ROGER WATERS REPLIES TO ABE FOXMAN

roger-waters-graffiti (2)
*
I have no attitude towards Jews. I do not group or categorise human beings in that way. I know many people who are Jewish, I have many very close friends who are Jewish, my two Grandsons are Jewish. I also have many friends who are not Jewish, who are Christian, Moslem, Buddhist, Agnostic, whatever, they are my friends, and I love them, their faith or lack of it is irrelevant to me.
*

A note from Roger Waters to Abe Foxman

Roger Waters 

Dear Mr. Foxman,

Thank you for your letter.  I will try to address the points you make, in the order that you make them. With the general proviso though, that I am wary of, and wearied by any form of slanging match.

Anti Semitism:

I think I note a change in A.D.L.’s position on my work, but it is not clear. Are you accusing me or my work of anti-Semitism or not? For the record I am not anti-semitic, neither is my theatrical piece The Wall and nor are any of the props, puppets or projections in that work.

You are right in saying that I have attacked The Israeli Governments’ policies in Gaza, the West Bank, and in Israel itself. You are wrong in your conclusion that my criticism of the policies of the Government of Israel requires the A.D.L. to “reexamine your attitude towards Jews”.

I have no attitude towards Jews. I do not group or categorise human beings in that way. I know many people who are Jewish, I have many very close friends who are Jewish, my two Grandsons are Jewish. I also have many friends who are not Jewish, who are Christian, Moslem, Buddhist, Agnostic, whatever, they are my friends, and I love them, their faith or lack of it is irrelevant to me.

I do however have an antipathy to racism and bigotry, I have no time for racists or bigots whatever their religion or their race or their politics or the color of their skin.

You speak of the omission of “important details” from my letter, if I may, to provide context I will quote you here:

“Important details are omitted from your letter, which is a classic propaganda technique.  Why didn’t you point out that one of the stated objectives of the BDS movement, promoting a complete right of return for all Palestinians classified as refugees and the creation of a bi-national state, would result in the end of the Jewish character of the State of Israel and destroy Jewish national self-determination? Your writing also makes no mention of Palestinian terrorism, nor does it provide any context to the complex nature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Hamas, a terrorist organization which continues to advocate for Israel’s destruction, is entirely absent from your letter.”

You accuse the Israeli government of committing ethnic cleansing by physically evicting non-Jewish families from East Jerusalem to make way for Jewish occupants, yet provide zero evidence for this frivolous claim. You argue that Israel is akin to Apartheid South Africa, despite the complete and equal rights enjoyed by Arab citizens of Israel.

Your point about the right of Palestinian refugees to return is well taken, it is, as you say central to the B.D.S. position. The refugee’s right to return is enshrined in Article 13 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and The Fourth Geneva Convention and in UN resolution 194. This fundamental human right is a founding stone upon which the possibility of a civilized future for mankind rests. You are wrong, however in your assertion that B.D.S. requires a single bi-national State. The B.D.S. movement is open to a two State solution, the whole point of B.D.S. is to encourage any peaceful solution that guarantees equal rights to all the people regardless of race or religion. Is your position that the refugees should not be allowed to return? Should the refugees remain refugees forever? How would you feel if the boot was on the other foot? You are in a better position than most to understand the enormity of The Nakbah having been through a diaspora of your own.

Turning now to Hamas; Hamas does not “continue to advocate Israel’s destruction”. The charter you quote is out of date.

On December 1st 2010 Hamas Leader Ismail Haniyeh stated, “ We accept a Palestinian state on the borders of 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital, the release of Palestinian prisoners, and the resolution of the issue of refugees” In February 2012 Hamas forswore the use of violence.

I wish my claims as to the ethnic cleansing of East Jerusalem were “frivolous”, sadly they are anything but, I direct you to two pieces of corroborative evidence, 1)Roadmap to Apartheid 2012 a documentary film by Ana Nogueira a white South African and Eron Davidson a Jewish Israeli. And, 2) Extreme Rambling, Walking Israel’s Separation Barrier. For Fun. 2011 by Englishman, Mark Thomas.

Moving on, again for clarity’s sake I quote your text:

“Most disturbing of all is your decision to single out Israel for a boycott, while ignoring real human rights abusing countries around the world.”

Your question about singling out Israel for a cultural boycott is an interesting one. I equally deplored the occupation of East Timor or The Western Sahara, but one cannot take up cudgels for every just cause, if one tried to one would be spread too thin, so to speak. Also B.D.S. had already started in Palestine, so I joined an existing movement of people who were organized and proposing a non violent method of resistance to the occupation and inequality of Palestinian Israeli citizens civil rights.

Having said that, I do also support organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights watch which try to focus on all human rights violations and abuses where ever they may occur. I haven’t been everywhere, so there’s a lot of bad stuff going on that I haven’t seen with my own eyes. I do absolutely agree with you that I should speak out as often as possible against all abuses of human rights. As a matter of fact everywhere we perform “The Wall,” I speak in the local language and dedicate the Wall Concert to All The Victims of State Terrorism All over The World.

Finally, I notice you couldn’t resist the little anti-semitic dig at the end of your letter.

“Mr. Waters, having many Jewish friends and relatives does not give legitimacy to your hostile campaign against the Jewish State, and while painting a Star of David on your pig may have been free of anti-Semitic intent, your strong animosity towards Israel is indeed riddled with it.”

Just to reiterate my position, I am anti-war, anti-apartheid, anti-racist, pro human rights, pro peace and pro self-determination for all peoples. I am not anti-Israel or anti-semitic.

I am also passionately pro dialogue and thank you for taking the time and trouble to share your thoughts with me in this open letter. You speak of a Two State Solution, and although I know you don’t represent the Israeli Government, you do represent a point of view, and I should be most  interested to hear what you think such a solution would look like, both geographically and demographically. Where would you think it just and equitable to put the borders between two such states, and who would live where? Given the continuing policies of occupation, colonization and settlement building in the West Bank and the siege of Gaza, it is very difficult for any neutral observer to imagine that the Israeli Government is serious in moving towards an equitable two state solution.

However, It maybe that there is a glimmer of light this week. We are assured by John Kerry, Secretary of State for Barack Obama that peace talks are taking place in Jerusalem. These are secret talks so we don’t know who is having them or on behalf of whom, but, should those talks bare fruit and a just and equitable peace break out, then it will be time to tear down the walls and picket lines, end the boycotts, clamber disheveled over the barricades and join the people in the streets.

I will be there with every musician I can muster.

