could be deported more quickly. But commentators also have doubts about reports of torture and unfair trials. Whether the Chancellor will receive promises from Bouteflika and his Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia could be seen as reassuring. SPD and Greens are sceptical; this Friday the plans of the federal government on safe countries of origin will be discussed in the Bundesrat.

      Source : ZDF : https://www.zdf.de/nachrichten/heute/merkel-besucht-algerien-thema-migration-100.html

      According to a report, the number of deportations to Algeria has increased significantly in recent years. In 2015 only 57 people from Germany were brought into the country, in 2017 then 504, reported the “Rheinische Post” on Monday with reference to figures of the Federal Ministry of the Interior. In the current year, the trend has continued: by July, about 350 people had already been deported to Algeria.
      Only a few asylum seekers from Algeria are recognized in Germany. Last year, the rate was two percent.

      Source : FAZ : http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/inland/asylbewerber-mehr-abschiebungen-nach-algerien-15792038.html

      Algeria will welcome back all its nationals in an irregular situation in Germany, regardless of their number, Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia assured on Monday 17 September, at the occasion of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s official visit.
      "I confirm that Algeria will take its children back, whether they are 3,000 or 5,000, provided that they can “identify” their nationality, Mr. Ouyahia said at a joint press conference in Algiers with Ms. Merkel.

      According to the Algerian Prime Minister, his country “is itself taking action against illegal migrants [and] can only agree with the German government on this subject”. Ahmed Ouyahia also recalled that Algiers and Berlin have been bound by a readmission agreement since 1997.
      “Algeria fights for the rest of the international community” by preventing “annually 20,000 to 30,000 people from illegally entering[its territory] and often from Algeria to continue their way” to Europe, he said.

      Source : Le Monde : https://abonnes.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2018/09/18/l-algerie-se-dit-prete-a-accueillir-tous-ses-ressortissants-presents

  • The State of Israel vs. the Jewish people -
    Israel has aligned itself with one nationalist, even anti-Semitic, regime after another. Where does that leave world Jewry?
    By Eva Illouz Sep 13, 2018
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-the-state-of-israel-vs-the-jewish-people-1.6470108

    Orban, left, and Netanyahu, in Jerusalem in July 2018. DEBBIE HILL / AFP

    An earthquake is quietly rocking the Jewish world.

    In the 18th century, Jews began playing a decisive role in the promotion of universalism, because universalism promised them redemption from their political subjection. Through universalism, Jews could, in principle, be free and equal to those who had dominated them. This is why, in the centuries that followed, Jews participated in disproportionate numbers in communist and socialist causes. This is also why Jews were model citizens of countries, such as France or the United States, with universalist constitutions.

    The history of Jews as promoters of Enlightenment and universalist values, however, is drawing to a close. We are the stunned witnesses of new alliances between Israel, Orthodox factions of Judaism throughout the world, and the new global populism in which ethnocentrism and even racism hold an undeniable place.

    When Prime Minister Netanyahu chose to align himself politically with Donald Trump before and after the U.S. presidential election of 2016, some people could still give him the benefit of doubt. Admittedly, Trump was surrounded by people like Steve Bannon, the former head of Breitbart News, who reeked of racism and anti-Semitism, but no one was sure of the direction the new presidency would take. Even if Trump refused to condemn the anti-Semitic elements of his electoral base or the Ku Klux Klan, which had enthusiastically backed him, and even if it took him a long time to dissociate himself from David Duke – we were not yet certain of the presence of anti-Semitism in Trump’s discourse and strategies (especially since his daughter Ivanka was a convert to Judaism).

    But the events in Charlottesville in August 2017 no longer allowed for doubt. The neo-Nazi demonstrators committed violent acts against peaceful counter-protesters, killing one woman by plowing through a crowd with a car (an act reminiscent in its technique of terrorist attacks in Europe). Trump reacted to the events by condemning both the neo-Nazis and white supremacists and their opponents. The world was shocked by his conflation of the two groups, but Jerusalem did not object. Once again, the indulgent (or cynical) observer could have interpreted this silence as the reluctant obeisance of a vassal toward his overlord (of all the countries in the world, Israel receives the most military aid from the United States). One was entitled to think that Israel had no choice but to collaborate, despite the American leader’s outward signs of anti-Semitism.

    This interpretation, however, is no longer tenable. Before and since Charlottesville, Netanyahu has courted other leaders who are either unbothered by anti-Semitism or straightforwardly sympathetic to it, and upon whom Israel is not economically dependent. His concessions go as far as participating in a partial form of Holocaust denial.

    Take the case of Hungary. Under the government of Viktor Orban, the country shows troubling signs of legitimizing anti-Semitism. In 2015, for example, the Hungarian government announced its intention to erect a statue to commemorate Balint Homan, a Holocaust-era minister who played a decisive role in the murder or deportation of nearly 600,000 Hungarian Jews. Far from being an isolated incident, just a few months later, in 2016, another statue was erected in tribute to Gyorgy Donáth, one of the architects of anti-Jewish legislation during World War II. It was thus unsurprising to hear Orban employing anti-Semitic tropes during his reelection campaign in 2017, especially against Georges Soros, the Jewish, Hungarian-American billionaire-philanthropist who supports liberal causes, including that of open borders and immigration. Reanimating the anti-Semitic cliché about the power of Jews, Orban accused Soros of harboring intentions to undermine Hungary.

    Whom did Netanyahu choose to support? Not the anxious Hungarian Jewish community that protested bitterly against the anti-Semitic rhetoric of Orban’s government; nor did he choose to support the liberal Jew Soros, who defends humanitarian causes. Instead, the prime minister created new fault lines, preferring political allies to members of the tribe. He backed Orban, the same person who resurrects the memory of dark anti-Semites. When the Israeli ambassador in Budapest protested the erection of the infamous statue, he was publicly contradicted by none other than Netanyahu.

    To my knowledge, the Israeli government has never officially protested Orban’s anti-Semitic inclinations and affinities. In fact, when the Israeli ambassador in Budapest did try to do so, he was quieted down by Jerusalem. Not long before the Hungarian election, Netanyahu went to the trouble of visiting Hungary, thus giving a “kosher certificate” to Orban and exonerating him of the opprobrium attached to anti-Semitism and to an endorsement of figures active in the Shoah. When Netanyahu visited Budapest, he was given a glacial reception by the Federation of the Jewish Communities, while Orban gave him a warm welcome. To further reinforce their touching friendship, Netanyahu invited Orban to pay a reciprocal visit to Israel this past July, receiving him in a way usually reserved for the most devoted national allies.

    The relationship with Poland is just as puzzling. As a reminder, Poland is governed by the nationalist Law and Justice party, which has an uncompromising policy against refugees and appears to want to eliminate the independence of the courts by means of a series of reforms that would allow the government to control the judiciary branch. In 2016 the Law and Justice-led government eliminated the official body whose mission was to deal with problems of racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance, arguing that the organization had become “useless.”

    An illustration depicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shaking hands with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in Auschwitz. Eran Wolkowski

    Encouraged by this and other governmental declarations and policies, signs of nationalism multiplied within Polish society. In February 2018, president Andrzej Duda declared that he would sign a law making it illegal to accuse the Polish nation of having collaborated with the Nazis. Accusing Poland of collusion in the Holocaust and other Nazi atrocities would be from now prosecutable. Israel initially protested the proposed legislation, but then in June, Benjamin Netanyahu and the Polish prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, signed an agreement exonerating Poland of any and all crimes against the Jews during the time of the German occupation. Israel also acceded to Poland’s move to outlaw the expression “Polish concentration camp.” Moreover, Netanyahu even signed a statement stipulating that anti-Semitism is identical to anti-Polonism, and that only a handful of sad Polish individuals were responsible for persecuting Jews – not the nation as a whole.

