Thursday, May 09, 2024

Bill Maher is disgusting


I went to grab one -- a BURN IT DOWN WITH KIM BROWN -- because there's at least one I haven't highlighted this week (one or two) and that's because she's done a lot of them in the last seven days.  But that one above is fresh from tonight.  It's pretty powerful.

Now let me note some news about Doo-Doo DeSantis.  Georgia Mckoy (SAVY DIME) reports:

As summer approaches, Florida's outdoor workers, like Javier Torres, face brutal conditions. A new state law prohibits local heat protections, meaning workers like Torres must endure the relentless sun without guaranteed shade or water.   

"My body would tremble," Torres recalls the severe effects of the heat during his construction job in South Florida.

Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed a law blocking municipalities from enacting ordinances that would provide crucial heat protections for workers.  

This means no mandatory shade, water, or rest breaks, despite Torres witnessing a coworker's death from heatstroke and another’s emergency hospitalization due to the relentless sun.  

With last year hitting record temperatures, the National Weather Service warns that this trend will only continue.  

Outdoor workers are expected to face even harsher conditions. "The heat can be very intense," Torres explained, emphasizing the desperate need for basic protections like water and shade.    

That's who Doo-Doo is.  And remember that the next time spittle's flying from Bill Maher's tired mouth.  This is who Maher praised just last month.  That's because soft hands Bill has never worked a hard day in his life.  He can applaud someone as vile and cruel as Doo-Doo.  Idiots who are still watching REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER should stop.  He's a transphobe.  He's anti-Arab.  He's anti-woman.  And he's anti-worker.

IMPACT: Late night television host Bill Maher has a history of inviting guests who hold anti-Muslim views and support anti-Muslim policies. Maher is known for making discriminatory statements about Muslims and has a history of using racial and derogatory slurs against marginalized communities.

Bill Maher is a comedian, political commentator, and the host of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” since 2003. He is known for his controversial satire on religious, political, and current events, and has made headlines in recent years for his comments about Muslims and Islam.

In 2017, the Webby-award winning AlterNet news service published a seven minute video of Maher’s “outrageous statements about Islam and Muslims.” Some of the clips include Maher justifying the exclusion of Syrian refugees from the “West” by stating that “their cultures are not like ours.” Another clip shows Maher claiming “if Muslim men could get laid more, we wouldn’t have this problem.” Another clip shows him reiterating his support of author Sam Harris’ inflammatory statement claiming “Islam is the motherload of bad ideas.”

In a May 2010 interview with Anderson Cooper, Maher described Muslims as “threatening,” “bringing that desert stuff to our world,” and uncivilized. Cooper asked Maher if he bought the claim by Muslims that Islam is a religion of peace; Maher responded, “Yeah they blow you up, there’s a piece of you over there, there’s a piece of you over there, there’s a piece of you over there.”

Following the killings at the Charlie Hebdo offices in 2015, Maher claimed that “hundreds of millions” of Muslims would be supportive of that kind of violence. He continued: “I know most Muslim people would not have carried out an attack like this. But here’s the important point: Hundreds of millions of them support an attack like this. They applaud an attack like this.”

In September 2015, Maher reacted to the arrest of 14-year old American-Muslim student, Ahmed Mohamed, after he brought a homemade clock to school that his teacher thought was a bomb. Politicians and public figures criticized the incident, calling it racial and religious profiling. Maher said: “Look, this kid deserves an apology. No doubt about it. They were wrong, but…for the last 30 years, it’s been one culture that has been blowing shit up over and over again.”

In a “Real Time” episode in July 2015, Ret. U.S. Army Colonel and former chief of staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell, Lawrence Wilkerson used this analogy to challenge Maher’s views on Islam and violence: “Trying to address the shooter as a product of Islam is like…trying to address the priest who abuses children as a product of Christianity.”

Islam and Muslims are subjects that comes up frequently on “Real Time,” both in conversations with guests and in Maher’s closing monologue. In September 2014, for instance, Maher closed his show by arguing that the “Muslim world” has “too much in common with ISIS.”

In 2014, Maher clashed with Charlie Rose while talking about Islam, stating: “to claim that this religion is like other religions is just naive and plain wrong. [Islam]is not like other religions.” In January 2016, Maher told his viewers that “the more you know [about Islam], the more you would be afraid.”

In an October 2014 episode of “Real Time,” Maher and his guests, who included actor Ben Affleck and author Sam Harris, entered into a heated discussion about Islam and Islamophobia. In the debate, Maher asserted that Islam is “the only religion that acts like the Mafia, that will f***ing kill you if you say the wrong thing…”

In a March 2011 interview with Representative Keith Ellison, the first elected Muslim Member of the U.S. Congress, Maher referred to the Qur’an as a “hate filled Holy Book.” In the same interview, Maher described Islam as a “culture in its medieval era” and a “culture of suicide bombings,” disagreeing with Rep. Ellison’s statements to the contrary and instead referencing commentary by Sam Harris, who identifies as an atheist and is not a scholar of religions.  

In the past, Maher has attempted to discredit the word “Islamophobia.” In a 2014 interview Maher repeated a claim made by writer and critic of religion Christopher Hitchens, that “Islamophobic is a word created by fascists, and used by cowards, to manipulate morons.” In a 2015 interview with evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, Maher stated, Islamophobia is “a silly word that means nothing.”

In a talk with Sam Harris on the problem of “radical Islam” and President Trump’s travel ban, otherwise known as the Muslim ban, Maher said “I think we both agree his ban–I’ve always said–it’s stupid, it’s counterproductive, it’s un-American.” He agreed with Harris that the U.S. is currently in a “war of ideas” that requires the help of a willing and “moderate” Muslim population. Scholars have criticized the use of  the term “moderate Muslims.”

In response to a study finding that “Muhammad” was the most popular baby name in Great Britain, Maher stated: “Am I racist to feel I am by that because I am,” and “I don’t have to apologize do I for not wanting the western world to be taken over by Islam.”

In discussion on Islam, Maher often cites the life experience and opinions of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and has hosted her on his t.v show numerous times, where they discussed how to convince liberals to stand up to “the cancer of Islamic extremism.” Maher has also given a platform to other individuals who support anti-Muslim policies including Sam Harris, Ann Coulter, Maajid Nawaz, and Asra Nomani.

Many have questioned Maher’s approach, claiming he takes a simplistic view of religion and fails to recognize the injustices and atrocities done by non-Muslims. Muslim scholar and author Reza Aslan has said “The way that [Maher] talks about Islam is undeniably bigoted…”  Others have expressed skepticism regarding the polls he cites.  

In February 2017, Bill Maher had former Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos on his show, an exchange that was described by The Washington Post as a “bromance.” On the show, Yiannopoulos told Maher, “you’re sound on Islam unlike most of the people on your side.” A Buzzfeed investigation found that Yiannopoulos worked with self-avowed White Supremacists, calling one his “best friend.”

Maher also has a long history of using racial slurs as documented by ThinkProgress. In a June 2017 episode of his show, Maher responded to an invitation by his guest, U.S. Senator Ben Sasse from Nebraska, to “work in the fields with us” by stating ,“Work in the fields? Senator, I’m a house n*****.” An article in The Root also documented Maher’s repeated use of the n-word.

How can you ignore this and applaud him?  He's disgusting.

Barry e-mailed to share this article about the 12 easiest vegetables to grow.  Check it out.  Lettuce, spinach and radishes make the list.

Here's a pretty cool track of Stevie Nicks singing a song acapella. 

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Thursday, May 9, 2024.  Attacks on Rafah increase, children remain at risk, Joe Biden takes a sort-of stand, students around the world continue to call for an end to the assault on Gaza and much more.

Starting n the US where the presidential election will be held in November later this year.  Robert Kennedy Junior continues to campaign on the crazy as he seeks any part -- even a Tupperware party if they have ballot access.  Having failed in the Democratic Party, Junior became an 'independent' campaign.  Unable to do the work required for that, he's now running with any minor political party that will let him -- no matter how racist they might be.  News of his claiming a brain worm -- dead no less -- to avoid paying his second wife the alimony he owed her has been greeted with worm jokes.  No one seems willing to demand that this man who wants to be president release his medical records.  Possibly that's due to the fact that he never had a worm in his brain to begin with and just lied in court.  

Last month, a large number of Kennedys endorsed Joe Biden for president, a turn of events that presumably stung fellow 2024 hopeful Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Now, another member of the family has made his feelings about Kennedy’s candidacy clear, albeit in a slightly more unorthodox way: Jack Schlossberg, a.k.a. John Bouvier Kennedy Schlossberg, a.k.a. John F. Kennedy’s grandson.

In a series of videos on Instagram, Schlossberg alternatively inhabited a number of stereotypical personas to criticize his mother’s first cousin. “Jimmy” is a Kennedy fan with a thick Boston accent; “Wade,” a Southerner who works with horses; “Anthony,” an Italian American from Long Island; “Joshua,” an older Jewish man from New York; and “Tiny Tim,” appears to be a…beach bum/east Londoner.

