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frettedwithgoldenfire: frettedwithgoldenfire: SCOTUS just ruled, 5-4, in an opinion written by Neil...

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frettedwithgoldenfire:

frettedwithgoldenfire:

SCOTUS just ruled, 5-4, in an opinion written by Neil Gorsuch, that workers no longer have the right to collectively sue their employers .Rather than being able to respond to the oppression of large employers as a collective voice (think class action lawsuits), employees will now need to arbitrate with employers “1-on’1,″ which really means “1-vs.-a giant corporation’ and will greatly diminish the ability of employees, particularly those of limited means, to seek recourse for mistreatment by their employers. This is probably the biggest blow to labor in the US this century, and represents another oligarchical push against the ability of the working classes to hold employers accountable. 

Employers getting to unilaterally decide the terms of their contracts with employees has never gone wrong before.

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jad
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bibliogrrl
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Chicago!
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A Wikipedia editor's long-running campaign to discredit anti-war campaigners

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A Wikipedia editor called Philip Cross (Andrew Philip Cross and later "Julian" on Twitter) has a long record of editing the entries of many anti-war figures on the site to include mostly critical commentary while removing positive information contributed by others. At time of writing he is number 308 in the list of Wikipedians by number of edits.

Wikipedia entries very often appear first in search results, and so for many will be the first and only port of call when researching something. People unaware of the political nature of the editing that goes on on the site, in this case supposedly by a single, dedicated editor, are being seriously misled.

As an active editor for almost 15 years, Cross is very familiar with some of the more arcane Wikipedia rules and guidelines (along with their obscure acronyms) and uses them to justify removing information he dislikes in favour of his own inclusions. Often in a very subtle manner and over a long period of time. Anyone familiar with the work of the people he targets will recognise how one-sided and distorted those entries become.

Cross is, however, much nicer to the entries of people he likes. Former hedge-fund manager and Iraq war supporter Oliver Kamm, and right-wing author Melanie Phillips, both columnists for The Times, are two examples.

On Twitter, where Cross is more provocative and antagonistic, he doesn't hide the fact that he has long-running feuds with many of his targets on Wikipedia.

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After George Galloway, Media Lens is his second most edited article on the site. Cross is responsible for almost 80% of all content on the Media Lens entry.

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Cross calls his Wikipedia targets 'goons'. The list includes anti-war politician George Galloway former MP Matthew Gordon-Banks, historian, human rights activist and former UK ambassador Craig Murray, investigative journalist Dr Nafeez Ahmed, Edinburgh University professor Tim Hayward, Sheffield University professor Piers Robinson, and media analysis group Media Lens.

And he's happy to openly taunt his Wikipedia targets on Twitter:

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How this behaviour doesn't fall foul of Wikipedia's rules, we don't know. Especially as his efforts, in addition to misleading the public, have serious consequences for the people targeted.

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Cross' activities are now finally getting some attention thanks to more of his targets speaking out on Twitter. The story has now also been picked up by RT and the Sunday Herald.

Ron McKay writes in the Sunday Herald:

Within the cyber cloisters of academe Wikiwars are raging, with one Edinburgh professor in particular catching the flak. Tim Hayward is one of the group of academics (his colleague Paul McKeigue is another) who set up the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media – or if you prefer the Times description, Apologists for Assad. The group’s questioning over whether it could be definitively concluded that the Syrian regime was responsible for the Ghouta chemical attack last month (they have also queried the Novichok attack of the Skripals) is apparently what provoked their pillorying in the Thunderer.

Within hours Hayward’s Wikipedia had been strafed and apparently favourable references removed. Former ambassador Craig Murray is another who claims to have come under “obsessive attack” with his page subject to 107 detrimental changes over three days. The journalist Neil Clark has a similar story about amendments and alterations.

