CARLOS LATUFF EXPOSED AS A CIA AGENT

The ‘expose’ …

According to Serra Karaçam @serrakaracam

Making you expose yourself as paid by CIA-Gulen organization to talk right behind people’s right to defend their nation

The response …

 I am a cartoonist, my job is to criticize guys like Erdogan. I’ve fun criticizing him the same way I’m enjoying to bothering you  :)  More @

And the ‘proof’ …

 I must confess, I am a CIA agent paid to make cartoons about Erdogan...HAHAHAHAHA

I must confess, I am a CIA agent paid to make cartoons about Erdogan…HAHAHAHAHA

As I said a thousand times, a day without an attack from the ‘enemy’ is a failed day.

Here’s Carlos’ latest hit against Erdogan …

Hail Your New Führer!

Hail Your New Führer!

TODAY’S TOONS ~~ THE NEW POST ‘COUP’ TURKEY

Now Erdogan wants to change from a parliamentary to a presidential system, in order to be a ruler with full powers

Images by Carlos Latuff

Hail Your New Führer!

Hail Your New Führer!

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OBAMA’S LAST GASP ON PALESTINE-ISRAEL

Palestinians should take seriously the possibility that Obama may act because of his disdain for Benjamin Netanyahu, and because of the support such a move would have from Samantha Power and John Kerry. Any initiative would likely occur after the US presidential elections; thus the window would be from November 2016 through January 2017.

President Barack Obama meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the Oval Office Thursday, May 28, 2009.  The man sitting between them is an interpreter. (  This official White House photograph is being made available for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way or used in materials, advertisements, products, or promotions that in any way suggest approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the Oval Office Thursday, May 28, 2009. The man sitting between them is an interpreter. ( This official White House photograph is being made available for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way or used in materials, advertisements, products, or promotions that in any way suggest approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Obama’s Last Gasp on Palestine-Israel

Overview

The Obama administration is in its final few months, and talk of a narrowing “window of opportunity” in which it can act on Palestine-Israel has gathered pace. Speculation on whether President Barack Obama will take any measures has been combined with skepticism that any measure could have a positive impact on the ground.

Policymakers have put forward a number of possible options, including a strongly-worded statement to define the Obama/John Kerry parameters for a solution to the conflict and an abstention on vetoing a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution that reiterates the illegality of settlements. The administration also must factor in the international peace conference that France hosted in early June and that is set to resume between the parties themselves in September.

Al-Shabaka Policy Analysts Sam Bahour, Zaha Hassan, Fadi Quran, Sherene Seikaly, and Omar Shaban offer a range of views about what, if any, step the Obama administration could take, what Palestinian responses and pitfalls could be, and what action Palestinians should consider. Their views are synthesized below, while in the final section each analyst offers their thoughts on what Palestinians should do. Al-Shabaka Policy Fellow Tareq Baconi served as the roundtable’s facilitator.

Is the Obama Administration Really Planning a New Initiative?

There appears to be high-level interest by the American government in taking action on Palestine before the end of Obama’s presidency. The first development that signaled this interest was when Obama sent feelers to political and security officials asking them what his administration should do if it were to act.

Some said he should take a step that would make it difficult for the next president – Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump – to make more concessions to Israelis. Others advised him not to get involved, saying it was not worth it. Still others said the international community is waiting for someone to take leadership on the French initiative as well as on providing cover for those Arab governments seeking to normalize relations with Israel. For Obama, the challenge lies in the concern that any measure taken might lead to the deterioration of the P5+1 Iran agreement, an outcome that would be welcomed by the Republicans and Gulf states. Obama is said to seek a legacy around Palestine-Israel, while at the same time fearing that any initiative could tarnish such a legacy.

Palestinians should take seriously the possibility that Obama may act because of his disdain for Benjamin Netanyahu, and because of the support such a move would have from Samantha Power and John Kerry. Any initiative would likely occur after the US presidential elections; thus the window would be from November 2016 through January 2017.

However, the situation in which Palestinians find themselves is not encouraging. The Palestinian Authority is very weak, and Palestinians are divided, with no prospect for reconciliation nor a desire to hold new national elections. This suggests both a lack of pressure on and an absence of reason for the Obama administration to take action, particularly as the wider Arab world is also not applying pressure on the administration. Rather, they are putting pressure on the Palestinians. Further, US support of the French initiative is lukewarm at best.

What are the Options on the Table?

The most ambitious option would be Obama recognizing the State of Palestine, as 138 members of the UN have already done. The US could accomplish this by either unilaterally recognizing the state or signing on to a UNSC resolution recommending the admission of Palestine to the UN, with the possible inclusion of parameters for a negotiated resolution to the conflict. The former is unlikely, but the latter is possible, especially since the US continues to express fear of losing the chance for a two-state solution. The administration could frame such a move as merely implementing past US policy statements – starting from the George W. Bush administration and the Roadmap for Peace all the way to the bipartisan Iraq Study Group. By building on these statements an Obama initiative would appear to implement what the Republicans had started. This more cautious approach may be Obama’s only option.

Obama could also enshrine new parameters through a speech or an American framework. However, a speech could be easily dismissed by incoming presidencies, and issuing a standalone framework outlining US policy might be more difficult domestically.

A localized track is another possibility. The increased presence in Palestine recently of State Department officials as well as delegations from the House Foreign Affairs Committee indicates a rising interest among high-level US officials to talk about the occupation-related obstacles to Palestinian state building and economic development. This reflects an interest in supporting Palestinians economically and determining how to end the occupation and create a Palestinian state.