Yours sincerely,

Roger Waters
Budapest, Hungary

PS – “Teacher leave those kids alone

 

Source

WITH SUPPORT FROM FRANCE OBAMA IS SURE TO GET HIS WAY

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
*
Some of the obstacles facing Obama …. but no need to worry, France is on his side 😉
usa-china-russia-syria-war
*
France: UK vote does not change will to act on Syria

Hollande says still supports ‘firm’ punitive action against Syrian regime over chemical attack, adds Paris can act without Britain, after its parliament voted against strike. UK’s Cameron says Obama will understand need to listen to wishes of British people

Reuters

*

French President Francois Hollande said a British parliamentary vote against taking military action in Syria would not affectFrance‘s will to act to punish Bashar Assad‘s government for an apparent chemical weapons attack on civilians.

Hollande told the daily Le Monde in an interview that he still supported taking “firm” punitive action over an attack he said had caused “irreparable” harm to the Syrian people and said he would work closely with France’s allies.

Asked if France could take action without Britain, Hollande replied: “Yes. Each country is sovereign to participate or not in an operation. That is valid for Britain as it is for France.”

A British parliamentary defeat on Thursday of a government motion on Syria has dealt a setback to US-led efforts to punish Damascus for last week’s poison gas attack.

Hollande is not constrained by the need for parliamentary approval of any move to intervene in Syria and could act, if he chose, before a parliamentary debate on the issue set for Wednesday.

Hollande told Le Monde that he would not take any decision to act unless the conditions were there to justify that.

“All the options are on the table. France wants action that is in proportion and firm against the Damascus regime,” he said.

“There are few countries that have the capacity to inflict a sanction by the appropriate means. France is one of them. We are ready. We will decide our position in close liaison with our allies.”

Prime Minister David Cameron on his part he regretted the failure of the British parliament to support military action in Syria but that he hoped President Barack Obama would understand the need to listen to the wishes of the people.

“I think the American public, the American people and President Obama will understand,” Cameron said just hours after parliament voted against a government motion to authorise the principle of military action in Syria.

“I haven’t spoken to him (Obama) since the debate and the vote but I would expect to speak to him over the next day or so. I don’t think it’s a question of having to apologise,” Cameron said in an interview aired on British television channels.

Germany won’t participate in strike

Also Friday, Germany’s foreign minister ruled out his country’s participation in a military strike in Syria.

Guido Westerwelle told Saturday’s Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung that such military action had “neither been asked nor is it being considered by us”, according to comments pre-released by the paper.

witness said.

The inspectors have spent the week visiting rebel-held areas on the outskirts of Damascus following reports of a chemical weapons attack last week that the opposition blames on President Bashar Assad. The Syrian government accuses the rebels of chemical weapons attacks on civilians and soldiers.

The witness said the inspectors were not carrying body armor, indicating they would not cross into rebel-held territory.

Source

THOSE INVISIBLE PALESTINIAN CHILDREN IN A DISAPPEARING LAND

What zion hides from the world ….. and what they get upset about …..
*
Murder of innocent children
*
abir_aramin (1)

Abir was ten years old, walking home from school, a block away from the Israeli soldiers who were angry at adolescent boys throwing stones at their armored vehicle. They were just outside East Jerusalem in the village of Anata in the West Bank. Abir had stopped at a store to buy candy to bring home to her sister.

The rubber bullet hit her at the base of her skull. The operations to save her were performed at an Israeli hospital in West Jerusalem. They were unsuccessful.

*

headline9637e7

Found in the rubble of the Gaza aftermath

*

The above horrors went unnoticed in the Western press …

BUT …

The following is headline news in Vancouver, Canada, as zion gets upset with the truth;

*

‘Disappearing Palestine’ Transit Ads Anger Jewish Federation in Vancouver

Show Palestinian Territories Gradually Shrinking Into Israel

*
Bus Boycott: Ads paid for by the Palestine Awareness Coalition show the Palestinian territories shrinking into Israel over six decades.
COURTESY MITCHELL GROPPER
Bus Boycott: Ads paid for by the Palestine Awareness Coalition show the Palestinian territories shrinking into Israel over six decades.

The head of the Jewish federation in Vancouver and the Canadian city’s transit agency are at odds over the legality of an anti-Israel ad campaign on buses there.

The ads, which went up Tuesday, purport to show the “disappearance of Palestine due to Israeli occupation over the past 65 years.” The ads — 15 bus posters and one large “mural” in a station — consist of four maps spanning from 1946 to 2012 and illustrate “Palestine” shrinking over the years.

“This is of grave concern to our community at large because the ads make the use of the buses unwelcome and unsafe,” Mitchell Gropper, chair of the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver, told The Province newspaper.

TransLink, the transit agency, said in a written statement that it was advised by its lawyers that it was legally obligated to run the ads. But Gropper, an attorney, disagrees with TransLink’s legal determination and said the federation has retained a lawyer to consider its options.

“TransLink has said the law required them to publish these ads,” he said, “but that is certainly not the case.”

The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center in Toronto said it was “disturbed to learn about TransLink’s agreement to run historically distorted anti-Israel advertisements,” and said the ads were “provocative and incite hatred and contempt.”

Marty Roth, a member of the Palestine Awareness Coalition that is behind the $15,000, four-month campaign, told The Province that the battle over the ads had already been won.

“This will be controversial with a number of traditional Jewish organizations that have tried to suppress the ads,” Roth said. “But TransLink has refused to agree with them.”

Source

*

And from MONDOWEISS

ISLAM ‘EXPOSED’ BY NYPD

The New York Police Department’s dragnet surveillance program labeled mosques as terrorist organizations to justify infiltrating religious institutions.
*

The NYPD’s bigoted logic: Mosques are fronts for terrorism

Alex Kane
*

From left to right, David Cohen, NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and former CIA agent; Mayor Michael Bloomberg; and NYPD chief Ray Kelly (Photo: EPA/ANDREW GOMBERT)

From left to right, David Cohen, NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and former CIA agent; Mayor Michael Bloomberg; and NYPD chief Ray Kelly (Photo: EPA/ANDREW GOMBERT)

*

The New York Police Department’s dragnet surveillance program labeled mosques as terrorist organizations to justify infiltrating religious institutions. The latest bombshell on the program, published by the Associated Press’ Pulitzer Prize winning duo Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo, exposes the logic governing the NYPD’s post-9/11 activities: every Muslim is a potential terrorist.

Since the NYPD implemented its surveillance program with the help of the Central Intelligence Agency, at least a dozen mosques have come under the purview of “terrorism enterprise investigations” (TEI). Labeling a mosque a TEI means that every single person attending the institution is a potential subject for investigation. NYPD agents from its Intelligence Division were sent into mosques to record sermons and spy on imams. The AP reporters write that “many TEIs stretch for years, allowing surveillance to continue even though the NYPD has never criminally charged a mosque or Islamic organization with operating as a terrorism enterprise.”