You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to see that there are common threads here. All of those are – (select your own description, anti-war, assiduous, useful idiots?) – prominent campaigners on social media and in the mainstream media vigorously questioning our foreign policy. All have also clashed with Oliver Kamm, a former hedge-fund manager and now Times leader writer and columnist.

The RT piece opens with:

A mystery online figure called Philip Cross is targeting anti-war and non-mainstream UK figures by prolifically editing their Wikipedia pages – to the point that George Galloway is offering a reward to see him unmasked.

Active on Wikipedia since 2004, Philip Cross has been editing wiki entries for nearly 15 years. Recently, trouble has been brewing online, with Cross accused of paying special attention to a cluster of Wikipedia accounts, editing them or deleting chunks of information.

Pundits like Galloway, academic Tim Hayward, opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, and ex-UK ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray have fallen in the crosshairs of the editorial mystery man (or perhaps woman) who goes by the name of Philip Cross – and many of them are growing frustrated with the lack of action from Wikipedia to prevent malicious editing.

See also this Sputnik interview with George Galloway. Galloway's Wikipedia entry is Cross' most edited page on the site with 1,796 edits.

So far none of this has resulted in any action from Wikipedia, only dismissals from Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia's founder.

Wikipedia diffs

Considering Cross' quite open hostility towards the people whose pages he edits on Wikipedia, it should already be apparent that he should not be editing those pages at all. Those demanding diffs (exact changes made in an edit) are really missing the bigger picture here.

But let's take a look at just a few of Cross' recent edits. His edit history goes back many years, so this will only be a tiny sample. We encourage those targeted by Cross to send links to edits made to their pages so we can try to highlight them here. Each of the images here shows, on the left, a section of a Wikipedia entry before Cross' edit, and to its right, what Cross changes it to.

Cross doesn't like Sheffield University professor Piers Robinson.

So, he edits his Wikipedia entry and removes the fact that Robinson has written for the The Guardian...

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...and throws in an unsourced claim about journalist Eva Bartlett (someone else he doesn't like) and then tries to make a tenuous, defamatory connection between Robinson and another one of his targets (journalist Vanessa Beeley).

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Cross likes Iraq war supporter, former hedge-fund manager and Times columnist Oliver Kamm.

So he removes completely the fact that there's an upcoming court case brought against Kamm by journalist Neil Clark for harassment and defamation:

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Oliver Kamm is notable when examining Cross' edits, because, although Kamm himself is not a very significant figure, he appears to be one of Cross' favourite people.

Craig Murray observed what happened to his Wikipedia entry when he criticised Kamm:

On 7 February I published an article calling out Kamm for publishing a blatant and deliberate lie about me. The very next day, 8 February, my Wikipedia page came under obsessive attack from somebody called Philip Cross who made an astonishing 107 changes over the course of the next three days. Many were very minor, but the overall effect was undoubtedly derogatory. He even removed my photo on the extraordinary grounds that it was “not typical” of me.

Media Lens also make an important point on Twitter:

The word 'Kamm' appears in the @Wikipedia entry for Media Lens twelve times. 'Media Lens' appears in Oliver Kamm's entry....zero times. Just one reason why @jimmy_wales's focus on 'diffs' as evidence of bad faith is misplaced.

Cross likes right-wing Times columnist Melanie Phillips.

So why should anyone have to learn about Phillips' climate change denial? Cross removed the section wholesale.

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Cross doesn't like media analysis group Media Lens.

So he removes something nice former BBC editor Peter Barron wrote about them...

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...and changes it to:

Peter Barron, the former editor of the BBC's ''Newsnight'' commented in November 2005 that although Cromwell and Edwards "are unfailingly polite", he had received "hundreds of e-mails from sometimes less-than-polite hommes engages - they're almost always men - most of whom don't appear to have watched the programme" as a result of complaints instigated by Media Lens.

