June 18, 2019

Political Report # 1399 Migrants Will Pay the Price of Mexico’s Tariff Deal With Trump








By Luis Gómez Romero, 
 The Conversation



Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is celebrating an agreement avoiding U.S. tariffs as a major political and diplomatic triumph for his government.
“We didn’t win everything, but we were able to claim a victory with there being no tariffs,” said chief negotiator Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s foreign affairs secretary, on June 9.
The two neighbors have been at odds since United States President Donald Trump on May 30 threatened to hit all Mexican imports with steadily rising tariffs unless Mexico successfully halted the northward flow of Central American migrants fleeing extreme poverty and violence through Mexico toward the United States.
Approximately 80% of Mexican exports are destined for the United States. Tariffs would have devastated Mexico’s economy.
To keep its goods untaxed, Mexico had to convince President Trump that it was serious about stopping migration. After a week of frantic negotiations, Mexico said it would deploy up to 6,000 National Guard troops to its southern border with Guatemala to stop migrants from entering Mexico.
As part of the agreement, a Trump administration program known as “Remain in Mexico,” which forces some migrants to wait in Mexico while their asylum claims are processed in the U.S., will also be expanded.

June 11, 2019

Abstract: Evolving Relationships: Nicaragua, Israel, and the Palestinians

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Evolving Relationships: Nicaragua, Israel, and the Palestinians

by Marshall Yurow


Nicaragua occupies a special place in the Israeli-Palestinian impact on Latin America. Israeli–Somoza Dynasty ties and Palestinian-Sandinista ties have been well documented over the past 35 years. Yet while the facts are available, the interpretations are still fiercely debated. Both relationships have been portrayed largely in polemical terms. The Israeli-Somoza relationship was viewed as a pariah-state alliance or a “debt of honor.” The Sandinista-Palestinian relationship was viewed as a terrorist connection or brotherhood against a common enemy. Both relationships were seen as static when in fact, having begun as realpolitik, they evolved over time.

Nicaragua ocupa un lugar especial en cuanto al impacto israelí-palestino en América Latina. Los lazos israelí-dinastía Somoza y los vínculos palestino-Sandinistas han sido bien documentados en los últimos 35 años. Sin embargo, aunque los hechos están conocidos, las interpretaciones siguen intensamente debatidas. Ambas relaciones han sido presentadas en gran medida en términos polémicos. La relación israelí-Somoza fue vista como una alianza de estados parias o una “deuda de honor.” La relación Sandinista-palestina fue vista como una conexión terrorista o hermandad contra un enemigo común. Ambas relaciones se consideraron estáticas cuando, de hecho, comenzando como realpolitik, evolucionaron con el tiempo.




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June 6, 2019

Abstract: Pacification, Capital Accumulation, and Resistance in Settler Colonial Cities: The Cases of Jerusalem and Rio de Janeiro

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Pacification, Capital Accumulation, and Resistance in Settler Colonial Cities: The Cases of Jerusalem and Rio de Janeiro

by Bruno Huberman and Reginaldo Mattar Nasser


Approaching urban social conflicts in Brazil and in Palestine/Israel in terms of settler colonial theory allows the identification of the historical racist structures involved in the violent pacification of racialized native populations. Settler colonialism does not end with the declaration of independence but persists in the postcolonial context through the constant expropriation, extermination, confinement, and assimilation of racialized populations in the service of capitalist accumulation by settler elites. The cases of Jerusalem and Rio de Janeiro exemplify this process.

Analisando conflitos urbanos sociais no Brasil e na Palestina com respeito à teoria de colonização permite a identificação das estruturas racistas históricas envolvidas na pacificação violenta de populações nativas. O colonialismo não termina com a declaração de independência. Ele persiste no contexto pós-colonial por meio de constantes expropriações, extermínio, encarceramento e assimilação das populações nativas. Tudo a serviço da acumulação capitalista das elites colonizadoras. Os casos de Jerusalém e Rio de Janeiro ilustram esse processo.

