The first holocaust deniers

The first holocaust deniers

If you Google the words ‘Define Holocaust’ You will get one link after another from various dictionaries defining ‘The Holocaust’. One gets the impression from this that there was only one in the past century …. but what about the ‘other one’? It took 100 years for a Catholic Pope to call the slaughter of a million and a half Armenians as the ‘first genocide’ of the 20th century …. but the term ‘holocaust’ was not used.


How many millions have to die to get the recognition??

Pope Francis calls Armenian slaughter ‘first genocide of the 20th century’

Pope Francis sparked a diplomatic incident with Turkey on Sunday by calling the slaughter of Armenians by Ottoman Turks “the first genocide of the 20th century” and urging the international community to recognize it as such. (Read more HERE)

President Obama even refuses to call this mass slaughter of innocents a genocide …

Obama won’t call it Armenian ‘genocide’ on 100th anniversary of atrocity

President Barack Obama, wary of damaging relations with Turkey amid growing unrest in the Middle East, won’t use the 100th anniversary of the massacre of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire to declare the brutal episode a genocide. (Full report HERE)

The Prime Minister of Turkey offered condolences this week to Armenians, again without using the term holocaust …

Turkish Prime Minister Offers Condolences to Armenians for Genocide

Today April 24th is considered Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day by Armenians throughout the world. Yesterday for the very first time in history on the eve of the 99th year anniversary of the Armenian genocide, the Turkish government abandoned its century long official wall of denial when  the Turkish Prime Minister Recap Tayyip Erdogan expressed his condolences to Armenians around the world who lost ancestors at the hands of Ottoman Turks. It was a historic gesture welcomed by many including a handful of prominent and outspoken Turkish historians who have been encouraging the government to change its longstanding policy of denying that Turks ever killed Armenians at all. After reading his conciliatory message before the Turkish parliament, Erdogan received a warm reception from his ministers and legislators. (Full report HERE)

Ironically, Israel has been instrumental in this particular holocaust’s denial.

Again WHY?

Israel, the denier of another nation’s holocaust

But Israel hasn’t been willing to forgo its monopoly on victimhood or share its exclusive right to be the persecuted. It always has its cost-benefit analyses and global interests to consider — whether with apartheid South Africa or the juntas of Argentina and Chile. (Full report HERE)

The above, despite the fact that thousands of Armenian live in the Old City of Jerusalem …

Urging recognition, Jerusalem Armenians mark 100th anniversary of genocide

On Thursday evening at 6:15 p.m., as barbecue smoke wafts over the entire length of Israel as Independence Day ceremonies draw to a close, church bells will peal over the Old City of Jerusalem, echoing through its ancient stone alleyways. The bells from 18 churches will ring 100 times in succession, one toll for each year since the Armenian Genocide, which started on April 24, 1915. (Report HERE)

Again, WHY HAS TURKEY BEEN PROTECTED FOR 100 YEARS AGAINST ITS EVIL DEED? How long does the nation of Armenia have to wait for the recognition this horror deserves??

Just as Israel ‘cashed in’ on its holocaust, Armenians deserve reparations as well. An apology is far from enough!

A young Armenian shows her arm tattooed with the land of Armenia, on April 12, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

A young Armenian shows her arm tattooed with the land of Armenia, on April 12, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)


“The reason for the unusually intense, largely critical coverage of drone killings yesterday is obvious: the victims of this strike were Western and non-Muslim, and therefore were seen as actually human.”

Nabila Rehman, 9, holds up a picture she drew depicting the U.S. drone strike on her Pakistan village (which killed her grandmother Mammana Bibi) at a news conference on Capitol Hill. (photo: Jason Reed/Reuters)

Nabila Rehman, 9, holds up a picture she drew depicting the U.S. drone strike on her Pakistan village (which killed her grandmother Mammana Bibi) at a news conference on Capitol Hill. (photo: Jason Reed/Reuters)

The Key War on Terror Propaganda Tool: Only Western Victims Are Acknowledged

By Glenn Greenwald

n all the years I’ve been writing about Obama’s drone killings, yesterday featured by far the most widespread critical discussion in U.S. establishment journalism circles. This long-suppressed but crucial fact about drones was actually trumpeted as the lead headline on the front page of The New York Timesyesterday:

A featured headline from The New York Times. (photo: The Intercept)*

The reason for the unusually intense, largely critical coverage of drone killings yesterday is obvious: the victims of this strike were Western and non-Muslim, and therefore were seen as actually human.

Pakistani lawyer Shahzad Akbar, who represents 150 victims of American drones and was twice denied entry to the U.S. to speak about them, told my Intercept colleague Ryan Devereaux how two of his child clients would likely react to Obama’s “apology” yesterday:

“Today, if Nabila or Zubair or many of the civilian victims, if they are watching on TV the president being so remorseful over the killing of a Westerner, what message is that taking?” The answer, he argued, is “that you do not matter, you are children of a lesser God, and I’m only going to mourn if a Westerner is killed.”

The British-Yemeni journalist Abubakr Al-Shamahi put it succinctly: “It makes me angry that non-Western civilian victims of drone strikes are not given the same recognition by the US administration.” The independent journalist Naheed Mustafa said she was “hugely irritated by the ‘drone strikes have killed good Westerners so now we know there are issues with drones’ stories.” The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson this morning observed: “It is all too easy to ignore … the dubious morality of the whole enterprise — until the unfortunate victims happen to be Westerners. Only then does ‘collateral damage’ become big news and an occasion for public sorrow.”

This highlights the ugliest propaganda tactic on which the War on Terror centrally depends, one in which the U.S. media is fully complicit: American and Western victims of violence by Muslims are endlessly mourned, while Muslim victims of American and Western violence are completely disappeared.

When there is an attack by a Muslim on Westerners in Paris, Sydney, Ottawa, Fort Hood or Boston, we are deluged with grief-inducing accounts of the victims. We learn their names and their extinguished life aspirations, see their pictures, hear from their grieving relatives, watch ceremonies honoring their lives and mourning their deaths, launch campaigns to memorialize them. Our side’s victims aren’t just humanized by our media, but are publicly grieved as martyrs.

I happened to be in Canada the week of the shooting at the Parliament in Ottawa, as well as a random attack on two Canadian soldiers days earlier in a parking lot in Southern Quebec, and there was non-stop media coverage of the victims, their families, their lives:

Thousands of mourners packed a church and lined adjacent streets in industrial Hamilton, Ontario, on Tuesday for the funeral of the soldier shot dead in last week’s attack on the nation’s seat of government. … Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper told mourners at the church that [Corporal Nathan] Cirillo had inspired and united Canadians. He choked back tears in a rare public display of emotion when addressing Cirillo’s five-year-old son.

But as I noted in a speech I gave in Ottawa two days after the Parliament shooting, the victims of Canada’s own violence — in Afghanistan and Iraq — and of its sustained cooperation in the U.S. War on Terror campaign, are completely ignored. While all of Canada knew the name of Corporal Nathan Cirillo, only the most minute fraction of Canadians could name even a single one of the many innocent victims killed by their own government and military. They simply don’t exist.

This is the toxic tribalism that repeats itself over and over throughout the West. Western victims are mourned and humanized, while victims of Western violence are invisible and thus dehumanized. Aside from being repugnant in its own right, this formula, by design, is deeply deceptive as propaganda: It creates the impression among Western populations that we are the victims but not the perpetrators of heinous violence, that terrorism is something done to us but that we never commit ourselves, that “primitive, radical and inhumanely violent” describes the enemy tribe but not our own. (It’s the same tactic that explains why we hear so much about American journalists imprisoned in adversary nations such as Iran and North Korea, but almost nothing about Muslim journalists imprisoned for years without charges by the U.S. government, thus deliberately creating the false impression that only those Bad Countries, but not us, do this.)

To see how systematically the U.S. dehumanizes foreign Muslims, just think about that above-postedNew York Times drone headline. The full headline is even more descriptive:

A featured headline from The New York Times. (photo: The Intercept)

A featured headline from The New York Times. (photo: The Intercept)

This “uncomfortable truth” has been obvious for so long. So often, the U.S. government shoots missiles at buildings, cars and homes outside of “battlefields” without having any idea who it will kill. Despite this fact — that not even the government itself knows who it is killing — the U.S. media routinely and reflexively describes victims of U.S. drone strikes as “militants.” Democrats and progressives, who to their eternal disgrace overwhelmingly support Obama’s drone killing program, will declare “we are killing The Terrorists!” to justify all of this even though the Obama administration itself, let alone these cheering progressives, have no idea who their government just killed.