And then, as with many of his other targets, he adds in vacuous complaints from people who prefer to insult and smear rather than engage with substance:

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Despite Cross' hostility toward Media Lens and a self-confessed "long standing feud", he is, remarkably, responsible for the majority (77.8%) of the content on the Media Lens Wikipedia entry:

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Click the image to expand it (made with WhoColor).

Occasionally, it seems, Cross does get caught out. His recent effort to write the entry for Edinburgh University professor Tim Hayward resulted in another editor reverting the change with the note:

this is all completely overheated; if it's all he is known for, we're headed for BLP1E [Biographies of living persons#Subjects notable only for one event]; if it is to be included, it will be worded responsibly and added via consensus

Cross attempted again to get his edit in, and was rebuked again:

you're not even trying via a talk-page discussion

Wikipedia usage

Cross is listed number 308 in the list of Wikipedians by number of edits. (We're linking to an archived copy here because Cross requested his name be removed from the list after his edits started to get more attention on Twitter.)

He is very active on Wikipedia, as his time card shows.

timecard

As should be clear by now, this is not a project that Cross takes lightly. He devotes considerable time to it: many hours every day and with the same intensity on weekends as on weekdays.

We pulled in the dates from his user contributions page and found that Cross had not had a single day off from editing the site in almost 5 years! (Consecutive edit dates between 29 August 2013 and 14 May 2018.) You'd have more free time to spend on leisure activities pursuing a regular full-time job than Cross has editing Wikipedia.

Craig Murray writes in his piece The Philip Cross Affair:

The operation runs like clockwork, seven days a week, every waking hour, without significant variation. If Philip Cross genuinely is an individual, there is no denying he is morbidly obsessed. I am no psychiatrist, but to my entirely inexpert eyes this looks like the behaviour of a deranged psychotic with no regular social activities outside the home, no job (or an incredibly tolerant boss), living his life through a screen. I run what is arguably the most widely read single person political blog in the UK, and I do not spend nearly as much time on the internet as “Philip Cross”. My “timecard” would show where I watch football on Saturdays, go drinking on Fridays, go to the supermarket and for a walk or out with the family on Sundays, and generally relax much more and read books in the evenings. Cross does not have the patterns of activity of a normal and properly rounded human being.

Wikipedia sees no problem with all this

Wikipedia user KalHolmann tried to alert Wikipedia admins to some of these problems, but his request to prevent Cross from editing was quickly shut down with the following response:

Zero evidence of COI [Conflict of Interest]. Galloway has picked a fight with Cross, not the other way around.

This despite the fact that Cross has himself has admitted a "big conflict of interest" (although that hasn't stopped him from continuing to edit these pages).

Neil Clark points out how absurd the Wikipedia response is:

‘Philip Cross’ has edited @georgegalloway ‘s wikipedia page over 1800 times. George finally responds and offers a £1000 reward for Cross’s identification and it is he who is accused of ‘picking a fight’. This takes victim-blaming to a whole new level.

Don't trust what you read on Wikipedia!

Please spread the word to anyone who's unaware of the extent to which Wikipedia can be manipulated in this way.

Email a friend - Share on Facebook - Tweet about it

And if you'd like to see some action taken by Wikipedia, please tweet Jimmy Wales and let him know.

More information

Contact

If you'd like to get in touch about anything here, please email fivefilters@fivefilters.org or tweet us @fivefilters.

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jad
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steejie: neurodiversitysci: dragon-in-a-fez: it’s always amazing to watch adults discover how much...

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steejie:

neurodiversitysci:

dragon-in-a-fez:

it’s always amazing to watch adults discover how much changes when they don’t treat their perspective as the default human experience.

example: it’s been well-documented for a long time that urban spaces are more dangerous for kids than they are for adults. but common wisdom has generally held that that’s just the way things are because kids are inherently vulnerable. and because policymakers keep operating under the assumption that there’s nothing that can be done about kids being less safe in cities because that’s just how kids are, the danger they face in public spaces like streets and parks has been used as an excuse for marginalizing and regulating them out of those spaces.

