UPDATED POST ~~ VIDEO ~~ A JEW AND AN ARAB WALK INTO A BAR … AND THE REALITY IN ISRAEL TODAY

(See report below for today’s update)

From yesterday …..

We went out dressed in an Arab/Muslim and Jewish traditional outfit, walked hand to hand in public to see how people react.

The results are telling.

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Four ways Jews and Arabs live apart in Israeli society

The two communities have separate societies, attending different schools, living in different cities and espousing different political ideals

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Bezalel Smotrich, perhaps the most right-wing member of the current Knesset, caused a storm when he endorsed the idea that Arabs and Jew should be segregated in Israel’s maternity rooms.
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Smotrich was responding to a report on the Israel Broadcast Authority that several hospitals practice de facto segregation of maternity rooms — placing Jews with Jews and Arabs with Arabs. Such segregation is prohibited by law.

“There are mental gaps, and it’s more comfortable for both sides to be with themselves,” Smotrich, a member of the religious Zionist Jewish Home party, tweeted on April 5. “It’s really not racism.”

In a subsequent tweet he wrote that it’s “natural that my wife wouldn’t want to lie next to someone who just gave birth to a baby, who may want to kill her baby 20 years from now.”

Smotrich’s remarks were panned by lawmakers from left and right, including Naftali Bennett, the leader of Jewish Home. Responding to Smotrich, Bennett tweeted a rabbinic passage about man being created in God’s image, adding, “Every man. Jew or Arab.”

Jews and Arabs are afforded equal rights under Israeli law. But in many ways, the two sectors live in separate societies — attending different schools, living in different cities, reading different newspapers and espousing different political ideals.

Unlike the prescribed, top-down segregation supported by Smotrich, much of this separation stems from longstanding structural factors like language, culture and religion.

“In most places, there’s no problem. The Arab population lives in totally Arab villages,” said Nachum Blass, a senior researcher at the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies.

But the divisions between Israeli Jews and Arabs, who represent 20 percent of the population, have also contributed to economic disparities between them. And despite laws meant to prevent discrimination, Arabs point to studies showing persistent disparities in education, social services, income and political participation.

“There’s definitely discrimination in every aspect” of Israel’s education system, Taub said.

Nongovernmental organizations and government bodies have worked to promote a “shared society” in economic development, higher education and the labor market.

Here are four ways Jews and Arabs live apart in Israeli society.

Jews and Arabs attend separate schools.

Israel’s schools are separated by both religion and race. Jewish students attend either secular, religious or ultra-Orthodox schools, while the Arabs attend separate Muslim, Christian and Druze systems taught in Arabic. Of the 1.6 million total students in grades 1 through 12 last year, fewer than 2,000 attended the handful of joint Jewish-Arab schools.

The split education system, where students are taught in their own language and according to their own cultural norms, according to Blass, “answers the [Arab] community’s needs.” But it has also led to lower educational achievement among Arab Israelis.

In 2012, two-thirds of non ultra-Orthodox Jews qualified for university, as opposed to less than half of Arab students. Israel’s universities are more integrated, but Arabs make up a low proportion of students. In 2012, Arabs made up only 12 percent of bachelor’s degree students, and 4 percent of doctoral students, according to Sikkuy, an organization that aims to foster Jewish-Arab coexistence.

Jews and Arabs live in separate towns.

In addition to studying separately, Israeli Jews and Arabs mostly live in separate cities. Two of the country’s largest cities, Jerusalem and Haifa, have substantial Arab populations, but even those cities are often separated by neighborhood. Nearly all of Jerusalem’s Arab residents live in the eastern half of the city.

Aside from a handful of other mixed Israeli towns, most of the country’s cities are more than 90 percent Jewish or Arab. Though Arabs make up nearly 20 percent of Israel’s citizenry, the Tel Aviv metropolitan area, Israel’s largest, is nearly 95 percent Jewish.

The Jewish-Arab division is also marked by economic gaps. Arab cities have higher poverty rates and, in general, worse municipal services than their Jewish counterparts. Eight of Israel’s 10 poorest towns are Arab. The richest 30 are Jewish.

“It’s not a problem in principle to live in different places,” said Rawnak Natour, co-director of Sikkuy. “There needs to be a possibility to live together, that there will be [cultural] symbols and the ability to encompass the different cultures.”

Their political leaders rarely work together.

Israel often points to its Arab-Israeli lawmakers as proof of the country’s democratic chops. Arabs hold 16 seats in the 120-seat Knesset, and the body’s third-largest party, the Joint List, is Arab. Arabs have also risen to the top of other branches of government, including sitting on Israel’s Supreme Court.

