Monday, June 17, 2024

You will know them by the company they keep

You have heard that before, right?  That is what came to mind when I read Daniel Villarreal's latest article for LGBTQ NATION:


Pastor Robert Morris, who was a member of Trump’s spiritual advisory council in 2016, has admitted to molesting a 12-year-old girl on Christmas night 1982 while staying with her family when he was 20 years old. Morris is now 62 years old.

“When I was in my early twenties, I was involved in inappropriate sexual behavior with a young lady in a home where I was staying,” said Morris, senior pastor of the Gateway Church near Dallas, Texas. “It was kissing and petting and not intercourse, but it was wrong. This behavior happened on several occasions over the next few years.”

Even though he was married with a young son of his own, Morris reportedly had Clemishire visit him in his bedroom at her home one time, “told her to lie down on her back and touched her stomach… told her to close her eyes. Then he touched her breasts and felt under her panties,” warning the young girl, “Never tell anyone about this because it will ruin everything.”

He reportedly kept molesting her for five years and told his wife that he was “counseling” the child. Clemishire eventually told a close family friend, and the news reportedly caused the family’s circle of close friends to fall apart. 


This was known and exposed and Convicted Felon Trump elected to put this man on his spiritual advisory committee?  I think that tells us all we need to know about Mr. Trump.


He is hateful and he is not anyone we need to vote for.


Greg Owen (LGBTQ NATION) notes that Mr. Trump and his howler monkeys are lying and pretending to be pro-LGBTQ+ -- as though we are idiots and do not know better:


As president, Trump barred transgender people from serving in the military, eviscerated Obama-era LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination protections, eliminated public displays of support LGBTQ+ people, and banned US embassies from flying the rainbow flag.

Not long before his loss to President Joe Biden in the 2020 election, Trump proclaimed June “National Homeownership Month” and “Great Outdoors Month,” skipping any acknowledgment of Pride Month.

Plans for his expansion of anti-LGBTQ+ policies in a second term — outlined by the Heritage Foundation and embraced by Trump — include enacting at least a dozen initiatives targeting transgender rights, among them a nationwide ban on trans student-athletes and a federal law that recognizes only two genders. 

Trump has also vowed to outlaw gender-affirming care for trans youth, with prison time for anyone complicit in the act, and has said he’ll roll back all Biden administration policy protecting trans students “on day one” of a second term.

By contrast, Biden has been a vocal LGBTQ+ ally, expanded federal nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people, condemned violence and threats made against the community, signed legislation safeguarding marriage equality, spoken out against the tsunami of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation introduced in red states over the last several years, and denounced Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis‘s discriminatory and craven appeal for far-right conservatives support in the form of the state’s Don’t Say Gay laws.


Convicted Felon Trump has shown us who he is.  We do not need him.  He has failed everyone enough and he is not fit to be re-elected.


This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:


Monday, June 17, 2024.  A liar wants pity but knows if she was honest she wouldn't get it (aka USA TODAY doesn't fact check what they print), the 'tactical pause' has demonstrated nothing changed, a journalist is among the dead in Gaza today, and much more.

Do you like liars?  I don't either.  Let's start with one.  Her name is Iris Weinstein Haggai and here's what she wrote at USA TODAY -- some of it -- we're ending with her first lie, see if you can spot it:

 

Eight months – 248 days – and the international community has watched Hamas hold my parents' remains hostage while terrorism wins. 

This time of year is filled with opportunities to express gratitude and love for parents – with Mother's Day in May, Father’s Day in June, and the United Nations-proclaimed Global Day of Parents on June 1. These holidays are about acknowledging the hard work and sacrifices parents make for their families, but for me and my three siblings, they are now accompanied by unfathomable tragedy. 

My parents – two of the eight Americans held hostage in Gaza – were on their morning walk through the Kibbutz Nir Oz fields on Oct. 7 when hundreds of Hamas terrorists stormed the area and dragged my parents to Gaza. 


Did you spot the lie from the liar?  Let me help you "two of the eight Americans held hostage" -- need more help?  "Americans."


No, liar, they weren't.  They were Israeli-Americans.  American citizenship wasn't good enough for them.  Living in the US wasn't good enough for them.  


They chose to also live in a terror zone.  Their choice.  


Boo-hoo.  We all make choices.


I don't hold dual citizenship because I don't have dual loyalties.  