(by the same people who then complain about kids being inside playing video games, I’d imagine.)

thing is, there’s no real evidence to suggest that kids are inescapably less safe in urban spaces. the causality goes the other way: urban spaces are safer for adults because they are designed for adults, by adults, with an adult perspective and experience in mind.

the city of Oslo, Norway recently started a campaign to take a new perspective on urban planning. quite literally a new perspective: they started looking at the city from 95 centimeters off the ground - the height of the average three-year-old. one of the first things they found was that, from that height, there were a lot of hedges blocking the view of roads from sidewalks. in other words, adults could see traffic, but kids couldn’t.

pop quiz: what does not being able to see a car coming do to the safety of pedestrians? the city of Oslo was literally designed to make it more dangerous for kids to cross the street. and no one realized it until they took the laughably small but simultaneously really significant step of…lowering their eye level by a couple of feet.

so Oslo started trimming all its decorative roadside vegetation down. and what was the first result they saw? kids in Oslo are walking to school more, because it’s safer to do it now. and that, as it turns out, reduces traffic around schools, making it even safer to walk to school.

so yeah. this is the kind of important real-life impact all that silly social justice nonsense of recognizing adultism as a massive structural problem can have. stop ignoring 1/3 of the population when you’re deciding what the world should look like and the world gets better a little bit at a time.

Empathy and universal design are for more than just people with disabilities.

Also, I love this quote: “it’s always amazing to watch adults discover how much changes when they don’t treat their perspective as the default human experience.”

The height part also applies to people in wheelchairs

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jad
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bibliogrrl
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Chicago!
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The Republican Primary in Georgia Is Taking Racism to a Whole New Level

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The Republican gubernatorial primary in Georgia has devolved in recent weeks into a chest-thumping argument over which candidate hates undocumented immigrants the most. In their rush to prove themselves, two candidates—both currently elected officials—have engaged in an escalating competition over who can personally “round up” and remove more immigrants from the state.

In a television ad released May 9, Brian Kemp—who serves as Georgia’s secretary of state and was formerly a state legislator—suggests he intends to personally detain and remove immigrants from the country. “I got a big truck,” he says, climbing into a pickup truck, “just in case I need to round up criminal illegals and take ’em home myself.” He then adds with a smirk: “Yep, I just said that.”

“His ad is beyond anti-immigrant, as he quite literally threatens to abduct individuals,” Stephanie Cho, executive director for Asian Americans Advancing Justice Atlanta, said in a statement. “Georgia needs a governor who…does not promote reckless vigilantism.”

But state Sen. Michael Williams, another GOP primary candidate, disagrees. So Williams saw Kemp’s pickup truck—and raised him a bus.

On Wednesday, Williams launched a multicounty campaign tour in his “Deportation Bus.” Metal grating covers the windows of the gray bus, and the words “Fill this bus with illegals” run along its side. On the back it reads: “Danger! Murderers, rapists, kidnappers, child molesters, and others on board.” Then, “Follow me to Mexico.” Williams has taken the bus to areas with large immigrant populations, dubbing them “sanctuary cities”—even though Georgia outlawed sanctuary jurisdictions in 2009. (Sanctuary cities are jurisdictions that limit the ways in which local law enforcement can cooperate with federal immigration officials.)

“We’re not just gonna track ’em and watch ’em roam around our state,” Williams says in a video announcing his tour. Williams pats the side of the bus as rock music plays in the background. “We’re gonna put ’em on this bus and send ’em home.” YouTube briefly labeled the video as hate speech and removed it but then put it back up.

Not surprisingly, groups that advocate for minorities are appalled. “They’re encouraging people to take matters into their own hands,” Jerry Gonzalez, executive director of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, told NPR. “That’s not the way the rule of law works, particularly when it comes to immigration. I think it’s a dangerous thing that they’re doing.”