    A billboard displaying George Soros urges Hungarians to take part in a national consultation about what it calls a plan by the Hungarian-born financier to settle migrants in Europe, in Budapest. ATTILA KISBENEDEK / AFP

    Like the American, Hungarian and Polish alt-right, Israel wants to restore national pride unstained by “self-hating” critics. Like the Poles, for two decades now, Israel has been waging a war over the official narrative of the nation, trying to expunge school textbooks of inconvenient facts (such as the fact that Arabs were actively chased out of Israel in 1948). In order to quash criticism, Israel’s Culture Ministry now predicates funding to creative institutions on loyalty to the state. As in Hungary, the Israeli government persecutes NGOs like Breaking the Silence, a group whose only sin has been to give soldiers a forum for reporting their army experiences and to oppose Israeli settlers’ violence against Palestinians or the expropriation of land, in violation of international law. Purging critics from public life (as expressed in barring the entry into the country of BDS supporters, denying funding to theater companies or films critical of Israel, etc.) is an expression of direct state power.

    When it comes to refugees, Israel, like Hungary and Poland, refuses to comply with international law. For almost a decade now, Israel has not respected international conventions on the rights of refugees even though it is a signatory of said conventions: The state has detained refugees in camps, and imprisoned and deported them. Like Poland, Israel is trying to do away with the independence of its judiciary. Israel feels comfortable with the anti-democratic extreme right of European states in the same way that one feels comfortable with a family member who belches and gossips, losing any sense of self-control or table manners.

    More generally, these countries today share a deep common political core: fear of foreigners at the borders (it must be specified, however, that Israelis’ fears are less imaginary than those of Hungarians or Polish); references to the nation’s pride untainted by a dubious past, casting critics as traitors to the nation; and outlawing human rights organizations and contesting global norms based on moral principles. The Netanyahu-Trump-Putin triumvirate has a definite shared vision and strategy: to create a political bloc that would undermine the current liberal international order and its key players.

    In a recent article about Trump for Project Syndicate, legal scholar Mark S. Weiner suggested that Trump’s political vision and practice follow (albeit, unknowingly) the precepts of Carl Schmitt, the German legal scholar who joined the Nazi Party in 1933.

    “In place of normativity and universalism, Schmitt offers a theory of political identity based on a principle that Trump doubtless appreciates deeply from his pre-political career: land,” wrote Weiner. “For Schmitt, a political community forms when a group of people recognizes that they share some distinctive cultural trait that they believe is worth defending with their lives. This cultural basis of sovereignty is ultimately rooted in the distinctive geography… that a people inhabit. At stake here are opposing positions about the relation between national identity and law. According to Schmitt, the community’s nomos [the Greek word for “law”] or sense of itself that grows from its geography, is the philosophical precondition for its law. For liberals, by contrast, the nation is defined first and foremost by its legal commitments.”

    Netanyahu and his ilk subscribe to this Schmittian vision of the political, making legal commitments subordinate to geography and race. Land and race are the covert and overt motives of Netanyahu’s politics. He and his coalition have, for example, waged a politics of slow annexation in the West Bank, either in the hope of expelling or subjugating the 2.5 million Palestinians living there, or of controlling them.

    They have also radicalized the country’s Jewishness with the highly controversial nation-state law. Playing footsie with anti-Semitic leaders may seem to contradict the nation-state law, but it is motivated by the same statist and Schmittian logic whereby the state no longer views itself as committed to representing all of its citizens, but rather aims to expand territory; increase its power by designating enemies; define who belongs and who doesn’t; narrow the definition of citizenship; harden the boundaries of the body collective; and undermine the international liberal order. The line connecting Orban to the nationality law is the sheer and raw expansion of state power.

    Courting Orban or Morawiecki means having allies in the European Council and Commission, which would help Israel block unwanted votes, weaken Palestinian international strategies and create a political bloc that could impose a new international order. Netanyahu and his buddies have a strategy and are trying to reshape the international order to meet their own domestic goals. They are counting on the ultimate victory of reactionary forces to have a free hand to do what they please inside the state.

    But what is most startling is the fact that in order to promote his illiberal policies, Netanyahu is willing to snub and dismiss the greatest part of the Jewish people, its most accepted rabbis and intellectuals, and the vast number of Jews who have supported, through money or political action, the State of Israel. This suggests a clear and undeniable shift from a politics based on the people to a politics based on the land.

    For the majority of Jews outside Israel, human rights and the struggle against anti-Semitism are core values. Netanyahu’s enthusiastic support for authoritarian, anti-Semitic leaders is an expression of a profound shift in the state’s identity as a representative of the Jewish people to a state that aims to advance its own expansion through seizure of land, violation of international law, exclusion and discrimination. This is not fascism per se, but certainly one of its most distinctive features.

    This state of affairs is worrisome but it is also likely to have two interesting and even positive developments. The first is that in the same way that Israel has freed itself from its “Jewish complex” – abandoning its role as leader and center of the Jewish people as a whole – many or most Jews will now likely free themselves from their Israel complex, finally understanding that Israel’s values and their own are deeply at odds. World Jewish Congress head Ron Lauder’s August 13, 2018, op-ed in The New York Times, which was close to disowning Israel, is a powerful testimony to this. Lauder was very clear: Israel’s loss of moral status means it won’t be able to demand the unconditional loyalty of world Jewry. What was in the past experienced by many Jews as an inner conflict is now slowly being resolved: Many or most members of Jewish communities will give preference to their commitment to the constitutions of their countries – that is to universalist human rights.

    Israel has already stopped being the center of gravity of the Jewish world, and as such, it will be able to count only on the support of a handful of billionaires and the ultra-Orthodox. This means that for the foreseeable future, Israel’s leverage in American politics will be considerably weakened.

    Trumpism is a passing phase in American politics. Latinos and left-wing Democrats will become increasingly involved in the country’s politics, and as they do, these politicians will find it increasingly difficult to justify continued American support of Israeli policies that are abhorrent to liberal democracies. Unlike in the past, however, Jews will no longer pressure them to look the other way.

    The second interesting development concerns Europe. The European Union no longer knows what its mission was. But the Netanyahus, Trumps, Orbans and Morawieckis will help Europe reinvent its vocation: The social-democrat bloc of the EU will be entrusted with the mission of opposing state-sanctioned anti-Semitism and all forms of racism, and above all defending Europe’s liberal values that we, Jews and non-Jews, Zionists and anti-Zionists, have all fought so hard for. Israel, alas, is no longer among those fighting that fight.

    A shorter version of this article has originally appeared in Le Monde.

    • Eva Illouz : « Orban, Trump et Nétanyahou semblent affectionner barrières et murs »
      https://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2018/08/08/eva-illouz-israel-contre-les-juifs_5340351_3232.html?xtor=RSS-3208
      Dans une tribune au « Monde », l’universitaire franco-israélienne estime que l’alliance du gouvernement israélien avec les régimes « illibéraux » d’Europe de l’Est crée une brèche au sein du peuple juif, pour qui la lutte contre l’antisémitisme et la mémoire de la Shoah ne sont pas négociables.

      LE MONDE | 08.08.2018 à 06h39 • Mis à jour le 08.08.2018 à 19h18 | Par Eva Illouz (directrice d’études à l’Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales)

      Tribune. Un tremblement de terre est tranquillement en train de secouer le monde juif. Lorsque le premier ministre israélien, Benyamin Nétanyahou, choisit de soutenir Donald Trump avant et après l’élection présidentielle américaine de 2016, certains pouvaient encore donner à ce dernier le bénéfice du doute. Certes, Trump s’était entouré de gens comme Steve Bannon dont émanaient des relents antisémites, certes, il refusait aussi de condamner sa base électorale sympathisante du Ku Klux Klan, mais personne n’était encore sûr de la direction que prendrait sa nouvelle présidence.

      Les événements de Charlottesville, en août 2017, n’ont plus permis le doute. Les manifestants néonazis commirent des actes de violence contre des contre-manifestants pacifiques (tuant une personne en fonçant dans la foule avec une voiture), mais Trump condamna de la même façon opposants modérés et manifestants néonazis.