June 5, 2019

Political Report # 1397 México: las izquierdas negadas por la «cuarta transformación»



Political Report # 1397

México: las izquierdas negadas por la «cuarta transformación»

By Nueva Sociedad



En el contexto de la proclamada «cuarta transformación» de México, el discurso de Andrés Manuel López Obrador tiende a negar la existencia de la izquierda, ya sea como posición político-ideológica en abstracto o como encarnación en grupos y movimientos que ostenten cierto grado de autonomía y radicalidad. La disputa respecto del significado y el lugar de la izquierda está atravesada por la tensión entre distintas acepciones y contenidos, pero también entre lógicas políticas tendencialmente divergentes como son las de la hegemonía y la autonomía.
Transformadores versus conservadores
La ex-presidenta argentina Cristina Kirchner solía decir que a su izquierda solo estaba la pared. De forma análoga, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), desde el primer semestre de su mandato de gobierno, etiquetó como «conservadores» tanto a los sectores acomodados que llama burlonamente «fifís» como a los «radicales» de izquierda, refiriéndose, en particular, a un sector disidente del magisterio y a grupos opositores a megaproyectos. Es indudable que, a su derecha, existen y actúan políticamente clases y grupos históricamente dominantes que no aceptaron la invitación a sumarse a la llamada «cuarta transformación», así como sectores medios y altos que no comulgan con el obradorismo y que rechazan más su estilo plebeyo que su programa moderadamente reformista. Definirlos como «conservadores» es una manera de colocarse del lado de la Reforma y la Revolución, en mayúsculas, como referencias históricas (la segunda y la tercera transformaciones, según el conteo de AMLO), y de delimitar una práctica política que quiere modular, en función de las circunstancias y los interlocutores, el grado de profundidad del cambio. De cara a los conservadores de derecha, se perfila una definición del obradorismo por izquierda, una delimitación geométrica que se sustenta a partir de dos clivajes fundamentales de clásica raigambre antioligárquica: el nacionalismo y el justicialismo. Ambos posicionamientos, revitalizados por las luchas antineoliberales desde la década de 1990, se resuelven a partir del fortalecimiento del Estado como portador del interés general, capaz de intervenir en clave nacionalizadora y redistributiva. En esta definición histórica e ideológica por defecto, el no conservadurismo de AMLO se coloca entre el liberalismo reformista decimonónico y el nacionalismo revolucionario, rehuyendo sistemáticamente una ubicación a partir de la etiqueta de izquierda, así como otros sucedáneos como socialdemocracia, posneoliberalismo y, más aún, socialismo y anticapitalismo. Esta colocación aparentemente aséptica podría asimilarlo a la tradición del centrismo priísta, si no fuera porque se retroalimenta de un rasgo típicamente progresista latinoamericano al reivindicar explícitamente un perfil antineoliberal, aunque se limite a pregonar algo similar a lo que Néstor Kirchner llamaba un «capitalismo en serio», invitando a los empresarios honestos a sumarse al concierto nacional y popular, gesto que recuerda toda una tradición del México de la revolución institucionalizada.

June 4, 2019

Abstract: Brazil-Israel Relations and the Marketing of Urban Security Expertise

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Brazil-Israel Relations and the Marketing of Urban Security Expertise


by Erella Grassiani and Frank Müller


The transnational (re)making of contemporary urban pacification practices, discourses, and technologies between Brazil and Israel is underpinned by coercive entanglements. The Israeli experience with the occupation of the Palestinian territories has brought the Israel Defense Forces and the country’s private security industry international recognition for their urban warfare skills and related security technologies; Brazil has recently gained international recognition for urban pacification efforts that emphasize the country’s military’s ability to combine “hard” and “soft” skills, thereby foregrounding the nexus of military and humanitarian forms of engagement on urban battlefields. Empirical findings framed by critical scholarship on pacification demonstrate how recent shifts in the military and diplomatic relations between the two countries seek to symbolically capitalize on their own and each other’s urban warfare experiences to promote themselves as security experts capable of addressing a range of future urban threat scenarios—from urban warfare to antigang and antiriot policing and peacekeeping.