There are five candidates vying for the Republican nomination in the May 22 primary. Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle leads the pack, but might not get the majority necessary to avoid a run-off. As a result, the other four are battling for second place. Recent polling shows Kemp is running second, followed by former state Sen. Hunter Hill and former Marine and businessman Clay Tippens. Williams is struggling in last place, though many voters remain undecided.

Hill, who left the state Senate in order to run for governor, has been endorsed by conservative firebrand Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). In two recent ads, Hill promises to “stop sanctuary cities.” Tippens seems to be the only one not jumping on the anti-immigrant train.

All the talk of sanctuary cities largely omits the fact that Georgia already outlawed sanctuary policies back in 2009. In 2016, the state Legislature went even further, requiring local officials to submit proof that they are cooperating with federal detention requests for undocumented immigrants in order to receive state funding.

Cagle, the front-runner, has done as much as the others to burnish his anti-immigrant credentials with fear-mongering ads. “Criminal illegal aliens are spreading across the country,” he says in one ad as images of Hispanic men with MS-13 tattoos appear on the screen. “Liberal politicians in sanctuary cities are shielding them, making it possible for them to terrorize us on our streets.” He goes on to remind voters that he led the fight” for the 2009 law outlawing sanctuary cities in Georgia.

The Georgia candidates certainly aren’t the first Republicans to portray immigrants as dangerous gang members. (Remember the MS-13 ads in Virginia’s gubernatorial contest last year?) But a race in which candidates seem to be threatening to carry out extrajudicial kidnappings is an ominous indication of where the 2018 campaign season could be headed.

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Technicalleigh
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Holy shit, Georgia, you've managed to get even MORE fucked up since I left.
SF Bay area, CA (formerly ATL)
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Wanlov The Kubolor and the spirit of forward thinking

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More than a decade after his first hit, Wanlov the Kubolor remains a fiercely creative, independent and critical deconstructor of all things commercial.


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Wanlov at Chale Wote Festival. Image credit Ofoe Amegavie via ACCRA [dot] ALT.

Wanlov the Kubolor is many things; singer, songwriter, producer, filmmaker, music video director, public intellectual, social commentator, genius, maverick and painfully under appreciated.

The Ghanaian cultural icon has consistently remained a positive force in the country’s creative scene since his sleeper hit, “Smallest Time” in 2007, which introduced his socially conscious brand of music, trademarked by satirical raps, to Ghanaians. Over the years, Wanlov has come to represent the spirit of forward thinking independent music culture in Ghana, yet the culture he has worked so hard to improve does not seem to value his contributions as much as it should.

In an exploitative cultural climate that rewards individual commercial success and disregards collective growth and purposeful development, people like Wanlov are rare. By defining his own metrics for success, he takes responsibility for his happiness and directs his effort into ventures that he feels will not only reward him, but also benefit or improve the lives of those around him. As such he does not fit the schema of a “successful” musician who will constantly remind you of how much money he has by objectifying women in his videos or alienating himself from the realities of the people his music services. Indeed, Wanlov the Kubolor is the polar opposite of this. He frequently employs satire as a lubricant to question the imbalances in society that affect the ordinary Ghanaian or African.

When he’s not snaking through the streets on Accra on his bicycle or performing in markets and bus stations, Wanlov the Kubolor spends his time in the studio, documenting the present condition of Ghanaians. On his latest album, Orange Card; Fruitopian Raps, one of his strongest bodies of work yet, Wanlov prompts a rethinking of neo-colonialism by poking fun at Chinese interest in African states or the widening abyss between African leaders and their people. He does this by leveraging the idiosyncrasies of his society, by layering his work with phrases, rhythms and analogies that are strictly Ghanaian and effortlessly funny. This unique familiarity and relatability means that the core themes of his music are accessible across every part of the society, irrespective of class or disposition.

