THE KOREAN CRISIS IN TOONS

Reports say that North Korea has fired a ballistic missile over Japan. This is bad news!

Next two images by Carlos Latuff

Both Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un should stop fueling the flames that may turn Korean Peninsula in a sea of fire! Please STOP

THIS is certainly not the way to stop WW 111

IN POETRY ~~~ WHERE IS THE APOLOGY?

images-9

“I AM BECOME DEATH THE DESTROYER OF WORLD”    

© Tom Karlson

August 6th nineteen and forty-five

Enola Gay flies high

8:15

bombs away, Little Boy

 

8:16 one hundred fifty-thousand dead, vaporized

two hundred-thousand Hibakusha,

zombies stagger down streetless streets

silhouetting their dead friends, family

a cityless city

called Hiroshima

 

on a standing wall an image of

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

 

the little haberdasher is not done

“using the bomb is no great decision”

 

August 9th,

he orders Bockscar to drop Fat Man,

ninety thousand exterminated, vaporized

Hiroshima and Nagasaki will sing no more

 

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

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

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

Image by Latuff

No need to apologise!

No need to apologise!

 

 

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

Images by Carlos Latuff

Obama in #Hiroshima

Obama in #Hiroshima

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CiPQlbVWsAAwxMJ

No apology from Obama for Hiroshima

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

Full report HERE

WHAT IS ISRAEL TRYING TO HIDE?

Is Israel denying that it is an occupying power? Is Israel denying that there are illegal Jewish settlements on lands stolen from Palestinians?

Is the continual cry of anti Semitism their only defense regarding the EU’s labeling of products made in these settlements?

Labeling of these products is NOT an endorsement of the BDS Movement, so what is it that Israel is really trying to hide?

 Jewish American activists unfurl banner in support of BDS at the Western Wall (Photo from Mondoweiss)

Jewish American activists unfurl banner in support of BDS at the Western Wall
(Photo from Mondoweiss)

The EU does not recognize the legitimacy of Israel’s presence in the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, territories captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War. As such, goods from there cannot be labelled “Made in Israel” and should be labelled as coming from settlements, which the EU considers illegal under international law.

EU Commission approves settlement product labeling

Products coming from Israeli factories in the West Bank, East Jerusalem. Gaza, and the Golan Heights will be labeled as ‘settlement products’; Foreign Ministry summons EU ambassador to receive reprimand.

Full report HERE

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This is not the first time in history that products from occupied territories were labeled as such …. how quickly the world forgets …

The "Made in Occupied Japan" mark is seen on a postwar Japanese export.

The “Made in Occupied Japan” mark is seen on a postwar Japanese export.

On February 20, 1947 the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP) in Japan issued the instruction SCAPIN 1535, stating that all export items must be identified with an engraving “Made in Occupied Japan”. This decree was repealed on December 5, 1949 through SCAPIN 2061. Many camera manufacturers continued to use the “Made in Occupied Japan” markings until 1951, even though they could have substituted it with “Made in Japan”. The latter became standard once the U.S. occupation of Japan formally ended in 1952. FROM

(As will the EU’s labeling of Israeli settlement products)

It’s as simple as that!

THE PALESTINIAN CONNECTION TO HIROSHIMA

The following is a post from the Archives written a year ago …
Palestinian in Hiroshima