      Le monde entier fut choqué de cette mise en équivalence, mais Jérusalem ne protesta pas. L’observateur indulgent (ou cynique) aurait pu interpréter ce silence comme l’acquiescement forcé du vassal vis-à-vis de son suzerain : de tous les pays du monde, Israël est celui qui reçoit la plus grande aide militaire des Etats-Unis.

      Cette interprétation n’est désormais plus possible. Il est devenu clair que Nétanyahou a de fortes sympathies pour d’autres dirigeants qui, comme Trump, front preuve d’une grande indulgence vis-à-vis de l’antisémitisme et dont il ne dépend ni militairement ni économiquement.
      Une statue à Budapest

      Prenons l’exemple de la Hongrie. En 2015, le gouvernement y annonça son intention de dresser une statue à la mémoire de Balint Homan, ministre qui joua un rôle décisif dans la déportation de 600 000 juifs hongrois. Quelques mois plus tard, en 2016, il fut question d’ériger à Budapest une statue à la mémoire d’un des architectes de la législation antijuive durant la seconde guerre mondiale, György Donáth....

    • could lead to an end,… le contenu de l’article n’est pas aussi optimiste. Ce pourrait être, au contraire, le signal d’un renouveau des conflits.

      After the Yugoslav wars, the Western powers that intervened to end the bloodshed hoped the nations that emerged from the conflicts would learn to respect their minorities. A redrawing of borders along ethnic lines would be an admission that these hopes were futile, and it could increase the temptation for minorities in other ex-Yugoslav states to secede. The danger is especially great in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the Serb- and Croat-dominated regions could gravitate toward Serbia and Croatia, and in Macedonia, which has a strong ethnic Albanian minority.

      If a swap prompts Albanian nationalists in Macedonia and Kosovo to push harder for a “Greater Albania” and Serbs and Croats move to break up Bosnia, the danger of armed conflicts will re-emerge. That’s a situation no one wants. That’s why German Chancellor Angela Merkel opposes any deal that would involve border changes, even though U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton has said the Trump administration wouldn’t object to such an outcome.

      C’est cet angle que retenait le Monde le 14 août
      https://seenthis.net/messages/715009
      (avec carte des zones envisagées pour l’échange)

    • Kosovo-Serbie : une « #rectification_des_frontières » pour une « solution définitive » ?

      Le dialogue, poussivement mené entre Belgrade et Pristina sous l’égide de l’Union européenne, était au point mort, mais Aleksandar Vučić et son homologue kosovar Hashim Thaçi ont brusquement décidé d’accélérer le processus et de trouver une « solution définitive », qui passerait par une « rectification des frontières ». Une hypothèse qui pourrait créer un très dangereux précédent.

      https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/+-dialogue-Kosovo-Serbie-+
      #frontières_mobiles

      v. aussi :
      https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Kosovo-dialogue-etc
      #paywall

  • Attaques contre #Jeremy_Corbyn (et accusations d’antisémitisme) :

    Dans le #Guardian :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/606127

    I’m ashamed at the way my party is offending Jews, says Labour MP
    Peter Walker, The Guardian, le 29 juillet 2018
    https://seenthis.net/messages/711737

    Remarks about Zionists draw official complaint against Jeremy Corbyn
    Michael Savage, The Guardian, le 26 août 2018
    https://seenthis.net/messages/717315

    Israël se cache-t-il derrière les attaques contre Jeremy Corbyn ?
    Jonathan Cook, Middle East Eye, le 30 août 2018
    https://seenthis.net/messages/716567

    Dans #Le_Monde :

    Antisémitisme : le leader travailliste britannique Jeremy Corbyn à nouveau dans la tourmente
    Eric Albert, Le Monde, le 14 août 2018
    https://seenthis.net/messages/715022

    Dans #Médiapart :

    Au Royaume-Uni, la décomposition du paysage politique se poursuit
    Ludovic Lamant, Médiapart, le 21 août 2018
    https://seenthis.net/messages/716567
    –--------------------------------------------------------
    Comment un diplomate israélien a travaillé au cœur du Parti travailliste pour mettre à mal Corbyn
    Alex MacDonald et Simon Hooper, Middle East Eye, le 9 janvier 2017
    https://seenthis.net/messages/715022

    Jeremy Corbyn appelle à une révision de la question des ventes d’armes du Royaume Uni à Israël après les morts sur la frontière de Gaza
    Jeremy Corbyn, le 10 avril 2018
    https://www.aurdip.org/jeremy-corbyn-appelle-a-une.html

    Antisémitisme. Offensive orchestrée contre Jeremy Corbyn au Royaume-Uni
    Jonathan Cook, Orient XXI, le 8 mai 2018
    https://seenthis.net/messages/692587

    The Jewish establishment’s ‘War Against Corbyn’ risks bringing real antisemitism to Britain
    Robert A. H. Cohen, Patheos, le 28 juillet 2018
    https://seenthis.net/messages/711737

    Who’s guilty of antisemitism ? Questioning Labour’s Definition Bind
    Peter Hallward, Verso, le 6 août 2018
    https://seenthis.net/messages/714306

    How Israel lobby attacked an Auschwitz survivor to smear Corbyn
    Adri Nieuwhof, Electronic Intifada, le 7 août 2018
    https://seenthis.net/messages/713760

    Jeremy Corbyn, le futur premier ministre du Royaume-Uni ?
    Gidéon Lévy, Haaretz, le 9 août 2018
    https://seenthis.net/messages/716567

    Israel Is The Real Problem
    Media Lens, le 9 août 2018
    https://seenthis.net/messages/715022

    La vérité sur la relation spéciale du Royaume-Uni avec Israël
    Mark Curtis, Middle East Eye, le 10 août 2018
    https://seenthis.net/messages/715335

    No, this Netanyahu row won’t destroy Corbyn – it will only make him stronger
    Richard Seymour, The Independent, le 14 août 2018
    https://seenthis.net/messages/715078

    Grande-Bretagne : le leader travailliste Jeremy Corbyn attaqué par Benyamin Netanyahou
    Middle East Eye, le 14 août 2018
    https://seenthis.net/messages/715022

    Anti-Semitism and Labour : Jeremy Corbyn must stop apologising and start fighting back
    Ghada Karmi, Middle East Eye, le 14 août 2018
    https://seenthis.net/messages/715022

    Netanyahu Falsely Attacks Corbyn for Laying Wreath on Palestinian Terrorist’s Grave
    Richard Silverstein, le 15 août 2018
    https://seenthis.net/messages/715022

    Jeremy Corbyn, les Palestiniens et l’antisémitisme
    Alain Gresh, Orient XXI, le 16 août 2018
    https://seenthis.net/messages/715399

    Israël se cache-t-il derrière les attaques contre Jeremy Corbyn ?
    Jonathan Cook, Middle East Eye, le 30 août 2018
    https://seenthis.net/messages/716567

    It’s time to stand up and be counted - what defending Corbyn really means
    Chris Nineham, Counterfire, le 30 août 2018
    https://seenthis.net/messages/719141

    Ken Loach appelle les Travaillistes à ne pas ‘trahir la Palestine’ en cédant aux ennemis de Corbyn
    Ben Chacko, The Morning Star, le 3 septembre 2018
    https://seenthis.net/messages/719511

    Grande-Bretagne : le Labour adopte la définition complète de l’antisémitisme
    Sonia Delesalle-Stolper, Libération, le 4 septembre 2018
    https://seenthis.net/messages/719685

    #Royaume-Uni #Grande-Bretagne #UK #Labour #Parti_Travailliste #antisémitisme #antisionisme #Palestine #censure #IHRA #recension

  • Arabie saoudite : cinq militants des droits de l’homme risquent la peine de mort

    https://www.lemonde.fr/proche-orient/article/2018/08/23/riyad-requiert-la-peine-de-mort-pour-cinq-militants-des-droits-de-l-homme_53

    Le Monde, décidément ne fait aucun progrès : parmi les cinq personnes mentionnées il y a au moins une femme (Israa Al-Ghomgham) et peut-être plus, mais le Monde s’en fout. Ce serait pas trè compliqué de s’adapter (Cinq militant·es pour la défense des droits humains), mais bon, n’en demandons pas trop à des journalistes méprisants et limités.

