AROUND THE WORLD: Police recommend that Ben Netanyahu face investigation on charges of bribery and corruption.

In the past month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has faced off against the third police recommendation that he be investigated charges of bribery and corruption. Despite this, the well known controversial leader of Israel has remained steadfast in his position undeterred by the multiple allegations of nepotism and corruption by opponents.

Netanyahu has recently passed a bill that ensures only the leader of each elected political party has the right to form a government and not any other figure on the parties’ lists, leading to opposition leader Tamar Zandberg stating that “For a long time now this coalition has been busy with nothing else except to protect the seat of a corrupt prime minister,”.  Netanyahu has survived controversy after controversy during his tenure as Israeli PM.

Netanyahu is a figurehead for hard line Zionism within Israel as a notable critic of the Oslo accords since their inception. He has, in his time, banded together a number of right wing organisations to support his Likud led government including the homophobic Shas party whose MK Nissim Ze’ev stated that homosexuals were “carrying out the self-destruction of Israeli society and the Jewish people.” and that homosexuals were as “toxic as bird flu.”

Yet despite all this Netanyahu has faced his toughest challenge yet. A number of corruption allegations into the suspicion that the he had eased business regulations for the country’s largest telecommunications company in exchange for favourable coverage for him and his wife on a popular news website owned by the firm.

And yet, in spite of these seemingly damning assertions by the police, Netanyahu has remained steadfast in his position. When, the right wing defence minister Avigdor Lieberman resigned in protest of the tactical defeat of Israeli forces by the Palestinian armed factionsNetanyahu decided to take over role of defence minister, adding it to his responsibilities as prime minister and foreign minister. After nearly a decade in power, Netanyahu has become the face of the current Israeli regime. Uncommitted to the peace process but committed to the continued building of illegal settlements.

Following a drive by shooting by a Palestinian militant this week, assassinating two IDF members, Netanyahu has stated that he will legalise thousands of settlement homes built without even Israeli permits in the occupied West Bank. It is clear to see that Netanyahu’s grasp on power remains fragile yet just sturdy enough to remain in government, thanks to his relationship with the Israeli right. However, even that now seems in jeopardy as the Palestinian armed factions grown in confidence against the Israeli occupation. “If there is no real solution, this government will be in existential danger,” warned leading settler spokesman Yossi Dagan.

Netanyahu is a political contradiction. He is routinely probed for corruption yet polling has him set on course to win a fifth election next year. He is often criticised by the Israeli far right and yet he has not been substantially challenged as leader of the Israeli government. The reasoning of this contradiction is that he has been one of Israels more successful modern leaders against the armed groups that seek its destruction.

Former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert faced a similar corruption charge that led to his downfall after the withdrawal of Israeli force from Lebanon after their tactical defeat from Hezbollah. Netenyahu has not had his dramatic defeat from the armed factions yet and so he remains abiding in his role as PM. But with the armed Palestinian militants gaining strength day by day and the growing anger of Israeli settlers, Netenyahu’s corruption charges may soon catch up on him yet.

AROUND THE WORLD: French Left Seeks To Trigger No Confidence Vote As Crisis Continues

 

France’s major left wing parliamentary parties are set to launch a no confidence vote against Emmanuel Macron’s centrist government. It comes as the ‘Gilets jaunes’ yellow vest movement show little signs of easing up on their militant protests.

Despite concessions ceased by the Macron administration in face of the widespread militant riots, including a temporary six-month suspension of controversial increases to fuel taxes, the cross spectrum protest movement has remained committed to the struggle. “The French don’t want crumbs, they want a baguette,” yellow vest spokesman Benjamin Cauchy told French news channel BFM.

One of the main parties that makes up the anti-Macron parliamentary left pursuing the no confidence vote is the French Communist Party, a longtime critic of Macrons neoliberal reforms that seek to smash the still strong French trade union movement. The historically communist linked union the CGT has already previously participated in violent demonstrations against the governments reforms and now with farmers set to go on strike next week, the radical trade union movement will likely attempt to capitalise on the success of the yellow vests.