By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

*

100_0780

*
I and Oliver Stone both spoke at Hiroshima on the anniversary of the first nuclear bombing in human history and we are slated to speak in two days at Nagasaki on the anniversary of the second nuclear attack.  My speech is below in English (I will send the Japanese version later).  These remain the most starkest of acts of state terror in Human history.  I had seen images and video before that made me shudder but being in the City is different.  At 8:15 AM on a sunny hot day we laid down next to the dome for three minutes with people from all backgrounds and I stared at the sky and tried to imagine through the tears the terror that came and exploded 600 meters directly above us in the sky 68 years ago.   But how can one imagine the horror of dropping a nuclear weapon on a population incinerating and skeletonizing tens of thousands and leaving tens of thousands with burned body skin hanging in rags and worse. Harder to imagine yet is the darkness of the human hearts and minds that took the decisions to do that to fellow human beings.
 *
Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick explained eloquently about the real reasons for dropping the bombs instead of the mythology that is told in school books in America.  But does that really make any difference on the horror of what Truman and his generals visited on humanity? Those of us in the medical field understand clinically what radiation poisoning does to the human body but politicians also know that and Truman had detailed reports from the earlier experiments.  I met so many hibakushas (survivors of the nuclear blast) and their children and grandchildren.  Many told us of the dramatic death of children by leukemia and other cancers and of the congenital deformities.  It was more than we could take even as visitors so I can only begin to imagine the actual feelings of people here.
 *
Clearly the monuments to victims were slanted strongly away from nationalism and war; something that reminded us that it is possible for victims to learn that war and nationalism are not the answer.  I wished more people can learn that lesson and change the misleading pro-war pro-Zionist message of many holocaust museums to build instead a pro-peace structure.
*
On the positive side, we were thrilled to see so many children and youth taking the banner of peace.  Middles school children collected signatures to ban nuclear weapons around the world. Hundreds of us marched to the electric company in town to ask that they stop using nuclear power (especially poignant after the disastrous Fukushima plant meltdown).   Our colorful Palestinian Kuffiyas were welcomed among the colorful banners in our march. We felt love and peace. We saw alternating images of hope and pain and of beautiful people who face-up to right-wing politicians and the few racists who even deny what Japanese soldiers did in China and Korea. Like a roller-coaster, a tour of Japan brings mixed emotions.
 *
As a visiting Palestinian I am struck most of all by the neatness and orderliness of the cities.  Everything runs perfectly.  Trains are accurate to the minute.  Millions ride on these trains both within cities and between cities.  Streets are clean and no walls or checkpoints stop us from freely moving around.  It is all orderly and peaceful.  Crossing streets on cues, trash in its receptacles, lines are straight, and cars and homes are clean and orderly.  Just about everyone speaks in low tones and people are courteous to each other.
 *
Japan like most countries is a society burdened by Western style capitalism.  Here you see also things like McDonalds, Starbucks, prostitution, and corrupt politicians.   Though more homogeneous than other countries, Japan is a very large country of 120 million people and even in a short visit one sees remarkable diversity of ideas and concepts.  In Nagoya, we visited an educational table at the main square that tried to challenge the Trans-Pacific Partnership Treaty (a US Dominated agreement favorable to corporations at the expense of people). The organizer of this table belonged to one of the few native communities of Japan, a great man by the name of Esaman.  People stopped by bringing food and sharing stories.  In the same square a lone young musician played his guitar asking for donations to build a school in a remote area of Pakistan.
*
In Nagoya, I attended a discussion of writings by Kobayashi Takiji.  The audience were some 30 individuals of diverse background who put their shoes at the entrance of the lecture hall and wore red slippers as they listened intently to a retired bookstore seller discuss and pass around the books by Takiji.  Takiji was born in 1903 and showed a talent for writing at an early age. His writings did not please authorities and he was fired from his job and eventually executed by the government at age 30 y.o. His most famous short novel is called  Kanikōsen and it is a story about workers at a boat fishing for crabs.  The story takes you into an incredible world of suffering of the workers, humanity to fellow workers, and cruelty of their boss.  There seemed to be a revival of the interest in this genre of literature after the last Japanese economic bubble burst.
 *
Many Japanese yearn for a more caring society and support global solidarity, including with Palestine. This was shown vividly in our visit to Nagoya and Hiroshima.   I reflect on the people I met and saw in get-together, on the streets, in trains, and in restaurants.  Here I would see people who reminded me of people I met in America, in Palestine and elsewhere.  I thought someone should do a documentary on this carrying a camera around different countries to show that there are individuals in each country virtually twins with those living in other countries.  Perhaps this film can bring us all closer to one another.  In the meantime, I cannot wait for our upcoming visit to Nagasaki, Osaka, Tokyo, and Kyoto. And I cannot wait to go back to Palestine where hope against all odds still survives.  Stay tuned.
 *
Speech by Professor Qumsiyeh in Hiroshima on the 68th anniversary of the First Atomic Bomb