    La peine de mort a été requise à l’encontre de cinq militants des droits de l’homme en Arabie saoudite, ont annoncé, mercredi 22 août, Human Rights Watch (HRW), Amnesty International et plusieurs groupes de défense des droits de l’homme.

    Parmi ces personnes figure Israa Al-Ghomgham, militante chiite de premier plan qui a rassemblé des informations sur les manifestations de masse qui ont eu lieu dans la province orientale du pays à partir de 2011.

    –---

    Saudi Prosecution Seeks Death Penalty for Female Activist | Human Rights Watch

    https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/08/21/saudi-prosecution-seeks-death-penalty-female-activist

    International standards, including the Arab Charter on Human Rights, ratified by Saudi Arabia, require countries that retain the death penalty to use it only for the “most serious crimes,” and in exceptional circumstances. Human Rights Watch opposes capital punishment in all countries and under all circumstances. Capital punishment is unique in its cruelty and finality, and it is inevitably and universally plagued with arbitrariness, prejudice, and error.

    A recent crackdown on women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia has led to the arrest of at least 13 women under the pretext of maintaining national security. While some have since been released, others remain detained without charge. They are: Loujain al-Hathloul, Aziza al-Yousef, Eman al-Nafjan, Nouf Abdelaziz, Mayaa al-Zahrani, Hatoon al-Fassi, Samar Badawi, Nassema al-Sadah, and Amal al-Harbi. Authorities have accused several of them of serious crimes and local media outlets carried out an unprecedented campaign against them, labeling them “traitors.

    –----

    Saudi Arabia arrests two more prominent women’s right activists

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/08/01/saudi-arabia-arrests-two-prominent-womens-right-activists

    Saudi Arabian authorities have arrested two high-profile women’s rights activists, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday, amid what the organisation called an “unprecedented” crackdown on dissent.

    Award-winning gender rights activist Samar Badawi was arrested along with fellow campaigner Nassima al-Sadah this week, “the latest victims of an unprecedented government crackdown on the women’s rights movement,” HRW said in a statement.

    #droits_humains #droit_des_femmes #arabie_saoudite #barbares et aussi #journalisme_misérable

  • Update: “Israeli Soldiers Kill Two Palestinians, injure 270, In Gaza”
    August 18, 2018 2:44 AM IMEMC News
    http://imemc.org/article/one-palestinian-killed-156-injured-at-gaza-border

    The Palestinian Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip has confirmed that Israeli soldiers killed, Friday, two Palestinians and injured 270 others, including 60 who were shot with live fire.

    The Ministry said the soldiers killed Karim Abu Fatayer, 30, by shooting him with a live round in his head, east of the al-Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza.


    The Palestinian was shot in his eye, and the bullet exited through the back of his head after fracturing his skill and scattering his brain. The slain Palestinian is from Deir al-Balah, in central Gaza.

    Furthermore, the soldiers killed
    Sa’adi ِAkram Abu Muammar ,
    26, east of Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

    Sa’adi is a married father of two daughters, Rahaf, 5, and Aseel, 3, and his wife is seven months pregnant.

    The Health Ministry also said the soldiers injured 270 Palestinians in several parts of the Gaza Strip, during the Great Return processions; 166 of them were treated in field clinics, and 104 were rushed to hospitals.

    Among the wounded are 60 who were shot with live fire, including 19 children, in addition to nine medics, who were injured by shrapnel or suffered the effects of teargas inhalation.

    The Health Ministry in Gaza said the latest Israeli assaults bring the number of slain Palestinians since March 30th, to 170, in addition to 18300 who were injured.

    #Palestine_assassinée #marcheduretour

    • Gaza : deux Palestiniens tués à la frontière
      Le Monde | 17.08.2018 à 20h51
      https://www.lemonde.fr/proche-orient/article/2018/08/17/gaza-deux-palestiniens-tues-a-la-frontiere_5343636_3218.html?xtor=RSS-3208

      Des manifestations ont donné lieu à des heurts avec des soldats vendredi. Ces événements ne devraient pas remettre en question la trêve en vigueur depuis une semaine.

      Deux Palestiniens ont été tués vendredi 17 août par des tirs de soldats israéliens dans la bande de Gaza, lors de manifestations et de heurts le long de la frontière, en plein effort diplomatique pour instaurer un cessez-le-feu durable.

      Cette journée de vendredi avait valeur de test sur la solidité de la trêve observée depuis une semaine par l’armée israélienne et les groupes armés palestiniens, après des mois de tensions dans et autour de l’enclave.

      Selon le ministère de la santé gazaoui, deux Palestiniens ont été tués et des dizaines d’autres blessés par balle lors de manifestations de quelques milliers de Gazaouis et de confrontations avec des soldats postés sur la barrière de sécurité israélienne.
      (...)
      Ce vendredi était donc attendu. La mobilisation est restée moindre que certains vendredis qui avaient réuni jusqu’à des dizaines de milliers de personnes, mais deux Palestiniens ont été tués. Karim Abou Fatayer , 30 ans, a été mortellement atteint par des tirs israéliens non loin du camp de réfugiés d’Al-Boureij. Sadi Mouammar , 26 ans, a lui succombé à un tir dans la tête à l’est de Rafah, selon le ministère gazaoui de la santé. Soixante-dix personnes ont été blessées par balle et environ 200 autres par d’autres moyens, notamment des gaz lacrymogènes.

      Au moins 171 Gazaouis ont été tués par des tirs israéliens depuis le 30 mars. Pour la première fois depuis 2014, un soldat israélien a été tué, le 20 juillet.

  • “National security” cited as reason Al Jazeera nixed Israel lobby film | The Electronic Intifada
    https://electronicintifada.net/content/national-security-cited-reason-al-jazeera-nixed-israel-lobby-film/24566

    Al Jazeera’s investigative documentary into the US Israel lobby was censored by Qatar over “national security” fears, The Electronic Intifada has learned.

    These include that broadcast of the film could add to pressure for the US to pull its massive Al Udeid air base out of the Gulf state, or make a Saudi military invasion more likely.

    A source has confirmed that broadcast of The Lobby – USA was indefinitely delayed as “a matter of national security” for Qatar. The source has been briefed by a high-level individual in Doha.

    One of the Israel lobby groups whose activities are revealed in the film has been mounting a campaign to convince the US to withdraw its military forces from Qatar – which leaders in the emirate would see as a major blow to their security.

    The tiny gas-rich monarchy houses and funds satellite channel Al Jazeera.

    In April, managers at the channel were forced to deny a claim by a right-wing American Zionist group that the program has been canceled altogether.

    In October 2017, the head of Al Jazeera’s investigative unit promised that the film would be aired “very soon.”

    Yet eight months later, it has yet to see the light of day.

    In March, The Electronic Intifada exclusively published the first concrete details of what is in the film.

    The film reportedly identifies a number of lobby groups as working directly with Israel to spy on American citizens using sophisticated data gathering techniques. The documentary is also said to cast light on covert efforts to smear and intimidate Americans seen as too critical of Israel.

    Some of the activity revealed in the film could include US organizations acting as front operations for Israel without registering as agents of a foreign state as required by US law.

    The latest revelation over the censored film shows how seriously Qatar’s leadership is taking threats of repercussions should it air.

    Threats
    The Israel lobby groups reported on in the film could be expected to take legal action against Al Jazeera if it is broadcast.

    However, such threats alone would be unlikely to deter Al Jazeera from broadcasting the film.

    The network has a history of vigorously defending its work and it was completely vindicated over complaints about a documentary aired in January 2017 that revealed how Israel lobby groups in Britain collude with the Israeli embassy, and how the embassy interfered in British politics.

    Israel’s supporters are also pushing for the US Congress to force the network, which has a large US operation, to register as a “foreign agent” in a similar fashion to Russian channel RT.

    But the high-level individual in Doha’s claim that the film is being censored as “a matter of national security” ties the affair to even more serious threats to Qatar and bolsters the conclusion that the censorship is being ordered at the highest level of the state.

