Jim Haber’s Peace and Justice Blog

Searching for a way out of the spiral of atrocities…

jim Haber meets with Rep. Ilhan Omar
in Washington DC.

Read Jim’s latest newsletter.

Bio article from Oakland Voices:

Jim Haber grew up in a liberal Bay Area home and has been a long-time peace and justice activist. For example, when he was 16, he attended a peace vigil at Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant in San Luis Obispo County. Later, when he was a student at UC Santa Barbara, he became active in protests at Vandenberg Air Force Base, near Lompoc, CA, where intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) were being tested (and are still being tested); these missiles are designed to carry nuclear weapons. In fact, he more recently worked as coordinator of the Nevada Desert Experience, which organizes interfaith resistance to war and nuclear weapons.

In the mid-80s, Jim joined the Catholic Worker movement (http://www.catholicworker.org/), whose commitment to peace and justice issues aligned with his own. “I liked the soup kitchen idea. I liked that it’s a network of independent houses and there’s no overseeing body. I liked the commitment. Their willingness to put their lives on the line. Their honesty and integrity. Their willingness to do civil disobedience. Their willingness to risk. They’ve gone to war zones. They’ve gone to Afghanistan,” he said.

Jim’s Jewish background has had a profound influence on his activism on behalf of Palestinians living under a brutal Israeli occupation. In 2000, after the Second Intifada (the Palestinian uprising against Israel initiated by Ariel Sharon’s provocative visit to Al-Aqsa Mosque in Old Jerusalem), he began to meet with members of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) (https://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/), which is opposed to the Israeli occupation. He remains an active member of JVP because he is Jewish and American. “Because of the attacks on Palestinians, it feels important for Jews and Americans to speak up about the attacks on Palestinians,” he explained.

When asked about influences on his activism, Jim commented on how he is unable to ignore the plight of others. “I have a painful inability to look away. I take putting myself in other people’s shoes seriously,” he said.

Jim is a Contributing Writer at OneEarth.University.   His blog is haberjim.wordpress.com

Reflections on the war in/on Gaza

Two War Crimes Don’t Make a Right!

I think this was 2014. There was a
pro-slaughter of Gaza demonstration
in front of San Francisco City Hall A
few intrepid souls showed up.
Madrone took this photo of me.

My apologies if I have left you hanging, wondering what I feel called to put in a Gaza-pummeled Missive. Producing a Missive is hard with the ground shifting so abruptly, so constantly. What was intolerable suddenly went to a whole other level of human carnage. I take in news from Democracy Now! and Al Jazeera, reading articles by wise people, Palestinian, Israeli, other. Trying to share information and calls to action. Not taking the time to compose or edit or tie together loose strands of thought and synthesis. So I missed October entirely, and I feel a bit ashamed.

Taking so long to publish also invites references and links to get stale, or become quickly dated. I hope that the voices I point to create a compelling snapshot of a moment or an analysis that that continues to resonate.

I have been having quite an emotional response to the carnage raining down on Gaza and being carried out by fascist, armed Israelis in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. The level of military barbarity being unleashed by Israel and the United States is shocking I feel terrible for the Israelis at the rave who died such horribly violent deaths, were brutally taken to Gaza, or otherwise have had to live through the war crimes of October 7. I hope and pray for everyone, every person there, every victim. As I write that though, I also think, “That sounds like, ‘All lives matter,’” and I push back inside.

The proper response to that all encompassing truth in the United States is, “For that to be true, Black people need to be treated like their lives matter in ways that they are not being respected.” That’s why we say, “Black lives matter!” It is inescapable. The cry of today must be, “Palestinian lives matter!” And people need to show it. The parallel is totally apt.

Similar sounding, but totally opposite and good is the hashtag #EveryoneforEveryone calling for a ceasefire, but more, a total release of hostages and political prisoners from both sides. This call is decidedly NOT “all lives matter.”

