Director of The Dissident, Bryan Fogel, discusses his new film with Saagar Enjeti at The Hill TV.
From the Stop the War Coalition:
Antiwar, Yemeni, and humanitarian organizations from across the world are coming together to call an international day of action on January 25th 2021. We are asking organizations to call protests in towns and cities around the world.
This is a situation in which action can make a difference. The Saudis are making no headway in the war. Their war coalition cracked in 2019 when the UAE pulled out and they face serious economic problems at home. International opinion against the war is growing and leading politicians in the West, including President-elect Joe Biden, have been forced to speak out against it.
We call on people around the world to protest the war on January 25, 2021, just days after Biden’s inauguration and the day before Saudi Arabia’s ‘Davos in the Desert’ Future Investment Initiative.
Public confrontations with the Israel lobby’s systemic encroachments are the only means for politicians to beat it. In 2020 Minnesota Representative Betty McCollum stopped a massive coordinated Israel lobby media smear campaign in its tracks by accurately labeling AIPAC as a "hate group." Biden has the power to do the same, but unfortunately his entire career has been in servitude to injustice when it comes to Israel Palestine.
The Biden administration assumes power claiming it will reverse Trump administration policies it claims are harmful to Americans and the rest of the world. Biden will end the so-called Muslim ban – Executive order 13769 – on travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The US will rejoin the Paris Agreement on climate change and cancel the Keystone XL pipeline. Biden will issue mask mandates, extend moratoriums on evictions and even rejoin the World Health Organization.
Absent from the announced Biden 100-day program are any proposed reversals of Israel policies implemented by the Trump administration that seriously harm the United States and rest of the world. Rolling back those policies would require bucking the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) which closely coordinates its activities with the Israeli government. One way to corral AIPAC would be to actually enforce the 1962 Department of Justice order that AIPAC register as an Israeli foreign agent.
A new controversy arises involving the humanitarian situation of the Palestinians in territories occupied by Israel. So far, Israel is the country that most vaccinated its population against the new coronavirus. Tel Aviv makes strong political propaganda with the success of its national vaccination program, which, in less than a month, immunized more than 25% of Israeli citizens. The partial victory over the virus has been a real political weapon for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is trying to regain his popularity by fighting the pandemic. However, the Jewish state is receiving strong criticism worldwide due to the exclusionary nature of its vaccination campaign, which excludes Palestinians, confirming in practice the existence of an institutional, ethnic discrimination in Israel.
Amnesty International recently launched a global campaign against Israeli discrimination, demanding that Tel Aviv to stop ignoring international vaccination recommendations and abandon discrimination in its national immunization program. In a recent statement, Saleh Hijazi, Amnesty International’s regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, stated: "Israel’s Covid-19 vaccine program highlights the institutionalized discrimination that defines the Israeli government’s policy towards Palestinians (…) While Israel celebrates a record-setting vaccination drive, millions of Palestinians living under Israeli control in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip will receive no vaccine or have to wait much longer – there could hardly be a better illustration of how Israeli lives are valued above Palestinian ones."
As a veteran concerned about issues of war and peace, I am happy to celebrate the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), the important new international peace initiative. The "Nuclear Ban Treaty," as it is also known, was approved 122-1 by the UN General Assembly in July 2017, a clear expression of the will of the world’s people. On October 24, 2020, Honduras became the 50th nation to ratify the TPNW, triggering a 90-day period before it goes into force, on January 22.
The International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for its leadership in promoting this vital treaty, which prohibits the financing, development, possession, or transporting of nuclear weapons, as well as the use or threat to use nuclear weapons.
None of the nine nuclear-armed nations have yet signed onto the Treaty. These nuclear powers are in violation of the 50-year-old Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which requires them to negotiate in good faith to reduce and eventually eliminate all nuclear weapons. Instead, the U.S. and other nuclear powers are developing new generations of nuclear weapons, alarming many experts who believe the threat of nuclear war is greater than ever.