How can people killed by the U.S. government regularly be described as “militants” or “terrorists” when nobody has any idea who they are? Part of it is classic authoritarianism: My government says the people they are killing are Terrorists, so therefore, they are Terrorists.

But the deeper, more troubling answer is equally clear: Foreign Muslims are so dehumanized, so invisible, that they are just equated with Evil Threats even when nothing is known about them. Indeed, Obama officially re-defined the term “combatant” to mean “all military-age males in a strike zone.” In other words, as The New York Times reported in 2011, all males between 18 and (roughly) 54 killed by U.S. drones are presumed to be combatants — terrorists — “unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.” That mentality is the ultimate in dehumanization.

There are so many heinous stories of U.S. drones blowing up children and innocent adults. Obamaused cruise missiles and cluster bombs to kill 14 children and 21 women in a Yemeni village (weeks after winning the Nobel Peace Prize), while a 2012 drone strike attacked a Yemeni wedding convoy and “killed 12 passengers in the vehicle, including three children and a pregnant woman.” Except for those who watch shows like Democracy Now or certain Al Jazeera shows, virtually no Americans ever learn the name of any of those victims, or even hear that they exist at all.

It shouldn’t take the drone-killing of an American citizen to enable a mainstream discussion of how much deceit and recklessness drives these killings. But it does. And that fact, by itself, should cause a serious examination of the mindset behind all of this.

Written For


Just two days it was reported that Israel’s former President signed a contract for $30 Million  a month with Bank Hapoalim.

It all started with this …..

I posted about it under HUMOUR … but apparently Peres didn’t think it was very funny …

Peres pulls out of Bank Hapoalim deal following criticism

Former President Shimon Peres pulled out a lucrative deal to represent Bank Hapoalim, but said that media reports about the nature of the deal were inaccurate.

Financial newspaper The Marker had reported earlier in the week that Bank Hapoalim was paying Peres $30,000 a month to serve as a lobbyist, representing its interests to players such as likely finance minister Moshe Kahlon. The story caused an uproar, inviting criticism from politicians and commentators.In a Thursday interview with Channel 2, Peres said that the deal had actually been to help a US branch of the bank bring more investors to Israel, and had no relation to domestic issues.

“What we agreed to and what was publicized, there was no connection between the two,” Peres said. The point, he said, “was to explain to them that Israel is a good investment. I’m essentially explaining why they should invest in Israel.”

He also said that he intended to put the money into social causes and investing in science. “I wouldn’t have done something that has the smell of money. I’m surprised they’re even asking about this, I think this is proper service. I am not a lobbyist at all,” he said.

Peres said he decided to cancel the deal altogether instead of simply explaining his perspective in order to put any doubts to rest.

“I decided that in any case, for me, it’s not really a financial issue but a public issue, and it’s important for me to maintain public trust, so I canceled the deal and the that’s the end of it,” he said.

“I want it to be crystal clear. That’s how  I’ve behaved all my life, and I don’t want someone to spoil it because of an incorrect story,” he added.

Perhaps he would be better suited at selling BBQs at Home Centre ...

Perhaps he would be better suited at selling BBQs at Home Centre …


This disturbing video shows Israeli youths, escorted by police and occupation forces, marching through the Old City of Jerusalem chanting “mavet la’aravim” – “death to the Arabs” – and other cries of hate.

“Death to the Arabs” march forces its way through occupied Jerusalem


If the Bundestag chooses to refuse Palestinian statehood when called to act on it, this would be totally out of synchronization with the long-standing German position for two-states as a model to resolve the conflict. Germany’s political integrity is at stake.


A Resolution Germany Owes History

By Sam Bahour

One way or another, Germany’s Bundestag is about to make history with the upcoming vote on the issue of recognizing Palestinian statehood. A positive vote for Palestine would finally strengthen the European Union’s weakest link in contributing to Middle East Peace. A negative vote for Palestinian statehood would leave the Palestinians with no political horizon, which can only lead to more violence and/or a strategic shift where Palestinians drop their bid for statehood and convert their struggle to a total civil rights struggle: in essence, forcing a one state reality politically to match the military one state reality that Israel has had the luxury to construct, with nearly 50 years of its military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, including East Jerusalem.

Palestine did not fall into a historic crisis due to a natural disaster. Dispossession, discrimination and prolonged military occupation was the result, to a great extent, of the colossal tragedy that befell Jews in Europe. We Palestinians are still paying the price for those acts today. It is long overdue that this manmade nightmare should end.

If the Bundestag chooses to refuse Palestinian statehood when called to act on it, this would be totally out of synchronization with the long-standing German position for two-states as a model to resolve the conflict. Germany’s political integrity is at stake.

Fear-mongers have unleashed their venom against Palestinian statehood in the discourse in Germany. By now, their mode of operation is well-known, and has failed over and over again. It failed with all 138 countries that voted overwhelmingly in favor of the 2012 Palestinian bid for observer state status in the UN (Germany abstained) and it is failing in country after country, where bilateral recognition (over 130 countries to date) of Palestine is growing by the day. With the newly re-elected Israeli prime minister winning on a campaign rally of no two-states, the burden of action now squarely sits on the lap of the international community.

Allow me to take a brief issue with the arguments made by those who urge Germany to not join the global momentum toward recognizing Palestine.

THEY SAY Palestinians never missed an opportunity for peace. The fact of the matter is that the boot of Israeli occupation was never, ever removed from the neck of Palestinians to give them a fighting chance to create a new reality—not in Oslo, not in the West Bank, not in East Jerusalem, and surely not in the Gaza Strip. The unrelenting extent of Israel’s effective control over all the occupied territory is no longer an issue for debate; historical record is clear.

THEY SAY the Palestinian political body promotes extremism and violence. The fact of the matter is that it is a miracle that the Palestinians have been able to maintain any sense of a political system at all, given Israel’s systematic, forced fragmentation of the Palestinians’ geographic reality, campaign of targeted assassinations and continued policy of imprisoning Palestinian political leadership, including over a dozen democratically elected members of the legislative council. In light of this reality on the ground, the Palestinians still beg the international community to uphold international law and UN resolutions, themselves bringing the two-state solution to the podium of the UN General Assembly for approval. What is clear is, now that the majority of the world accepts Palestinian statehood, that if key international players, Germany being on the top of the list, drop the ball of bringing Palestine into existence on the ground, no one should complain if the younger generation of Palestinians drop statehood once and for all and we are back in a cycle of never-ending violence.

THEY SAY the Palestinians’ struggle for freedom and independence is linked to the horrific events unfolding in Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen. The fact of the matter is that even the Israeli security establishment has acknowledged that regional events are very different and detached from what Palestinians are requesting. Actually, it is the Palestinian movement, not to mention the Palestinian refugees stuck for 60 years in the region due to Israel refusing to allow them to return home, who have the most to lose with the region engulfed in domestic and regional chaos.

THEY SAY Palestinians must be put through a test to prove our worthiness of freedom. The fact of the matter is that in the world of global governance there are no teachers and classrooms, only international law which applies to all. No excuse under the sun can justify one more day of military occupation, especially one that does not view itself as an occupation and continues to facilitate its citizens’ squatting on Palestinian lands.

In the Oslo Peace Accords, over twenty year ago, Palestinians recognized the state of Israel, in writing. In reply, Israel merely recognized the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as the representative of the Palestinian people. This lopsided starting point may have contributed to the failure of the entire Oslo exercise. Today’s Germany has the opportunity to correct that historic mismatch and save the region from future violence, let alone saving Israel from itself.

The previous UK Consul General in Jerusalem, Sir Vincent Fean, addressed his country’s upcoming debate on Palestinian statehood in The Sunday Herald(Scotland) on 19 April 2015 in an article titled, “We can restore hope in a just peace for Palestine and Israel.” He wrote, “Palestinians have the right to statehood, peace with justice and hope. Israelis have the same right to live in safety, with good neighbours and shared hope. We can do what is right for both peoples. Our next Government should recognise the State of Palestine alongside Israel, to preserve the two-state solution. Failure to resolve this conflict fairly remains the best recruiting sergeant for violent extremism. We regain our balance by upholding the international law we helped to write.”

The Bundestag has a choice to make. It can continue looking backwards in history on this issue and ignore its leading role in securing peace in the Middle East, or it can courageously look forward, maybe even recognizing something it owes history, and assume leadership in this debate. The choice is yours. We hope you will make the choice for peace. 


German Version


Once an integral part of the 'Protest Movement', now a target of the protests.

Once an integral part of the ‘Protest Movement’, now a target of the protests.