The liar posts photos of her Israeli-American parents having coffee in Nir Oz and besides wondering how two people could look so ugly -- are brushes banded on kibbutzes?  -- I'm left to wonder how far from Gaza they are and how they can act so cheery when the Palestinians yards away have no freedoms.  

It reminds me of November 2nd, when DEMOCRACY NOW! spoke with  Ta-Nehisi Coates.



AMY GOODMAN: As pressure builds for a ceasefire after 27 days of Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, we spend the rest of the hour with the acclaimed author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates. This summer, he spoke at a literary festival in the West Bank that connected the Palestinian struggle with decolonization struggles around the world. In Ramallah, he opened his remarks with a comparison between the struggle of African Americans and Palestinians.

In recent weeks, Coates joined dozens of other writers and artists in signing “An Open Letter from Participants in the Palestine Festival of Literature,” that was published in The New York Review of Books and called for, quote, “the international community to commit to ending the catastrophe unfolding in Gaza and to finally pursuing a comprehensive and just political solution in Palestine.”

AMY GOODMAN: Last night, Ta-Nehisi Coates participated in another event hosted by organizers of the Palestine Festival of Literature, or PalFest, in the James Chapel at Union Theological Seminary here in New York City. It was called “But We Must Speak: On Palestine and the Mandates of Conscience.”

Ta-Nehisi is the recipient of a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship and the recipient of numerous prizes, including the National Book Award for his book Between the World and Me. We Were Eight Years in Power is another book, An American Tragedy, and his memoir, The Beautiful Struggle. His novel is titled The Water Dancer. In 2014, he wrote an award-winning cover story for The Atlantic magazine headlined “The Case for Reparations.”

Ta-Nehisi, welcome back to Democracy Now! It’s great to have you with us, under extremely difficult circumstances. Last night, this remarkable event almost didn’t happen. I mean, it was in the James Chapel of Union Theological Seminary, but venue after venue had said no to this gathering. And without almost any publicity, well over a thousand people turned out, but the place only held 300, so people went over across the street to another place of 300, overcrowd, overflow, and then thousands watched on the live video stream. Can you talk about your experience being in the West Bank, going to the Occupied Territories, and how it changed you?

TA-NEHISI COATES: Oh wow. I spent 10 days in Palestine, in the Occupied Territories and in Israel proper. I’ve had the great luxury over the past 10 years of seeing a few countries. I have not spent more time or seen more of another country or another territory than I did this summer.

I think what shocked me the most was, in any sort of opinion piece or reported piece, or whatever you want to call it, that I’ve read about Israel and about the conflict with the Palestinians, there’s a word that comes up all the time, and it is “complexity,” that and its closely related adjective, “complicated.” And so, while I had my skepticisms and I had my suspicions of the Israeli government, of the occupation, what I expected was that I would find a situation in which it was hard to discern right from wrong, it was hard to understand the morality at play, it was hard to understand the conflict. And perhaps the most shocking thing was I immediately understood what was going on over there.

Probably the best example I can think of is the second day, when we went to Hebron, and the reality of the occupation became clear. We were driving out of East Jerusalem. I was with PalFest, and we were driving out of East Jerusalem into the West Bank. And, you know, you could see the settlements, and they would point out the settlements. And it suddenly dawned on me that I was in a region of the world where some people could vote and some people could not. And that was obviously very, very familiar to me. I got to Hebron, and we got out as a group of writers, and we were given a tour by our Palestinian guide. And we got to a certain street, and he said to us, “I can’t walk down this street. If you want to continue, you have to continue without me.” And that was shocking to me.

And we walked down the street, and we came back, and there was a market area. Hebron is very, very poor. It wasn’t always very poor, but it’s very, very poor. Its market area has been shut down. But there are a few vendors there that I wanted to support. And I was walking to try to get to the vendor, and I was stopped at a checkpoint. Checkpoints all through the city, checkpoints obviously all through the West Bank. Your mobility is completely inhibited, and the mobility of the Palestinians is totally inhibited.

And I was walking to the checkpoint, and an Israeli guard stepped out, probably about the age of my son. And he said to me, “What’s your religion, bro?” And I said, “Well, you know, I’m not really religious.” And he said, “Come on. Stop messing around. What is your religion?” I said, “I’m not playing. I’m not really religious.” And it became clear to me that unless I professed my religion, and the right religion, I wasn’t going to be allowed to walk forward. So, he said, “Well, OK, so what was your parents’ religion?” I said, “Well, they weren’t that religious, either.” He says, “What were your grandparents’ religion?” And I said, “My grandmother was a Christian.” And then he allowed me to pass.

