Archive | February 7th, 2018

Zionist Academics Useful Idiots

NOVANEWS
Academics Who Serve as Israel’s Useful Idiots
Image result for EXETER UNIVERSITY MIK DUMBER PHOTO
Zionist Mik Dumber Photo by Shoah
By Jonathan Cook | Dissident Voice 

How is it that highly schooled people, those who have risen to positions of authority and influence within the west’s higher education systems, so often behave as if the bit of their brain governing rational thought has turned to mush whenever the issue of Israel is raised?

Let’s take the case of Richard Carver, a senior lecturer in human rights and governance at Oxford Brookes University. He has just published a letter in the London Review of Books in which he seeks to discredit support for BDS – boycott, divestment and sanctions – as evidence of what he (like Israel’s supporters) terms “the new anti-semitism”.

In short, he presents the BDS campaign’s positive support for Palestinian rights as if it were intended to be a negative campaign to harm Jews. The illogic of that ought to be obvious to all.

But let’s dig deeper. Here’s Carver in the LRB :

I would be more inclined to respect the bona fides of the BDS movement if it were equally exercised about China, Morocco, Turkey or any other country engaged in long-term illegal occupations – or, for that matter, war in Syria, torture in Egypt or suppression of dissent in Iran. But the Jewish state is judged by a different standard, which is precisely the phenomenon described by the concept of the ‘new anti-Semitism’.

How derisively would we have treated an academic – an expert in human rights, no less – who argued back in the 1980s that those who supported a boycott of apartheid South Africa must have been secretly anti-white or anti-Christian because they did not equally prioritise a boycott of Israel?

Carver can get away with his intellectually risible logic – and get his letter published in the LRB – only because the combination of words “Israel” and “anti-semitism” make otherwise sensible people become gibbering idiots.

In fact, if we apply some proper logic to Carver’s position, we find that even my counter-proposition above is too kind to him.

Apartheid South Africa was, and Israel still is, a product of western political, diplomatic and economic patronage. Grassroots campaigns like boycott movements can make, and have made, a difference to the viability of these European-originated settler colonial regimes. South Africa was, and Israel is, vulnerable to sanctions from western allies.

Much harder to make the same case for western activism against China, Iran and Syria, for example, which are official “enemies” of the west.

After all, grassroots action in the west is designed to discomfit not just Israel, or before it apartheid South Africa, but the western elites who prop up these regimes. Activism in the west was/is targeted chiefly against the complicity of western elites in these colonial offshoots.

None of that is true of China, Syria or Iran. Western governments are only too ready to harm these states – and the civilians in them – if they think they can get away with it. They don’t need our encouragement. Any grassroots activism directed against Syria or Iran is, at best, doomed to be wasted energy and, at worst, likely to be exploited to justify intensifying the west’s hostile manoeuvres against official enemies.

Those are deductions a schoolchild could make. And yet, for some reason, they elude our esteemed professor of human rights.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, Education, UK0 Comments

Nazi Forces Kill Palestinian Civilian

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In Peaceful Protest and Not Posing Threat to Soldiers’ Life, Nazi Forces Kill Palestinian Civilian and Wounded 19 Others, including 5 Children, in Nablus

 خالد وليد جميل تاية

On Tuesday, 06 February 2018, in a peaceful protest that did not pose any threat to the soldiers’ life, Nazi forces killed a Palestinian civilian in Nablus and wounded 19 others, including 5 children. Doctors in the city hospitals, where the wounded persons were referred, classified the injuries of 4 of them as serious. The Palestinian Center for Human rights (PCHR) condemns this new crime and holds the Nazi regime responsible for the tense atmosphere in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). PCHR also calls upon the International Community to take its legal and moral responsibility and intervene in order to put an end to the Nazi crimes against Palestinians and provide protection for them. PCHR also recollects the statements published by high officials in the Nazi regime following the assassination crime of Ahmed Naser Jarrar in Jenin yesterday as the officials praised this crime, encouraging the Nazi soldiers to commit further crimes to kill Palestinian civilians in disregard for their lives.

According to PCHR’s investigations and eyewitnesses’ accounts, at approximately 19:30 on Tuesday, 06 February 2018, Nazi forces moved into Nablus and stationed on “Baker” Street, and Khelat al-Eman in the Northern Mountain. They surrounded several houses belonging to al-‘Aasi Family to arrest Abdul Karim ‘Adel ‘Aasi (19), who is accused of killing the Rabbi Itamar Ben-Gal near “Ariel” settlement, north of Salfit, on 05 February 2018. Meanwhile, dozens of Palestinian children and youngsters gathered to throw stones and empty bottles at the Nazi forces. Clashes continued until the early dawn. As a result, Khalid Walid Jamil Tayeh (22) was killed after being hit with a live bullet to the chest. He was transferred to An-Najah National University Hospital near the scene and then admitted to the Operation Room (OR).

However, Doctors failed to save him and pronounced his death while he was under surgery. Moreover, and due to the clashes, 19 other civilians, including 5 children, were wounded. Ten of them were hit with live bullets, 8 civilians were hit with rubber bullets, and one civilian was hit with a tear gas canister to the face. Doctors in the city hospitals classified the injuries of 4 civilians as serious. Before withdrawing from the city, the Nazi forces arrested 7 civilians. PCHR’s follow-up clearly shows that that the Nazi forces heavily use live ammunition against the unarmed civilians participating in peaceful protests, noting that those protestors did not pose any threat or harm to the lives of the Nazi soldiers.

PCHR follows up with deep concern the deteriorating situation in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and seriously consider the use of lethal force against unarmed civilians participating in nonviolent and peaceful protests, in violation of the international humanitarian law standards. PCHR also condemns the Nazi forces’ use of lethal and excessive force against the protesters and believes it is as a result of giving Nazi the green light following the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of ‘Israel’.  PCHR also emphasizes that this decision is complicity in a crime of aggression and directly threatens the international peace and security.

PCHR also reiterates its call upon the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations under Article 1; i.e., to respect and ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances and their obligations under Article 146 to prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention. These grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same Convention and Protocol (I) Additional to the Geneva Conventions regarding the guarantee of Palestinian civilians’ right to protection in the oPt.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human Rights0 Comments

Nazi Extra-Judicial Execution, Nazi Forces Kill Ahmed Jarar

 NOVANEWS

In New Crime of Extra-Judicial Execution, Nazi Forces Kill Ahmed Jarar after 3-Week Manhunt

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In new crime of extra-judicial execution, on Tuesday early morning, 06 February 2018, Nazi forces killed Ahmed Jarar after surrounding an abandoned building where he was fortified in al-Yamoun village, west of Jenin, north of the occupied West Bank.

According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), at approximately 04:00 on Tuesday, 06 February 2018, large force of Nazi soldiers accompanied with a bulldozer and backed by a drone and helicopter, moved into al-Yamoun village, west of Jenin.  They stationed in the northwestern side of the village and surrounded an abandoned 4-storey building belonging to a person living abroad and formerly used as an office for the Palestinian National Security Forces.

Following that, explosions and heavy shooting were heard in the area.  At approximately 05:00, the bulldozer started demolishing a 20-square-meter warehouse belonging to the same building.  At approximately 07:00, the Zionist media started spreading news that Ahmed Naser Khaled Jarar (22), who was accused by Nazi forces of killing Nazi Jewish Rabbi Raziel Shevah near “Havat Gilad” settlement outpost, west of Nablus on 09 January 2018, was killed.  Since 18 January 2018, Jenin, its refugee camp and villages were exposed to Nazi army wide-scale military campaigns to search for Ahmed Jarar.  On the same 18 January, Nazi forces killed his cousin Ahmed Isma’il Jarar (31) and on 03 February 2018 killed Ahmed Samir ‘Obeid (18).

