Archive for January 2016

Episcopal silence in Flint

January 30, 2016

There’s a shocking story brewing in Flint,Michigan.The facts are well known and even the major news outlets are covering it.Leave it to Flint native Michael Moore to get to the truth.

Republican governor, Rick Snyder, nullified the free elections in Flint, deposed the mayor and city council, then appointed his own man to run the city. To save money, they decided to unhook the people of Flint from their fresh water drinking source, Lake Huron, and instead, make the public drink from the toxic Flint River. When the governor’s office discovered just how toxic the water was, they decided to keep quiet about it and covered up the extent of the damage being done to Flint’s residents, most notably the lead affecting the children, causing irreversible and permanent brain damage. Citizen activists uncovered these actions, and the governor now faces growing cries to resign or be arrested.

How does this governor keep his job?

Moore

Moore lays out 10 things the media wont trell you,”but i will.” And Moore like the good investigator digs in.It’s all onhis  website…a brief summary

http://michaelmoore.com

While the Children in Flint Were Given Poisoned Water to Drink, General Motors Was Given a Special Hookup to the Clean Water.

For Just $100 a Day, This Crisis Could’ve Been Prevented.

There’s More Than the Lead in Flint’s Water.

People’s Homes in Flint Are Now Worth Nothing Because They Cant Be Sold. Would you buy a house in Flint right now? Who would?

While They Were Being Poisoned, They Were Also Being Bombed.

The Wife of the Governor’s Chief of Staff Is a Spokeswoman for Nestle, Michigan’s Largest Owner of Private Water Reserves.

In Michigan, from Flint water, to Crime and Murder, to GM Ignition Switches, It’s a Culture of Death.

You might expect the Catholic Church to be enraged over the profanation of and abuse of water, a key sacrament in the church’s life.

The bishop of  Lansing’s response? Abstract nonsense, a total flight from history, a denial of incarnation.

Earl Boyea, the less than prophetic bishop:

“The City of Flint has undergone many trials in recent years. Often, its people have faced the temptation to lose hope, to surrender to despair. The water crisis again presents that temptation, but again the answer must be to find strength in the love of God and the support of men and women of good will.”

He went on to ask for prayers for the people of Flint, for “a season of peace” and that “crime and violence abate.”

Where’s the outrage? Prayer without action is irrelevant.

Half of Flint’s population is black and pretty poor. half are below the poverty line. You would like at several levels this bishop would speak some truth to power, join the people in their resistance to this shocking abuse of both power and nature. But not Earl Boyea, named a bishop by JP ll in 2002.

Now you know what Pope Francis is up against.

 

 

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Killing the King

January 27, 2016

Many in Israel and the Jewish diaspora are reading a new book Killing a King: The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the Remaking of Israel by Dan Ephron.it’s been 20 year since the assassination of the Israeli PM, Yitzhak Rabin.

Killing

The villain in the book is convicted assassin, Yigal Amir, who was a student of law at Bar-Ilan university near Tel aviv, a school with religious Zionist roots.

Though not strictly Orthodox in orientation, it attracts mainly conservative Jews to its campus. It has had a hard time living down its relationship to Amir, the fanatical true believer who is serving a life sentence for his ugly handiwork.

During the last war crime in Gaza (2014) Hanoch Sheinman, a philosophy professor at the law school sent an e-mail to his second year law students expressing sympathy for all victims in Gaza. On the surface a minimal act of concern. But not so fast,herr professor. The law school dean, Shachar Lifshits upbraided Sheinman whom he said “contravened the values of the university and the law faculty … This constitutes the inappropriate use of the power given to a lecturer to exploit the platform given to him as a law teacher … that … seriously offended the students and their families.”

Another take was that of Stanford prof Steven J. Zipperstein, who teaches Jewish Culture and History:
“There is no reason to doubt that Lifshits is telling the truth when he says that Sheinman’s e-mail offended. And that’s the problem. That he then goes on to say that the sentiments expressed in it conflict with the values of his university, an institution inspired by religious convictions, chills one’s bones. And this from an institution, indeed a law school, that ought to be keenly attuned to what an inability to empathize with basic human rights can result in. Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin, Yigal Amir, was a law student in November 1995 at the time he murdered the prime minister.”