Bob Dylan has a long and mixed history … although he would appear to be the perfect political ally for a Free Palestine, his human and civil rights bona fides have faded over time – to the point of non-existence. (SEE) He was once considered to be a real mentch, today he is nothing but a has-been. But, despite that a work of the past sparked a protest at an Israeli University today …

Bob Dylan song stirs controversy at college memorial ceremony

Students of the Oranim Academic College in northern Israel, left a ceremony honoring fallen soldiers at their college outraged after Bob Dylan’s ‘Masters of War’ qouted during speech.

Students from a college in northern Israel left a Memorial Day ceremony outraged on Tuesday after a speech quoted the lyrics of Bob Dylan’s “Master’s of War,” which they misunderstood as calling for the death of soldiers.

The following lyrics were quoted during the speech given at the Oranim Academic college by the head of the local student union:

“And I hope that you die

And your death’ll come soon

I will follow your casket

In the pale afternoon

And I’ll watch while you’re lowered

Down to your deathbed

And I’ll stand over your grave

‘Til I’m sure that you’re dead.”

The use of the song’s lyrics, written by Bob Dylan in the 60s’ about the Cold War, upset several of the students who attended the ceremony.

“It is an embarrassment and shameful that the stage was given to this kind of hostile song on the holiest day during which we remember our soldiers, the heroes, who gave their souls for the homeland so that you could sleep quietly at night,” wrote one student named Liat on the college’s Facebook page.

Another student wrote that the use of the lyrics “lacked respect for those who in their death gave us life. I’m ashamed to be a part of this.”

Other students encouraged each other to break out in mass protest against the use of lyrics. “The text calls for the death of generals,” wrote a student.

However, according to a statement by Dylan when talking about the lyrics of the song in the past, the song was meant to be pacifistic – calling for the end of war – and is not about soldiers, but rather those profiting from war.

“It’s not an anti-war song. It’s speaking against what Eisenhower was calling a military-industrial complex as he was making his exit from the presidency. That spirit was in the air, and I picked it up,” Dylan said in an interview with USA Today in 2001.

Israel Maoz, another student at Oranim Academic College wrote: “You really have gone out of your mind with the reading to this text that is hurtful and lack any logic on the eve of Memorial Day for Israel’s fallen soldiers. You do not have to make everything political. It seems as though the colleges are running a competition on which can be more radical with its positions against everything and its embarrassing.”

Other students called on the government to stop funding the college, while others even suggested that the college look for donation from the Palestinian Authority.

The colllege’s student union, who organized the event, offered its response to the controversy. “The song clearly represents an anti-war stance and does not call for violence, partisanship or incitement.”

The student union added that the “song expresses the feelings of large sections of Israeli society and in general is legitimate and should not be interpreted in a way that could be seen as hostile, violent or provocation for provocation’s sake or even as an anti-establishment statement.

“The song does not refer to any specific group in Israeli society, overtly or covertly (not IDF soldiers, political party or public figures),” the student union said.

The Oranim Academic College offered a response which read: “The song ‘Masters of War’ by Bob Dylan that was read during the Memorial Day ceremony at Oranim is a song that stirs a debate and does not reflect the official stance of the college or the official stance of the student union.

“It expresses one of many emotions that awaken during a time of grievance and anger about those killed during war. But once this position was presented, which evoked emotion and controversy; it must be handled with sensitivity and responsibility, as is expected by an academic institution whose heart is educational engagement.”



Who is the target today? (see the following cartoon)

The artist sketched the image below showing Netanyahu flying the plane into the WTC. It was meant to represent his ‘disastrous’ handling of US-Israel relations.

Nothing has changed to this day.

Haaretz's political cartoon on October 30, 2014 By Amos Biderman

Haaretz’s political cartoon on October 30, 2014 By Amos Biderman


A survivor of the Cold War

"Are you now, have you ever been .." Image by Richard Correll

“Are you now, have you ever been ..”
Image by Richard Correll

As I get older I find my mind wandering back to events of the past. I look at this as my brain finding ways to keep me young, at least that’s what I tell myself.

Looking back to 1954 has reminded me of my very first personal encounter with the FBI .First, a bit of a background …… to this day I find the incident rather amusing.

First, a bit of a background

I grew up in a Working Class Jewish community in Brooklyn called Brighton Beach. It was known as a ‘hotbed of Communism’ in those days and was often referred to as “Moscow By The Sea” (strangely enough it is referred to today as “Odessa By The Sea” because of the multitude of immigrants living there from the Former Soviet Union. It is now ‘the hotbed of the Russian Mafia’)

But, back to 1954 …

Those were the  days when the Social Networks had it’s emphasis on “Social”. People actually inter reacted with people, not via electronic devices but face to face. We knew who our neighbours were and we knew almost everything about them without having to rely on FaceBook or Twitter.

After school activities did not involve sitting home and watching TV or texting our friends on mobile phones, they involved continuing our education after school hours. Many of my contemporaries went to Hebrew lessons at the local temples or synagogues. As zionism was completely alien to my family I was sent to a Yiddish language school.

And that’s where it happened ….

On the wall of our classroom, two framed photos were hanging ….

One was of the Yiddish writer Shalom Aleichem


The other was yet another Yiddish writer I.L. Peretz


One afternoon two FBI agents entered our classroom and arrested the teacher. Someone had apparently ‘reported us’ for teaching Communism, proof being that one of the photos resembled Lenin, and the other Stalin.

In those days, just pointing your finger in accusation was enough ….

Just a year earlier the switch was pulled executing Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. Communism was something to fear, and Jews were to be watched carefully to prevent its spread.

Much like Muslims are treated today in the USA …. strange, eh?

Just another example of not learning the lessons of history and repeating it.

But, just as I ‘Survived’ those ugly, dark days of the Cold War, so will the victims of today.


Remember this …..

Former Israeli President Shimon Peres goes Job Hunting in Hilarious Parody Video 

It paid off in the end!

Former president hired to consult bank and speak at bank’s events; sources close to Peres say pay goes entirely to charity. 

Peres to get $30,000 a month to promote Bank Hapoalim’s activities abroad

Bank Hapoalim hired the services of former president Shimon Peres, who will collect a paycheck of $30,000 a month to promote the bank’s activities abroad, particularly in the United States.

Peres established a financial firm called “Peres and Associates” several months ago, which aims to work with Israeli companies to promote their activities in both existing and new markets across the world.

Sources close to the former president said any pay Peres receives for the company’s services will go to charity.

“The consultant will provide the bank with services to promote its businesses in international markets, including the United States,” the agreement signed between the two sides said. “The consultation will be done professionally and under the accepted standards.”

Peres is being paid for his speaking at bank events, and the contract includes several events across the United States.

At the end of April, Peres is expected to attend a special event Bank Hapoalim is holding in New York to mark its 40 years of activity in the US.

The event, to be held at the Natural History Museum in New York City, will cost the bank some $1-1.5 million. Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and 700 other invitees will also be in attendance.

Bank Hapoalim is currently under investigation by American authorities on suspicion it aided its clients evade paying taxes.

Bank Hapoalim declined to comment on the story.


My addition ….

I just wonder if the IRS will be one of the ‘charities’ Peres will contribute to because of the following …

Bank Hapoalim is currently under investigation by American authorities on suspicion it aided its clients evade paying taxes.



Mohammad Abu Khdeir’s Name Removed From Mt. Herzl Memorial

Following a request from Mohammad Abu Khdeir’s family, the murdered teenager’s name has been removed from the Victims of Acts of Terror Memorial at Mount Herzl.

The Abu Khdeir family say that they do not consider themselves Israelis, and that they only found out about Mohammad’s inclusion from the media.


At sundown tonight Israel will honour its fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism. For the first time a Palestinian victim of zioterror will be added to the list …. but not the thousands of victims in Gaza and the Occupied West Bank that were also victims.

Palestinian teen, who was burned alive by Jewish settlers, was added to the Victims of Acts of Terror Memorial at Mount Herzl; ‘This is a great initiative to honor my son, but I’m more interested in justice,’ says father.

Mohammed Abu Khdeir  Image by Carlos Latuff

Mohammed Abu Khdeir, mourned by Mother Palestine
Image by Carlos Latuff

Mohammed Abu Khdeir recognized as terror victim at Mount Herzl

Mohammed Abu Khdeir, the Palestinian teenager from East Jerusalem who was kidnapped and murdered by Jewish settlers last summer, has been added to the Victims of Acts of Terror Memorial at Mount Herzl, Israel Radio reported on Tuesday morning.

His name was also added to the list of terror victims in the government-run website.

The Defense Ministry recognized Abu Khdeir as a victim of “hostile action” in July, some two weeks after he was murdered.

Hussein Abu Khdeir, Mohammed’s father, told Ynet that “this is a great initiative meant to honor my son, but I’m more interested with something else entirely: For the court to do justice with those who burned my son alive, and sentence them to the appropriate punishment.”