PCHR’s investigations and official statements by Nazi leaders and security services indicate presence of the elements of extra-judicial execution crime.  After the operation ended, Nazi Avigdor Lieberman, Minister of Defense, tweeted: “The score has been settled.” He added he congratulates Naziyahu and the Israeli forces for assassinating Ahmed Jarar and hopes they will soon get to the murderer of Rabbi Itamar Ben Gal as well, who was killed in Salfit attack yesterday.

Shin Bet Security Service issued a statement: “following complex intelligence and operational efforts which started after the killing of Rabbi Raziel Shevah, and today dawn during a joint operation between the Shin Bet, Israeli forces, and the Yamam counter-terrorism unit of the Israeli Border Police, Ahmed Naser Jarar from Jenin was assassinated.” the Shin Bet added, ” while attempting to arrest him, the wanted came out of the building, where he was fortified in al-Yamoun village, armed with an M-16 and a bag full of explosives.”  The statement has not mentioned that Jarar opened fire at the Nazi forces, indicating that the operation aimed to kill Jarar and not to arrest him.

At the time PCHR strongly condemns this crime which gives a new evidence of Israeli forces’ continuing to commit crimes of extra-judicial execution against Palestinian activists in disregard for their lives, PCHR calls upon the international community and UN bodies to stop the Israeli escalating crimes and violations and work on providing international protection for Palestinians in the oPt. PCHR also reiterates its call upon the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations under Article 1; i.e., to respect and ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances and their obligations under Article 146 to prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention. These grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same Convention and Protocol (I) Additional to the Geneva Conventions regarding the guarantee of Palestinian civilians’ right to protection in the oPt.

 

Public Document

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human Rights0 Comments

Pentagon to Allow Nuclear Responses to Non-Nuclear Attacks

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By Marjorie CohnTruthout 

Hand dangling nuclear weapon

(Image: rudall30 / Shutterstock)

Amid the media frenzy surrounding the Nunes-Trump memo, the Pentagon officially released its 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) last week. The NPR calls for the development of leaner, meaner nuclear weapons and lowers the threshold for the use of nukes. Donald Trump must be thrilled. During the presidential campaign, he questioned a senior foreign policy adviser about nuclear weapons three times during a briefing, asking, “If we had them why can’t we use them?”

This new strategy opens the door to first-use of nuclear weapons, which is prohibited under international law.

The NPR calls for “low-yield” nuclear weapons on submarine-launched ballistic missiles — weapons that could cause as much damage as the bombs the United States dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

For the first time, the new NPR states that the United States could use nuclear weapons in response to non-nuclear attacks, including cyberattacks, in “extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States, its allies and partners.” This new strategy opens the door to first-use of nuclear weapons, which is prohibited under international law.

In its 1996 advisory opinion, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) concluded that while the use of nuclear weapons might be lawful when used in self-defense if the survival of the nation were at stake, a first-strike use would not be.

To read more stories like this, visit Human Rights and Global Wrongs.

The ICJ held in its “Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons” case that “the threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, and in particular the principles and rules of humanitarian law.”

“However,” the IJC continued, “the Court cannot conclude definitively whether the threat or use of nuclear weapons would be lawful or unlawful in an extreme circumstance of self-defence, in which the very survival of a State would be at stake.”

Framing Russia and China as Nuclear Threats

Russia, China and North Korea are singled out as potential nuclear threats in the NPR. The document “erroneously states that the United States needs new nuclear weapons because ‘China is expanding and modernizing its considerable nuclear forces’ and is pursuing ‘entirely new nuclear capabilities,'” according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

Gregory Kulacki, China project manager at the UCS Global Security Program and author of the UCS’s newly released white paper, said, “There is no evidence that nuclear weapons are becoming more prominent in China’s military strategy or that China has changed its longstanding no-first-use policy.”

US casualties, Payne argued, could be limited to “approximately 20 million people,” which, he called, “a level compatible with national survival and recovery.”

The NPR has alarmed foreign leaders. Mohammad Javad Zarif, foreign minister of Iran, tweeted that the NPR brings “humankind closer to annihilation.” The United States is “shamelessly threatening Russia with a new atomic weapon,” Iranian president Hassan Rouhani stated. “The same people who supposedly believe that using weapons of mass destruction is a crime against humanity are talking about new weapons to threaten or use against rivals,” he added.

Ren Guoqiang, a spokesman for the Chinese defense ministry, said in a statement, “We hope the US side will discard its ‘cold-war mentality,’ [and] shoulder its own special and primary responsibility for nuclear disarmament.”

Both Beijing and Moscow reaffirmed that nuclear weapons are not “first strike” weapons. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed that nuclear weapons are only a defensive deterrent. He listed the following “entirely defensive scenarios” for the threshold use of nuclear weapons: “in response to an act of aggression against Russia and (or) against our allies if nuclear or other types of mass destruction weapons are used, and also … with use of conventional arms but only in case our state’s very existence would be in danger.”

Where Is This Coming From?

Keith Payne, president of the National Institute for Public Policy, was one of the key drafters of the NPR. In 1980, Payne astoundingly claimed in Foreign Policy that the United States could win a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. US casualties, Payne argued, could be limited to “approximately 20 million people,” which, he called, “a level compatible with national survival and recovery.”

Derek Johnson, executive director of Global Zero, the international movement for the elimination of nuclear weapons, said in a statement that the NPR is “a radical plan written by extreme elements and nuclear ideologues in Trump’s inner circle who believe nuclear weapons are a wonder drug that can solve our national security challenges. They aren’t and they can’t.”

Indeed, a retired senior Army officer told The American Conservative that the lower-yield warheads give Trump “a kind of gateway drug for nuclear war.”

“This plan would be troubling under any Administration,” Johnson observed, “but given this President’s consistent and unabashed displays of ignorance, ballistic tendencies and dehumanizing world views, we should all be on red alert.” Johnson expressed support for legislation that would restrict the first use of nuclear weapons.

Sixteen senators wrote in a letter to Trump on January 29, “[Y]our NPR would undermine decades of U.S. leadership on efforts to reduce and eventually eliminate the existential threat posed by nuclear weapons.”

The senators noted that the NPR fails to mention Article VI of the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which enshrines a commitment “to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to the cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament.” The United States is a party to the NPT.

A “senior nuclear thinker and NPR critic” explained how the document’s recommendations were developed. “[T]he story you won’t hear is how this really came about,” he told The American Conservative. “One day, Sean Hannity got on television and talked about how we need more nuclear weapons and Donald Trump heard this and went over to the Pentagon and presto, we got Keith Payne and his crew. That’s the truth, and that’s what got us to where we are.”

Apparently, Hannity, whose hype on Fox News about the Nunes-Trump memo continues to poison the national debate, is becoming Trump’s main foreign policy guru.

Sixty percent of Americans don’t trust Trump with nuclear weapons, according to a recent NBC News/Washington Post poll.

