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07.20 Until Emissions Drop, Nothing Has Been Accomplished: The Climate Resistance Handbook Is Here. [Trump can't be bothered as the world turns into a large cinder. His laser focus is on personal greed.]

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07.20 Giving 'Upper Hand to Corporate Polluters,' EPA Drops Surprise Inspections

07.20 With Petition to Congress, 100,000+ People Demand Green New Deal 'That Fixes Our Food System' [Realtime proactive response to reality—now and threatening—doesn't get attention in this greed focused administration]

07.19 Trump administration won't ban pesticide tied to childhood brain damage [There is no truth to the persistent rumor that chlorpyrifos pesticide was heavily used at Trump's childhood home in Queens]

07.19 'Unprecedented' Decline of Plants and Animals as Global 'Red List' Reveals Nearly One-Third of Assessed Species Under Threat

07.17 ‘Off-the-charts’ heat to affect millions in U.S. in coming decades

07.17 Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen forced out by board [Given that states have lost abortion rights on political grounds recently, Wen's philosophical approach to protect abortion rights based on ‘health care’ was smarter – therefore it was that smarter strategy that was killed at the secret meeting.]

07.17 Billions of air pollution particles found in hearts of city dwellers

07.17 What is happening in America's Cancertown is tragic, immoral and evil [Niggardly white government policies could change to produce better students, better jobs and net revenue instead of costs. But it seems they enjoy more cruelty—like Trump.]

07.16 US aid cuts to UN agency will hurt vulnerable women and children, critics say

07.16 Trump abortion restrictions in effect for taxpayer-funded clinics

07.15 The response to DRC’s Ebola crisis isn’t working. Here’s what we need to do

07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]

07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]

07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]

07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]

07.12 These solar panels don’t just generate power—they produce drinking water

07.12 David Attenborough: polluting planet may become as reviled as slavery [1:34 video]

07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]

07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]

07.10 Molly Scott Cato: ‘It’s the wealthy who are causing climate change’

07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]

07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]

07.05 Tree planting 'has mind-blowing potential' to tackle climate crisis

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07.19 Fox News’s star names excuse the inexcusable after Trump's latest racist attack

07.18 In Sinclair's New 'Must-Run' Segment, Former Trump Adviser Tries to Defend Racist Attacks on 'the Squad'

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07.20 Puerto Rico: top US politicians join chorus calling for governor's resignation

07.20 Fact check: Trump says Puerto Rico got $92 billion. They've seen only a fraction [If he opens his mouth, Trump's lying.]

07.20 "Trump Says Go Home, Ilhan's Community Says Welcome Home": Rep. Omar Greeted With Cheers of Love and Support in Return to Minnesota

07.20 WATCH: Amid Extreme Anti-Refugee Push, Trump Displays Neither Interest Nor Knowledge of Asylum Seekers' Plight in Oval Office Meeting

07.20 Trump Denies Being at North Carolina Rally [Not sure if Trump supporters 'get' satire, but here goes....]

07.19 Are progressives working on a climate plan for 2021? You bet.

07.19 House Democrats demand Hope Hicks clarify testimony after Cohen document dump

07.19 The 51 most outrageous lines from Donald Trump's repugnant North Carolina rally

07.19 The Real Meaning of ‘Send Her Back!’

07.18 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Breaking up Homeland Security

07.18 Deadly Delays in Jail Construction Cost Lives and Dollars Across California

07.18 Inside Trump's DC hotel, where allies and lobbyists flock to peddle their interests [Also, too much ignored by media, the $millions "donated" corrupting moderate Democrats and Republicans every election cycle must stop]

07.18 This Republican's Case for Medicare for All [A well-informed Republican is rare, so let's hold him in the light so others may learn]

07.18 Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after president attacks Ilhan Omar [1:03 video shows Trump pandering to his ignorant idolaters, and together they're making America a greater shit-hole country]

07.18 "Can't Change a Corrupt System by Taking Its Money": Sanders Urges All 2020 Democrats to Reject Insurance, Big Pharma Cash [49:02 video w/ lousy sound]

Justice Matters

07.19 UN urged to act over 'purge' of Turkey's lawyers by Erdogan

07.19 DOJ Releases Strong Evidence of Trump’s Campaign Finance Violations But No Explanation of No Charges [The statement]