    A year ago, with the support of US President Donald Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar and imposed a transport and economic blockade on the country.

    Saudi rulers and their allies see Qatar as too independent of their influence and too open to relations with their regional rival Iran, and the blockade was an attempt to force it to heel.

    The Saudis and Israel accused Qatar of funding “terrorism,” and have taken measures to restrict Al Jazeera or demanded it be shut down altogether over what they perceive as the channel’s anti-Israel and anti-Saudi-monarchy biases.

    The blockade and the diplomatic assault sparked existential fears in Qatar that Saudi-led forces could go as far as to invade and install a more pliant regime in Doha.

    French newspaper Le Monde reported on Friday that the Saudi king has threatened “military action” against Qatar should it go ahead with a planned purchase of a Russian air defense missile system.

    In 2011, Saudi and Emirati forces intervened in Bahrain, another small Gulf nation, at the request of its ruling Khalifa monarchy in order to quell a popular uprising demanding democratic reforms.

    For three years, US and British-backed Saudi and Emirati forces have been waging a bloody and devastating war on Yemen to reimpose a Saudi-backed leadership on the country, clear evidence of their unprecedented readiness to directly use military force to impose their will.

    And no one in the region will have forgotten how quickly Iraqi forces were able to sweep in and take over Kuwait in August 1990.

    Air base
    The lesson of the Kuwait invasion for other small Gulf countries is that only the protection of the United States could guarantee their security from bigger neighbors.

    Qatar implemented that lesson by hosting the largest US military facility in the region, the massive Al Udeid air base.

    The Saudi-led bloc has pushed for the US to withdraw from the base and the Saudi foreign minister predicted that should the Americans pull out of Al Udeid, the regime in Doha would fall “in less than a week.”

    US warplanes operate from the Al Udeid air base near Doha, Qatar, October 2017. US Air Force Photo
    It would be a disaster from the perspective of Doha if the Israel lobby was to put its full weight behind a campaign to pull US forces out of Qatar.

    Earlier this year, an influential member of Congress and a former US defense secretary publicly discussed moving the US base out of Qatar at a conference hosted by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD).

    FDD is a neoconservative Israel lobby group that happens to be one of the subjects of the undercover Al Jazeera film.

    As The Electronic Intifada revealed in March, FDD is one of the groups acting as an agent of the Israeli government even though it is not registered to do so.

    In July 2017, FDD’s Jonathan Schanzer testified to Congress that it would be an “insane arrangement” to keep US forces at the Al Udeid air base while Qatar continued to support “terror.”

    It will concentrate minds in Doha that FDD was one of the lobby groups most dedicated to destroying the international deal with Iran over its nuclear energy program, a goal effectively achieved when the Trump administration pulled out of it last month.

    In a sign of how vulnerable Qatar feels over the issue, Doha has announced plans to upgrade the Al Udeid base in the hope, as the US military newspaper Stars and Stripes put it, “that the strategic military hub will be counted as one of the Pentagon’s permanent overseas installations.”

    The final straw?
    The cornerstone of Qatar’s effort to win back favor in Washington has been to aggressively compete with its Gulf rivals for the affections of Israel and its Washington lobby.

    Their belief appears to be that this lobby is so influential that winning its support can result in favorable changes to US policy.

    Qatar’s charm offensive has included junkets to Doha for such high-profile Israel supporters as Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz and Morton Klein, the head of the Zionist Organization of America who publicly took credit for convincing Qatar’s ruler Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to veto broadcast of the documentary.

    While an all-out Saudi invasion of Qatar over a film series may seem far fetched, the thinking in Doha seems to be that broadcast of The Lobby – USA could be the final straw that antagonizes Qatar’s enemies and exposes it to further danger – especially over Al Udeid.

    With an administration in Washington that is seen as impulsive and unpredictable – it has just launched a trade war against its biggest partners Canada and the European Union – leaders in Doha may see it as foolhardy to take any chances.

    If that is the reason Al Jazeera’s film has been suppressed it is not so much a measure of any real and imminent threat Qatar faces, but rather of how successfully the lobby has convinced Arab rulers, including in Doha, that their well-being and longevity rests on cooperating with, or at least not crossing, Israel and its backers.

    Asa Winstanley is associate editor and Ali Abunimah is executive director of The Electronic Intifada.

    Qatar Al Jazeera The Lobby—USA Al Udeid air base Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani Donald Trump Jared Kushner Saudi Arabia United Arab Emirates Bahrain Iran Kuwait Foundation for the Defense of Democracies Jonathan Schanzer Morton Klein Alan Dershowitz Zionist Organization of America

    Gaza medic killed by Israel as she rescued injured
    Ali Abunimah 2 June 2018

    Who is the Labour Party’s “witchfinder general”?
    Asa Winstanley 31 May 2018

    Israeli minister threatens to destroy Gaza “once and for all”
    Ali Abunimah 30 May 2018

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  • In Britain, Austerity Is Changing Everything - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/28/world/europe/uk-austerity-poverty.html


    #austérité #pauvreté

    Britain’s Big Squeeze
    In Britain, Austerity Is Changing Everything

    After eight years of budget cutting, Britain is looking less like the rest of Europe and more like the United States, with a shrinking welfare state and spreading poverty.

    Raised in the Liverpool neighborhood of Croxteth, Emma Wilde has lost the welfare benefits she depended on to support herself and her two children.CreditAndrea Bruce for The New York Times

    By Peter S. Goodman

    May 28, 2018

    PRESCOT, England — A walk through this modest town in the northwest of England amounts to a tour of the casualties of Britain’s age of austerity.

    The old library building has been sold and refashioned into a glass-fronted luxury home. The leisure center has been razed, eliminating the public swimming pool. The local museum has receded into town history. The police station has been shuttered.

    Now, as the local government desperately seeks to turn assets into cash, Browns Field, a lush park in the center of town, may be doomed, too. At a meeting in November, the council included it on a list of 17 parks to sell to developers.

    “Everybody uses this park,” says Jackie Lewis, who raised two children in a red brick house a block away. “This is probably our last piece of community space. It’s been one after the other. You just end up despondent.”

    In the eight years since London began sharply curtailing support for local governments, the borough of Knowsley, a bedroom community of Liverpool, has seen its budget cut roughly in half. Liverpool itself has suffered a nearly two-thirds cut in funding from the national government — its largest source of discretionary revenue. Communities in much of Britain have seen similar losses.

    For a nation with a storied history of public largess, the protracted campaign of budget cutting, started in 2010 by a government led by the Conservative Party, has delivered a monumental shift in British life. A wave of austerity has yielded a country that has grown accustomed to living with less, even as many measures of social well-being — crime rates, opioid addiction, infant mortality, childhood poverty and homelessness — point to a deteriorating quality of life.

    When Ms. Lewis and her husband bought their home a quarter-century ago, Prescot had a comforting village feel. Now, core government relief programs are being cut and public facilities eliminated, adding pressure to public services like police and fire departments, just as they, too, grapple with diminished funding.

    By 2020, reductions already set in motion will produce cuts to British social welfare programs exceeding $36 billion a year compared with a decade earlier, or more than $900 annually for every working-age person in the country, according to a report from the Center for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University. In Liverpool, the losses will reach $1,200 a year per working-age person, the study says.

    “The government has created destitution,” says Barry Kushner, a Labour Party councilman in Liverpool and the cabinet member for children’s services. “Austerity has had nothing to do with economics. It was about getting out from under welfare. It’s about politics abandoning vulnerable people.”

    Conservative Party leaders say that austerity has been driven by nothing more grandiose than arithmetic.

    “It’s the ideology of two plus two equals four,” says Daniel Finkelstein, a Conservative member of the upper chamber of Parliament, the House of Lords, and a columnist for The Times of London. “It wasn’t driven by a desire to reduce spending on public services. It was driven by the fact that we had a vast deficit problem, and the debt was going to keep growing.”