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When Deportation Is a Death Sentence: The Fatal Consequences of US Immigration Policy

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Image result for Immigration Policy CARTOON

As the battle over the DREAMers and DACA heats up in Washington, we look at a stunning new piece in The New Yorker titled “When Deportation is a Death Sentence.” It looks at how an unknown number of men and women have been killed in their home countries after being deported or turned away by the United States. The article focuses in part on a Mexican-born woman named Laura. Despite living her whole adult life in Texas, she was deported to Mexico after a traffic stop. She warned a US Border Patrol agent, “When I am found dead, it will be on your conscience.” Within a week of her deportation, she was murdered by her ex-husband. We are joined by the award-winning journalist and New Yorker staff writer Sarah Stillman. She is also director of the Global Migration Project at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

TRANSCRIPT

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: On Capitol Hill, Republican Senator John McCain and Democratic Senator Chris Coons have introduced a bipartisan bill aimed to protect undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children. The future of the nearly 800,000 DREAMers has been at the center of a major political battle in Washington. But on Monday, President Trump took to Twitter to criticize the bipartisan bill soon after it was introduced. Trump wrote, quote, “Any deal on DACAthat does not include STRONG border security and the desperately needed WALL is a total waste of time. March 5th is rapidly approaching and the Dems seem not to care about DACA. Make a deal!” unquote. This comes as immigrant rights activists are preparing to hold a protest in Washington Wednesday to push for a clean DREAM Act to be passed before Thursday, when the government faces another possible shutdown.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, as the battle over the DREAMers heats up in Washington, DC, we look at a stunning new piece in The New Yorker magazine headlined “When Deportation is a Death Sentence.” It looks at how an unknown number of men and women have been killed in their home countries after being deported or turned away by the United States.

The article looks in part at a Mexican-born woman named Laura. Despite living her whole adult life in Texas, she was deported to Mexico after a traffic stop. She warned a US Border Patrol agent, “When I am found dead, it will be on your conscience.” Within a week of her deportation, she was murdered by her ex-husband.

We’re joined now by the award-winning journalist and New Yorker staff writer Sarah Stillman, also director of the Global Migration Project at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

Welcome to Democracy Now!, Sarah.

SARAH STILLMAN: Thank you so much for having me here.

AMY GOODMAN: This is such a significant piece. It seems, though, that the government should be collecting this data, not you and a group of students at the Columbia Journalism School, about what happens to immigrants who are deported.

SARAH STILLMAN: Right.

AMY GOODMAN: But start off where you started in the piece, with Laura’s story.

SARAH STILLMAN: Right. So I wrote about this young woman, Laura, who had been living in the US, as you mentioned, most of her adult life. She’s driving home from work one night, and she’s pulled over by a traffic cop. And at the time, it was relatively unroutine for a cop to actually ask about her immigration status, but that’s what he did. And he chose to turn her over to Border Patrol.

AMY GOODMAN: In the middle of the night.

SARAH STILLMAN: Exactly, this was in the middle of the night. And so, no lawyers’ offices are open at that hour. She’s driven with some friends, while crying and pleading and saying, “Look, I have this really violent husband back in Mexico. He’s threatened to kill me if I’m sent back. Please just give me some time to show you my protective order to show you why I should stay here.” And instead, she was quickly turned over to Border Patrol, quickly then, while continuing to cry and plead, taken to the border and sent right back across the bridge, after being coerced into signing some voluntary paperwork.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And she spent most of her life here in the US? Could you talk about her life here?

SARAH STILLMAN: Exactly. So, she had US citizen children. And, you know, she had grown up in Mexico, but in her adulthood had been living in Texas, in a community with many other people who were undocumented and who, at the time, didn’t tend to worry that traffic stops would lead to their deportation to harm. But I think that’s becoming more and more typical in recent months. But this was under the Obama administration that this occurred.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Now, clearly, the Mexican government doesn’t do any tracking of the people that are repatriated from the United States. Is there any attempt, even within Mexico, to do a more comprehensive look about what’s happening to the folks deported?

SARAH STILLMAN: Yeah, I think we really see it piecemeal. We’ve seen some human rights workers and some scholars who try to document this. It’s extraordinarily hard, because, as you can imagine, when people are sent back, it’s quite hard to track what becomes of them, partly because families are so afraid, when something does happen, that the fear of retaliation often means that we don’t hear about the awful things that happen to people post-deportation.

AMY GOODMAN: As you point out, the Trump administration has formed a new office, called VOICE.

SARAH STILLMAN: Right.

AMY GOODMAN: Explain what that it.

SARAH STILLMAN: So, initially, when, you know, Trump came into office, he expounded quite a bit on what he perceives as immigrant criminality. And one of the things he said he would do is create a special office for the victims of crimes committed by immigrants. He did not square that with the data that tells us that immigrants actually do not commit more crime than US-born individuals. And, in fact, the opposite has been proven true in most scholarship on this issue. So, this database was essentially going to also log all the different immigrant crimes that had been committed. And so, part of what I thought about with my Columbia team at the Journalism School was, in some respects, we were building a shadow database to that. We were building a database that showed the many, many people, both under Obama and under Trump, who had been deported and then either killed or sexually assaulted or subject to other kinds of harm.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, as you note in your article, the United States obviously has a long history of providing sanctuary for those seeking to avoid danger or killing in their home countries. What are Customs and Border Patrol agents supposed to do if a person claims that they fear possible persecution? And what are they actually doing?

SARAH STILLMAN: Yeah, that’s a great question, because I think it’s — a lot of people don’t realize that in both international law and domestic law, a fundamental US value has been that we have guaranteed, post-World War II, that we will never again make the mistake of deporting people to their deaths, when they come to us seeking sanctuary. That was, you know, created out of World War II, in part because we sent many people back amidst the Holocaust who had fled Nazi Germany.

And so, what we’re seeing at the border today, and what many human rights groups have been documenting, is that — you know, Border Patrol’s job is, essentially, when someone arrives at the border, they’re supposed to ask them a set of questions, which includes “Do you fear for your life, if you are sent back?” And if the person says, “Yes, I do,” it is not their job to adjudicate that or to try to figure out whether they think it’s credible. Their job is simply to pass someone along to a trained asylum officer. We have people who are very well trained in the next stage of vetting. And people often get to go before an immigration judge. What we’re finding is that in upwards of 50 percent of cases, often Border Patrol isn’t even asking that initial required question. And sometimes — I spoke to many women who have said that they had answered in the affirmative, had said very clearly they did fear for their lives, and nonetheless the Border Patrol paperwork was marked that they did not.

AMY GOODMAN: So, in the case of Laura, following on this questioning at the border, when she’s handed over to Border Patrol and she says to the agent, “When I am dead, it will be on your conscience,” what was it his obligation to do?

SARAH STILLMAN: Well, this is currently being disputed in the courts, because there’s been a lawsuit on her behalf, after she was in fact killed when sent back. But ideally, someone in her situation would get to go before an immigration judge. And, you know, that — historically, that was the case, that for a long time people in the United States, when they did articulate these fears, if they articulated them immediately at the border, they would go to an asylum officer, and then they would get to go before immigration judge. Increasingly, we’re seeing that the vast majority of deportations are what’s known as summary deportations, so people who are very quickly turned around directly at the border and never given a chance to see a judge. Or, in the case of someone like Laura, who had lived in the country for a very long time, in that case, you would certainly be entitled to a judge.

AMY GOODMAN: So, what have you and your students found?

SARAH STILLMAN: There’s been quite a few patterns that we’ve seen in this database. One of them is just how often people like Laura get rounded up in pretty minor offenses, so people who had traffic violations, people who had minor workplace disputes, that actually led to very high-stakes repercussions, so being deported and then killed. We’ve also seen a real pattern of women who had fled gender-based violence, who in fact had explicit documentation of the men who had harmed them in the past, and then they came here seeking to escape from that, and instead were sent back to the very same men who had harmed them.

And, of course, we’re seeing an uptick under Trump in the number of people who are rounded up in the interior of the country. So, previously, we focused mostly on people who were turned back at the border, but increasingly we’re seeing people like Laura, who had very deep roots here, who had lived here for a long time, who had US citizen children, who were sent back.

AMY GOODMAN: I mean, Laura — the cop who arrested Laura ended up going to jail himself, is that right? He said she was wavering on the road or something?