As Jimmy, Schlossberg tells viewers, of RFK Jr.: “You know, I’m a fan of his father. And you know his uncle? Rest in peace. I remember where I was the day he was killed, I mean it was a tragic day, the entire country wept. But listen, that guy, he’s a prick. The new guy, the young guy, he’s a friggin prick. He’s lying to you, alright? ‘Independent,‘ ‘third party,’ yeah freakin’ right. He’s got Trump’s donors. He’s got Trump’s advisers, him and Trump go way freaking back. Don’t be fooled by that. Don’t throw away your vote.”

As Wade, he says: “I want to tell you who I’m voting for this cycle. It’s Biden. And I’ll tell you why: because I think behavior matters and I think the behavior we set for our children matters. I’ve got three daughters and I don’t want them growing up with a president, president Trump 2.0 who’s grabbing stuff, painted orange, and ripping everybody down with no shame. Do I want to vote for Bobby Kennedy Jr.? Doesn’t seem like he shows much respect for anybody neither. He’s lying to us, that’s for sure. Plus, I raise horses. And you can always tell when a horse is being pumped full of testosterone—steroids doesn’t make the horse think any better.”

Donald Trump dyes his hair blond (it's really gray, like every other man his age) but that's a good reminder that elderly Junior is on steroids. Is that why he won't release his medical records?  Maybe he's got complaints in there about having juiced on roids so much he can no longer get an erection?

CNN notes, "Kennedy is officially on the ballot in five states: battleground Michigan, Utah, Hawaii, Delaware and California."  Five states.  Out of fifty.  Forty-five more states to go with the election six months out -- and remember, election day is too late to make the ballot.  He's basically got a little over three months to get on the ballot in the other 45.  

Things just muddle along in the aimless vanity campaign which tried to fundraise May 4th with "Am I Left Or Right?" -- if you don't know, why are you running?  It didn't bring in the money April 30th (when it was "Am I Left Or Conservative?") and it didn't help the campaign this month.  A friend with the campaign (for now) says it's "the biggest mess" he's ever seen.  Heads up, Junior, some of your staff are not there to help you.  Why don't you spend money this week trying to figure out who the spies in your campaign are?

Reminder, Junior believes Gaza should be "leveled."  That's the nutso's belief.  

Since the start of the seven-month Israel-Hamas conflict, powerful US-supplied 2,000-pound bombs have been used in bombardments on Gaza's heavily populated cities.

Now, for the first time, US President Joe Biden has acknowledged that the bombs, which military experts say turn "earth into liquid", have killed civilians in Gaza. 

And the US will be delaying a shipment of thousands of bombs over concerns about Israel's invasion of the southern city of Rafah.

"Civilians have been killed in Gaza as a consequence of those bombs and other ways in which they go after population centres," Mr Biden told CNN.

"I made it clear that if they go into Rafah ... we're not going to supply the weapons and artillery shells used."

Zeke Miller and Aamer Madhani (AP) observe, "The U.S. has historically provided enormous amounts of military aid to Israel."  THE INDEPENDENT notes, "Shelling has been reported in Rafah overnight, just hours after US president Joe Biden publicly vowed to withhold weapons from Israel if its forces make a ground offensive into southern Gaza."  Glass half full?   DEMOCRACY NOW! noted yesterday, "The New York Times has confirmed reports that the Biden administration withheld sending 3,500 bombs to Israel last week out of fear the bombs could be used to attack Rafah. But the administration has gone ahead with approving another $827 million for other weapons and equipment for the Israeli military. This comes as Politico reports the Biden administration has indefinitely delayed issuing a report to determine whether Israel has violated U.S. and international law in its war on Gaza."

Tuesday, US House Rep Rashida Tlaib released the following statement:

“It’s no coincidence that immediately after our government sent the Israeli apartheid regime over $14 billion with absolutely no conditions on upholding human rights, Netanyahu began a ground invasion of Rafah to continue the genocide of Palestinians—with ammunition and bombs paid for by our tax dollars. Over 1.5 million Palestinian civilians, including over 600,000 children, are trapped in Rafah, living in makeshift tents, without food, clean water, sanitation, medicine, or any form of shelter. Israeli forces have already killed over 35,000 Palestinians, and the families displaced in Rafah will now face even more unimaginable human suffering. Many of my colleagues are going to express concern and horror at the crimes against humanity that are about to unfold, even though they just voted to send Netanyahu billions more in weapons. Do not be misled, they gave their consent for these atrocities, and our country is actively participating in genocide. For months, Netanyahu made his intent to invade Rafah clear, yet the majority of my colleagues and President Biden sent more weapons to enable the massacre.

“There is nowhere safe in Gaza. Nearly 80% of the civilian infrastructure has been destroyed. There is no feasible evacuation plan, and the Israeli government is only trying to provide a false pretense of safety to try to maintain legal cover at the International Court of Justice. Netanyahu knows that he will only stay in power as long as the fighting continues. It is now more apparent than ever that we must end all U.S. military funding for the Israeli apartheid regime, and demand that President Biden facilitate an immediate, permanent ceasefire that includes a complete withdraw of Israeli forces from Gaza, and the release of all hostages and arbitrarily detained Palestinians. I urge the ICC to swiftly issue arrest warrants for Netanyahu and senior Israeli officials to finally hold them accountable for this genocide, as is obviously warranted by these well-documented violations of the Genocide Convention under international law.”

Though silent on Wednesday, the Israeli government is commenting today.  THE WASHINGTON POST reports:

Israeli officials on Thursday criticized President Biden’s threat to halt the shipment of U.S. offensive weapons to Israel if the country moves ahead with its long-planned ground invasion of Rafah in the Gaza Strip. U.N. Ambassador Gilad Erdan said Biden’s comments were “very disappointing” and would embolden Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah, while Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said Israel must “withstand the international pressure” and continue its war “despite President Biden’s pushback and arms embargo.”


While some Palestine defenders on Wednesday welcomed U.S. President Joe Biden's threat to withhold bombs and artillery shells from Israel if it launches a major invasion of Rafah, critics noted that an invasion is already underway and accused the American leader of walking back a previous "red line" warning against an Israeli assault on the southern Gaza city.

Biden said for the first time that he'll stop sending bombs, artillery shells, and other arms to Israel if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu orders a major invasion of Rafah, where more than a million Palestinians forcibly displaced from other parts of the embattled Gaza Strip are sheltering alongside around 280,000 local residents.

Referring to Israel's use of U.S.-supplied 2,000-pound bombs—which can destroy an entire city block and have been used in some of the war's worst atrocities—Biden toldCNN's Erin Burnett that "civilians have been killed in Gaza as a consequence of those bombs and other ways in which they go after population centers."

Even the U.S. military—which has killed more foreign civilians than any other armed force on the planet since the end of World War II—won't use 2,000-pound bombs in urban areas. But Israel does, including when it launched a strike to assassinate a single Hamas commander by dropping the munitions on the Jabalia refugee camp last October, killing more than 120 civilians.

"If they go into Rafah, I'm not supplying the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah, to deal with the cities," Biden said Wednesday.

Israeli forces have already gone into Rafah, and it was reported Tuesday that Biden was taking the unusual step of delaying shipments of two types of Boeing-made bombs to Israel to send a message to the country's far-right government. It was, however, a mixed message, as the president also earlier in the day reaffirmed his support for Israel's war on Gaza, which the International Court of Justice said is "plausibly" genocidal in a preliminary ruling in January. 

People across the world are watching in horror as scenes of violent crackdowns on peaceful student protests reach the news and social media. Students protesting America’s role in Israel’s mass murder of Palestinians face police in riot gear wielding batons.

In Boston, as police closed in, Amina Adeyola, an Emerson College student organizer working with hundreds of protesters , made an impassioned speech urging the mayor to call off the city’s police. She highlighted that the city ordinance used by the police to arrest protesters was the same one first designed to remove unhoused people from a large encampment just months earlier.

Immediately after her speech, she was arrested. Scenes of Emerson students being dragged, body-slammed, belongings being torn from their hands, were live-streamed on social media. Students reported substantial injuries.

The student protesters implore us to see the interconnectedness of global freedom struggles against systemic oppression and authoritarian force.

As physicians caring for people experiencing homelessness in Boston, we are all too familiar with the anti-homeless ordinance used to arrest the students. The context was different, but the swift crackdown in the name of public health and safety was the same. We see haunting similarities in the use of expanded police power and the weaponization of public health and safety to criminalize dissent and control oppressed groups.

Just a few months earlier, facing a crisis of increasing homelessness and rising housing costs, Boston enacted the new ordinance banning tent camping throughout the city. The mayor called on the police to sweep encampments of homeless communities and to ticket and fine individuals for living outside. While the ordinance required that police first offer storage for belongings and a shelter bed, this seemed disingenuous. The largest shelters in Boston were already full, with people routinely sleeping on the floor.