    Whatever the operative thinking, austerity’s manifestations are palpable and omnipresent. It has refashioned British society, making it less like the rest of Western Europe, with its generous social safety nets and egalitarian ethos, and more like the United States, where millions lack health care and job loss can set off a precipitous plunge in fortunes.

    Much as the United States took the Great Depression of the 1930s as impetus to construct a national pension system while eventually delivering health care for the elderly and the poor, Britain reacted to the trauma of World War II by forging its own welfare state. The United States has steadily reduced benefits since the Reagan Revolution of the 1980s. Britain rolled back its programs in the same era, under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher. Still, its safety net remained robust by world standards.

    Then came the global financial panic of 2008 — the most crippling economic downturn since the Great Depression. Britain’s turn from its welfare state in the face of yawning budget deficits is a conspicuous indicator that the world has been refashioned by the crisis.

    As the global economy now negotiates a wrenching transition — with itinerant jobs replacing full-time positions and robots substituting for human labor — Britain’s experience provokes doubts about the durability of the traditional welfare model. As Western-style capitalism confronts profound questions about economic justice, vulnerable people appear to be growing more so.

    Conservative Party leaders initially sold budget cuts as a virtue, ushering in what they called the Big Society. Diminish the role of a bloated government bureaucracy, they contended, and grass-roots organizations, charities and private companies would step to the fore, reviving communities and delivering public services more efficiently.

    To a degree, a spirit of voluntarism materialized. At public libraries, volunteers now outnumber paid staff. In struggling communities, residents have formed food banks while distributing hand-me-down school uniforms. But to many in Britain, this is akin to setting your house on fire and then reveling in the community spirit as neighbors come running to help extinguish the blaze.

    Most view the Big Society as another piece of political sloganeering — long since ditched by the Conservatives — that served as justification for an austerity program that has advanced the refashioning unleashed in the 1980s by Mrs. Thatcher.

    “We are making cuts that I think Margaret Thatcher, back in the 1980s, could only have dreamt of,” Greg Barker said in a speech in 2011, when he was a Conservative member of Parliament.

    A backlash ensued, with public recognition that budget cuts came with tax relief for corporations, and that the extensive ranks of the wealthy were little disturbed.

    Britain hasn’t endured austerity to the same degree as Greece, where cutbacks were swift and draconian. Instead, British austerity has been a slow bleed, though the cumulative toll has been substantial.

    Local governments have suffered a roughly one-fifth plunge in revenue since 2010, after adding taxes they collect, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies in London.

    Nationally, spending on police forces has dropped 17 percent since 2010, while the number of police officers has dropped 14 percent, according to an analysis by the Institute for Government. Spending on road maintenance has shrunk more than one-fourth, while support for libraries has fallen nearly a third.

    The national court system has eliminated nearly a third of its staff. Spending on prisons has plunged more than a fifth, with violent assaults on prison guards more than doubling. The number of elderly people receiving government-furnished care that enables them to remain in their homes has fallen by roughly a quarter.

    In an alternate reality, this nasty stretch of history might now be ending. Austerity measures were imposed in the name of eliminating budget deficits, and last year Britain finally produced a modest budget surplus.

    But the reality at hand is dominated by worries that Britain’s pending departure from the European Union — Brexit, as it is known — will depress growth for years to come. Though every major economy on earth has been expanding lately, Britain’s barely grew during the first three months of 2018. The unemployment rate sits just above 4 percent — its lowest level since 1975 — yet most wages remain lower than a decade ago, after accounting for rising prices.

    In the blue-collar reaches of northern England, in places like Liverpool, modern history tends to be told in the cadence of lamentation, as the story of one indignity after another. In these communities, Mrs. Thatcher’s name is an epithet, and austerity is the latest villain: London bankers concocted a financial crisis, multiplying their wealth through reckless gambling; then London politicians used budget deficits as an excuse to cut spending on the poor while handing tax cuts to corporations. Robin Hood, reversed.

    “It’s clearly an attack on our class,” says Dave Kelly, a retired bricklayer in the town of Kirkby, on the outskirts of Liverpool, where many factories sit empty, broken monuments to another age. “It’s an attack on who we are. The whole fabric of society is breaking down.”

    As much as any city, Liverpool has seen sweeping changes in its economic fortunes.

    In the 17th century, the city enriched itself on human misery. Local shipping companies sent vessels to West Africa, transporting slaves to the American colonies and returning bearing the fruits of bondage — cotton and tobacco, principally.

    The cotton fed the mills of Manchester nearby, yielding textiles destined for multiple continents. By the late 19th century, Liverpool’s port had become the gateway to the British Empire, its status underscored by the shipping company headquarters lining the River Mersey.

    By the next century — through the Great Depression and the German bombardment of World War II — Liverpool had descended into seemingly terminal decline. Its hard luck, blue-collar station was central to the identity of its most famous export, the Beatles, whose star power seemed enhanced by the fact such talent could emerge from such a place.

    Today, more than a quarter of Liverpool’s roughly 460,000 residents are officially poor, making austerity traumatic: Public institutions charged with aiding vulnerable people are themselves straining from cutbacks.

    Over the past eight years, the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, which serves greater Liverpool, has closed five fire stations while cutting the force to 620 firefighters from about 1,000.

    “I’ve had to preside over the systematic dismantling of the system,” says the fire chief, Dan Stephens.

    His department recently analyzed the 83 deaths that occurred in accidental house fires from 2007 to 2017. The majority of the victims — 51 people — lived alone and were alone at the time of the deadly fire. Nineteen of those 51 were in need of some form of home care.

    The loss of home care — a casualty of austerity — has meant that more older people are being left alone unattended.

    Virtually every public agency now struggles to do more with less while attending to additional problems once handled by some other outfit whose budget is also in tatters.

    Chief Stephens said people losing cash benefits are falling behind on their electric bills and losing service, resorting to candles for light — a major fire risk.

    The city has cut mental health services, so fewer staff members are visiting people prone to hoarding newspapers, for instance, leaving veritable bonfires piling up behind doors, unseen.

    “There are knock-on effects all the way through the system,” says Chief Stephens, who recently announced plans to resign and move to Australia.

    The National Health Service has supposedly been spared from budget cuts. But spending has been frozen in many areas, resulting in cuts per patient. At public hospitals, people have grown resigned to waiting for hours for emergency care, and weeks for referrals to specialists.

    “I think the government wants to run it down so the whole thing crumbles and they don’t have to worry about it anymore,” says Kenneth Buckle, a retired postal worker who has been waiting three months for a referral for a double knee replacement. “Everything takes forever now.”

    At Fulwood Green Medical Center in Liverpool, Dr. Simon Bowers, a general practitioner, points to austerity as an aggravating factor in the flow of stress-related maladies he encounters — high blood pressure, heart problems, sleeplessness, anxiety.

    He argues that the cuts, and the deterioration of the National Health Service, represent a renouncement of Britain’s historical debts. He rattles off the lowlights — the slave trave, colonial barbarity.

    “We as a country said, ‘We have been cruel. Let’s be nice now and look after everyone,’” Dr. Bowers says. “The N.H.S. has everyone’s back. It doesn’t matter how rich or poor you are. It’s written into the psyche of this country.”

    “Austerity isn’t a necessity,” he continued. “It’s a political choice, to move Britain in a different way. I can’t see a rationale beyond further enriching the rich while making the lives of the poor more miserable.”

    Wealthy Britons remain among the world’s most comfortable people, enjoying lavish homes, private medical care, top-notch schools and restaurants run by chefs from Paris and Tokyo. The poor, the elderly, the disabled and the jobless are increasingly prone to Kafka-esque tangles with the bureaucracy to keep public support.

    For Emma Wilde, a 31-year-old single mother, the misadventure began with an inscrutable piece of correspondence.

    Raised in the Liverpool neighborhood of Croxteth, Ms. Wilde has depended on welfare benefits to support herself and her two children. Her father, a retired window washer, is disabled. She has been taking care of him full time, relying on a so-called caregiver’s allowance, which amounts to about $85 a week, and income support reaching about $145 a month.

    The letter put this money in jeopardy.