SARAH STILLMAN: Exactly. He said she had been driving between two lanes. And who knows? I mean, that’s certainly possible. But it didn’t tend to be the case, as I mentioned earlier, that people in that circumstance would be deported, whereas now we’re seeing legislation in Texas, known as SB 4, that may soon be replicated elsewhere in the country, that says law enforcement, in fact, has to ask these questions, and, in fact, law enforcement can be prosecuted criminally if they do not turn people over for immigration enforcement purposes. So that’s a huge transformation of law enforcement, that many cops that I spoke to were worried about.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, that’s what I wanted to ask you, in her case, in particular, because it’s one thing, a catch-and-release situation right at the border, but if she was already here in the country, wasn’t there a requirement, a minimal requirement, for them to — for her to go through some immigration process? A lot of times people voluntarily agree to be deported, to not be detained and put in an ICEjail. But was she never offered the opportunity to try to adjudicate her case?

SARAH STILLMAN: Yeah, I think that’s a critical distinction, right? We have different entitlements for people who have been here for a long time. And in her case, she — her signature appeared on the form that was a voluntary removal form. So, that’s what’s currently being disputed in the courts, is that — you know, can this be accurately described as a voluntary removal, when in fact she was pleading and crying and protesting? Border Patrol says that she voluntarily signed and was sent back as a result of that. And her friend, who was there at the scene, says that, in fact, she had been desperate not to sign the paperwork. So that’s the mystery at the heart of the case, and that was what a judge argued made her family not able to proceed with the case. So, we’ll see what happens in court.

AMY GOODMAN: Sarah Stillman, you mentioned SB 4, known as the “Show Me Your Papers” bill, in Texas. Explain what that does.

SARAH STILLMAN: Well, SB 4 will do a number of things. And right now it’s currently also tied up in litigation. But one of the things is, as I mentioned, regarding local cops, that they are supposed to now ask people about their immigration status.

It also means that, you know, there’s the sort of crackdown that Trump has also called for, in regard to what he and some others know as sanctuary cities, so places where they have decided not to turn people over to immigration enforcement once they’re held in local jails. So, one of the other patterns we saw in the database was that there were some people who came into the criminal justice system through minor offenses, like one man, Juan Coronilla-Guerrero, that I wrote about. He had come to the courthouse for a minor misdemeanor case, and then ICE had actually appeared in the courthouse, apprehended him, and then he had been deported despite claiming that he believed he would be killed if sent back to Mexico. And he was also murdered. And this was more recently. And that crackdown had been explicitly, many believe, a retaliation for the fact that Travis County, Texas, was a sanctuary city — sanctuary area.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: I wanted to ask you about President Trump’s recent remarks at his State of the Union, where he was actually talking about the MS-13 and the increasing dangers from undocumented immigrants to the general American population, criminal gangs. Did you — were you able to hear that? I don’t know if we have the clip available of his — that part of his speech. But could you —

AMY GOODMAN: I think we have a clip.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Oh, we do. All right. Let’s see — let’s hear it.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: For decades, open borders have allowed drugs and gangs to pour into our most vulnerable communities. They’ve allowed millions of low-wage workers to compete for jobs and wages against the poorest Americans. Most tragically, they have caused the loss of many innocent lives.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Could you respond to the president’s framing of the issue —

SARAH STILLMAN: Yeah.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: — of why it’s necessary to deal with immigration?

SARAH STILLMAN: Yeah. I mean, I think it’s absolutely necessary to treat MS-13 seriously. And that’s part of the paradox of how Trump has reckoned with this, is that simultaneously he’s saying it’s OK to revoke temporary protected status for hundreds of thousands of people from El Salvador and send them back to this country that is really grappling with a very real MS-13 crisis, and he’s saying, “Oh, it’s perfectly fine and safe to sent them there,” despite the fact that, you know, MS-13 may actually pose a really serious threat to those people. And he’s saying those people don’t deserve protection here, but then he also seems to really be intent upon sort of acting as if MS-13’s crisis here has a gravity that I think, empirically, we could say doesn’t necessarily compare to a lot of other threats that we could be focused on. But I think we should take it seriously, and I think we should also be realistic about the fact that immigrants do not pose a disproportionate threat when it comes to crime. And, in fact, as I mentioned earlier, the opposite has been proven to be the case.

AMY GOODMAN: Sarah, can you talk more about gender-based violence?

SARAH STILLMAN: Absolutely. I mean, that was a big theme that we were seeing. And going back to the realities of needing to reckon with MS-13, I think one of the things that we heard from quite a number of young women is that they were being recruited by gang members in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, who were basically telling them, “If you don’t become my sexual partner, then you will be killed.”

And, you know, I interviewed several women who had come — one woman who comes to mind, this woman Elena, she had actually come here after her brother was murdered for being gay, another brother was murdered for refusing to join the gangs, and then she herself was subject to sexual coercion by a gang member. And when she came here, she was turned away by Border Patrol. She protested, and then she went before an immigration judge.

And one of the really big issues we don’t talk about much is that women who are fleeing those kinds of circumstances, who even do get a chance to go before a judge, often are told that they don’t qualify for asylum or other kinds of legal relief. Because our asylum system was crafted post-World War II, often the concerns that it was crafted around don’t reflect the current reality of gang violence and gender-based violence.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, of course, a lot of this gang violence is — the historical roots of it is not really ever discussed here in the United States. I remember back in 1992 covering the Los Angeles riots after Rodney King. And the Chicano community was — the longtime Mexican-American community was very upset about the rise of MS-13 back then. We’re talking 25 years ago. And they saw it rooted in a spillover of the Central American civil wars and the US intervention, that it was — the original MS-13 gang members were actually former national guardsmen from Salvador who had moved here to the United States, and that there was a culture of violence that had actually spilled over from Salvador and Guatemala into the western United States, and they saw it as a direct result of US intervention. But that’s never talked about these days.

SARAH STILLMAN: Yeah, I think you can’t talk about what’s happening right now without talking about that exact history you just pointed to, both the history of the Central America wars and the US involvement in them and also the history of this set of cycles around deportation, the idea that many of these gangs started on the US side and in US prisons and on US streets and then were deported back without a real plan about how that would be dealt with. And then, we’ve seen this cycle before, and so we need to look at how do we address those root causes, I would argue.

AMY GOODMAN: Laura’s mother ultimately ended up working with Jennifer Harbury, well known for her work around Guatemala and the US-backed, sadly, slaughter in Guatemala. Can you talk about that relationship?

SARAH STILLMAN: Yes. Jennifer Harbury is a really fascinating person who’s had a pretty remarkable life. And she was married to a man from Guatemala who actually had been — that had led to litigation that Jennifer had been a part of, after her husband disappeared. She had staged a hunger strike. This was quite some time ago, in the midst of those wars. She later found that there was US involvement in a cover-up about her husband’s murder and torture and pretty violent circumstances. And so, she was certainly a vehicle through which to tell the story of the US involvement back in the ’80s and how that stretched all the way up into repercussions in the present day.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, you spoke about history, and let’s end there, turning to a clip from the 1976 film Voyage of the Damned, the film based on the true story of the 1939 voyage of the MS Mississippi [MS St. Louis], which sailed for Havana from Hamburg, Germany, carrying over 900 Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazis. The Cuban government refused entry to the passengers, so the ship made its way to the US, where the Coast Guard delivered the following message, as portrayed in this clip from the film.

MS ST. LOUIS CREWMAN: “Attention, Captain St. Louis. You are violating US territorial limits. Do not approach any closer. Do not attempt to land. You will not — repeat, not — be permitted to dock at any United States port. Acknowledge.”

MS ST. LOUIS CAPTAIN: Signal, “Message received and acknowledged.”

AMY GOODMAN: A clip from the 1976 film Voyage of the Damned. The ship was left with no choice but to return to Europe. And talk about what happened, Sarah.