But Israeli Arabs’ political leadership perpetually sits in the Knesset’s opposition, and few politicians in the government are Arab, such that the two communities’ agendas rarely align. The only Arab in Israel’s political leadership is the deputy minister of regional cooperation, Ayoub Kara, who is part of the Druze minority.

Arabs are barely present in Israel’s mainstream media.

Lucy Aharish, the young Arab co-host of a morning show on a leading Israeli TV station, speaks accent-less Hebrew, has gained admirers for her forthrightness and was even honored with a role at the country’s official torch-lighting ceremony on Independence Day.

But she’s one of the few Arab faces and voices Israelis will see and hear on their TVs and radios. Israeli Arabs have their own active press, but they are vastly underrepresented in mainstream Israeli media, comprising fewer than 3 percent of total interviews on leading Israel stations in January and February, according to a study by Sikkuy and the Seventh Eye, a media watchdog.

The number drops even lower when it comes to news segments not directly related to Israeli Arabs. Aharish’s Channel 2, for example, spoke to only 11 Arabs out of more than 5,500 total such interviews in January.

“You have low representation, and the moment you have it, it’s about specific topics and a very specific framing, which is crime and the conflict,” Natour said. “The way they’re interviewed is a negative framework that perpetuates the stigmas about the Arab population in the state.”

TOOSDAY’S TOONS ~~ THE MERCHANT OF CAIRO

Images by Carlos Latuff

Cartoon of the Day: al-Sisi, Merchant of Cairo

Cartoon of the Day: al-Sisi, Merchant of Cairo

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Cartoon of the Day: Saudi King Salman visit to Egypt See THIS

Cartoon of the Day: Saudi King Salman visit to Egypt
See THIS

START THE WEEK WITH A NEW TOON ~~ THE ISLAMOPHOBIC COURTROOM

Image by Carlos Latuff

Toon of the Day: Double Standards in the Application of the Law

Toon of the Day: Double Standards in the Application of the Law

POTUS HOPEFUL STEALS, CHANGES AND TWEETS ONE OF OUR TOONS

The Original …

Image by Carlos Latuff

Original toon I made for Middle East Eye A candidate should know about copyright laws

Original toon I made for Middle East Eye.  A candidate should know about copyright laws

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The Trump Revision

Donald Trump on Friday retweeted a photoshopped political cartoon that was originally produced for Middle East Eye.

The aspiring Republican presidential candidate shared an image showing him wagging a finger towards Syrians fleeing war, telling them that they cannot enter the United States and stating: “Saudi Arabia has plenty of room for you.”

Trump’s tweet has since been re-shared nearly 4,000 times.

See the Twitter Page HERE

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Aside from the copyright issue, what’s more disgusting is changing the meaning of a toon about the Syrian refugee crisis for an anti-immigrant agenda

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Hillary wouldn’t dare do the same ….

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#PanamaPapers ~~ SNOWDEN CALLS ON CAMERON TO RESIGN

Image by Carlos Latuff

#PanamaPapers ~~ TOON OF THE DAY — AIRING THE LAUNDRY

Image by Carlos Latuff

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TOON OF THE DAY ~~ #PanamaPapers

Image by Carlos Latuff

And of course, Israel is involved ….

Israel Vows Probe of Companies Named in #PanamaPapers Expose

Israel’s Tax Authority will investigate Israeli companies and individuals whose are identified as having offshore accounts in a dump of leaked documents known as the Panama Papers.

The tax authority said it will investigate whether the ownership of the companies and the assets held abroad were reported to the authority and if the appropriate taxes were paid.

Israel Tax Authority Director General Moshe Asher told the daily newspaper Israel Hayom that some of the names on the accounts have not reported overseas assets. He said that all the information in the newly leaked documents would be crosschecked.

Some 600 Israeli companies and some 850 Israeli shareholders are listed as having offshore accounts. Among the companies found in the documents are Bank Leumi and Bank Hapoalim.

The 11.5 million documents were published Sunday following a yearlong investigation of their contents led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and the German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

It is legal to use offshore accounts.

The leaked data, which go back as far as 1975, came from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, which is known for creating shell companies that often conceal the ownership of assets in the accounts.

The documents were reviewed by journalists from 76 countries.

NO MORE ‘FREEBIE’ TRIPS TO ISRAEL

Racism in Israel has been on the rise and Mark said it was hurting the program. “Truth be told, Israelis have always been kind of dicks,” Mark explained. “Birthright participants were so taken with the trip there were able to see past the dickishness. But I guess Israelis have just become even bigger dicks.” 

Birthright ends trips to Israel — ‘American Jews are better off imagining Israel than seeing it’ 

By Adam Horowitz FOR

Left to right, is of Gidi Mark, CEO of Taglit-Birthright Israel; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; Netanyahu's wife, Sara Netanyahu; and Ohio State University student Ryan Hunter of Syosset, NY, at a Birthright Israel Mega Event on June 24, 2014, in Caesarea, Israel. (Photo is courtesy of Steinreich Communications).