The use of TEIs developed after 9/11, when former CIA agent David Cohen and current NYPD Intelligence Division official went to a federal judge to argue for changes in the legal framework governing surveillance. Cohen was largely successful, and the court agreed that the NYPD could open up TEIs. Cohen was also successful in convincing the judge to eliminate outside oversight of surveillance operations. Before 9/11, what are known as the Handschu guidelines required that an outside body review requests for investigations involving political groups. But after 9/11, the review process became only internal. A document published by the AP details the internal review process at one May 2009 meeting. Every single request for opening up a TEI into a mosque was granted by NYPD higher-ups.

But even with the loosened Handschu guidelines, civil rights lawyers still say the NYPD is violating the law. “The ways in which we think they’re violating the Handschu guidelines really rest on the fact that you still do need some information about criminal activity to launch an investigation,” Jethro Eisenstein, one of the original lawyers who filed a lawsuit against NYPD spying in the 1970s, told me in May. Instead, Eisenstein said, the NYPD is blanketing the “Orthodox Muslim observant community with surveillance. And that’s a violation of the Handschu guidelines.”

The latest AP story also contains other revelations: the NYPD attempted to infiltrate a prominent non-religious Arab organization, the police spied on guests attending a Brooklyn imam’s wedding and also asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to install eavesdropping equipment in a mosque. The FBI refused to do so, but the NYPD took other measures to spy on the mosque.

“These new NYPD spying disclosures confirm the experiences and worst fears of New York’s Muslims,” Hina Shamsi of the American Civil Liberties Union told the AP. The ACLU recently filed a lawsuit alleging the NYPD program was unconstitutional. “From houses of worship to a wedding, there’s no area of New York Muslim religious or personal life that the NYPD has not invaded through its bias-based surveillance policy.”

Some of the new details on the surveillance program track with past articles published by the AP in that they show how prominent members of the city’s Muslim community, often with ties to the police, are routinely spied on. One of those members is Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian-American Muslim and a prominent leader in the fight against NYPD spying. Sarsour, who has been honored by the White House and has met with NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly many times, runs the secular Arab-American Association of New York. And the NYPD attempted to get its own informants onto the board of Sarsour’s group.

Another subject of NYPD spying was Zein Rimawi, a Palestinian from the West Bank who immigrated to the U.S. A founder of the Islamic Islamic Society of Bay Ridge, Rimawi’s mosque was targeted and put under surveillance in 2003 by the NYPD.

Commissioner Ray Kelly defended the NYPD’s activities in an appearance on MSBCthis morning as following the law and meant to protect New Yorkers. But he had previously said that the NYPD does not use TEIs to conduct surveillance, according to Brooklyn City Councilman Brad Lander.

I asked Comm Kelly whether NYPD has “Terrorism Enterprise Investigations” into mosques. He said no (then & now). But: link to t.co

— Brad Lander (@bradlander) August 28, 2013

The new expose on the NYPD is based on documents that will be published in an upcoming book by Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo. An excerpt of the book was recently published by New York magazine. On MSNBC, Kelly said Goldman and Apuzzo were “hyping a book” that will include “a fair amount of fiction.”

The new revelations come smack in the middle of a nationwide debate on surveillance. As Goldman and Apuzzo write in the magazine, the NYPD’s activities are far more intrusive than the National Security Agency’s. “The NYPD went even further than the federal government. The activities Kelly set in motion after 9/11 pushed deeply into the private lives of New Yorkers, surveilling Muslims in their mosques, their sporting fields, their businesses, their social clubs, even their homes in a way not seen in America since the FBI and CIA monitored antiwar activists during the Nixon administration,” the reporters write.

Both the NSA and NYPD’s activities share a common root, though: they violate civil liberties in the name of fighting terrorism.

 

Written FOR

ISRAELIS PREPARING FOR AN ATTACK FROM SYRIA AS I PREPARE MY HOLIDAY DINNER

Talk of the town in Jerusalem isn’t what we’ll have for dinner on New Years Eve which falls next Wednesday night, but rather “did you get your gas mask yet”?
*
This time around, one can even order one via the post office. Nothing like a good scare to keep Israelis on their toes during the upcoming holiday season … this time around Israelis will be prepared, unlike the ‘sneak attack’ on Yom Kippur in 1973.
*
Even HaAretz has joined the frenzie in an Editorial today ….
*
But …. in my home, the talk is around what to serve with the brisket …. no time for war talk in the reality zone I live in 🙂
*
Bon Appetite!
Brisketw
*
Following is the blurb from HaAretz …
*

Where to get a gas mask in Israel

A gas mask kit can be obtained by either going to one of the Home Front Command’s distribution centers, or ordering one via the Israeli Postal Service.

*
656629730
Israelis waiting in line to receive gas masks in Tel Aviv, August 28, 2013. Photo by Moti Milrod

In light of reports of a possible U.S. strike on Syria, Israelis have been scrambling to get their hands on gas masks to prepare for a possible retaliation on Israel. While the Home Front Command has not called on citizens to obtain gas masks, many have already flocked to distribution points to pick up the kits.

If you are in Israel, looking to obtain a gas mask, here is how you can go about doing so.

The Home Front Command runs a user-friendly English-language website that provides information and guidance on various subjects pertaining to the obtainment and usage of gas masks, early warning alerts, and various other topics. 

According to the website, a gas mask kit can be obtained in two ways: 

1. By going to one of the distribution stations (listed below)

2. By ordering one via the home delivery service of the Israel Postal Authority. This  service is accompanied by a delivery fee of NIS 25. For additional information on the service, contact the Israel Postal Authority’s call center at *2237 or visit the Israel Postal Authority website.

The following list of gas mask kit distribution centers and their hours of activity is a translation of the one provided on the postal service’s Hebrew website. Hours and dates of operation are subject to change. It is recommended to call the Home Front Command information hotline for updates. Its telephone number is 104.

UPDATE: As of August 29, all gas mask distribution centers to remain open until 7 P.M. due to mass request.

Jerusalem district:

Jerusalem: Shmuel Hanavi community center, 3 Magen Haelef street. Active: August 18 to September 3, Sun-Thu 11:00-19:00.

Hadar mall, 26 General Pierre Koenig, next to Ne’eman Café. Active: August 1 to September 3, Sun-Thu 11:00-19:00.

Beit Shemesh: Big Fashion Mall, 3 Yigal Alon street. Active: August 4 to August 29, Sun-Thu 11:00-19:00.

Ma’ale Adumim: Adumim Mall, entrance level, via Shalom gate, 5 Derech Kedem. Active: August 18 to August 29, Sun-Thur 11:00-19:00.