Kumbunwa and thank you for this invitation.  It is a special honor for me to visit Japan.  Here in Hiroshima we are most reminded of the horrors of war.  Here we have a chance to reflect on the fact that there is no “good war”.  We are reminded that nations do not win or lose wars.  Wars cause the suffering of common people and makes rich people richer.   Money wins wars, people lose wars. That is why President Eisenhauer warned about the power of the military-industrial complex.  It is a power we were reminded of by Oliver Stone earlier today. It is this complex that was enriched as US taxpayers were left with 3 trillion dollars more in debt due to the criminal war on Iraq.    And it was the same Truman that lied publicly about why he created the catastrophes of Hiroshima and Nagazaki and also the catastrophe (Nakba) of Palestine.
 *
War, as General Butler correctly observed, war is a racket.  It is a way to make money for rich people at the expense of poor people.  And that is why wars will continue unless common people revolt to stop them. And we the people were able to stop wars before for example in Vietnam and in South Africa. It is this power of the people that I am most optimistic about.
 *
I am one of 12 million Palestinians in the world, 2/3rd of us are refugees or displaced people and the rest live under rule of a foreign government.  How did this come about and how can we stop this war on the people?
 *
Palestinians are the endogenous people of the Western Part of the Fertile Crescent in Western Asia.  Key milestones in human civilization occurred in this Land of Canaan: animal and plant domestication, development of the alphabet, and development of laws and religions.
 *
We had over 11,000 years of civilization with religious and cultural developments.  Short attempts to transform Palestine into one thing or another failed.  This included short lived attempts to make it all Christian or make it all Muslim or make it all Jewish.  The European crusades were a good examples of this. But for 97% of our history, Palestine remained mutli-religious and mutli-cultural.
 *
Since the late 19th century, the new political idea of Zionism was developed to create a “Jewish state” in Palestine. At that time less than 3% of the population in Palestine was Jewish. This Zionist colonization was aided by western countries notably England and more recently the USA.
 *
An organized and ruthless project to ethnically cleanse the native Palestinians was organized resulting in countless massacres and total destruction of 530 Palestinian villages and towns. It is still the largest refugee crisis after World War II. In that sense my grandmother is a hibakusha.
 *
Today 7 million Palestinians are refugees and five million of us still live on 8.3% of our historic land.  The state of Israel was built on the destruction of Palestine. Israel has 55 laws that specifically discriminate against native Palestinians. It fulfills the international legal definition of an apartheid (racial discrimination) state.
 *
Zionists like all other colonial imperial powers try to portray the victims as terrorists. European colonization always did that whether in the Americas or in Africa or in Asia.  It maybe convenient to say that we are white civilized people who “circle the wagons” to protect ourselves from native savages. But the truth is that colonization is violence and 10 times more native civilians are killed than invading people.
 *
I can tell you hundreds of stories of the brutality of occupation and colonization.  I can tell you about home demolitions, about removal of people from their land, about murders, and about torture. I can tell you about breaking bones of Palestinian children, about using white phosphorous on schools and about Israel’s nuclear weapons. I can tell you about toxic waste dumped on Palestinian villages. I can tell you about prisoners held for years without seeing lawyers or judges.I could tell you about friends I lost killed in peaceful demonstrations.  I could tell you my own family stories of suffering. But we do not have time.
 *
I will tell you that Palestinians resisted for the past 100 years this onslaught.  This Palestinian resistance took hundreds of forms, most of them unarmed. We had 13 uprisings, on average one every 10 years. South Africa under apartheid had a long struggle with 15 uprisings.
 *
We Palestinians have been innovative in our struggle.  We had the first demonstration in human history to use automobiles (cars) when in 1929 Palestinian women gathered 120 cars and drove down the old streets of Jerusalem. We lobbied the Ottoman Empire and the British empire to stop supporting colonialist Zionism. We engaged in tax revolts and other forms of civil disobedience.
 *
We also asked and still ask the international community to help us.  Tens of thousands joined our struggle. There is the International solidarity movement.  As in the struggle against apartheid in south Africa, there is also the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement (BDS).  We ask you to join us because this struggle is the most important.  It is important because it exposes clearly the hypocrisy of Western governments who speak of democracy and human rights but directly support racism, tyranny, war, and all violations of human rights.
 *
We share this one small blue planet and the era of nuclear weapons when a country like Israel could destroy the earth, we cannot afford to be complacent.  We must prove Haegel wrong when he wrote that “We learn from history that we do not learn from history.” We do learn from our common history and today in the age of the internet, we are beginning a global uprising against nuclear weapons and against war. When people power is finally realized through global solidarity, we can not only win over war but also over poverty and over climate change and over apathy/indifference.  That is really a future worth sacrificing for.
 *
The Budhists tell us to have “joyful participation in the sorrows of this world”.  Participation is the key.  So indeed may you all have  joyful participation in the sorrows of this world….  Arigatu, thank you, shukran, peace, salam.
*
 *
Also see THIS post from the Archives