And it became very, very clear to me what was going on there. And I have to say it was quite familiar. Again, I was in a territory where your mobility is inhibited, where your voting rights are inhibited, where your right to the water is inhibited, where your right to housing is inhibited. And it’s all inhibited based on ethnicity. And that sounded extremely, extremely familiar to me.

And so, the most shocking thing about my time over there was how uncomplicated it actually is. Now, I’m not saying the details of it are not complicated. History is always complicated. Present events are always complicated. But the way this is reported in the Western media is as though one needs a Ph.D. in Middle Eastern studies to understand the basic morality of holding a people in a situation in which they don’t have basic rights, including the right that we treasure most, the franchise, the right to vote, and then declaring that state a democracy. It’s actually not that hard to understand. It’s actually quite familiar to those of us with a familiarity to African American history.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, Ta-Nehisi Coates, last night you were asked about the significance of Martin Luther King’s words on Vietnam. You said it’s taken you years to, quote, “understand nonviolence as an ethic” and that you understood that ethic in Israel. Could you explain?

TA-NEHISI COATES: Yeah, sure, I mean, and I think the thing to do is just to proceed off of what I said. Martin Luther King dedicated his life to the fight against segregation. His was a segregated society. The Occupied Territories are segregated, de jure segregated. It’s not, you know, hard to understand. There are different signs for where different people can go. There are different license plates forbidding different people from going different places. Now, what the authorities will tell you is that this is a security measure. But if you go back to the history of Jim Crow in this country, they would tell you the exact same thing. People always have good reasons, besides, you know, “I hate you, and I don’t like you,” to justify their right for imposing an oppressive regime on other people. It’s never quite that simple. And so, that was the first thing.

But the second thing I think that you’re referring to is, you know, I — you know, this is like really personal for me, because I came up in a time and in a place where I did not really understand the ethic of nonviolence. And by “ethic,” I mean the notion that violence itself is corrupting, that it corrupts the soul. And I didn’t quite understand that. If I’m truly honest with you, as much as I saw my relationship with the Palestinian people and as much as it was clear what the relationship was, it was at the same time clear that there was some sort of relationship with the Israeli people, too. And it wasn’t one that I particularly enjoyed, because I understood the rage that comes when you have a history of oppression. I understood the anger. I understood the sense of humiliation that comes when people subject you to just manifold oppression, to genocide, and people look away from that. I come from the descendants of 250 years of enslavement. I come from a people who sexual violence and rape is marked in our very bones and in our DNA. And I understand how when you feel that the world has turned its back on you, how you can then turn your back on the ethics of the world. But I also understood how corrupting that can be.

I was listening, actually, to my congressman last night, or I guess it was two nights ago, talk on the news. And a journalist asked him, “How many children, how many people must be killed to justify this operation? Is there an upper limit for the number of people that could be killed, when you would say, 'This is just too much. This just doesn't — this just doesn’t, you know, compute. This does not add up’?” And I will tell you, that congressman couldn’t give a number. And I thought, “That man has been corrupted. That man has lost himself. He’s lost himself in humiliation. He’s lost himself in vengeance. He has lost himself in violence.”

I keep hearing this term repeated over and over again: “the right to self-defense.” What about the right to dignity? What about the right to morality? What about the right to be able to sleep at night? Because what I know is, if I was complicit — and I am complicit — in dropping bombs on children, in dropping bombs on refugee camps, no matter who’s there, it would give me trouble sleeping at night. And I worry for the souls of people who can do this and can sleep at night.

AMY GOODMAN: Let me ask you, Ta-Nehisi, last night, as I said at the beginning, I think Union Theological was the fifth place that PalFest had turned to for this event. I want to point out who was there. Among the speakers was you, you know, a MacArthur “genius” fellow; was Michelle Alexander, the remarkable author and lawyer; Rashid Khalidi, a leading Palestinian American scholar, Edward Said professor of Arab studies at Columbia University; and others. And you being at Union Theological, you know, Dr. Martin Luther King is known for that speech, “Why I Oppose the War in Vietnam,” that he gave across the street at Riverside Church, but he started at Union Theological. So many people came, he had to go across the street for it. But can you talk about this difficulty in speaking out? I mean, just last week, we spoke to Viet Thanh Nguyen, who is the Vietnamese American Pulitzer Prize-winning author, who was on a book tour for his latest memoir, and the 92nd Street Y, now known as 92NY, canceled his conversation about his memoir because he had signed on to a letter — I think it was signed by 750 other people — calling for a ceasefire. The U.N. secretary-general has called for a Gaza ceasefire. Can you talk about what it means to break the sound barrier, and if you were nervous about coming out and speaking about Gaza, about the West Bank, even going, to begin with, knowing what you would feel responsible for doing once you came out?