SARAH STILLMAN: Right. So, these people had come here fleeing Nazi Germany, and, in fact, they were turned back. And I believe it was upwards of 250 of those individuals who were turned back were ultimately found to have been killed in the Holocaust. I didn’t know, until researching this story, that others, such as Anne Frank — her father had actually applied to get the family refugee status here, and they had also been rejected. And, of course, she later died in the concentration camps, as well.

AMY GOODMAN: So, you and your students are continuing to search for what happens to deportees?

SARAH STILLMAN: Absolutely. So, we hope to continue searching in the Trump era and finding — you know, again, I mentioned the Obama era had many of these deaths, as well, so we should acknowledge that. But I think we hope to continue this process of logging these deaths in the Trump administration.

AMY GOODMAN: Sarah Stillman, staff writer at The New Yorker, also the director of the Global Migration Project at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. We’ll link to her new piece. It’s headlined “When Deportation is a Death Sentence.” This is Democracy Now! Stay with us.

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San Jose Votes to Remove Christopher Columbus Statue From City Hall

NOVANEWS

By s.e. smithCare2

Image result for Christopher Columbus Statue CARTOON

Someone’s getting evicted from San Jose City Hall in California after 60 years of residence: Christopher Columbus, who had previously occupied a place of pride in the building’s lobby.

Evidently recognizing that celebrating a figure known for racism, genocide and colonialism wasn’t a great look for a forward-thinking, progressive city, the City Council announced that the statue will be removed and has six weeks to find a new place.

The move was a response to an organizing campaign by the San Jose Brown Berets, a Chicano service and activist organization. It’s part of their Decolonize San Jose program, which also aims to remove other monuments to colonialism and oppression in the city.

Over the course of 2017, a growing wave of civic statue removals in response to outcry swept across the United States. Most of these statues were affiliated with icons of the Confederacy, with civil rights advocates arguing that celebrating white supremacist heroes wasn’t consistent with the values of many communities. Some of the statues came down in the dead of night, quietly carted off by public works employees. Others were actually torn down by crowds tired of waiting. Some places are renaming their buildings, too.

But Native American and indigenous groups have also been fighting a long and bitter battle over altars to colonialism found in cities and towns across the United States. Aside from the numerous place names associated with Columbus and his ilk, a number of cities still have statues of the historic figure. Advocates argue that, much like Confederate statues, these monuments should be relegated to history, not kept on display in buildings dedicated to public functions.

San Jose’s decision to remove this particular statue represents a big victory, and it also sends a message to the rest of the United States: You, too can get rid of your Columbus statues — and circles, parks, streets and other place names — and strip Columbus Day from your list of holidays.

San Francisco has already taken action, and the city will celebrate Indigenous People’s Day in October — not Columbus Day.

In San Jose, the Columbus statue will go into storage if it can’t be relocated. The Italian-American community is exploring possibilities, so it may end up on public display elsewhere. That said, local museums have yet to express an interest, since the statue itself is not artistically notable, just of historic interest. Moreover, it’s been creatively modified by protesters several times — even in the safety of city hall — so it’s highly probable that a public display would be subjected to editorial commentary via local activists.

The question of what to do with statues like this one can be tricky. While they do have some historical value — and preserving them can be an important part of recognizing the shared heritage of the United States — it’s important to store and display them in ways that appropriately contextualize them.

In case you’re curious, the statue came to San Jose as a gift from the Italian-American community, and the city’s own mayor, also Italian-American, was one of those who voted in favor of removal. Mayor Sam Liccardo told ABC News: “I think our understanding of history evolves as we learn more.”

Up next? Well, some organizations are likely hoping that San Francisco’s Columbus statue will also be consigned to the dustbin.

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Dog-Whistling Donald: An Interview With Former NAACP President Cornell Brooks

NOVANEWS

Image result for Donald CARTOON

President Trump’s “shithole” comment may be his most blatant racist remark to date but are his more subtle dog whistles even more dangerous? And why are so many people in this country so uncomfortable with using the word “racist”? I discussed this and more with Cornell Brooks — a lawyer, minister and activist who formerly served as the 18th president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Rebecca Vallas: In recent days — between President Trump’s widely noted “shithole” comment, as well as an exchange he had with the Congressional Black Caucus in which he was told that their constituents would be harmed by his Medicaid work requirements policy, and that not all of their constituents are Black — and he responded, apparently befuddled, “Then what are they?” In the wake of these comments there has been a lot of discussion about how much overt racism is being condoned at the highest levels of this country, and yet we’re also watching tremendous discomfort on the part of many pundits, commentators and even members of Congress with actually calling out racism when it happens. What are your thoughts on this?

Cornell Brooks: One of the things that strikes me is when you have the convergence of intent and ignorance, people are much more likely to call out ignorance. In other words, to the degree that the president says things about African Americans, or any number of races or ethnicities out of ignorance, they’re willing to call that out. But where there is evidence of bad intent, racist intent, bigoted intent, prejudiced intent — there is a reluctance. And so there’s a presumption of goodness that does not exist. So where you have a president who has referred to Mexicans as rapists, who has called into question the judicial suitability and temperament of a federal judge as a consequence of him being Mexican, who has used the word “SOB” as racial code for the “n” word in Alabama in reference to Colin Kaepernick. We’ve seen over and over again — from the birther arguments to the arguments about the Central Park jogger case — a president who has demonstrated not only racial insensitivity, not only ignorance about race, but bad intent, racist intent. And it seems as if people feel that by calling someone a racist, in calling their actions, their deeds and their words racist, that this somehow makes them judgmental. But just because you hold the highest office in the land, in this republic, does not immunize you from being a racist or being called out as a racist.

Is there also a fear among some Democrats that if they use the word racism, that they aren’t going to bring in these white working class voters that so many are focused on?

First of all, the fear is related to a kind of paralysis of politeness — which is to say, we all endeavor to be polite, to be well-mannered, to exercise a certain degree of decorum, particularly with respect to people who occupy positions of authority, so we’re unusually deferential to them. And it causes us to literally paralyze our conscious, our ability to morally critique when we should. There is also this notion that somehow if we’re less critical of the president’s overt racism, this will win us points with the white working class. But what we saw in the last election was the triumph of the politics of authenticity. To the degree that Senator Sanders was perceived as being more authentic, more real, Donald J. Trump as a candidate was also perceived as being more authentic and real — they were understood as candidates who speak transparently. Our critique should be transparent and real and authentic. So when you see people literally engaging in behavior that imperils and endangers other people, you got to call it out.

So, in the name of being polite, here’s what we’re overlooking: This president’s racist, anti-Semitic, xenophobic behavior perfectly correlates with hate crime in this country. We have immigrant children who are likely to be beaten up and bullied as a consequence of presidential rhetoric. We have a president who through his racist commentary has both imperiled immigrants at home and American  service personnel abroad — to the degree that [when] you use this kind of racist language, we have allies abroad who may be less likely to be protective of American troops, or our enemies more likely to hurt them. That’s what this commander-in-chief has done. And every time [we are] polite, or artificially cordial, we overlook his racism, his xenophobia, his anti-Semitism, his ableism — you pick the prejudice because he has engaged in almost all of it.

Another way racism is not overtly but implicitly playing out is around what Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan often like to call “welfare reform.” There’s been a long quest on the part of Paul Ryan to redefine basically every program and policy that helps struggling families make ends meet as “welfare.” This is a well-known, well-understood dog-whistle that many Americans hear and immediately picture images that they’ve seen in the media over many decades of Black people. And I see many in the media just repeating the frame of welfare and welfare reform with apparently no awareness of the fact that it is not just a Republican talking point but a dog whistle. Your thoughts?