We vociferously opposed the measure based both on personal experience and on evidence from encampments across the country. After prior sweeps, our patients who were receiving life-saving medications, including treatments for HIV and other serious infections, would disappear—whether in jail, pushed to a more distant encampment, or dead, we often did not know. Disturbing images from previous encampment removals were fresh in our minds: wheelchairs being confiscated and crushed, medications and other crucial belongings being forcibly taken from patients. Mounting public health research shows that law enforcement-led sweeps of homeless encampments do not bring health and safety. They do not result in less violence. They do not result in less drug use. They result in disconnection from life-saving harm reduction services and medical care. They result in more hospitalizations and fatal overdoses.

To hear city officials, including physicians, cite “health and safety” as the motivation for the ordinance was deeply unsettling. The well-being of the unhoused individuals who were ultimately arrested, or pushed into less visible parts of the city, was never the primary concern. Instead of investing the necessary money and time into tackling hard problems—lack of affordable housing, cycles of incarceration and poverty, inadequate addiction treatment—the city chose to expand police power against an already marginalized group.

Today we see this same ordinance wielded against students demanding divestment from Israel’s genocide in Gaza. In defending the police action, Mayor Michelle Wu cited the “health and safety” of Bostonians. The morning after the Emerson College protest crackdown, city workers cleaned up blood from the protest site. It’s difficult to square the sight of protesters’ blood on sidewalks resulting from police violence, with that call for health and safety. How could they do this?

As Adeyola astutely pointed out, we gave them the tools.

Rather than fund housing and other necessary services to prevent homelessness, our elected leaders use our tax dollars to fund police and prisons which are full of unhoused people. Rather than disclose and divest from Israeli apartheid, occupation, and genocide, university leaders invite police forces (often militarized by the Israeli Defense Force) onto campus in the name of student safety, to brutalize and arrest students and their faculty and community supporters.

The student protesters implore us to see the interconnectedness of global freedom struggles against systemic oppression and authoritarian force. They demand that we not shield our eyes from our leaders’ brutal disregard of Palestinian life in the false name of Israeli security. As medical providers, we have an obligation to speak out against the deliberate destruction of Gaza’s critical infrastructure and the mass murder of healthcare workers who are desperately trying to save civilian lives. As healthcare workers committed to the genuine health and well-being of all—whether unhoused people, student protesters, or the people of Gaza—we must denounce everywhere the use of state violence in the name of safety. And beyond rhetoric, we must protect and support those most vulnerable who speak out and demand a more just world. We cannot abandon our young people to risk everything alone. Healthcare workers must be by their sides, flooding every student encampment across the nation. 

Let's note this from yesterday's DEMOCRACY NOW!

AMY GOODMAN: College campuses around the world have ignited in a global uprising of students protesting Israel’s assault on Gaza. From New York to Berlin, San Francisco to Sydney, students have set up Gaza solidarity encampments to call for a ceasefire and to demand that their schools disclose and divest from companies with ties to Israel.

Many universities have responded by calling the police onto their campuses to violently break up the encampments. In the U.S. alone, over 2,000 students, faculty and supporters have been arrested at dozens of universities over the past three weeks.

But as the campus crackdowns continue, students at a number of universities have managed to negotiate agreements where administrators have acceded to some of the protesters’ demands. One of the first was Pitzer College in California on April 1st.

Today we’re joined by students from four universities where school administrations have agreed to a number of key demands, such as publicly calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and exploring divestment from Israel.

At Brown University, which came to an agreement last week, we’re joined by Rafi Ash, a sophomore majoring in urban studies, part of Brown Jews for a Ceasefire Now and Brown Divest Coalition. He’s joining us from Providence, Rhode Island.

At Middlebury College, which struck a deal on Sunday, we’re joined by Duncan Kreps, a graduating senior at Middlebury, where he’s majoring in mathematics. He was part of the pro-Palestinian Middlebury solidarity encampment, and he joins us from Middlebury, Vermont.

At Evergreen State College in Washington, which came to an agreement last week, we’re joined by Alex Marshall, a third-year student, joining us from Olympia. Evergreen is the alma mater of Rachel Corrie, the American peace activist killed by an Israeli military bulldozer in Gaza March 16th, 2003.

And at Rutgers University in New Jersey, we’re joined by Aseel, a Palestinian student at Rutgers who has family in Gaza. She’s part of Students for Justice in Palestine.

We welcome you all to Democracy Now! Let’s begin at Brown. Rafi Ash, you are a sophomore in urban studies at Brown. Can you talk about the encampment that was set up and then what ensued?

RAFI ASH: Yeah. So, we set up an encampment last — two weeks ago at this point, and our encampment was on the Main Green, our central quad on campus. And we set up for seven days. And while the administration raised its disciplinary threats over the course of those days, that really did not, you know, sway students. And as the administration was trying to start setup for commencement, the pressure grew on them to actually begin to, you know, either force us out or come to the table. And we were able to force them to the table on Monday of last week, and that led to a multiday negotiations process.

And, you know, I think these negotiations didn’t really seem like a possibility before these encampments began, but through them, we were able to actually push to force a vote on divestment, and that’s a vote that’s never happened before at Brown, and that’s something that we’ve been pushing for for a long time, that our Board of Corporation will first have a more informational session on divestment without a vote, but then followed by, at the meeting after, a guaranteed vote. And, you know, that’s not the end of the story. We still have so much more work to do, and we need to make sure that that vote is a yes for divestment. But that was a huge step that came out of an escalatory encampment.

AMY GOODMAN: Now, a while ago, there were a number of arrests on campus. There were protests after Hisham Awartani, who is the Brown student who was shot in Burlington, Vermont, when he and two of his best friends from the Friends Academy in Ramallah, who had come to the United States to go to college, where their families thought it was safer, was shot by a white man off his porch when they were taking a walk on the way to his grandmother’s house. Hisham is now paralyzed. Can you talk about what happened after that and the number of arrests that took place and the administration’s response to that? And are there — the quashing of those charges also a part of this discussion with the administration?

RAFI ASH: Yeah. So, we had, last semester, 61 arrests on campus, 20 of them in early November, before the shooting, and then another 41 in the weeks after Hisham’s shooting. And I think there’s a — it brings it very personal and directly to home that the violence against Palestinians is — that our university is currently complicit in through its endowment. Yes, that affects — that is not only affecting Palestinians in Palestine, but it also incites violence against Palestinians here and against Brown’s own Palestinian students.

AMY GOODMAN: So, at this — 


AMY GOODMAN: Go ahead.

RAFI ASH: Well, that this makes it very, very personal and very essential to so many Brown students to stand up against the administration’s violence.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to bring Duncan Kreps into the conversation, a senior at Middlebury College at Middlebury, Vermont. Duncan, talk about setting up the encampment and what happened next.

DUNCAN KREPS: Yeah. We set up our encampment, I guess, early morning two Sundays ago and then started engaging with the administration on Tuesday of that following week and had negotiations from there. I think a notable part of our experience is the atmosphere of relative calm that we existed in. We didn’t experience the counterprotests of many other college campuses, and also our administration decided to not send the police in on students, which we want to clarify we believe is the bare minimum for any administrative response to student activism and free speech.

AMY GOODMAN: So, talk about the demands in the negotiations and who is on the team, on both sides, administration and students.

DUNCAN KREPS: Yeah. We met with the four administrators, consistently, representing kind of different aspects of the institution, and then we sent a rotating team of students to kind of spread the burden of those negotiations and also to ensure that various voices are being heard in that room. But all decisions were brought back to the camp and made as a collective.

AMY GOODMAN: And the students took down the encampment?

DUNCAN KREPS: I’m sorry?

AMY GOODMAN: The students took down the encampment?

DUNCAN KREPS: Yes. So, we voted to accept an agreement, after six rounds of negotiations, that came down on Monday, in exchange for significant progress on all five demands. Our administration agreed to call for a ceasefire. And we also made progress on divestment.

The decision to bring down the encampment was a strategic one. We believed that we could assign resources in other ways to continue to put pressure, especially on divestment, and hold the administration accountable to their comments. And we now look towards an upcoming Board of Trustees meeting where divestment will be discussed.

AMY GOODMAN: Why do you care about this issue, Duncan? You’re a graduating math senior at Middlebury College in Vermont.

DUNCAN KREPS: Yeah, I don’t know how I couldn’t. I mean, we see what’s happening. We see the invasion of Rafah happening before our eyes. This feels like the — in many ways, the most horrific thing I’ve seen happen in my lifetime. And being an American complicit in this and being a student at an institution complicit in this genocide directly, I couldn’t imagine standing by and not acting.

AMY GOODMAN: Let’s go to Alex Marshall, who’s across the country, a third-year student at Evergreen State College. Now, Evergreen State College is in Olympia, Washington. It’s the home city of the parents of Rachel Corrie. In fact, it’s the alma mater of Rachel Corrie. She was set to graduate from Evergreen in 2003 and went to Gaza and stood in front of a pharmacist’s home as an Israeli bulldozer was moving in to demolish it, and she was crushed to death by that bulldozer. Alex, can you talk about the protest encampment, when it was set up, and then what you negotiated with Evergreen authorities, the administration?

ALEX MARSHALL: Yeah. Thank you for having me.