The US could follow the Vatican’s example and sign a bilateral agreement with Palestine that would effectively recognize Palestine as a state. The agreement could be in the form of a free trade agreement. Alternatively, the US could take measures to enhance reality on the ground for Palestinians by putting together an economic package that supports Palestinian sovereignty and state-building priorities.

What are Potential Palestinian Responses and Pitfalls?

The Palestinian leadership is in such dire straits that it may be willing to accept any move that could seem successful, regardless of pitfalls. Indeed, Palestinian leaders may want to enshrine a new set of parameters before Mahmoud Abbas exits. In addition, by enshrining US parameters, Obama could signal to settlers that continued settlement expansion will not be accepted.

Yet setting parameters could be dangerous for Palestinians in that it could cement their weak position. New US parameters would include reference to the 1967 borders but would also include land swaps and the legitimization of settlements, as well as special arrangements for Jerusalem, which would mean less than a capital for Palestinians. The parameters could also potentially enshrine the idea of a Jewish state with very harmful consequences for the Palestinian citizens of Israel. In addition, they could be dangerous for a UNSC resolution on settlements. A resolution already exists that addresses settlements’ illegality; a new resolution could risk legitimizing them rather than reaffirming their illegality.  For instance, a document that refers to prohibiting “continued settlement construction” could suggest that what is already on the ground is permissible.

A bilateral trade agreement between the US and Palestine, on the other hand, would effectively recognize Palestine as a state and delegitimize settlements. Yet while a trade agreement may implicitly include state recognition, it would also move the Obama administration away from politics and onto an economic track. The fear here is that any movement away from the political track will legitimize Obama’s desire to shift away from political issues – a move that may be embraced by the struggling Palestinian private sector.

What Should the Palestinians Do?

Sam Bahour: In the immediate future, the Palestinian leadership must remain strictly political. While this may not immediately help domestically or upgrade daily life, it will prevent watering down the issues and potential responses from the Obama administration. The most pointed political demand is to focus on direct US recognition of Palestine in the coming six-month period. In the short term, this would embarrass the stakeholders who call for two states but are unable to accept recognition. The more we can put the key players in a corner with a call for statehood, the more we can reveal that none of them are serious about statehood. We can then move on to other political framings, if the need arises.

Zaha Hassan: The likelihood that newly adopted US parameters would cause more harm than good is very high. Any explicit US recognition of the State of Palestine would certainly include qualifications that would negatively impact the Palestinian national cause. For example, there would likely be a reference that the territorial unit in which Palestinians may exercise their right to self-determination is the State of Palestine. This would have ramifications for Palestinian refugees and Palestinian citizens of Israel. Including such qualified parameters in a UNSC resolution would elevate their status to law and be difficult to undo later. To avoid the pitfalls inherent in these options, it may be safer to encourage the US to sign a bilateral trade agreement with Palestine. Signing such an agreement would have the effect of recognizing Palestine as a state as well as delegitimizing Israeli settlements and settlement products.

Fadi Quran: Key actors within Palestinian civil society that focus on BDS and the increasing economic costs of occupation should not be asked to lend their resources to possible Obama efforts. This is long-term work that needs to remain in place. We also need advocacy from civil society that focuses on international law and presents a joint document to the Democratic National Committee or to the Obama administration that clearly states what we believe our rights are and that any parameters that do not include these rights will be unacceptable. Lastly, we need to bring back voices of people that have been missing from the conversation for years into policy decisions. This means reconnecting with Palestinian voices outside of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. For example, if Obama receives a strong call from Palestinians in Israel that establishes red lines with regard to rights, it could affect his administration’s parameters.

Sherene Seikaly: The challenge with which people like Cornel West are confronting the  Democratic Party is one indication of the tremendous gains that student activists and BDS supporters have made on campuses throughout the United States. We can take this momentum and build on intersectional, cross-sectional solidarities. These can put forward a simple call to end the siege of Gaza. Although this moment feels quite dark vis-à-vis the US political landscape – if Hillary Clinton wins, one of her first domestic targets will be activists and BDS, for example – it nevertheless has a lot of radical potential to put forth demands. The Palestinian Authority has essentially been anemic to aspirational demands; we could work to challenge them on this anemia and push them to engage the intersectional momentum we are now witnessing.

Omar Shaban: The strengthening of civil society in Gaza and the West Bank is highly needed. Funds in the West Bank have influenced the way civil society has been weakened, preventing it from pressuring the Palestinian Authority. We need to work on making civil society more independent and capable of defending Palestinian rights rather than being bought. We also need to work to get Hamas to understand what happened in Tunisia in terms of the moderation of political Islam – in essence, we need to create knowledge in Gaza about such options for Hamas.

sam_bahour_17-10-2008
Sam Bahour

Al-Shabaka Policy Advisor Sam Bahour does business consulting as Applied Information Management (AIM), specializing in business development with a niche focus on the information technology sector and start-ups. He is also the Chairman of Americans for a Vibrant Palestinian Economy. He helped establish PALTEL and the PLAZA Shopping Center. Until recently, he served on the board of trustees of Birzeit University and was the University’s treasurer.  He is also a Director at the Arab Islamic Bank and the community foundation Dalia Association.  Bahour is co-editor of HOMELAND: Oral History of Palestine and Palestinians (Olive Branch Press). He writes frequently on Palestinian affairs and his work is posted at www.epalestine.com.