I think part of the problem is due to a lack of historical depth. When we talk about so-called social welfare programs there’s not an appreciation of the degree to which this country going back to President Roosevelt has created all manner of ladders of opportunity for people. So when my father who was a military officer or my brother who was a non-commissioned officer served their country in uniform, they received certain benefits — VA loans, assistance for college — no one considers that welfare. When we provide benefits for corporations with the hope that they will invest in communities, hire people, put money into research and development — we don’t call that welfare. Well how is it when we have working-class people, middle-class people, poor folks in this country who need opportunities and we make critical, thoughtful investments? … As I like to remind people, I’m a graduate of Yale Law School, but I’m also a graduate of Head Start. Head Start is a wise, thoughtful, research-based investment in children that pays off. Smart social investments are in fact investments. Now if you want to make a critical argument based on research, based on evidence, based on outcomes, that’s one thing. But to use this vocabulary of dog-whistle racism, that needs to be called out and that’s exactly what this is about.

I mentioned before Trump’s response when he was confronted with apparently new information that not all of the people who are constituents of members of the Congressional Black Caucus are Black. And he learned that day that not all people who turn to Medicaid for health insurance are Black. In response, many well-meaning people said, “Wait a second, most people who receive public assistance like Medicaid are white,” and the response sort of ended there. I felt incredibly frustrated with how limited the discussion was about Trump’s overt racism — free of the harder work that we need to do as a country as we talk about these policies, these programs, and the people who they help. How can we do a better job and what’s wrong with the “most people who get help from the government are white” response?

Going beyond this binary of are most of the people who receive social benefits or investments, people of color, or white, the question is — irrespective of color or ethnicity, degree of ability or disability — should we be making these investments? Are they good for our citizens and do they move us forward as a society? Those are the questions that we don’t get to and to the degree that we use majority white to legitimize minority Black and Brown, delegitimizes the whole question and proposition morally.

It’s like in gender terms when women are harassed and raped and brutalized and sexually demeaned — if a man says “I object to that because it could be my wife or daughter” — does that legitimize claims made by women based on gender bias, discrimination and demeaning behavior? That’s ridiculous. But this is what we see all the time. And so it’s up to us to be more morally mature to take people’s moral claims at face value so that if the majority of the people receiving some kind of social investment or benefit are any particular group, they’re still Americans, still citizens — and even when they’re not citizens, they are people who aspire to be citizens — we should evaluate the investment based on the investment.

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Jews Send Birthday Wishes to Jailed Palestinian Teen Ahed Tamimi

NOVANEWS

by: TUT

How They Schmooze it–Hundreds of Young U.S. Jews Send Birthday Wishes to Jailed Palestinian Teen Ahed Tamimi Ahead of Trial

Hundreds of young American Jews used Ahed Tamimi’s 17th birthday on Wednesday to express support for the Palestinian teen ahead of her trial in an Israeli military court next week.

Haaretz

Around a dozen activists delivered 700 letters of solidarity by U.S. Jews to her father Bassem, at his home in Nabi Saleh, the West Bank ThursdayOn Wednesday, Tamimi’s birthday, about 100 young U.S. Jews, including high school students, protested her detention at Israeli consulates across the U.S. East Coast.

Ahed Tamimi became a Palestinian hero following her arrest when a video showing her striking an Israel Defense Forces soldier outside her family’s home went viral in December.

The confrontation between Tamimi and two soldiers took place after what Israel says was a stone-throwing assault against on its troops, during which Tamimi’s cousin was shot by Israeli fire.

She is scheduled to stand trial in an Israeli military court in the West Bank Tuesday on 12 charges including assault for slapping and kicking a soldier.

Tamimi was also charged over statements she made in the video appearing to support stabbings, rock throwing and “martydom operations,” an apparent reference to suicide bombings.

Young Jewish demonstrators in New York, Boston and Washington joined global protests on January 31 marking Tamimi’s birthday and condemning Israel’s imprisonment of Palestinian minors. Hundreds of U.S. Jews also wrote Tamimi birthday messages lauding what they perceive to be Tamimi’s courage to oppose Israeli control of the West Bank.

One note read, “Dear Ahed, my name is Shula and I am 17. We’re [the] same age and we live in different worlds. Your courage inspires me to stand up for what I believe in. Your actions are not done in vain.”

We’re working with the Tamimi family to gather and deliver birthday messages of support and solidarity for her.

Send Ahed a Personal Birthday Message of Support Before Her Trial Begins
Ahed Tamimi, the 16-year-old Palestinian girl who has been unjustly imprisoned by Israeli authorities for over a month is having her next hearing is on January 31st, cruelly timed with her 17th…

IfNotNow is a left-wing organization of young American Jews who bill themselves as a counterweight to what they see is their community’s support for Israel’s ongoing occupation of the Palestinian territories, while All That’s Left is an anti-occupation collective in Israel.

Last month, Military Judge Maj. Haim Baliti rejected Tamimi’s request to be released from detention while awaiting trial, noting that freedom of expression does not permit violence and that Tamimi’s defense is wrong to equate her actions with social activism.

The formal charges against Tamimi are aggravated assault of a soldier, threatening a soldier, obstructing a soldier, incitement and throwing objects at a person or property.

Her mother, Nariman, is also being detained after being charged with filming incidents and incitement on social media.

Tamimi, whose father is a prominent Palestinian activist, made news two years ago when she was pictured biting a soldier who tried to arrest her younger brother. In 2012 she was presented with an award in Turkey and met President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after images of Tamimi confronting an Israeli soldier went viral.

At the Tamimi home, where food and coffee were extended freely to a near-constant stream of visitors, the group of predominately American-Jewish activists told Ahed’s father about protests across the United States bearing her name, and gifted him a booklet containing the 700 birthday notes.

Discussion of politics and the specifics of Tamimi’s case were generally avoided during the meeting.

The visit’s purpose, All That’s Left member Erez Bleicher stressed, was “strictly to come here and say that the incarceration of Ahed Tamimi and members of her family is unjust, and to support the family in a difficult time.”

Bassem, a prominent activist himself, noted how Jewish and Israeli activist groups plant olive trees to “make themselves feel good, but it’s freedom, not trees,” that he needs. On receiving visits from Jews and Israelis, he says “it’s normal. I don’t need to investigate into the actions of others, like some Israeli politicians,” referencing former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren’s probe into the legitimacy of the Tamimi family.

Julie Weinberg-Connors, a member of All That’s Left visiting Nabi Saleh, suggested that Ahed Tamimi’s story is particularly relatable and inspiring for young American Jews.

“A lot of times, we discount and discredit young people based on their age. But as we can see, children and young people like Ahed who take themselves seriously and stand up for their community can do incredible things. Even children who don’t get to be children,” she said.

IfNotNow founding member Simone Zimmerman told Bassem Tamimi, “Ahed’s story has really moved a lot of people. Of course she’s a symbol, but she’s also just a person who deserves to have the future that she wants to have.”

Another All That’s Left member, Micah Friedman, said, “It’s particularly important for me as a Jew to communicate to Ahed – as a young person whose life’s been shaped by occupation in the name of the Jewish people – that there are Jews throughout the world and living here who don’t believe that the justice system she’s currently dealing with is just.”

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human Rights0 Comments

Haunted by the horrors of Cast Lead

NOVANEWS

by: TUT

ed note–as we point out here often, there was/is/never will be anything unusual or aberrant about Judaic massacres such as Cast Lead. When you are dealing with a group of people who have embraced–according to the teachings and protocols of their religion–the notion that the lives of other human beings mean nothing and are in fact considered necessary food in appeasing the wrath of the angry god which they worship,  then what you have is a recipe for limitless human slaughter, no different than what has taken place in barbaric kingdoms where human sacrifice was the norm.

