IN PHOTOS ~~ NAKBA DAY DEMOS CONTINUE IN NEW YORK AND IN PALESTINE

NAKBA DAY EVENT-NYCITY HALL & MARCH ACROSS THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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Videos from Palestine VIA

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NAKBA DAY IN TOONS

Images by Carlos Latuff

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In Tel Aviv, zionists ‘celebrate’ The Nakba by denying it …

IN PHOTOS ~~ NAKBA DAY IN NEW YORK

On Israel’s Independence Day, New Yorkers remember who lost theirs

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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Still to come ….

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NAKBA DAY MARCH FOR RESISTANCE AND RETURN
Sunday, May 15
1:30 pm
Rally at City Hall Park in Manhattan followed by March on Brooklyn Bridge to Cadman Plaza Park
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1720235081568888/

On the 68th anniversary of the occupation of Palestine, and as the Palestinian people enter the 68th year of dispossession and exile, we call on all Palestinians, friends of Palestine and supporters of justice and liberation to come together to march and rally, commemorate the Nakba, stand against the continuing Nakba, and call for the right of return for Palestinian refugees and freedom for Palestine.

68 years after the Nakba – the war of 1948 in which over 800,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes and land and the state of Israel created on that land – Palestinians continue to struggle for their right to return, for freedom from occupation, for justice, and against the Nakba that continues today.

After a rally at City Hall, we will march over the Brooklyn Bridge for an afternoon of Palestine-focused and family-friendly activities at Cadman Plaza Park.

IN POETRY ~~~ WHERE IS THE APOLOGY?

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“I AM BECOME DEATH THE DESTROYER OF WORLD”    

© Tom Karlson

August 6th nineteen and forty-five

Enola Gay flies high

8:15

bombs away, Little Boy

 

8:16 one hundred fifty-thousand dead, vaporized

two hundred-thousand Hibakusha,

zombies stagger down streetless streets

silhouetting their dead friends, family

a cityless city

called Hiroshima

 

on a standing wall an image of

a man, a woman, burned into the brick’s retina

 

the little haberdasher is not done

“using the bomb is no great decision”

 

August 9th,

he orders Bockscar to drop Fat Man,

ninety thousand exterminated, vaporized

Hiroshima and Nagasaki will sing no more

 

Eisenhower “…the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing.”

MacArthur “…no military justification for the dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor.”

“Albert Einstein…President Roosevelt would have forbidden the atomic bombing of Hiroshima had he been alive and that it was probably carried out to end the Pacific war before Russia could participate.”

Image by Latuff

No need to apologise!

No need to apologise!

 

 

FRIDAY THE 13th TOON ~~ WHO IS KEEPING GAZA IN DARKNESS?

Image by Carlos Latuff

Still no luck for Palestinians 😦

 Who's Behind Gaza's Power Crisis?

Who’s Behind Gaza’s Power Crisis?

68 YEARS LATER ~~~ WHAT DO ISRAELIS KNOW ABOUT THE NAKBA?

What do Israelis really know about the Nakba? What do they think about the right of return of the Palestinian refugees?

IN TOONS ~~ POTUS RUBS SALT ON THE SURVIVORS OF THE HIROSHIMA BOMBING

Images by Carlos Latuff

Obama in #Hiroshima

Obama in #Hiroshima

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No apology from Obama for Hiroshima

Many are expecting Obama to apologise for atomic bomb during historic visit, but the White House says it won’t happen.

Full report HERE

SILENCING THE LAMBS …. YET AGAIN

 First there was THIS …..
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Famous entertainer and civil rights activist Paul Robeson loses his court appeal to try to force the Department of State to grant him a passport. The continued government persecution of Robeson illustrated several interesting points about Cold War America.
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Robeson was seen as a danger because he often interspersed his performances with comments about race relations in the United States. Before and after his performances, he gave numerous interviews condemning segregation and discrimination in America. For some U.S. policymakers, who viewed America’s poor record of race relations as the nation’s “Achilles’ heel” in terms of the propaganda war with the Soviet Union, having a well known African-American denounce segregation and praise the Russians was unacceptable.
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Full report HERE
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Now THIS …..