Zipperstein notes that, “Never before in an Israeli military conflict has the mere expression of empathy for Arab civilian dead and wounded been seen, beyond the political fringe, as akin to betrayal … Sheinman’s dean has asked him to apologize. But it’s Lifshits who ought to offer an apology …”

No comment need be made here other than witnessing the erosion of humanitarian impulses, the failure to see the Other as a human being

Davey Keon, the humble warrior

January 24, 2016

So the Toronto Maple Leafs brought back Davie Keon to honour him with a statue along with Turk Broda and Timmy Horton..Dave was the only one still living so he got a huge round of applause from Toronto fans who remember him as a class act who was treated shabbily by the former Leaf management of Harold Ballard. I watched the pre-game interview with him  and he was as understated as he always was, appreciative of the honour but still a little bit embarrassed

keon
It brought me back to a cold winter night in 1957 at the old Gardens, the home that Smythe built. In those days the players on the Toronto junior teams, St.Mike’s and Marlies all had passes to the NHL games and this night I was standing in the Blues with David. He had his pass from the Leafs and I had borrowed one from either Jack McMaster or Bobby Savage who both played for the majors. Davey was then captain of the junior B team,the Buzzers.
As we watched the warm up, Keon nudged me and he pointed out number 15 on the Leafs, a clever centre named Billy “Hinky”  Harris.

Hinky
“See that guy, Ted” ?
“Yeah.”

“I am going to have his job one day.’”

This was a simple matter of fact statement. Dave was never a self-promoter. He was raised very well by his parents and always exhibited a lot of humility. Yet he had much confidence in his own ability.

SMC
At this time Dave was just coming into his own as great skater and thanks to Fr.Dave Bauer’s tutelage. a fantastic two way player, in other words a great checker. And that was Billy Harris’s weakness as an NHL player. Billy was a lovely man but he was simply not the two way player Dave was, either offensively or defensively. Davey scored almost 400 NHL goals and Billy had 125. If you wanted to play in a tough 6 team league, you needed to be good defensively. David was superb.
Sure enough in little more than 2 years Dave had taken Billy Harris’s job and went on to a stellar career.
Keon returns each year from Florida to play in a golf tournament of old St.Mike’s guys and it’s old home week with friends he feels comfortable with. And he always asks for my brother Don.

Staggering civilian death toll in Iraq – UN report*

January 23, 2016

Just more statistics with no tears showing.

Even now it seems inconceivable to rational people that such a talentless man like  GW Bush could have attained the American presidency. celebrity and name recognition goes a long way in the United States of Amnesia.But there was the shameless palin showing up next to Trump.

United Nations Human Rights — Office of the High Commissioner*

War

BAGHDAD/GENEVA (19 January 2016) – A UN report released today details the severe and extensive impact on civilians of the ongoing conflict in Iraq, with at least 18,802 civilians killed and another 36,245 wounded between 1
January 2014 and 31 October 2015. Another 3.2 million people have been internally displaced since January 2014, including more than a million children of school age.

Of the total number of casualties, at least 3,855 civilians were killed and 7,056 wounded between 1 May and 31 October last year – the period covered by the report, although the actual figures could be much higher than those documented. About half of these deaths took place in Baghdad.

War 2

The report, compiled by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), is based largely on testimony obtained directly from the victims, survivors or witnesses of violations of international human rights or international humanitarian law,including interviews with internally displaced people.

“The violence suffered by civilians in Iraq remains staggering. The so-called ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ (ISIL) continues to commit systematic and widespread violence and abuses of international human rights law and humanitarian law. These acts may, in some instances, amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and possibly genocide,” the report states.
War 3

MLK, Gandhi and Mandela

January 19, 2016

I taught Marty Chan 40 years ago and the bugger shows up again in my life. In our wired world you can’t hide anywhere these days.and why would I, a teacher who always enjoyed dialoguing with his students, long after he/she sat in my class. Now Marty is in Melbourne and he asked me if I still had Martin Luther King Jr’s picture prominently displayed. Indeed I do. MLK was my hero, the Christian who put the gospel on the street, the brother who held a mirror up to his racist society and like his Lord paid the ultimate price. And dead at 39.