    Sent by a private firm contracted to manage part of the government’s welfare programs, it informed Ms. Wilde that she was being investigated for fraud, accused of living with a partner — a development she is obliged to have reported.

    Ms. Wilde lives only with her children, she insists. But while the investigation proceeds, her benefits are suspended.

    Eight weeks after the money ceased, Ms. Wilde’s electricity was shut off for nonpayment. During the late winter, she and her children went to bed before 7 p.m. to save on heat. She has swallowed her pride and visited a food bank at a local church, bringing home bread and hamburger patties.

    “I felt a bit ashamed, like I had done something wrong, ” Ms. Wilde says. “But then you’ve got to feed the kids.”

    She has been corresponding with the Department for Work and Pensions, mailing bank statements to try to prove her limited income and to restore her funds.

    The experience has given her a perverse sense of community. At the local center where she brings her children for free meals, she has met people who lost their unemployment benefits after their bus was late and they missed an appointment with a caseworker. She and her friends exchange tips on where to secure hand-me-down clothes.

    “Everyone is in the same situation now,” Ms. Wilde says. “You just don’t have enough to live on.”

    From its inception, austerity carried a whiff of moral righteousness, as if those who delivered it were sober-minded grown-ups. Belt tightening was sold as a shared undertaking, an unpleasant yet unavoidable reckoning with dangerous budget deficits.

    “The truth is that the country was living beyond its means,” the then-chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, declared in outlining his budget to Parliament in 2010. “Today, we have paid the debts of a failed past, and laid the foundations for a more prosperous future.”

    “Prosperity for all,” he added.

    Eight years later, housing subsidies have been restricted, along with tax credits for poor families. The government has frozen unemployment and disability benefits even as costs of food and other necessities have climbed. Over the last five years, the government has begun transitioning to so-called Universal Credit, giving those who receive benefits lump sum payments in place of funds from individual programs. Many have lost support for weeks or months while their cases have shifted to the new system.

    All of which is unfortunate yet inescapable, assert Conservative lawmakers. The government was borrowing roughly one-fourth of what it was spending. To put off cuts was to risk turning Britain into the next Greece.

    “The hard left has never been very clear about what their alternative to the program was,” says Neil O’Brien, a Conservative lawmaker who was previously a Treasury adviser to Mr. Osborne. “Presumably, it would be some enormous increase in taxation, but they are a bit shy about what that would mean.”

    He rejects the notion that austerity is a means of class warfare, noting that wealthy people have been hit with higher taxes on investment and expanded fees when buying luxury properties.

    Britain spends roughly the same portion of its national income on public spending today as it did a decade ago, said Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

    But those dependent on state support express a sense that the system has been rigged to discard them.

    Glendys Perry, 61, was born with cerebral palsy, making it difficult for her to walk. For three decades, she answered the phones at an auto parts company. After she lost that job in 2010, she lived on a disability check.

    Last summer, a letter came, summoning her to “an assessment.” The first question dispatched any notion that this was a sincere exploration.

    “How long have you had cerebral palsy?” (From birth.) “Will it get better?” (No.)

    In fact, her bones were weakening, and she fell often. Her hands were not quick enough to catch her body, resulting in bruises to her face.

    The man handling the assessment seemed uninterested.

    “Can you walk from here to there?” he asked her.

    He dropped a pen on the floor and commanded her to pick it up — a test of her dexterity.

    “How did you come here?” he asked her.

    “By bus,” she replied.

    Can you make a cup of tea? Can you get dressed?

    “I thought, ‘I’m physically disabled,’” she says. “‘Not mentally.’”

    When the letter came informing her that she was no longer entitled to her disability payment — that she had been deemed fit for work — she was not surprised.

    “They want you to be off of benefits,” she says. “I think they were just ticking boxes.”

    The political architecture of Britain insulates those imposing austerity from the wrath of those on the receiving end. London makes the aggregate cuts, while leaving to local politicians the messy work of allocating the pain.

    Spend a morning with the aggrieved residents of Prescot and one hears scant mention of London, or even austerity. People train their fury on the Knowsley Council, and especially on the man who was until recently its leader, Andy Moorhead. They accuse him of hastily concocting plans to sell Browns Field without community consultation.

    Mr. Moorhead, 62, seems an unlikely figure for the role of austerity villain. A career member of the Labour Party, he has the everyday bearing of a genial denizen of the corner pub.

    “I didn’t become a politician to take things off of people,” he says. “But you’ve got the reality to deal with.”

    The reality is that London is phasing out grants to local governments, forcing councils to live on housing and business taxes.

    “Austerity is here to stay,” says Jonathan Davies, director of the Center for Urban Research on Austerity at De Montfort University in Leicester, England. “What we might now see over the next two years is a wave of bankruptcies, like Detroit.”

    Indeed, the council of Northamptonshire, in the center of England, recently became the first local government in nearly two decades to meet that fate.

    Knowsley expects to spend $192 million in the next budget year, Mr. Moorhead says, with 60 percent of that absorbed by care for the elderly and services for children with health and developmental needs. An additional 18 percent will be spent on services the council must provide by law, such as garbage collection and highway maintenance.

    To Mr. Moorhead, the equation ends with the imperative to sell valuable land, yielding an endowment to protect remaining parks and services.

    “We’ve got to pursue development,” Mr. Moorhead says. “Locally, I’m the bad guy.”

    The real malefactors are the same as ever, he says.

    He points at a picture of Mrs. Thatcher on the wall behind him. He vents about London bankers, who left his people to clean up their mess.

    “No one should be doing this,” he says. “Not in the fifth-wealthiest country in the whole world. Sacking people, making people redundant, reducing our services for the vulnerable in our society. It’s the worst job in the world.”

    Now, it is someone else’s job. In early May, the local Labour Party ousted Mr. Moorhead as council leader amid mounting anger over the planned sale of parks.

  • Ce que révèle la « marche du retour » de Gaza
    Orient XXI > Asma Alghoul > 23 mai 2018
    https://orientxxi.info/magazine/ce-que-revele-la-marche-du-retour-de-gaza,2474

    Les massacres du 14 mai commis par l’armée israélienne ont marqué le point culminant et dramatique de la « marche du retour » à Gaza. Les mobilisations ont confirmé la prise de distance des Palestiniens à l’égard de leurs directions, et notamment à l’égard de Mahmoud Abbas. Selon la journaliste palestinienne, ils posent les bases d’une nouvelle étape de la lutte nationale.

    • @sinehebdo
      https://seenthis.net/messages/696835

      In the West Bank, on 23 May 2018, medical sources at al-Najah University Hospital in Nablus declared the death of ‘Oday Abu Khalil (15) from ‘Ein Siniya village, north of Ramallah, succumbing to his wounds. According to PCHR’s investigations, on 15 May 2018, the abovementioned child was wounded during his participation in a peaceful protest at the northern entrance to al-Bireh in commemoration of Palestinian Nakbah Day, against the relocation of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and the Israeli crimes in the Gaza Strip.

      ““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““
      Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (10 – 16 May 2018)
      http://pchrgaza.org/en/?p=10873

      (...) In addition to the abovementioned injuries, During the reporting period, 51 other civilians, including 4 children, 2 women and 2 journalists, were wounded after the Israeli forces opened fire at them and fired tear gas canisters directly during peaceful protests and stone-throwing at the Israeli soldiers stationed at the entrances to the Palestinian communities in the West Bank. Those demonstrations came in the light of demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians in protest at Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the Israeli forces’ ongoing settlement crimes, confiscation of Palestinian lands, and Israeli forces’ crimes against the peaceful demonstrations organized by the Palestinians along the eastern borders of the Gaza Strip.

