Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Artists send boycott valentine to Palestine

February 15, 2015

In a February 13 letter to Britain’s Guardian newspaper over 100 artists announce a cultural boycott of Israel

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Along with more than 600 other fellow artists, we are announcing today that we will not engage in business-as-usual cultural relations with Israel. We will accept neither professional invitations to Israel, nor funding, from any institutions linked to its government. Since the summer war on Gaza, Palestinians have enjoyed no respite from Israel’s unrelenting attack on their land, their livelihood, their right to political existence. “2014,” says the Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem, was “one of the cruellest and deadliest in the history of the occupation.” The Palestinian catastrophe goes on.

Israel’s wars are fought on the cultural front too. Its army targets Palestinian cultural institutions for attack, and prevents the free movement of cultural workers. Its own theatre companies perform to settler audiences on the West Bank – and those same companies tour the globe as cultural diplomats, in support of “Brand Israel”. During South African apartheid, musicians announced they weren’t going to “play Sun City”. Now we are saying, in Tel Aviv, Netanya, Ashkelon or Ariel, we won’t play music, accept awards, attend exhibitions, festivals or conferences, run masterclasses or workshops, until Israel respects international law and ends its colonial oppression of the Palestinians. To see the full list of supporters, go to artistsforpalestine.org.uk

Peter Kosminsky, Mike Leigh, Jimmy McGovern, Phyllida Lloyd, Max Stafford-Clark, Will Alsop OBE, John Berger, Miriam Margolyes, Maggie Steed, Riz Ahmed, Anna Carteret, Jeremy Hardy, Brian Eno, Richard Ashcroft, Gillian Slovo, China Miéville, Aminatta Forna, Hari Kunzru, Liz Lochhead, Hanan Al-Shaykh, Peter Ahrends, David Calder, Caryl Churchill, Sacha Craddock, Selma Dabbagh, Ken Loach, Roger Michell, April De Angelis, Andy de la Tour, Mike Hodges, Rachel Holmes, Ann Jungman, Kika Markham, Simon McBurney, Andrew O’Hagan, Courttia Newland, Michael Radford, Lynne Reid Banks, Kamila Shamsie, Alexei Sayle, Roger Waters, Mark Thomas, Susan Wooldridge, Laura Mulvey, Pauline Melville, Khalid Abdalla, Bidisha, Nicholas Blincoe, Leah Borrromeo, Haim Bresheeth, Victoria Brittain, Niall Buggy, Tam Dean Burn, Jonathan Burrows, Taghrid Choucair-Vizoso, Ian Christie, Liam Cunningham, Ivor Dembina, Shane Dempsey, Patrick Driver, Okin Earl, Leon Rosselson, Sally El Hosaini, Paul Laverty, Eyal Sivan, John Smith, Mitra Tabrizian, Siobhan Redmond, Ian Rickson, Tom Leonard, Sonja Linden, David Mabb, Rose Issa, Gareth Evans, Alisa Lebow, Annie Firbank, James Floyd, Jane Frere, Kadija George, Bob Giles, Mel Gooding, Tony Graham, Penny Woolcock, Omar Robert Hamilton, James Holcombe, Adrian Hornsby, John Keane, Brigid Keenan, Hannah Khalil, Shahid Khan, Sabrina Mahfouz, Sarah McDade, Jonathan Munby, Lizzie Nunnery, Rebecca O’Brien, Timothy Pottier, Maha Rahwanji, Ravinder Randhawa, Leila Sansour, Seni Seneviratne, Anna Sherbany, Eyal Sivan, Kareem Samara, Cat Villiers, Esther Wilson, Emily Young, Andrea Luka Zimmerman, Jeremy Page, Sarah Streatfeild, Colin Darke, Russell Mills, Elaine Di Campo, Treasa O’Brien

In May 2013 Stephen Hawking, the world-renowned scientist and bestselling author who has had motor neurone disease for 50 years, cancelled his appearance at the high-profile Presidential Conference, which is personally sponsored by Israel’s president, Shimon Peres, after a barrage of appeals from Palestinian academics.

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Daniel Taub, the Israeli ambassador to London, said at that time “It is a great shame that Professor Hawking has withdrawn from the president’s conference … Rather than caving into pressure from political extremists, active participation in such events is a far more constructive way to promote progress and peace.