On this same album, Wanlov features about ten different artist and producers from across Africa and the diaspora, who he feels creatively align with his socially conscious ethos. This “it takes a village” approach is also what makes his work practice exceptional. As a solo artist he has put out four studio albums. In addition, as part of the famed and controversial duo FOKN Bois (the other half is Mensa, a long-time collaborator), Wanlov created the world’s first pidgin musical, Coz Ov Moni, to critical acclaim, long before Netflix thought of putting The Get Down on the internet. The duo also has five rap tapes to their name. Wanlov has also worked very closely with a community of mostly young, upcoming creatives in different fields from design and fashion to video and photography to perform public surgery on social, political and economy structures of oppression.

On YouTube for example, Wanlov has a playlist of 53 music videos he directed. Most of these videos he either shot for upcoming artists or collaborated with others to produce with a relatively modest budget. Yet with this massive body of work, most Ghanaians will not regard him has a video artist or look to examine the visual narratives he has created to complement the music of others and himself. Funny Wanlov is all they can take.

In 2017, he put out a song titled “My Toto,” where he playfully described sex as a pleasurable act from the perspective of a woman. In the video, shot by Mutombo da Poet, another staple in his village of collaborators, Wanlov stars as the main vixen and objectifies himself. The clip is captioned “Not always naked women… sometimes naked me” on YouTube and layers several sequences of Wanlov in a tiny pair of shorts, showing  a lot of skin.

However, most people do not engage with the song on this level. They’re not interested in what he was trying to achieve, but are humored by the extent to which he is willing to go to make a point. This conundrum is indeed symptomatic of Wanlov’s career where his actions are reduced to the barest minimum, often disregarded and rarely properly examined, even when they are quite strikingly problematic. Regardless of the reception his art creates, Wanlov continues to be a powerful force, a provocateur in the independent arts scene.


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Ghana’s evolving relationship with Israel

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Historical symbol of the anti-colonial struggle, Ghana is now becoming a lynchpin in Israel's attempt to woo the continent's support.


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Akufo-Addo and Netanyahu. Image via Israel Foreign Ministry Twitter.

The day before the 61st anniversary of Ghana’s independence, President Nana Akufo-Addo was scheduled to speak at the annual conference in Washington DC of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the most powerful pro-Israel lobbying organization in the United States. Akufo-Addo’s speech and trip to the US were ultimately cut short as he responded to a series of domestic robberies in Ghana that dominated politics back home. However, the intentions of Akufo-Addo’s participation at AIPAC’s conference raised questions about how Ghana, one of Africa’s first nations to gain independence, is developing such a close relationship with Israel, a modern-day settler-colonial power.

Ghana’s rapprochement with Israel comes as Palestinians mourn the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, the catastrophe of their dispossession of their homeland by the State of Israel. In some ways, Israel’s evolving relationship with Ghana is not unique: In recent decades, Israel has turned to Africa in an effort to build geopolitical alliances and support in the United Nations. Israeli propaganda in Ghana — and elsewhere on the continent — also aims to fuse nationalism with religious indoctrination, especially among evangelical Christians.

A 2014 BBC World Service poll on international views of Israel survey found that the populations of Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and the United States were most sympathetic to Israel’s global image. In Ghana, specifically, public opinion in favor of Israel nearly tripled between 2012 and 2014 in accordance with increased evangelical influence in the country.

Prior to the 2017 UN vote on Jerusalem, evangelical groups in the US indicated an expectation that Ghana and other African nations would vote in favor of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Rev. John Hagee, an evangelical pastor in Texas and founder of Christians United for Israel explained, “Due to the Israelis’ incredible emphasis on humanitarian assistance, the Jewish state has deep relations with many African countries and other nations in the developing world, and that is perhaps the reason we’ve seen leaders from Tanzania and Ghana indicate a willingness to follow President [Donald] Trump’s lead.”