So, our encampment was established on Tuesday the 23rd. And negotiations began with administration on the following day, Wednesday the 24th. There was initially a rotating team of negotiators, but then a second team was established to step in on Sunday the 28th. And I was a part of that new team.

Our demands were formulated through a process of consensus within the encampment. And we focused on divesting from companies that are profiting off of the Israel — off of Israel’s occupation of Palestine, changing Evergreen’s grant acceptance policy to no longer accept funding from Zionist organizations that support stifling students’ free speech, as well as a Police Services Community Review Board structure to be created and the creation of an alternative model of crisis response. Evergreen also agreed to prohibit study abroad programs to Israel, Gaza or the West Bank, until the day comes when Palestinian students would be allowed entry. And they also agreed to release a statement calling for a ceasefire and acknowledging the International Court of Justice’s genocide investigation.

AMY GOODMAN: And who were the people who negotiated on both sides, Alex?

ALEX MARSHALL: Well, I was on a team of four. And on the administrative side, it was the vice president of the college and the dean of students.

AMY GOODMAN: And what do you think was different about your school than places like Columbia, where they called in the police twice?

ALEX MARSHALL: Well, it being Rachel Corrie’s alma mater, I think, is significant. She’s been gone for 20 years, but her memory lives on amongst the student body and the Olympia community at large. Craig and Cindy Corrie came to one of our rallies to speak. And I think her memory — you know, I have learned about her. I’ve read her emails to her parents in multiple classes that I’ve taken at Evergreen, and her memory being so inspiring in that way.

I believe also that Evergreen has an interest in maintaining its image as a college that highly values diversity and equity, working across significant differences and advocating for students’ voices and students’ abilities to exercise their rights to freedom of speech, freedom of protest. And Evergreen is a small college. We’ve had — the college has had a rough few years after the media storm that occurred in 2017. And administration knew that there would be serious repercussions to Evergreen’s image if police were called in.

We are extremely grateful that all of our students were safe and we had no arrests and no students have been written up for policy violations. And I think that that really speaks to Evergreen’s — the culture of Evergreen’s student body as one that really emphasizes taking care of each other and fighting for the struggle for justice.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to end with Aseel, who is a Palestinian student at Rutgers University in New Jersey who has family in Gaza. We’re only using Aseel’s first name because she is concerned about doxxing. Aseel, can you talk about what happened at Rutgers after students set up the Rutgers encampment?

ASEEL: Yeah. Hi. So, last Thursday, we ended our encampment. It was a four-day encampment. And as a result of our collective efforts, we were able to have Rutgers, the Rutgers administration, agree to commit to eight out of 10 demands, which we are like really, really happy about. And I just also want to note that this encampment came in like the span of three weeks, where we did a — like, it was our second encampment, because we revived Tent State University. That’s one.

And another thing, as well, is we are very excited that part of our demands is, number one, that we are going to welcome 10 Gazan students, some of whom we anticipate to be our family members. Another thing is that we are going to finally have Palestinian flags hung, and Holloway is finally going to acknowledge his Palestinian students, finally, and name Palestine and Palestinians in his statements, instead of like the “Middle East region” and “the Gaza region.” And then, not only that, but we are also going to hire additional professors of Palestinian studies, because apparently everyone thinks that this started on October 7th. So, I think that’s pretty important. Another thing is that we are finally going to have an Arab cultural center. “Why didn’t we have one before?” is the real question. We are also going to finally get a Middle Eastern Studies Department. Again, why did we not have one before? Another thing is that we are going to be granted, hopefully — hopefully Rutgers commits to this — amnesty and no suspensions for our encampment. And yeah, I hope I’m not missing anything, but it’s eight demands.

AMY GOODMAN: One of the standard calls for — at these campus encampments has been to disclose and divest. Was that an issue for Rutgers students?

ASEEL: Yes, that was our main reason why we came. We demanded to divest from Israel, from Israeli apartheid and settler colonialism. And also, our second most important demand was to end our relationship with Tel Aviv University and close down the construction of the HELIX Hub, which is right next to the New Brunswick train station. It should also be noted that Tel Aviv University is not just any university. It is a like very prime component of Israeli apartheid and settler colonialism. They manufacture weapons that basically kill my family in Gaza. Not only that, but they also hold the corpses of like 60 to 70 corpses of Palestinians. Just to like also illustrate how close this hits to home is that one of these corpses is the cousin of our beloved professor Noura Erakat. And they basically refuse to give back these corpses, these bodies, to Palestinian families.

We, unfortunately, were not able to get these agreements. However, we did get an agreement to have a meeting with the Joint Committee on Investments, with the Board of Governors, with President Holloway, for divestment, which is a process to divestment. So, this is incredible progress, in our eyes, and to everyone’s eyes, I think, because we had been asking for a meeting for five years, and we finally got one. And that’s why we decided to not get arrested, to not — to leave, basically, the encampment and shut it down, because we got the meeting, we got the eight demands, and we believe that these are just like increment steps towards divestment. But it should be noted that we were more than willing to get arrested. We were actually prepared for it. But we decided not to. And —


ASEEL: Yeah.

AMY GOODMAN: — you mentioned your family. I wanted to end by asking about your family in Gaza. How are they?

ASEEL: Yeah. So, they are not OK. A hundred members of my — nearly like a hundred members, I think — we don’t know exactly, because of Netanyahu’s psychological warfare of cutting down the electricity and cellular devices to be able to, honestly, reach them. But nearly a hundred of my members were martyred.

And obviously, I still have family left. I am still in contact with them. But they are all displaced. Our family home’s basically destroyed. Even photos, like, just show that, like, on the walls say “Blame Hamas.” And it should be noted that none of my family members are in Hamas, have nothing to do with them. And yeah, like, even the photos of Gaza are just unrecognizable. I can’t even tell, like, where anything is anymore. Photos on my phone of, like, so many memories I had don’t even exist anymore. The Gaza that I once knew is essentially gone. But I am more than confident, along with my family, that we will return and that we will rebuild it.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, Aseel, deepest condolences on the death of so many family members in Gaza. Aseel is a Palestinian student at Rutgers University in New Jersey. I want to thank you for being with us; Rafi Ash, a sophomore in urban studies at Brown University; Duncan Kreps, a graduating senior at Middlebury College; and Alex Marshall, a junior at Evergreen State College in Washington.

Coming up, we’ll stay with Rutgers and speak to a professor there, one of 60 journalism professors around the country who have signed a letter to The New York Times calling for it to commission an independent review of a controversial December article alleging Hamas systematically weaponized sexual violence on October 7th. Back in 20 seconds.


AMY GOODMAN: RISD, Rhode Island School of Design, students singing at a vigil last night while they barricaded themselves inside a campus building which they renamed Fathi Ghaben Hall after the acclaimed Palestinian artist who died after being unable to get care in Gaza. Special thanks to Democracy Now! fellow Eric Halvarson.

This morning, ALJAZEERA reports, "Dutch riot police have used a bulldozer to break up an anti-Gaza war protest camp at the University of Amsterdam after students refused to leave."  THE NATIONAL reports:

The University of Barcelona passed a motion on Wednesday to cut ties with Israel after students set up a camp on Monday to protest against the war in Gaza.

The students demanded that "governing bodies break institutional and academic relations with any Israeli university, research institute, company or other Israeli institutions".

They called such action a way to put "pressure on the state of Israel until the genocide ends, the Israeli apartheid system is eradicated and the colonisation of Palestine ends".

They also called on the Spanish and Catalan governments to sever relations with Israel, "starting with the end of the arms trade with a state that in the eyes of the world is committing genocide".

Students pledged not to leave the protest camp until they saw concrete action from the universities and Spanish and Catalan governments.

While in the US, AP notes, "Police used pepper spray to clear a pro-Palestinian tent encampment at George Washington University and arrested dozens of demonstrators on Wednesday just as city officials were set to appear before hostile lawmakers in Congress to account for their handling of the 2-week-old protest."  April Rubin (AXIOS) reports:

It's not just colleges: Across the U.S., high school students have been protesting the war in Gaza — and Congress is paying attention.

Why it matters: Young people under the age of 18 have been organizing demonstrations, sit-ins and walkouts at their schools, where the academic year typically extends into June.

  • "Their generation is really defined by a lot of these global protest movements," said Versha Sharma, the editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue.

What's happening: High school students across the country have made efforts to demonstrate since the arrests at Columbia University — although some have been thwarted by city or academic authorities.

State of play: For the first time, leaders of K-12 public school districts in a few liberal cities testified Wednesday before the same GOP-led House committee that's grilled the presidents of Harvard and Columbia.

With the dust still settling from protests at Columbia University, former and current students gathered last week to celebrate the career of Rashid Khalidi, one of the West's most prominent champions of Palestine.

Some speakers at the two-day retirement conference drew a line between Khalidi's scholarship and the student protest movement, noting that the now-shuttered Columbia encampments included those who had studied under the Middle East history professor.

But Khalidi, whose latest book on Palestine has been a best-seller since October, said his work has at most played a small role in the uprising.