Other left parties partial to the no confidence vote discussions include Jean-Luc Melenchon’s La France Insoumise party. Melenchon, a figurehead of the french left, looks to be the likely radical left candidate set to face off against Macron if such a vote is successful. The more mainstream French Socialist party has also joined in the talks with First Secretary Olivier Faure stating, using the hashtag #Gilesjaunes, “We’ve decided to work together to file a no confidence vote next Monday. During the coming days, we will seek to increase the number of signatories. We have to show that other ways are possible,”

Despite the left unity sentiments not usually seen in other countries, the parliamentary French left will unlikely succeed in passing the no confidence motion due to Macrons LREM party holding a parliamentary majority of 308 in the 500 seat National Assembly. Unless there is a serious defection of deputies, the vote will fail. The government is far more likely to collapse as a result of the dismantling of the French Fifth Republic. It would however, not be the first time radicals have triggered a total collapse of the French political system.

The talks come as both left and right are currently undertaking moves to co-opt the anger and militancy of the yellow vest movement. French fascist leader Marine Le Pen has called for the dissolution of the French National Assembly, no doubt seeking to capitalise on fresh elections in a manner similar to Charles de Gaulle after the May uprising in 1968. On the ground various left and right factions in the yellow vest movement have clashed with each other as well as police. In one incident notorious French Neo-Nazi Yvan Benedetti was knocked out by yellow vest anti-fascists who recognised his presence.

This weekends events will no doubt be a turning point for the movement as the government fears major violence in the coming days. The movement has grown rapidly since its inception and now includes an interlinked union of workers and students. It is clear that this familiar union will struggle tirelessly, as they did in ’68, for their near revolutionary reforms. If such an effort is successful, it will no doubt set France on a new course to that of neoliberalism.

AROUND THE WORLD: Anti-Macron Protests Turn Violent As Fuel Crisis Develops

Protests against recent fuel tax rises turned violent in France as citizens clash with police. The protests are just one of the many anti-Macron movements developing within France. Facing pressure from both left and right, Macron see’s yet another challenge to his leadership as his popularity plummets.

100,000 people participated in the most recent protests, and around 8,000 in the capital, engaged in clashes with police. Protestors removed police cordons and tear gas was launched into crowds, leaving 19 people injured, including 4 officers. 30 officers have been injured on the poverty stricken Reunion Island, where troops have been deployed. Overall 2 people have died in the protests so far.

This most recent anti-Macron movement is a different. They describe themselves as apolitical and are leaderless unlike the recent union led protests. Protesters cross political boundaries as anti-tax right wingers and cost-of-living issue leftists have, at least seemingly, united to face off against the embattled president.

These are not the first protests against the centrist leader. Soon after Macron’s election, union leaders and left wing activists actively fought against him, fearing his neoliberal reforms threaten workers rights. Led primarily by the historically linked French Communist Party union, the CGT, large scale protests using physical force tactics have shown that Macron faces a complete crisis.

Macron has taken an unwavering stance against all protests in a manner held by nearly all French presidents who often see themselves facing down an angry, revolutionary section of the masses. France has a proud history of physical force protests, drawing back on its historically significant revolution. The protests hark back to the days of May 1968 where workers and revolutionary students, who held the portraits of Lenin, Marx and Mao, united against Charles De Gaulle.

What can be taken away from these most recent, as well as past, protests is that Macron will very much likely not face re-election. The future of France is in the hands of either the far right or the far left. French National Front fascist Marine Le Pen is one potential future candidate having qualified for the second round in last years election or Communist Party backed past candidate, Jean-Luc Mélenchon . If the French radical left united around the figure it is likely he could be a suitable challenge to Le Pen.

In any case France is once again caught up in a cycle of its own history. The only way to stop this cycle of centrist leadership leading to protests and violence is the election of a radical candidate. Whether it leads to the rise of the radical left or the far right, like so many times in history before, remains to be seen.