In a recent interview the Rev Gilbert Apreala, a prominent evangelical Nigerian pastor based in Ghana and the former country director for the Africa-Israel Initiativeoutlined the evangelical strategy to garner political support for Israel within Ghanaian churches. Apreala explained: “The Africa-Israel Initiative is an advocacy group for Africa-Israel relations, and you can tell that lately Israel has come back to Africa, and Africa is embracing Israel.” He says, “We want African countries to support Israel at the United Nations level, and for Africa to be blessed by the God of Israel for supporting Israel.” When Ghana elected Akufo-Addo in 2016, his spokesperson at the time, Adi Timor, emphasized the role Akufo-Addo would play in strengthening ties with Israel. Akufo-Addo’s foreign affairs agenda was guided by “deep religious [Christian] conviction.”

Despite optimism from supporters of Israel that Ghana would vote in accordance with the United States, the Ghanaian UN delegation voted against recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Martha Ama Pobee, Ghana’s permanent representative to the UN explained that the country’s vote was keeping in accordance with “relevant UN and AU resolutions.”

Soon after, Ami Melh, the Israeli ambassador to Ghana, denounced Ghana’s “mistaken” decision to vote against the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Several Ghanaian politicians and journalists suggested it was a misuse of Melh’s ambassadorial power to disparage the decisions of Ghana’s independent and sovereign government. In response, Melh criticized the media representation of his own statements suggesting it “was twisted by some anti-Israel, anti-Christian journalists that for their reason they will like even to abolish Israel.”

Melh’s statement is boilerplate for public representatives of Israel, except for his attempt to conflate Christian values with support for Israel. While accusations of anti-Semitism have currency in countering anti-occupation rhetoric in the West, pro-Israel forces in Ghana have recognized that “anti-Christian” is much more salient term in Ghana, where such an accusation would be considered highly offensive.

In April, Ras Mubarak, a prominent Ghanaian lawmaker and the spokesman of Ghana’s Palestinian Solidarity Campaign was denied entry to the West Bank by Israeli authorities, despite having a visa. Mubarak had intended to participate in a conference on the topic of Jerusalem. In response to the scandal, Mehl told Ghana’s StarrFM: “It’s bullshit. It’s propaganda. He [Mubarak] is a propaganda machine of the Palestinians. We don’t treat him seriously because he is not a serious person.” Mehl also attacked the radio host in what has been described as a “melt down” after she referred to the West Bank as “OPT” or Occupied Palestinian Territories. Mehl responded to this by discrediting the existence of Palestine, claiming, “There is no OPT, there is no Palestine, there was never a Palestine. It’s Israel.”

Over the last several years the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign has organized several demonstrations in opposition to the expansion of the Israeli occupation in Palestine. Led by Mubarak, a parliamentarian for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign has openly supported the Boycott Divest Sanction movement in Ghana.

While the Israeli ambassador criticizes Ghanaian politicians and lawmakers, Israel continues to threaten imprisonment and deportation of African refugees and immigrants living in Israel, including Ghanaians.

African nations have historically supported UN resolutions critical of Israel’s occupation of Palestine, yet Israel is making a push to disrupt this voting block, incentivizing political support with industrial investments around the continent. At a February meeting in Israel with African diplomats, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explained, “The first interest is to dramatically change the situation regarding African votes at the UN and other international bodies from opposition to support.” It is important to recognize that growing foreign aid and investment from Israel in Africa is guided by this principle. The Israeli government has made it clear that this type of support comes with strings attached. In 2016, Israel formally ended foreign aid and diplomacy programs in both Senegal and Angola after their UN representatives voted in favor of a resolution condemning the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Straddling its role as a symbolic leader of postcolonial Africa and its increasing complacency with an evangelical agenda, Ghanaian political leaders will be tasked with reconsidering its role in the modern day anti-colonial struggle. Having itself suffered from the instrumentalization of Christianity to justify colonialism, Ghana is armed with the historical context necessary to disentangle convoluted religious arguments surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


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