Israel has officially refused to renew the travel document of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement co-founder Omar Barghouti in a move that amounts to a travel ban and is an escalation of its attacks on Palestinian human rights defenders who nonviolently advocate for Palestinian rights under international law.

Image by Carlos Latuff

Israel imposes travel ban on BDS co-founder

Israel imposes travel ban on BDS co-founder

 

Israel imposes travel ban on BDS movement co-founder Omar Barghouti 

Israel has officially refused to renew the travel document of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement co-founder Omar Barghouti in a move that amounts to a travel ban and is an escalation of its attacks on Palestinian human rights defenders who nonviolently advocate for Palestinian rights under international law.

Barghouti, who lives with his family in Acre, has Israeli permanent residency and requires an Israeli travel document to be able to travel in and out of Palestine/Israel. His immediate reaction was: “I am unnerved but certainly undeterred by these threats. Nothing will stop me from struggling for my people’s freedom, justice and peace”.

Israel’s decision not to grant a renewal of the travel document on baseless bureaucratic pretenses is being viewed by human rights experts as the first step towards revoking Barghouti’s permanent residency.

Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri had threatened as much at a recent anti-BDS conference held in Jerusalem when he disclosed that he was “inclined to fulfill” a request he had received from a far-right Israeli member of parliament to revoke Barghouti’s permanent residency.

The travel ban follows thinly-veiled incitement to physical violence against Barghouti and BDS activists by Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz and Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan. Katz called on Israel to engage in “targeted civil eliminations” of BDS leaders, while Erdan described BDS activists and leaders as threats and called for them to “pay the price” for their work, following this with a clarification that he does not mean “physical harm”. Defending “campaigns to hold Israel accountable for human rights and other international law violations”, Amnesty International has expressed its concern for “the safety and liberty of Palestinian human rights defender Omar Barghouti” following these threats, “including of physical harm and deprivation of basic rights”.

As a leading volunteer with the BDS movement, Barghouti regularly travels internationally to raise awareness about Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights and to advocate for BDS as an effective strategy to end Israel’s regime of occupation and apartheid. Rooted in a long heritage of Palestinian popular resistance, BDS is also inspired by the global boycott movement that helped to end South Africa’s apartheid regime and by the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.

The Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council has recently affirmed “the right of all individuals to participate in and advocate for boycott, divestment, and sanction actions”, calling on states and businesses to “uphold their related legal responsibilities”.

Mahmoud Nawajaa, the general coordinator of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the broadest coalition in Palestinian civil society that leads the global BDS movement, said:

“Having failed to stop the growth of BDS in the mainstream, Israel is now launching a desperate and dangerous global war of repression on the movement. After losing many battles for the hearts and minds at the grassroots level, Israel and its well-oiled lobby groups are pressuring western states to implement patently anti-democratic measures that threaten civil liberties at large”.

“By banning our colleague Omar Barghouti from travelling and threatening him with physical violence, Israel is showing the lengths it will go to in order to stop the spread of the non-violent BDS movement for Palestinian freedom, justice and equality”.

The international BDS movement aims to pressure Israel, as South African apartheid was pressured, to comply with international law. It has attracted the support of mainstream unions, churches and political parties across the world and compelled large corporations, including Veolia and Orange, to end their involvement in Israel’s human rights violations.

Prominent artists including Ms. Lauryn Hill and Roger Waters have refused to perform in Tel Aviv; several academic associations in the U.S. and thousands of academics in Europe, South Africa, North America and Latin America have endorsed a comprehensive boycott of Israeli universities. The authors of a recent UN report said that a 46% drop in foreign direct investment in Israel in 2014 was partly due to the impact of BDS.

At Israel’s request, governments in the UK, France, Canada and state legislatures in the U.S. are introducing anti-BDS legislation and taking other anti-democratic measures to repress BDS activism. In France, one activist was arrested simply for wearing a BDS t-shirt.

Israel is also using its security services to spy on BDS activists across the world, as repeatedly reported in the Israeli media and by the Associated Press. This espionage is likely to involve monitoring of citizens’ communications in violation of domestic laws.

Journalist and constitutional lawyer Glenn Greenwald, known for breaking the NSA surveillance story, has described this well-orchestrated series of draconian measures against the BDS movement as the “greatest threat to free speech in the West”.