Left to right, is of Gidi Mark, CEO of Taglit-Birthright Israel; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; Netanyahu’s wife, Sara Netanyahu; and Ohio State University student Ryan Hunter of Syosset, NY, at a Birthright Israel Mega Event on June 24, 2014, in Caesarea, Israel. (Photo is courtesy of Steinreich Communications).

In a shocking move, Birthright Israel announced today, April 1, that the well known travel-program-cum-dating-service will no longer be offering trips to Israel for Jewish young people. In an exclusive interview with Mondoweiss Birthright CEO Gidi Mark explained, “Given the rightward, and frankly racist, turn in Israel we could no longer conduct a trip that would present the country in the most flattering light. We determined that in order to build support for Israel, young people are best off leaving it to their imagination.”

Even though trips will not be continuing, Birthright Israel plans to continue going strong. A new New York City-based program will offer participants an immersive exploration of Israeli history, politics and culture through screenings of the films Exodus and You Don’t Mess with the Zohan.

Mark said the change was a stroke of genius. “We found that many young Jewish Americans had a better opinion of Israel before coming to the country. Years of exposure to Jewish educational programs led them to believe Israel was one thing, but time and time again we found participants were turned off by actually seeing the country.”

Mark says the idea for the change first came to him while watching the US presidential race. “I just kept thinking to myself as I watched the debates, why can’t we show people the Israel these politicians seem to see?” The Birthright head soon determined that the reason US politicians laud Israel is because they know so little about it. So, rather than giving participants a firsthand experience with Israel itself, he figures it’s more important to give them a firsthand experience with the idea of Israel.

Mark described the ah-ha moment, “We finally figured it out, the best way to build support for Israel is to have as little contact with Israel as possible.”

What went wrong?

Mark described how itineraries had been curtailed in the past several years due to Jewish violence. “First we stopped going to Jerusalem, given the tension and violence of the Jewish community there. Then we stopped going to the Galilee as Jews stepped up attacks there as well. Soon, we were left with about a three block radius in Tel Aviv that was worth seeing. Most participants just stayed in the hotel.”

Racism in Israel has been on the rise and Mark said it was hurting the program. “Truth be told, Israelis have always been kind of dicks,” Mark explained. “Birthright participants were so taken with the trip there were able to see past the dickishness. But I guess Israelis have just become even bigger dicks.”

Birthright, coming to a theater near you?

Mark says the program already has the AMC Empire 25 near Times Square reserved for the next Birthright trip, and he’s clearly excited. “I think we’ll have a great lineup for the new Birthright, Schindler’s List and World War Z are already on the schedule.” And while it won’t be the same as the old trip, Mark hopes some things will stay the same. “Sure, we will no longer have the Bedouin tent, but trust me, there will still be plenty of handjobs in the new Birthright as well.”

UNBROKEN TRADITIONS IN GOVERNMENT HIRING

YOU'RE HIRED Rubber Stamp

As the Election Year approaches, I had to share this one with you all …..

Once upon a time there was a king who​

wanted to go fishing. 

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He called the royal weather forecaster and

inquired as to the weather forecast for the next few hours.

The weatherman assured ​

him that there was no chance of rain in the coming days. 

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So the king went fishing with his wife, the queen. 

​ ​

On the way he met a farmer on his donkey. Upon seeing the king the farmer said, “Your Majesty, you should return to the palace at once because in just a short time I expect a huge amount of rain to fall in this area”. The king was polite and considerate, he replied: “I hold the palace meteorologist in high regard. He is an extensively educated and experienced professional. And besides, I pay him very high wages. He gave me a very different forecast. I trust him and I will continue on my way.” 

​ ​

So he continued on his way.

However, a short time later a torrential rain fell from the sky. 

The King and Queen were totally soaked and their entourage chuckled upon seeing them in such a shameful condition. 

Furious, the king returned to the palace and gave the order to fire the professional. Then he summoned the farmer and offered him the prestigious and high paying role of royal forecaster.

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The farmer said, “Your Majesty, I do not know anything about forecasting. I obtain my information from my donkey. If I see my donkey’s ears drooping, it means with certainty that it will rain.” 

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So the king hired the donkey.

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And thus began the practice of hiring dumb asses to work in the government and occupy its highest and most influential positions.