MLK

Now the USA honours the doc by granting a holiday on the 3rd Monday of each year. We forget how prophetic King really was.Most have no memory of his famous Riverside speech of April 4,1967 when with the Vietnam war raging he called his own country the greatest purveyor of violence in the world..it was approaching spiritual death. many blacks did not like that, telling MLK to stick to civil rights.King rightly told them the gospel is indivisible.he made all the connections…the bombs falling in Nam were exploding in in poor black and white neighbourhoods. Even LBJ understood that you can’t have guns and butter. Same today. With the outrageously bloated American defence budget and with military bases in 63 countries, Uncle Sam is still buying too many guns and not enough butter.

Gandhi P

Were MLK alive today, like his heroes Nelson Mandela and Gandhi he would certainly be defending the oppressed Palestinians of Israel. He would have agreed with agreed with the editorial of the feisty New York weekly Leader-Observer’ of October 15,2000

If Palestinians were black, Israel would now be a pariah state subject to economic sanctions led by the United States. Its development and settlement of the West Bank would be seen as a system of apartheid, in which the indigenous population was allowed to live in a tiny fraction of its own country, in self-administered ‘bantustans’, with ‘whites’ monopolizing the supply of water and electricity. And just as the black population was allowed into South Africa’s white areas in disgracefully under-resourced townships, so Israel’s treatment of Israeli Arabs – flagrantly discriminating against them in housing and education spending – would be recognized as scandalous too.

Dear Hilary Clinton

January 18, 2016

Last Friday on the islamaphobe Bill Maher’s TV show, 2 real Republicans, one Nicole Wallace a flack for GW Bush and Palin-McCain and the right wing professional Christian Ralph Reed were going on and on about the Geneva Conventions and the awful Iranians who picked up and released American sailors. The Geneva Conventions came into place after WW ll to lay down the standards of international humanitarian law in time of war and occupation. Needless to say Israel has totally ignored these agreed upon protocols a again and again—particularly in its brutal indiscriminate assaults on civilians. But you will never hear US officials use these conventions when speaking about Israel.

Geneva

And especially Hilary Clinton who wrote that appalling letter to billionaire Jewish donor Haim Saban expressing her fealty to Israel. Saban has donated about $30 million to the Clintons over the years.his famous line: I have only one issue:Israel.

AIPAC

Clinton’s cringe-inducing letter was  leaked to the Forward, America’s main Jewish newspaper. A young Palestinian woman, Layali Awwad who grew up in Ramallah responded to Clinton.

Layali

Dear Secretary Clinton:

As a young Palestinian girl growing up in a patriarchal society, your speeches about women’s rights inspired me to imagine a world where gender equality could exist. As first lady, you famously declared”Women’s rights are human rights.” That’s something I strongly believe, too.

That’s why I was surprised to read your article in *The Forward.* I was surprised because when you chose to speak about my homeland, not once did you mention Israel’s human rights violations against Palestinian women and children. Even worse, you described us as lurking terrorists motivated only by “incitement,” as if the Israeli military occupation does not exist.

I am not a terrorist. I do not believe in the use of violence. I am a young Palestinian woman who grew up under occupation and is trying to better my life through education. It has not been easy. Starting at the age of five, I had to pass through Israeli military checkpoints to go to school. I was searched and humiliated on a daily basis, along with my parents and sisters. One day soldiers released dogs to chase after us. They shot their guns at us. I could have been killed, as many Palestinians are, for no reason. I could have been Hadeel Salah al-Hashlamun, the 18-year-old woman and college student who Israeli soldiers killed at a checkpoint in September.

There are millions of women and girls like me. What about us? According to your article, we do not exist. We are invisible, like women have been treated throughout history.

Did you know that half of Palestinians are women and girls? Did you know that like our brothers, we also live under military occupation, and that Israeli settlers steal our land? Did you know that pregnant women rushing to the hospital have been stopped at checkpoints and have given birth there? Did you know about Isra’ Abed, the youngPalestinian mother who posed no threat but was gunned down by Israeli police in Afula? Did you know about Mohammed Abu Khdeir, the Palestinian child who was kidnapped and burned alive last year by Israeli settlers? Did you know that the Israeli army killed 17 Palestinian children n the last month just for throwing stones, or for nothing at all?

You did not mention any of these things in your article. But I’m sure you know these things. You were the secretary of state and talk about getting the cease-fire in Gaza. I’m sure you know these things, but you chose to remain silent about them. Maybe that’s good politics here in America, but it means pretending that people like me do not exist.

