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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?]

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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]

07.10 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

07.04 On reflection: how the 'albedo effect' is melting the Antarctic

07.04 US produces far more waste and recycles far less of it than other developed countries [As expected—and made worse by Trump—the U.S. is best at being the worst]07.03 Booming LNG industry could be as bad for climate as coal, experts warn

07.03 Deep-sea mining to turn oceans into ‘new industrial frontier’

07.03 Caravan of Americans battling diabetes heads to Canada for affordable insulin [3:36 video; Like Central Americans flee for their lives from criminal drug gangs, Americans flee for their lives for affordable pharmaceutical drugs]

07.02 American Medical Association sues North Dakota over abortion laws

07.02 'Committed' CO2 emissions jeopardize international climate goals, study finds

07.01 New Solar + Battery Price Crushes Fossil Fuels, Buries Nuclear

07.01 Freak summer hailstorm buries cars in Mexico's Guadalajara [0:50 video]

07.01 Climate Change is Devastating India With Heat Waves and Water Shortages [13:48 video]

06.30 American farmers can't afford this administration's climate apathy

06.30 The US military is a bigger polluter than more than 140 countries combined [Could a world-wide moratorium of military activity dramatically slow the climate crises?]

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07.16 Describing 'Future We Want to Live In' Scores of Groups Unveil New Blueprint for Reproductive Rights

07.16 'Do not take the bait': congresswomen denounce racist Trump attack [3:50 video]

07.16 Money Laundering Scandal Forces Puerto Rico’s Governor to Cut His Vacation Short — Just in Time for Another Scandal

07.16 Turnstile teaching [The problem is NOT the color of students skin, as our fake President reflexively thinks. The problem is the lax attitude and deficient funding by government to always do a much better job for a better future.]

07.15 Finding the Future in Radical Rural America

07.15 Sanders Accuses Biden of Parroting Pharma and Insurance Industry Script With Attacks on Medicare for All [Like Trump, Biden explains why he's unelectable every day.]

07.15 If there is an 'immigrant' who has failed to integrate in America, it's Donald Trump

07.15 Trump tells Ocasio-Cortez and other female progressives to 'go back' to 'original' countries

07.15 Trump Takes Pelosi's Side Against AOC and The Squad as Intraparty Fight Over Immigration Continues [Its about much more than immigration, its about the Corporate Dominance—by many of the same companies, even—over both major Political Parties. With too few exceptions, neither party has represented The Public since Nixon generously raised the minimum wage (Part D Medicare and ACA both became Frankenstein legislation due to excessive corporate price-fixing influence), and that has to change!]

07.14 Trump: People like Paul Ryan almost killed the Republican Party [Then it's too bad he didn't stay to finish the job!]

07.13 Trump's POS Labor Secretary, Acosta, Out. POS Number 2, Linked to Abramoff, to Fill Role [A willingness to perform criminal behavior seems the only competency required...]

Justice Matters

07.15 Australia 'deeply concerned' about China's treatment of Uighur people [What are the reasons, exactly, that justify harsh imprisonment of a million people?]

07.15 Zuma tells South Africa corruption inquiry he is victim of foreign plot [Unaccountable corrupt governments are so in fashion these days...]

07.14 Warren vows to probe U.S. crimes on immigrants if elected [Can you imagine living in a nation with a working Justice System? How far we've fallen!]

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Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

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

International & Futurism

07.16 Trump’s race fantasy is clear: the US as home for whites fleeing Europe [1:09 video]

07.15 India’s Terrifying Water Crisis

07.15 Australia now has the highest minimum wage in the world [From 1960 to 2018 – the U.S. has fallen from 1st place to below the tenth place and off the chart]

07.14 Kasich: The chilling effect of British ambassador's leaked memos

07.14 'Just a matter of when': the $20bn plan to power Singapore with Australian solar

07.14 At least 24 Yellow Vests lost eyes in violent protests. Now they're more determined than ever [Protests of all kinds will continue until systemic inequality loses political dominance]

07.13 New Zealand Begins Gun Buyback Prompted by Mosque Attacks

07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning [Since so-called modern humans evolved there have been 10,000 generations of people. It is extremely far-fetched to think anyone is racially pure. SO ALL THIS HATE IS INCREDIBLY STUPID.]

07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning

07.13 Brazil’s President May Appoint Son, Friend to the Trumps, as Ambassador to U.S. [Friend of the Trumps, so we know they're all brain-dead except about near-term profits. They are clear-cutting the Amazon Rain Forest to feed-then-butcher millions of methane farting cows, over and over. Yep, that's there business plan. So therefore the rest of the world will hopefully plant billions of trees elsewhere to sequester CO2 to offset what the Bolsonaro family and investors are destroying. What's wrong with this picture?]