Central district:

Tel Aviv: Post office branch at 137 Derech Hahagana. Active: August 18 to September 3, Sun-Thu 08:00-15:00.

Rozin Community Center (Matnas), 2 Drezner. Active: September 1 to September 12. Sun-Thu 10:00-19:00.

Bnei Brak: Ramat Elhanan ‘Pais’ center, corner of Abraham and Rabinov streets. Active: September 1 to September 12, Sun-Thu 10:00-19:00.

Ramat Gan: Beit Hatzanhan, 121 Rokah. Active: September 1 to September 12. Sun-Thu 10:00-19:00.

Southern district:

Bat Yam: Ehud Kinamon Sports Arena, 10 Harav Nechuyot. Active: September 1 to Sptember 12, Sun-Thu 10:00-19:00.

Northern district:

Haifa: 22 Haneviiim street, above the post office. Active all year. Sun-Thu 08:00-15:00.

HAS SYRIA ‘DECLARED WAR’ ON THE NEW YORK TIMES?

They seem to think so …. How will zion get its message out if they remain offline?
OR, perhaps it was the zionists themselves hoping to garner support against Syria …
*
Analysts said evidence showed a group supporting Syrian president Bashar al-Assad was behind Tuesday’s attack.
*
New York Times website down after suspected hacking
*
NYT
The newspaper continued to tweet news after going offline
*

The New York Times website has gone offline for the second time this month after what the company described as a “malicious external attack”.

On its Facebook page, the Times said it was working to fix the problem, which appears to have started at 15:00 local time (19:00 GMT) on Tuesday.

A technical problem knocked NYTimes.com offline on 14 August.

Analysts said evidence showed a group supporting Syrian president Bashar al-Assad was behind Tuesday’s attack.

The website was partially back online three hours later, although some users still reported difficulties. During the suspension the New York Times published new articles on its Facebook page as well as a mirror site.

Mark Frons, the company’s chief information officer, warned New York Times employees the attack was perpetrated by the Syrian Electronic Army, which backs Mr Assad, “or someone trying very hard to be them”.

He cautioned staff to “be careful when sending e-mail communications until this situation is resolved”.

Security experts said there was enough evidence to link the hacking group to the problems.

“The NYTimes.com domain is pointing at SyrianElectronicArmy.com which maps to an IP address in Russia, so it’s clearly a malicious attack,” Ken Westin, a security researcher for Tripwire, an online security company, told the BBC.

In a separate posting on Tuesday, the group also claimed responsibility for hacking Twitter’s administrative contact information.

‘More attacks’Recently, the Washington Post, CNN and Time magazine websites were targeted in attacks attributed to supporters of the group.

“Media attacks seem to be escalating and moving away from annoying, simple denial of service attacks and toward full domain compromise which, if successful, puts millions of NYT website users at risk,” said Mr Westin.

As it did after the first New York Times suspension, competitor Wall Street Journal took down its pay wall and offered its content free to all visitors.

In January, the New York Times said hackers had accessed its website and stolen the passwords of 53 employees after it published a report on the wealth of China Premier Wen Jiabao’s family.

Michael Fey, chief technology officer at cybersecurity firm McAfee, said that as long as media organisations play a crucial role in reporting news and influencing debate, they will continue to be targets of cyber-attacks.

“Regardless of technology or tactics deployed, we should expect to see more of these attacks,” he said.

Source

TODAY’S TOON ~~ EGYPT’S REVOLVING REVOLUTION

Image By Bendib

8-26-Revolution

BDS ‘BULLIES’ VIRTUALLY ATTACK TOM JONES

Still another ‘has-been’ plans to perform in Israel next month, but not without the BDS Movement being demonised by zion ….
*

“Performing in Tel Aviv today is like performing in South Africa during the height of the days of apartheid,” said one of the boycott organizers.

As of now, Jones is not caving to the pressure and did not cancel his performance, as other artists did in recent years.

*
1148923_729164427109573_718962214_n (1)
*
Tom Jones target of BDS pressure, Israeli support

Welsh singer’s scheduled performance in Israel sees fierce online battle between BDS activists, Israeli Consulate in New York

*

In exactly one month, singer Tom Jones is expected to take the stage at Tel Aviv‘s Nokia Arena. But behind the scenes an online battle is being waged between anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists, who are pressuring the Welsh singer to cancel his performance in Israel, and Israel supporters who express their encouragement and love for the singer.

A group of British BDS activists are circulating a petition calling on Jones to boycott Israel and cancel his show. The petition was already signed by more than 1,000 internet users.

“Performing in Tel Aviv today is like performing in South Africa during the height of the days of apartheid,” said one of the boycott organizers.

As of now, Jones is not caving to the pressure and did not cancel his performance, as other artists did in recent years.

Yet to ensure that the 73-year-old singer, famous for hit songs such as “Delilah”, “It’s Not Unusual” and “What’s New Pussycat”, will not surrender to the pressure, another online campaign was launched: During the weekend, Consul for Public Affairs at the Israel Consulate in New York Gil Lainer sent an e-mail to thousands of Jewish and Israeli hasbara activists, and asked them to send Jones encouraging messages and support his decision to perform in Israel.

Lainer’s e-mail, titled “It’s not unusual to be loved by Israel”, read: “Over the past few weeks, Tom Jones has become the latest victim of a fringe campaign pushing for a boycott of Israel, which bullies artists and academics from coming to Israel. It is time to tell Tom Jones that no music fan should be punished because of the agenda of online bullies. We should send positive messages of love and support to tom Jones on his Facbook and Twitter pages, with the hashtag #Israel LovesTomJones.”

Source

JIM CROW ALIVE AND WELL ON THE ROAD TO WASHINGTON

Based upon the speeches during the main portion of today’s events there can be little doubt that the Dr. King who was murdered in Memphis in 1968 would not have been allowed to speak at this fiftieth-anniversary commemoration of his life.
*

Seeing ‘New Jim Crow’ Placards Seized by Police & More From the March on Washington

Dave Zirin
*

Marchers carry signs in remembrance of Trayvon Martin during the 50th anniversary commemoration of the March on Washington August 24, 2013. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan
*

I spent eight hours today amongst thousands at the March on Washington, and the people present were some of the most remarkable, resilient people I have ever had the privilege to be around. The number-one face on T-shirts, placards, and even homemade drawings was not President Obama or even Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It was Trayvon Martin. I also witnessed homemade signs calling for jobs programs, speaking out against the school closures and in solidarity with those overseas victimized by US militarism. The people at this march are the face of resistance to what Dr. King called the “evil triplets of militarism, materialism and racism.”