​ ​

And the practice is unbroken to this day…

FRIDAY’S TOONS ~~ WIKILEAKS ARCHIVES HELLARY’S EMAILS

Image by Carlos Latuff

RELEASE: Search engine for 30,322 Hillary Clinton emails from Blair to the Rothchilds SEE

RELEASE: Search engine for 30,322 Hillary Clinton emails from Blair to the Rothchilds
SEE

Image by Branco

hillary-clinton-emails

Let’s hope it rains on Election Day😉

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ISRAEL FOLLOWS TURKEY’S LEAD ON MEDIA CRACKDOWN

Israel’s military and domestic intelligence agency wasted no time implementing a decision by the cabinet last Thursday to sharply intensify the crackdown on Palestinian media.

Before dawn on Friday, agents from the Shin Bet, accompanied by Israeli soldiers, raided the Ramallah offices of Palestine Today, confiscating the TV station’s equipment before ordering it closed until further notice.

An employee at Palestine Today inspects damage at the offices of the TV channel, in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, after Israeli forces raided them on 11 March, seizing equipment and ordering their closure. (Shadi Hatem APA images)

An employee at Palestine Today inspects damage at the offices of the TV channel, in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, after Israeli forces raided them on 11 March, seizing equipment and ordering their closure. (Shadi Hatem APA images)

Israel intensifies crackdown on media

Israel’s military and domestic intelligence agency wasted no time implementing a decision by the cabinet last Thursday to sharply intensify the crackdown on Palestinian media.

Before dawn on Friday, agents from the Shin Bet, accompanied by Israeli soldiers, raided the Ramallah offices of Palestine Today, confiscating the TV station’s equipment before ordering it closed until futher notice.

During the raid, the soldiers briefly detained two of the station’s journalists, Muhammad Amro and Shbeib Shbeib.

A few miles away, soldiers arrested the director of the news station, Farouq Alayat, from his home in Birzeit. Elayyat is still in Israeli custody.

Correspondent Ibrahim Jaradat was arrested on Sunday at an Israeli military checkpoint.

Israeli occupation forces declared the channel to be an illegal organization that the army was closing on the basis of emergency laws introduced by Palestine’s British colonial rulers in 1945.

The army said it had heard the station airing “inciting broadcasts” and the Shin Bet said that “incitement to terrorism serves the interests of terrorist organizations.”

The army furthermore claimed the outlet was part of Islamic Jihad, a Palestinian political party that Israel has outlawed.

On Friday, the army also shut down the TransMedia Production Company, which provides technical services for the channel.

The move came after Israel’s cabinet convened on Thursday to approve a series of measures against Palestinians, including shutting down media outlets.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) sharply condemned the closures.

“We cannot tolerate these continuous attacks from Israeli authorities to muzzle Palestinian press,” the group’s president Jim Boumelha said. He added that accusations of incitement and the closure of media offices must not occur without due process.

“We call on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression to investigate violations of press freedom in Palestine without delay,” Boumelha said.

The IFJ’s Palestine branch, the Palestinian Journalist Union, said that since 2016 Israel has committed more than 40 violations against journalists and media organizations.

In response to the IFJ statement, a body representing Israeli journalists attacked the world’s largest journalism trade union.

Haim Shibi, a member of the foreign relations committee of the National Federation of Israeli Journalists,accused Boumelha of “turning the IFJ into a clear anti-Israel propaganda tool, continually portraying the IDF [Israeli army] as an army that hunts journalists, targets them and kills them.”

Chilling trend

In early February, Foreign Press Association secretary Gila Sugarman said that there has been an increase in physical violence against journalists and their equipment by Israeli forces in the last two years.

Reporters Without Borders listed Israel as the second most lethal country in the world for journalists after Syria at the end of 2014.

In November, Israel shut down three Palestinian radio stations in Hebron for six-month periods, also claiming they were engaged in “incitement.”

A growing number of Palestinian journalists are being jailed or charged with incitement.

Prisoners rights group Addameer has documented that seven Palestinian journalists have been arrested since the beginning of 2016.

Five of those remain in custody: Samer Abu Aisha, Mujahid al-Saadi, Sami Al-Saai, Farouq Alayat and Ibrahim Jaradat. In total, 22 Palestinian journalists are being held in Israeli prisons, according to Addameer.

On Friday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also runs Israel’s communications ministry, reportedly called French President François Hollande to request that he halt the French satellite company Eutelsat from broadcasting al-Aqsa TV, a Hamas-affiliated channel.

The next day, Eutelsat announced it would no longer air the station.

And while Palestinians have felt the brunt of Israel’s crackdown on the media, Israeli and foreign press are not immune.

And journalists at Israel’s largest online news platform, Walla, have reported that stories are designed and changed to keep the prime minister happy due to the company’s business interests.

Last month, members of the Foreign Press Association were twice summoned before Israel’s parliament to be questioned about alleged bias.

In early February, several Israeli politicians suggested that members of the press who showed alleged bias against Israel should enjoy fewer rights.

Yisrael Eichler, a member of the Knesset and a former journalist, said that “objective reporters should be given freedom of action, but reporters who “take a side in the conflict” should be given less access.