Hussein was referring to the fact defense lawyers for some of the accused plan to claim their clients are mentally unfit to stand trial.

“My son is gone, my son was burned and we were burned with him. I want justice and not honor. What good is it going to do me if they carve his name in stone?” Hussein said.

Mohammed Abu Khdeir, 16, was murdered shortly after the bodies of three Israeli teens – Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach – were discovered after they were kidnapped and murdered near Hebron.

Abu Khdeir commemorated on state website for victims of terror acts

Abu Khdeir commemorated on state website for victims of terror acts

The accused, 30-year-old Yosef Ben-David and two minors, kidnapped Abu Khdeir from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat and burned him alive at the Jerusalem Forest.

Hussein said that since the murder early on the morning of July 2, 2014, members of the family have been in a bad state.

“Mohammed’s mother, his brothers and sisters, and I, can’t stop experiencing hardships. Our entire life is gone. We have mental problems in the family since it happened,” he said.

“I don’t forget for a moment that at court, my son’s murderers look at me and laugh and enjoy themselves. How would you feel if someone burned your son alive and smiled at court? It made me and his mother sick. We can’t leave the house. Every night I think about how he was burned,” he added.



Not Without a Backlash from the right ….

Activists want murdered Arab teen’s name dropped from list of terror victims

Mohammed Abu Khdeir was beaten and burned to death last summer in retaliation for the kidnapping and murder of three Jewish teens in the West Bank.

By Nir Hasson and Jack Khoury IN
Mohammed Abu Khdeir, selfie, date unknown, published July 7, 2014.

Mohammed Abu Khdeir, selfie, date unknown, published July 7, 2014.

An activist group wants the name of an East Jerusalem teenager who was killed by Jews to be removed from a plaque commemorating terror victims.

The plaque is located at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl, home to the Victims of Acts of Terror Memorial and Israel’s main military cemetery. Also buried there are luminaries such as Theodor Herzl and Yitzhak Rabin.

Last July, Mohammed Abu Khdeir was beaten and burned in retaliation for the kidnapping and murder of three Jewish teens by Palestinians in the West Bank.

“Abu Khdeir wasn’t murdered as a political statement concerning Israel’s existence — he was killed in a crazed act committed by criminals,” an official of the Almagor Terror Victims Association told the Kikar Hashabat website. “You can’t compare a random murder by people whose sanity is in question to institutionalized actions by states and enemy organizations.”

“Abu Khdeir wasn’t murdered as a political statement concerning Israel’s existence — he was killed in a crazed act committed by criminals,” an official of the Almagor Terror Victims Association told the Kikar Hashabat website. “You can’t compare a random murder by people whose sanity is in question to institutionalized actions by states and enemy organizations.”

Hussein Abu Khdeir, Mohammed’s father, said Tuesday he didn’t know that his son’s name had been added to the list of terror victims. “We will request that his name be removed from that list,” he told the Nazareth-based Ashams radio station.

“We don’t need the recognition … we’re not Israeli citizens. Instead of this list we want justice and the prosecution of the criminals. We’re very concerned that they won’t receive the appropriate punishment.”

The suspects in the Abu Khdeir case are currently on trial at the Jerusalem District Court. In November the main suspect, a 29-year-old man, declined to respond to the charges due to what his lawyer said was an inability to communicate.

The other two suspects, teenagers, played down their role and denied the charge of premeditated murder.


About 30,000 cases of hummus manufactured by Sabra, which is co-owned by Israel’s Strauss Group, recalled because of potential bacterial impurity.

Sabra's logo in the United States

Sabra’s logo in the United States

Huge recall of hummus in US over fears of contamination

About 30,000 cases of Sabra hummus sold nationwide is being recalled due to a possible Listeria contamination.

Listeria is a food-borne illness that can cause high fevers and nausea in minor cases, but the infections can be fatal to people with weakened immune systems and young children, along with causing miscarriages in pregnant women. The Sabra Dipping Co. is a joint venture of PepsiCo and Strauss Group – an Israeli food manufacturer.

Sabra was founded in 1986, and in August 2005 Strauss purchased 51 percent of the company. In March 2008, Strauss announced that it had entered a partnership with PepsiCo, and the two companies now each own half of Sabra. Sabra sells 59 percent of hummus in the United States.

Listeria is a type of bacteria that can be found in food, often as a result of contamination by infected animals or sewage. It is considered relatively resistant and is able to thrive in refrigerators, as well as salted or smoked food. It is therefore most commonly caught by eating food that has not been sufficiently cooked.

About one third of people carry the bacteria, which usually does not affect healthy individuals. People compromised immune systems, infants, and pregnant women are at increased risk. Listeria can cause flu-like symptoms such as fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In more severe cases, it enters the bloodstream and damages organs, potentially causing serious infections. Pregnant women can be in serious danger, as listeria could cause miscarriages or premature births.

When infection is diagnosed in its early stages, it can be treated with antibiotics.




Click HERE to see what else to boycott …..

It could save your life!


On the eve of Israel’s 67th Independence Day, the following was issued to bring Hasbara to the masses …. Zionism in Animation is a project which will tell the story of Zionism in a series of short; compelling; animated clips which cover the main Events, people, places and concepts which make up this story.

Here is their last animated attempt to ‘save their wayward youth‘ ….

It was a genuine act of desperation …

They neglect to show the true face of zionism that we have to live with every day ….

Some examples ….

The wacko settler gal …

And these ‘loveable zioteens’

Meet ‘the beloved mother of the occupation’

And see the ‘love’ on the streets of Jerusalem

Click HERE

The above was removed by YouTube …. but here is the sequel

And defending all of the above …

The true mantra of zionism …

“With malice toward none, with charity for all”

With malice towards all, and charity for none


What, exactly, was remembered during Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day this week?

Not the victims of Israel’s latest slaughter in Gaza, where more than 2,200 civilians were killed less than a year ago. In the propagandistic world of “Holocaust memory” only Jews can be victims, so mainstream media marginalize the hundreds of Jewish Holocaust survivors and their descendants who publicly condemned “the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza” (their words). Instead, a leading Israeli newspaper informed us this week that “adult children of Holocaust survivors in Israel tend to be more anxious than their peers … about the Iranian nuclear threat” — even though Iran has no nuclear weapons and has never attacked Israel.

Why was Palestinian suffering forgotten on Holocaust Remembrance Day?

An Israeli army delegation marches into Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp in 2007. (“Israel Defense Forces”/Flickr)

An Israeli army delegation marches into Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp in 2007. (“Israel Defense Forces”/Flickr)

What, exactly, was remembered during Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day this week?

Not the victims of Israel’s latest slaughter in Gaza, where more than 2,200 civilians were killed less than a year ago. In the propagandistic world of “Holocaust memory” only Jews can be victims, so mainstream media marginalize the hundreds of Jewish Holocaust survivors and their descendants who publicly condemned “the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza” (their words). Instead, a leading Israeli newspaper informed us this week that “adult children of Holocaust survivors in Israel tend to be more anxious than their peers … about the Iranian nuclear threat” — even though Iran has no nuclear weapons and has never attacked Israel.

The erasure of Palestinian suffering from public memory is a particularly ironic aspect of “Holocaust remembrance.” Amid pleas for the preservation of Holocaust history, mainstream media still avoid any reference to the public comments of a senior Israeli officer who, during the second intifada, urged the Israeli military to analyze and internalize the lessons of how the German army fought in the Warsaw Ghetto.

A similarly selective silence surrounds the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Several governments represented at an Auschwitz commemoration in January sent troops into that slaughter, so eerily reminiscent of Germany’s criminal invasion of Poland in 1939. “People forget what Auschwitz was,” said Halina Birenbaum, who was in the notorious death camp as a child, “and that terrifies me, because I know to what kind of hell it leads.”

We should be doubly terrified, it seems to me, when such an event is used to promote precisely that kind of forgetfulness, at least where Arab deaths are concerned.

The Israeli writer Boaz Evron warned years ago that “Holocaust awareness” is now “an official, propagandistic indoctrination … the real aim of which is not at all an understanding of the past, but a manipulation of the present.” Anyone doubting these words need only listen as world “leaders” emphasize the sort of wrongs whose memories they want to preserve — while noting the atrocities they ignore.

Resolve to fight prejudice?

The UK Prime Minister David Cameron, for instance, recently intoned that all of “us,” “whatever our faith, whatever our creed, whatever our politics … stand united in our resolve to fight prejudice and discrimination in all its forms.”