LATUFF LOOKS AT THE GHOST OF FUKUSHIMA

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

Fukushima

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Radiation to hit West Coast of US shortly…

*

Related

THE PALESTINIAN CONNECTION TO HIROSHIMA

By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

Palestinian in Hiroshima*

 100_0780
*
I and Oliver Stone both spoke at Hiroshima on the anniversary of the first nuclear bombing in human history and we are slated to speak in two days at Nagasaki on the anniversary of the second nuclear attack.  My speech is below in English (I will send the Japanese version later).  These remain the most starkest of acts of state terror in Human history.  I had seen images and video before that made me shudder but being in the City is different.  At 8:15 AM on a sunny hot day we laid down next to the dome for three minutes with people from all backgrounds and I stared at the sky and tried to imagine through the tears the terror that came and exploded 600 meters directly above us in the sky 68 years ago.   But how can one imagine the horror of dropping a nuclear weapon on a population incinerating and skeletonizing tens of thousands and leaving tens of thousands with burned body skin hanging in rags and worse. Harder to imagine yet is the darkness of the human hearts and minds that took the decisions to do that to fellow human beings.  
 
Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick explained eloquently about the real reasons for dropping the bombs instead of the mythology that is told in school books in America.  But does that really make any difference on the horror of what Truman and his generals visited on humanity? Those of us in the medical field understand clinically what radiation poisoning does to the human body but politicians also know that and Truman had detailed reports from the earlier experiments.  I met so many hibakushas (survivors of the nuclear blast) and their children and grandchildren.  Many told us of the dramatic death of children by leukemia and other cancers and of the congenital deformities.  It was more than we could take even as visitors so I can only begin to imagine the actual feelings of people here. 
 
Clearly the monuments to victims were slanted strongly away from nationalism and war; something that reminded us that it is possible for victims to learn that war and nationalism are not the answer.  I wished more people can learn that lesson and change the misleading pro-war pro-Zionist message of many holocaust museums to build instead a pro-peace structure.
 
On the positive side, we were thrilled to see so many children and youth taking the banner of peace.  Middles school children collected signatures to ban nuclear weapons around the world. Hundreds of us marched to the electric company in town to ask that they stop using nuclear power (especially poignant after the disastrous Fukushima plant meltdown).   Our colorful Palestinian Kuffiyas were welcomed among the colorful banners in our march. We felt love and peace. We saw alternating images of hope and pain and of beautiful people who face-up to right-wing politicians and the few racists who even deny what Japanese soldiers did in China and Korea. Like a roller-coaster, a tour of Japan brings mixed emotions.  
 
As a visiting Palestinian I am struck most of all by the neatness and orderliness of the cities.  Everything runs perfectly.  Trains are accurate to the minute.  Millions ride on these trains both within cities and between cities.  Streets are clean and no walls or checkpoints stop us from freely moving around.  It is all orderly and peaceful.  Crossing streets on cues, trash in its receptacles, lines are straight, and cars and homes are clean and orderly.  Just about everyone speaks in low tones and people are courteous to each other. 
 
Japan like most countries is a society burdened by Western style capitalism.  Here you see also things like McDonalds, Starbucks, prostitution, and corrupt politicians.   Though more homogeneous than other countries, Japan is a very large country of 120 million people and even in a short visit one sees remarkable diversity of ideas and concepts.  In Nagoya, we visited an educational table at the main square that tried to challenge the Trans-Pacific Partnership Treaty (a US Dominated agreement favorable to corporations at the expense of people). The organizer of this table belonged to one of the few native communities of Japan, a great man by the name of Esaman.  People stopped by bringing food and sharing stories.  In the same square a lone young musician played his guitar asking for donations to build a school in a remote area of Pakistan. 
 
In Nagoya, I attended a discussion of writings by Kobayashi Takiji.  The audience were some 30 individuals of diverse background who put their shoes at the entrance of the lecture hall and wore red slippers as they listened intently to a retired bookstore seller discuss and pass around the books by Takiji.  Takiji was born in 1903 and showed a talent for writing at an early age. His writings did not please authorities and he was fired from his job and eventually executed by the government at age 30 y.o. His most famous short novel is called  Kanikōsen and it is a story about workers at a boat fishing for crabs.  The story takes you into an incredible world of suffering of the workers, humanity to fellow workers, and cruelty of their boss.  There seemed to be a revival of the interest in this genre of literature after the last Japanese economic bubble burst.  
 
Many Japanese yearn for a more caring society and support global solidarity, including with Palestine. This was shown vividly in our visit to Nagoya and Hiroshima.   I reflect on the people I met and saw in get-together, on the streets, in trains, and in restaurants.  Here I would see people who reminded me of people I met in America, in Palestine and elsewhere.  I thought someone should do a documentary on this carrying a camera around different countries to show that there are individuals in each country virtually twins with those living in other countries.  Perhaps this film can bring us all closer to one another.  In the meantime, I cannot wait for our upcoming visit to Nagasaki, Osaka, Tokyo, and Kyoto. And I cannot wait to go back to Palestine where hope against all odds still survives.  Stay tuned.
 
Speech by Professor Qumsiyeh in Hiroshima on the 68th anniversary of the First Atomic Bomb
 
Kumbunwa and thank you for this invitation.  It is a special honor for me to visit Japan.  Here in Hiroshima we are most reminded of the horrors of war.  Here we have a chance to reflect on the fact that there is no “good war”.  We are reminded that nations do not win or lose wars.  Wars cause the suffering of common people and makes rich people richer.   Money wins wars, people lose wars. That is why President Eisenhauer warned about the power of the military-industrial complex.  It is a power we were reminded of by Oliver Stone earlier today. It is this complex that was enriched as US taxpayers were left with 3 trillion dollars more in debt due to the criminal war on Iraq.    And it was the same Truman that lied publicly about why he created the catastrophes of Hiroshima and Nagazaki and also the catastrophe (Nakba) of Palestine. 
 