      Incursions:

    • Merci, je cite cet extrait de l’article du Monde :

      « Nous vivons une nouvelle Nakba ! Ce déménagement de l’ambassade américaine à Jérusalem et tous les “martyrs” de Gaza auraient dû nous réveiller. On aurait dû être bien plus nombreux aujourd’hui », regrette un homme de 37 ans, venu faire acte de présence. Employé dans l’administration de l’autorité palestinienne, il souhaite conserver l’anonymat : « Depuis la mort d’Arafat, nous n’avons pas de chef capable de nous réunir autour de lui pour lutter. Nous n’avons plus confiance dans notre leadership. Maintenant, c’est chacun pour soi. »

      La colère rentrée des Palestiniens de Cisjordanie
      Allan Kaval, Le Monde, le 17 mai 2018

      #Cisjordanie

  • France, Where Age of Consent Is Up for Debate - The Atlantic
    https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/03/frances-existential-crisis-over-sexual-harassment-laws/550700

    On April 24, 2017, a 28-year-old-man met an 11-year-old girl in a park in Montmagny, just north of Paris, after which, he took her home where he had oral and vaginal sex with her. When it was over, the girl called her mother and described what had happened, and her mother called the police. “She thought … that she didn’t have the right to protest, that it wouldn’t make any difference,” the mother told Mediapart, a French investigative site which first reported on the allegations of the case. The accusations were of an adult raping a child—a crime that, in France, can lead to a 20-year prison sentence for the perpetrator when the victim is 15 or younger.

    But it initially wasn’t charged that way. When the case first went to court in September, the man faced only charges of “sexual infraction,” a crime punishable with a maximum of five years in jail and a €75,000 fine. Under French law, a charge of rape requires “violence, coercion, threat, or surprise,” even if the victims are as young as the girl in the Montmagny case. When the case, initially postponed, went back to court in February, the man’s attorneys did not deny the sexual encounter but argued that the girl had been capable of consenting. “She was 11 years and 10 months old, so nearly 12 years old,” defense lawyer Marc Goudarzian said. Sandrine Parise-Heideiger, his fellow defense lawyer, added: “We are not dealing with a sexual predator on a poor little faultless goose.”

    Such a defense flies in the face of legal and cultural consensus in most Western nations, and much of the world. “With children there is inevitably coercion,” Ernestine Ronai, co-president of the gender-based violence commission at the government’s High Council for Equality between Women and Men, told me. “It is indefensible that a girl of 11 could be considered consenting with a 28-year-old man. This is shocking,” she added.

    Indeed, the judge did ultimately order that rape charges be filed, in what Carine Durrieu-Diebolt, the attorney for the girl and her family, called a “victory for victims.” The case has been postponed to allow for a more thorough investigation into the allegations. But in the meantime, it has also provoked an unprecedented backlash that has resulted in France considering a change to a longstanding, anomalous feature of its laws: Up to now, there has been no legal age of consent for sex.

    Under French law, “rape” is defined as “any act of sexual penetration, of whatever nature, committed on the person of another by violence, coercion, threat or surprise.” Yet unlike elsewhere, there is no presumption of coercion if a sexual minor is involved. Most other countries in Europe, including Spain, Belgium, Britain, Switzerland, Denmark and Austria, have a legal age of consent. Most of the age minimums range between 14 and 16 years of age. Fixing a specific age of consent means that children and adolescents below that age cannot, regardless of circumstances, be considered consenting to sex; their very age renders them incapable. As a result, an adult in most European nations who has sex with someone under this age would be charged with rape, even if violent force is not used.

    • Most other countries in Europe, including Spain, Belgium, Britain, Switzerland, Denmark and Austria, have a legal age of consent. Most of the age minimums range between 14 and 16 years of age. Fixing a specific age of consent means that children and adolescents below that age cannot, regardless of circumstances, be considered consenting to sex; their very age renders them incapable. As a result, an adult in most European nations who has sex with someone under this age would be charged with rape, even if violent force is not used.

    • After May 1968, French intellectuals would challenge the state’s authority to protect minors from sexual abuse. In one prominent example, on January 26, 1977, Le Monde, a French newspaper, published a petition signed by the era’s most prominent intellectuals—including Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Gilles Deleuze, Roland Barthes, Philippe Sollers, André Glucksmann and Louis Aragon—in defense of three men on trial for engaging in sexual acts with minors. “French law recognizes in 13- and 14-year-olds a capacity for discernment that it can judge and punish,” the petition stated, “But it rejects such a capacity when the child’s emotional and sexual life is concerned.” Furthermore, the signatories argued, children and adolescents have the right to a sexual life: “If a 13-year-old girl has the right to take the pill, what is it for?” It’s unclear what impact, if any, the petition had. The defendants were sentenced to five years in prison, but did not serve their full sentences.

      In 1979, Liberation published another petition, this time in support of Gérard R., a man on trial for having sex with girls between the ages of six and 12. It was signed by 63 people, many of them well-known intellectuals like Christiane Rochefort and Pascal Bruckner. It argued that the girls in question were “happy” with the situation. “The love of children is also the love of their bodies,” they wrote. “Desire and sexual games have their place in the relationship between children and adults. This is what Gérard R. thought and experienced with [the] girls … whose fulfillment proved to everyone, including their parents, the happiness they found with him.”

      What the endorsements from prominent French intellectuals suggested was that young children possessed a right to govern their own sexuality. Under this interpretation of liberté, young children were empowered to find happiness in sexual relationships; their ability to consent was a foregone conclusion. Any effort to suggest otherwise would be a condescension, a disrespect to them as fully realized human beings. In a radio interview in 1978, Michel Foucault said of sex with minors that assuming “that a child is incapable of explaining what happened and was incapable of giving his consent are two abuses that are intolerable, quite unacceptable.”

      “People have a hard time admitting they were colonized by the discourse of pedocriminals,” Salmona told me. France in the 1970s and 1980s, she said, was an “atrocious” era for children, an active time for a very unapologetic “pedocriminal lobby.”

      Yet it’s hard to know exactly how widespread the so-called pedocriminal lobby’s influence reached. On the one hand, as sociologist and criminologist Patrice Corriveau wrote in 2011, the number of sexual abuse cases involving children in France had been on the rise since 1972. By 1982, he found, sexual offenses against minors had increased by nearly 22 percent—meaning, it seemed as though the stigma against child sex abuse was encouraging victims to come forward. At the same time, while the number of reported cases was on the rise, convictions for homosexual acts with minors were decreasing. As Corriveau explained: “In France … sexual behaviors, homoerotic or not, dropped in importance on the level of judicial intervention as the sexual revolution took hold. In fact, morals offense represented only 0.54 percent of overall criminality in France in 1982.”

      #pedocriminalité #pedosexualité #pedophilie #viol #culture_du_viol #enfance #domination_adulte #domination_masculine #deni #cocorico #liberation_sexuelle #mai68

  • Israel in major raids on ’Iran’ targets in Syria after rocket fire | AFP.com
    https://www.afp.com/en/news/205/israel-major-raids-iran-targets-syria-after-rocket-fire-doc-14q3b14

    Elle est pas belle la vie ? Ça fait une bonne semaine que l’armée israélienne est en alerte maximale dans le Golan occupé. C’est donc le moment idéal pour lui envoyer une bordée de roquettes dont aucune n’a atteint le territoire israélien…
    Israël est forcément obligé de riposter.

    Israel carried out widespread deadly raids against what it said were Iranian targets in Syria on Thursday after rocket fire towards its forces which it blamed on Iran, marking a sharp escalation between the two enemies.

    The incident came after weeks of rising tensions and followed US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from a key 2015 Iran nuclear deal on Tuesday, a move Israel had long advocated.

    It led to immediate calls for restraint from Russia, France and Germany. “The escalation of the last hours shows us that it’s really about war and peace,” warned German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    The raids that a monitor said killed 23 fighters were one of the largest Israeli military operations in recent years and the biggest such assault on Iranian targets, the military said.

    We hit nearly all the Iranian infrastructure in Syria,” Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman told a security conference.

    I hope we’ve finished this episode and everyone understood.

    Israel carried out the raids after it said 20 rockets, either Fajr or Grad type, were fired from Syria at its forces in the occupied Golan Heights at around midnight.

    It blamed the rocket fire on Iran’s Al-Quds force, adding that Israel’s anti-missile system intercepted four while the rest did not land in its territory.

    No Israelis were wounded.