The main speakers at the march, however, did not match the politics and urgency of those who gathered in the Saturday heat. Even more frustrating is that few tried. I expect to get all kinds of hate mail for what I’m about to write, but not to write it would be an act of duplicity based on what I saw and what I heard. I saw the great Julian Bond get only two minutes to say his piece before being shuttled from the stage. I saw Reverend Jesse Jackson, who has done remarkable work in recent years against the banks and Chicago school closures, also get less time than a pop song. I saw Reverend Lennox Yearwood, who is doing some of the most important work in the country connecting climate change to racism, get ninety seconds before being cut off. There was one speaker at the 8 am pre-rally who said the word “drones,” and that was it for any discussion of US foreign policy.

Based upon the speeches during the main portion of today’s events there can be little doubt that the Dr. King who was murdered in Memphis in 1968 would not have been allowed to speak at this fiftieth-anniversary commemoration of his life. There was no discussion of the “evil triplets.” Instead, we had far too many speakers pay homage to the narrowest possible liberal agenda in broad abstractions with none of the searing material truths that make Dr. King’s speeches so bracing even today.

As Representative Nancy Pelosi spoke, it was difficult to not think of her defense of the NSA spying program or her vote against cutting funding to stop the mass monitoring of phone calls.

As future New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, Wall Street’s best friend, spoke at the front of this March, it was difficult to not think of the Dr. King who said, “The profit motive, when it is the sole basis of an economic system, encourages a cutthroat competition and selfish ambition that inspires men to be more concerned about making a living than making a life.”

As Attorney General Eric Holder, the person who is not bringing federal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman, was allotted 30 minutes—fifteen times that of Julian Bond—to speak from the front stage, it was difficult to not think about the fact that it has taken five years for him to say anything about mass incarceration in this country. The late Bayard Rustin insisted, as the lead organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, that no politicians or political appointees be allowed to speak. Clearly, there were different principles at work today.

Yes it was profoundly moving to see Representative John Lewis, the only living speaker from the 1963 March on Washington. Yes, it was right on time for the march organizers to give the incredible Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, time to speak – albeit far too briefly. But the closest thing to an administration critic was 9-year-old Asean Johnson, who has been on the front lines fighting school closures in Chicago, bringing the fire to both President Obama’s confidante Mayor Rahm Emmanuel and the education agenda of Arne Duncan. I love Asean Johnson, but given the problems we face, far more was needed.

The day was symbolized for me on multiple levels by seeing DC Park police seize 200 professionally printed placards from activists that were distributing them for free. The placards read, “Stop Mass Incarceration. Stop the new Jim Crow.” Police said that it was “unlawful solicitation”, even though organizers were clearly giving them away. When those having their signs seized complained, they were threatened with fines or arrest. I heard one DC police officer say, “Hey, you can get them back at the end of the day. On second thought, given your attitude you cannot. “

I have never seen free placards confiscated at a national gathering by DC police. Then again, I’ve also never seen a demonstration so thickly monitored, with park police, the Department of Homeland Security and the military on every corner.

Today, those “triplets of evil” King warned us about 1967 still strangle this country. If we are not talking about the New Jim Crow, Wall Street and militarism, then what are we doing? King said, “If an American is concerned only about his nation, he will not be concerned about the peoples of Asia, Africa, or South America. Is this not why nations engage in the madness of war without the slightest sense of penitence? Is this not why the murder of a citizen of your own nation is a crime, but the murder of citizens of another nation in war is an act of heroic virtue?” Given US foreign policy, how can one say that they stand in King’s legacy and not raise these issues?

I would ask those who find this objectionable to ask themselves, “What would Dr. King/Ella Baker/Fannie Lou Hamer/Malcolm X think about today’s march?” I don’t presume to know the answer to that question, but I know that we only honor their memory by asking it.

For more from the March on Washington, Ari Berman reports on the new civil rights movement and the most important speakers at the march.

 

Source

ZIOPOCRISY

If anyone else even had plans for this, the zios would be screaming their heads off …. but in this case there is silence. Can we call this ziopocrisy?
*
An Israeli architectural firm defended its involvement in the planned construction of a shopping mall on a former concentration camp for Jews in Serbia.
*

Israeli Firm Builds Mall on Concentration Camp Site

Belgrade Site Will Be Serbia’s Biggest Shopping Center

*
Place of Grief: A woman mourns at the site of a Nazi concentration camp in Belgrade.
HISTORICAL ARCHIVE OF BELGRADE
Place of Grief: A woman mourns at the site of a Nazi concentration camp in Belgrade.
 

By JTA

*

An Israeli architectural firm defended its involvement in the planned construction of a shopping mall on a former concentration camp for Jews in Serbia.

“We cannot be suspected in being insensitive to anything relating to the Holocaust,” Ami Moore of the MYS firm in Tel Aviv said in a statement sent to JTA. Moore was responding to allegations that appeared earlier this month in an article by the Reuters news agency that his firm was pursuing unlicensed plans for building a shopping mall for Serbia’s Delta corporation on the premises of the Topovske Supe camp, where 6,000 Jews and 1,500 Roma were murdered during World War II.

Heritage preservation officials in Serbia told Reuters they opposed the plan to build on the site, which comprises a cluster of dilapidated warehouses and a memorial plaque. Delta has not obtained the necessary permits to destroy the warehouses and build there, Aleksandra Fulgozi, deputy director of Serbia’s Agency for Protection for Cultural Monuments, told Reuters.

But according to Moore, his office plans to build a large memorial monument at the entrance to the shopping mall that would “educate about the Holocaust.” He said representatives of Serbian Jewry have been consulted with regard to the design.

“Topovske Supe was an army warehouse that was improvised into a concentration camp for about half a year. The old walls mean nothing. The essence of the memorial means everything,” Moore wrote. “The main issue regarding the proposed memorial is to make it respecting of the victims, educating the next generations, visible and accessible as much as possible.”

Moore said that the plaque currently installed at Topovske Supe “fails to do so.”


Source

FIFTY YEARS LATER … THE TRUTH THAT DIDN’T SET US FREE

*

 
Rosa sat so Martin could walk …
Martin walked so Barack could run …
Barack ran so all our children could fly …
*
There is no doubt in my mind that Martin Luther King would have rejoiced the day Obama was elected President of the United States. His dream was finally realised ….
*
Or was it??
*
The dream did not include the continuation of illegal wars …
Nor the racial profiling and hate crimes in the streets …
Nor the use of drones against innocent civilians …
Nor the erosion of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
*
The dream spoken about above was supposed to set us free, but we still have a long way to go.
*
Don’t Give Up The Fight!
*
*
This could be the end result …
*
*
Commemorating that glorious day, fifty years ago … and still hoping for FREEDOM
*

Thousands rally to honour March on Washington

Attendees commemorate civil rights movement and demand more social justice in the US.