"I hope that I've had some impact through my writing, but I don't really think that students are endangering their careers because of something that (I) wrote," Khalidi told AFP.

Pointing to social media as a galvanizing force, Khalidi said there was a large part of the younger generation "that feels that moral imperative to oppose what they see on their phones as a genocide."

Gaza remains under assault. Day 216 of  the assault in the wave that began in October.  Binoy Kampmark (DISSIDENT VOICE) points out, "Bloodletting as form; murder as fashion.  The ongoing campaign in Gaza by Israel’s Defence Forces continues without stalling and restriction.  But the burgeoning number of corpses is starting to become a challenge for the propaganda outlets:  How to justify it?  Fortunately for Israel, the United States, its unqualified defender, is happy to provide cover for murder covered in the sheath of self-defence."   CNN has explained, "The Gaza Strip is 'the most dangerous place' in the world to be a child, according to the executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund."  ABC NEWS quotes UNICEF's December 9th statement, ""The Gaza Strip is the most dangerous place in the world to be a child. Scores of children are reportedly being killed and injured on a daily basis. Entire neighborhoods, where children used to play and go to school have been turned into stacks of rubble, with no life in them."  NBC NEWS notes, "Strong majorities of all voters in the U.S. disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of foreign policy and the Israel-Hamas war, according to the latest national NBC News poll. The erosion is most pronounced among Democrats, a majority of whom believe Israel has gone too far in its military action in Gaza."  The slaughter continues.  It has displaced over 1 million people per the US Congressional Research Service.  Jessica Corbett (COMMON DREAMS) points out, "Academics and legal experts around the world, including Holocaust scholars, have condemned the six-week Israeli assault of Gaza as genocide."   The death toll of Palestinians in Gaza is grows higher and higher.  United Nations Women noted, "More than 1.9 million people -- 85 per cent of the total population of Gaza -- have been displaced, including what UN Women estimates to be nearly 1 million women and girls. The entire population of Gaza -- roughly 2.2 million people -- are in crisis levels of acute food insecurity or worse."  THE NATIONAL notes, "Gaza death toll reaches 34,844, with 78,404 injured ."  Months ago,  AP  noted, "About 4,000 people are reported missing."  February 7th, Jeremy Scahill explained on DEMOCRACY NOW! that "there’s an estimated 7,000 or 8,000 Palestinians missing, many of them in graves that are the rubble of their former home."  February 5th, the United Nations' Phillipe Lazzarini Tweeted:


April 11th, Sharon Zhang (TRUTHOUT) reported, "In addition to the over 34,000 Palestinians who have been counted as killed in Israel’s genocidal assault so far, there are 13,000 Palestinians in Gaza who are missing, a humanitarian aid group has estimated, either buried in rubble or mass graves or disappeared into Israeli prisons.  In a report released Thursday, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said that the estimate is based on initial reports and that the actual number of people missing is likely even higher."

As for the area itself?  Isabele Debre (AP) reveals, "Israel’s military offensive has turned much of northern Gaza into an uninhabitable moonscape. Whole neighborhoods have been erased. Homes, schools and hospitals have been blasted by airstrikes and scorched by tank fire. Some buildings are still standing, but most are battered shells."  Kieron Monks (I NEWS) reports, "More than 40 per cent of the buildings in northern Gaza have been damaged or destroyed, according to a new study of satellite imagery by US researchers Jamon Van Den Hoek from Oregon State University and Corey Scher at the City University of New York. The UN gave a figure of 45 per cent of housing destroyed or damaged across the strip in less than six weeks. The rate of destruction is among the highest of any conflict since the Second World War."

The editorial board of THE NATIONAL notes:

More than half of the Gaza Strip’s population of two million is sheltering in Rafah – a town of 150,000 that has been transformed throughout Israel’s war.

Among the city’s huddled masses are 600,000 children, all of them with an uncertain future and nowhere else to go.

Unicef, the UN’s children’s agency, has described these children as being “at the edge of survival”. The picture the agency’s staff paint is stark. More than a tenth of the children are thought to have a “pre-existing disability, including difficulties seeing, hearing, walking, understanding and learning”.

Of the 195,000 who are under the age of five, 90 per cent are affected by one or more infectious diseases. These can have catastrophic effects on their health. For instance, empyema, a potentially fatal condition caused by pus pooling around the lungs, is extremely rare in children around the world; doctors in Rafah report it is common among those they treat, as a side effect of communicable disease.

The following sites updated:

Wednesday, May 08, 2024

John Fetty-Crap the senator who belongs in the nut house

Here's the latest BURN IT DOWN WITH KIM BROWN.

Are you following Drake?  I'm not.  There's too much drama in a normal week.  And the last seven days of Drake's life have been even more drama than usual.

Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) on Tuesday doubled down on his support for Israel shortly after the nation’s forces seized control of Gaza’s Rafah border crossing, where more than 1 million civilians are being housed amid the ongoing war.

Asked on Fox News if he supports Israel going into Rafah, Fetterman said, “Well, I follow Israel on that. I mean they would know the situation more than I do.”

“And I’m always trying to center this to people, where it’s like Hamas could … Well, they started this,” Fetterman continued Tuesday. “They did these kinds of terrible things. And this could end right now if they send all those hostages back home, and they could surrender … but they clearly don’t care about all the Palestinians’ death and chaos and damage.”

Yeah, because life began on October 7th.  Because the history of the ongoing occupation doesn't matter.  Because Fettycrap is a big liar who needs to go back to the nut house.  Back to the nut hourse, Fetty Crap, back to the nut house!!!!

Fetty Crap is only one idiot in Congress.  But, yes, most of the idiots are in the House and most are on the Republican side.  From THE WALL STREET JOURNAL:

Members of Congress pressed public-school leaders Wednesday on how they have disciplined teachers and students engaged in antisemitic behavior since the start of the Israel-Hamas war.

The two-hour hearing before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce delivered a number of tense moments, though everyone in the room broadly seemed to agree that education about Jewish history from a young age and strong consequences to antisemitic behavior are what’s needed to combat antisemitism in youth.

“We cannot simply discipline our way out of this problem,” David Banks, the chancellor of New York City Public Schools, told the committee. “The true antidote to ignorance and bias is to teach.”

David Banks, watch yourself, you're bucking for Idiot of the week.  I'm sure you mean well but you argued -- to our current House -- that the antidote is to teach?

David Banks, those idiots don't care about teaching.  In fact, they work overtime to eliminate teaching.  They don't want to teach about slavery or about racism or about homophobia or any real problem.

But they want to whine about anti-Semitism that isn't anti-Semitism.  

David Banks, I'm sure your heart was in the right place but you picked the wrong crowd.  Again, those people are not about teaching or learning.

And that's why they glorify the idiot Marjorie Taylor Greene who makes one anti-Semitic comment after another and is most famous for her crazy conspiracy talk that Jewish people are using some space ray.

 Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Wednesday, May 8, 2024.  The assault on Gaza continues and Joe Biden widens the attack to also include US students.

To all be on the same page, let's open with this from Tuesday's DEMOCRACY NOW!

Palestinians in Rafah say they are trapped as Israeli tanks have taken over the crossing on Gaza’s border with Egypt. The U.N. says Israel is denying access to the southern Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing, as aid groups warn of impending catastrophe amid chaotic scenes of families fleeing with no safe option for shelter. The area came under heavy aerial bombardment again overnight as Israel vowed to continue its attacks on Rafah even after Hamas said it had accepted a ceasefire proposal advanced by Qatari and Egyptian mediators Monday. Israel rejected the ceasefire but said it would send a delegation to Cairo for further talks. We’ll go to Rafah later in the broadcast to get the latest from Palestinian journalist Akram al-Satarri.

A ground attack on Rafah must be prevented, Jordan’s King Abdullah II told senior US politicians in Washington on Tuesday, after Israel captured the area’s crossing with Egypt and stopped aid going through.

“His majesty affirmed the need to prevent the Israeli military land operation against Rafah,” the official Jordanian news agency reported.

The king met House Speaker Mike Johnson and other senior members of Congress in the US Capitol, as part of a trip to Washington to discuss the Gaza war.

The agency quoted the king as saying that the Israeli takeover of the crossing, and the resulting halt in aid flows, will “compound the humanitarian crisis in Gaza”.

On Monday, the king met US President Joe Biden in the White House, as Israel was carrying out air strikes in Rafah in preparation for a ground assault.

He told Mr Biden that an Israeli ground offensive on the area would lead to a “new massacre”, according to a royal palace statement.

This morning, NBC NEWS'  , and The United States halted a large shipment of offensive weapons to Israel last week in a sign of its growing concern over a possible military offensive on Rafah, senior administration officials told NBC News."  Felicia Schwartz in Washington and Mehul Sry ivastava (FINANCIAL TIMES OF LONDON) observe, "The move marks the first known time that the US has held up a potential weapons delivery since Hamas attacked Israel on October 7 and the Jewish state launched its retaliatory offensive against the militant group in Gaza."  Zeke Miller and  Aamer Madhani (AP) add, "The shipment was supposed to consist of 1,800 2,000-pound (900-kilogram) bombs and 1,700 500-pound (225-kilogram) bombs, according to the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter, with the focus of U.S. concern being the larger explosives and how they could be used in a dense urban setting."