Secretary Clinton, you have been an inspiration for women and girls around the world. My own dream is to become a human rights and peace activist, but your article left me deeply frustrated. I know you can be better. Please do not forget us again.

Sincerely,

Layali Awwad

Alan Rickman and Rachel Corrie

January 15, 2016

 

Rickman

Alan Rickman who died at age 69 this week was known to a mass global audience for playing Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films. Many of us remember his role in the beautiful Truly, Madly, Deeply. What most people did not know was like great British cultural figures Mike Leigh, Brian Eno, Elvis Costello, Roger Waters, Ken Loach and others Alan Rickman was political to the end. His final film Eye in the Sky was about the moral responsibilities governments face regarding the use of drones.

Actors and artists  like high priced athletes are very chary about speaking out on social issues. It could affect their bottom line as the Indigo Girls discovered when they resisted the hapless GW Bush’s call to war. It now appears Rickman was a highly decent man who felt the need to speak.

Rachel Corrie as many know by now was an American International murdered in Gaza, in 2003, run over by a bulldozer as she was attempting to halt a house demolition.The craven US government did virtually nothing to protest this. The then U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro told the Corrie family that the Israeli investigation was not thorough, credible or transparent.
Alan Rickman moved into action and in 2005 staged My Name is Rachel Corrie play about Rachel’s life.

On his death Rachel’s cousin Beth Corrie posted this on Facebook:

There will be many tributes to Alan Rickman, all richly deserved, but something very few will know about or mention is that Rickman was a strong supporter of Palestinian human rights, and it was his idea, along with Katherine Viner, an editor at the UK newspaper The Guardian, to take my cousin Rachel Corrie’s emails and journals and turn them into an excellent play. This play, My Name is Rachel Corrie, has been performed all over the world, in multiple languages, and has brought Rachel’s story to thousands of people. It has particularly inspired young people, who are moved by Rachel’s willingness to break out of the script of “success” and do something with her youthful energy that saved lives and witnessed for peace. Thank you, Mr. Rickman, for lending your artistic skill, and considerable reputation, to Rachel’s story, and making it accessible to so many people.

Rickman had been moved to produce the work, staged at London’s Royal Court Theatre in 2005  after reading Corrie’s published emails in 2003. Corrie’s friend Rochelle Gause attended one performance accompanied by another friend of Corrie’s, and shared her account with The Electronic Intifada: “We sat through the play holding hands and shedding tears, nothing is as odd as sitting in a theater on the other side of the world watching a woman act as your murdered friend using only words written by Rachel on a stage replicating your town, her bedroom, her spirit. The play was so well done, so powerful, and after it ended Alan Rickman met us, bought us drinks and sincerely asked us if we thought the play was an accurate depiction.”

Corrie

Katharine Viner, now editor-in-chief of The Guardian, was commissioned by Rickman to assist in editing the play.
She said that“Alan was deeply committed to politics – a compassionate Labour man to his core,” Viner recalled in her article, referring to the largest left-wing party in the U.K.

She shared her own memories of that time in an article this week.

“When asked recently about his proudest Royal Court moment, his answer was not about him,” Viner recalled of Rickman. “He said it was when he took Rachel Corrie’s parents outside the front of the theater to show them their late daughter’s name in neon lights.”

A wild success in London, the play was set to be staged at the New York Theatre Workshop in 2006, but the legacy of Rachel Corrie met roadblocks

As Viner told Democracy Now!, “The production schedule was finalized. Both sides of the Atlantic had agreed on a press release that was going to go out to the press, announcing the production of My Name is Rachel Corrie, and then the Royal Court, as I was told, received a telephone call saying that the play was to be postponed indefinitely.”

“Calling this production ‘postponed’ does not disguise the fact that it has been canceled,” said Rickman. ”This is censorship born out of fear, and the New York Theatre Workshop, the Royal Court, New York audiences – all of us are the losers.I never imagined that the play would create such acute controversy,” Rickman told leading Israeli newspaper Haaretz in a 2007 interview. “Many Jews supported it. The New York producer was Jewish and we held a discussion after every performance.”