Naureen Khan 
*
  
*

Washington, US – Martin Luther King Jr was quoting the words of a slave preacher 50 years ago, in 1963, when he said, “Lord, we ain’t what we want to be; we ain’t what we ought to be; we ain’t what we gonna be; but thank God we ain’t what we was.”

The tens of thousands of people who converged in front of the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday morning were commemorating a different speech – King Jr’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington the same year – but the theme for the five-hour-long “Realize the Dream” rally and march was largely the unfinished business of the civil rights movement. The event was organised by the National Action Network, a civil rights group founded by the Reverend Al Sharpton.

In the most striking evocation of that sentiment, the family of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old black teenager shot in the head in 1955 in Mississippi after he was accused of flirting with a white woman, spoke in the closing minutes of the rally, urging attendees to march for justice. Immediately after, the mother of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed Florida teenager who was gunned down, took the podium.

“Trayvon Martin was my son, but he’s not just my son,” said Sybrina Fulton. “He’s all of our sons, and we have to fight for him.”

There appeared to be as many buttons, T-shirts, and signs bearing the likeness of Martin, in a hooded sweatshirt, as there were of King Jr marchers lined the length of the reflecting pool, from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, all the way to the World War II memorial, almost a mile away.

Fifty years ago, then and now

Fifty years ago, Myrlie Evers was inside the house with her three young children when her husband, prominent civil rights activist Medgar Evers, was gunned down in his driveway by a member of the Ku Klux Klan. On Saturday, she told the crowd that “Stand Your Ground” – the controversial self-defense gun laws – needed to be a rallying cry for various social justice issues.

“Stand firm on the ground that we have already made and be sure that nothing is taken away from us, because there are efforts to turn back the clock of freedom,” she said. “Stand your ground in terms for fighting justice and equality.”

Fifty years ago, John Lewis, a 23-year-old activist with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, was the youngest speaker at the March on Washington, and re-wrote his address multiple times to avoid being too incendiary. On Saturday, he addressed the crowd as a congressman from Georgia, one of 43 black legislators in the House of Representatives, and saved particular outrage for the Supreme Court’s recent decision to strike down a provision of the Voting Rights Act.

“I gave a little blood on that bridge in Selma, Alabama, for that right to vote,” he said, referring to another civil rights landmark, the 1965 march from Selma that ended in police brutality so vicious it moved many members of Congress to support the Voting Rights Act. “I am not going to stand by and let the Supreme Court take the right to vote away from us.”

Fifty years ago, Bayard Rustin, instrumental in organising the march and a gay, black man, was widely considered an outcast in the civil rights movement. On Saturday, a rainbow pride flag flew above the reflecting pool.

“There have been many attempts to tell you that we cannot get along,” said Donna Payne, associate director of field outreach for the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT advocacy organisation. “Don’t believe in the hype. I am part of the fabric that weaves our destinies together.”

Paying homage to the unsung

Eric Holder, the first African American attorney general, used his time at the podium to pay homage to the untold millions who worked for civil rights and went unacknowledged, from freedom riders to women and LGBT activists.

“For them, I would not be attorney general of the United States and Barack Obama would not be president of the United States,” he said.

The list of grievances discussed by speakers, the large majority of whom were associated with progressive causes, was long and included an unemployment rate higher in 2013 than it was in 1963, the plight of low-wage workers, “a war on the poor masquerading as a war on drugs“, efforts in various states to impose restrictions on voting, fewer dollars flowing to public education, gun violence, and law enforcement techniques that disproportionately affect African Americans, such as New York City’s stop-and-frisk policy.

“There are no longer ‘whites-only’ signs,” said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. “But there are signs of injustice everywhere.”

Several implored the younger generation to get as engaged in today’s social causes as their parents had been in civil rights.

“The same things we were fighting for in 1963, we’re fighting for now,” said 26-year-old Jasmine Sanders, a teacher. “It’s not our grandparents’ fight anymore. It’s our fight.”

“Our eyes are opening,” she added.

Patrick Robinson, 41, and Shavon Beans, 32, brought their eight-year-old son, Brent, to the rally so he would understand the history of how far black Americans had come, and all the things that they believed were working against him.

“We’ve come a long way,” Beans told him, after explaining who King Jr was. “We’re here so your children can have a better life.”

 

From

BEGGING FOR FORGIVENESS WHILE CONTINUING TO SIN

westernwall
*
The Hebrew month of Elul is the time when the observant literally beat their chests begging their Creator to forgive them for the sins they might have committed over the past year.
*
But, for many of those, as soon as their chest beating ends, they leave their houses of worship and beat on Palestinians, including children ….
*
The links below are just a few of the latest examples;
*

Photo essay: Israeli forces shoot teargas into mosque, suffocating hundreds before start of Kafr Qaddum demonstration

*

PALESTINIAN CHILDREN FORCED TO CONFESS TO CRIMES THEY DID NOT COMMIT

I’ll murder you if you don’t confess! Out here, no one will find you. We’ll kill you and leave you here.
*
*

Palestinian children routinely tortured, some threatened with rape: Israel rights group

 Ali Abunimah 
*

Palestinian children are systematically subjected to torture and violence, including threats of rape, by Israeli interrogators, in order to force them to confess to stone-throwing.

The brutality, at the Etzion police station, in an illegal Israeli colony near the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, is documented in a new report by the Israeli group B’Tselem:

In November 2009, B’Tselem began receiving reports of violence against Palestinian minors during interrogation at the Etzion police station. Until July 2013, B’Tselem field researchers collected 64 testimonies from residents of eight communities in the southern West Bank who reported such incidents. Fifty-six of them were minors at the time of their interrogation. The testimonies describedsevere physical violence during the interrogation or preliminary questioning, which, in some cases, amounted to torture. The violence included slaps, punches and kicks to all parts of the body, and blows with objects, such as a gun or a stick. Some of the former interrogatees also reported threats: in twelve cases, they claimed that the interrogator had threatened them or female relatives with sexual assault, such as rape and genital injury. In six cases, the interrogatees claimed that the interrogators had threatened to execute them; in eight cases, the interrogators allegedly threatened to harm family members; and in five other cases, they allegedly threatened to electrocute the interrogatees, including in a way that would damage their fertility.