 You know what might help US President Joe Biden stand up to the Israeli government?  Pretend that they're American students -- he clearly feels no loyalty to them and will brandish any vicious lie against them.  Sharon Zhang (TRUTH OUT) notes:

As Israel embarked on the first steps of its long-promised invasion of Rafah, Biden delivered a chilling speech scapegoating Hamas militants and pro-Palestine protesters for antisemitism in the U.S. on Tuesday, vowing a crackdown on demonstrators seeking to end Israel’s atrocities in Gaza.

During remarks at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Annual Days of Remembrance ceremony, Biden interweaved discussion of the Holocaust with condemnation of Hamas militants’ attack on Israelis on October 7, 2023. Invoking racist tropes, Biden claimed that Hamas militants harbor the same “ancient hatred” of Jewish people that spurred the Holocaust — an equivalence that has been drawn by Israeli officials time and time again to justify Israel’s brutality against Palestinians.

Antisemitic “hatred was brought to life on October 7 of 2023,” Biden said, by Hamas militants “driven by an ancient desire to wipe out the Jewish people off the face of the earth.” At one point, he equated the attack on October 7 to the Holocaust. “Too many people denying, downplaying, rationalizing, ignoring the horrors of the Holocaust on October 7, including Hamas’s appalling use of sexual violence to torture and terrorize Jews.”

This statement is incorrect and dangerous for many reasons, as human rights advocates have pointed out. As a group, Hamas is far from “ancient” — Hamas was established 37 years ago by revolutionaries seeking to liberate Palestine from decades of violent Israeli occupation, ethnic cleansing and apartheid, with an opposition to Zionism, not the Jewish people, as the group established in their 2017 charter.

Saying that there is an “ancient desire” to kill Jewish people within the Palestinian resistance, then, implies that Biden believes that Palestinians have an innate desire to oppose Jewish people — an implication that many advocates for Palestinian rights have pointed out is deeply racist, and an accusation that has long been levied against Palestinians in order to justify their slaughter.

[. . .]

The president spent roughly half of his speech, supposedly aimed at addressing antisemitism, denouncing Hamas and student protesters against genocide, without a word about the antisemitism growing within the Republican Party and embraced by his opponent in the presidential election. This is only the latest example of Biden and Zionists within his administration cynically using antisemitism as a bludgeon to silence critics of Israel’s genocide — a practice that many Jewish anti-Zionists have said only makes it harder to fight actual antisemitism. 

Joe is a damn liar -- and he's going to really tick me off.  When that happens . . .

When that happens, I'm going to erupt here and hand the GOP the election.  I'm biting my tongue to avoid it.  I don't want Donald Trump back in the White House.  But Joe's lies about the students and his attacks on them are enraging me and he needs to stop or a snapshot is going to open with the observation that the GOP should have made long ago.  If there's anything more stupid than Joe Biden these days, it's the GOP who seems to forget how to do a real attack.  Or, for that matter, point out the obvious.

Rebecca pointed out the obvious last night in "shut up, joe:"

you know what, joe biden. you're a joke.  palestinians - in fact all arabs - are under threat in the u.s.

when you want to get honest about that, i might have some respect for you.

last time i checked, only 3 college students had been shot in the u.s.

they were not jewish.

they were arab.

so shut the F up all damn ready.

if you've forgotten about the 3 palestinian college students - clearly joe biden has - this is from cnn back in november:

One of the three 20-year-old Palestinian college students who were shot Saturday night in Vermont has been released from a hospital, a source close to the families of the victims told CNN on Monday night.

The identity of the released student is not being shared at this time because of concerns for the young man’s safety, the source said.

The two other students remain hospitalized, one with a spinal injury that will require long-term care, officials said.

The news comes hours after the suspected shooter pleaded not guilty to attempted second-degree murder charges in a Burlington court and authorities said at a news conference they’re still working to determine a motive for the shooting.

The shooting victims are Hisham Awartani, a student at Brown University in Rhode Island; Kinnan Abdalhamid, a student at Haverford College in Pennsylvania; and Tahseen Ali Ahmad, a student at Trinity College in Connecticut, according to the Institute for Middle East Understanding.

i'm not in the mood for slow joe biden.  if he can't defend arabs, he needs to pack it in and go home all damn ready.  

Rebecca is exactly right and shame on all the liars and lying media promoting them.  To date, three students have been shot in the US --- all were Palestinians.  A fact that a real president of the United States would remember.

The biggest crybabies, never forget, are on the fright wing and when they need to whine?  They run to FOX "NEWS."  Such as yesterday.

Like Elisha Baker.  Lisha -- he's so dainty on Twitter -- needs the world to know that Columbia cancelling the graduation ceremony has destroyed him.  Why? He's not going to get to attend . . . the graduations of others.  You remember how sad it was when you were desperate to fit in but couldn't so you pretended like you knew all the seniors.  I don't remember it either but I was trying to make Lisha seem a little less pathetic.  Too late, right.  Lisha's biggest complaint?  He's been robbed of "joy."  Yeah, he's never lived in the real world and wouldn't know a real problem if he was standing in front of one.  He also complains of feeling small and tiny when a pro-Palestine banner was unfurled and it was over 20 feet.  Anything over two inches is huge to Lisha.  

We can't forget Yola Ashkenazie.  She's presented in the same Tuesday report  on FOX "NEWS" as a Columbia student but she's not.  No, she isn't.  She chose to go to Barnard but saying she's a student of Barnard won't get her on TV, now will it.  Nor will that face -- there are full grown lions with smaller mandibles.  Let's hope when she graduates -- not from Columbia and apparently not this year -- that she sends out a note, "Your presence at my graduation is the greatest gift I could ask for. Should you wish to honor me with a gift, while Spanks are nice and needed, I would prefer money so that I can get my jaw broken and reset and then maybe look like a normal human being."  She's agitated in the pages of THE NEW YORK POST and in the halls of Congress.  

Eden Yadegar.  She's also  bummed -- as she shares in the 'report.'  Big time.  Just another Columbia student, right?  Oops.  Nope. She's the president of Students Supporting Israel.  Kind of a key detail for FOX "NEWS" to leave out.  But no one really expects actual news from FOX "NEWS" -- not even the shut-ins.  Oh, and just so you know what else FOX "NEWS" for got to include, Eden?  She's also, as she notes on LINKEDIN -- actual research and reporting is so very hard for FOX "NEWS" -- someone who worked for AIPAC from September 2022 throuh December 2023.  She terms herself, on her Twitter account, "Israel's d*ck rider."  Maybe she recently fell off while riding?  Bumped her head?  That would explain the reTweet she did about a Jewish person "cosplaying" Jew in her opinion when the CNN cameras come around.  Dear, you're supposed to be graduating yet you can't read "FOX NATION" at the bottom of the video you reposted?  FOX NATION, not CNN, that's the video that you posted of the Jewish guy supposedly "cosplaying."

Students trying to stop a genocide are under attack and are attacked constantly.  Yesterday, they were attacked by PBS.

And PBS is part of the media that's destroying our country.

In August 2017, French was one of several co-authors of the Nashville Statement, which affirmed "that it is sinful to approve of homosexual immorality or transgenderism and that such approval constitutes an essential departure from Christian faithfulness and witness."[20] The statement was criticized by pro-LGBT Christians and LGBT rights activists,[21][22] as well as by several conservative religious figures.[23][24]

THE NEWSHOUR is supposed to be for educated news consumers.  Yet they brought David French on yesterday to comment on student protesters.

David French is no different from Alex Jones.  Stop pretending otherwise.  You are mainstreaming voices that should not be mainstreamed. 

There was no reason in the world for that Alabama trash to be brought on THE NEWSHOUR for any reason at all but there he was and attacking protesters at that.  

Of course, THE NEW YORK TIMES hired him last year.  Again, there's no difference between him and Alex Jones so stop pretending that there is.

They'll put the crazies on but the former president of the National Lawyers Guild?  No, Marjorie Cohn won't be allowed on THE NEWS HOUR.  Saturday, she gave a speech and we'll note this section of the speech:

This reunion comes at an auspicious time, with college campuses erupting all over the country in solidarity with the Palestinian people. Once again, 55 years later, Stanford students are rising up for peace and justice. They have established a “People’s University” encampment and they are demanding that Stanford: (1) explicitly condemn Israel’s genocide and apartheid; (2) call for an immediate ceasefire, and for Israel and Egypt to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza; and (3) immediately divest from the consumer brands identified by the Palestinian BDS National Committee and all firms in Stanford’s investment portfolio that are complicit Israeli war crimes, apartheid and genocide.

At this moment in history, there are two related military occupations occurring simultaneously – 5,675 miles apart. One is Israel’s ongoing 57-year occupation of Palestinian territory, which is now taking the form of a full-fledged genocide that has killed more than 34,000 Palestinians. The other is at Columbia University, where the administration has asked the New York Police Department to occupy the school until May 17. Both occupations are fueled by the Zionist power structure. Both have weaponized antisemitism to rationalize their brutality.