Lawmaker Michael Oren, the former Israeli ambassador to Washington, said, “We cannot ignore the fact that the press takes an active, one-sided and tendentious stance in covering the conflict, and therefore, it is part of the game.”

TRUMP SUPPORTERS GOING WILD ….

Image by Carlos Latuff

Created for Mondoweiss

Created for Mondoweiss

Where Were They Radicalized? Here are six instances of Trump supporters getting violent

Imraan Siddiqi

Here’s a question:  Are Trump supporters violent?  Yeah, of course we know that not all Trump supporters are violent – it would be ridiculous to generalize a huge group of people based on the actions of a few…oh wait.

As the GOP frontrunner continues to pick up victories during primary season, his momentum and support base has become more emboldened.  With each passing day, the level of hateful rhetoric emanating from the campaign continues to shock the world.  But something funny is happening:  Trump’s popularity continues to rise as the hate rhetoric continues to flow.

During a stump speech in South Carolina, he spoke wistfully about torture, collective punishment and a sickening legend where General Jack Pershing used ammo dipped in pigs’ blood to execute Muslim captives in the Philippines during the early 1900’s.  The anecdote was largely debunked by Snopes, yet Trump resurrected the very same story this week in Ohio.

Trump has also openly supported violence against the growing number of protestors who attend his rallies – offering to pay legal fees for those who commit acts of violence.  ThisMashable article has tracked the numerous times he has appealed to violence in his speeches.

But this is all just rhetoric, right? Judging by recent headlines, it is difficult to classify this as just rhetoric or bluster.  There has been a sharp upswing in violent incidents taking place at the hands of Trump supporters at rallies and beyond.  Let’s look at 6 of these examples:

1. Wichita, Kansas: Man screaming “Trump! Trump!” attacks Muslim, Hispanic students

Let’s start with this one, since it is the most recent.  A Wichita State University student reports that he and his friend were attacked over the weekend outside a local Kwik Stop convenience store.  The assailant began hurling insults at Khondoker Usama – WSU’s student body Vice President and the friend, saying “brown trash – go home. Trump will win.”  The confrontation escalated to physical violence, where the perpetrator punched the student repeatedly.  Usama then called the police as the suspect fled.  Police are investigating the incident, and have not named any suspects as yet.

2. New Hampshire: Trump Campaign official arrested in connection with Bundy Ranch standoff

In the fallout of the infamous armed-Oregon standoff, where we saw many members of the Bundy family (including patriarch Cliven) arrested on federal charges – we also saw individuals arrested in connection with the 2014 standoff in Nevada.  Jerry Delemus, who was the New Hampshire co-chair of “Veterans for Trump” was arrested on several charges.  The offenses, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader, included:

  • Conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States
  • Threatening a federal law enforcement officer
  • Attempting to impede or injure a federal law enforcement officer
  • Multiple firearms charges

Delemus’ wife Susan, is also a state representative and an avid supporter of the Trump campaign.  Prior to his arrest, Delemus made headlines for an attempted “Draw Muhammad” rally in New Hampshire.

3. Louisville, Kentucky:  White Supremacist physically, verbally assaults black protestor

In yet another disturbing video that emerged from a Trump rally, University of Louisville student Shiya Nwanguma is shown being physically and verbally assaulted while being walked out of the event.  As Nwanguma stated, she was called “n****r” and “c**t” and was pushed by white nationalist Matthew Heimbach.  The neo-Nazi leader admitted pushing Nwanguma, however was not removed from the event nor charged with a crime.

4. Fayetteville, North Carolina:  White Trump supporter sucker-punches black protestor at rally

As protestors were being escorted out of the Trump rally in Fayetteville, NC – 78-year-old John McGraw took it upon himself to sucker-punch an unsuspecting Black Lives Matter protestor.  McGraw was arrested for the punch and charged with assault.  At the time, he was being held on $2,500 bond.

5. Miami, Florida:  Immigration protestor dragged on ground, kicked by Trump supporters

In the midst of the backdrop of Trump’s inflammatory comments about Mexican immigrants being “rapists” – an immigration protest was held at a rally in Miami.  In one of the most disturbing scenes of the campaign season, protestor Ariel Rojas was dragged on the floor by his collar, while being kicked and jeered by Trump supporters.  The crowd began shouting “U.S.A!  U.S.A!”

6. Richmond California:  Trump Supporter Arrested, Plotting to Bomb Muslims

55-year-old William Celli was arrested in Richmond, CA in an attempt to bomb the local Muslim community.  Celli was known to have made threats against the local community, and had openly espoused support for Donald Trump.  Police seized a device from his home, that may have been used in a potential attack.  On his Facebook page, Celli espoused hatred for Hispanics and Muslims alike, and said he would follow Trump “to the end of the world.”