What makes this particular situation so dangerous (and not only to those who are forced to endure the unfortunate circumstance of living in such close proximity to a nuclear-armed theocratic state that worships a god that demands human sacrifice) to everyone involved is that there are still HUGE swaths of people who simply refuse to look at the glaring evidence indicating the source of the sickness to begin with–Judaism as laid out within the pages of the Torah. Rather than approaching this problem in the only way that reason demands, which is with the rational approach that must accompany any and all exercises rooted in solving a particular problem, instead, people allow their religion-based emotionalism to do all their thinking for them, and rather than isolating and diagnosing the problem for what it is, instead choose to deal only with the symptoms of the disease, thus allowing the virus responsible for the carnage in the first place to continue in its merciless devouring and destruction of innocent human flesh.

electronicintifada.net

The clock was approaching 11:30 in the morning. For children in Gaza, it was the last day in school before a new year holiday. The bell was due to ring shortly.

At 11:27 am on 27 December 2008, Gaza was bombarded by Israeli warplanes. Instead of the anticipated school bell, the children heard the horrifying sound of bombs.

Operation Cast Lead – which began that day – was Israel’s most comprehensive onslaught on Gaza in decades. Israel used its air force, navy, infantry and artillery against a population that already had a long experience of being under military occupation and, more recently, under siege.

By the end of the offensive more than three weeks later, Israel had committed numerous massacres and used phosphorous bombs to target heavily populated areas and even shelled United Nations schools and the main UN food aid warehouse.

Israel paid $10.5 million in “compensation” for some of the damage caused. Yet it never apologized for slaughtering the innocent or targeting the UN schools that harbored hundreds of Palestinian families.

In 23 days, Israel killed more than 1,400 Palestinians, including more than 1,100 civilians, of whom 326 were children and 111 were women. It also injured about 5,300, some of whom remain disabled to this very day, and destroyed or damaged thousands of homes.

Yasser Ashour, now studying journalism in Istanbul, survived the attack to become an influential social media activist and a writer on Palestine. He was 14 at the time of the offensive. There were moments when he felt life had no meaning – especially after seeing in person or on TV scores of defenseless Palestinians, including some friends, killed during Israeli strikes.

“I was preparing myself for my final exams,” Ashour told The Electronic Intifada. “Then I heard massive explosions coming from everywhere. Then many other explosions followed. And it continued for 23 days.”

Ashour believes the timing of the Israeli raids was carefully chosen, he said, “to maximize the number of casualties and terrorize Palestinians.”

Ashour was part of a huge wave of schoolchildren who ran home in a situation of extreme fear.

He saw vans and lorries carrying the disfigured bodies of people killed by Israel. Today, he remains haunted by those images.

“Butchered”

Ashour’s worst memories of that time period come from when Israel targeted his school and the surrounding area.

Located in Jabaliya refugee camp, that school – known as al-Fakhoura – was shelled by Israel on 6 January 2009. At the time, it was providing shelter to people who had to flee their homes.

Yet three days earlier, according to Judge Richard Goldstone’s “Report of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict,” Israel had warned Palestinians “to move to central locations and attend United Nations centers.”

The next day, John Ging, UNRWA director of operations in Gaza, said during a press conference: “There is nowhere safe in Gaza. Everyone here is terrorized and traumatized.”

“I was one of the lucky few,” Ashour said. “When we evacuated our house, we did not have to go to UN schools. My mother distributed our family among several relatives’ homes, so if we were hit by Israeli missiles, some of us would get to survive.”

“But I will never forget the day Israel hit my school, killing 44 civilians,” he added. “Five of them were my own classmates and friends.” Defense for Children International – Palestine noted that 14 children were killed in “close proximity” to the school. Ashour remembered shrapnel injuring people inside the school.

“The next day,” he recalled, “I defied my mother’s pleas and participated in the funerals. It was the least I could do. Those kids that Israel butchered were full of life and full of potential.”

Although Israel claimed it targeted Hamas militants, a UN inquiry into the al-Fakhoura massacre found there was no firing from within the school and no explosives within the school.

The UN relief agency for Palestine refugees, UNRWA, “had given Israel the exact locations of all schools sheltering civilians,” Ashour noted. “Israel targeted the school on purpose, to terrorize us.”

Ever since the massacre, Ashour has tried to honor the memories of his classmates by exposing Israeli crimes.

“I run a few Twitter accounts with tens of thousands of followers,” he said. “The battle for justice for Palestine over social media is crucial and we have to win it. We don’t have Israel’s billions but we have the power of truth.”

“He never came back”

Nirvana Modad, 20, lost her father, uncle and a cousin when Israeli drones targeted a funeral tent near her home in the Shujaiya neighborhood of Gaza City.

Nirvana’s father wanted her to be a physician. “I always wanted to become a doctor to save lives and to fulfill my dad’s dream,” she said. Nirvana is studying medicine at Al Azhar University in Gaza.

Alaa Modad, her father, had just gone to the shops to buy groceries.

“My dad sent the stuff he bought home to us with my sister and went to pay his respect to a neighbor killed by Israel whose funeral tent was around the corner,” Nirvana said. “And he never came back.”

While Alaa was visiting it, the funeral tent was hit by two missiles fired from an Israeli drone. That was two days before the end of the offensive.

As mourners in the tent scrambled for cover, several more missiles kept coming. Nine Palestinians were killed on the spot. Many others were injured.

“To me, Israel kills my father every day,” Nirvana said. “I am reminded of him by my medicine books, by my mother’s hard work, by the melancholy that has overwhelmed our home ever since [his death]. And every time Israel kills a Palestinian.”

Her family has continued to suffer because of Israeli state violence.

In 2014, Nirvana’s cousin, Nisma Modad, lost her father during another massive Israeli offensive.

“We escaped the 2008 war by a miracle,” said Nisma. “But in 2014 Israel killed my father. And God knows who Israel will kill next.”

“Sense of panic”

Ahmed Sheikh Khalil is now aged 19.

As he made his way home from school on the first day of Operation Cast Lead, “I saw smoke coming from every direction of Gaza City,” he said. “The explosions were shaking the ground beneath us. There was a sense of panic everywhere. I remember women running in the opposite direction, asking about their kids and telling us not to worry.”

One of Khalil’s cousins was killed in the attack.

“The scene of hundreds of people taking refuge in the UN school nearby haunted me for months,” Khalil said. “It was like what we see on TV happening to other people or happening a long time ago.”

“Like most kids in Gaza, I wanted to be a doctor,” Khalil told The Electronic Intifada. “But after that war and after every assault on Gaza, I realized I could help my people in other ways.”

As Khalil grew up, he became interested in media and journalism. Following another major Israeli attack on Gaza during the summer of 2014, he decided to study English.

“I want to reach and inform people from all over the world and not only Arabs or Muslims,” Khalil said.

The Islamic University of Gaza, where Khalil studies English literature, had many of its laboratories destroyedby Israeli missiles in 2009.

The office of Khalil’s father, who teaches history and politics at the university, was also destroyed.

“When the Israelis hit the Islamic University of Gaza, they claimed they targeted a chemical weapons lab,” Khalil said.

“It was hilarious, despite the tragedy. We joked about my father’s office harboring banned chemicals. But in all seriousness, it amazed me how Israel can lie and make up stories and still manage to deceive the world. I want to do something about this.”

“Too much to ask?”

Amira al-Qirim lost her father and two siblings during Operation Cast Lead.

Amira’s father, Fathi, was struck by Israeli artillery. Her brother and her sister were killed, too, during an attack on the al-Zaytoun area, south of Gaza City.

All three were left to bleed and die. No ambulance was allowed near them.

Herself injured in the attack and unable to walk, Amira crawled and hid in a neighbor’s home. She was found there in a hungry and weak condition three days later.

Amira is now a stay at home mother of two children.

“As a kid who survived that war, and the two others that followed, I volunteered for the media to expose Israel,” she said.

“I traveled to Europe for medical treatment. I spoke to people everywhere about my ordeal,” Amira added.

“I sought justice by filing a complaint to the International Criminal Court at The Hague. But here we are nine years later and Israel still commits crimes every single day, and justice has not yet been done yet.”

“I want my kids to live in peace,” she said. “I want every kid in Palestine to grow up without the possibility that Israel will kill them, or maim them, or orphan them, or traumatize them. Is that too much to ask?”

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human Rights0 Comments

USA: Let’s Keep Zionist Donald Trump

NOVANEWS

Let’s Keep Donald Trump, because a true believer like Mike Pence could be a whole lot worse

Phil Giraldi

Here in the US, multiple moves are underway to get rid of Trump, ranging from declaring him mentally incompetent to impeachment for perjury or for lack of good manners. I would like to see him go due to his sheer fecklessness, particularly if he can take Mattis, McMaster, Pompeo, Tillerson and Haley with him. But there is a serious fly in the ointment, namely what would come next? The answer is President Mike Pence.

Mike Pence caught some heat during the campaign because of some of his idiosyncrasies like “never eating alone with a woman other than his wife.” Whether that was true because of the apparently overwhelming sexual urges that seem to afflict nearly all congressmen and Hollywood producers, or because of something in the Bible, or even to avoid possible allegations of misbehavior, was not at all clear.

And speaking of the Bible, Pence is both a Christian fundamentalist and a dispensationalist, which means that he thinks every word in the Good Book is literally true and that Christianity is going through phases or dispensations that will lead to the rapture of true believers into heaven followed by the wrath of God descending on those who refuse to see the light.

The odd thing about people like Pence is that they stick like glue to their Scofield Reference Bibles but apparently rarely venture into the New Testament part with its talk of compassion and forgiveness. They much prefer the fire and brimstone in the Jewish part with Joshua smiting and Philistines (Palestines?) falling left and right. Pence and his co-believers, who are sometimes labeled Christian Zionists, consider Jews to be the Chosen People of God and Israel’s creation and survival are all part of the master plan that will lead to the end of the world as we know it. The re-creation of a Jewish state and the gathering in of as many of the world’s Jews as possible is seen as a critical step in achieving the Second Coming of Christ, which Pence and his associates fervently hope will occur soon. At that point, it is assumed that the Jews will realize that Christ is truly their Messiah and will mass-convert. If they do not they will be consumed in fire like all the other unbelievers.

Well, Pence is undeniably a true believer in the worst way, but he can choose to believe whatever he likes. The problem with him is that, given his senior role in the government, his firmly held religious beliefs are no longer a personal issue. They inevitably have political, economic and national security consequences for all Americans, not just for those who see things as he does.Only 20% of Americans actually go to church and of those only a portion are aligned with Pence on what Christianity means, suggesting that his is a minority viewpoint within a minority viewpoint.

Pence’s views on the Middle East as influenced by his particular religiosity were on full display during his recent trip to Israel, a country that he has visited eight times. The Vice President’s speech before the Knesset first required the removal of all Arab members of that body, who had loudly expressed their disapproval of what they knew was coming.

Pence was applauded frequently by those who remained, particularly when he praised Israel effusively or damned Iran. Ironically perhaps, no one in the audience seemed to be too disturbed by the ultimate meaning of his evangelical fervor in that the End of Days and battle of Armageddon that he looks forward to will also be the end for Jews who do not convert, a point that was commented on drily by the Haaretz newspaper. But the gathering was really all about Pence expressing his personal commitment to unlimited and uncritical support by Washington for Israel, so theological niceties were politely ignored.

The speech itself explains what a Pence presidency would look like in regards to the Middle East. He began with the usual sucking-up to one’s hosts that politicians are so good at, “…I am here to convey a simple message from the heart of the American people: America stands with Israel. We stand with Israel because your cause is our cause, your values are our values, and your fight is our fight. We stand with Israel because we believe in right over wrong, in good over evil, and in liberty over tyranny. We stand with Israel because that’s what Americans have always done…”

The scary thing is that Pence likely believes his own rhetoric. It would be hard to compress so much nonsense into a few sentences without looking completely ridiculous, but Pence in his zealotry seeks to convey a measure of rectitude relating to a whole basket of untruths without even breathing hard. First of all, the American people have never endorsed the relationship with Israel in any way and do not “stand with Israel” out of any conviction. Recent opinion polls suggest that most Americans are quite ambivalent about Israel and what it represents in spite of having been on the receiving end of more than fifty years of incessant propaganda extolling falsely “the only democracy in the Middle East.”

In truth, the Israeli special relationship is something that has been created and fostered by a corrupted-by-cash political class and a Jewish dominated media supported by a powerful and unscrupulous domestic Lobby backed up by an oligarchy of Jewish-Zionist billionaires. This line-up has created a national myth about Israel that could have been scripted by Leon Uris of Exodus fame.

As for values and causes, Americans would be appalled if they were to witness the misery inflicted on the Palestinians by the Israelis. Right over wrong? Good over evil? Where is the justice for the Palestinians in that Israel’s government is itself evil, an apartheid state that denies benefits to its own citizens if they adhere to the wrong religion. Tyranny? That’s what occurs in the West Bank and in the strangling of Gaza every single day, to include the beating and shooting of children and legless protesters.

And Pence even had a crumb to throw to the audience back at home regarding the impending move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, saying “Our president made his decision, in his words, ‘In the best interests of the American people.’” Sure Mike, shifting the U.S. Embassy was an astute move made by a completely ignorant chief executive at the urging of an Israeli citizen billionaire contributor named Sheldon Adelson, who owns lots of casinos, backed up by the president’s son-in-law and a bunch of Orthodox Jewish advisers. Lots of real American interest there. It was a move that brings absolutely no benefit to the United States, quite the contrary, and which has, pari passu, made American travelers and businessmen even more hated overseas, turning them into targets for terrorism.

And then there is Iran… “the leading state sponsor of terror…a brutal dictatorship…seeking to dominate the Arab world…devoted more than $4 billion to malign activities in Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere…supported terrorist groups that even now sit on Israel’s doorstep…and, worst of all, the Iranian regime has pursued a clandestine nuclear program.” It is all another bowl of porridge. Iran has voluntarily given up its nuclear weapons program and was fighting ISIS in Syria. It is seen as a threat by neighbors like the Israelis and Saudis who have their own hegemonic ambitions. And if the poor Israelis have terrorist groups on their doorstep it is because they invited them there through their completely cynical support of al-Qaeda and ISIS in neighboring Syria.

Regarding Iran, Pence concluded to rapturous applause that “President Trump has said that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal immediately.” So, terminating a diplomatic success story and virtually guaranteeing that Iran will go nuclear, no doubt followed by Egypt and the Saudis, is seen by Pence and the Knesset as a good outcome because it is what Israel wants. Of course, the real intention on Netanyahu’s part is to go to war with the Iranians with the United States doing the fighting, so no wonder he’s smiling. Nice one Mike.

Pence concluded with “The miracle of Israel is an inspiration to the world. And the United States of America is proud to stand with Israel and her people, as allies and cherished friends.” Excuse me, but an openly racist Israel is hardly inspiring with its persistent playing of the victim card while it cynically exploits Washington to provide it with money, arms and political cover. And it is also no actual ally of the U.S., has never sent its soldiers to fight alongside Americans, and is hardly even a friend as evidenced by its record of interfering in U.S. domestic politics to receive billions of dollars annually from the American taxpayer. And nor would its recurrent theft of U.S.-developed high tech and defense secrets stand much scrutiny. But Mike was most likely not briefed on all that stuff, besides which, he probably received instructions on cherishing Israel directly from God.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, USA, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments


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