The students at Columbia are demanding that the university end its investments in companies and funds that are profiting from Israel’s war against the Palestinians. They want financial transparency and amnesty for students and faculty involved in the demonstration. Most protesters throughout the country are demanding an immediate ceasefire and divestment from companies with interests in Israel. More than 2,300 people have been arrested or detained on U.S. college campuses.

Israel has damaged or destroyed every university in Gaza. But no university president has denounced Israel’s genocide or supported the call for divestment.

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement was launched in 2005 by 170 Palestinian civil society organizationswho described BDS as “non-violent punitive measures” to last until Israel fully complies with international law. That means Israel must (1) end its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantle its barrier wall; (2) recognize the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and (3) respect, protect and promote the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their land as mandated by UN General Assembly Resolution 194.

Boycotts are the withdrawal of support for Israel, and Israeli and international companies that are violating Palestinian human rights, including Israeli academic, cultural and sporting institutions. Divestment occurs when universities, churches, banks, pension funds and local councils withdraw their investments from all Israeli and international companies complicit in the violation of Palestinian rights. Sanctions campaigns pressure governments to stop military trade and free-trade agreements and urge them to expel Israel from international fora.

“A particularly important source of Palestinian hope is the growing impact of the Palestinian-led nonviolent BDS movement,” according to Omar Barghouti, co-founder of BDS. It “aims at ending Israel’s regime of military occupation, settler-colonialism, and apartheid and defending the right of Palestinian refugees to return home.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called the BDS movement an existential threat to Israel – an absurd claim in light of Israel’s arsenal of nuclear weapons.

The BDS movement is modeled largely on the boycott that helped end apartheid in South Africa. As confirmed by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, Israel also maintains a system of apartheid. Israel’s system is “an even more extreme form of the apartheid” than South Africa’s was, the South African ambassador told the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at the recent hearing on the legality of the Israeli occupation.

The U.S. has a long, proud history of boycotts – from the civil rights bus boycott to the United Farm Workers Union’s grape boycott. But at the behest of Zionists, anti-boycott legislation has been passed at the federal and state levels to prevent the American people from exercising their First Amendment right to boycott.

“The genocide underway in Gaza is the result of decades of impunity and inaction. Ending Israel’s impunity is a moral, political and legal imperative,” Palestine’s Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told the ICJ. “Successive Israeli governments have given the Palestinian people only three options: displacement, subjugation or death; these are the choices, ethnic cleansing, apartheid or genocide.”

“Israel restricts every aspect of Palestinian life, from birth to death, resulting in manifest human rights violations and an overt system of repression and persecution,” al-Maliki said. “Through indiscriminate killing, summary execution, mass arbitrary arrest, torture, forced displacement, settler violence, movement restrictions and blockades, Israel subjects Palestinians to inhumane life conditions and untold human indignities, affecting the fate of every man, woman and child under its control.”

The Israeli military is poised to compound its genocidal campaign by ethnically cleansing 1.4 million people sheltering in Rafah, who have nowhere to flee.The violence in Gaza did not start on October 7, 2023, with the killing of some 1,200 Israelis by Hamas. It is the continuation of Israel’s brutal Nakba (Arabic for “catastrophe”) that began 75 years ago.

Let's go back to Tuesday's DEMOCRACY NOW! 

Gaza solidarity protests continue at college campuses across the nation — as does the police crackdown. On Monday, 43 arrests were reported at UCLA. At the University of California San Diego, video shows a crowd of student protesters blocking a police bus from leaving with arrested students. This comes after UC Riverside protesters announced Friday it has become the first UC campus to reach a deal with the school to start evaluating its ties with Israel.

At Harvard, students and faculty members rallied Monday after the administration threatened mass expulsions for hundreds of arrested protesters. This is Issa, a Palestinian student at Harvard who’s lost over 120 family members in Gaza.

Issa: “Over the last six months, more than 124 people in my family have been brutally killed by the Israeli occupation forces.”

Protesters: “Shame!”

Issa: “For the last six months, I have had to wake up to messages of my cousin being shot on his bike, of my aunt going blind because she can’t get medication for her blood pressure, of my entire uncle’s house falling down on them. … There is nothing, nothing this country can do, nothing the police can do, nothing this administration can do to me, that will scare me from fighting for justice!”

Harvard professor Walter Johnson spoke to students in solidarity with their protest.

Walter Johnson: “There’s no room for reasoned discussion about this action, if Harvard will not disclose its investments in the Occupied Territories, in the Israeli military and in Gaza.”

Nearby, students from a dozen high schools in the Boston area joined the MIT protest Monday as students there also defied a deadline to clear their encampment.

Students at SUNY Purchase in New York state celebrated late Monday as Gaza solidarity activists announced the school had met protesters’ demands “to disclose and cut ties with war crimes and genocide.”

Here in New York City, Columbia has canceled its main, university-wide graduation ceremony on May 15 amid mounting fallout from its mishandling of the protests. Students across New York and other protesters marched through city streets Monday, culminating in a rally near the glitzy, celebrity-filled Met Gala ceremony, where they were met with a heavy police presence.

The world has watched the brave US students.  And they've embraced the students.  ALJAZEERA  reports this morning:

Students at various European universities, inspired by the continuing pro-Palestinian demonstrations on campuses in the United States, have been occupying halls and facilities, demanding an end to partnerships with Israeli institutions because of Israel’s war on Gaza.

Several hundred protesters resumed a demonstration around the University of Amsterdam campus in the Netherlands where police were filmed baton-charging them and smashing their tents after they refused to leave the grounds.

As the protests resumed on Tuesday night, the demonstrators erected barriers to access routes watched over by a heavy police deployment.

Also in the Netherlands, about 50 demonstrators were protesting on Tuesday outside the library at Utrecht University and a few dozen at the Technical University of Delft, according to the ANP news agency.

In the eastern German city of Leipzig, the university said in a statement that 50 to 60 people occupied a lecture hall on Tuesday, waving banners that read: “University occupation against genocide.”

Protesters barricaded the lecture hall doors from the inside and erected tents in the courtyard, according to the university, which called in the police and filed a criminal complaint.

Let's note this from Tuesday's DEMOCRACY NOW!

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!,, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González.

We look now at how Gaza solidarity encampments are continuing on college campuses across the U.S. despite brutal police crackdowns. In the latest roundup, at least 43 students were arrested Monday at UCLA. The Intercept reports after New York police raided Columbia University encampment last week, some of the arrested students were denied water and food for about 16 hours. Two protesters were held in solitary confinement. On Monday, Columbia canceled its main university-wide graduation ceremony May 15th amidst mounting fallout from its mishandling of the peaceful protests.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner visited the University of Pennsylvania Gaza solidarity encampment last week to speak with organizers and legal observers.

LARRY KRASNER: The First Amendment comes from here. This is Philadelphia. We don’t have to do stupid, like they did at Columbia. We don’t have to do stupid. What we should be doing here is upholding our tradition of being a welcoming, inviting city where people say things, even if other people don’t like them, because they have a right to say it in the United States, and where protesters also have an obligation to remain nonviolent and to engage in speech activity and in activity that does not become illegal.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner at the encampment at UPenn.

This comes as more than 50 chapters of the American Association of University Professors, the AAUP, have issued a statement condemning the violent arrests by police at campus protests. This includes our next guest, Dartmouth professor, from former chair of Jewish studies, Annelise Orleck, who says police body-slammed her to the ground as she tried to protect her students when officers in riot gear cleared the peaceful encampment on Dartmouth’s campus. Annelise Orleck is a professor of history, women’s, gender and sexuality studies, former chair of Jewish studies at Dartmouth College, where she’s taught for more than 30 years. Professor Orleck was among dozens of students, faculty and community members arrested at the Dartmouth encampment last week. She’s been charged with criminal trespass and temporarily banned from portions of Dartmouth’s campus. She’s joining us now from Thetford, Vermont.

Professor Orleck, thanks so much for being with us. Can you take us through what happened that day? Where were you? Why did you decide to go to this encampment? And then what happened?

ANNELISE ORLECK: We were concerned that the students might be subject to some kind of violence, to — I didn’t really think there was going to be arrests, but I didn’t know for sure. The institution had sent out a very strict list of dos and don’ts earlier in the day, and it was clear that they were going to try to break up the encampment as quickly as possible. So, there were a whole bunch of us. There were dozens of faculty out there to try to support them.

And I was in a line of mostly older women, most of us Jewish, and the riot police came at us and started trying to literally physically push people off the Green. We were standing in front of our students, between the students and the riot police, in the hope of preventing violence. That didn’t happen. My students and I were subject to really violent handling in the course of our arrests. And it’s possible that I was subject to the most violent handling.

AMY GOODMAN: What happened to you?