*Bonus* St. Louis, Missouri – Trump screams F**k Islam, other epithets at Muslim passers-by

Not really violent, but indicative of the pervasive hate and Islamophobia that permeates Trump’s support base.  As a group of Muslims walks by, a Trump supporter yells out “F**k Islam, Allah is a w***e – Jesus is the most high god.”

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TIMELY TOONS ~~ SUNDAY IN TURKEY

Images by Carlos Latuff

Erdogan's Crackdown on Freedom of Speech in Turkey

Erdogan’s Crackdown on Freedom of Speech in Turkey

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How Erdoğan is Blackmailing Europe

How Erdoğan is Blackmailing Europe

Meanwhile, in neighbouring Greece …

Greece and the Refugee Crisis ....SEE

Greece and the Refugee Crisis ….SEE

NEW DRESS CODE IN FRANCE ~~ IF YOUR T-SHIRT CRITICIZES ISRAEL, IT’S ILLEGAL

European ‘Democracy in action …

The activist was taking part in a march for International Women’s Day in Paris last Sunday when undercover police swooped in and detained her for wearing a piece of clothing with the words “Boycott Apartheid Israel” printed on it.

Undeterred by arrest of an activist days earlier, members of BDS France wear “illegal” t-shirts calling for the boycott of Israel, during a protest outside Airbnb’s office in Paris on 10 March. (Courtesy of BDS France)

Undeterred by arrest of an activist days earlier, members of BDS France wear “illegal” t-shirts calling for the boycott of Israel, during a protest outside Airbnb’s office in Paris on 10 March. (Courtesy of BDS France)

Woman arrested in France for T-shirt critical of Israel

France has ratcheted up its draconian repression of free speech about Palestine with the arrest of a woman for wearing a T-shirt supporting the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

The activist was taking part in a march for International Women’s Day in Paris last Sunday when undercover police swooped in and detained her for wearing a piece of clothing with the words “Boycott Apartheid Israel” printed on it.

According to the newspaper L’Humanité, officers from the Renseignements Généraux, the intelligence service of the French police, were involved in monitoring the demonstration in which numerous social justice and leftist groups took part.

France remains under the state of emergency severely limiting public freedoms that was declared after last November’s atrocities by suspected Islamic State extremists who killed 130 people in Paris.

The young woman was taken to Paris’ 3rd district police station for questioning.

Hundreds of marchers halted their procession and demonstrated loudly outside the police station for an hour until she was released, as a video posted on Facebook.

Political repression

The woman has been summoned back to the police station for questioning at 2pm on Monday on suspicion of “inciting hatred by reason of [national] origin, through writing,” according to L’Humanité.

Supporters are planning to demonstrate outside the police station at that time.

The feminist collective 8 Mars Pour TouTEs denounced the arrest and pledged support for the activist and for the BDS movement.

The arrest was evidence of the “criminalization of political struggles,” the group said, vowing to mount strong solidarity in response to “the police state and political and racist repression.”

The left-wing grouping Ensemble has condemned the arrest, describing it as a consequence of the “security climate” in France.

The Palestine solidarity group BDS France noted that the day after the arrest, Prime Minister Manuel Valls tolda dinner hosted by the Israel lobby group CRIF that “anti-Zionism is nothing more than a synonym for anti-Semitism and the hatred of Israel.”

“Today, politicians who support the Israeli apartheid regime are out of arguments,” BDS France said in a statement.

“They conflate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism and terrorism, and take all the Jews of the world hostage, stubbornly insisting that they become accomplices of the war crimes and apartheid of a state which is foreign to them,” BDS France added.

The campaign group said that with the growing global success of BDS, “a nonviolent, anti-racist citizen movement for the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people,” Israel and its allies in the French government had no recourse but to try to smear it as anti-Semitic.

Court rulings and government decrees have outlawed calls to boycott Israeli goods, prompting defiance from French civil society.

Undeterred

BDS France is also vowing not to fold under government repression.

On Thursday, dozens of activists handed in an international petition at the Paris offices of Airbnb to protest the company’s profiting from the renting out of vacation homes in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

As the photos published by BDS France show, the activists were proudly wearing their “Boycott Israeli Apartheid” T-shirts.

On Saturday, activists will hold rallies all over France against the state of emergency. An action alert from BDS France urges supporters to wear their T-shirts at those marches too.

ISRAEL HAS BECOME A SEXUALLY CHALLENGED NATION

Sour grapes make vinegar, not kosher wine😉

Israel joined in marking International Women’s Day on Tuesday, the chairman of the Knesset House Committee announced that the Israeli parliament would also mark International Men’s Day.