“I’ll murder you if you don’t confess”

B’Tselem included the testimony of M.A., a 15-year-old boy, from Husan village near Bethlehem:

The interrogator “Daud” took me outside with a soldier. They blindfolded me. The plastic cable ties were still on my hands. They put me in a car and started driving. I don’t know where they took me. We reached some place outside Etzion and they forced me out of the car. My hands really hurt because of the cable ties. They took off my blindfold. I didn’t know where I was. They tied me to a tree, and then they raised my cuffed hands and tied them to the tree, too. It hurt a lot. “Daud” started punching me. After a few minutes, he took out a gun and said: “I’ll murder you if you don’t confess! Out here, no one will find you. We’ll kill you and leave you here.

Consistent

While the revelations from B’Tselem are shocking, they are, sadly, hardly new. The accounts of the Palestinian children are consistent with those collected in dozens of cases in 2012 alone by Defence for Children International – Palestine Section (DCI).

These cases include routine use of solitary confinement with no access to family or lawyers, as well as physical violence, to force children to confess.

Last year, DCI released the brief video above, Alone, highlighting the experience and testimonies of Palestinian children abused and tortured by the occupation forces.

The film makes the point that Palestinian children subjected to military occupation have no one to protect them from such abuses by Israeli forces.

As of June this year, there are 193 Palestinian children in Israeli prisons of whom 41 were between the ages of 12 and 15.

Some 7,500 Palestinian children have been detained by Israeli occupation forces since the year 2000, according to DCI.

Systematic violence and near total impunity

B’Tselem reports that its efforts to obtain accountability for Palestinian victims in dozens of cases have been met with stone-walling.

The group said its appeals to the occupation to deal “systemically” with the phenomenon of torture and violence at Etzion have gone nowhere:

Although B’Tselem contacted the Israel Police on this matter repeatedly, no official answer was given to the question whether any steps had been taken to address the phenomenon and, if so, what they were. All our communications with the police on the matter were met with denial.

B’Tselem said that the high number of consistent reports of torture suggest a systematic process:

The high number of reports B’Tselem has received regarding violent interrogations at the Etzion station, and the fact that they span several years, gives rise to heavy suspicion that this is not a case of a single interrogator who chose to use illegal interrogation methods, but rather an entire apparatus that backs him up and allows such conduct to take place.

B’Tselem itself issued a report about the torture of children at Etzion police station as far back as 2001.

Again, B’Tselem’s experience matches that of other Israeli groups, such as Yesh Din, that have found that efforts to obstain justice for Palestinians from their oppressors result in almost total and systematic impunity for the abusers.

 

Written FOR

IMAGE ESSAY ~~ REV. KING HAD A DREAM ~~ WE ARE LEFT WITH A NIGHTMARE

anti_obama_king_had_a_dream_sticker_bumper_sticker-r8caf5e48b6304b01b7ec6bfd6e8effab_v9wht_8byvr_324
*
martin-luther-king-i-have-a-dream-barack-hussein-obama-i-have-a-drone
*
pic_barack_obama_dream_act
*
This is what it all really boils down to …
Mr.Fish.MLK&Obama

PLACARD OF THE DAY

Sisi1

 

*

On August 22, several hundred Egyptians and Egyptian-Americans hit the streets of Washington DC to show their support for General Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi and the regime that overthrew the elected President Mohamed Morsi in a military coup on July 3.

*

From THIS report

A RABBI WHO IS NOT BLIND AND CAN ACTUALLY SEE

The author of the following, Rabbi Brant Rosen, Blogs AT
He is living proof that some rabbis have a vision and can actually see the truth.
*
rabbi-brant-rosen500
*
It is high time for the ADL and other Jewish establishment institutions to accept the multiplicity of voices that seek to respond to tragic reality of Israel/Palestine. Vilifying other Jewish organizations as “hate groups” does nothing to further this critical debate.
*

Respect Jewish Dissent on Israel

By Brant Rosen*

Throughout centuries of Jewish history, there has been a rich and wide-ranging debate over what constitutes Jewish values and how we might live them out as Jews. Talmudic tradition repeatedly makes it clear that this debate is in fact, a sacrosanct cornerstone of our spiritual heritage.

Jewish Voice for Peace is proud to be part of this Jewish marketplace of ideas. We believe our vision has important and critical role to play in the Jewish communal debate over Israel/Palestine. But we have no illusions that all Jewish institutions will accept our alternate views. We are certainly open to hearing differing points of view; indeed, we would welcome such a conversation as a machloket l’shem shamayim — a debate for the sake of heaven.

Sadly, in the Jewish communal world sacred debate too often devolves into denigration and political name-calling. The latest example: the Anti-Defamation League’s recently released report that publicly puts JVP on the same level as hate groups such as the Aryan Nations and the Montana State Militia.

This kind of attack on JVP is all the more saddening because the ADL does important work in the community, particularly in the realm of civil rights and multi-cultural education. However, like too many other Jewish establishment institutions, the ADL has become increasingly obsessed with supporting Israel at all costs — and publicly vilifying those with whom they disagree.

These poisonous attempts to marginalize progressive voices in the Jewish community must stop. For far too long, the ADL and other self-appointed Jewish gatekeeper organizations have sent out the message that participation in Jewish life must depend upon unquestioning support for the state of Israel and its policies. Those who seek to hold Israel to account for its oppressive policies toward Palestinians are routinely marginalized as “anti-Israel” — an incendiary epithet that the ADL dangerously conflates with anti-Semitism.

The ADL’s expose-style report repeats many of its familiar tropes against us, adding the claim that JVP and our Rabbinical Council “intentionally exploits Jewish culture and rituals in its advocacy.”

The ADL fails to consider whether or not Israel’s brutal military occupation of Palestinian land, its policies of home demolition, forced expulsions and land expropriation might be counter to Jewish values. These issues, of course, have been the “elephant in the room” of the Jewish community for decades. As a Jewish organization, we believe it is simply not the Jewish way to stand idly by in the name of communal uniformity.

We believe that this Jewish vision is resonating with increasing numbers of American Jews, particularly of the younger generation, who have previously felt themselves kept at bay from Jewish communal affiliation. This alienation has been caused in no small measure by tactics of Jewish establishment institutions such as the ADL, who have long been promoting a fear-based, lock-step approach to the issue of Israel/Palestine. Growing numbers of American Jews want a positive, progressive American Judaism rooted in justice, dignity and equality for all, including the Palestinians.

Speaking hard truths to power is a venerable Jewish tradition that dates back to the prophets. While we realize this kind of criticism is painful for some in our community to hear, voicing these kinds of concerns has long been considered a Jewish religious imperative.

We certainly don’t expect every Jewish individual or organization to be comfortable with our message. But we do reject the incendiary assertion that we are “exploiting” Jewish tradition when we speak and act according to our Jewish conscience.

It is high time for the ADL and other Jewish establishment institutions to accept the multiplicity of voices that seek to respond to tragic reality of Israel/Palestine. Vilifying other Jewish organizations as “hate groups” does nothing to further this critical debate.

*Brant Rosen is the Co-Chairperson of the Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council.

Source

TRICKY DICK WAS AN ANTI SEMITE?? WTF!!

OMG!!! How could the ADL have missed out on this one??
Perhaps it just isn’t so!
*
“They put the Jewish interest above America’s interest, and it’s about goddamn time that the Jew in America realizes he’s an American first and a Jew second.”
*
Sounds pretty much close to the truth to me 😦
*

President Nixon Makes Anti-Semitic Remarks on Last Set of Tapes Released

Accused Jews of Putting Jewish Interests Before America

*

By Reuters

*

President Richard Nixon is heard in the last set of his White House tapes making anti-Semitic statements in discussions with visitors to the Oval Office and by telephone.

The 340 hours of tapes, which cover from April 9, 1973 to July 12, 1973, were released Wednesday by the Nixon Presidential Library. They are the last set of tapes that will be released by the library.

In a phone discussion in mid-April with Henry Kissinger, a Jew who at the time was the national security adviser, Nixon expresses concerns that Jews would torpedo an upcoming U.S.-Soviet summit. If that happened, Nixon said, “Let me say, Henry, it’s gonna be the worst thing that happened to Jews in American history.” He added, “If they torpedo this summit — and it might go down for other reasons — I’m gonna put the blame on them, and I’m going to do it publicly at 9 o’clock at night before 80 million people.”

He continued: “They put the Jewish interest above America’s interest, and it’s about goddamn time that the Jew in America realizes he’s an American first and a Jew second.”

In a tape from May 1 that is labeled by the library as “Garment’s Jewish background,” referring to Nixon aide and lawyer Leonard Garment, Nixon is heard shouting “Goddamn his Jewish soul” after saying he wants to fire Garment for an inappropriate comment.

When asked about appointees, Nixon tells presidential counselor Anne Armstrong there should be “No Jews. We are adamant when I say no Jews. … But Mexicans are important. Italians, Eastern Europeans. That sort of thing.” Nixon accused the Jews of holding American foreign policy “hostage to Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union,” and added that “the American people are not going to let them destroy our foreign policy — never!” Future presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush are heard in conversations recorded on the tapes offering Nixon support during the Watergate affair.

Nixon on previous tapes was heard making anti-Semitic remarks about Jewish politicians and others.

Source

TODAY’S TOON ~~ THE HARDSHIPS AWAITING MUBARAK

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

mubarak-home-detention

BRITISH GOVERNMENT SMASHES ALL OF SNOWDEN’S ‘SECURITY LEAKS’

The British government essentially forced the newspaper to destroy the hard drives that contained files that the National Security Agency whistleblower gave them. 
*
Miranda’s Detention ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
david-miranda-heathrow
*

British government forced Guardian to smash hard drives with Snowden files

Alex Kane 
*
Rusbridger
The Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger (Photo: Francesco Alesi/Flickr)
*

Two officers from the British intelligence agency GCHQ oversaw the destruction of hard drives at The Guardian newspaper’s office last month in an effort to stop the paper from reporting on the documents that Edward Snowden gave them. The incident was reported Monday night by The Guardian’s editor, Alan Rusbridger.

The British government essentially forced the newspaper to destroy the hard drives that contained files that the National Security Agency whistleblower gave them. 

The Guardian‘s Julian Borger explained the reasoning behind the newspaper’s actions:

The Guardian’s lawyers believed the government might either seek an injunction under the law of confidence, a catch-all statute that covers any unauthorised possession of confidential material, or start criminal proceedings under the Official Secrets Act.

Either brought with it the risk that the Guardian’s reporting would be frozen everywhere and that the newspaper would be forced to hand over material.

“I explained to British authorities that there were other copies in America and Brazil so they wouldn’t be achieving anything,” Rusbridger said. “But once it was obvious that they would be going to law I preferred to destroy our copy rather than hand it back to them or allow the courts to freeze our reporting.”

Any such surrender would have represented a betrayal of the source, Edward Snowden, Rusbridger believed. The files could ultimately have been used in the American whistleblower’s prosecution. 

In the column that first broke the news, Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger described various attempts at intimidation that the British government made before Rusbridger agreed to finally destroy the hard drives.

Two months ago, a senior government official claiming to represent the views of the prime minister called Rusbridger and demanded that the paper return or destroy documents exposing the National Security Agency’s surveillance. A month later, Rusbridger received another phone call from the government. “ You’ve had your fun. Now we want the stuff back,” the official allegedly said.

More meetings with British government officials occurred, with an official telling Rusbridger, “you’ve had your debate. There’s no need to write any more.”

After The Guardian continued to hold steadfast, the government took an action described by Glenn Greenwald as “thuggish.”

“And so one of the more bizarre moments in the Guardian’s long history occurred – with two GCHQ security experts overseeing the destruction of hard drives in the Guardian’s basement just to make sure there was nothing in the mangled bits of metal which could possibly be of any interest to passing Chinese agents,” writes Rusbridger.

The account in The Guardian was published after Greenwald’s husband David Miranda, a Brazilian citizen, was detained in Britain for 9 hours under a UK anti-terrorism law after crossing through Heathrow airport on his way back from meeting Laura Poitras, Greenwald’s reporting companion, in Berlin. Miranda was questioned about his partner’s reporting and threatened with jail. Rusbridger vowed that the detention–and seizure of documents Miranda was carrying–would not deter The Guardian.

“We will continue to do patient, painstaking reporting on the Snowden documents, we just won’t do it in London,” wrote Rusbridger. “The seizure of Miranda’s laptop, phones, hard drives and camera will similarly have no effect on Greenwald’s work.”

Outrage has erupted in Britain over Miranda’s detention. The British Labour Party has demanded a review of the anti-terrorism law used to hold Greenwald’s partner. The law has disproportionately targeted Muslims. 

And Miranda’s lawyers have said they are planning to take legal action against the British government for his detention.

While The Guardian editor vowed to press on despite the destruction of the files and Miranda’s detention, he closed out his column with a warning:

We are not there yet, but it may not be long before it will be impossible for journalists to have confidential sources. Most reporting – indeed, most human life in 2013 – leaves too much of a digital fingerprint. Those colleagues who denigrate Snowden or say reporters should trust the state to know best (many of them in the UK, oddly, on the right) may one day have a cruel awakening. One day it will be their reporting, their cause, under attack.

 Written FOR

FUNNIEST CARTOON EVER

Found on Google ….

*

1960220_700b

*

As the world gets crazier with each passing day, we all need a good laugh now and again 🙂

« Older entries