High Crimes vs. Human Rights

07.19 Conscientious objectors of first world war – their untold tales [The record proves they were morally right by avoiding violent early deaths of their cousins and themselves]

Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

07.18 Corporate tax cuts blocked at least 15,000 affordable homes in California. Here’s how

07.15 China’s Economic Growth Hits 27-Year Low as Trade War Stings

International & Futurism

07.20 US to deploy troops to Saudi Arabia in face of 'credible' regional threats [Working with Osama bin Laden's godfathers, Trump wants to profit like Erik Prince (for-profit education secretary Betsy DeVos' brother) of Blackwater infamy (hurriedly renamed ‘Academi’), the U.S. taxpayer to pay inflated costs while Trump siphons off long-term emolument largesse]

07.20 Iran on 'dangerous path' with seizure of Stena Impero, says UK [Which is this, a tit or a tat?]

07.20 'Dark satanic mills': Tony Abbott continues his crusade against wind turbines [Too much CO2 air pollution makes you stupid, and turns your country into an “Idiocracy” (1:36 video clip)]

07.20 Bolsonaro declares 'the Amazon is ours' and calls deforestation data 'lies' [Lazy and willfully stupid whenever it serves his purpose, just like Trump. “And the rest of you can all go to hell.” Again, just like Trump. Has your country turned into an “Idiocracy”? (1:36 video clip)]

07.19 U.N.'s Bachelet says Congresswomen opposing Trump are 'fantastic'

07.19 Iran makes 'substantial' nuclear offer in return for US lifting sanctions [Was barbaric Saudi Arabia—whose citizens were more involved in the 9-11 attacks—the wrong ally all along?]

07.19 “The Task Ahead Is Enormous, and There Is Not Much Time” [Read this and learn. Or read Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) | Twitter and/or President Trump (@POTUS) | Twitter. Are you serious? Or are you in hideously criminal denial?]

07.18 Foreign purchases of American homes plunge 36% as Chinese buyers flee the market

07.18 There are 16 million slaves around the world making our stuff

07.18 ‘No rioters, only a tyrannical regime’: Thousands of Hong Kong seniors march in support of young extradition law protesters [Most people around the world have more in common with these Hong Kong Chinese protestors than with the ignorant people at Trump rallies]

07.18 Dozens Arrested as Over 1,000 Jewish Activists and Allies Shut Down Entrances to ICE Headquarters Demanding Closure of Trump Detention Camps [Obviously these are not the immoral and less educated right-wing jews who support Netanyahu, Trump and ICE, and who slowly exterminate Palestinians when no one is looking]

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  Will Congress Criminalize Anti-Semitism and Israeli Criticism?
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COMMENTARY:

Will Congress Criminalize Anti-Semitism and Israeli Criticism?

by Stephen Lendman
Friday, 4 December 2009

Israel is cast as victim in a dangerous neighborhood acting only in self-defense against "rock-throwing barbarians (comprising) what is essentially an invasive force. (It's the) Palestinians who are encroaching on Israeli territory, not the other way around." The message is so ingrained that the media repeat it ad nauseam.

In the current climate, perhaps given:

  • America's police state laws;
  • no due process or judicial fairness for any state target;
  • mass illegal surveillance;
  • targeting dissent; and
  • the power of the Israeli Lobby over Congress, the media, academia, the clergy, and most anyone confronting them.

During Israel's war on Gaza, only 5 of 535 congressional members dissented on pro-Israeli resolutions.

On January 8, 2009, the Senate unanimously passed S 10: "A resolution recognizing the right of Israel to defend itself against attacks from Gaza and reaffirming the United States' strong support for Israel in its battle with Hamas, and supporting the Israeli-Palestinian (no peace) peace process."

On January 9, the House, by a 390 - 5 vote, passed HR 34 "Recognizing Israel's right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza, reaffirming the United States' strong support for Israel, and supporting the Israeli-Palestinian (no peace) peace process." More on this below.

Then on October 28, Obama signed the expanded 2009 Hate Crimes Prevention Act, some call a stealth war on free expression and civil liberties. More on this as well.