Artistic Director James C. Nicola cited a variety of reasons for the “postponement” including the recent stroke of Israel’s then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, and “distorted accounts of the actual circumstances of Rachel’s death.”
“It seemed as though if we proceeded, we would be taking a stand we didn’t want to take,” Nicola told The New York Times, claiming that he had consulted “local Jewish religious and community leaders” to inform the decision.

Whether any Palestinian religious or community leaders were consulted is unclear.

A subsequent letter to The New York Times, signed by two dozen cultural figures, including the Nobel Prize-winning playwright Harold Pinter and author and actor Stephen Fry, stated: “The various reasons given by the workshop – Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s coma, the election of Hamas, the circumstances of Rachel Corrie’s death, the ‘symbolism’ of her tale – make no sense in the context of this play and the crucial issues it raises about Israeli military activity in the occupied territories.”

“Rachel Corrie gave her life standing up against injustice. A theater with such a fine history should have had the courage to give New York theater goers the chance to experience her story for themselves,” the letter concluded.

THOUGHT

There you have it–a small victory for the New York Jewish thought police.

Welcome to Israel’s version of apartheid

January 13, 2016

COOK

Jonathan Cook lives in Nazareth,Israel the largest Palestinian city in Israel.He is married to a Palestinian woman and has israeli citizenship. The state wishes he would go away. Like other writers in Israel like Amira Hass and Gideon Levy, Cook fulfills the role of a journalist holding power to account—and there’s a lot of power to be held to account in Israel.Here’s an article he published in the Abu Dhabi National, the second largest city in the UAR.It gives the ordinary reader a sniff of how bizarre life in Israel is. The paranoid government does all it can (just look at the separation/apartheid wall) to keep Arabs and Jews apart which of course stokes Israeli fears of “the Other.”This is a democracy?

WALL

A small scene from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict unfolded last week on a Greek airport runway.

Moments before an Aegean Airlines flight was due to take off, three Israeli passengers took security into their own hands and demanded that two fellow passengers, from Israel’s Palestinian minority, be removed from the plane. By the end of a 90-minute stand-off, dozens more Israeli Jews had joined the protest, refusing to take their seats.
Like a parable illustrating Europe’s bottomless indulgence of Israel, Aegean staff caved in to the pressure and persuaded the two Palestinian men to disembark.

The lack of outcry from Israeli officials should be no surprise. Shortly before the Athens incident, Israel banned a Hebrew novel, Borderlife, from the schools curriculum because it features a romance between an Israeli Jew and a Palestinian.

The education ministry said it feared the book would undermine Jewish pupils’ “national-ethnic identity” and encourage “miscegenation”.

As an Israeli columnist observed: “Discouraging ‘assimilation’ is an inseparable part of the Jewish state”. Strict separation operates in the key areas of life, from residence to schooling. As a result, marriages between Israeli Jews and Palestinian citizens, a fifth of the population, are rare indeed.

It was therefore difficult not to see the paradox in Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s comments following a shooting by Nashat Melhem that killed three Israelis in Tel Aviv on New Year’s Day.

Attacks of this kind by a Palestinian citizen on Israeli Jews are uncommon and it elicited instant condemnation from the Palestinian leadership. Nonetheless, Netanyahu seized the chance to label as “criminals” the country’s 1.6 million Palestinians.
In a sequel to his notorious election eve statement last year, when he warned that Palestinian voters threatened the result by “coming to the polls in droves”, Netanyahu pledged extra police funds to crack down on the “lawless” minority.

“I will not accept two states within Israel. Whoever wants to be Israeli must be Israeli all the way,” he said.
But in reality there have always been two classes of Israeli, by design.

The search for Melhem ended on Friday with police shooting him dead. In the meantime, his immediate family had been either arrested as accomplices or interrogated at length.

Presumably in an effort to pressure Melhem, the police told his mother they would demolish the family home unless he turned himself in – only Palestinians, not Jews, face house demolitions.

Earlier, when police suspected Melhem was hiding in Tel Aviv, the lodgings of dozens of Palestinian students were raided by officers with weapons drawn, though no search warrants.

At the weekend, Netanyahu conditioned a promised rise in the paltry budgets received by the Palestinian minority on an end to the “lawlessness” in their communities, as though the lack of effective policing of those communities was the responsibility of Palestinian citizens, not the government.

The week-long hysteria contrasted with the handling of another terrible crime, this one committed by Israeli Jews.
In late July, a gang of extremist settlers torched a Palestinian home in the West Bank village of Duma. Three members of the Dawabsheh family, including an 18-month-old baby, burnt to death.

For weeks, in a familiar pattern following settler violence, the investigation made no progress. Then in September, defence minister Moshe Yaalon conceded that the culprits had been identified but the police would make no arrests to avoid exposing their informers.

Only after an international outcry, and Arab legislators threatened to petition the supreme court, did the wheels of law enforcement start to grind.

The attorney general approved the first-ever use of torture – a staple interrogation technique for Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories – on the Jewish suspects.

Prominent Israeli commentators and government ministers have agonised ever since about the abuses faced by these Jewish detainees.
Bezalel Smotrich, an MP, publicly rejected treating the Dawabshehs’ killers as terrorists. Asked in parliament to repudiate Smotrich’s remarks, Netanyahu stepped down from the podium in silence.

No one, of course, has suggested arresting the Jewish suspects’ parents – in one case a settlement rabbi – or demolishing their homes. Settlement seminaries have not been raided, or their students questioned at gun point.
Budgets for the settlements have been rising, with settlers receiving far more government money than Israelis inside Israel’s recognised borders. Their long record of violence and “lawlessness” has made no difference to their funding.

Legal experts now warn that the courts will likely free the main suspects in the Duma killings because their confessions were forced.
Meanwhile, the settler communities from which the men came are unrepentant. A recent wedding video showed guests celebrating the Dawabshehs’ deaths, including a reveller who repeatedly stabbed a photo of the toddler.
Although both settlers and Palestinian citizens face inadequate policing, they do so for very different reasons.

Depriving Palestinian citizens of law enforcement – except when repressing dissent – has left their communities weak and oppressed by crime and guns. For years Netanyahu has ignored pleas from Palestinian leaders for increased gun control – until now, when one of those weapons targeted Jews.

Settlers have also been policed lightly, so long as their violence was directed at Palestinians, whether in the occupied territories or Israel. More than a decade of settler violence – labelled “price-tag” attacks – has gone largely uninvestigated.

The truth is that most Israeli Jews have long supported two Israels: one for them and another for the Palestinian minority, with further, even more deprived ghettos for Palestinians under occupation.

 

CONtrol

The inhabitants of one Israel remain hostile towards, and abusive of, those in the other, who refuse to accept Jewish privilege as the natural order – just like the mob that insisted that their fellow citizens had no right to share a plane.

Tair Kaminer made my Sunday

January 10, 2016

 

tair1Tair Kaminer, a 19-year Israeli, got a call up order – requesting her to show up at the Israeli Army Induction Center in Tel Hashomer, east of Tel Aviv, on 12pm, Sunday, January 10, 2016 .She showed up today with 40 friends to refuse her two years of obligatory military service in the army of occupation and oppression .

“They convince us that the army has nothing to do with politics, but serving in the army is a political decision. Military jail frightens me less than our society losing its humanity.”
Quite a young woman. She had seen enough of trauma induced in young Palestinian children by Israel’s constant bombardment of the world’s largest open air prison.She had worked with these kids and was sickened by what her country was doing: She had  recently finished a year of national service with the Israeli Scouts (“Tzofim”) in the southern development town of Sderot where  she ministered to the young victims.
“The children I worked with grew up in the heart of the conflict and have had extremely difficult experiences from a young age, experiences that caused them to feel hatred, which can be understood, especially when it comes from young children.

“Like them, many children who grow up in Gaza or in the West Bank, in an even more difficult environment, learn to hate the other side,” she continues. “They, too, cannot be blamed. When I look at all of these children, and the next generation on both sides and the reality in which they grow up, I see only more trauma and pain. And I say enough! That is why I refuse: so that I do not take an active part in the occupation of the Palestinian territories and the injustices that the Palestinian people face under occupation, so that I do not I will be going to jail.
For years now there’s no political horizon, no peace process anywhere in sight. There’s no attempt of any kind to bring peace to Gaza or to Sderot. As long as the violent military way holds sway, we will simply have further generations growing up with a heritage of hate, which will only make things even worse. We must stop this – now!
This is why I am refusing: I will not take an active part in the occupation of the Palestinian Territories and in the injustice to the Palestinian people that is perpetrated again and again under this occupation. I will not take part in the cycle of hatred in Gaza and Sderot.