War, as General Butler correctly observed, war is a racket.  It is a way to make money for rich people at the expense of poor people.  And that is why wars will continue unless common people revolt to stop them. And we the people were able to stop wars before for example in Vietnam and in South Africa. It is this power of the people that I am most optimistic about.
 
I am one of 12 million Palestinians in the world, 2/3rd of us are refugees or displaced people and the rest live under rule of a foreign government.  How did this come about and how can we stop this war on the people?  
 
Palestinians are the endogenous people of the Western Part of the Fertile Crescent in Western Asia.  Key milestones in human civilization occurred in this Land of Canaan: animal and plant domestication, development of the alphabet, and development of laws and religions.  
 
We had over 11,000 years of civilization with religious and cultural developments.  Short attempts to transform Palestine into one thing or another failed.  This included short lived attempts to make it all Christian or make it all Muslim or make it all Jewish.  The European crusades were a good examples of this. But for 97% of our history, Palestine remained mutli-religious and mutli-cultural.
 
Since the late 19th century, the new political idea of Zionism was developed to create a “Jewish state” in Palestine. At that time less than 3% of the population in Palestine was Jewish. This Zionist colonization was aided by western countries notably England and more recently the USA.
 
An organized and ruthless project to ethnically cleanse the native Palestinians was organized resulting in countless massacres and total destruction of 530 Palestinian villages and towns. It is still the largest refugee crisis after World War II. In that sense my grandmother is a hibakusha.
 
Today 7 million Palestinians are refugees and five million of us still live on 8.3% of our historic land.  The state of Israel was built on the destruction of Palestine. Israel has 55 laws that specifically discriminate against native Palestinians. It fulfills the international legal definition of an apartheid (racial discrimination) state. 
 
Zionists like all other colonial imperial powers try to portray the victims as terrorists. European colonization always did that whether in the Americas or in Africa or in Asia.  It maybe convenient to say that we are white civilized people who “circle the wagons” to protect ourselves from native savages. But the truth is that colonization is violence and 10 times more native civilians are killed than invading people.
 
I can tell you hundreds of stories of the brutality of occupation and colonization.  I can tell you about home demolitions, about removal of people from their land, about murders, and about torture. I can tell you about breaking bones of Palestinian children, about using white phosphorous on schools and about Israel’s nuclear weapons. I can tell you about toxic waste dumped on Palestinian villages. I can tell you about prisoners held for years without seeing lawyers or judges.I could tell you about friends I lost killed in peaceful demonstrations.  I could tell you my own family stories of suffering. But we do not have time.
 
I will tell you that Palestinians resisted for the past 100 years this onslaught.  This Palestinian resistance took hundreds of forms, most of them unarmed. We had 13 uprisings, on average one every 10 years. South Africa under apartheid had a long struggle with 15 uprisings.
 
We Palestinians have been innovative in our struggle.  We had the first demonstration in human history to use automobiles (cars) when in 1929 Palestinian women gathered 120 cars and drove down the old streets of Jerusalem. We lobbied the Ottoman Empire and the British empire to stop supporting colonialist Zionism. We engaged in tax revolts and other forms of civil disobedience. 
 
We also asked and still ask the international community to help us.  Tens of thousands joined our struggle. There is the International solidarity movement.  As in the struggle against apartheid in south Africa, there is also the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement (BDS).  We ask you to join us because this struggle is the most important.  It is important because it exposes clearly the hypocrisy of Western governments who speak of democracy and human rights but directly support racism, tyranny, war, and all violations of human rights. 
 
We share this one small blue planet and the era of nuclear weapons when a country like Israel could destroy the earth, we cannot afford to be complacent.  We must prove Haegel wrong when he wrote that “We learn from history that we do not learn from history.” We do learn from our common history and today in the age of the internet, we are beginning a global uprising against nuclear weapons and against war. When people power is finally realized through global solidarity, we can not only win over war but also over poverty and over climate change and over apathy/indifference.  That is really a future worth sacrificing for.
 