Also consider events in Canada, initiated by a body called the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism (CPCCA), a voluntary association of 22 MPs investigating anti-semitism because, it says:

Its "extent and severity is widely regarded as at its worst level since the end of the Second World War," despite contrary evidence and much to show how Israel twists opposition to Zionism and its international law violations to be an attack on Jews.

On October 29, in fact, Reuters reported that:

"Anti-Semitic attitudes in the United States are at a historic low, with 12 percent of Americans prejudiced toward Jews, an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) survey found" based on polling done from September 26 - October 4 with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8%.

ADL said the level of anti-Semitism matched 1998's as the lowest in the poll's 45-year history. Yet in his 2003 book, "Never Again? The Threat Of The New Anti-Semitism," national director, Abraham Foxman, said he's:

"convinced we currently face as great a threat to the safety of the Jewish people as the one we faced in the 1930s - if not a greater one," contradicted by Cato Institute research fellow Leon Hadar (writing in the January 2004 Chronicles) that public opinion polls "indicate anti-Semitism (both its racial and religious versions) has been in steep decline in most of Western Europe...."

Yet various Canadian Jewish organizations, including Hillel, B'nai Brith, and the Canadian Jewish Congress cite rising anti-Semitic incidents. On March 31, 2009, for example, B'Nai Brith Canada claimed Canadian anti-Semitic incidents rose 8.9% in 2008 over 2007, with "more than (a) four-fold increase in incidents over the past decade."

The result gets bodies like CPCCA to exploit it, with disturbing implications of where this may lead, including calling opposition to Zionism and Israeli crimes anti-Semitism, and criminalizing them at a time the global BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement is gaining traction in the wake of Operation Cast Lead and 42 years of military occupation.

CPCCA's web site (cpcca.ca) says:

"In February 2009, parliamentarians from around the world gathered in London for the inaugural conference of the Inter-Parliamentary Committee for Combatting Antisemitism." Over 125 legislators attended from nearly 40 countries, after which "The London Declaration for Combating Antisemitism call(ed) on all governments to face the problem...."

CPCCA is a Canadian body, formed in March 2009 by 22 parliamentarians from all parties in the House of Commons. An inquiry was begun on June 2 calling for written submissions followed by public hearings (excluding anti-Israeli groups) running from November 2 - December 8. When concluded, the Steering Committee will produce a report for the government, anticipating a response "no later than the fall of 2010."

Its web site asks: "What is the new anti-semitism," saying:

"Anti-semitism is an age-old phenomenon, yet it is always re-invented and manifested in different ways.

For example, while accusations of blood libel are still being made against the Jewish people, instead they are being directed against the State of Israel, such that anti-Zionism is being used as a cover for anti-semitism."

Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME)

Founded in 2002, CJPME (cjpme.org) promotes "justice, peace, prosperity and security for all peoples of the Middle East," and believes "all positions should respect international law....violence is not a solution, (and) all parties in a conflict must be held to the same standard."

On August 31, 2009, it issued a "Written Submission to (CPCCA) Concerning Anti-Semitism in Canada," saying:

  • it opposes anti-Semitism;
  • Israeli criticism must not be linked to it; and
  • because of how it's vilified, CJPME fears it will result in:
  • "a terrifying attack on civil liberties (and free expression) in Canada, and
  • a total silencing of debate on Israel out of fear of legal action."

Yet both outcomes would violate "fundamental protections enumerated in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms," so efforts must be made to prevent them.

Israel is a secular state, not a proxy for Judaism or Jews. Many Jews globally, including Israelis, are extremely critical of government policies with regard to Occupied Palestine and its own Arab citizens. According to Ryerson University's Social Justice and Democracy Professor Judy Rebick:

equating Israeli criticism with anti-Semitism "is based on a claim that the State of Israel is the single outcome of the history of the Jewish people, the final end of generations of diasporic existence. It attempts to make the Zionist project of a Jewish nation the only legitimate project for all Jews," when, in fact, many Jews publicly oppose Zionism and Israeli policies. Doing so isn't anti-Judaic, anti-Israeli, or anti-Semitic because they, like Martin Luther King, believe that:

"True peace is not the absence of violence, but the presence of justice," an element entirely absent in how Israelis treat Palestinians and their own Arab citizens.