A reorganização transnacional das práticas, discursos e tecnologias de urbanização contemporânea entre Brasil e Israel são movidas por envolvimento coercitivo. A experiência israelense de ocupação dos territórios palestinos trouxe prestígio internacional às Forças de Defesa Israelense, bem como à indústria de segurança particular do país, em virtude de tecnologia de combate urbano. Brasil recentemente alcançou reconhecimento internacional pelos esforços de pacificação urbana, que enfatizam a habilidade das forças armadas do país em combinar “soft and hard skills”, criando assim um nexo de interação militar e humanitário no campo de batalha urbano. Observações produzidas em moldura crítica acadêmica sobre pacificação demonstram de que modo mudanças recentes nas relações diplomática e militar dos dois países visam capitalizar simbolicamente as experiências respectivas para promoverem a si mesmos como especialistas em segurança capazes de tratar uma variedade de cenários urbanos de risco—desde a guerra urbana contra gangs até o policiamento de manifestações.

May 28, 2019

Abstract: The Palestinian Diaspora and Latin American Solidarity with the Palestinian Cause: Brazil as a Model

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The Palestinian Diaspora and Latin American Solidarity with the Palestinian Cause: Brazil as a Model


by Rasem Bisharat


The Palestinian diaspora and Arab communities in Latin America, especially in Brazil, have contributed significantly to the Palestinian cause in Latin America. The convergence between these communities and union and left parties encouraged the left to include the Palestinian cause on its agenda. Brazil may be considered a model in this respect because of the influence of its Partido dos Trabalhadores (Workers’ Party—PT), which led the Latin American left after the founding of the São Paulo Forum in 1992. The Palestinian community has an even greater role to play today, the more so since the PT’s exclusion from power favors Israel at the expense of the Palestinian cause.

A diáspora palestina e as comunidades árabes na América Latina, especialmente no Brasil, teem contribuído significativamente para a causa palestina na América Latina. A convergência entre essas comunidades, sindicatos e partidos de esquerda levou a esquerda a incluir a causa palestina em sua agenda. O Brasil pode ser considerado um modelo nesse aspecto devido à influência do Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT), que liderou a esquerda latino-americana após a fundação do Fórum de São Paulo em 1992. A comunidade palestina tem uma relevância ainda maior já que a perda de poder do PT favorece Israel em detrimento da causa palestina.

May 23, 2019

Abstract: Outcasts among Undesirables: Palestinian Refugees in Brazil between Humanitarianism and Nationalism

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Outcasts among Undesirables: Palestinian Refugees in Brazil between Humanitarianism and Nationalism


by Leonardo Schiocchet


The plan for the resettlement of 117 Palestinian refugees from Iraq in Brazil in 2007 involved the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Brazilian government, and so-called civil society, including international nongovernmental organizations. These refugees had already developed a reputation in the Rwayshed refugee camp for being “undesirable” in comparison with other local refugees and unfit for refuge elsewhere. Examination of the principles of integration and tutelage in the light of this double rejection places in perspective the supposed apolitical character of humanitarianism and shows how mythical-ideological notions of Brazilianness helped to reinforce and reproduce stereotypes associated with Palestinians.

El plan para el reasentamiento de 117 refugiados palestinos de Irak en Brasil involucró al Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados, el gobierno brasileño y la llamada sociedad civil, incluidas las organizaciones internacionales no gubernamentales. Estos refugiados ya habían adquirido una reputación en el campo de refugiados de Rwayshed por ser “indeseables” en comparación con otros refugiados locales y no aptos para refugiarse en otros lugares. El examen de los principios de integración y tutela a la luz de este doble rechazo pone en perspectiva el supuesto carácter apolítico del humanitarismo y muestra cómo las nociones mítico-ideológicas de lo brasileño ayudaron a reforzar y reproducir los estereotipos asociados con los palestinos.


May 21, 2019

Abstract: An Old Diaspora: Histories of Militancy by Palestinians with a Northeastern Accent

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An Old Diaspora: Histories of Militancy by Palestinians with a Northeastern Accent


by Luciana Garcia de Oliveira


Most of the Palestinians who arrived in the cities of Northeastern Brazil came during the time of the Ottoman Empire in the nineteenth century, especially after the travels of Emperor Dom Pedro II. The arrival of Palestinians before the founding of the State of Israel in 1948 made many Palestinians and their descendants indifferent to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The situation changed in the 1980s as a result of the worsening situation of Palestinians in Lebanon, when the Palestine-Brazil Cultural Center was established in the city of Olinda, Pernambuco, and the deputy Raymundo Asfora made many speeches in defense of the Palestinian cause. These militant actions served as an inspiration for new generations of Palestinians born in Brazil.