The Budhists tell us to have “joyful participation in the sorrows of this world”.  Participation is the key.  So indeed may you all have  joyful participation in the sorrows of this world….  Arigatu, thank you, shukran, peace, salam.
*
Also see THIS post from the Archives

NEW YORKERS PROTEST NUCLEAR ENERGY IN SOLIDARITY WITH JAPAN

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Commentary by and Photos © by Bud Korotzer
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Over the weekend New Yorkers gathered in Union Square Park to protest nuclear energy,specifically to close down the New York Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant. The gathering was also a sign of solidarity with the people of Japan as this was the First Year Anniversary of the Fukushima disaster.
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ISRAELIS DEVESTATED BY NUCLEAR DISASTER IN JAPAN

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

The following report is truly the sickest thing I have ever seen on the Net. A nation is literally fighting for its life and Israel bemoans the following??
 

Israel fears sushi shortage after quake

Situation in Japan may affect regular supply of ingredients for one of Israelis’ favorite dishes

While Japan continues to deal with the aftermath of last Friday’s devastating earthquake and tsunami, and has yet to recover from one of the greatest disasters in its history, Israelis fear a shortage in the ingredients of one of their favorite dishes: Sushi.

Many of sushi’s basic components come from Japan or are imported through the battered countries. Will Israelis soon suffer from a shortage of the beloved rolls’ necessary ingredients?

“There may be a shortage of sushi components, but we are still studying the situation,” says Dudi Afriat of the Rakuto Kasei company, which imports the Kikkoman soy sauce, as well as seaweeds, wasabi, rice and other necessary ingredients for sushi rolls.

Rakuto Kasei is the main supplier of raw materials for sushi to all restaurants in Israel, and markets products to supermarkets as well.

“We’ll be wiser once the situation in Japan stabilizes and the reconstruction begins,” he explains. “I assume we’ll know if there is going to be a shortage in the coming week. The main fear is of a shortage of the Kikkoman soy sauce. One Kikkoman factory in Japan was damaged and there have been delays in the supply, but we hope it won’t stop the regular chain of supply.”

Kikkoman has five factories around the world – in the United States, Hong Kong, Holland, Singapore and Japan. “Most of the containers arrive in Israel from the US, but the entire management is in Japan,” Afriat explains.

“At the moment, it’s very difficult communicating with them. There are a lot of disruptions. Yesterday I spoke with our contact in Japan, and he said it took him 10 hours to get to the office from home.

“So at the moment the situation is unclear, and it all depends on the Japanese. I trust them, because they love the soy sauce more than we do. My only fear is that they’ll have to import Kikkoman from the US, and that will affect the imports to Israel.”

Rice shortage not expected

A possible shortage of Kikkoman would be felt in Israel. “About 85% of the soy sauce used in Israel is Kikkoman. This is a very unusual figure in the world,” Afriat says. “Israeli chefs feel very connected to this product. After the tsunami I received phone calls from hysterical people fearing a shortage of Kikkoman.”

Other products which may be affected due to import problems or damaged factories are miso (traditional Japanese seasoning), pickled Japanese pumpkin and cabbage, and certain types of seaweed. A shortage may also be felt in wasabi – Japanese horseradish.

One thing is certain: A rice shortage is not anticipated, as most of the rice used to make sushi comes from California.

Fortunately, many Japanese products are produced in US factories and exported to Israel from there. Therefore, the supply of most types of seaweeds, ginger, Sake and rice vinegar is not expected to be affected.

Sushi rolling mats and other bamboo products, like chopsticks, come from China. The panko and tempura come from South Korea, and black sesame originates in Israel or Thailand.

Tel Aviv one of biggest sushi consumers

Israelis love sushi, and a shortage of some of its ingredients may have an effect on many restaurants. “The Japanese food unit in Israel has grown by some 800% in the past five or six years,” says Afriat. “Five years ago, there were up to 20 sushi restaurants in Tel Aviv. Today there are more than 130. A survey we conducted recently revealed that sushi is the No. 2 take away food in Israel.”

“Kikkoman, the world’s biggest commercial brand, has an amazing infiltration level. It can be found in one-third of Israeli households, and it’s clearly a Japanese product. Surprisingly, we bring real naturally fermented soy sauce, which costs much more than other types of soy available in stores, and Israelis still appreciate and purchase it.

“We import 900 kilograms (1,984pounds) of Kikkoman bottles a year, and 54 tons of rice for sushi a month. It’s an amazing amount. Tel Aviv is the fifth city in the world in the consumption of sushi per capita, and fourth in the world in the number of sushi restaurants per capita.

“Last year, Kikkoman’s senior management arrived in Israel to give us the award for the company’s best global marketer, because we reached a 66% rise in sales between 2008 and 2009.

“Business with Japan is very tight. I have been working with Japanese people for six years now and we feel very connected to them. We feel their pain.”

Source

CARTOON GALLERY ~~ THE LATEST FROM THE GREATEST

Presented here are the latest works of our Associate, Carlos Lattuff. They cover the most recent world events and tragedies.

Feel free to download any of them for use on your Websites or demonstration placards….