Asking why Israel is heavily criticized, CJPME cites the following:

  • its continued defiling of "the international consensus for respect for human and humanitarian rights - as reflected in international law....;"
  • its maintenance of "one of the longest military occupations in modern history" over Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Golan, and Shebba Farms area of Lebanon;
  • its repeated violations of international law and UN resolutions; and
  • its imposition of "elements resembling those of South African Apartheid."

As a result, it's unsurprising that anti-Semitism accusations are made to stifle Israeli criticism as a way to diffuse and perhaps criminalize them. The possibility worries CJPME enough to say they can't be used "to infringe on fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms comprising Part I of the March 29, 1982 Constitution Act. CJPME formally petitioned to participate in CPCCA's inquiry that so far excludes Israeli critics.

"America's Last Taboo"

It was distinguished Palestinian American activist/scholar Edward Said's title for his New Left Review November-December 2000 article citing the "near-total triumph for Zionism in the United States." Then and now, Israel is cast as victim in a dangerous neighborhood acting only in self-defense against "rock-throwing barbarians (comprising) what is essentially an invasive force. (It's the) Palestinians who are encroaching on Israeli territory, not the other way around."

The message is so ingrained that the media repeat it ad nauseam, and Said more than once said that the entire US Senate can be marshaled in a matter of hours to support Israel on virtually anything - even a wanton attack as malicious as Operation Cast Lead and numerous previous ones for many decades.

Exhibits A and B: S 10 and HR 34 with near-identical language saying:

"Hamas was founded with the stated goal of destroying the State of Israel."

Fact Check

Hamas was founded in 1987 during the first Intifada to resist repression and occupation through negotiation and international consensus, not war or terrorism as falsely portrayed. Yet as international law allows, it strongly defends itself when attacked.

"Hamas has been designated by the Secretary of State as a Foreign Terrorist Organization."

Fact Check

True because any organization or group opposing imperial aggression and dominance is so designated.

"Hamas has refused to comply with the requirements of the Quartet (the United States, the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations) that Hamas recognize Israel's right to exist, renounce violence, and agree to accept previous agreements between Israel and the Palestinians."

Fact Check

Hamas repeatedly called for peace and an end of violence and expressed willingness to negotiate on the basis of "hudnah" or temporary truce. Its founder, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, said Hamas would end its liberating struggle "if the Zionists ended (their) occupation of Palestinian territories and stopped killing Palestinian women, children and innocent civilians." More recently, Hamas offered peace and Israeli recognition in return for a Palestinian state inside pre-1967 borders, its Occupied Territories.

"in June 2006, Hamas crossed into Israel, attacked Israeli forces and kidnapped Corporal Gilad Shalit, whom they continue to hold today."

Fact Check

On June 25, Palestinians, including Hamas, responded to repeated Israeli attacks by striking an Israeli military post near Kerem Shalom crossing, southeast of Rafah, killing two IDF soldiers, injuring several others, and capturing (not kidnapping) a third, corporal Shalit. Israel's long-planned Operation Summer Rain followed resulting in mass killings and destruction ahead of its horrendous July war on Lebanon, causing over 1,000 deaths and destruction comparable to Operation Cast Lead.

"Hamas has launched thousands of rockets and mortars since Israel dismantled settlements and withdrew from Gaza in 2005."

Fact Check

Many dozens, not thousands, of crude homemade rockets and mortars were used only in self-defense in response to repeated Israeli attacks with the most technologically advanced weapons, mostly from Washington, including F-16s, helicopter gunships, and powerful munitions, some clearly illegal.

House and Senate resolutions also cite, but don't substantiate, Iranian help; Hamas locating "elements of its terrorist infrastructure in civilian population centers, thus using innocent civilians as human shields," a practice Israel has used for decades; the threat "hundreds of thousands of Israelis" face from rocket attacks, giving them no alternative but to respond.

Dismissive about Gaza's two and a half year siege, the resolutions stress how "Israel has facilitated humanitarian aid to Gaza with over 500 trucks and numerous ambulances entering the Gaza Strip since December 26, 2008."

It also says "the ultimate goal of the United States is a sustainable resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that will allow for a viable and independent Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with the State of Israel...."

Fact Check

After Hamas' democratic January 2006 election, Israel, with Western support, collectively punished Gazans maliciously. It denied all outside aid, imposed an embargo and sanctions, and stepped up repression, repeated attacks, killings, targeted assassinations, and property destruction, followed by a medieval siege since June 2007 causing grave humanitarian harm by restricting essential to life foods, medicines, and medical equipment as well as electricity, fuel, construction materials, and virtually everything needed to function normally.

Israel facilitates misery, not humanitarian aid, peace or Palestinian self-determination it's spent decades to deny through violence, intimidation, naked aggression, confrontation over diplomacy and peaceful coexistence, and what scholar Joel Kovel calls "a machine for the manufacture of human rights abuses," facilitated by Washington's financial, military, and political support.

Ending "America's last taboo" is the way forward toward a viable, sustainable Middle East peace, possible only when 42 years of occupation end and Palestinians are again free - so far, what Israel and Washington won't allow or even consider.

The 2009 Hate Crimes Prevention Act

The Department of Justice FBI web site (fbi.gov) defines them as follows:

"A hate crime, also known as a bias crime, is a criminal offense committed against a person, property, or society that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin."

On April 29, the House passed HR 1913: Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 "To provide Federal assistance to States, local jurisdictions, and Indian tribes to prosecute hate crimes, and for other purposes."

On April 28, S 909: Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act was introduced "to provide Federal assistance to States, local jurisdictions, and Indian tribes to prosecute hate crimes, and for other purposes."

On July 15, 2009, the measure was adopted as an amendment to S 1390, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010. On July 23, the full measure passed.

On October 8, the House passed HR 2647: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 containing hate crimes prevention provisions.

On October 22, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act passed, then on October 28, it became law after president Obama signed it. A same day New York Times Jeff Zeleny article titled, "Obama Signs Hate Crimes Bill" said it:

"expands the definition of violent federal hate crimes to those committed because of a victim's (actual or perceived) sexual orientation (or identity). Under existing federal law, hate crimes are defined as those motivated by the victim's race, color, religion or national origin," even though, short of reading an offender's mind, there's no way to know if a crime was committed for other reasons besides "hate."

Further, the bill doesn't repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, banning gays from the military if they admit their sexual orientation, or the Defense of Marriage Act, defining legal marriage to be between a man and a woman.

In addition, it doesn't address universal civil and human rights; patients' rights to effective health care; students' rights to a good education to the highest level; and everybody's right to the essentials of life, including safe food, water, and clean air; adequate shelter; full protection under the law; and democracy for everyone, not just the elite few.

Nonetheless, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy group praised the bill as the "nation's first major piece of civil rights legislation" for LGBT. Others called it advancing civil rights, but critics expressed concerns.

The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a conservative legal alliance partnered with over 300 ministries and organizations, fears that pastors calling homosexuality a sin may be linked to a hate crime if a parishioner harms someone for their sexual orientation. ADF says it's seen:

"evidence of where 'hate crimes' legislation leads when it has been tried around the world: It paves the way for the criminalization of speech that is not deemed 'politically correct.' (These laws) fly in the face of the underlying purpose of the First Amendment, which was designed specifically to protect unpopular speech."

Others fear an attack on dissent against anyone expressing politically unpopular views at a time of disdain for human rights and eroding civil liberties putting everyone at risk.

The new law, however, prosecutes "crimes of violence," defined by section 16, title 18, US code as:

  1. "an offense that has an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another, or
  2. any other offense that is a felony and that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense."

Whether new measures will follow bears watching given a severe economic crisis and the fragility of American democracy at a time it's transitioning toward a full-blown police state with noted trends watchers like Gerald Celente predicting the "greatest depression" unleashing violence, street crime, and mass civil unrest because "when people lose everything, and they have nothing else to lose, they lose it."

If so, government repression will follow with harsh police state measures because when powerful people fear losing what's taken them decades to achieve, they'll do anything to defend it, including criminalizing protected speech, dissent, and whatever threatens their privilege or important allies, none more valued than Israel.


Steve Lendman

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to The Global Research News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Mondays from 11AM to 1PM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on world and national topics. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



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This story was published on December 4, 2009.
 



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