A maioria dos palestinos que chegaram à algumas cidades do nordeste brasileiro vieram durante a vigência do Império Turco Otomano, em pleno século XIX, sobretudo após as viagens do imperador do Brasil, Dom Pedro II ao Oriente Médio. A chegada dos palestinos antes da fundação do Estado de Israel (1948) foi determinante para que muitos palestinos e descentes fossem indiferentes ao conflito Israel-Palestina. A situação mudou, mais tarde, na década de 1980, durante o agravamento da situação dos palestinos no Líbano. Foi inaugurado o Centro Cultural Palestina-Brasil na cidade de Olinda, PE, e o deputado Raymundo Asfora realizava muitos discursos públicos em defesa da causa palestina. Essas ações militantes serviram de inspiração para as novas gerações de palestinos nascidos no Brasil.


May 16, 2019

Abstract: Progressive Jews in Argentina and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: Stances on the Six-Day War (1967) by Emmanuel Nicolás Kahan

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Progressive Jews in Argentina and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: Stances on the Six-Day War (1967)


by Emmanuel Nicolás Kahan


Since the 1947 United Nations resolution on the partition of Palestine and, subsequently, the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948, the Israeli-Palestinian issue has played a powerful role in Argentine public space that has not found a concomitant response in academia. The stance with regard to the 1967 Six-Day War taken by an institution that promotes itself as representative of progressive Argentine Jews, the Idisher Cultur Farband (Argentine Federation of Jewish Cultural Institutions—ICUF), undermined certain meanings, ties of solidarity, and modes of representation held by a diversity of actors regarding the existence and legitimacy of the State of Israel.

Desde la resolución de 1947 de las Naciones Unidas sobre la partición de Palestina y, posteriormente, la Declaración de Independencia de Israel en 1948, el problema israelí-palestino ha desempeñado un papel importante en el espacio público argentino que no ha encontrado una respuesta concomitante en el mundo académico. La postura con respecto a la Guerra de los Seis Días de 1967 tomada por una institución que se promueve a sí misma como representante de los judíos progresistas argentinos, el Idisher Cultur Farband (Federación Argentina de Instituciones Culturales Judías—ICUF), socavó ciertos significados, vínculos de solidaridad y modos de representación de una diversidad de actores con respecto a la existencia y legitimidad del Estado de Israel.


May 14, 2019

Abstract: Metamorphoses of 1968: Latin America and the Israel-Palestine Question in Tomás Abraham’s La dificultad (2015)

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Metamorphoses of 1968: Latin America and the Israel-Palestine Question in Tomás Abraham’s La dificultad (2015)

by Stephanie M. Pridgeon

Throughout Tomás Abraham’s novel of ideas La dificultad, Judaism is revealed to be central to the protagonist’s understandings of revolutionary politics, philosophy, and his own identity. As is apparent in his affinity with Palestinian causes as a form of anti-imperialist solidarity, life experiences and politics are inseparable. That Abraham should have chosen to focus this autobiographical novel on the Hungarian-Argentine Jewish narrator’s experiences with the Paris student movements of 1968 suggests that revolutionary movements and the challenges to the global Jewish community continue to affect his identity as a Jew, an Argentine, and a philosopher.

A lo largo de la novela de ideas de Tomás Abraham La dificultad, se revela el rol central del judaísmo en como el protagonista entiende la política revolucionaria, la filosofía y su propia identidad. Como es evidente en su afinidad con las causas palestinas como una forma de solidaridad antiimperialista, las experiencias de vida y la política son inseparables. El hecho de que Abraham eligió enfocar esta novela autobiográfica en las experiencias del narrador judío húngaro-argentino con los movimientos estudiantiles de París de 1968 sugiere que los movimientos revolucionarios y los desafíos a la comunidad judía global continúan afectando su identidad como judío, argentino y filósofo.