All images ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

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Palestinian National Unity Day, March 15th…

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Libya

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Disaster in Japan

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More works can be found by clicking HERE

Permission is granted to use any or all of the above works …. please credit Carlos Latuff if and when you do.

GAZA / BROOKLYN / JERUSALEM …. WHERE IS IT WORSE TO BE A PALESTINIAN? 2 VIEWS

Gaza and Brooklyn on Eid Al-Fitr

By Jared Malsin

I recently moved to the Bedford-Stuyvestant neighborhood of Brooklyn. I live around the corner from a mosque, and down the street from another mosque that has been transformed into a church. I woke up this morning, the first morning of Eid Al-Fitr, to the repetitive ”Allahu akbar! Allahu akbar!” It’s a specific call to prayer that goes out on this one morning of the year.

I thought back to the last time I heard that prayer, which was one year ago, in Gaza. That morning I awoke at 5am to go to cover a dawn prayer service in Yarmuk stadium. Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas leader and elected prime minister, spoke that morning to around 10,000 people who came to the stadium. [Here’s my report from that morning]

Last year Haniyeh was praising Palestinians in Gaza for their sumud, their steadfastness, in surviving and remaining defiant nine months after Israel’s onslaught against Gaza. This year Palestinians were shaken by yet another Israeli airstrike on the eve of the holiday.

This was the scene, early on the morning of Sunday September 20, 2009, in Yarmuk stadium:

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Jerusalem or Gaza – where is it worse to be Palestinian?

Is it the isolation and insulation that Israel has imposed on Gaza, or the cynicism with which the decision makers continue to turn the population of East Jerusalem into welfare clients and slum dwellers, and then pride themselves of the national insurance payments they grant them?

By Amira Hass

Graduates of the Shin Bet security service pride themselves on being able to recite Arabic proverbs, claiming this is the way to win over an Arab interlocutor. If it sounds to you as if I’m a bit envious of the linguistic training they receive, you are not mistaken; in my sort of school – the field – I have been able to memorize only a few Arabic adages.

One I learned from one of the many villagers who was handed an expropriation order for his land. Sitting at the entrance to his home, he looked like he was attending a funeral. “To whom can a grain of wheat complain when the cock is the judge?” he said, in response to my dumb question about what he planned to do.

This saying is useful in situations when all other words fail. For example, in a military tribunal that convicts and detains demonstrators protesting the robbery of their land, like Adib and Abdullah Abu Rahma.

Another adage often quoted goes something like this: “He who lives with a tribe for 40 days will begin to behave like it.” Not exactly, but like the Palestinians, who hold some strange competitions, I have found myself wondering which Palestinians have it the worst under the Israeli rule.

For many years, I thought there was nothing worse than life in Gaza. I even argued my point with a friend, who claimed the absolute worst is to be a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship because “we live in the midst of the Nakba [1948 catastrophe] sites and experience the daily racism masquerading as democracy.”

But for more than a year now, I have been vacillating between Gaza and Jerusalem. That is to say, I have been trying to decide which is worse – the isolation and insulation that Israel has imposed on Gaza (which includes being cut off from water sources and from the cultural, social and family ties those residents have with their People ); or the cynicism with which the decision makers continue to turn the population of East Jerusalem into welfare clients and slum dwellers, and then pride themselves of the national insurance payments they grant them.

A visit to the neighborhood of Isawiyah decided the issue. Heaps of concrete, uncollected garbage, roads that are becoming narrower due to pirate additions to buildings – forced on residents thanks to construction prohibitions and the expropriation of vacant lots – all lies in sight of the Hebrew University campus and the city’s French Hill, which are so green, spacious and civilized.

‘Unsafe space’

And now a report from the Association for Civil Rights in Israel has confirmed my determination. The report, titled “Unsafe space: The Israeli authorities’ failure to protect human rights amid settlements in East Jerusalem,” is based on testimonies, media reports and official documents. It highlights the loss of personal and collective security in Jerusalem’s Palestinian neighborhoods, in the heart of which hostile bodies have settled over the past 30 years – settlers supported by millionaires and religious and archeological associations.

Some 2,000 such people live in fortified, well-guarded complexes in Palestinian neighborhoods like Silwan, Sheikh Jarrah and the Muslim Quarter of the Old City – and there are more to come. Life in Palestinian Jerusalem is shaped by these Israeli statics: 65.1 percent of the city’s Palestinian residents live below the poverty line, as compared with 30.8 percent of the city’s Jewish population; and 74.4 percent of the Palestinian children in Jerusalem live below the poverty line, as compared to 45.1 percent of the city’s Jewish children.