But Cameron hasn’t fought Israel’s apartheid regime in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip; in fact, he refused to halt Britain’s arms sales to Israel even as Israel used its arsenal in repeated attacks on Gaza’s hospitals (killing more than a dozen health care workers) and the bombardment of residential neighborhoods, where the death toll included more than 500 children, destroying 22 schools and leveling more than 10,000 homes.

Apart from dividing worthy victims from unworthy ones, Holocaust “memorials” adopt the priorities of Western power politics. That’s why the president of the country that bore the brunt of defeating Hitler, and actually liberated the Eastern European death camps, did not even attend the memorial for the seventieth anniversary of Auschwitz’s liberation. President Vladimir Putin was “absent,” as the Associated Press’ Vanessa Gera delicately put it, as a “result of the deep chill between the West and Russia over Ukraine.”

In plain English, Putin was in the doghouse for opposing the US-backed coup that put Nazi sympathizers into power in Kiev (where their predecessors assisted in the slaughter of some 30,000 Jews in 1941), so naturally he didn’t belong at a Holocaust commemoration. On the other hand, none of the event’s organizers seemed to object to the representation of countries that supported the empowerment of neo-Nazis in Ukraine, whose capital (as everyone present certainly knew) was less than 600 miles from the site of the ceremony.

Exploitation of history

World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder used the ceremony to decry complaints about last summer’s massacre in Gaza as “vilification of Israel.” Hollywood’s Steven Spielberg echoed that message, blaming the “perennial demons of intolerance” on “anti-Semites, radical extremists, and religious fanatics” and warning of “a growing effort to banish Jews from Europe.” (He presented no evidence of this “growing effort”; as far as I know, the only prominent politician who has been calling for the removal of Jews from Europe is Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.)

Claims of rising European anti-Semitism represent yet another exploitation of Jewish history for the benefit of Israeli propaganda. “The question of whether Jews have a future in Europe is an, unfortunately, timely one,” Johns Hopkins University Professor Dorothea Wolfson wrote recently, following a conference at which Benjamin Ginsberg, another Johns Hopkins professor, ominously claimed that it is now “harder for Jews to be openly Jewish in Europe without being harassed.”

Apologists for Israel have an obvious motive for spreading such a message, but the facts tell a different tale. In France and Germany, the countries most often complained about in recent fearmongering, Jews received overwhelmingly favorable marks in a 2008 Pew Research Center poll on views of religious groups — and this despite growing public anger over Israel’s brutal occupation of Palestinian land and the ostentatious support of that occupation by most of the world’s Jewish leadership.

A recent survey taken by France’s National Human Rights Consultative Committee actuallyconcludes that “Jews are by far the best accepted minority in France today” — much better accepted than Blacks and immigrants of North African origin, and far and away more accepted than Muslims. Yet the propaganda churned out by Jewish groups and their apologists would have us believe that Jews, and only Jews, are in Europe’s crosshairs.

Apart from being untrue, the hype about a “new anti-Semitism” is cynical. Deborah Lipstadt’s typical column in The New York Times last August — perfectly timed to deflect attention from the Israeli massacre in Gaza — contained predictable hand-wringing about the growing threat to Jews in Western Europe. “This is not another Holocaust,” she wrote, “but it’s bad enough.”

The better to serve the Israeli cause, Lipstadt also took a sideswipe at the Hamas charter as a fount of resurgent Jew-hatred. But nowhere in her column did Lipstadt even mention Ukraine, the one country in Europe — probably in the world — where a political movement linked to genocidal anti-Semitism really has made a comeback.

If anti-Semitism had been her real subject, Lipstadt could hardly have missed a target so obvious. But the neo-Nazis in Ukraine are supported by the United States and haven’t been condemned by Israel, so — well, enough said.

Moral imperative

All that is bad enough, but the worst thing about the propaganda, it seems to me, is that it manipulates Holocaust memory to obscure what should be its most important teachings. There is a dangerous wave of bigotry sweeping much of the world today, but it is aimed predominantly at Muslims, not Jews.

According to the Pew Research Center’s figures, unfavorable attitudes toward Muslims exceed favorable ones in an astonishing number of countries: the list includes France, Germany, Spain, Poland, India, South Korea, Japan, China, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico andSouth Africa. This is particularly troubling when we remember that since 2001, attacks by Western forces have killed (at least) hundreds of thousands of people in predominantly Muslim countries including Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan.

Under these circumstances, the sensible thing for Jews to do is to make common cause with Muslims in opposition to religious intolerance, and to campaign against the imperialist wars that have devastated so much of the Muslim world — the all too obvious global consequences of which include anger, sometimes violent, over Israel’s role in many of those wars.

Writing as a Jew myself, and specifically in light of Holocaust history, I find such a response more than political common sense; for me, it is a moral imperative. And for the same reason I cannot remain silent while Jewish elites turn the lessons of the Nazi genocide upside down — incidentally using the very methods the Nazis used to convert Germany into a killing machine.

“The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders,” Hermann Goering, a leading Nazi, told an Allied-appointed psychologist while on trial at Nuremberg. “All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.”

Even as the corpses piled up in the rubble of Gaza last summer, overloading some morgues so badly that the bodies of children had to be housed in ice cream freezers, many Jewish leaders were following Goering’s line, with one writer from my own Orthodox circlesmusing about “the courage, motivation and faith” of the Israeli killers, sneering at Jews who speak of “the evils of modern Israel” and condemning the defenders of Gaza, who allegedly “primed teenagers with suicide bomber belts.” No evidence, of course, was given for this claim.

The worship of power and military force, the usurpation of religion to cloak conquest in sanctimonious rhetoric, the demonization of those people unlucky enough to stand in the way of the dominant race’s appetites — all this, unfortunately, has clearly survived the fall of the Third Reich.

That it has infected so much contemporary Jewish discourse only proves that Israel’s memorials of the Nazi genocide serve no decent purpose. Until we are prepared to turn its lessons inward — where all moral lessons belong first and foremost — it would be far more respectful to the victims if we could simply resolve, in the words of Norman Finkelstein, “to preserve their memory, learn from their suffering and let them, finally, rest in peace.”



The city would cover 14,000 dunams (3,500 acres) of the Jerusalem Hills, encompassing the existing small towns of Tsur Hadassah and Mevo Beitar with 20,000 new housing units, just inside the Green Line dividing “Israel proper” from the West Bank.

Planners eye Jerusalem Hills as site for new city of 100,000

Israel Lands Authority plans town to be called Bat Harim, but Jerusalem municipality, greens aim to stop it.

By Nimrod Bousso IN
A construction site in Tsur Hadassah. Photo by Eyal Toueg

A construction site in Tsur Hadassah. Photo by Eyal Toueg

Jerusalem could be getting a giant satellite city in what is today verdant, rolling countryside.

The city would cover 14,000 dunams (3,500 acres) of the Jerusalem Hills, encompassing the existing small towns of Tsur Hadassah and Mevo Beitar with 20,000 new housing units, just inside the Green Line dividing “Israel proper” from the West Bank.

Plans for the proposed city of Bat Harim, which could one day be home to 100,000 people, are due to get their first hearing at a meeting of the Israel Lands Authority Council on Sunday.

But long before the first ground is broken, opposition to the planned city has already been quietly coalescing. The ILA and the Interior Ministry’s Planning Administration favor the idea, but the Jerusalem municipality, which is supposed to take over the area, is opposed.

The area is now under the jurisdiction of Yehuda Regional Council, but plans call for putting the area under the jurisdiction of Jerusalem, even though the capital lies two kilometers northeast of the region.

The area’s existing residents are fighting the idea as well. The Yehuda Regional Council, which would lose control of the area, is leading the battle, backed by residents of Tsur Hadassah and Mevo Beitar, who are loathe to give up their quiet small-town life for decades of construction and urban sprawl.

As it is, even while plans for Bat Harim are just getting started, plans have been approved to build 2,500 homes in Tsur Hadassah, which would double its population and turn the Jerusalem suburb into a small city in its own right.

Plans for about 1,000 of those units were presented a few months ago to a special committee created to speed building approvals to alleviating Israel’s housing crunch. There are also plans for 1,400 homes in Mevo Beitar.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who apparently has not been party to the plans, made known his opposition in a letter to Interior Minister Gilad Erdan and the director general of the ministry, Shuki Amrani, a month ago.

“I was disappointed and surprised to discover in recent months that the Finance Ministry, Housing Ministry, ILA and National Planning and Building Council have been advancing … in an aggressive way – irresponsibly and without coordinating with the Jerusalem municipality – a massive building program in the environs of Jerusalem and its metropolitan area,” he wrote, referring for Bat Harim.

Barkat said that after a slowdown last year in housing starts in Jerusalem, the pace had been recovering and there was no reason for officials to be looking for places outside the city to start massive building projects.