07.13 Trump’s Cruelty and Mexico’s Duty [Our president is immoral to his core and reacts to things like a child, not understanding that his actions are often crueler than they should be. And that cruelty will never completely be excused or forgotten—the people's hatred of Trump is growing, like the Texan's hatred when President General Santa Anna laid seige to the Alamo, which was Mexico's territory at the time...]

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  Israel's Troubling Tilt Toward Apartheid

NOT WELL REPORTED IN THE U.S., OF COURSE:

Israel's Troubling Tilt Toward Apartheid

by Robert Parry
Originally published in ConsortiumNews.com earlier today, 19 March 2010

The United Nations General Assembly may well have been wrong in 1975 to equate Zionism with racism, since many early Israelis rejected extremist notions regarding separation of Jews from Arabs. But today a virulent form of Zionism is turning Israel in the direction of an intolerant apartheid state.

This ultra-conservative strain of Judaism is now represented at senior levels of Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, especially in the Housing Ministry, which recently humiliated Vice President Joe Biden by announcing 1,600 more Jewish housing units in East Jerusalem as Biden was arriving to reaffirm U.S. solidarity with Israel.

An under-reported element of the flare-up between the Obama administration and Netanyahu’s government is that Israel’s Housing Minister Ariel Atias, who sprang the announcement during Biden’s visit, is a religious fanatic whose ultra-Orthodox Judaism is about as intolerant of others as many extreme forms of Islam are.

Atias, a rising star in the religious Shas Party, has publicly called for imposing legal and physical constraints on the housing choices of Israel’s Arab population. But his demands for segregation do not stop at Arabs. He also targets secular Jews who don’t follow strict religious rules.

Last July, Atias told a conference of the Israel Bar Association that Israel’s Arab population must be prevented from buying homes in many parts of Israel.

"I see [it] as a national duty to prevent the spread of a population that, to say the least, does not love the state of Israel," Atias declared. "If we go on like we have until now, we will lose the Galilee. Populations that should not mix are spreading there. I don't think that it is appropriate [for them] to live together."

Atias also spoke favorably about relying on aggressive ultra-Orthodox Jews, known as Haredis, to keep the Arabs in line.

Citing Jewish-Arab tensions that broke out in the town of Acre, Atias recounted a conversation he had with the city’s mayor about how Acre could be saved. Atias said:

“He told me 'bring a bunch of Haredis and we'll save the city, even if I lose my political standing.' He told me that Arabs are living in Jewish buildings and running them out."

In Atias’s vision for Israel, certain lands would be sold to Arabs, others to ultra-Orthodox Jews, and still others to secular Jews, creating a nation segregated along inter- and intra-religious lines.

“I, as an ultra-Orthodox Jew, don't think that religious Jews should have to live in the same neighborhood as secular couples, so as to avoid unnecessary friction,” Atias explained.

Some of that friction between the ultra-Orthodox Jews and secular Jews relates to the anger of the ultra-Orthodox Haredis against Jewish women dressing in ways that are considered immodest or against secular Jews who don’t follow strict rules against using machinery on the Sabbath.

These tensions are similar to those in strict Islamic states, where morality police arrest or humiliate women whose bodies are not adequately covered.

Atias noted that the ultra-Orthodox Haredis “need synagogues and do not want any traffic on Shabbat. Seculars demand cultural facilities.”

Favoring His Own

Inside Israel, Atias has come under criticism for favoring his fellow ultra-Orthodox Jews in opening more new housing units to them than to secular Jews and surely to Arabs.

"There is a severe housing crisis among the young ultra-Orthodox couples, and in the general population,” Atias said, explaining his thinking. “And since some 5,000 to 6,000 religious couples get married every year, a problem arises because they require a certain kind of community life that goes along with their lifestyle."

Commenting on Atias’s statements, some leftist members of the Knesset have deplored the racism implicit in his policies.

"Racism is spreading throughout the government, and Minister Atias is the latest to express it,” said Hadash Chairman Mohammad Barakeh. “The government and everyone in it must realize that Arabs are living in their homeland and they have no other. If there is any foreign element in the Galilee, it is not the Arabs." [For details, see Haaretz.com, and Ynet.com, July 2, 2009]

Last September, in announcing favorable housing decisions for his ultra-Orthodox brethren, Atias reaffirmed his goal of achieving a segregated society.