 

IN TOONS ~~ WIKILOOKS AT TURKEY

Turkey: Wikileaks ‘to release thousands of AKP emails’

Online whistleblower site Wikileaks says it is preparing to release more than 300,000 documents related to the Turkish government in the wake of last weekend’s failed military coup that left hundreds dead, thousands injured and more than 7000 in custody.

Read more HERE

and at #ErdoganEmails

Images by Carlos Latuff

Get ready for a fight as we release 100k+ docs on Turkey's political power structure.

Get ready for a fight as we release 100k+ docs on Turkey’s political power structure.

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Coming today: The #ErdoganEmails: 300 thousand internal emails from Erdoğan's AKP - through to July 7, 2016.

Coming today: The #ErdoganEmails: 300 thousand internal emails from Erdoğan’s AKP – through to July 7, 2016.

UPS AND DOWNS IN PALESTINE TODAY

Life in Palestine moves along with its ups and downs, like the tides of the sea. Some days we feel depressed, some days more optimistic. Some of us even feel like manic depressives for the fact that we go through these cycles. The triggers are varied.

Followed by a poem written about Gaza ….

To Resist Is To Exist

To Resist Is To Exist

ups and downs

By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

Life in Palestine moves along with its ups and downs, like the tides of the sea. Some days we feel depressed, some days more optimistic. Some of us even feel like manic depressives for the fact that we go through these cycles. The triggers are varied. We get depressed when we heard of the murders of 84 people in Nice by a deranged lunatic. We get uplifted when we hear of how victims’ families, friends, and concerned citizens (of all religions and backgrounds) came together in solidarity. We get depressed for the bombings in Baghdad that killed over 250 innocent civilians (again by deranged lunatics) or of the innocents in Yemen and Syria. We get uplifted watching good citizens rush to help the injured and then take to the streets to demand an end to end the mayhem created by the US, Saudi, and Israeli governments (the real axis of evil here).

We get depressed to hear from friends in Gaza of the continuing hardships and almost impossible life they live under Israeli siege. That siege does not seem to end as the Turkish government “normalized” its relationship with Israel (i.e. went back to being a partner in crime). We get uplifted by the indomitable spirit of resistance of the young people who don’t give up. We hear Bernie Sanders abandon his principles and support Hillary Clinton for President (she is a Zionist war monger and will not be much better than the lunatic Donald Trump). We get uplifted to see many citizens including many of the disgruntled supporters of Sanders move towards voting for the Green Party candidate Jill Stein. The Green Party is the only political party in the US which remains consistently anti-war, anti-exploitation, and for peace and justice around the world (including in Palestine with their support of the right of return). But even within the democratic and republican parties voices of reason are raised occasionally against special interests (including of the powerful Israel lobby that has hijacked US foreign policy).

We get depressed when I heard the right wing Israeli government approved a bill that targets human rights activists and appointed a racist to be chief rabbi of the Israeli army. But then we get uplifted seeing more young people refusing to serve/be conscripted in that immoral army.  All of us discover that a person we trusted and helped went on to try to hurt us. But many of us can recall unexpected kindness from strangers. All this can be confusing! Some days I am personally at the brink of despair due to the difficulties we face in trying to build a museum and a botanical garden under a very difficult situation and without support, to recruit volunteers, and to find donors. Working 15-17 hours a day, seven days a week to accomplish what in any other civilized country could be accomplished in half the time can be frustrating. But on these same days or in days before them or after them we feel elated by what is happening. A wave of positive energy seems to descend out of nowhere on some days. Just this week we had groups of visitors and volunteers daily and we had one day in which some 25 students came during their summer camp for an environmental day at the museum. Here they learned some new skills and ideas as they volunteered to work in our botanical garden. One day I learned that one grant was rejected and the next day I learned that one of our research papers was accepted and I learned of two other grant possibilities.

This back and forth continues and it could be just as natural as the cycle of the ocean tides or the rotation of the planets. Maybe expecting life to be good is like expecting the sun up 24 hours! So am are we optimists or pessimists or pessoptimist or realist? Tragedies around us continue. We could choose to isolate ourselves from them for example by going to live in a country with less troubles but in an increasingly globalized world that might be difficult. Even if possible, that life leads to a selfish disconnect from others and a life of pain and guilty conscience. The alternative is what the Buddhists call “joyful participation in the sorrows of this world.” The trick to being content is not to fight the rising tide nor to push against the falling tide but to learn to roll with that tide while also doing your best to stay true to yourself.

‘Cousin, do not come;’ a poem by Lillian Pollak-From the Granny Peace Brigade

COUSIN–DO NOT COME
In response to a letter from my cousin in New York, he tells me he is planning a trip to Gaza. Salma, a teenage girl replies–
“Cousin, do not come.”
Do you wonder? Listen…….listen. Boom. BOOM!
The roll of thunder…
We are afraid! We are afraid all the time….not knowing when or where another Israeli drone will follow and target us with its lethal load. There is no safe place! More will die. We know not when. We are crying… What is happening to us! There is no future. All our friends are silent. GONE!
Friends and strangers walk in filthy streets, garbage and dirty water. Children play on mounds of bombed out homes….piles of rubble. The golden seaside a place of memories of children murdered while at play.
What life is there if you should come? Can you learn to be hungry?