“Men deserve to have a day dedicated to them, especially in a time when the discourse surrounding the Israeli man is non-existent,” David Bitan said of the initiative.

International Men's Day Symbol

International Men’s Day Symbol

As world honors women, Knesset moves to mark Men’s Day

As Israel joined in marking International Women’s Day on Tuesday, the chairman of the Knesset House Committee announced that the Israeli parliament would also mark International Men’s Day.

“Men deserve to have a day dedicated to them, especially in a time when the discourse surrounding the Israeli man is non-existent,” David Bitan said of the initiative.

“International Women’s Day is one of the most important days you can mark,” says Bitan, adding that “we must promote gender equality and reduce gaps on the matter, but also on the way we must not forget about the men.”

According to Bitan, a Likud MK, the government will observe the day in May with plenum discussions and special committee sessions dedicated to the well-being of men in Israel.

On Tuesday, the Knesset’s Committee for the Advancement of Women marked International Women’s Day with a special discussion on domestic abuse.

Bitan did not detail why the Knesset event was chosen for May, while International Men’s Day is generally observed on November 19.

Around the world and in Israel this week, public figures attended an array of events honoring women’s social, economic, cultural and political achievements.

At the President’s Residence in Jerusalem on Monday, President Reuven Rivlin’s wife, Nechama, hosted leading female figures in Israel.

A day later, Rivlin’s predecessor Shimon Peres played host to supermodel Naomi Campbell at a conference about women and change at the Peres Center, where he presented her an award in honor of her work for women.

The otherwise sober and politically correct day was disturbed when outspoken journalist and socialite Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes asserted that many professional women stay single because their male colleagues are too frightened of the prospect of sexual harassment suits to flirt.

“Too many managers refuse to hire women out of fear that if they fail and need to be fired, they [too] will complain about sexual harassment,” Shalom said in a string of tweets Tuesday. “They give preference to a man for the same position.

“Despite the fact that I feel equal to a man, I know that we’re different. I like it when a man opens the door for me, pays for a meal, I prefer that a man chase a woman. Sue me!” She wrote.

Shalom Nir-Mozes is married to the erstwhile Likud minister and vice prime minister Silvan Shalom, who resigned in December amid allegations that he sexually harassed women who had worked with him.

She caused a storm last year when she tweeted a racist joke about US President Barack Obama. She promptly deleted the post and apologized for the “stupid joke.”

 

SOURCE

Meanwhile, here is how International Women’s Day was celebrated in the ‘other Democracies’ of the Middle East ….

Images by Carlos Latuff

In Egypt …

CdDioXhW8AAdtAa

*

And in Turkey …

Cc2SV6WW0AEA-5_ (1)

IN DEFENSE OF DONALD TRUMP

Heil Donald ???

Heil Donald ???

NOOOOOOOOO! This is not an endorsement of the man’s candidacy …. far from it!

My personal hatred for him and his father goes back over fifty years as can be seen in THIS post from the archives.

BUT ….

To claim  and condemn him for the following is utterly ridiculous. This is NOT a nazi salute …

The righteous supporters in the Clinton camp were way too quick to jump on the condemnation wagon, which prompted me to write this.

When an Abe Foxman says the following, one really has to look at the situation with open eyes and mind …. 

Abe Foxman calls episode ‘about as offensive, obnoxious and disgusting as anything I thought I would ever witness in the United States of America’; says Republican candidate knew exactly what he was doing

(Click on link to see full report)

‘I am a Holocaust survivor and this made me quiver’

Ex-ADL chief: Trump’s ‘raise your hand’ gambit was deliberate, Nazi-style ‘fascist gesture’

Once again I stress that this is NOT an endorsement of Donald Trump. Hopefully he will be defeated in the primary because of his racist policies, but not because of fabricated ones such as the one above.

I must add …. where were the Foxman’s condemnations when this photo was taken?

kahana supporters give nazi salute

kahana supporters give nazi salute

Do you see a difference here? I don’t.

hitler youth

hitler youth

 

TURKEY TOONS OF THE DAY

Images by Carlos Latuff

The not so Great Dictator

 Erdogan, The Little Dictator!

Erdogan, The Little Dictator!

*

Erdogan Declares: Freedom of Speech is DEAD in Turkey!

Latuff's Website was one of the first to be banned in Turkey .... Read more HERE

Latuff’s Website was one of the first to be banned in Turkey …. Read more HERE

SATURDAY’S TOON ~~ THE END OF PRESS FREEDOM IN TURKKEY

Image by Carlos Latuff

The latest from Turkey HERE

The latest from Turkey HERE

Related report ….. (Click on link) 

Turkish authorities seize newspaper close to cleric Gulen – state media

Zaman, the country’s highest-selling paper, was taken over by the government on Friday. It is considered critical towards Turkish President Erdogan.

