I’m not going to add much of my own to this, because it’s unnecessary.
Naomi Wolf – one of the very best researchers and independent journalists out there – thoroughly explains the matter in this video and discusses its implications.
Media, as far as I can tell, has said absolutely nothing about this: Naomi is the only person I’ve seen discuss this (a hat-tip to Alan Carroll on Facebook, who pointed me to it), and you should watch the video to get a good sense of what the implications are.
She writes, ‘Just when you think things can’t get more undemocratic… HR 221 is the
all_the_poisons_that_lurk_in_the_mud? that passed last Friday… “under suspension of rules”, meaning without normal democratic debate and public voting…’
Did ‘HR 221’ make any coverage in any newspapers, news channels or significant public forums? Not that I know of.
As she explains, ‘HR 221, that passed the House last Friday, moves the power of nominating a Special Envoy on Antisemitism from the Sec of State to the President; gives that person nominated the powers of an ambassador… including diplomatic immunity; tasks that person with coordinating resources ACROSS AGENCIES of the US government – FBI, IRS, Homeland Security, etc – assigns your tax dollars to enlist any agency in this task; and the task is to “combat incitement of anti-Semitism” globally…’
Note again: globally.
Among the various implications she discusses, of particular interest to us types here is her warning that ‘This bill lets this special envoy “monitor” target any blogger, journalist, activist group or student who writes an op ed critical of Israel or supports BDS; and the envoy is supposed to have a law enforcement background, among two other options, so it implies that international or domestic law will be used to suspend freedoms of speech globally when it comes to criticism of Israel that can be called or redefined as “anti-Semitic incitement”…’
In effect, the US President (in our case now, Netanyahu’s friend Donald Trump under the influence of one Jared Kushner) will now directly appoint the Anti-Semitism ‘envoy’: said ‘envoy’ will have diplomatic immunity and will be from a law enforcement background and will monitor for “incitement” to Anti-Semitism anywhere in the world.
What ultimately will that mean in practical terms? It’s difficult to know. In a lot of ways, it feels impractical: like it would be very difficult to have the framework for enforcing anything in global, across-the-board terms.
But the language is worrying.
As Naomi says, ‘…”Incitement” is a dangerous, vague word”.’ As she argues, the implication is that if any person – anywhere in the world – does, writes or says something that this ‘envoy’ deems to be ‘incitement’ to Anti-Semitism, said Presidentially-appointed envoy would have the power to call on United States government resources and agencies to take action against that person or group: including peaceful protest groups (including Jewish groups) or even journalists and bloggers.
Thematically, a lot of this also relates very much to the nonsense that has swirled around the opposition leader in the UK, Jeremy Corbyn (see here).
But the implications of this bill in the US seems to take things up a level.
Where does that go? I mean, it just occurred to me that it is entirely possible Jeremy Corbyn (relentlessly demonised as an ‘Anti Semite’) could be Prime Minister some time in the near future. In that scenario, could there – in theory – be a situation where this special ‘envoy’ appointed by the US President could take direct action against the Prime Minister of the UK, if the Prime Minister was deemed to be ‘inciting’ Anti-Semitism?
What a crazy fucking scenario that would be.
But, theoretically, it seems like this could pave the way for that kind of state of affairs. And we live in weird, warped times – so, frankly, anything is possible in contemporary politics.
Certainly the alarms raised by Naomi Wolf (who is Jewish herself) should also be looked at in the context of what was going on last year in the UK with the Israel-lobby’s campaign against Corbyn. It is important to note that so much has been going on recently to redefine and set in stone what ‘Anti Semitism’ is: and much of the bullshit thrown at Corbyn was based on his unwillingness to accept the entirety of the official definition of Anti-Semitism that was being insisted on by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.
While Corbyn’s Labour Party adopted most of the IHRA definition, it rejected the one clause that was designed to label as ‘Anti Semitic’ anything that includes unfair criticism of Zionist idealogy or anything that accuses Israel of being a racist state. And that’s where the shit-storm was kicked off.
There also has been an ongoing campaign for it to be universally accepted that ‘Anti Zionist’ criticism should equate to the same thing as ‘Anti Semitism’.
Certainly, given how much has been made of this international effort to legally set in stone what qualifies as Anti-Semitism, it probably isn’t a coincidence that this bill has just been passed in the US to create an authority with enhanced powers to act against people or organisations seen to be in violation of those guidelines.
In terms of censorship as well, this is a very minor point: but Facebook a week or two ago removed one of my articles from the platform. It was the article about the Ukrainian Azov Batallion and its links to the Charlottesville unrest: and generally an article about the similarties between militant Neo-Nazis and the Islamic State group.
It didn’t bother me: the platform has a right to remove anything its moderators deem inappropriate. But what interests me is the reasoning: or, more to the point, trying to work out what the reasoning is. I’ve said before, it’s always curious what gets deleted from Facebook or YouTube, when compared to what get’s left on. I wasn’t sure why Facebook removed that post, but otherwise allows most of my other articles (all the false-flag stuff, for example). I couldn’t work out what was so problematic about this particular article.
They said someone had flagged it up as offensive: and that it was a violation of ‘Community Standards’. They also said I would be blocked from trying to re-post the link in future. I put it to some of my FB subscribers to look for the article again on the website, read it and try to figure out what was the thing in there that might’ve caused it to be removed.
The answer I got was that it was because I mentioned the report that Israel had been supplying weapons to the Azov Batallion. Maybe. I was a bit sceptical: it was only one line in a very long article and wasn’t the focus at all. It could’ve just as easily been because I was countering Alt-Right propaganda: and we know that both Facebook and YouTube loves the Alt-Right to spread stuff on their platforms, no matter how much they might pretend otherwise.
But I’m still baffled as to why that article was deemed inappropriate. I was quoting another news-source when I made that claim – I don’t know if that news-source’s link was also deleted from Facebook separately.
I raise that here, because it might be a minor taste of how things are going to become.
And there are still indications of a mounting censorship campaign against independent bloggers, journalists or content-creators. As covered here, even WordPress got caught up in some of this, with a number of bloggers removed from the platform. At the time, this seemed to be targeting anyone who’d talked about a specific subject (let’s call it ‘Spaandy Ruk’), because of the upset or offense it was causing to family members related to the incident.
But I noted then that, in the future, it could just as easily be something else: and specified in particular that, some day, a certain ‘Z’ word might become off-limits.
Given what Naomi is laying out here, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if that’s precisely what ends up happening. Although even this is a relatively minor aspect of things: frankly, if her analysis is correct, then the whole thing might go further and have greater implications than just for ‘offending’ bloggers or journalists.
Read more: ‘Is Corbyn an Existential Threat to Jews in Britain…?‘, ‘An Important Notice About the Censorship Purge‘, ‘The Livingstone Witch-Hunt & the Deeper Plot Against the Opposition in Britain‘, ‘What Was Really Behind the Departure of Tillerson and McMaster From Trump’s Administration…?‘, ‘What Was Pritti Patel Doing in Israel Really…?‘