AROUND THE WORLD: Indictment Reveals American Neo-Nazis Were Trained In Ukraine Possibly With US Funding

An unsealed FBI indictment has revealed that 4 American Neo-Nazis from the Rise Above Movement have trained with the Ukrainian Fascist Azov Battalion. The indictment noted that the Azov Battalion “is believed to have participated in training and radicalizing United States-based white supremacy organizations.”

This revelation has come soon after the massacre of 11 Jewish worshippers in a Pittsburgh synagogue by an armed anti-Semite assailant. It reveals a deep rooted problem of Fascism within the United States as the far right have become emboldened by world events.

The group known as the Rise Above Movement have participated in violent clashes against American based Antifa groups in Charlottesville and California. The 4 men have been charged for their actions in Charlottesville, which helped culminate in the murder of socialist organiser Heather Heyer.

The indictment found that the 4 Nazis had met with Olena Semanyaka, the leader of the international department of the Ukrainian National Corps, which functions as a civilian arm of the Azov Battalion. Azov became an active and influential far right militia following the events of Euromaiden in 2014 as Fascist organisers participated in the revolt. One such organiser Oleh Tyahnybok, who once demanded an investigation into an alleged “Jewish-Muscovite mafia” that controlled Ukraine, appeared on stage with deceased US senator John McCain who greeted protesters during the crisis. Likewise Andriy Biletsky, who led the forerunner to Azov, wrote that the events were part of “A crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen.”

Recently, Congress has finally passed legislation that forbids the arming of Azov (it has previously allowed such funding for 3 years). Despite this, the Trump administrations 200 million dollar funding to the Ukrainian army will still likely see US arms in the hands of Neo-Nazis who dominate the front lines. When questioned whether these arms could find themselves to be acquired by Azov, US military officials admitted there was no mechanism in place to prevent that from happening. Ivan Katchanovski, a professor of political science at the University of Ottawa and expert on the Ukrainian Neo-Nazi movement has stated that “It’s very corrupt in Ukraine and money can be stolen — the same as in Syria where extremist fighters got guns from U.S.-backed units,” 

Not content with arming the far right, the American establishment has sought ties with some of the most putrid figures of the Ukrainian Nazi scene. C14 gang leader Serhiy Bondar, who has participated in programs against Ukraine’s Roma population, was invited to speak at the government funded America House Kyiv. Likewise, the NATO and Republican Paul Ryan funded Atlantic Council invited the founder of the Social-Nationalist Party and Roma pogrom participant Andriy Parubiy for a meeting in Congress.

In order to justify this not so subtle armament of Neo-Nazis, the American media has attempted to whitewash clear far right activity in Ukraine. One pundit, James Kirchick, described the Ukrainian fighters as “Putin’s imaginary Nazis.” The justification for this armament comes about as America once again seeks to fight Russia via unstable proxy forces. In similar past circumstances the United States has funded anti-Soviet jihadists in Afghanistan including Osama Bin Laden, anti-communist military junta forces in El Salvador who infamously raped and killed 4 American nuns and now Neo-Nazi volunteers in Ukraine fighting Russian separatists.

All these cases have resulted in severe blow-back for the United States. America’s culpability for co-opting Fascist rhetoric and violence has resulted in nothing but destruction and will likely continue. The 4 men trained in Ukraine have used their skills to assault and bludgeon US citizens in Fascist riots. The extent of the damage potentiality caused by the funding of these, among other, far-right radicals in the US and in Europe remains to be fully seen.

Attack and Influence: How Facebook Fought Through Its Hate Speech and Data Misuse Crisis

A recent report has shown how Facebook and its high profile executives attempted to deal with the recent crisis at the company. After a turbulent 2 years which lead to plummeting stock and a consumer backlash campaign, just how Facebook’s helms attempted to deflect criticism and attack opponents can now be examined.

In one such attempt to deflect criticism from the left, Facebook employed a Republican opposition-research firm to discredit activist protesters, in part by linking them to the liberal financier George Soros. The tactic is a modern form of anti-Semitic mudslinger, harking back to far right conspiracies of the Rothschild’s funding the Bolsheviks. The myth of a Judeo–Bolshevik conspiracy has been replaced by that of a “cultural Marxist” one. Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, the company’s chief operating officer, use of these tactics shows just the tip of the iceberg of Facebook’s problems.