Mahmoud Nawajaa added:

“The western governments that are repressing BDS activism at home are giving Israel a green light to continue its violations of international law with impunity. We urge governments, parliaments and human rights organisations to follow Amnesty International’s lead and uphold his rights as a human rights defender under threat”.

Find out more about Israel’s attacks on the BDS movement here.

Source Palestinian BDS National Committee  VIA

#PanamaPapers ~~ SAUDI KING FINANCED NETANYAHU’S ELECTION CAMPAIGN

Isaac Herzog, member of the Knesset and Chairman of the Israeli Labor party, revealed that Saudi king Salman bin Abdulaziz financed the election campaign of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Let’s see if Bibi can wiggle his way out of this one ….

New Panama Papers Data Leak has revealed that the king of Saudi Arabia Saudi king Salman bin Abdulaziz gave  eighty million dollars to support Netanyahu’s campaign

New Panama Papers Data Leak has revealed that the king of Saudi Arabia Saudi king Salman bin Abdulaziz gave eighty million dollars to support Netanyahu’s campaign

Panama Papers: Saudi Arabia King Sponsored Netanyahu’s Campaign

“In March 2015, King Salman has deposited eighty million dollars to support Netanyahu’s campaign via a Syrian-Spanish person named Mohamed Eyad Kayali. The money was deposited to a company’s account in British Virgin Islands owned by Teddy Sagi, an Israeli billionaire and businessman, who has allocated the money to fund the campaign Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu”, Herzog cited a leaked Panama Paper.

Around eleven million documents were leaked from one of the world’s most secretive companies, Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca as it worked for 40 years without suspicion. The leaked documents showed how Mossack Fonseca firm has helped clients launder money, dodge sanctions and evade tax.

The documents held by the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca have been delivered to the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, which then shared them with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Later, around 107 media organisations in 78 countries have been analysing the documents. Among the media agencies are the BBC, Panorama and UK newspaper the Guardian. The BBC said that it does not know the identity of the source.

However, the director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), Gérard Ryle said the documents covered the day-to-day business at Mossack Fonseca over the past 40 years. He said it will be one of the biggest blows offshore,”I think the leak will prove to be probably the biggest blow the offshore world has ever taken because of the extent of the documents.” The blow will extend offshore the world,even middle east leaders were linked to this company.

The documents show 12 current or former heads of state with at least 60 people linked to current or former world leaders in the data. It also contains secret offshore companies linked to the families and associates of Egypt’s former president Hosni Mubarak, Libya’s former leader Muammar Gaddafi, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and Saudi Arabia’s king Salman.

Moreover, the documents include the Icelandic Prime Minister, Sigmundur Gunnlaugson, who had a hidden interest related to his wife’s wealth and is now facing calls for his resignation. The files also unveiled suspected money laundering ring with billion dollars involving close associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The documents also show how the company offered financial assistances and services how it helped business clients hide their wealth or to do illegal many transactions.

 

Source

 

RABBINICAL SANCTIONED DEATH

‘Kosher Irony’

OR …. RABBIS CAN BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH

'Kosher for Passover'

‘Kosher for Passover’

Above is a photo I just took of a pack of Israeli cigarettes. The box at the bottom of the box is a warning from the Israeli Ministry of Health stating that ‘Smoking is hazardous to your health’ ….

but...

The yellow pull tab at the top claims that these cigarettes are ‘Kosher for Passover’ ….

Suicide might be painless …. but cancer or heart disease isn’t! 

Death is NOT KOSHER …. apparently neither are some rabbis!

TOONS FOR A TOOSDAY ~~ THE LATEST SAUDI CRISIS

Images by Carlos Latuff

 

Saudi Arabia in TROUBLE!

Saudi Arabia in TROUBLE!

And just who is to blame for the violence in the Middle East?

Tom and Jerry to blame for Middle East violence. Who knew?

Tom and Jerry to blame for Middle East violence. Who knew?

#InIsrael ~~ A DAY OF SELECTIVE MOURNING

At 8 P.M. tomorrow evening sirens will sound throughout Israel. Traffic will come to a complete halt as Israelis stand in silence for one minute to honour and remember their fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism. This will be followed by ceremonies at military cemeteries and government institutions all evening and all of the next day until sundown.