…Will you fall asleep from weariness…staying awake with open eyes? Can you remember how to scream…Can you learn how to drown the sound of the clanging and the hammering of desperate men building doomed tunnels? We live in prison. Gaza is our prison. Our borders are blockaded. Gaza is our home; we love our home….Not this prison. We want to live! If we remain silent…We die!
A little boy sleeps holding my hand….he will not let me go….I cry,
but then I see he is dead.
A young man, happy to return home, sees the despair, and sets himself on fire beside the encrusted mattress of a moaning woman.
I am glad cousin that you are not here. You would see the suffering of the people in these days of the Gaza Siege. There is no future for us! There is no safe place where we can go. Life is centered about those who are killed for just living here. There is horror every moment. We are so lonely. Children are lonely! Children without parents….Homes destroyed. Often no lights…no electricity…darkness, cold, damp cracked walls dripping filthy water…
A cat walks the aisles of the damaged hospital, while water trucks playing tinkling tunes sell fresh water. Who destroys life in GAZA? Who is guilty? Who must answer? ISRAEL

Cousin do not come. By Lillian Pollak March 29, 2016

IN TOONS ~~ MORE ON TURKEY’S ‘COUP’

Now Erdogan is the hero of Turkey, suddenly people in Turkey  forgot about his deal with Israel. This “coup” can do magic!

Image by Carlos Latuff

Turkey's Military, before and after the "coup"

Turkey’s Military, before and after the “coup”

And the Oscar goes to ….

And the Oscar goes to... President Erdogan for the Staged Coup

And the Oscar goes to… President Erdogan for the Staged Coup

IN PHOTOS ~~ POLITICS OF INCARCERATION

Standing room only at the meeting. The attendees heard a letter written by Mumia Abu-Jamal, written in his prison cell. (See end of post for text of letter)

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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IN TOONS ~~ COUP IN TURKEY … FACT OR FICTION?

In the next hours it will be clear if it’s a real coup happening in Turkey or just another of Erdogan’s dirty tricks to gain popular support

Erdogan may emerge from this “coup” as a hero and change Turkey to a presidential system. Then he will finally become a Sultan!

Images by Carlos Latuff

Coup in Turkey? Fact or Fiction?

Coup in Turkey? Fact or Fiction?

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Erdogan and the "coup" in Turkey

Erdogan and the “coup” in Turkey

Turkey’s coup, explained in under 500 words

On Friday afternoon, an as-yet unidentified faction of the Turkish military launched a coup attempt aimed at toppling President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government.

The coup leaders, claiming to speak for the entire Turkish Armed Forces, said they’d done so in the name of protecting democracy — despite the fact that Erdogan and his party were democratically elected.

“Turkish Armed Forces have completely taken over the administration of the country to reinstate constitutional order, human rights and freedom,” the statement said.

This may sound crazy to American ears, but it makes at least a little sense in the Turkish context. The modern Turkish Republic was founded in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, a former military officer deeply committed to a form of democratic nationalism and hardline secularism now called Kemalism.

The Turkish military sees itself as the guardian of Kemalism, and has overthrown four Turkish governments since 1960 in the name of protecting Turkey’s democracy from chaos and Islamic influence. Each time afterwards, the military has returned the country to democracy — though in a degraded form.

Erdogan is clearly a threat to Turkish democracy and secularism. He leads the AKP, a moderate Islamist party that has “reformed” Turkish schools along Islamist lines. He’s cracked down on Turkey’s freedom of the press and pushed constitutional changes that would consolidate dangerous amounts of power in the president’s hands.

The military had been shockingly quiet about these developments in recent years, leading many to believe that Erdogan had successfully cowed them into submission. But this coup attempt suggests — given the stated rationale of the coup-launchers — that some in the military are taking up its traditional role as enforcers of Kemalist orthodoxy.

Yet it’s looking likely they’ll fail. According to Naunihal Singh, a political scientist at the Air War College, coups tend to succeed when their leaders convince other members of the military that they will inevitably succeed. If people think resistance is futile, even regime loyalists will just go with the flow.

That doesn’t appear to be happening. Reports on the ground in Turkey suggest that large portions of the military have sided with Erdogan. So, too, have street demonstrators and leading politicians — including Erdogan opponents. The New York Times reports that Erdogan has returned to Istanbul, which he wouldn’t do unless it was safe.

It’s early still, but these are all signals that the coup hasn’t successfully created the perception of inevitability — which means the armed forces will remain divided, and the coup will likely fail.

Ironically, this could help Erdogan’s quest for authoritarian control in Turkey. If he is perceived as the defender of Turkish civilian government, his popularity could well soar. He could leverage this popularity into votes in Turkey’s parliament for constitutional changes granting him extraordinary powers, his longtime objective.

If that happens, the coup leaders may have doubly failed. They will have failed to seize control of Turkey’s government and failed to defend Kemalism from its greatest enemy in a generation.

FROM

IMAGE ~~ #JeSuisNice ~~ PRAY FOR US

Image by Carlos Latuff

My condolences to friends, relatives of  Nice attack victims . Really dunno what to say. Lack of words after this continuous carnage. Read more @ #PrayForNice #Nizza

My condolences to friends, relatives of Nice attack victims . Really dunno what to say. Lack of words after this continuous carnage.
Read more @
#PrayForNice
#Nizza

IN PHOTOS ~~ ALL LIVES MATTER // NATO KILLS ALL!

TIMES SQUARE ANTI-NATO DEMO

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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In Athens ….