Barkat expressed concern that Bat Harim would destroy the green belt that now surrounds most of Jerusalem and undermine his efforts to keep people from leaving the city because of the high cost of housing and lack of jobs.

“We are talking about erecting a new neighborhood [Bat Harim] that would attract quality population away from Jerusalem and undermine our efforts to strengthen neighborhoods,” he said. “It’s unacceptable that outside forces that don’t understand the national strategy for Israel’s capital are operating over the head of Jerusalem’s mayor.”

In fact, an earlier plan for a new city back in 1999 was ultimately rejected in favor of increasing population density in Jerusalem. A city spokesman said Barket had not yet decided what he would do next to block Bat Harim.

The Interior Ministry had not responded by press time to the report of Barkat’s letter. But the ILA, Environmental Protection Ministry and the Society for the Protecting of Nature in Israel are attacking the plans as an unnecessary assault on open countryside, even as there is plenty of undeveloped land inside Jerusalem still available for development.

The SPNI, which estimates that Jerusalem still has land available to build 100,000 housing units, launched a campaign in February to stop the plans and is organizing a rally outside ILA Council meeting on Sunday.

“Expanding Jerusalem westward by developing an area unconnected geographically from the city will require huge infrastructure investment,” David Leffler, the Environmental Protection Ministry’s director general, said in a letter to Erdan and Amrani last week, calling on them to abandon the plan entirely.

For its part, the ILA says it has little choice but to open up new areas for development to meet the area’s housing needs. It estimates that the Jerusalem area needs 2,500 new homes to be built every year, or 50,000 over the next two decades.

“The solution is the p’nui u’vinui program [enlarging existing buildings] and urban renewal, and also through new cities,” the ILA said in a statement to TheMarker, saying the area slotted for Bat Harim is one of “relatively low environmental sensitivity.”

Despite the opposition, the ILA in October budgeted 1 million shekels ($250,000) for initial planning for Bat Harim by an outside architectural firm. Its proposals will be presented at Sunday’s meeting.

The SPNI contends that the entire process violates the law, noting that planning authorities have in the recent past rejected any attempt to develop the area. The decision to build a new city can only be made by the government, it contends.

“We are amazed that such an ambitious and significant planning undertaking can get underway solely because of an internal decision taken by the ILA,” said SPNI’s attorney Tal Tsafrir.


No commentary necessary …. the 2,000 Plus demonstrators say it all on their placards … 

Photos © by Bud Korotzer





















Related Article from CounterPunch

Wage Gains Won’t Last, Unless Fight for 15 Builds Worker Power


When fast-food workers first took the streets in New York City in November 2012 to protest for higher wages and a union no one could have imagined how successful the campaign would be. Since then the low-wage workers movement, known as Fight for 15, has helped spureleven states and numerous cities to raise the minimum hourly wage. It’s enabled campaigns in Seattle and the Bay Area to pass citywide measures for $15-an-hour minimum wage. Fight for 15 and a separate campaign called Organization United for Respect at Walmart has also pushed companies like McDonald’s, Target, and Walmart to announce in early 2015 that they would raise the minimum wage for hundreds of thousands of employees.

The success of the organizing is due to everything from the abysmal recovery from the 2008 economic crisis to Occupy Wall Street’s role in shifting the national dialogue from austerity to economic inequality. But Fight for 15 is due primarily to the Service Employees International Union, which initiated the campaign in 2011 and has poured tens of millions of dollars into growing waves of protest that are battering the image of the fast-food giants.

As the protests have grown, the campaign has become both broad and narrow. SEIU has linked the plight of fast-food workers to that of retail and convenience-store workers, home healthcare aides, childcare workers, and adjunct professors. At the same time Fight for 15 is focusing its fire on McDonald’s. One SEIU insider says the strategy is, “Pummel them until they come to the table.” Another organizer outlined the thinking back in 2013: Fight for 15 was trying to cause enough problems for McDonald’s image and stock price that SEIU could say to the company, “We can make this all go away” if it agreed to a deal on wages and unionization.

Using the National Labor Relations Board, SEIU has filed charges of unfair labor practices and wage theft against McDonald’s franchises. The strategy paid off after the NLRB general counsel ruled in July 2014 that McDonald’s has joint employer responsibility, opening space for SEIU to pressure the corporate parent, rather than dealing with 3,100 U.S. franchisees. SEIU is also raising the heat overseas. The European Union is investigating McDonald’s for allegedly dodging more than $1 billion in taxes and labor federations in Brazil are suing McDonald’s largest franchisee in Latin America for wage and workplace violations. A participant in a recent strategy session held with Scott Courtney, said to be SEIU’s mastermind for Fight for 15, says the next step under consideration is to create trouble for McDonald’s on the property front, which is as much a titan of real estate as it is of hamburgers.

McDonald’s claims the campaign has had no effect on its operations and that it could not afford to raise wages. Over the last year its internationalsales have been flat and its profits have fallen sharply. So its announcement on April 1 that it would raise pay for workers at corporate-owned U.S. stores was widely viewed as a concession to Fight for 15. That move backfired, however, as the raise is only 89 cents an hour on average and affects just 10 percent of its U.S. workforce. Plus, sources say McDonald’s has quietly approached SEIU and is looking for a deal. For nearly two years there have been rumors that SEIU was considering some alternative to a union for the fast-food sector, such as a workers association.

A workers association, however, would mean fewer rights and protections for workers than a traditional union. This points to the question that’s been hanging over Fight for 15 since it caught fire. What is SEIU’s end game? I asked one organizer if the campaign is building working power, and the response was blunt: “The goal is not worker power. It’s a contract.”

Since a traditional union contract with McDonald’s or any other fast-food company remains unlikely, the campaign goals need to be better aligned with reality. Fight for 15 has been remarkably successful on wages, but unless it is trying to increase worker’s power on the job, any wage and benefit improvements won through public pressure, negative publicity, and community-based protest activity will be hard to sustain in the absence of ongoing workplace organization or networks of some sort.

Now, many Fight for 15 organizers point out SEIU is the only big union gambling on trying to organize an industry with millions of unorganized workers, and it’s putting thousands of workers in motion. Organizing low-wage workers is a long overdue response to the neoliberal turn that dealt a historic defeat to organized labor during the 1980s. Millions of new jobs are projected to be in occupations like food prep, retail, and healthcare aides that pay $9 to $12 an hour. The jobs have few benefits, schedules and hours are erratic and there tends to be high turnover. This is the base for Fight for 15, OUR Walmart and a broader campaign known as 15 Now, initiated by the Seattle-based Socialist Alternative.

A fundamental goal of labor organizing is to take labor out of competition with itself. But that is nearly impossible when low-skilled, low-wage workers have few rights and number in the tens of millions. Fight for 15’s approach is unorthodox, but it is constrained by organized labor’s history. Class-struggle unionism has been abandoned by labor leaders who act as junior partners to corporations, like SEIU and Kaiser Permanente, the UAW and auto companies, the machinists union and Boeing, and the building trades and real-estate developers. Many union leaders are also in the pocket of the Democratic Party despite it being in the pocket of Wall Street.

Fight for 15 trying to make trouble for global corporations, but it’s not pursuing a working-class struggle. (Few unions are interested in that; that’s the job of the organized left.) Fight for 15 is more of a legal and public relations campaign, as I explain, than an organizing campaign. It is bearing fruit, but mainly as a spillover than in the fast-food sector. This includes adjunct professor organizing, which with the assistance of unions, especially SEIU, have notched many victories since 2013. Thousands of healthcare workers, who make up about half of SEIU’s membership, are agitating for $15 an hour, which is also in response to the 2014 Supreme Court ruling that imposed limits on union membership for home-care aides. There are also linkages with the Black Lives Matter movement, which is significant given Fight for 15 is the biggest mobilization of African-American workers since the 1960s. While these are inchoate forms of solidarity and social-justice unionism, they remain underdeveloped because of the top-down nature of Fight for 15.

The most intriguing outcomes of Fight for 15 are citywide campaigns for a raise in the minimum wage, which has opened up organizing space for the left. Fifteen dollars an hour is now reality in Seattle, albeit it with loopholes, with most low-wage workers expected to earn that by 2017. San Francisco’s ballot measure for $15 an hour was spearheaded by SEIU Local 1021, which one observer calls a model for a worker-run union. Fight for $15 campaign helped legitimize the idea in Seattle. The local SEIU affiliate’s biggest contribution was a $15-an-hour ballot measure that won in the SeaTac suburb. But the heavy lifting was done by Socialist Alternative and its inside and outside political approach, aggressive reporting and support from The Stranger, a well-regarded newsweekly, and incoming Mayor Ed Murray’s decision to back the measure and establish a committee to shape, for good and bad, the final bill. 15 Now is currently pushing $15 an hour statewide in Oregon and according to sources is encountering resistance from some unions that are reluctant to challenge Democratic politicians.