Brava!

 

Zionists challenged by teen

January 8, 2016

Bethany Koval is not atypical of many young people today. In my experience as a teacher there are many gifted young people refusing the Kool Aid of disinformation peddled by a capitalist culture drowning in ephemera and diversions.

benny-e1452203520169

Who is Bethany?

A totally aware, wide awake Israeli-Jewish teenager in Fair Lawn, New Jersey studying at Fair Lawn High School there. “ I spoke of the death tolls and called Israel’s govt a terrorist.” She was then  intimidated, threatened with legal action, and coerced into signing a statement.

But today’s young people with access to the mass murder In Gaza you simply can not hide anymore, are beneficiaries of the electronic information Israel simply can not deep six .We all are if we choose to be. But the young today are “tweeters”, they like Bethany get the message out on social media as she did.

Imagine the scope of this revolution which is bringing Israel and its blind supporters to their knees.

On her way to meet Big Brothers in the general office, this courageous young woman tweets”Principal just called me down. I’m about to be exposed for being anti-Israel. Pray for me.— benny (@bendykoval) January 6, 2016

Activists started a hashtag #IStandwithBenny as her harassment began.

You simply can not stop this today. Her story went viral, nationally and internationally.

“I have a right to speak” begins Koval’s coerced written statement, and tweeted out to the world. “Mr. Guaginino intimidated me into writing this without an attorney”, referencing Fair Lawn High School Assistant Principal, Frank Guadagnino.

I expressed my political opinions online recording the Israeli government, and I will continue to do so. I will not be silenced by fear. I will not be intimidated into submission.

Bethany was then coerced into writing after clearly stating “I don’t want to make a statement” and stressing “I believe I have a right to an attorney. I was denied my right to an attorney. I was forced to make a writer statement, but I begged them to revoke it. pic.twitter.com/izgyLANgMJ
— benny (@bendykoval) January 6, 2016

Here he intimidates me into making a statement without legal presence. pic.twitter.com/P9q6zzRPcV

From December 27th on Bethany made several tweets about Israel being an apartheid state– then she linked to the Times of Israel‘s Ex-Shin Bet chief calls for West Bank road segregation, articles in Haaretz Israel’s amazing truth-telling paper. This young woman does her homework!

On Jan 7 , those who should know better (principal and vice-principal with university educations) called Bethany to the office for commentary on an infamous Gaza beach bombing. ) was targeted for her political activism yesterday. What began over Koval’s commentary of the Gaza beach bombing: “I spoke of the death tolls and called Israel’s govt a terrorist“, resulted in her being called down to the principle’s office, intimidated, threatened with legal action, and coerced into signing a statement.
As Koval tweeted her experience all day throughout the process, activists on social media swiftly rallied in support and started a hashtag,  #IStandwithBenny. News of her harassment spread like wildfire nationally and internationally. It’s already gone viral.

She was coerced into writing after clearly stating “I don’t want to make a statement” and stressing “I believe I have a right to an attorney“.I was denied my right to an attorney. I was forced to make a writer statement, but I begged them to revoke it. pic.twitter.com/izgyLANgMJ
— benny (@bendykoval) January 6, 2016

Here he intimidates me into making a statement without legal presence. pic.twitter.com/P9q6zzRPcV
— benny (@bendykoval) January 6, 2016

Beverly Koval was not supported by her parents.This is not unusual in the the Jewish community today. A massive gulf exists between elders raised on the romantic and entirely false picture of Israel and their media savvy children. Unlike the parents who generally saw Israel as a modern Eden but ignored the reality of the harsh apartheid-like conditions endured by two generations of Palestinians, the young are now seeing the end of the Zionist dream and triste dictu, the corruption of Judaism.

Asked in an interview Bethany if she was prepared for celebrity, this remarkable young woman replied :

“No, not really. I don’t want to be the face of the movement, I want Palestinians to be the face of the movement. It’s not right when privileged people get credit for what under privileged people have been saying for a long time. Zionists expect me to be in favor of the Palestinian genocide because I’m an Israeli Jew pic.twitter.com/ixgCfE3Rua
Stay tuned