Facebook’s main issue has been the sites associations with hate speech. The Anti Defamation League has criticised Mark Zuckerberg after he suggested that his company should not censor Holocaust deniers. When researchers and activists in Myanmar, India, Germany and elsewhere warned that Facebook had become an instrument of government propaganda and ethnic cleansing, the company largely ignored them. Facebook saw the role as a censor as costly and feared backlash from the right wing. When Trump posted his infamous call of a ban of Muslims entering the US, Facebook’s Washington group of well connected Republicans were instrumental in keeping Trumps post on the site. They argued that Mr. Trump was an important public figure and that shutting down his account or removing the statement could be seen as obstructing free speech. The sites main chance to block hate speech on a global level was missed.

Facebook has seen its position attacked by both the main American political parties. The Democrats allege Facebook of allowing Russian influence into the US election, seeking a scapegoat for their failures to stop the election of Donald Trump. Similarly, Republicans accuse Facebook of banning and seeking out conservative posts in their attempts to further play out their “us and them” mentality. Facebook’s attempts to unite both sides over the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act in November 2017 have become futile as further allegations about the site emerged.

Facebook’s relationship with British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytical has seemingly been the straw that’s broke the camels back. When evidence was found that copies of improperly acquired Facebook data still existed, despite earlier promises by Cambridge executives and others to delete it, Facebook’s attempts to pre-empt the stories failed leading to worldwide outrage.

Facebook went on the offensive using conservative site the NTK Network to accuse companies who had attacked Facebook such as Apple and Google of similar data misuse and exploitative practices. Meanwhile in public, the company took a more conciliatory approach with Mark Zuckerberg agreeing to testify on Capitol Hill. Sandberg also met with prominent Republicans and Democrats due to alleged fears that Facebook’s reputation will muddy her own legacy as well. Senate Democrat leader Chuck Schumer, a keen corporate ally to Silicon Valley, has intervened on the company’s behalf.

Facebook’s attempts at damage management show its media cunning and highlights its influential links with both Republicans and Democrats. However, the companies reputation has been severely damaged and its notoriety for hate speech, misinformation and data misuse will likely mean the company will never fully recover of the events of the last 2 years. Despite this, Facebook’s influence on Washington shows off the companies important connections that will expectantly never lead into a full force probe into the website used by 2.2 billion people.

AROUND THE WORLD: Tactical victory of Gaza armed factions leads to Israel Defence minister resignation

2 day clashes in Gaza, the most intense since the 2014 Gaza war, have led to an Egyptian negotiated ceasefire in what has been seen as a blow to what remains of the right wing Netanyahu government. The Israeli defence minister Avigdor Lieberman has subsequently resigned denouncing the move as “surrendering to terror”. He has since stated that his ultra right, anti integrationist party will pull out of the ruling coalition possibly leading to an early election.

The conflict and subsequent ceasefire deal comes after months of tensions as outlined in an earlier TPN piece. The military response of the Palestinian armed factions in Gaza, including Hamas and the PFLP, was launched following a botched Israeli intelligence mission that left 7 Palestinians and 1 Israeli dead. In an act of reprisal, the armed factions launched some 460 rockets with most penetrating Israel’s Iron Dome system. Israel responded with more than hundred and fifty strikes, including some on a local Palestinian television studio.

The deal reached has seen an Israeli commitment to freer movement of goods in and out of Gaza and a Qatari commitment of 15 million dollars cash to Hamas leaders. The deal can be examined as tentative as the regions actors remain cautious of events in Gaza. Egypt’s president Sisi, who has played an important role in the Gaza blockade since coming to power, has no sympathy for Hamas, an offshoot of the now persecuted Muslim Brotherhood. Yet with half of Egyptians living either at the poverty line or below it, he is eager to see the inflamed and seemingly everlasting situation resolved as Egypt relies on its importation of wheat from neighbouring states.

Similarly, Israel and its dominant right wing forces are at a standstill with Gaza. Despite numerous heavy-handed and viscous operations into the blockaded Gaza Strip, Israel cannot ostensibly crush the armed Palestinian resistance it faces there. The armed factions successful use of the Soviet and North Korean manufactured Kornet missile system is a worry for Israel. It was decisive in Israel’s defeat in southern Lebanon in 2006 and a critical factor in ending Israel’s occupation of the country through armed actions by Hezbollah. Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s leader, has proudly admitted to supplying rockets to Gaza despite tensions between Hamas and Hezbollah owing to the Syrian civil war. The appearance of this unity and presence of these weapons have no doubt given Netanyahu serious pause.

Meanwhile, the radical armed factions of Gaza have grown in both confidence and support from the 2 day insurrection. Already, Hamas have busted a spying network responsible for the botched operation and resistance supporters have rallied across the occupied territories, celebrating a perceived Israeli embarrassment.

Events have once again proven that Israel cannot hope to crush the Palestinian resistance movement through military measures. Its only hope for an end to the conflict whilst maintaining its status as a nation is through the peace process. However, with internal right wing anger at the believed lack of action growing and a developing corruption investigation into Netanyahu and his associates, the current government is unlikely to pursue any long-lasting commitment to peace in the region.

AROUND THE WORLD: Donald Trump and America’s underlying fascism

As Donald Trump addressed the media over this years midterm elections results, an argument broke out between the president and CNN’s Jim Acosta. When questioned about his racial scaremongering over the migrant caravan, Trump responded with his usual ‘fake news’ spiel then labelled Acosta as a‘rude, terrible person’. Acosta refused to give the microphone back to a female white house staffer which has since been used as an excuse to revoke his White House pass.

In an attempt to justify themselves, the White House have circulated an Infowars doctored video of the incident claiming, he laid his hands on the young woman. Infowars, for those who aren’t aware is a far right conspiracy theory site known primarily for its maverick host Alex Jones. Jones is a Sandy Hook truther who infamously went viral after ranting that the Pentagon has a “gay bomb”, chemicals from which it has allowed to leak into the water supply turning “the friggin’ frogs gay!”. The fact that the White House have showcased this video this shows a clear threat of fascist influence in the White House.

Trumps treatment of the press has long since been compared to that of other fascist regimes. Like Hitler and Mussolini, he clearly shows nothing but contempt for the free press. This is not however, his most overt flirtation with fascism. Trump once retweeted the Islamophobic posts of Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of fascist group Britain First, who has been convicted of hate speech in Northern Ireland. Likewise, after events in Charlottesville led to the murder of socialist organiser Heather Heyer in a cowardly neo-Nazi attack, Trump stated that not all the far right protesters were neo-Nazis and white supremacists and laid the blame for the violence equally on what he called the “alt-left”.

The Trump presidency’s fling with fascism exposes a clear American hypocrisy. Whilst it has long been propagated that the United States is a bastion of liberty and democracy, its historical ties with fascism prove it to be anything but. In response to the threat of communism during the cold war, the US abandoned its ‘principles’ in order to fight the ‘red menace’. In blatant disregard for the constitution, Eisenhower signed into law the Communist Control Act of 1954 which outlawed the communist party and criminalised membership. During the first red scare, the US deported a number of “foreign aliens” they suspected of sedition and additionally during the era of McCarthyism, the US imprisoned numerous communist leaders under the Smith Act.

It is however, in foreign affairs where America’s relationship with Fascism is most flagrant. In Chile, the United Sates supported Pinochet’s coup against democratically elected Marxist – Salvador Allende, leading to the rise of the notorious Caravan of Death. Similarly, in Indonesia American embassy officials gave a list of suspected communists to Fascist death squads who embarked on a genocide of up to 3 million people. In perhaps the most disgusting example, United States intelligence recruited the “Butcher of Lyon” Klaus Barbie, a Gestapo functionary who American forces used to track down and execute Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara.

Donald Trump’s actions are another chapter in a deep seated tradition of fascism within the American establishment. The lack of a communist scapegoat has meant that he has not seen the support previously seen by J Edgar Hoover and Ronald Reagan who went on similar crusades. However, the threat Trump and his cabal pose to democracy cannot be discounted. If his overt courting of fascism is not successfully challenged then the underlying fascism of the American establishment will no longer remain in the shadows.

AROUND THE WORLD: Justin Trudeau’s Saudi arms deals showcases the dilemma of centrism.

With growing international pressure and all eyes on the Saudi regime, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stated that he is unlikely to cancel his countries arms deals with Saudi Arabia. The statement is indicative of Trudeau’s brand of liberalism. Preformative, corrupt and ultimately broken.

Much has been said of Justin Trudeau’s reign as leader of the Liberal Party in Canada. He recently apologised for war crimes committed against indigenous people and yet despite this has committed to a Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project violating indigenous peoples land rights. Likewise whilst enthusiastically participating in a gay pride march, his administration was busy dealing with a 15 billion dollar arms deal with the notoriously homophobic Saudi regime.

The hypocrisy of the Trudeau regime is an emblematic highlight towards the problems of centrism and liberalism. Much like his co-statesmen Emmanuel Macron, whilst preaching the virtues of liberalism against the rising far right movement, Trudeau has shown himself to be no different to the previous neo-conservative governments. Following the US withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Canada joined the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership incorporating much of the previous agreements neo-liberal policies.

The failings and resentment feat towards the Trudeau government some up the failings of centrists to deal with the problems faced by people worldwide. Whilst attempting to counteract rising radical parties, the centrists commit to policies which only strengthen radical voices. Here in the UK, the liberals fanaticism with the EU has ignored legitimate concerns with the EU’s economic austerity policies which infamously led to the stranglehold of the Greek people by the viscous economic polices of the troika. Emmanuel Macron’s victory over National Front fascist Marine Le Pen has led to little change for the French working class. Macron has become devoted to a Thatcherite struggle against the french trade union movement in an attempt to further neoliberalise the country leading to strikes and protests.

Meanwhile in Canada, Trudeau’s attitude to the House of Saud is a clear demonstration of the west’s attitude towards the oil rich nation. Whilst a lot of attention has been drawn towards the Saudis murder and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi’s military operations against the Houthis in Yemen have led to a severe case of mass famine. The barbarity of the Saudi war machine has been laid out for all to see as it commits atrocity after atrocity. In spite of this western leaders, from former UK Tory prime minister David Cameron to Canadian Liberal prime minster Justin Trudeau have maintained their diplomatic relationship with Saudi Arabia. Whilst occasionally condemning Saudi atrocities, the west have remained favourable to the dictatorship with prizes ranging from weapon deals to seats on human rights councils.

The relationship Trudeau has with the Saudis is proof of centrism’s innate flaws. Whilst they preach of tolerance, debate and freedom, the ruling liberals of the world are prepared to drop any of their “principles” in the face of lucrative Saudi blood money. Centrism has unambiguously failed its citizens wherever it has governed. Trudeau’s Canada is just one more case and point.

AROUND THE WORLD: Tensions rise as Palestinians attempt to end the Gaza blockade

In recent times, Gaza has seen an escalation of violence as local Palestinians attempt to resist the years long blockade of the strip. A drone strike has killed three Palestinian teenagers whom the Israeli Defence Force accuse of laying explosives. A series of protests, which have become known as the great march return home aimed at highlighting the Palestinians right of return, have resulted in heavy Palestinian casualties. An American far right activist was stabbed to death on the streets by a Palestinian teenager. All this shows a clear escalation of violence within the occupied territories.

This has all come at a time where president Trump has substantially cut aid to the Palestinians and has even closed the PLO’s office in Washington D.C. Earlier this year the president moved the US embassy to Jerusalem in a clear symbolic act which accepted full Israeli claims to the holy city. This predictably resulted in protests and clashes.

Likewise, Israel has responded to the violence by strongly enforcing the embargo on Gaza. Since the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza following the Second Intifada, Israel has commenced with a stranglehold on the besieged strip. This has resulted in a dramatic rise in suicides and the strip only sees a few hours of electricity a day.

In response, Palestinians have escalated their protests attempting to end the blockade by land and sea. The PLO have dramatically voted to suspend their recognition of Israel and to end the current security and economic relationship. This has come as a result of the zero sum policies of the right wing Netanyahu government who have consistently dug their heels in during the peace process. The illegal settlement building in occupied Palestine has continued resulting in many doubts towards Israels attitude to the peace process.

The situation for many Palestinians living under occupation has been dire. Leaders of the movement have been imprisoned through extrajudicial means. This includes the detention without trial of elected legislator Khalida Jarrar who is suspected of belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a revolutionary Marxist organisation. Likewise, the leader of the group Ahmad Sa’adat was captured by Israeli forces by besieging Jericho prison after his imprisonment was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Both leaders have as of yet not faced fair trial.

Hopes for a two state solution have dropped dramatically since the seemed progress of the Oslo accords. Since the failure of Oslo leading to the Second Intifada, Israel and Palestine have remained locked in their perpetual war against each other.

As confidence plummets in the ability of the Palestinian Authority to deliver the demands of the Palestinian masses, radical groups spurred by the disillusioned population have remained unrelenting in their resistance against Israeli occupation. The idolisation of Ahed Tamimi and the unwavering commitment to constant protests despite casualties shows that the Palestinian people will not accept the current state of play. If the two state solution is to be successful, Israel must commit to accepting the rightful demands of the Palestinian people. Otherwise it faces a growing radicalised resistance determined to achieve their aims by whatever means necessary.

Far right candidate Bolsonaro To Become President of Brazil

Tonight sees the second round of the 2018 Brazilian presidential election. The election has come down to two candidates, the far right Social Liberal Party candidate Jair Bolsonaro and the left-wing Workers Party candidate Fernando Haddad. With most polls closed at 5:00 pm Brazilian time, Bolsonaro is expected to win despite Haddad gaining ground in the polls in the last few weeks. In the first round, Bolsonaro won 46% of the vote whilst Haddad won 29%. What this means for the future of Brazil shall be explored as the night goes on but the likely Bolsonaro victory should worry progressive forces everywhere.

New Updates

Bolsonaro To Face Opposition, Clashes Reported

Some final thoughts as the night draws to a close. Manuela D’Ávila, Fernando Haddad’s running mate and Communist Party member has called for “resistance” on Twitter stating that “We lost, it’s only fair that we become sad and worried, with us, with ours, with Brazil. But sadness has to quickly turn into resistance,”. Clashes have been reported among rival supporters although a heavy police presence on the street will intend to avoid the scenes after the first round results. However, reports are already coming in of LGBT+ members attempting to leave the country as they fear the worst, expectantly, of the far right demagogue. Whilst Bolsonaro no doubt intends to fulfil his goals, he faces opposition from a number of left parties in Congress and a potential militant working class who will no doubt resist the regimes neo-liberal reforms as they have done in the past. While the future is in doubt, the will of the Brazilian people is not.

Bolsonaro Makes Victory Speech, Worries As Fascism Rises

Within his speech, dull and televised as is his style, Bolsonaro stated that “We cannot continue flirting with communism … We are going to change the destiny of Brazil,” and has stated during the campaign that “we will shoot” Workers Party supporters and told “leftist outlaws” to either leave the country or find themselves in jail. It is important to stress this man is not just a populist nor is he Brazil’s answer to Trump. He is the ingrained representation of fascism within the Brazilian establishment. The Human Right Watch has announced people to resist the new regime whom they call a “pro-torture, openly bigoted member of Congress”. Haddad now defeated has stated in his closing speech that “We have a huge task: in the name of democracy, to defend the thinking, the freedom of these 45 million Brazilians”. The future of the party now at the whims of a far right administration is in doubt.

22:55

Far Right Victory: How and Why?

The question on many peoples minds not familiar with Brazilian politics is just how did such a uncompromising neo-liberal, openly homophobic and military junta enthusiast win the worlds eighth largest economy of nearly 210 million people. There are multiple factors, one glaring one being the disqualification of former president Lula who has long since topped the polls despite his corruption imprisonment. Both his and former president Rousseff’s corruption charges has led many to accuse the Brazilian establishment of a soft coup backed by the United States in order to open up the economy to liberalisation. Brazil’s history of dictatorship and populism may also be a driving factor. Bolsonaro’s hardliner rhetoric on crime will likely also have won votes from many fearing Brazil’s rising crime levels. Bolsonaro’s anti-leftist rhetoric also plays on previous Brazilian political fear mongering from the past against supposed communist takeovers. Whatever the reason, Bolsonaro likely intends on fulfilling his promises whatever the cost to Brazilian society.

22:29

Bolsonaro Winner Of Deeply Divided Electorate

With more 88 percent of the vote counted Bolsonaro has 55.7 percent whilst Haddad has 44.3 percent of the vote. The divisions in Brazilian society cannot be summed up in these numbers alone though. This past week a Roger Waters concert saw fights in the crowd when he displayed an anti-fascist message on the screen. After the first round, a woman wearing an anti-Bolsonaro shirt was marked with a swastika by a knife wielding gang. More than 20 Brazilian universities were invaded by military police in the past 2 days confiscating anti-fascist banners claiming electoral propaganda. Lula the likely favourite to previously win the election for the workers party has been arrested on corruption charges. This is a deeply divided nation and what comes next is anyone’s guess but it is not likely to be pretty.

22:13

Bolsonaro To Become President of Brazil, Future of Progressive Forces in Brazil Bleak

With the full election result to be announced shortly, it is now highly likely Brazil will be governed by a man who has defended the use of the torture, admired the deeds of the Chilean mass murderer Pinochet and has described himself as “homophobic – and very proud of it”. While the future of the Brazillian left is unknown it is likely to be bleak. Bolsonaro has threatened a purge of left wing figures from society and already his supporters have murdered multiple civilian opponents.  The future is now doubtful for those on the left within Brazil.

22:03

Exit Poll: Bolsonaro Leads Brazil Election With 56% of Votes

Tonight’s exit poll has predicted a Bolsonaro victory with a majority of 56% of the vote almost mirroring the last surveys from Saturday. Bolsonaro, the extreme right candidate is on course to be Brazil’s next president

21:53

The Candidates

With exit polls expected anytime soon, a brief look at the candidates can begin. Jair Bolsonaro is one of Brazil’s most recognisable modern political figures due to his far right controversial rhetoric. A self described moralist, he promotes the liberalisation of the economy and the relaxing of gun laws across Brazil. He has positioned himself strongly as tough on crime and corruption, issues which have been at the forefront of Brazilian politics recently. His politics can be further explored in an another TPN article written here. His, opponent Fernando Haddad is the former mayor of Sao Paolo and is the replacement candidate for former president Lula Da Silva whose candidacy was barred by the Supreme Court. He is of Lebanese origin and seeks to carry on with the Workers Party’s current social-economic policies of state interventionism and the protection of minority rights. His vice presidential pick is Communist Party legislator Manuela d’Ávila.  The candidates are at opposite ends of the spectrum hence the viciousness of the campaign.

21:36 pm

The Election So Far

Today’s election, fought between far right Social Liberal Party candidate and Workers Party candidate Fernando Haddad has been a tumultuous one. The past couple of weeks has seen widespread violence committed by rival supporters with multiple instances of violent assaults even deaths. Despite this today’s election did not see some of the violence as reported before. The Organization of American States’, who are holding an electoral mission in Brazil, has stated that the voting taking place today has been in a climate of “tranquillity and normality.” Whilst Bolsonaro is expected to win today, Haddad still has a chance with polls narrowing recently. Bolsonaro’s first round win however, with 46% of the vote is likely to showcase his expected victory tonight.

First round results