In terms of Fight for 15, its efforts have been more effective in the digital realm than in the real world when it comes to fast-food workers. One Fight for 15 organizer says, “SEIU would like the public to perceive this as a large and growing movement creating a crisis. They are creating the perception of a wave.”

But the campaign is also hamstrung, and SEIU’s media-centric strategy inhibits it from making hay from it. The organizer explains, “Workers are afraid to stand up. The number one problem is fear. I would say less than 4 percent of the workers we contact stay on board. They jump on and jump off [Fight for 15] all the time.” Workers have every reason to be afraid. One study from 2005 estimated 23,000 workers a year are penalized or fired for legitimate union activity, making a mockery of laws meant to protect workplace organizing.

A rich account of the difficulty and potential of worker-run, shop-based organizing in the fast-food industry is provided by Erik Forman in New Forms of Worker Organization. He recounts an IWW campaign in Jimmy John’s sandwich shops in Minneapolis, which narrowly lost a union vote but gained many concessions, wage increases and most important, worker consciousness, solidarity and power. Provocations and illegal acts by the bosses were used to build organization and militancy, not shunted over to law firms and P.R. agencies as in Fight for 15. But the campaign was dealt a serious blow by the mass firing of six organizers. (Forman’s scathing critique of a complacent union bureaucracy as an outcome of labor law and how labor law proved to be a dead end is also important to consider.)

SEIU has far more resources to confront employer threats of firing and retaliation, but creating a shop-by-shop base of power would still be a monumental task. Fight for 15 could nurture worker power other ways, but it has forgone a bottom-up struggle. Its worker leaders serve to energize other workers, relate a compelling personal story and act as a media spokesperson. In other words, they provide the image of a leader rather than the substance of a leader who can organize the workplace, engage in shop-floor warfare against the boss, develop worker solidarity, and force concessions while building a militant rank and file.

The site of worker power in Fight for 15 is supposed to be the organizing committees, but within the staff-driven campaign participants say workers have little power. Strike votes are usually not held unless the staff leadership is confident it will win. Meetings are for pumping up workers and feeding them information, not democratic debate and decision-making. The annual Fight for 15 conferences, with the next one reportedly set for this summer in Detroit, are described as heavily scripted. I asked one organizer if it was true that worker leaders made decisions during weekly national conference calls. The response was, “That’s bullshit, and I know because I participate in those calls.” Plus, a one person says during a strategy session Scott Courtney was introduced to workers as “the reason you are all here.” Compare this SEIU’s claim in 2013 that it is following the lead of fast-food workers and “We don’t yet understand the scale of it” when in fact it gave birth to the fast-food workers campaign.

Where there is organizing in Fight for 15, it is more in the streets than in the workplace. The big days of action are vital for the sense of momentum. Allies from community groups, students and union staff swell numbers, add to the festivity, make a more favorable media impression, sway public opinion, and make it look as if the campaign is growing.

One can make the case that SEIU made a sound decision in forgoing a worker-centric campaign for a P.R. and legal strategy. But then it can no longer said to be a worker-driven movement. If SEIU admitted workers’ fear of being fired or disciplined by employers leads to high turnover in Fight for 15, it would undermine the perception that more and more fast-food workers are joining and staying with the campaign. A lack of power also means workers follow the dictates of paid organizers, who in turn say they get their marching orders from SEIU leaders.

A few organizers have mentioned SEIU’s P.R. firm, BerlinRosen Public Affairs, is involved in the strategy. In fact, a 25-page document entitled “Strike in a Box,” which bears BerlinRosen’s logo, is presented as a how-to-guide for building a successful strike. This and other documents provide more evidence for the top-down management of Fight for 15, which is logical given the enormous effort devoted to organizing just one protest in one city. The fact that Fight for 15 staged more than 200 protests in U.S. cities on April 15 indicates how many resources SEIU has committed.

For example, one fast-food protest in 2013 was run like a military campaign. The staffing plan included the local organizing leadership, four different media workers, half-a-dozen “defusers” to soothe any trouble, a photographer, videographer, police liaison, chant leader and energizer, a supply team, drivers, onsite legal, a criminal lawyer on standby, breakfast and lunch coordinators, and people designated to hand out signs, flags, t-shirts, and water. A spreadsheet mapped out protests by the minute, noting times and location for loading vans, picking up workers, talking points for press conferences, skits, prayers, dancing in the streets, and “walk backs” of workers the next day to minimize retaliation. Insiders say to maximize turnout, Fight for 15 will sometimes rent hotel rooms for workers the night before a protest, rent vans to drive them to the start point, and provide meals.

Strike in a Box appears to be from an earlier stage of Fight for 15, but it is insightful. It starts with a “Legal FAQ” that describes different types of strikes under labor law. It cautions against any conduct that can be classified as picketing as “picketing is considered coercive and incurs more liability for the union,” such as forcing a union election. Instead it says to focus on unfair labor practices as “ULP strikes are the legal crown jewel of strikes.”

The document gives tips for discovering, recording and tracking unfair labor practices. Workers in various Fight for 15 chapters say uncovering ULPs became a priority nearly two years ago, with organizers regularly asking for incidences of employer retaliation or discrimination.

The link between the legal and media strategy is in the section on “Site Assessments,” which begins by asking how many active and strong ULP’s there are at a particular establishment. The section also asks if it’s a good site to focus on, the existence of strong leaders, and then shifts to questions about messaging:

“Is it an iconic brand? Does the brand help tell a story, locally and/or nationally?

“Do we have spokespeople?

Trained? Reliable? Experienced?

“Do we have stories?

Compelling worker stories

Horror stories about site practices (wage theft, sexual harassment, etc)

Connection to broader themes (cutting hours because of Obamacare, etc)”

Much of the remainder of Strike in a Box is devoted to recruiting workers with strong stories, organizing the strike vote, how to build a “pull plan” to maximize strike-day turnout, shoring up workers confidence, carrying out the actual strike, and the need for compelling visuals, stories and a narrative. Little is said about workplace organizing. This matches the experiences of many workers in the campaign who say they are not provided with any training on how to build shop-floor organization.

None of this is meant to dismiss Fight for 15. It is having a more profound effect than anyone could have hoped for when it began. But politics don’t just happen. By denying a central role SEIU leaders can deflect questions about controversial strategies and on-the-ground organizing. Likewise, analyzing strategy and tactics years from now is little use in books few people will read. There are many more questions that can and should be asked about Fight for 15.

For example, the campaign is focused primarily on wages and then on scheduling. But once they clock out, fast-food workers confront the dilemmas of childcare, healthcare, transportation, and rent. Fight for 15 talks about the difficulty of living on a poverty wage, but does so in moralistic terms: “fairness.” It avoids a deeper critique because “the goal is a contract.” As much as workers need a pay raise, $15 an hour is of little help in many cities where the average rent on a one-bedroom apartment would eat up the entire income of a full-time worker on this wage. In Seattle, Socialist Alternative has pivoted to organizing around runaway rents, but it’s rare for big unions to seriously organize around rent control or tenants’ rights despite the fact that escalating housing costs are one of the biggest burdens that workers shoulder.

Beyond issues of daily life is workers’ role in the labor process. Building worker power would stop promotional campaigns like McDonald’s embarrassing “Pay with Love” or Starbucks clumsy “Race Together” before they happen. This is not all the responsibility of one organizing campaign but without a serious debate about the strategy Fight for 15 is pursuing and shifting to worker-oriented strategies, it’s hard to see how wage gains will translate into a gain of power for workers.

The campaign has raised hopes on the left of a revival of class consciousness and a working-class movement, but will it come to fruition under SEIU? If history and current events are any guide, the missing ingredient is the organized left. It’s anarchists who made Occupy Wall Street happen, socialists who have revitalized many teachers unions, and socialists and the left that have turned $15 an hour into reality. Without a similar effort, Fight for 15 may give fast-food workers more change in their pockets, but not the power to change their lives.

Arun Gupta contributes to outlets including Al Jazeera America, Vice, The Progressive, The Guardian, and In These Times.



When we think of Charlie Chaplin we remember a little mustached clown with a cane and bowler hat who made us laugh, probably more than any other clown in history.

Today, April 16th, would be his 126th birthday. I always remembered that date as it is also the birthday of my father.