I question myself aplenty, but I shake my head and cry when I am attacked by someone who only now is outraged at violent brutality because it is directed at them. I am aghast at the ignorance, to act like history started on October 7. Deadly assaults on Gaza and Palestine have been pushed aside in people’s news feeds and modus operandi for decades, allowing Israel to continue to steal from and kill Palestinians with impunity. That descending spiral must be kept in mind. Don’t act like the cycle of war crimes started on October 7, or that they are all committed by Palestinians. Despite the shocking capabilities Hamas displayed on October 7 and their resilience since, Israel remains the preeminent military force in the region; remains the regional nuclear weapon state. Where have people thought our military budget was going to lead us? How can a beautiful world result from such spending priorities? What fierce blindfolds they have been donning for their mirror gazing. What horrific lies, believed?

The nakba never stopped, and now genocidal Zionists have gone from denying the nakba to saying that it is time now to complete the theft and the ethnic cleansing. I fear that the word “decimated” will be a severe under-count before Israel is through with Gaza, and I am nauseated to see people I know post wildly anti-Palestinian screeds as they blame Hamas, a military/political/social force for all the slaughter. I have asked before: If six million is a holocaust, what is two million?

My wonderful friends of Um Il Khair. They deserve no attack! Making them homeless for spite, or worse! I love you guys! Sumud!

For decades I have called out genocidal epithets and inhuman reasoning that Israel leaders and others have espoused. I was told too many times, not to use the “G” word, not to overstate the situation. Israeli officials and a large segment of the Jewish public have routinely spouted statements and enacted policies that drive the crime-against-humanity train faster into the turn we need to make without derailing if we want to change it into a peace train instead.

One more slogan I want to address, in addition to “Palestinian Lives Matter” and “Two wrongs don’t make a right,” is “Palestine will be free from the river to the sea.” As Palestinians are being attacked everywhere, I want to add “Palestine will be free, from every river to every sea!” I say to other Jews: “Don’t be afraid of this chant!” We will be welcome, but not with unjust privileges taken by Zionist apartheid. And don’t let fear of vengeance or reprisals keep you from the only path to a peaceful future: JUSTICE!

My friends in the south Hebron hills are facing increased attack and intimidation, grotesque assaults of all kinds, more than before. There and in Gaza, they are being cut off, and listening to the Israeli leaders and the Israeli public, I fear the worst.

In the last days of October, the armed threats became even more extreme. As I type, I worry for the lives of my friends. This 972 Magazine article by my friend Hamdan adds to my anxiety and sense of urgency.

In May, as part of the Center for Jewish Nonviolence delegation, I spent two nights in a tiny hamlet in Masafer Yatta called Sfai. On October 30 photos were shared of houses there being burnt by armed, Jewish settlers. Villagers in Susya and Um Il Khair being told at gunpoint that they better swear that their land is Israel and fly the Israeli flag, or else.

CJNV has been asked to coordinate a solidarity fundraiser. At the same time, CJNV staff and other Jerusalem activists have been spending nights in beseiged villages and helped keep genocidal settlers at bay.

Me, sorta napping in Sfai when the friendly cat woke me
up by rubbing its head against my hand. I wonder about
the cat too. And the donkey and goats. And the kind
people there. Oh, my G-d…

I have met many Israelis in the United States and over there who absolutely deny that any of what I know to be true is true. It is dumbfounding, the degree to which Israelis fiercely block out their own crimes. Is it willful or feigned ignorance? I am just trying to convince people to take offensive Israelis at their word!

I have asked before, when did “Two wrongs don’t make a right” stop being true for you? Maybe it was just a thing to tell children and not intended to be taken as an fundamental truth, but I still hold it openly in my heart. Furthermore, it is such ideals that save us and our humanity during crises. (Let me recommend here, Victor Frankl’s post-Holocaust classic, Man’s Search for Meaning.) I hope and pray for the cessation of hostility, but I will settle for a cessation of hostilities.

My first open letter was addressed to the people of Gaza
My second open letter was addressed to Jews and Israelis who support the
Israeli government (
My third public letter was addressed to global activists

My fourth open letter herein is addressed to US citizens

Netanyahu once was caught on video saying the US is easily manipulated (
https://twitter.com/trtworld/status/1711750682733355146). 121 countries
voted for a ceasefire at the UN General assembly. The US, Israel and 12
other countries (most tiny ones dependent on US largess like Micronesia,
Tonga, and Marshal Islands) voted no to cease fire (
https://www.juancole.com/2023/11/isolating-backing-massacre.html ). These
minority 14 countries voted for continuing genocide and potentially voted
for start of a regional and perhaps a global war. But they also are now
partner in the crime of genocide (see ongaza.org for links). The US is the
biggest because it arms Israel and funnels more federal money to Israel on
a per capita basis than to US citizens! Congress is now to act on senile

President Biden’s request to give Israel $14.8 billion more of US taxpayer
money in weapons (he also sent weapons, US ships to start more wars, and US
Delta forces to help Israel without approval). As a US citizen myself
(lived in the US for over 25 years before returning to my country of birth
in 2008), I am ashamed of the genocidal executive and legislative branches

Stay Human and keep Palestine alive
Mazin Qumsiyeh
A bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at home
Professor, Founder, and (volunteer) Director
Palestine Museum of Natural History
Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability
Bethlehem University
Occupied Palestine

Samidoun, the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network is maintaining an inspiring calenar of international actions. You can post your local actions there too. https://samidoun.net/2023/10/calendar-of-resistance-for-palestine-events-and-actions-around-the-world/

In the face of genocide, isn’t a boycott called for (at least)? Get off the fence. Also, another way to act nonviolently and hit them where it hurts: Resist paying taxes for war. Inquiries to the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee are way up. (nwtrcc.org) I like composing my letter every year telling them why I am not paying the remainder of my calculated tax liability.

If you are an actor or artist, read and sign this letter: http://artists4ceasefire.org

Emergency Fund to Protect Palestinian and Arab Students on College Campuses has been set up by the Arab American Anti Discrimination Committee (ADC). As always, also, there is the incomparable Palestine Legal. Any hassles for your advocacy? Contact Pal Legal!

From Americans for Justice in Palestine PAC: https://ajpaction.org/stopgenocide/

Make common cause against Citibank for funding oppression of Palestinians and Hatians:

Synagogues Rising sign on letter:

Have your community sign onto the Apartheid Free Pledge!

Jewish Voice for Peace published this profoundly worded statement shortly after the October 7 massacres “The Root of Violence is Oppression.” JVP has been calling on all people of conscience to stop the unfolding genocide and is very active organizing in ever expanding coalitions. The need for strong, principled direct action has never been clearer. If Not Now is also stepping up in major ways! I would tip my kippah to you if I wore one and that were a thing. I remember being frustrated on CJNV delegations when so many INNers would put their bodies on the line for justice, but didn’t like the idea of boycotting Israel. INN has really stepped up!

#CeaseFireNow. Seems like such a minimal ask. Palestinians shouldn’t have ever been locked up in Gaza to begin with. I want to throw up on people who think Israeli retaliation for Hamas’ war crimes is either justified or defensive and then suggest that they care more about Gazans than does Hamas. G-d save us from people who tell themselves “We have to destroy the village to save it.”

Here are some additional resources to aid Gazans compiled by my friends at Green Olive Tours. They do virtual and on the ground tours. Right now they are hosting emergency webinars. The next one is on November 5. You will learn a lot and connect with good people. We need to connect with each other to sustain our struggle.

Al Jazeera is vital, and their reporters are stalwarts of their profession. Their journalistic integrity is beyond compare, even considering its funding from the government of Qatar. Their Gaza journalists have continued even though their homes were targeted by Israeli fire and their families killed. Their reporters in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and southern Israel as well perspective from a world of commentators is enlightening, indeed.

972 Magazine is an essential source for basic news and enlightened, informed commentary. This chilling piece is a must read, from November 1. Haggai Matar published “Gaza’s shock attack has terrified Israelis. It should also unveil the context.” It remains an important gestalt statement that I like to reread.

This abc segment from day 3 featuring Noura Erakat is still up although many of her mainstream media interviews are being shadow banned because she challenges the dominant paradigm. She was powerful again on Democracy Now! In another of many important Democracy Now! segments, a peace activist who was killed on a kibbutz is remembered by his rabbi, who I know from JVP many years ago. and then they had the victim’s brother on, and he said–Not in Hayim Katsman’s Name!

Ahmed Abu Artema was a co-creator of the Great March of Return, when Gazan nonviolent resisters were fired on, killed and maimed by Israel snipers. The brutality they faced made true something JFK said that was quoted by MLK: “Those who make nonviolent revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.” I met Artema when he toured the United States with the help of many, including the incomparable Rebuilding Alliance.

Hi family has been killed, but he survived attack, injured. This is his “letter to the world outside” published in Truthout.

It is very important to remember what the great journalist I.F. Stone said, “Governments lie.” Challenging the genocidal paradigm that is taking hold is a life or death matter. I don’t mean to say that Hamas or the Palestinian fighters didn’t commit atrocities on October 7, but I do mean to say that we all don’t know who killed or mutilated all those bodies in the videos and photos. I am sure Palestinians killed plenty, but undoubtedly some of the Israelis got their hands on weapons and fired too. What the military did when they arrived, G-d only knows. The Intercept’s Alice Speri’s piece is important to consider, as is Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah. Also Chris Hedges.

My Chicago rabbi, Brant Rosen, makes me a better Jew and a better person because of what he conveys and brings forth from me. https://truthout.org/articles/on-yom-kippur-solidarity-with-palestinians-is-a-sacred-act/ and https://rabbibrant.com/2023/10/12/seeking-understanding-amidst-the-horror-in-israel-palestine/#like-26586

Jewish Currents:


Jeff Halper and the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions: Their statement from October 9 and Jeff’s updates will broaden you range of view and deepen your understanding of underlying needs and currents.

Waging Nonviolence has had compelling, compassionate pieces by long time comrades such as Matt Meyer and Rae Abileah & Nadine Bloch . I want us to be able to hold onto the vision and challenge as expressed by Nonviolence International’s Jonathan Kuttab shortly before October 7.

Mubarak Awad, also of Nonviolence International, one of the most preeminent spokespersons for Palestinian nonviolent activism, came out with a short clear, simple, compassionate appeal with specific things all actors could do. I think it remains relevant as we must keep the gestalt, historical and forward looking view in mind.

I can’t stomach watching or listening to Biden, Blinken, any UN ambassador of the last thirty years or almost any political mucky muck. How can they: Not even call for restraint? Not call for a ceasefire? Send more and more destructive weapons? Cut off food, water, power, medicine? Hypocritically single out Palestinian groups for the same crimes that Israel has committed longer and in worse numbers (brutal demagoguery, questionable ideology, wanton violence, wanting to utterly destroy the other, blaming Palestinians for starting “it”). Still, I do receive a daily set of “news” links through a right wing portal called the Independent Journal Review (IJR). It has gotten more weird than it used to seem to me, but here is one to consider for reference: http://click1.e.fireflyengage.com/ViewMessage.do

Hamas’ crimes don’t diminish the power and rightness of the Palestinian cause. Both sides are holding prisoners and hostages illegally, and the new cry of the Palestinian people–my friends–under a bus, and the bus is accelerating with a racist, nuclear armed boot on the gas pedal. People who don’t care about these violations of international law aren’t going to get me to say much about how fully I care about the Israeli hostages. I think that I care more about the survival of the Israeli hostages than does Benjamin Netanyahu and his war cabinet. They see the hostages as props or pawns, or they would not be dropping bunker-busters on Gaza City. It is an unceremonious, human sacrifice, spare the altar or volcano. Israeli Jews aren’t being held hostage as a nation and a society on the scale that Palestinians are. #NoFalseEquivalency

I don’t like naming Netanyahu for fear of focusing too much of the problems at his feet. He is a problem, but not THE problem. His inner circle has never planned to try to save the hostages, preparing more (I conjecture) to dishonestly eulogize them than celebrate their release. I pray that they are alive and able to survive and be saved from the rubble of Gaza and the hands of their captors. The accounts of released captives, if not consistent with dehumanizing Israeli narratives, can be viewed and reviewed. I think they should be respected and believed; not dismissed vaguely as the “Stockholm syndrome.”

I proudly wore my Rashida Tlaib sweatshirt in
transit toDC for the large marches on
Oct. 20 and 21.

I understand that Mohammad El Kurd is being shadow banned, but here is an excellent piece by him from before the Hamas assault.

Simchas Torah at Kehilla: The night after the attack, i was looking forward to an epic party. I couldn’t go. It went well. I missed it. The host totally understood.

Israeli counter-demonstrators across the street from the consulate in San Francisco were frothing at the mouth and throwing objects at our demonstration that Sunday. The cops quickly shifted their repressive focus from us to them. What a sharp contrast in vibe to the feeling on the streets when marching for an end to the subjugation of Palestinian freedom.

Right on, Gal Gadot! I never thought much about you before, but glad to be in this fight with you.

I hesitate or refuse to join condemnations of Palestinian violence led by Israel, the United States and other parties who have always ignored calls to stop Israeli violence against Palestinians including collective punishment. I don’t want my support for Palestinian liberation to be twisted and denounced as indifference to the victims of Hamas’ war crimes or a lack of love and concern for my sister, family and friends both in Israel and the oPt. I wear my Rashida Tlaib sweatshirt more often now than ever after seeing all the trolls harrass her on FB. I am writing this on November 2, and I am relieved that she survived a move in the House to censure her for her truth telling.

Israelism: My pro-Palestinian Life of Activism on Film! You even can see me clearly, standing in my beloved, Michael Roman sweatshirt, mid frame at stimestamp 40:10. It was at a meeting of the UC Berkeley student government regarding a resolution condemning Israeli aggression; I was a purple-shirted CJNV delegate (2017) in the footage with Sami Awad when we all created the “Sumud Freedom Camp” in Sarura in Masafer Yatta. Interestingly, I don’t think CJNV was even mentioned or cited in the credits. The film included footage of the 2017 Jerusalem Day violence at Damascus Gate when the municipal police broke my friend Sarah’s arm, and Isaelism’s footage was as though I had taken it given its vantage point and where I was being pushed and shoved out of the plaza as others were being dragged away from the sit-in. The movie was not what I expected.


It’s Personal: Israelis Killed My Friend

Suleiman al-Hathalein was from Um Il-Khair in Area C of the West Bank in the hills south of Al-Khalil (Hebron). In early January he was run over and dragged by a truck hired by the Israeli police to steal their cars. He died of his injuries about ten days later. Hajj Suleiman as he as known was my friend Eid’s father. His nephew, my friend Awdah​ shared this video about his recently murdered uncle. https://www.msnbc.com/ali-velshi/watch/velshi-a-palestinian-shepherd-peacefully-resisted-the-israeli-occupation-and-now-he-s-dead-131462213973? I am generally not impressed with MSNBC, but this story says it like it is. This incident/murder solidified my resolve to return to Um Il-Khair at my earliest opportunity. Applications for this summer’s delegation with the Center for Jewish Nonviolence are due January 31. If you need help finding the application portal, ping me. This Al Jazeera article about the incident explains a lot of the history and situation faced by my friends in Um Il-Khair. https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2022/1/23/suleiman-hathaleen

Awdah wote on Facebook:
“About Hajj Suleiman my uncle: He did not have ambition for status, rank, promotion, or material gain. So many times he found himself alone in front of barbed wire, his slender body gripped by soldiers as they threw him away to keep him from sites of confrontation. He was forced to drag his feet, to bear the weight of fatigue and the pain of violence, and to return to Umm Al-Khair to fight another day alone. He was not deterred by his loneliness, nor by road emptied of demonstrators after an hour. He knew one thing and it was enough for him: the land is his land. He knew that she felt the dirt whenever a soldier pushed him to the ground, whispering her pulse in his veins, her heart as his heart, her face is his face. Let the exodus from the land go to hell. With transcendent faith and a tireless voice, he did not care how the years passed, nor about power struggles, nor about Biden’s next decision. These things mattered to him less than a single penny. He did not comprehend defeat. He did not believe in weakness. He merely stood in the middle of the path worshiped by fugitives from destruction.

From the left: Tarek and Awda, Suleiman’s nephews, Eid, Suleiman’s son and yours truly in January, 2020. I hope to be reunited with my friends this summer, inshallah!

“He raised his hand to the wind and echoed with the eternal pulse of the earth…alone. He was so caring and compassionate that thousands came to his funeral. Hajj Suleiman Hathaleen left us without a leader, teacher and wisdom. Hear me that we have wounds in our hearts. I wish this all were a nightmare and that I could wake up to hug him, to tell him about the nightmare and hear his wisdom. We felt safe with his voice, and now we feel alone without our hero protecting us. Please remember him, keep him in your thoughts, keep his family in your hearts, so we do not feel alone. We are like orphans without him.”

After all that, it is no wonder that I have happily joined Tzedek Chicago. No wonder also that Tzedek Chicago is converting from a non-Zionist congregation to an anti-Zionist one. Read Rabbi Brant Rosen’s explanation and invitation: https://rabbibrant.com/2022/01/25/a-jewish-congregation-considers-articulating-anti-zionism-as-a-core-value/ The murder of Suleiman al-Hathalein is the true expression of what Zionism was intended to be. There really is not a kinder, gentler Zionism.

Your gift will help Afghan friends in so many ways. 

Kabul street art, 2011.

When communities collide! Okay, not collide, more, collude, actually! I went to Afghanistan with Voices for Creative Nonviolence in 2011 on a peace delegation, as many of you may recall. We all want to help our friends any way we can. Starhawk, my dear Reclaiming friend and teacher has been connected with my friends/our friends for some time through her permaculture work. If you are wondering how to help Afghans in need, here is a way, and the need is immediate and dear. Please help here! https://secure.givelively.org/donate/alliance-of-community-trainers/earth-activists-emergency-fund-for-afghan-relief

The international permaculture community is mobilizing to find sponsors and communities that can welcome them and help them navigate the difficult immigration hurdles. We need funds that we can draw on swiftly when a chance opens—to provide flights, shelter, food, medical care and clothing, to help sponsors qualify, and for many more needs. Thank you so much for your generous donation to help these families who have lost so much. Every single dollar counts. 

With huge gratitude for your support,
Earth Activist Training

Sanctions Kill!

The way the United States has increased offensive use of sanctions against people and governments is not a kinder and gentler way of coercing other governments to do as U.S. leaders want. It is not a way to move despots to be more humane. Where there is justification for sanctions, the United States is dishonest and hypocritical in their targeting and mis-application. It IS warfare, if economic. Its effects are devastating even if buildings may stand. In the time of a pandemic, sanctions are even more immoral. When they target a non-nuclear armed state like Iran by a nuclear armed state, they are certainly illegal as well. Don’t buy into them as better than a military campaign. They are one and the same. See “Sanctions Kill” on social media platforms to see how affected communities are responding, helping one another. I can understand organizing for social and political change in some places, but the United States efforts aren’t to be supported! We must find a way, as my Palestinian friends challenge me, to walk and chew gum at the same time,as they stand by the S in BDS. The idea of withholding financial dealings with despots is reasonable. Civil society needs to make the call though.

Odds and Ends

This article gave me great appreciation for Jesse Jackson because of some very strong, quotable statements. Also, it seems he had great instincts for choosing fights to step into and really help. I’m glad to feel this for someone before they age out, and he’s getting up there. His voice also can be week, but his spirit and insights remain powerful. I am glad to have been at a rally outside the Venezuelan embassy in Washington DC. in 2019. https://portside.org/2022-01-22/bottom-empire-homelessness-housing-injustice-and-jesse-jacksons-call-eradicate-poverty

Lithium and Heavy Metal Extraction Extract Huge Tolls on Indigenous Peoples. Check out this excellent piece from High Country News. I think it is odd that they don’t actually name the coup against Evo Morales specifically as probably motivated by his wanting more (for his country mostly, imho) from the industry, but it is a great piece with some great graphics and statistics. https://www.hcn.org/issues/54.2/infographic-energy-industry-electric-vehicles-drive-up-demand-for-green-metals?

‘Tis the season to look at taxes. Do so by checking out this great site: https://nwtrcc.org/ The National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee. Consider withholding a bit of your taxes and telling them why (on a separate sheet of paper, not on their forms). It feels good, they don’t pounce on you, and you can go ahead and pay it off if you change your mind. They only just told me they might take what I owe from 2012 and 2013. A few months ago they told me they may collect my 2019 and 2020 tax liabilities.

Four Enlightening Takes on Ukraine…and a Question (actually, the question was answered in number four)

Democracy Now! segment from January 25: https://www.democracynow.org/2022/1/25/us_prepares_troops_for_russia_invasion

From Medea Benjamin and CODEPINK, also from January 25: https://www.codepink.org/ukraine_crisis_background

James Dorsey from January 25, 2022: https://jamesmdorsey.substack.com/p/ukraine-crisis-could-produce-an-unexpected?

This is a lengthy piece entitled (dramatic pause) “Article by Vladimir Putin “On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians”” dated July 12, 2021. http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/66181

The last piece was brought to my attention through the World Beyond War discuss list. I don’t think it indicates that Putin thinks Ukraine should be part of Russia rather than its own country, even the eastern, very ethnically Russian parts. He speaks rightly against anti-Russian fomenting by the United States. He gave several straight answers to questions I had been pondering already. It is a long, but very readable piece. Over half of it is historical, but the motivations behind his views as a Russian all resonated with my previous understandings. I already understood that the current leadership in Kiev includes actual neo-Nazis, if not Nazis, and came into power as part of a US-fostered coup more than a revolution. Putin’s critiques and concerns are easily understandable, and I’m sure many ethnic Russians would echo his sentiments. I can still fully repudiate his actions all over the place though. In this piece he speaks of neo-Nazi impunity for murders of ethnic Russians in Ukraine, I know that he is speaking from experience when he laments, “[F]or many people in Ukraine, the anti-Russia project is simply unacceptable. And there are millions of such people. But they are not allowed to raise their heads. They have had their legal opportunity to defend their point of view in fact taken away from them. They are intimidated, driven underground. Not only are they persecuted for their convictions, for the spoken word, for the open expression of their position, but they are also killed. Murderers, as a rule, go unpunished.” (Emphasis added.) Still, what he decries are real attacks on real people. I decided to search on “ukraine neo-nazis burn people alive, 2014” to see if I was just being sweet talked and falling for it. Several references came up like in Time and The Nation. The United States has been trying to turn other countries against Russia, including historic peoples and places with longstanding connections. At the same time, Putin’s promoting of Russian language in the Central African Republic to be able to count a place so far from the motherland as ethnically Russian is a bridge too far and smacks of colonialism and geopolitical gamesmanship. (The CAR isn’t part of the article.)

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