Mass demonstration against NATO in Athens Saturday

Mass demonstration against NATO in Athens Saturday

 

In Warsaw

UNAC leader, Phil Wilayto speaks at anti-NATO Summit in Warsaw  Saturday

UNAC leader, Phil Wilayto speaks at anti-NATO Summit in Warsaw Saturday

IN PHOTOS ~~ NEW YORKERS CONTINUE TO PROTEST THE NEW ROUND OF POLICE BRUTALITY

For the second day in a row thousands of New Yorkers gathered in Union Square to protest the new round of police brutality ….

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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Below is a list of events taking place in New York City over the next few days.

Black Lives Occupy Time Square
Organizer: Tahirah Sharif
When: Sunday 7/10, 11 a.m – 4 p.m.
Where: Times Square
Demonstration to show solidarity in the wake of the tragedies that occured this week. Stand with the families of the brothers #altonsterlingand #philandocastile! Please wear all black, you are welcomed to bring signs, this is a demonstration (not a protest) to show what it looks like when we come together as a unit and take over! It is tourist season let’s give them something to remember NY by!!!! We will not be chanting, we will be standing on the steps in the middle of time square fists raised high!!!!

Justice for Sandra Bland and All Black Women Killed by Police
Organizer: Peoples Power Assemblies
When: Wednesday, 7/13, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Where: Church avenue train station B/Q trains
Please join us in honoring the life of Sandra Bland and letting the community know we are still in the streets, fighting for Sandra Bland and other Black women who were killed by police or who died in police custody.

Back To The Streets For EricGarner #2YearsLater
Organizer: Justice for Eric Garner the fight still continues
When: Sunday 7/15, 5 p.m.
Where: Staten Island Ferry, 1 Bay St., Staten Island
On July 17 2016 We will gather on the Staten island side of the Staten Island Ferry to take it back to the streets for Eric Garner and demand justice.

WIESEL ~~ ‘MOURN NOT FOR ME O PALESTINE’

Elie Wiesel died recently. He spent most of his life defending Israel and dehumanizing Palestinians. He was challenged on many occasions to say something about the Palestinian victims and all he could muster was regurgitating Zionist lies about colonizers needing to “defend themselves”.

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By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

 

There is a growing movement of applying Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) on Israel just like we did to defeat apartheid in South Africa.

Zionist apologists are understandably declaring war on this nonviolent and oral movement. In many countries including several states in the USA, there are attempts to delegetimize the movement and declare BDS illegal. Of course this is contrary to the principles of free speech and free association. People’s right to boycott was recognized in key legal precedents but more legal challenges are needed to dispel the myth that engaging in BDS is somehow illegitimate. Israeli apologists around the world engage in all sorts of dirty tricks to keep the racist system going (a racket to keep the flow of cash if I may say so). Having faced Israeli apologists in public debates, many do not want to debate again because they lose badly as they attempt to delegitimize and dehumanize their victims.

They have no facts and they are defending injustice. So they resort to personal attacks and strange racist mythologies (for example that we Palestinians sacrifice our children for publicity or that we “hate Jews”). This is expected from colonial power to dehumanize their victims.

 Elie Wiesel died recently. He spent most of his life defending Israel and dehumanizing Palestinians. He was challenged on many occasions to say something about the Palestinian victims and all he could muster was regurgitating Zionist lies about colonizers needing to “defend themselves”. 

Here is what a real prophetic Jew  (Sara Roy who teaches at Harvard) wrote on September 9, 2014

 Mr. Wiesel,

I read your statement about Palestinians, which appeared in The New York Times on August 4th. I cannot help feeling that your attack against Hamas and stunning accusations of child sacrifice are really an attack, carefully veiled but unmistakable, against all Palestinians, their children included.  As a child of Holocaust survivors—both my parents survived Auschwitz—I am appalled by your anti-Palestinian position, one I know you have long held. I have always wanted to ask you, why? What crime have Palestinians committed in your eyes? Exposing Israel as an occupier and themselves as its nearly defenseless victims? Resisting a near half century of oppression imposed by Jews and through such resistance forcing us as a people to confront our lost innocence (to which you so tenaciously cling)?

 Unlike you, Mr. Wiesel, I have spent a great deal of time in Gaza among Palestinians. In that time, I have seen many terrible things and I must confess I try not to remember them because of the agony they continue to inflict.  I have seen Israeli soldiers shoot into crowds of young children who were doing nothing more than taunting them, some with stones, some with just words. I have witnessed too many horrors, more than I want to describe. But I must tell you that the worst things I have seen, those memories that continue to haunt me, insisting never to be forgotten, are not acts of violence but acts of dehumanization.

 There is a story I want to tell you, Mr. Wiesel, for I have carried it inside of me for many years and have only written about it once a very long time ago. I was in a refugee camp in Gaza when an Israeli army unit on foot patrol came upon a small baby perched in the sand sitting just outside the door to its home. Some soldiers approached the baby and surrounded it.

Standing close together, the soldiers began shunting the child between them with their feet, mimicking a ball in a game of soccer. The baby began screaming hysterically and its mother rushed out shrieking, trying desperately to extricate her child from the soldiers’ legs and feet. After a few more seconds of “play,” the soldiers stopped and walked away, leaving the terrified child to its distraught mother.

 Now, I know what you must be thinking: this was the act of a few misguided men. But I do not agree because I have seen so many acts of dehumanization since, among which I must now include yours. Mr. Wiesel, how can you defend the slaughter of over 500 innocent children by arguing that Hamas uses them as human shields?  Let us say for the sake of argument that Hamas does use children in this way; does this then justify or vindicate their murder in your eyes? How can any ethical human being make such a grotesque argument?

In doing so, Mr. Wiesel, I see no difference between you and the Israeli soldiers who used the baby as a soccer ball. Your manner may differ from theirs—perhaps you could never bring yourself to treat a Palestinian child as an inanimate object—but the effect of your words is the same: to dehumanize and objectify Palestinians to the point where the death of Arab children, some murdered inside their own homes, no longer affects you. All that truly concerns you is that Jews not be blamed for the children’s savage destruction.

 Despite your eloquence, it is clear that you believe only Jews are capable of loving and protecting their children and possess a humanity that Palestinians do not. If this is so, Mr. Wiesel, how would you explain the very public satisfaction among many Israelis over the carnage in Gaza—some assembled as if at a party, within easy sight of the bombing, watching the destruction of innocents, entertained by the devastation?  How are these Israelis different from those people who stood outside the walls of the Jewish ghettos in Poland watching the ghettos burn or listening indifferently to the gunshots and screams of other innocents within—among them members of my own family and perhaps yours—while they were being hunted and destroyed?

 You see us as you want us to be and not as many of us actually are. We are not all insensate to the suffering we inflict, acceding to cruelty with ease and calm. And because of you, Mr. Wiesel, because of your words—which deny Palestinians their humanity and deprive them of their victimhood—too many can embrace our lack of mercy as if it were something noble, which it is not. Rather, it is something monstrous.

 Sara Roy is a senior research scholar at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University.

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Max Blumenthal similarly wrote a poignant reflection on the hateful tribalist opportunist Elie Wiesel

But our problem is not with Wiesel now, he is gone. Our problem is with those who are around trying to go more right wing hoping somehow that saves the silly notion of a “Jewish state”. It is not less crazy than an Aryan white state or an Islamic state or a Christian state. All such concepts are destined for the dustbin of history. Isn’t it also boring to try to create monolithic societies? Isn’t it time people respect other religions and cultures and learn to share in equality this beautiful earth instead of spoiling it?

From here in Palestine we cry out for justice and for simple human rights. The rights of refugees to return and the right to live in our lands peacefully regardless of our faiths/beliefs. First do no harm. Here are my reflections on our responsibility (the Savior in each of us) that I wrote six years ago and is still relevant today.

IN PHOTOS ~~ NEW YORKERS UNITE AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY

Over a thousand New Yorkers gathered in Union Square yesterday to protest the new round of police brutality.

Image by Carlos Latuff

 

UNITE AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY! #PhilandoCastile

UNITE AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY! #PhilandoCastile

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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IN TOONS ~~ ISIS REVEALS ITS TRUE COLOURS

This bomb attack in the Islam’s holy site of Medina reveals what we already know. The so-called Islamic State is everything but Islamic

Images by Carlos Latuff

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See #MedinaAttack

and #Medina

For updates

TO CRY AND LAUGH, SIMULTANEOUSLY ~~ BOOK REVIEW

“Remember, whatever you do in life, for them you will always, but always, be an Arab. Do you understand?”

If you are Palestinian or Israeli, Jewish, Muslim or Christian, or simply human, you will enjoy these short stories tremendously. If you are none of the above, then just buy the book and place it on your bookshelf for all to note in awe the powerful one word title, Native, which says it all!

To Cry And Laugh, Simultaneously

By Sam Bahour

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Palestinian-Israeli writer Sayed Kashua should be commended for writing this book, as should be the publishers who took on the task of bringing it to the English reading community. Where diplomacy has failed, politics has stumbled, and common sense remains a rare commodity, one hopes that Kashua’s shrewd satire and political barbs can break open closed minds and pave the way for a breakthrough for Palestinians and Israelis. If not, Kashua is fully content in just making the reader laugh, then freeze, knowing the words are reality, then cry, as he pokes fun at everyone, mostly himself.

Kashua’s poor wife! She seems like such a wonderful person, loving and caring, but she is the target of his relentless attacks and haphazard lifestyle. I’m actually considering starting a humanitarian drive to support her, a sort of Brexit, maybe we’ll call it Kaexit. You’ll understand after you read the book.

This book of short stories is organized into four parts based around specific timeframes, as is each story. The parts are: Warning Signs (2006-2007), Foreign Passports (2008-2010), Antihero (2010-2012), The Stories That I Don’t Dare Tell (2012-2014). For anyone living in Israel/Palestine, or even having an inkling of knowledge about the places, the ability to relate to the story lines is immediate. Kashua dives much deeper than the superficial political issues; he enters his home, family, culture and so much more. The most volatile chapters are when he enters his own mind; read with caution, always remembering that satire comes from reality.

Given I read this book while on a vacation with my family in the US, it took on even more of a meaningful read. Kashua writes, “There are Israelis who say that only after leaving the country did they realize how illogical life is there, how stressed they were, and how all of a sudden there are different concerns now. Concerns related to work, to everyday life, to the weather, and mainly to the family.” He could have easily replaced “Israeli” with “Palestinians,” as he frequently does, and all would have remained true. Kashua comically amplifies the convoluted reality in both Palestine and Israel, which is causing the younger generations to voluntarily walk out and relocate to saner corners of the world—I would add, only to find those new corners are called Brussels, Paris, London and Orlando, all with their own share of convolution.

As Kashua walks the reader through his family’s decision to leave Israel and emigrate to Chicago, he writes, “I must help my children understand that Israel is not the end of the world—that if, God forbid, they don’t succeed there and they feel ostracized, different, or suspect, or when reality blows up in their faces, they’ll know that there are other options. It’s true that they’ll be different, but in a different way. They’ll be immigrants, and maybe they’ll have an accent, and they’ll feel a little strange. But they’ll be strangers in a strange land, and not in their homeland.” That last line says it all! Palestinians, be they citizens of Israel or residents living under Israeli military occupation in the West Bank or Gaza Strip, awaiting their long-delayed state, are all being made to feel like strangers in our own land. The result will be tragic.

Kashua repeats a phrase that his father repeatedly told him, “only the beginnings are hard.” Let’s believe that and hope that new beginnings don’t have to include one reaching a point where they can no longer live in their own homeland, but rather restart their lives right at home.

Reviewing this book evoked a serious contradiction in my mind. On the one hand, the book deserves to be read and commented on in its own right, having been written in Hebrew and translated into English. It’s a book aimed at our funny bone, but the underlying truths are too close to home. A hopeful takeaway from this heartfelt effort is that more Palestinian citizens of Israel are making their voice heard, in other than Arabic, which holds the hope that as more people, especially Jews around the world, get a peek into what Israel has become, change will be forthcoming.

The Saqi Books website states, “Sarah Cleave, publishing manager of Saqi Books, who acquired rights from Abner Stein in association with the Deborah Harris Agency, said ‘Native is a wickedly sardonic, moving and hugely entertaining collection that offers real insight into the lived experiences of Palestinians in Israel.’” This is so true.

If you are Palestinian or Israeli, Jewish, Muslim or Christian, or simply human, you will enjoy these short stories tremendously. If you are none of the above, then just buy the book and place it on your bookshelf for all to note in awe the powerful one word title, Native, which says it all!

Native: Dispatches from an Israeli-Palestinian Life
By Sayed Kashua
Saqi Books (acquired UK and Commonwealth rights)
April 2016

Review written for Huffington Post

NEW TOON ~~ TURKEY, THE VIEW FROM GAZA

Image by Carlos Latuff

The view from Gaza: ‘The Turkish government has sold us out and wants us to be grateful’

The view from Gaza: ‘The Turkish government has sold us out and wants us to be grateful’

Related FROM

The view from Gaza: ‘The Turkish government has sold us out and wants us to be grateful’

Haidar Eid

Israel and Turkey have reached an agreement to normalize ties six years after an Israeli naval attack that killed 10 Turkish activists and 9 years after the imposition of a deadly siege that has left Gaza unlivable.

What do we, Palestinians of Gaza, feel about it?

To put it mildly, we are dismayed and angered as must be the families of the 10 victims of the Mavi Marmara incident. This deal leaves us under a hermetic, medieval siege that amounts to what the Israeli historian Ilan Pappe calls “incremental genocide.” Needless to say that the deal also violates the boycott guidelines which Palestinians civil society issued in 2005. In fact, it is not unlike normalizing diplomatic and economic ties with South African apartheid.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) is the Turkish branch of Ikhwan (Muslim Brotherhood) who ruled Egypt for a year and failed to open the Rafah crossing and lift the siege. Hamas, the Palestinian branch, has also added misery to the lives of the besieged of Gaza through its strict rule and absence of any political vision. Now, the Ikhwan of Turkey strike a deal with apartheid Israel at the expense of Palestinian basic rights!

To add insult to injury, Hamas has issued a statement “expressing its gratitude for Mr. Erdogan’s efforts to help the residents of Gaza, which are in line with Turkey’s principled support of the Palestinian cause”! And Hamas leader Ahmed Yousuf made it clear that “Turkey has done all it could to lift the siege and help the Palestinians of Gaza. The regional changes have made it change its policy and accept the easing of the siege instead! We can’t expect more than this from Turkey.” (my translation)

Defenders of the Turkish government, namely Islamists, are up in arms to justify the unjustifiable. The Israel-Turkey reconciliation deal has nothing to do with Gaza, and everything to do with Israel’s, and to some extent Turkey’s, interests.

In fact, the Ikhwan never fail to let u down. They don’t want to acknowledge that the Israel-Turkey reconciliation deal is a slap in the face of ethical and moral decency for the mere fact that Turkey has ended up asking for Israel’s help to lift the siege on Gaza.

So what does “lifting the siege” mean?

It basically means opening the six crossings to Gaza, the keys of  which are in Israel’s hands, and allowing the flow of all kinds of goods, especially essentials, to and from Gaza; and providing Gaza with electricity and clean water; and guaranteeing the freedom of movement of the 2 million Palestinians of Gaza.  This also means opening the Rafah crossing 24/7.  This is the responsibility of the occupying power, namely Israel. But even this does not meet the minimum basic rights of the Palestinian people: freedom, equality, and justice. No normal relations with apartheid Israel should be resumed without the latter complying with International law that guarantees Palestinian basic rights.

A quick reading of the deal proves that it is a stab in the back of Gaza. Improving the conditions of oppression, or rather slowing down the genocide, is a form of complicity because Gaza for the Turkish government is just a humanitarian case. In a nutshell, the Turkish government has sold us out and wants us to be grateful!

The “incremental genocide” continues.

BREXIT TOONS ~~ POST VOTE RACISM GONE RAMPANT

Images by Carlos Latuff

Racist Attacks After Brexit Referendum

Racist Attacks After Brexit Referendum

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TURKEY IN TOONS

It’s all about money and gas finds ….

Images by Carlos Latuff

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Criminals in love By Carlos Latuff

Criminals in love

Related Report from Reuters (Click on link)

Israel, Turkey restore ties in deal spurred by energy prospects

A LOOK AT EUROPE THROUGH PALESTINIAN EYES

Looking at the British poll to exit Europe, we cannot just say “we told you so”. We cannot feel happy seeing Europe collapse even though we here in Palestine suffered and continue to suffer from European colonization (yes Zionism that created Israel is European colonization).

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Europe

By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

I wrote several articles over the past 20 years suggesting for the sake of Europe’s future to develop a more independent foreign policy and end US led NATO’s adventurism whether in Libya or the Ukraine. But looking at the British poll to exit Europe, we cannot just say “we told you so”. We cannot feel happy seeing Europe collapse even though we here in Palestine suffered and continue to suffer from European colonization (yes Zionism that created Israel is European colonization).

This vote was focused mainly on fear of immigration (not economy as many expected) and this epidemic of fear of the brown people is afflicting the US and Europe and is stoked by Zionist xenophobes. It was not surprising that all of Rupert Murdoch’s vast media empire peddled for Brexit (British exit). The stock markets collapsed, gold prices surged, and there is a general panic as the rich bankers who control/issue the money do not know what to do. The US Federal Reserve is panicking because interest rates are already so low and can’t be lowered so much further to “simulate the economy.” The economy is bad in Europe and the US because it is a war economy. For example, some three trillions were spend on the Iraq war (for Israel).  These wars to fragment the Arab world even further than what Sykes-Picot created in 1916 (100 years ago) are backfiring and are the real cause of the calamity in Europe (epitomized by what they call a refugee crisis and economic stress). Perhaps the chickens are coming home to roost? In the US a similar pop culture promoted by Hollywood and other media peddled xenophobic islamophobia to serve Israel, peddled endless wars (divide and conquer), and peddled a diversionary silly culture to draw attention away from the major challenges to a livable world (especially climate change). These Zionists challenged the principled BDS campaign hypocritically crying “anti-semitism” while peddling Islamophobia. The witch hunts in 2016 are reminiscent of the 1950s McCarthy communist scare.  We were thus not surprised that this same Zionist controlled media repackaged the Florida shooter as a “Muslim terrorist” but Madeen was clearly a lunatic gay guy who drank heavily and frequented gay bars regularly and was psychotically depressed for rejection. Without understanding this massive media campaign we cannot explain the popularity in oppressive societies of people like Avigdor Lieberman (“Israel”), Donald Trump (USA), and Boris Johnson (England). The fact that they all support Zionism should give us a hint.

What is clear is that people need to worry about the future of the so called “Western Civilization” as it is clearly in decline. When asked about Western Civilization, Mahatma Gandhi was reputed to have said “I think it would be a good idea”! Many people especially the majority of the globe that is not “white” are worried about this civilization. Wrting in the Guardian, Lola Okolosie said “ The paradox of this referendum has been that those who have experienced the highest levels of migration turned out to be the least concerned about it. Fear of the unknown often underlines bigotry and xenophobia. We know that.” Her article makes more interesting points and is worth reading.

Europe went through the Middle Ages for ten centuries (medieval period), a period not much different from the disarray and religious fervor gripping the Arab world today. Europe paid a heavy price for the transition from these dark ages to the renaissance and then they had the set-backs of colonialism and nationalism (including WW1 and WW2). I am hopeful that Europe will not slip back and its people learned from the past.  Now the focus is on the Arab world to finally rise out of the disarray and weakness into an era of science and technology and knowledge based decision making (our own renaissance) and this is inevitable. But then in 100 years (if climate change has not killed us all), we hope we will not be back into the colonial or nationalist mentality whether here or in Europe. Zionist colonialism like all other colonialism is already struggling to stay alive in a sea of native rejection in the 21st century. There is so much we can learn from history of Europe and we must all consider it our human history. Humanity is evolving and we must work together to make sure it evolves in a good sustainable direction.

Good news according to a friend (Mai): “Two years ago, Presbyterians passed divestment by a razor thin margin of just 7 votes. This year, they moved boldly forward with huge majority votes on further strong measures. Meanwhile, the Unitarians achieved a majority on their first attempt at divestment (remember, the Presbyterians took 10 years!)…In addition, Re/Max issued a statement to the Presbyterians prior to their Re/Max vote (which passed) that they will no longer profit from Israel’s illegal settlements properties- see links below”

http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=4806

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http://mondoweiss.net/2016/06/presbyterians-announces-settlements/?utm_campaign=trueanthem

SUNDAY’S TOONS ~~ A LOOK AT THE NEW BRITAIN

Images by Carlos Latuff

Brexit, the British Wall of Separation

Brexit, the British Wall of Separation

And Trump’s advice …

DonaldTrump has some advice for Brexit voters

Donald Trump has some advice for Brexit voters

 And what exactly is Brexit?

Brexit is an abbreviation of “British exit”, which refers to the June 23, 2016 referendum by British voters to exit the European Union. The referendum roiled global markets, including currencies, causing the British pound to fall to its lowest level in decades. Prime Minister David Cameron, who supported the UK remaining in the EU announced he would step down in October.

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