"I've said it in the past and I say it again: I don't think populations can be mixed together,” Atias told Haaretz. “A Haredi [ultra-Orthodox] population needs to live in locations with other Haredim, so we don't descend to sectarian violence, as is happening right now in Kiryat Yovel in Jerusalem. ...

“I advocate the separation of population groups as a healthy solution.”

The 39-year-old Atias is regarded as a poorly educated politician who travels little, if at all, outside Israel. Still, he is an emerging powerbroker in the Shas Party, which represents a key element of Netanyahu’s Likud coalition. Atias, who previously was in charge of inspecting kosher meat and who has advocated censorship of the Internet, was placed second on the Shas candidate list in 2009.

In Israel, the position of Housing Minister also is very important, given the significance of settlements to the concept of a Greater Israel and to the peace process. Past housing ministers have included future prime ministers, including Ariel Sharon and Netanyahu himself.

Atias’s intolerance toward the mixing of Arabs and Jews and even Jews of different religious orientation goes a long way to explain the refusal of Netanyahu’s government to pull back on expansion of Jewish settlements into traditionally Arab lands. To do so would risk rupturing the governing coalition.

‘Anti-Semitic’ Charge

Criticism of Israeli housing policies often draws angry responses from right-wing Israelis and American neoconservatives.

For instance, the Obama administration’s complaint about Atias’s housing decision during Biden’s visit prompted Netanyahu’s brother-in-law, Hagai Ben Artzi, to label Obama as “anti-Semitic,” adding: “it's not that Obama doesn't sympathize with [Netanyahu]. He doesn't sympathize with the people of Israel."

Netanyahu quickly distanced himself from Artzi’s comment.

American neocons also have blamed Obama primarily for the housing dispute with Netanyahu's government.

On Tuesday, the Washington Post’s neocon editorialists wrote, “It has been a little startling – and a little puzzling – to see Mr. Obama deliberately plunge into another public brawl with the Jewish state. ... The dispute’s dramatic escalation ... seems to have come at the direct impetus of Mr. Obama.”

On March 2, Post columnist Richard Cohen labeled as anti-Semitic pretty much anyone who objects to Israel’s discrimination against Palestinians. Israel “is not motivated by racism,” Cohen declared. “That’s more than can be said for many of its critics.”

Cohen was especially outraged by anyone who would compare the plight of Palestinians in and around Israel to South African blacks under “apartheid.”

Yet, while the parallel is far from perfect, Atias’s plans for segregated neighborhoods for Arabs, for secular Jews and for ultra-Orthodox Jews does sound a lot like apartheid.

Even thoughtful Israelis are beginning to grapple with the moral and political dilemma of Jewish settlers seizing Palestinian lands on the basis of Biblical mandates in which God supposedly granted all the territory to the Israelites.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak, a Labor Party representative in Netanyahu’s government, has warned that the extreme Zionist vision of a Greater Israel could lead to either a single state with a Palestinian majority or special rules to limit Palestinian civil rights.

“If, and as long as between the Jordan and the sea, there is only one political entity, named Israel, it will end up being either non-Jewish or non-democratic,” Barak said at a recent security conference. “If the Palestinians vote in elections, it is a bi-national state, and if they don't, it is an apartheid state.”

However, to the Post’s Cohen, you are deserving of the ugly charge of anti-Semitism if you suggest that some form of apartheid looms in Israel’s future if it continues down its current path.

Cohen scolded Henry Siegman, who wrote an op-ed for the Financial Times and mentioned the word apartheid several times. Noting that Siegman was a former executive director of the American Jewish Congress, Cohen conceded that “anti-Semitism is not the issue here.”

Cohen then added, however, “anti-Semitism is not so easily dismissed with others.”

Such knee-jerk defenses of Israel by influential American neocons apparently have emboldened Netanyahu and his coalition allies like Shas to believe they can do pretty much whatever they wish regardless of the desires – or interests – of the United States.

Other Middle East experts believe Atias and his Shas Party may be oblivious to the political repercussions in Washington. As The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg told New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, “It’s not entirely clear to me that the Shas Party knows who Joe Biden is or cares.”

Prince Saud al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, told Dowd that Israel’s ultra-conservative religious groups were “killing every option that comes out that has peace in its objective.”

Still, with U.S. neocons protecting Netanyahu’s back regardless of the reckless actions of his Shas allies, his government seems destined to plunge ever deeper into ethnic and religious segregation.


Robert Parry

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at neckdeepbook.com. His two previous books, Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth' are also available there. Or go to Amazon.com.

This article is republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



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This story was published on March 19, 2010.

 

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