 

SODASTREAM FIRES ALL ITS PALESTINIAN WORKERS

CEO Daniel Birnbaum says dismissal of 74 Palestinian workers is not BDS Movement’s fault, but that of the Israeli gov’t

SodaStream lays off last Palestinian workers after permit row

Saying goodbye in tears (Photo: Israel Yosef)

Saying goodbye in tears (Photo: Israel Yosef)

CEO Daniel Birnbaum says dismissal of 74 Palestinian workers is not BDS Movement’s fault, but that of the Israeli gov’t, which refuses to grant them work permits.

Israeli drinks firm SodaStream laid off its last Palestinian workers Monday and lashed out at the government for refusing to grant them work permits after it relocated from the West Bank to southern Israel.

The company, which manufactures a device for making fizzy drinks at home, announced in late 2014 it was closing the West Bank plant following a boycott campaign that included targeting Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson after she advertised its product.

The plant, located in a Jewish West Bank settlement, closed in October last year, laying off more than 500 Palestinains, and then relocated inside Israel.

The movement known as BDS campaigns against Israel over its presence in the West Bank and pressured SodaStream to move out of the Palestinian territory.

Mahmoud Nawajaa, the BDS coordinator in the West Bank town of Ramallah, called the loss of the Palestinian jobs at SodaStream “part of the price that should be paid in the process of ending the occupation.”

At the time, 74 experienced Palestinian workers moved with the company which also hired hundreds of Israelis.

The Palestinian staff, many of whom had worked at the company for years, have been caught in a permit battle between the firm and Israeli authorities.

On Monday, they boarded buses to leave the plant in the southern Israeli town of Levahim for the last time, many visibly emotional, as company officials expressed outrage.

The movement known as BDS campaigns against Israel over its presence in the West Bank and pressured SodaStream to move out of the Palestinian territory.

The Israeli government refused to grant the 74 Palestinians work permits beyond the end of February, according to the company.

The company, which had revenues of $112.9 million in the final quarter of 2015, initially threatened to halt production at its factory unless the “essential” workers were given permits.

However, it later backed down and made them redundant.

Birnbaum said he was “still hopeful” a solution could be found and said the company might move some operations back to the West Bank.

‘There is no hope’

COGAT, the Defense Ministry body responsible for coordinating Israeli government activity in the Palestinian territories, declined to comment on the redundancies but reiterated that it had helped facilitate the movement of the factory.

“COGAT has taken many measures to help the factory and provided temporary permits to hundreds of laborers in the past year and a half to enable the transfer (of the factory),” a statement said.

According to COGAT, 58,000 Palestinians hold permits to work in Israel, with another 27,000 working for Israeli businesses in West Bank settlements and industrial zones.

SodaStream — which employs around 1,200 people — has called for that number to be increased but that would require a government decision.

At a march to protest the government’s decision on Monday, a few hundred SodaStream employees formed a peace sign at the company’s Lehavim factory.

Palestinian employees were then loaded onto buses for the last time to be taken into the West Bank.

“There is no hope in Palestine. There is little work.”

Bassel Salhaya said he had no plan for future employment in the West Bank.

“We were together 12 hours a day, more than I see my wife and son,” he said. “We became like brothers.”

SOURCE

 

WIKITOON

Image by Carlos Latuff

NSAGov Targets World Leaders for US Geopolitical Interests

NSAGov Targets World Leaders for US Geopolitical Interests

NSA Targets World Leaders for US Geopolitical Interests

Today, 23 February 2016 at 00:00 GMT, WikiLeaks publishes highly classified documents showing that the NSA bugged meetings between UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, between Israel prime minister Netanyahu and Italian prime minister Berlusconi, between key EU and Japanese trade ministers discussing their secret trade red-lines at WTO negotiations, as well as details of a private meeting between then French president Nicolas Sarkozy, Merkel and Berlusconi.

The documents also reveal the content of the meetings from Ban Ki Moon’s strategising with Merkel over climate change, to Netanyahu’s begging Berlusconi to help him deal with Obama, to Sarkozy telling Berlusconi that the Italian banking system would soon “pop like a cork”.

Some documents are classified TOP-SECRET / COMINT-GAMMA and are the most highly classified documents ever published by a media organization.

WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange said “Today we showed that UN Secretary General Ban KiMoon’s private meetings over how to save the planet from climate change were bugged by a country intent on protecting its largest oil companies. We previously published Hillary Clinton orders that US diplomats were to steal the Secretary General’s DNA. The US government has signed agreements with the UN that it will not engage in such conduct against the UN–let alone its Secretary General. It will be interesting to see the UN’s reaction, because if the Secretary General can be targeted without consequence then everyone from world leader to street sweeper is at risk.”

 

FROM

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