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Who will stand with me to honour and remember the hundreds of Palestinian children and women killed by Israeli soldiers and zioterrorists?

Who will stand with me to honour the memory of Democracy itself in Israel??

Hopefully I will not be standing alone.

Here I present a recent post from the archives dealing with some recent killings …

A TIME FOR ALL JEWS TO MOURN

According to both Jewish and Muslim rituals, a dead person must be buried as soon as possible. Notifications are usually posted in Jewish neighbourhoods in Israel to announce the time of the funeral. Announcements are made via loudspeakers from local mosques announcing the same.

BUT ….

This week was different as death notices for a murdered Palestinian child appeared in Jewish areas …

As well as one for a young girl stabbed to death at Jerusalem’s Pride Parade

Death notices, in the style of the public mourning notices that are commonplace across Israel, have appeared — posted in public areas and online, in Hebrew and English — mourning the two lost children and noting the climate of hatred that spurred on these Jewish extremist attacks. Controversial for their inventive remixing of a “classic” Israeli cultural phenomenon, the mourning notices easily attract attention. They were created by Ilana Sichel and Romy Achituv, writers and artist-activists who sought to commemorate what they called the victims of “our society’s ills: our intolerance, our hatred, our prejudice.”
(More HERE)

Image: Facebook

 

Rabbis visit Palestinian family targeted in firebomb attack Tzohar

Rabbis visit Palestinian family targeted in firebomb attack Tzohar

Whatever the reasons are for this show of solidarity, they are positive moves. Perhaps it is in preparation for the demise of the Jewish State itself, if these senseless murders continue.

The following is a MUST READ

All Israelis Are Guilty of Setting a Palestinian Family on Fire
It’s simply not possible to cheer for the brigade commander who shoots a Palestinian teenager, and then be shocked by settlers who throw a firebomb at an inhabited house.

Gideon Levy

Israelis stab gay people and burn children. There isn’t a shred of slander, the slightest degree of exaggeration, in this dry description. True, these are the actions of a few. True, too, that their numbers are increasing. It’s true that all of them – all the murderers, everyone who torches, who stabs, who uproots trees – are from the same political camp. But the opposing camp also shares the blame.

All those who thought that it would possible to sustain islands of liberalism in the sea of Israeli fascism were shown up this weekend, once and for all. It’s simply not possible to cheer for the brigade commander who shoots a teenager, and then be shocked by the settlers who set a family on fire; to support gay rights, and hold a founding conference in Ariel; to be enlightened, and then pander to the right and seek to partner with it. Evil knows no bounds; it begins in one place and quickly spreads in every direction.

The first breeding ground of those who torched the Dawabsheh family was the Israel Defense Forces, even if the offenders didn’t serve in it. When the killing of 500 children in the Gaza Strip is legitimate, and doesn’t even compel a debate, a moral reckoning, then what’s so terrible about setting a house on fire, together with its inhabitants? After all, what’s the difference between lobbing a fire bomb and dropping a bomb? In terms of the intention, or the intent, there is no difference.

When the shooting of Palestinians becomes an almost daily occurrence – two more have already been killed since the family was burned: one in the West Bank, another on the border of the Gaza Strip – who are we to complain about the fire throwers in Duma? When the lives of Palestinians are officially the army’s for the taking, their blood cheap in the eyes of Israeli society, then settler militias are also permitted to kill them. When the IDF’s ethic in the Gaza Strip is that it is permitted to do anything in order to save one soldier, who are we to complain about right-wingers like Baruch Marzel, who told me this weekend it was permissible to kill thousands of Palestinians in order to protect a single hair from the head of a Jew. Such is the atmosphere, such is the result. Original responsibility for it goes to the IDF.

No less to blame, of course, are the governments and politicians who vie with each other over who can suck up the most to the settlers. Whoever gives them 300 new homes in exchange for their violence at the flagship settlement of Beit El is telling them not only that violence is permissible, but also that it pays. It is already hard to draw the line between throwing bags of urine at police officers and fire bombs into people’s homes.

Also to blame, of course, are the law enforcement authorities, starting with the Judea and Samaria District Police – the most ridiculous and scandalous of all police districts, and not by chance. Nine Palestinian homes were torched in the past three years, according to B’Tselem. How many people have been prosecuted? None. So what happened in Duma on Friday? The fire was simply better, in the eyes of the arsonists and their minions.

Their minions also include the silent, the forgiving and all those who think the evil will remain forever within the confines of the West Bank. Their minions also include the Israelis who are convinced that the People of Israel is the chosen people, and as a result is permitted to do anything – including torching the homes of non-Jews, with their inhabitants inside.

So, too, many of those who were shocked by the act, including figures who have visited the victims in Sheba Medical Center, outside Tel Aviv – the president, the prime minister, the opposition leader and their aides – imbibed the racist, infuriating “You have chosen us from all the peoples” with their mothers’ milk.

At the end of a terrible day, it is this that leads to the burning of families whom God did not choose. No principle in Israeli society is more destructive, or more dangerous, than this principle. Nor, unfortunately, more common. If you were to examine closely what is concealed beneath the skin of most Israelis, you would find: the chosen people. When that is a fundamental principle, the next torching is only a matter of time.

Their minions are everywhere, and most of them are now tsk-tsking and expressing dismay at what happened. But what occurred couldn’t have not happened; what happened was dictated by the needs of reality, the reality of Israel and its value system. What happened will happen again, and no one will be spared. We all torched the Dawabsheh family.

SOURCE

MOTHER’S DAY IN TOONS

Images by Carlos Latuff

In Palestine ….

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In Gaza ….

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In Syria ….

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In Turkey ….

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In Brazil …. (and Palestine)

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PHOTO ESSAY ~~ THE TAINTED MEMORY OF ISRAEL’S INDEPENDENCE

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This Wednesday evening at sundown Israel will mark 68 years as an independent state as Palestians mark 68 years since the Nakba which destroyed their nation.

Here are some of the photos …. (Click on link)

Photos of the Nakba (“the catastrophe”): the expulsion and dispossession of hundreds of thousands Palestinians from their homes and land in 1948. 

TRUMP REJECTS DUKE’S ‘KISS OF DEATH’

The other day I posted the following (Click on link)

DAVID DUKE SHOWS HIS TRUE COLOURS

Trump responded with …

Republican presidential contender Donald Trump said Thursday he “totally disavows” white supremacist leader David Duke after the latter delivered a rant arguing that Jews controlled America.

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Trump ‘totally disavows’ racist David Duke after anti-Semitic tirade

‘Anti-Semitism has no place in our society,’ Republican contender says as ex-KKK leader rails against ‘Jewish supremacists who control our country’

Republican presidential contender Donald Trump said Thursday he “totally disavows” white supremacist leader David Duke after the latter delivered a rant arguing that Jews controlled America.

“Antisemitism has no place [in] our society, which needs to be united, not divided,” Trump said in a statement sent to media outlets, according to The New York Times.

Duke, a former grand wizard of the racist Ku Klux Klan group, used his radio program on Wednesday to lash out at Jewish Republicans who have opposed Trump’s candidacy.

“I think these Jewish extremists have made a terribly crazy miscalculation, because all they’re going to be doing by doing a ‘Never Trump’ movement is exposing their alien, their anti-American, anti-American majority position,” Duke said, according to a report on the broadcast by the Anti-Defamation League.

“They’re going to push people more into an awareness that the neocons are the problem, that these Jewish supremacists who control our country are the real problem, and the reason why America is not great,” Duke added.

The ADL’s CEO Jonathan Greenblatt called Duke’s comments “as unsurprising as they are hateful,” and said the “onus is now on Donald Trump to make unequivocally clear he rejects those sentiments and that there is no room for Duke and anti-Semitism in his campaign and in society. Mr. Trump can and should speak up now. If not, his silence will speak volumes.”

In a later statement, the ADL “welcomed” Trump’s disavowal.

“While no one should associate Mr. Trump’s own views with David Duke’s hatred,” Greenblatt said after Trump’s comments were published in the media, “it is vital for political leaders to use their bully pulpit to speak out against bigotry. We think it is important that Mr. Trump denounced the anti-Semitism of David Duke and has made clear that he disavows anti-Semitism.”

Duke has praised Trump repeatedly, and urged his followers to vote for him.

Trump has denied he harbors anti-Semitic views, and has often pointed to his own close relationships with Jews, including his Orthodox-convert daughter Ivanka and Jewish son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Trump has faced scathing criticism from some quarters, including the ADL, for appearing to avoid criticizing the white supremacist leader in the past. Critics noted that Trump draws a great deal of his support in the Republican primary race from working-class whites, and charged that Trump was avoiding disavowing Duke, among other racist supporters, in order not to alienate supporters.

The Republican race all but ended this week after Trump’s resounding victory in Indiana and the subsequent withdrawal from the race of his two remaining opponents, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich.

 

Source

 

Meanwhile, the main contenders continue to battle it out …

WEEK’S END IN TOONS ~~ SYRIAN CEASE FARCE

Images by Carlos Latuff

US and Russia talk peace, make war, in Syria

US and Russia talk peace, make war, in Syria

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US, Russia and the Syria cease-fire

US, Russia and the Syria cease-fire

CNN: “U.S. announces ceasefire for Aleppo after talks with Russia” –

A ceasefire is in effect in one of the most war-torn cities in Syria, the U.S. State Department said Wednesday. The United States and Russia concluded arrangements for a cessation of violence in Aleppo and surrounding areas, according to a department statement.

The two countries ended talks Tuesday and are closely monitoring whether the ceasefire sticks. Violence has decreased but continues, according to State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner.

Foreign Policy: “MSF Blasts U.S., Russia, Syria, and Saudi for Hospital Strikes” –

In a stinging rebuke, the president of French medical relief agency Medecins Sans Frontieres on Tuesday accused several governments, including the United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Syria, of either directly attacking medical workers or participating in coalitions that have done so.

Speaking in a special session of the U.N. Security Council on the protection of health care workers, MSF leader Joanne Liu said four of the council’s five permanent members — Britain, France, Russia, and the United States — “have, to varying degrees, been associated with coalitions responsible for attacks on health structures over the last year.”

Those coalitions, Liu said, were responsible for strikes on medical targets in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Syria. But the attacks on medical workers reach far beyond those countries, endangering health workers in Iraq, South Sudan, and Somalia. The world, Liu warned, is “facing an epidemic of attacks on health facilities, impeding our ability to do our core work.”

“Stop these attacks!” she urged the council’s big powers. “You … must live up to your extraordinary responsibilities and set an example for all states.”

The council’s meeting took place as medical workers have come under renewed attack in Syria, where [Russian-backed] government aircraft last week bombed a hospital in Aleppo, killing [55] people, including three children and one of the city’s few remaining pediatricians. On Tuesday, [US-backed] rebel rocket fire again struck a hospital and maternity clinic, killing three women, according to the official Syrian Arab News Agency.

FROM

#HolocaustMemorialDay ~~ REMEMBERING THE VICTIMS, FORGETTING THE SURVIVORS

Various reforms in recent years have led to a significant improvement in the life of Holocaust survivors, but 60,000 of them still can’t afford food, medical care or heating; ‘It is shameful what they give us,’ says 85-years-old Shmuel Shteiner.

holocaust-survivors

Third of Holocaust survivors in Israel live below the poverty line

Lea Karsik, a Holocaust survivor who escaped the horrors of war with her mother, hasn’t got enough money to buy meat. Shmuel Shteiner, whose father was murdered in Auschwitz, said that last winter he slept wearing two coats to keep warm in the cold because he didn’t have enough money for heating. He suffers serious vision impairment and is worried that he will not be able to afford new glasses either.

“It’s a disgrace that the state took money for Holocaust survivors, but didn’t give it to us,” he told Ynet.Lea Karsik, a Holocaust survivor who escaped the horrors of war with her mother, hasn’t got enough money to buy meat. Shmuel Shteiner, whose father was murdered in Auschwitz, said that last winter he slept wearing two coats to keep warm in the cold because he didn’t have enough money for heating. He suffers serious vision impairment and is worried that he will not be able to afford new glasses either.

For many Holocaust survivors, this is the reality they deal with. Despite a significant, and even historic, improvement in their socio-economic situation brought about by government reforms, many of them continue to live in poverty.

There are 200,901 Holocaust survivors living in Israel. Data from the Welfare Ministry and the Finance Ministry’s Authority for Holocaust Survivors’ Rights shows that almost a third of them, some 60,000 people, are living under the poverty line while some 65,000, receive income support benefits.

Holocaust survivors’ situation is not unlike to that of many senior citizens in Israel. Indeed, the poverty rate among the elderly rose by one percent in 2014, reaching 23.1 percent. Similarly, despite the increase in old-age benefits and the income support provided to the poor elderly – which amounts to hundreds of shekels per month – the rate of poverty among them remains among the highest in the Western world.

“The government needs to look Holocaust survivors in the eye. What they’re giving us is not enough. We need more help,” said Lea Karsik, an 83-year-old childless survivor who lives alone in a small two-room apartment in Ashkelon.

She was a young child when Nazi forces came to Ukraine, forcing her family to flee. “We dealt with hardships. Dad fought, and we ran away with mom when there were bombings, even on a train full of people. Mom was wounded, and we hid. For a long time we didn’t have food at all. In a situation like that, your body goes mad,” she recounted.

Lea says that while she has food, her monthly salary of a mere NIS 3,000 does not enable her to pay for other basic commodities.”I don’t buy fish or beef, it’s too expensive,” she said.

She lives on the third floor of a building without an elevator, in a public housing apartment, and moves around using a cane. Despite her condition, she has been volunteering for many years in aiding other Holocaust survivors. “I translate for other elderly people who don’t speak Hebrew, and try to help them,” she said.

Karsik asked that she is approved more nursing care hours because of her deteriorating health and difficulty climbing up the stairs and leaving her home.

Reforms for the survivors

About two years ago, the government approved a national plan to aid Holocaust survivors, led by then welfare and finance ministers Meir Cohen and Yair Lapid. The plan included significant changes to the two main laws dealing with Holocaust survivors: The Victims of Nazi Persecution Act and the Holocaust Survivors’ Benefits Act. Among other things, the 18,000 survivors who made aliyah after 1953 were granted the same rights as the survivors who made aliyah before that time. In addition, survivors were ensured free medicine and an annual grant of NIS 3,600 was allocated to survivors of the second circle (refugees who fled as a result of the Holocaust but were not in the extermination camps or ghettos).

Since the institution of that plan, several other measures were taken, including increasing the old-age benefits by hundreds of shekels every month for poor seniors. Approximately three months ago, the Finance Ministry, led by Minister Moshe Kahlon, recognized Holocaust survivors from Morocco, Algeria and Iraq, as well as survivors from Romania who endured hard labor during World War II. This recognition means these survivors will now be entitled to free medical treatment and annual grants as well.

Last month, Welfare Minister Haim Katz announced a plan to “give back” money to some 20,000 survivors that he says did not exercise their full rights, losing out on over NIS 100 million in benefits.

Earlier this week, Finance Minister Kahlon announced a NIS 500 million plan to increase old-age and income support benefits to poor seniors, including Holocaust survivors. The Finance Ministry said the plan will be part of the next state budget.

However, these plans all failed to right some historical wrongs, including giving some 90,000 survivors of the second circle the same benefits as other survivors, or improving government bureaucracy that puts many different bodies in charge of Holocaust survivors.

26,000 survivors turn to aid center

Despite a significant improvement reported, data from the Social Equality Ministry obtained by Ynet indicate the bureaucracy with which the survivors still have to deal.

Out of 100,000 elderly people who called the *8840 aid call center to receive assitance, 26,000 were Holocaust survivors.

“The data indicates that the center serves a major need for Holocaust survivors, and makes it easier for them to deal with bureaucratic and financial issues and exercise their rights,” said Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel.

Despite these improvements, the fact remains that 90,000 Holocaust survivors, many of whom suffer dire economic hardships, receive neither monthly stipends nor pensions.

The vast majority of the survivors are immigrants from the former Soviet Union who receive meager annual grants of NIS 3,600. They also include elderly people, without acceess to pension or other rights, who immigrated to Israel in the 90s. Others include immigrants from Romania, Bulgaria, Libya and Tunisia who came after 1953 along with immigrants from Morocco, Iraq and Algeria.

Shmuel Shteiner, 85, who was born in Romania and now lives in Netanya, receives a sum total of NIS 4,000 per month. “It is shameful that this is what they give,” he said. Shteiner moved to Israel in the 70s and worked for many years as a photographer but did not accumulate pension rights. “This is the money that there is today. I am trying to get by with but it isn’t enough,” he continued.

International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) President Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein said that “tens of thousands of Holocaust survivors live without the means to support themselves with the most basic necessities such as food, dental treatment, heating in the winter and adequate roofing. Most of them are too exhausted or too sick to make themselves heard. Most of them live in terrible solitude far from the public eye, they cope alone with difficult memories, with loss and, most fundamentally, with the terrible feeling that nobody cares about them,” Eckstein said.

“The time has come to place the treatment of Holocaust survivors at the top of the agenda. When each day 40 of them pass away, we don’t have any more time to wait,” he continued. “We are obligated to to act here and now and therefore we invite the public to donate so that there will be no more deprived Holocaust survivors in Israel.”

Each year the IFCJ assists 20,000 Holocaust survivors who lack food, panic buttons, urgent medical services and dental treatment and who suffer the burden of loneliness.

Deputy Finance Minister Itzik Cohen insisted that his ministry places Holocaust survivors at the top of the agenda: “The ministry allocates vast resources in order to assist Holocaust survivors and to expand their rights. The allocated budget for 200,000 survivors stands at NIS 4.2 billion. We are continuing to initiate and to advance additional programs,” he said.

 

 

Source

 

IN TOONS ~~ DOGGY STYLE DEMOCRACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Images by Carlos Latuff

F… the people!

Israel Lobby and US Policy

Israel Lobby and US Policy

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Teacher Appreciation Day in Palestine

Teacher Appreciation Day in Palestine

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Egyption Journalists Call for Resignation of Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar

Egyption Journalists Call for Resignation of Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar

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Put a boot on his head!

Morsi was elected in a democratic election and Sisi was imposed by a coup. No way I would support a coup

Morsi was elected in a democratic election and Sisi was imposed by a coup. No way I would support a coup

DAVID DUKE SHOWS HIS TRUE COLOURS

Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke told his radio audience Wednesday that Jewish opposition to Donald Trump shows that Jews are “the real problem” and the “reason why America is not great.”

Once a hater, always a hater!

Same logic as Duke's

Same logic as Duke’s

Jews Are ‘Real Problem’ — and Opposition to Donald Trump Proves It

Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke told his radio audience Wednesday that Jewish opposition to Donald Trump shows that Jews are “the real problem” and the “reason why America is not great.”

The comments, first noted by the website Right Wing Watch, came the day after the New York businessman all but secured the Republican nomination with a decisive primary victory in Indiana.

Duke praised Trump’s win, calling it an “amazing victory.”

One of the nation’s most prominent white supremacists, Duke is a former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives and has run unsuccessful campaigns for Louisana governor, the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the presidency. Trump declined to disavow Duke’s support in a February CNN interview, saying that he didn’t “know anything about David Duke.” (Trump later claimed he “could hardly hear” the CNN reporter who had asked him the question.)

In his May 4 comments, Duke blamed Republican Jews for efforts to keep Trump from becoming the Republican nominee.

“Jewish chutzpah knows no bounds,” Duke said, butchering the pronunciation of the Yiddish word.

Later, Duke continued: “I think these Jewish extremists have made a terribly crazy miscalculation, because all they’re going to be doing by doing a Never Trump movement is exposing their alien, their anti-American, anti-American majority position… They’re going to push people more into an awareness that that the neo-cons are the problem, that these Jewish supremacists who control our country are the real problem, and the reason why America is not great.”

Ironically, Duke’s comments came as prominent Jewish Republicans were lining up in support of Trump, with former George W. Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer tweeting that he would “vote for Trump over Hillary any day.”

Republican Jewish Coalition chairman David Flaum issued a statement Wednesday afternoon congratulating Trump, and saying that Hillary Clinton is “the worst possible choice for a commander in chief.”

 

#Justiceforall ~~ SIGN OF THE TIMES

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