Yeah, great film makers like Mike Leigh (Mr Turner his latest) and Ken Loach are political extremists.More like artists of integrity and men of conscience.

Unlike poor Marty Short, Hamilton’s own comic actoir who actually appeared at the annual Negev Dinner in November. Somebody should bring Short, by all accounts a decent man up to speed on the Jewish National Fund on whose behest he appeared then.

Did not Short realize that the the JNF is a quasi- governmental organization which practices racial discrimination in the buying and selling of land in Israel/palestine. Palestinians need not apply.Try that in Toronto and you’d be hauled into court. We used to have racist covenants like that but common sense, the rights of citizenship and plain old human dignity ushered such discrimination into the Canadian waste bin.A 1998 United Nations Human Rights Council report found that the JNF systematically discriminates against Palestinian citizens of Israel, who make up about 20 percent of the country’s population.

Well, Bravo for those cultural workers for their principled stand, a nice Valentine gift to the people of Palestine.

Bob Simon and the Israeli ambassador

February 14, 2015

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Bob Simon 60 Minutes reporter was killed in a traffic accident in NYC this week .He was 73.

He was one of the few whoever did a truthful story about the horrendous injustice in Israel. He focused on Christians in the West Bank. And in the amen corner the paid liars for Israel went ballistic.

The following is a classic piece of obfuscation and weasledom by the Israeli ambassador who tried to kill the story.If Canadians ever heard honest reporting on Israel they’d be stunned. So far it has not happened.Nor will it in official papers where self-censorship reigns when it comes to Israel.Rick Salutin reminded us in today’s Star that that paper was the only daily in Canada which did not support Harper and his wrecking crew. You are not about to read anything critical about Israel in these papers.

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Bob Simon speaks:

Whenever someone calls you by your first name when you’re interviewing them, as in “let me tell you what really happened Morley,” chances are he’s lying. Honest subjects addressed him as “Mr. Safer.” If you want to make sure you’re not being lied to, do what I’ve done over the last two and a half years, do animal stories.”

Simon’s “gotcha moment” in the Palestinian Christians story is when he challenged then Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren over his attempts to kill the story by going to the head of CBS News. Not surprisingly, Oren calls Simon “Bob”:

Simon again:

According to Israeli government figures, tourism is a multi billion dollar business there. Most tourists are Christian. Many of them are American. That’s one reason why Israelis are very sensitive about their image in the United States. And that could be why Ambassador Oren phoned Jeff Fager, the head of CBS News and executive producer of 60 Minutes, while we were still reporting the story, long before tonight’s broadcast. He said he had information our story was quote: “a hatchet job.”

Michael Oren( israeli ambassador): It seemed to me outrageous. Completely incomprehensible that at a time when these communities, Christian communities throughout the Middle East are being oppressed and massacred, when churches are being burnt, when one of the great stories in history is unfolding? I think it’s– I think it’s– I think you got me a little bit mystified.

Bob Simon: And it was a reason to call the president of– chairman of CBS News?

Michael Oren: Bob, I’m the ambassador of the State of Israel. I do that very, very infrequently as ambassador. It’s just– that’s an extraordinary move for me to complain about something. When I heard that you were going to do a story about Christians in the Holy Land and my assum– and– and had, I believe, information about the nature of it, and it’s been confirmed by this interview today.
Bob Simon: Nothing’s been confirmed by the interview, Mr. Ambassador, because you don’t know what’s going to be put on air.

Michael Oren: Okay. I don’t. True.

Bob Simon: Mr. Ambassador, I’ve been doing this a long time. And I’ve received lots of reactions from just about everyone I’ve done stories about. But I’ve never gotten a reaction before from a story that hasn’t been broadcast yet.

Michael Oren: Well, there’s a first time for everything, Bob.

On the Brink: Israel and Palestine

February 8, 2015

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Young Jewish doctor Alice Rothchild echoes my own experience in her new book On the Brink: Israel and Palestine on the eve of the 2014 Gaza Invasion.
My recent visit I have described as “my Third Heartbreak Tour.”

We are not lying.

Rothchild writes:

The way that I try to understand this is, I think of my mother. My mother lived through the Holocaust. She was in the U.S. but her emotions were there. She wrote all about the Holocaust. She was an author. She loved the state of Israel; I mean, this was going to be this fabulous place. So watching her go back and forth and write there, and really be part of that country, and then having a daughter who does what I do. And having her realize that I’m not making this stuff up, that this is actually going on. I watched her heart break.

So for many many people, particularly Jews who are very involved in the myth of Israel, coming to terms with this is an emotional heartbreak. They have to give up a dream that they realize they were duped. And so that’s sort of like doing family therapy. I’ve done presentations at temples where people sat around and wept, because they’re confronting the fact that what they had thought was going on wasn’t going on.

That’s a kind of response that you can really work on. Because people are listening and they’re open, and they know you’re bearing witness to what you saw, you didn’t make this up. That’s stuff you can work with, you can help people move on, you can address the pain they’re feeling.

The kind of pushback that’s really hard to deal with is the people who say you’re lying.
My own particular answer answer to tribal Jews who have conflated the state of Israel with Judaism is twofold.

Get back in touch with the universal values of Torah Judaism. Read the prophets till they become part of your bloodstream.

Understand that Israel is not a religion nor is Zionism.It is a state doing terrible things to a subjugated people.

Make aliyah to the West Bank and taste the bitter herbs of Occupation. You will now have an opinion worth listening to.

Otherwise you have nothing to say.

Christians: avoid like the plague parish tours. Alice Rothchild calls these “a mythical view of Israel that is promoted on Holy Land tours.” They are ahistorical exercises in nostalgia and rancid religion out of touch with Jesus. They reflect an inanimate or dead theology, one which substitutes the holy places for the holy people, the ongoing incarnation of Christ exactly where Jesus told he would be found: in the crucified lives of the poor of Palestine.This is the true locus of divine revelation. These people are living under a similar occupation to that which Jesus endured

John Baird, political operative

February 5, 2015

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Finally somebody tells the truth about resigned Tory minister John Baird. Leave it to Haroon Siddiqui to cut through the self-serving booswa on Baird.In another column the fine Star columnist Chantal Hébert got it right when she lauded Baird as a good “political operative.” That nobody can deny. But as far as being anything but a marionette for his boss’s regressive policies, Baird brought nothing to the table.

I have a couple of well-connected friends, one a longtime NGo worker abroad who told me people are in shock at Canada’s loss of global prestige,that of an honest broker.All gone under the Harperites. We are seen as a pale imitation of our once respected international self and a pathetic aper of american Republican values. what a climbdown. Here’s Siddiqui nailing Baird to the mast:

He himself is full of self-serving smugness — how he wrought wonders under the guidance of the Great Leader. Stephen Harper praised him for doing some heavy lifting for the Conservative cause. Both are entitled to mutual self-admiration. Critics are free to take the opposite view.
But it takes shamelessness, a.k.a. unmitigated gall — and/or blind faith in a make-believe world — to claim, as Baird does, that “I have seen the stature of this country grow in the eyes of the world.” Or that “Canada has stood up for the oppressed.” Or that he has taken “Canada’s strength, Canada’s compassion and Canada’s values in every corner of the world.”

The pronouncements are in inverse proportion to reality.
Canada’s status sank so low under Harper that, for the first time in our history, we suffered the ignominy of a loss in a bid for the rotating seat on the UN Security Council. That shameful episode preceded Baird at Foreign Affairs but he became lead spear carrier for the very policies that led to that fiasco, including disdain for the UN, principally because it tries to hold Israel’s feet to the fire of international law.

Canada is still isolated. It was in a minority of nine at the General Assembly when 138 states voted to grant Palestinians “non-member observer state.”

As for Ottawa standing up for the oppressed, ask the Palestinians, now in their 48th year of an oppressive occupation. Some of them pelted Baird’s motorcade with shoes and eggs when he visited the West Bank last month.
Ask the tens of thousands of Egyptians rotting in jails what they think of Canada cozying up to their tormentor, the military dictator Field Marshall Abdel Fattah el-Sissi.
Ask the dissidents in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain what they make of Canada lining up with the rulers who crushed their Arab Spring.

One should chuckle at two ironies.

First here’s a guy who has been at the public trough all his life. Tories love to mock people in the public sector.Now Baird will go out to the private sector and make a load of cash along with his gold plated pension which by the way kicks in at 55 not 65 if he waited for another election.

Why does this guy need the money? He has no kids. Can it be pure greed?

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The second irony is this. Tories like Baird are described as having given twenty years of “public service.” Wrong right wingers like Baird have done their damnedest to destroy public service. They are all privatizers who hate unions, trees, lakes and clean air which stand in the way of their friends’ ability to pollute God’s creation.

Siddiqui nailed it when her referred to Baird’s essential shallowness.He had no great ideas about equity, the growing gap, the rape of the climate. he was simply a glib spear carrier for Stephen Harper.

Last word to Siddiqui:
On substance, Baird was seen as shallow by his own diplomats who found him glib and driven by pre-conceived notions. They resented being muzzled by him and Harper, and also the Conservative populist idea of selling off embassies and official residences, properties in choice locations that have long helped promote trade and attract investments to Canada.

Baird travelled a lot — like Hillary Clinton did as secretary of state — but with little to show for it. Whirling dervishes who went nowhere.

Baird was a great success as Harper’s megaphone — a classic case of serving the boss obediently. That’s not the same thing as advancing Canada’s interest or reputation.

Direct Action vis a vis Israel

February 3, 2015

Direct Action has a long and noble career in the history of nonviolent resistance. It begins when most legal venues are exhausted and those in power or in this case, allied with power—British industry and the supine Tory government —continue to collude with evil, in this case the too long occupation of Palestinian land.

Direct action was employed by both Gandhi and Martin luther King Jr.. The movie SELMA shows us a glimpse of such action.

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When nine of us climbed on to the roof of an Israeli drone engine factory last August, Israel’s assault on the besieged Gaza strip was in its’ 28th day. Already 1865 Palestinians were dead, including 430 children, 9567 were Injured, 5500 houses had been destroyed and a quarter of a million – one in six Gaza residents – were refugees.

The offensive would continue for another 23 days, with the death toll rising to 2205 and half a million displaced according to the United Nations. Our action was part of huge mobilisations for Palestine and Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, including 150,000 on the streets of London and copycat rooftop occupations at Thales in Glasgow and Elbit in Melbourne.

UAV Engines, owned by Israel’s biggest arms producer Elbit Systems, and based near Litchfield, manufactures engines for the Hermes 450, Israel’s ‘field tested’ and ‘combat proven’ weapon of choice. Armed drones are increasingly substituting financially and politically expensive F16s, tanks and soldiers on the ground in Israel’s wars.

The decision taken by the CPS to drop charges against us shows us that either Elbit Systems were unwilling to testify in court about their activities or because the UK government was unwilling to comply with the court’s order to disclose information it holds about licenses for arms exports to Israel, or both. The focus of the case was going to be whether or not Elbit were engaged in ‘lawful activity’ at the factory. Our contention was that the entire enterprise and arms trade with Israel are unlawful.

If we had had our week in court, the Judge would have heard expert testimony from Amnesty International, Al Mezan Director Mahmoud Abu Rahma, Channel Four News’ Paul Mason, Norwegian surgeon Dr Mads Gilbert and our own eyewitness testimonies from Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009, and Operation Pillar of Cloud in 2012.

Out of a total death toll of 1410 during Cast Lead, death by drone was the key method of killing with 513 people including 116 children killed according to the Al Mezan human rights organisation.

Israel’s next operation – Pillar of Cloud – was launched in November 2012 and lasted eight days. It set a precedent in that it was entirely carried out through aerial bombardment and relied on drone reconnaissance including 14 aerial strikes documented by Human Rights Watch “for which there was no indication of a legitimate military target”.

According to researchers at Drone Wars UK, Operation Protective Edge saw 831 significant strikes in 51 days, not including minor strikes.

Allegations of war crimes and the deliberate targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure have been leveled at Israel by multiple human rights organisations and international agencies. The charges against us may have been dropped but we still charge Elbit, Israel and the British government with direct perpetration and complicity with crimes against humanity. Israel’s humiliating and collectively punishing blockade of Gaza, as defined by the UN Goldstone Report of 2009, is in its’ tenth year. This in of itself is a daily war crime.

The legal net needs to and will close in on Israeli impunity. Whether it’s the Palestinian Authority taking claims to the International Criminal Court or citizens taking direct action which forces implicated companies to respond – in our case, a silent dropping of our charges – we know that the UK government and these arms companies are running scared.

The de-sensitized, joystick killing that drone operators engage in, one hand on a virtual trigger, the other conceivably in a bag of popcorn, on the other side of the world (RAF Waddington in Lincoln in the case of strikes in Afghanistan) represents a new culture and industry of killing which allows for unaccountability, impunity and desensitization which make mass murder easy, clean, and distant.

History has shown us how separation and bureaucratisation within ideological projects focused on eliminating dissidents and ‘problem populations’ have unfolded. Our fight against militarisation is also the fight against the demonisation and dehumanisation of any group or class.

We hear so much scaremongering from the political Right in this country about ‘home-grown terror’ and how ‘Muslims must do more to stop it’. Well there’s terror being planned and produced right here in the UK just outside Birmingham, but not in a mosque as Fox News could have us believe, but in arms factories, like UAV Engines, equipping Israel to massacre Palestinians in Gaza, and the government is doing nothing to stop it.

Can you really spend two days on the roof of a drone factory, allegedly cost a company thousands in delayed exports and ‘get away with it’? It seems you can and the message from us is, ‘Up the Ante’, take direct action. Echoing Palestinian civil society groups, the UK government needs to shut UAV Engines and impose a two way military embargo on Israel. There is no place for these companies or any trade with Apartheid Israel whilst it continues to violate international law and human rights on an ever more violent scale.

London Palestine Action

Jeff Halper part 1

January 28, 2015

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Minnesotan-born Jeff Halper left academia in Israel to become a full time resister to the corrupting occupation of palestinian land. He is the founder of The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) a human rights and peace organization he established in 1997 to end Israel’s Occupation over the Palestinians. ICAHD takes as its main focus, as its vehicle for resistance, Israel’s policy of demolishing Palestinian homes in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and within Israel proper. ICAHD was awarded UN Economic and Social Council Special Consultative Status in 2010.
Jeff gave 2 talks in Toronto and he left to bring his message to the rest of Canada.
Israel’s policy since the beginning and accelerated after 1967 is to steal the land ”dunam by dunam, goat by goat’. Day by day they make it hard for Palestinians to stay in their own country, House demolitions, about 27,000 since ’67 are a favourite tactic in this violent pas de deux. Most Canadians of course are unaware of the many cruel policies used by the state to make life miserable for the original inhabitants.

Most of these disgusting tricks lie just below the radar of North Americans.They aren’t as obvious as the wholesale murder which recently visited on the trapped people of Gaza. They are like  death by attrition, a slow drip of misery on a daily basis.It is low-intensity warfare, a bureaucracy of laws meant to humiliate and frustrate Palestinians. Whether it’s land purchases—the Jewish National Fund will only sell land to Jews—and you can get a tax break in Canada for supporting this one; it may be marriage laws, lost land laws—you were chased out in ’48 or 67—too bad, you never returned. Lost land. It is arcane “administrative detention’ which can lock you up for indefinite periods; it may be constant harassment from settlers who uproot your olive trees; it may be state murder or as it is called “extra-judicial” killings…No trial in the only democracy in the Middle East. Just bang,bang you’re dead. We never liked you.

Or it may be collective punishment like house demolitions,”atavistic revenge” as Halper calls it. Between 2001-2005, according to B’tselem (the Israeli Human Rights org) figures, 664 Palestinian homes were demolished in the Occupied Territory as forms of punishment. Some 4,182 innocent people were displaced, many of them neighbours of the suspect’s family, and this often on the basis of suspicion alone .
The policy of punitive demolitions in fact grew out of the British Emergency Regulations of 1945, which none other than Menachem Begin referred to as “Nazi” regulations and worked tirelessly, though ultimately unsuccessfully, to have them cancelled during his years in the Knesset. These policies continue as halper says as “the exercise of raw, atavistic violence, unfocused revenge against suspects not yet tried or convicted part of a broad policy of repression unlinked to any political process that may resolve the conflict.
Not only do punitive demolitions violate the basic principle of due process of law, the home in question belonging only to a suspect, but the targeting and punishing of a suspect’s family members innocent of any crime through the demolition of their home constitutes collective punishment, a violation of Article 33 of The Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (the Fourth Geneva Convention). That Article reads: “No persons may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed,” and it defines collective punishment as a war crime. Needless to say, punitive demolitions are only applied when the attacker is a Palestinian and the victim is a Jew; neither Israeli army or settler violence towards Palestinians is punishable, certainly not by demolishing Israeli Jewish homes.

ICAHD offers several tours in Israel/Palestine.These tours are never taken by the pilgrims who flock to “the Holy Land”.They do do not want to get e involved in “politics.”

Ottawa January 27-30
Halifax January 31-February 2
St. John’s February 3-4
Edmonton February 5-7
Winnipeg February 8-9
Vancouver February 10-12
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The Palestinian Gandhi

January 23, 2015

John Dominic Crossan the eminent Catholic biblical theologian appeared via skype at the United Church Jewish-Christian Dialogue on January 20.He spoke about being in Israel just before the 6 Day War broke out,the cake walk where Israel hyped the “potential holocaust”mantra to scare the crap out of the locals and send the diaspora into a frenzy.It turned out they always knew the Arabs were no match—years later even Menachem begin admitted it.

Republican Senator Arthur Vandenburg(Mich) in ’47 told Harry Truman the secret to getting the public to buy the Red Scare :”Scare the hell out of the people.” It always works.Fear always is a great manipulator.Now French Jews may be rushing to Israel after Charlie Hebdo.

anyway,Crossan’s topic was supposed to be the anti-judaism of the gospel.he’s very good here but was less so in his socio-political commentary.”Israel may be your enemy but the other arab countries are not your friends.” Here he was correct.
but then he wondered why—and is often questioned by others, the palestinians have never had their gandhi.They could have shut the whole of jerusalem down etc.

i had to interject and remind him that the palestinians always had potential Gandhis but Israel,espercially in the nonviolent leadership of Mubarak Awad–always throw such leaders out of the country before they get traction.This they did as they did to Awad or else in “the only democracy in the Middle East”, it s an extra-judicial murder.
From NEWSWEEK August 12,2014
Israel kicked him out in 1988. Five years earlier, he had opened the doors of the Palestinian Centre for the Study of Nonviolence in Jerusalem, with the goal of fomenting mass resistance to the Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza. Do not pay taxes, he lectured. Consume only local goods, like the Indians who followed Gandhi’s movement against British colonial rule. Engage in peaceful protest. Plant olive trees on land coveted by Jewish settlers. Above all, do not pick up the gun. March, and sit down, like civil rights protesters in the American South in the 1960s. Take the beatings, clog up Israeli jails.

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Incidentally Awad’s young nephew Sami is a nonviolent Palestinian leader in Jerusalem today.Look out,Sami!

Crossan conceded that this area was not his strong suit and moved on to his briilliant biblical analysis.

Martin Luther King Day 2015

January 19, 2015

I seem to remember  Ronald Reagan voted against a national holiday for King.

It is now celebrated every year while Reagan the darling of the right is remembered as the president who transferred more wealth to the rich than any president in history.

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The movie SELMA has just arrived in theatres with a powerful reminder.In the words of the old Protestant hymn,no cross, no crown.The film of course is about the historic 1965 civil rights march from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery.Though the USA president Johnson had signed the Civil Rights act the year before, the blacks in Selma, half the electorate were only 2% on the electoral rolls. The cracker way of life did not cede so easily.

Johnson still had to be pushed.The film makes this point. well. Always the supreme cynical politician Johnson always had one eye on elections. The civil rights movement ridiculed his gradualism and forced him to act.

Similarly with Selma — he held back as long as he thought the protests didn’t threaten his political future while his action would, and when it became clear he had no choice, he acted.It was the ordinary people who marched, sat in and demanded action who forced his hand.
LBJ was right,standing with the blacks cost Democrats the southern cracker states. No cross, no crown.
Those were the halcyon days in the Catholic church before the set decorator priests claimed control.SELMa was worth seeing, a great reminder of an activist age. It was worth seeing again those nuns and priests walking with De Lawd to Freedom Land.