In honour of his special day I want to share a clip from his movie The Great Dictator which illustrates the serious side of this wonderful man …

If only there were world leaders today that share these sentiments

Sentiments arguably as true today as they were in 1940.
“In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way”


Never Again! ~~ Unless They Are Palestinians!! 
(Click on underlined link)

Does the number mean anything today? (FROM)

Does the number mean anything today? (FROM)

The coach of Israel’s Beitar Jerusalem football team has said that he won’t bring on an Arab player out of respect for his club’s racist fans.

Players for Beitar Jerusalem, seen in yellow and black jerseys at a recent match against Maccabi Haifa, won’t have an Arab teammate any time soon, coach promises. (Henk Vogel/Flickr)

Players for Beitar Jerusalem, seen in yellow and black jerseys at a recent match against Maccabi Haifa, won’t have an Arab teammate any time soon, coach promises. (Henk Vogel/Flickr)

No Arab players need apply to Israeli football team, coach says

The coach of Israel’s Beitar Jerusalem football team has said that he won’t bring on an Arab player out of respect for his club’s racist fans.

“I don’t think it’s the right time. It would cause tensions and create much greater damage,” Guy Levi told Israel’s 102FM radio, according to Ynet.

Levi said that he didn’t think there were any Palestinian citizens of Israel who would play for his team.

“Even if there were a player who fit in professionally, I would not bring him in,” Levi said, “because it would create unnecessary tensions.”

While racism is endemic in Israeli football, Beitar is particularly notorious for the violence and hatred of its fans who have habitually rampaged in the streets chanting “Death to the Arabs” and anti-Muslim slurs.

Asked if he didn’t think bringing in an Arab player would help change the racist culture of the fans, Levi replied: “Let the education minister change the culture and not ask us to change the culture of a people that is centuries old.”

Levi said his job was to “coach the team, not to educate anyone.”

He then praised the club’s fans, which he called by their nickname “La Familia”: “I met La Familia recently, excellent people and fantastic fans. I respect the people who support my team.”

Six Israelis arrested for last summer’s abduction and lynching of Palestinian teenagerMuhammad Abu Khudair in eastern occupied Jerusalem were all reportedly members of “La Familia,” and would therefore have regularly been exposed to racist incitement.

Appeasing racists

In 2013, Beitar managers angered fans by bringing on two Muslim players from Chechnya.

Club manager Eli Cohen tried to calm them at the time by saying that “There’s a difference … between a European Muslim and an Arab Muslim.”

Ahmed Tibi, a Palestinian citizen of Israel and a member of Israel’s parliament, condemned Levi’s statements.

“This is the kind of thing that encourages racism and hatred in Israeli society in general and in Israeli football in particular,” Tibi said.

Tibi noted that the international football federation FIFA would take a keen interest as it already monitors racism in the Israeli league.

International pressure

FIFA and its European counterpart UEFA have long been under pressure to sanction or suspend Israel over pervasive racism.

But while other countries have suffered sanctions for racism, Israel has so far been given impunity.

Despite the pervasive racism, there are some Arab players on predominantly Jewish teams and Jewish players on predominantly Arab teams in the Israeli league.

With thanks to David Sheen for spotting this story.


As the title of this post says, it’s only SOME Israelis that are involved …

There are many others who are not (Click on link)



zionism finds itself in a dilemma these days as more Jewish youth, especially university students. get involved in the BDS Movement and other progressive outlets.

Rather than change their policies, they prefer to attack those against them, much like the tactics used in the recent Israeli Election campaign, there were no issues raised but there were many attacks against opposing Parties and candidates.

In this video, zionists pathetically attempt to save their ‘wayward youth’.

It is a genuine act of desperation …

If they looked in the mirror they might see the actual causes of what appears to be a growth of anti-Semitism throughout Europe today. It obviously is a result of Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians. It is a growth of anti Israeli sentiments, nothing to do with anti-Semitism at all.

Norman Finkelsein recently gave a speech on “the new anti-Semitism” to the Students for Justice in Palestine chapter at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. For a short synopsis of what was said, see THIS report from Mondoweiss.It is worth your while to watch the following in its entirety ….

Israel Could Reduce Anti-Semitic Violence by Not Calling Itself the Jewish State, Finkelstein Says




On the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Israel once again pulls out the infamous ‘Victim Card’, portraying itself as target …

Jewish communities around the world faced an “explosion of hatred” last year, with the number of violent anti-Semitic attacks rising by 38 percent, according to an annual report released by the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University released on Wednesday, the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“There is a worsening in expressions of anti-Semitism. Jews today worry about their future,” according to the report, which also notes a connection between Israel’s Operation Protective Edge against Hamas in Gaza over the summer and the rise in anti-Semitism.

Read the following before continuing with the rest of this post from yesterday … (Click on link)


Report shows surge in violent anti-Semitic incidents in 2014

Who will stand in silence for the victims of the Living Holocaust?

Who will stand in silence for the victims of the Living Holocaust?

Tonight at sundown Israel will commemorate the Holocaust. On Thursday morning a siren will sound throughout the country and all traffic will come to a halt, all work will stop and the nation will stand at attention for a minute of silence for those that perished in those dark days.

A nation in mourning

A nation in mourning

Young Jews from Israel and around the world will join in the March of the Living and visit the sites of concentration camps in Poland. The Holocaust must never be forgotten!


Why go on 'The March of The Living' when the Living Holocaust is right here to see .... Image by Derkaoui Abdellah

Why go on ‘The March of The Living’ when the Living Holocaust is right here to see ….
Image by Derkaoui Abdellah

A trip to the other side of the wall of apartheid in Israel would demonstrate that nothing has been learned from the Holocaust as it repeats itself daily in the Occupied West Bank and in Gaza. Observers can see first hand, with their own eyes the use of child labour on settlement farms … (Click on links)

 Settlement agriculture using Palestinian child labor

As in previous Holocausts, there are the deniers …

 HRW ‘Lies’ About Abuse of Palestinian Minors at Jewish Farms

But the camera never lies

But the camera never lies

 A trip to Gaza would be an eyeopener for tourists as they watch the residents continue to dig out of the rubble from the last Israeli blitzkrieg …

Yes, the Holocaust is alive and well right here , no need to go to Poland. And if it’s historical comparisons you want to see, just look at this collage of photos …

This photo essay was put together by the head of the Norweigan Embassy in Saudi Arabia. It origanilly appeared on MWC News.



Hitler Yesterday ~ Israel Today














welcome to palestine







Today, April 13th, would be the 80th wedding anniversary of my parents. In 1960, on this day, their family and friends organised a surprise party for their 25th anniversary. I was sent to our local Woolworth Store to buy some crepe paper rolls to decorate the walls. When I got there I was greeted by a picket line, was handed a leaflet that I did not read and went into the store to buy what I needed.

When I came out the demonstrators asked if I read the leaflet I was given, I responded “not yet” … it called for a boycott of Woolworth because their stores in the South refused to serve Blacks at their lunch counters. I felt as if I committed a crime by not heeding their call, so I promised to join their demonstration the following week. I kept my word and continued with these good people for over a year until Woolworth finally changed their policies.

That's me under the third 'O'

That’s me under the third ‘O’

The reception from those passing by was not always the friendliest, I was called every name in the book, from ‘N’ Lover to Communist … I didn’t even know what a Communist was even though I was around during the McCarthy days and the Rosenberg Spy Case. I found it strange that suddenly, because I was against segregation in the South I was a Communist. There were shouts of ….

Russia??? That was a place that my mother left in 1922 for good reasons. Why would I want to go there???

The 60’s were years of change in America. A Catholic was elected President, the Civil Rights Movement grew by leaps and bounds as did the Peace Movement. Fidel Castro was the leader of a new Cuba, just 90 miles away putting an end to the infamous dictatorship of Batista. Times were good and the future looked promising.

It was a natural move to get involved in the ‘Ban The Bomb Movement’. There I found myself in the company of great notables like Eleanor Roosevelt, Dr. Spock, Linus Pauling, Bertrand Russell and so many more … and we were all called Communists (sic). Some of us investigated the name calling and realised that the shoe fit, so we wear it to this day.



It was also natural to define 'Communist' and realise that I was one .... that's me next to the cop.

That’s me next to the cop.

Despite the horrible situation that the world is in today, the hope for a bright future prevails. Just yesterday America’s Afro-American President met for the first time with the leader of Cuba. 

There are moves to control the spread of nuclear arms throughout the world.

We lost many Brothers and Sisters along the way, but our ranks continue to swell. Both are the reasons that I never lost the hope of a bright and peaceful future …. and that all started on April 13th.

The rest is history!

Welcome To The Future Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.

A Blessing to the memory of those who are no longer with us to see the great changes taking place.


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