ANNELISE ORLECK: I was videoing my students’ arrests. I was telling the police, “They’re just students. They’re not criminals. Leave them alone.” And suddenly, I was body-slammed from behind by these very large men in body armor, and hard enough that my feet left the ground for a few seconds. I landed on the ground in front of the protesters. They had taken my phone. And so I got up to try to demand my phone, and then they grabbed me under the arms, slammed me to the ground, dragged me facedown on the grass. You know, one guy had his knee on me. And honestly, Amy, I heard myself saying what I’d seen in videos so many times: “You’re hurting me. I can’t breathe. Stop.” And they said to me what they’ve said to so many victims of police brutality: “You’re talking. You can breathe.” They then put on the zip-tie cuffs on me, on a colleague, my colleague Christopher MacEvitt, and on many of our students so tightly that people have nerve damage, compressed nerves, severe pain. So, that’s what happened to us that night.

And the university has not dropped charges for criminal trespass or even asked the DA to drop the charges. So, we are all banned from the Green, which is the center of campus, from the administration building, where we would go to protest, and from the street on which the president’s house stands.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Professor Orleck, the faculty met with the Dartmouth president yesterday, Monday. Could you talk about what was discussed and what was the message of the faculty to the administration?

ANNELISE ORLECK: The message of the faculty was: Drop all the charges now, apologize for the harm and trauma you’ve inflicted on the campus, promise that there will be no riot police called to campus again, change your policies on protest to be less restrictive, and, you know, to acknowledge constitutional protections on free speech, and get rid of the Palestine exception to free speech. People have to be able to talk about Palestine without being attacked by police with clubs, gas and God knows what else.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to ask you, Professor Orleck — you’re professor of history, of women’s, gender and sexuality studies, former chair of Jewish studies. President Biden is going to be giving an address on antisemitism today, issuing what they say is a clarion call to fight a swiftly rising tide of antisemitism across the United States and especially on college campuses. I put this question to the Israeli peace negotiator Daniel Levy, as well, but if you can talk about whether you see this rise, and also the equating of anti-Zionism with antisemitism, and the number of Jewish professors and students who are part of these protests?

ANNELISE ORLECK: Yes. I think this protest movement has a large and disproportionate percentage of Jewish students and faculty involved, because we all feel very strongly that we don’t want — we don’t want this genocide in Gaza in our name. And I was really struck by the fact that there was some reporting, I think, by The Guardian and BBC that I heard today that the people stirring up a lot of trouble and saying things outside the gates at Columbia were tied to the Proud Boys, that there were people who attacked the protesters at UCLA so violently and who had ties to Trump rallies. And I think it’s deeply ironic — deeply, deeply ironic — that the House Republicans who supported the January 6th assault on the Capitol, in which people were wearing Camp Auschwitz shirts and shirts with a logo that says “6MWE” — “6 million wasn’t enough” — and that they have become the defenders against antisemitism.

I heard nothing. There were Buddhist, Christian, Muslim and Jewish chaplains at our protest. The students were singing. They were chanting. Yes, there was some of the “river to the sea” chant that many Jews find so offensive and believe is a call to genocide. I accept the interpretation made by my Palestinian colleagues and students that this chant is about equality from the river to the sea and freedom. So, I don’t see any antisemitism. And you should know that the Jewish — many Jewish faculty at Dartmouth signed a letter insisting that the president not speak in our name and not use antisemitism to rationalize bringing these violent forces onto our campus.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Professor, your message to the students who’ve led and organized these peaceful protests for months despite all of this repression?

ANNELISE ORLECK: Well, my students are — our students are holding another rally today on one of the parts of the campus we’re not banned from, which is the grass in front of the library. And I think their bravery is tremendous and is inspiring. And they really feel like this is the moral issue of their time, that there’s a genocide going on and that they can’t ignore it.

And again, I have colleagues at Columbia, colleagues at UCLA and in many parts of the country who have been part of the — not part of the encampments, but have visited the encampments, have spoken to the students there, have not felt threatened, have not felt antisemitism. Certainly at Dartmouth, we didn’t. And there’s a very powerful open letter from a Christian pastor who was there who’s saying the same thing. So, stop weaponizing antisemitism. It’s offensive, and it’s wrong.

AMY GOODMAN: Finally, Professor Orleck, how are you right now, having been beaten to the ground? And also, you’re banned from your campus, where you’ve taught for over 30 years, parts of it?

ANNELISE ORLECK: Yes, I was initially, as a condition of my bail, banned from the entire campus, but the college insisted that was a clerical error and, you know, gave lie to their argument that they can’t get charges changed or dropped by calling the local police department and getting them to change my bail so that I can teach. So I can now teach, but my building is one of the — on one of the streets that I’m banned from. So, I was having to run up the street yesterday in sunglasses really quickly trying to get to my class, you know, and not get arrested. It’s ridiculous.

And the Green is the very center of our campus. We all cross it many times a day. My kids grew up playing on the Green. The idea that we can’t have access to the beating heart of our campus is offensive again and, you know, just gives a sense — the president makes this argument that she’s trying to ensure that the Green is open to people with all views and that, you know, the five tents and 10 students who were camped out there would make the Green a place that only people of one view could be. Honestly, I think that’s what they did by making us frightened.

I’m still hurting. I have nerve damage in my wrist. I have an injured shoulder. I have bruising and swelling. And it’s very scary. And I’m getting better, but it’s crazy that I should be in this position for trying to protect my students. And I say the same for other faculty who were out there, including Chris MacEvitt, my colleague on the faculty, who was also arrested and also harmed.

AMY GOODMAN: Annelise Orleck, we want to thank you for being with us, professor of history, women’s gender and sexuality studies, former chair of Jewish studies at Dartmouth College, where she’s taught for more than 30 years, Professor Orleck among dozens of students, faculty, community members arrested at a Dartmouth encampment. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González, for another edition of Democracy Now!

Gaza remains under assault. Day 215 of  the assault in the wave that began in October.  Binoy Kampmark (DISSIDENT VOICE) points out, "Bloodletting as form; murder as fashion.  The ongoing campaign in Gaza by Israel’s Defence Forces continues without stalling and restriction.  But the burgeoning number of corpses is starting to become a challenge for the propaganda outlets:  How to justify it?  Fortunately for Israel, the United States, its unqualified defender, is happy to provide cover for murder covered in the sheath of self-defence."   CNN has explained, "The Gaza Strip is 'the most dangerous place' in the world to be a child, according to the executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund."  ABC NEWS quotes UNICEF's December 9th statement, ""The Gaza Strip is the most dangerous place in the world to be a child. Scores of children are reportedly being killed and injured on a daily basis. Entire neighborhoods, where children used to play and go to school have been turned into stacks of rubble, with no life in them."  NBC NEWS notes, "Strong majorities of all voters in the U.S. disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of foreign policy and the Israel-Hamas war, according to the latest national NBC News poll. The erosion is most pronounced among Democrats, a majority of whom believe Israel has gone too far in its military action in Gaza."  The slaughter continues.  It has displaced over 1 million people per the US Congressional Research Service.  Jessica Corbett (COMMON DREAMS) points out, "Academics and legal experts around the world, including Holocaust scholars, have condemned the six-week Israeli assault of Gaza as genocide."   The death toll of Palestinians in Gaza is grows higher and higher.  United Nations Women noted, "More than 1.9 million people -- 85 per cent of the total population of Gaza -- have been displaced, including what UN Women estimates to be nearly 1 million women and girls. The entire population of Gaza -- roughly 2.2 million people -- are in crisis levels of acute food insecurity or worse."  THE NATIONAL notes, "At least 34,844 Palestinians have been killed and 78,404 injured in Israel's military offensive on Gaza since October 7, Gaza's Health Ministry has said. In the past 24 hours, 55 people were killed and 200 injured, the ministry said."  Months ago,  AP  noted, "About 4,000 people are reported missing."  February 7th, Jeremy Scahill explained on DEMOCRACY NOW! that "there’s an estimated 7,000 or 8,000 Palestinians missing, many of them in graves that are the rubble of their former home."  February 5th, the United Nations' Phillipe Lazzarini Tweeted:


April 11th, Sharon Zhang (TRUTHOUT) reported, "In addition to the over 34,000 Palestinians who have been counted as killed in Israel’s genocidal assault so far, there are 13,000 Palestinians in Gaza who are missing, a humanitarian aid group has estimated, either buried in rubble or mass graves or disappeared into Israeli prisons.  In a report released Thursday, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said that the estimate is based on initial reports and that the actual number of people missing is likely even higher."

As for the area itself?  Isabele Debre (AP) reveals, "Israel’s military offensive has turned much of northern Gaza into an uninhabitable moonscape. Whole neighborhoods have been erased. Homes, schools and hospitals have been blasted by airstrikes and scorched by tank fire. Some buildings are still standing, but most are battered shells."  Kieron Monks (I NEWS) reports, "More than 40 per cent of the buildings in northern Gaza have been damaged or destroyed, according to a new study of satellite imagery by US researchers Jamon Van Den Hoek from Oregon State University and Corey Scher at the City University of New York. The UN gave a figure of 45 per cent of housing destroyed or damaged across the strip in less than six weeks. The rate of destruction is among the highest of any conflict since the Second World War."

The following sites updated: