Wednesday, January 10, 2018

"Quaker group honored by Yad Vashem for helping Jews during Holocaust is now banned from Israel. One of the special ironies of the weekend’s news that Israel is barring 20 international organizations from entry because they support BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) is the appearance on that list of the venerable American Friends Service Committee, or AFSC, which was founded 101 years ago as an antiwar organization.

AFSC earned distinction and a Nobel Prize for helping Jews and other refugees escape the Holocaust. Now it is on that list because it is helping Palestinians!

P.S. This story feeds my spiritual understanding that Palestinians are being forced by Israel to recapitulate the history of the Jews. What we experienced in Europe, Palestinians must experience in Israel and Palestine. This time around we play the guys with the jack boots!"

-->The NYT failed to report this special irony. In fact, our newspaper of record didn't even mention the fact that Israel has banned 20 human rights organizations from visiting Palestine.


Common Dreams:
"American kids are 70 percent more likely to die during childhood compared with children in other wealthy, democratic nations, according to a peer-reviewed study published Monday by Health Affairs. ...

'The U.S. is the most dangerous of wealthy, democratic countries in the world for children,' he added. 'Across all ages and in both sexes, children have been dying more often in the U.S. than in similar countries since the 1980s.' ...

The risk of death is even higher for American infants and teenagers compared with their counterparts abroad. Babies in the U.S. are 76 percent more likely to die during their first year of life—often because of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or complications related to being born prematurely—while 15- to 19-year-olds are 82 times more likely to die from gun violence, which [Dr. Ashish Thakrar, the study's lead author] called 'the most disturbing new finding.' "

-->Making the US look bad is not something the NYT likes to do, especially since the newspaper is often in bed with the weapons makers and the private healthcare industry. It didn't print this story.


Common Dreams:
"A federal appeals court on Thursday struck down key provisions of Idaho's ag-gag law—which criminalizes those who secretly document abuse of animals at agricultural facilities—saying they violate the First Amendment.

The ruling, the result of a lawsuit led by Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), was hailed as a victory for animal rights, workers, and free speech.

Regarding the section of the law criminalizing 'misrepresentation' to gain access to a facility, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit found 'the over-breadth ... staggering,' adding 'that the purpose of the statute was, in large part, targeted at speech and investigative journalists.'

Further, the court said 'Idaho is singling out for suppression one mode of speech—audio and video recordings of agricultural operations—to keep controversy and suspect practices out of the public eye.' "

-->This significant win for animals and for freedom of speech was ignored by the NYT, which almost always comes down on the side of Big-Ag.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Common Dreams:
" 'There Will Be Bloodshed': Warnings as Israel Tightens Grip of Occupation. 'What was winked and nodded about before is now being acknowledged publicly: We have no intent of sharing this land with anybody else except as a barely tolerated minority.'

The right-wing Israeli legislature approved a law on Tuesday that increases the number of votes required to cede control of any portion of Jerusalem to 'a foreign party,' in a move that journalist Glenn Greenwald characterized as the government 'candidly and explicitly admitting its real policy of apartheid' and shattering any remaining pretense 'that Israel is working in a peace process toward a two-state solution.' "

-- >Israel has never wanted a two state solution, and even the NYT is giving up on this 100 year old myth. When will our Congress get the hint? Maybe when they stop accepting millions from the Israel Lobby.


"Leaked memo schooled Tillerson on human rights. A tutorial from policy aide Brian Hook followed the secretary of state's controversial remarks about balancing U.S. values and interests. ...

The May 17 memo reads like a crash course for a businessman-turned-diplomat, and its conclusion offers a starkly realist vision: that the U.S. should use human rights as a club against its adversaries, like Iran, China and North Korea, while giving a pass to repressive allies like the Philippines, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. ...

Hook’s memo 'tells Tillerson that we should do exactly what Russian and Chinese propaganda says we do—use human rights as a weapon to beat up our adversaries while letting ourselves and our allies off the hook,' said Tom Malinowski, who served as an assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor in the administration of former President Barack Obama."

-- >No mention of this in the NYT, which treats human rights in much the same way. Cry crocodile tears about protesters in Iran or Venezuela, and completely omit the last 100 years of Palestinian suffering.


The Intercept:
"Facebook Says It Is Deleting Accounts at the Direction of the U.S. and Israeli Governments. In September of last year, we noted that Facebook representatives were meeting with the Israeli government to determine which Facebook accounts of Palestinians should be deleted on the ground that they constituted 'incitement.'

The meetings — called for and presided over by one of the most extremist and authoritarian Israeli officials, pro-settlement Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked — came after Israel threatened Facebook that its failure to voluntarily comply with Israeli deletion orders would result in the enactment of laws requiring Facebook to do so, upon pain of being severely fined or even blocked in the country.

The predictable results of those meetings are now clear and well-documented. Ever since, Facebook has been on a censorship rampage against Palestinian activists who protest the decades-long, illegal Israeli occupation, all directed and determined by Israeli officials. Indeed, Israeli officials have been publicly boasting about how obedient Facebook is when it comes to Israeli censorship orders."

-- >The NYT, and therefore much of the US media, did not cover this story. Our newspaper of record is just as obedient to Israel's right wing as Facebook.