Out of the sanctuary and into the streets.
As one of the great marchers pictured with Doc King above Abraham Heschel reminded us,”Prayer is no substitute for action.

Baird egged in Palestine

January 18, 2015

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Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird brushed off protesters in the West Bank city of Ramallah who pelted his convoy with eggs and shoes on Sunday, noting that he’s seen “a lot worse.”

Dozens of Palestinian protesters hurled eggs and shoes at the convoy and carried signs protesting Baird’s visit to the West Bank, where he was set to meet with the Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Maliki.

After the meeting, Baird told reporters that, as a member of cabinet in former Ontario premier Mike Harris’ government, he was used to protesters.

The fact that a man representing Canada at the highest level was in Mike Harris’s cabinet speaks volumes about the Conservative government. Baird challenges Condi Rice as the worst cabinet  Minister in recent history.

Baird’s remarks show his political styupidity even mentioning a pariah in Canadian politics, Mike Harris.

Speaking the truth about Baird who crowed about having his own rabbi the last time he visited israel, was Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat who said that Canada was standing “on the wrong side of history by blindly supporting the Israeli occupation and its apartheid policies. and hey,let’s throw the regressive stance on climate change.

Netanyahu the Non-leader

January 13, 2015

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France told Netanyahu to stay home. He came anyway.

Always read the Letters to the Editor.

On online journals the anonymous crowd with their fake names often speak in a most undiplomatic way.

Also you learn things the mainline press omits like the narrowing of opinion in Israel. Imagine Jews will only be happy in Israel! I did not know that! Neither did most of the world’s Jews who say,”You gotta be kidding.’ Yair Lapid (below) is a very influential Israeli politician but look at the nonsense he spins after the killing of for French Jews in Paris.

Former Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid invoked the Holocaust to compel European Jews toimmigrate to Israel: “I don’t want to speak in terms of Holocaust, but … European Jewry must understand that there is just one place for Jews, and that is the State of Israel.” –

A saner voice was Rabbi Menachem Margolin, director of the European Jewish Association, who said that he regretted that “after every anti-Semitic attack in Europe, the Israeli government issues the same statements about the importance of aliyah [immigration to Israel], rather than employ every diplomatic and informational means at its disposal to strengthen the safety of Jewish life in Europe.”

And the Palestinian American blogger Ali Abunimah points out at Electronic Intifada Israel has worked to exploit the French violence in several ways:

While Netanyahu was certainly playing to a domestic audience, his presence in Paris is also part of Israel’s swift move to capitalize on the horror in France on a number of fronts: to attack the Palestinians, to sharpen the dangerous discourse of a “war of civilizations” and to speed up the population transfer of Jews from Europe.

More critical and biting commentary followed about Lapid’s incredible remarks.Here’s one from “Marnie”

Israel is a nation like apartheid South Africa – what a wonderful thing to be! And yes, you French Jews who are yearning to breath Jewish only air, drive on Jewish only roads, live in Jewish only settlements, never again have to look at a non-Jew again (well, that’s in the works, be patient, we’ll get there!). Join the Jews only party being held in your honor in Eretz Israel. Of course, your sons and daughters will belong to the state as soon as they graduate high school, hope that’s not a problem for you. We’ll have them indiscriminately kill women, children and the elderly every election cycle too, but that’s a small price to pay to live in the Jewish Disneyworld of the ME!
Give up your life, your friends, your family – family schamly – you belong to the state of Israel. You are a Jew and there’s no other place for you except this land we are steadily acquiring, inch by bloody inch. If you don’t join us you’re dead to us, lost in the assimilation, a self-hating fake Jew, Muslim-loving antisemite.

then AMIGO says this

Come to your home for Jews only , where you will be safer. Where you can live in Jews only housing and drive on Jews only roads .We are working hard to create that for you , so why not join us and be part of the movement. Come one, come all. –
Final sane word from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoga who lashed out at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for attending a solidarity event in Paris.

“Someone who fomented state terrorism with the death of 2,500 people in Gaza is now there [in Paris], waving at other world leaders and marching hand in hand with them,”

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