The city’s Palestinian neighborhoods have a dearth of 1,000 classrooms; 50 percent of the school children drop out; and 24,500 dunams of private land – more than one third of the area annexed to Jerusalem – have been appropriated from the Arab owners, while more than 50,000 housing units have been built on this land for Jews alone.

The authorities who prevent Palestinians from building and developing their lands allocate vacant plots to the Jews, not only outside of the populated areas but also in their very heart. These spaces are allocated for parking or entertainment, archeological digs or construction.

As these neighbors are the authorities’ darlings, confrontations are unavoidable, so the Housing and Construction Ministry provides hundreds of armed guards for the Jews at the public’s expense (some NIS 54 million in 2010 ). When Palestinians complain to police about harassment, they find themselves treated like suspects. When they call the police, they feel like the officers are in no hurry to get there. And when police investigate cases in which Jews are suspected of causing bodily harm, these cases are closed swiftly. In this way, the Palestinians are left at the mercy of the aggressive, belligerent and officially sanctioned invaders.

The guards, who are employed by a private company, think their position permits them to hit people, to act abusively and even to shoot. The people in whose midst these fortified complexes are sprawling are afraid to get in and out; relatives and friends think twice before coming to visit them. These complexes are also characterized by a great deal of noise – digging at archeological sites that goes on until night, and dancing and religious celebrations accompanied by anti-Arab songs.

The ACRI report was presented to the police and the Housing and Construction Ministry for perusal. The legal adviser to the police, Roni Leibowitz, asked the organization to delay publication of the report so he could examine the specific charges, saying seven days was not enough time to conduct a serious investigation.

Nevertheless, his first impression was that the ACRI report “describes the reality in a partial and sometimes tendentious manner… It relates in a forgiving light to serious violent events that took place in the village of Silwan, that by some miracle did not end in death – such as firing from live weapons by a terrorist cell, mass riots, and the throwing of Molotov cocktails, stones, iron bars and other harmful objects at security forces…”

In addition, Leibowitz says the claims of deficient treatment on the part of the police are based solely on “the testimonies of those who were interrogated as suspects in these events, which obviously can lead to an erroneous portrayal of the way the situation developed.”

Ariel Rosenberg, the ministry’s spokesman, firmly denies any claims that guards harass Palestinians and praises their professionalism and the instructions they receive to show restraint and forbearance.

“In the past year,” he writes, “the situation in the area under discussion has significantly worsened and the guards are witness to extremely hostile activity.”

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THE FORGOTTEN HOLOCAUST REMEMBERED

hiroshima


Anniversary of Hiroshima
The United States dropped the first atomic bomb used in warfare on Hiroshima, Japan.

An estimated 140,000 died from the immediate effects of this bomb and tens of thousands more died in subsequent years from burns and other injuries, and radiation-related illnesses. Pres. Harry Truman ordered the use of the weapon in hopes of avoiding an invasion of Japan to end the war, and the presumed casualties likely to be suffered by invading American troops.The weapon, “Little Boy,” was delivered by a B-29 Superfortress nicknamed the Enola Gay, based on the island of Tinian, and piloted by Col. Paul W. Tibbets.

On August 6, 1995 up to 50,000 people attended a memorial service commemorating Hiroshima Peace Day on the 50th anniversary of the first atomic bombing.

The Day the Sun Rose Twice

As if that wasn’t enough…..

On August 9, 1945

The second atomic bomb, “Fatman,” was dropped on the arms-manufacturing and key port city of Nagasaki. The plan to drop a second bomb was to test a different design rather than one of military necessity. The Hiroshima weapon was a gun type, the Nagasaki weapon an implosion type, and the War Department wanted to know which was the more effective design.
Responsibility for the timing of the second bombing had been delegated by Pres. Harry Truman before the Hiroshima attack to Col. Paul W. Tibbets, the commander of the 509th Composite Group on Tinian, one of the Northern Mariana Islands in the western Pacific. Scheduled for August 11 against Kokura, the raid was moved forward to avoid a five-day period of bad weather forecast to begin on August 10. English translation of leaflet air-dropped over Japan after the first bomb [excerpt]: “We are in possession of the most destructive explosive ever devised by man. A single one of our newly developed atomic bombs is actually the equivalent in explosive power to what 2000 of our giant B-29s can carry on a single mission. This awful fact is one for you to ponder and we solemnly assure you it is grimly accurate.”
Of the 195,00 population of the city (many of its children had been evacuated due to bombing in the days just prior), 39,000 died and 25,000 were injured, and 40% of all residences were damaged or destroyed.
“What on earth has happened?” said my mother, holding her baby tightly in her arms. “Is it the end of the world?”Sachiko Yamaguchi (nine years old at the time of the bombing).
hear an eyewitness account of this terrrible event  

 

Photographic exhibit of the aftermath

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