TA-NEHISI COATES: Yeah, I wasn’t just nervous. I was afraid. You know, I hear people talk all the time about how fearlessness is a necessary quality. And I have never had that. I’ve never had that in my life, and I certainly have never had that in my career.

I spent five days with PalFest when I was over there, and then I spent another five days with a group of Israeli Jews. And I knew that whatever I was going to see — like, I had a sentiment. I couldn’t express it like I just expressed it for you right now, because, obviously, I hadn’t been there. But I had a sentiment that what I was going to see was not going to be great. And I know that, A, because of my upbringing, and I know that, B, because of my vocation as a journalist, you can’t behold evil and then return and not speak on it. And segregation is evil. There just is no — there’s no way for me, as an African American, to come back and stand before you, to witness segregation and not say anything about it.

One of the hardest things was to come back and then to read the rhetoric of certain African American politicians who are defending this regime. And I just — I couldn’t understand it. You know, I wanted to know if they had been to Hebron. You know, I wanted to know if they had been to Masafer Yatta, if they had been to Susiya, if they had been to Tuba. Had they seen? Had they really seen what is actually happening here? I don’t know how anybody who benefits, who stands on the shoulders of our ancestors’ struggle against Jim Crow, against segregation, could see what is happening right now, could see the bombs being dropped, 9,000 people dead, an ungodly number of them children, in service of Jim Crow and segregation, which we have exported, and be OK with that. I don’t — I don’t understand it.

So, yes, I have my fears. I do. I do. You know, I’m afraid right now, sitting here talking to you. But I have to measure my fear against the misery that I saw. I have to measure my fear against the promises that I made to the Palestinians who welcomed me into their homes and gave me the facts, to the Israeli Jews who welcomed me into their homes and gave me the facts, to the Holocaust survivors who welcomed me into their homes and gave me the facts. I have to measure it against my own ancestors, against Frederick Douglass, against Ida B. Wells, who certainly faced off against things that were much, much more perilous than going someplace, coming back and telling people what you saw. This is the minimum. It’s scary, but it’s also the minimum. And the fact that people are trying to suppress speech is not an excuse for you not to speak. It’s always been this way for Black writers and journalists. This is our tradition, you know? And so, I feel — as I do feel the fear, I also feel that I am in good company, because I’m in the company of my ancestors.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, Ta-Nehisi, I want to ask you about the way in which this conflict is in fact being represented in the media and, as you pointed out, politicians, congressmembers, but also the White House. On Monday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre compared pro-Palestinian protesters to the white supremacists who took part in the deadly —

TA-NEHISI COATES: Yeah, I saw it.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: — Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017. She made the comment in response to a question from Fox News’s Peter Doocy.

PETER DOOCY: Does President Biden think the anti-Israel protesters in this country are extremists?

PRESS SECRETARY KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: What I can say is what we’ve been very clear about this: When it comes to antisemitism, there is no place. We have to make sure that we speak against it very loud and be — and be very clear about that. Remember, what the president decided to — when the president decided to run for president is what he saw in Charlottesville in 2017, when we — he saw neo-Nazis marching down the streets of Charlottesville with vile, antisemitic just hatred. And he was very clear then, and he’s very clear now. He’s taken actions against this over the past two years. And he’s continued to be clear: There is no place — no place — for this type of vile and despite — this kind of rhetoric.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: So, Ta-Nehisi Coates, that’s the White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. Your response?

TA-NEHISI COATES: You know, I don’t want to personalize this. I’m sure she’s a very, you know, nice person and a very, very kind person. But, you see, all of us stand on the shoulders of Martin Luther King. All of us stand on the shoulders of the nonviolent struggle. And on King’s birthday, the White House, like it’s done for years, stands up, and, you know, it praises Dr. King, and it talks about Dr. King as our modern-day prophet. I don’t know how these people do that and sleep at night. I don’t know how you compare people who are trying to stop a war, who are very much in the tradition of nonviolence, who are trying to stop bombs being dropped, literally, on refugee camps, to neo-Nazi protesters. It’s disgraceful, to use her own words. It’s disgraceful. It’s reprehensible. It is offensive, as far as I am concerned, to the shoulders on those whom we stand right now. I just — I don’t understand it.

I would extend this further. I mean, I think hearing President Biden himself — and here I will personalize it — downplay the number of Palestinian deaths, to say that he doesn’t believe the Palestinians, I just — when his own State Department was citing those figures only months ago, you know? At some point, you know, there’s that saying: When people show you who they are, you have to believe them. And so, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to do the political calculus on this. And I think at a certain point we have to just stop and say, “They believe it.” They believe it. They believe bombs should be dropped on children. They just think it’s OK. They think it’s OK, or at the very least they think it’s the price of doing business.

That’s not an ethic I can align myself from, because, as I’ve said several times in this interview, I come from a history where people wanted to make the exact same calculus about us and took stances that we would now say are immoral. But, see, the test isn’t what you did in the past; the test is what you do in the moment right now. I’m a writer. I would be much more comfortable — I was working on a book about this. I would be much more comfortable sitting at home writing about this, before I’m here talking to you guys right now. It is not my nature to talk about things that I have not written about yet. But one has to balance one’s responsibility against the suffering, against the death, against the body count. And to see what is coming out of this White House right now is just — it’s morally reprehensible. Again, I don’t know how people sleep at night.

AMY GOODMAN: You’ve been talking about Dr. King. His daughter, Dr. Bernice King, who heads The King Center, lawyer, Martin Luther King’s youngest daughter, responded to a post by the comedian Amy Schumer, who shared a video of Dr. King condemning antisemitism and defending Israel’s right to exist. Bernice King wrote, quote, “Certainly, my father was against antisemitism. He also believed militarism (along with racism and poverty) to be among the interconnected Triple Evils. I am certain he would call for Israel’s bombing of Palestinians to cease,” Dr. Bernice King said. And so, if you could comment on this and also talk about how the issue of Palestinians, the Occupied Territories, the occupation, has been raised in the Black community, the Movement for Black Lives, for years now, and the pressure you come under when you do?

TA-NEHISI COATES: Yeah, and, look, I think it’s very, very important to talk about the force of antisemitism in history, indeed in American history, in fact. It’s a very, very, very real thing, and I don’t think you can understand the events of the moment without understanding that.

And I think, over the past few weeks especially, much has been made about the historic alliance between Black folks and Jewish activists and Jewish folks and that sort of thing. And it’s a very, very real thing. It’s a very, very important thing. But I think, like any alliance, it is at its best when it grounds itself in moral principle, not in a kind of gang truce, not in a kind of “I had your back, so you’ll have mine.” A moral alliance that is transactional is actually, in fact, not a moral alliance. And we have always been at our best — you know, when I think about the Jewish civil rights workers who went south and put their bodies on the line for the civil rights movement, I like to think — and I think it’s true — that that was not a transactional arrangement. That was not, you know, an attempt to say, “Look, I’m doing this because I think you’ll have my back in the future.” They did it because it was right. They did it based on principle.

And so, you know, I think some of the frustration that certain, certain people feel about the lack of African American support for this war comes from this notion that we should have people’s back as they drop bombs to try to defend a segregationist apartheid regime. We shouldn’t do that. And we haven’t done that. That’s the history that you allude to, I mean, going back to Angela Davis, to SNCC, to Black Lives Matter. I stand here, or I sit here, very, very humbly as a latecomer to the cause, but someone who has come to the cause nonetheless. We have to stand on principle, Ma’am. We have to stand on principle. And if I’m a latecomer to the Palestinian cause, I’m also a latecomer to the cause of nonviolence, but I’m here now. You know? And knowing what that has meant to our history, you know, to our — there is no way in the world that we can leverage the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, there’s no way in the world we can leverage the weight, the ancestry of our movement, in defense of a war, in defense of indiscriminate bombings on refugee camps. We just — we can’t do that. We can’t do that. We would be a disgrace to our ancestors.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Ta-Nehisi, last night, just to end, you said — we’ve just spoken about the fact that it was so difficult for the Palestine Festival of Literature to find a venue for last night’s event. Your own books here in the U.S. have faced book bans, and yours aren’t the only ones, of course. But you’ve said that when people resort to these measures — book banning, limiting public discussions — these are weapons of a weak and a decaying order. Could you explain what you mean by that, and why there is, despite the horror of the moment, some scope for optimism?

TA-NEHISI COATES: Well, I think if you — and a lot of this is, you know, actually from my time talking to Rashid Khalidi, Professor Rashid Khalidi up at Columbia. And one of the points he made — you know, I came back from Palestine, and I just was glass-eyed. I didn’t understand. I had this deep-seated feeling that, in fact, I had been lied to. And I began consulting people and talking to people. And so, I got to spend some time with Professor Khalidi.

And one of the things he said to me was, never has the movement — this is somebody who’s been fighting this war for his entire life. He said, “Never has the movement been as powerful as it is right now.” And, you know, I had to take that in. I also have to take in the fact that, like, when I think about what I did not know, and when I did not know, it wasn’t that I had competing sources and I didn’t know where to turn. The way I think Americans have traditionally, up until very recently, you know —

AMY GOODMAN: We have 10 seconds, Ta-Nehisi.

TA-NEHISI COATES: — saw this struggle — sure. I’m sorry about that. I will just say that I’m very optimistic about the fight, and I think we’re going to win. I’ll leave it there. Sorry about that.

AMY GOODMAN: Ta-Nehisi Coates, acclaimed writer, National Book Award winner, spoke at an event last night organized by Palestine Festival of Literature here in New York. We will link to the live stream.

Before we end, this update from Gaza: The Palestinian WAFA news agency is reporting at least 27 people were killed today in an Israeli bombing of an UNRWA school in the Jabaliya refugee camp, the largest refugee camp in Gaza. I’m Amy Goodman, with Nermeen Shaikh.

 

Do you remember South Africa when apartheid reigned?  

I was in college and they'd given some scholarship to a White man from South Africa.  And the campus paper decided to write him up.  My rage built reading this idiot's defense of apartheid.  We didn't have campus protests against apartheid then.  Most people weren't talking about and weren't aware of it.  But reading this pompous liar being quoted on how apartheid was good and fair and Nelson Mandela belonged in prison and how he shouldn't complain because he had a better life in prison than any Black person in South Africa --  The idiot didn't even grasp the conflict in the claims he was making -- apartheid is good and fair but a Black person in prison in South Africa had a better life then those who were supposedly 'free.'  I was outraged and wrote a letter -- stinging and funny -- calling out the student, apartheid and the campus paper.  They ran it and the paper started a witch hunt against me that went on for months and led to serious fallout and consequences for them. 


But the point is, as a college student,, first year, I could grasp reality.  These dual-Americans who have it so good in this country are going to Israel where, as Jimmy Carter has rightly noted, apartheid exists.


Guess what USA TODAY liar, if you treat a place like that as a vacation land, you get what you get and you probably deserve it because you're so self-focused and so not caring about the rights of others.  How has the education system failed you.


You people can watch while I'm scrubbing these floors
And I'm scrubbin' the floors while you're gawking
Maybe once ya tip me and it makes ya feel swell
In this crummy Southern town
In this crummy old hotel

But you'll never guess to who you're talkin'
No, you could never guess to who you're talkin'

Then one night there's a scream in the night
And you'll wonder who could that have been
And you see me kinda grinnin' while I'm scrubbin'
And you say, "What's she got to grin?"
I'll tell you

There's a ship
The Black Freighter
With a skull on its masthead
Will be coming in

You gentlemen can say, "Hey gal, finish them floors!
Get upstairs! What's wrong with you! Earn your keep here!"
You toss me your tips and look out to the ships
But I'm counting your heads as I'm making the beds
'Cause there's nobody gonna sleep here, tonight
Nobody's gonna sleep here, honey
Nobody
Nobody

Then one night there's a scream in the night
And you say, "Who's that kicking up a row?"
And ya see me kinda staring out the window
And you say: "What's she got to stare at now?"
I'll tell you

There's a ship
The Black Freighter
Turns around in the harbor
Shootin' guns from her bow

Now, you gentlemen can wipe off that smile off your face
'Cause every building in town is a flat one
This whole frickin' place will be down to the ground
Only this cheap hotel standing up safe and sound
And you yell, "Why do they spare that one?"
Yes, that's what you say. "Why do they spare that one?"

All the night through, through the noise and to-do
You wonder, "Who is that person that lives up there?"
And you see me stepping out in the morning
Looking nice with a ribbon in my hair

And the ship
The Black Freighter
Runs a flag up its masthead
And a cheer rings the air

Then one night there's a scream in the night
And you say, "Who's that kicking up a row?"
And ya see me kinda staring out the window
And you say: "What's she got to stare at now?"
I'll tell you

There's a ship
The Black Freighter
Turns around in the harbor
Shootin' guns from her bow

Now, you gentlemen can wipe off that smile off your face
'Cause every building in town is a flat one
This whole frickin' place will be down to the ground
Only this cheap hotel standing up safe and sound
And you yell, "Why do they spare that one?"
Yes, that's what you say. "Why do they spare that one?"

All the night through, through the noise and to-do
You wonder, "Who is that person that lives up there?"
And you see me stepping out in the morning
Looking nice with a ribbon in my hair

And the ship
The Black Freighter
Runs a flag up its masthead
And a cheer rings the air


Here's Judy Collins performing the same song.


For the US, that song goes back, as Nina Simone notes, to 1931.  The German version goes back to the 1928 production in Berlin.  But the song we know is via lyrics by Marc Blitzstein.  


I'm sorry that you're parents were too stupid to grasp that you don't take vacations in hell holes without inviting in trouble.  I'm sorry that you think US readers are so stupid that you can call your Israeli-American parents "American" and never note their dual citizenship in the article you wrote to pimp us for sympathy.


I don't have any sympathy for those who visit lands of discrimination and enforce the discrimination.  I don't have any sympathy for dual citizenship idiots.

For years, I thought highly of John "Rick" MacArthur and we spoke regularly.  Didn't have a problem with him.  Then in the late '00s, I heard him talking about how he voted in the French elections and in the US elections.  Huh?  Married to a French woman he claims dual citizenship.  That's why we dropped him and HARPER'S from being noted at this site.  And we were ahead of the curve.  It was before he clamped down on writers trying to establish a union and before people witnessed just how all the democratic beliefs he espoused were revealed to be just talk when it came to HARPER'S where he could have made a difference because he was in charge.

I really have no tolerance for dual citizenship.  And I'm far from the only one who feels that way -- in America or around the world.  There's a reason why the Iraqi Constitution bars office holders from holding citizenship in any other country. 

The liar thought she'd drum up sympathy and thought she could lie that her parents were "American."  They aren't.  They have dual citizenship -- I believe that's true of all the "American" hostages.  

Your parents went to a hot spot and they went there to relax and kick back while the neighbors were imprisoned and stripped of their rights.  That they ended up hostages and then dead is no real shocker -- not historically.  I don't feel sympathy for dual citizenship people who thought it would be a lark to vacay in Israel.


At WSWS, Jean Scharf writes:

Imperialism can look back on a long history of the destruction and theft of cultural property, which has played an important role in the realisation of genocidal intentions for imperialist purposes.

Take the period of German colonialism, for example, in regard to which it is still unclear how many artefacts were brought to Europe—largely by the German military. There are over 40,000 artefacts in German museums from the territory of Cameroon alone, more than from anywhere else in the world, including Cameroon’s capital Yaound√©, from which 6,000 objects were taken. Or the book burnings by the Nazis in 1933, who deliberately destroyed literature that ran counter to National Socialist ideology.

The history of the occupation of Palestine by the Zionist state of Israel is also characterised by the targeted eradication of cultural knowledge. For example, in the form of book looting during the Nakba in 1948 or in the 1970s and 1980s, when Israeli archaeologists plundered an archaeological site in Deier el-Balah in the centre of the Gaza Strip under the protection of the army. More than 3,000-year-old Canaanite artefacts were then brought to Israel and are still on display in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem today, thereby serving the Zionist agenda.

According to the Israeli NGO Emek Shaveh, at least 60 percent of all culturally significant sites in Gaza have been destroyed or severely damaged since October 7, 2023–with the help of US and German weapons. These include religious sites, monuments, museums and archaeological excavation sites. In addition, numerous educational institutions, archives, libraries and contemporary art venues have been affected.

In its report on Israeli damage to archives, libraries and museums in Gaza, the group Librarians and Archivists with Palestine emphasises that due to the ongoing, brutal bombardment of the Gaza Strip, it can be assumed that the number of unreported cases of destroyed cultural items is high.

At the end of November, for example, the Gaza City Archive was completely destroyed by Israeli shelling—and with it thousands of papers dating back over 150 years, which document historically significant buildings in Gaza City, among other things. On November 25, 2023, the Tamari Sabbagh Library was destroyed. In addition to hundreds of Palestinians who had sought shelter in the library building, tens of thousands of books also fell victim to the Israeli bombardment. Also, at the end of November, Israeli air strikes levelled Gaza’s municipal library to the ground.

Gaza is rich in archaeological sites, which are important sources of historical knowledge about the region and provide global contexts. The oldest sites date back to antiquity. According to Palestinian archaeologist Fadel al-Otol, all that remains of the Greek city of Anthedon, for example, about two kilometres north of the Port of Gaza, is a hole in the ground. It is just one of at least 200 archaeological sites completely destroyed by Israeli air strikes.

Gaza’s oldest mosque, the seventh-century Omari Mosque, was also almost entirely destroyed on December 8, 2023, along with a collection of manuscripts dating back to the 14th century. An Israeli strike on the early fifth century Church of St Porphyrius killed at least 16 people and injured many more who had sought shelter in the building.


 Let's drop back to Saturday:


Yvonne Murray (RTE) has an important question:

It has been nearly a week since the UN Security Council voted for a ceasefire to end the war in Gaza.

With 14 votes in favour and a Russian abstention, it was an overwhelming endorsement by the UN’s most powerful body of the three-phase peace plan that US President Joe Biden put forward at the end of May.

So, where's the peace?


Very good question.  Where is the peace?  


This assault has been going on now for over eight months.  This is outrageous.  An ongoing genocide is taking place and it's outrageous. ALJAZEERA notes:


The Palestinian refugee agency of the United Nations (UNRWA) must be allowed to work unhindered in Gaza, Group of Seven (G7) leaders say as the wealthy nations wrapped up day two of their annual summit in Italy.

“We agree it is critical that UNRWA and other UN organisations and agencies’ distribution networks be fully able to deliver aid to those who need it most, fulfilling their mandate effectively,” G7 nations said in their final communique.


And the best the Israeli government can come up with is 'a tactical pause'?  [The much covered pause contains no real details other than opening and closing hours and it comes from a government that's lied non-stop so we won't jump in that story -- that non-story -- until we see something in play and how it actually works.]  


Onto Sunday:

Today, the 'tactical pause' went into place.  Not a lot of details still.  ALJAZEERA notes:


Many questions remain over Israel’s announcement of “tactical pauses” in fighting along a road connecting the only functional border crossing into the Gaza Strip with the nearby city of Khan Younis, also in the south of the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli army’s Hebrew-language X account said there would be “no cessation of hostilities in the southern Gaza Strip”, around 90 minutes after the pauses were announced by its English-language account on Sunday morning.

Israel’s Haaretz newspaper also reported the Israeli military hit back at claims from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant were left in the dark about the announcement.

Both Netanyahu and Gallant are facing arrest warrants from the International Criminal Court  (ICC) over charges of using starvation as a “method of war”.

Jens Laerke, spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), told the AFP on Sunday that the UN welcomed the announcement but that it had “yet to translate into more aid reaching people in need.”


THE GUARDIAN notes, "Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly criticised plans announced by the military to hold daily tactical pauses in fighting along one of the main roads into Gaza to facilitate the delivery of aid."  CNN adds, "Netanyahu then contacted his military secretary and said the idea was unacceptable until he was assured the fighting in Rafah would continue, said the official who spoke to CNN on Sunday and requested anonymity."  MINT NEWS notes, "Later, Netanyahu openly criticised the military as Israeli television channels quoted him as saying, 'We have a country with an army, not an army with a country'."


And this morning I24 reports:

The head of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), Philippe Lazzarini, told reporters in Norway on Monday that nothing had changed for the operations of his organization, despite the Israeli military declaring a humanitarian pause to allow in aid through a pre-determined path into the southern Gaza Strip.

The fighting continues in Rafah and other parts of southern Gaza amid the 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM pauses, he said, calling Israel's announcement on Sunday contradictory.


Nagham Mohanna (THE NATIONAL) reports:


Dozens of Palestinians were killed by Israeli strikes across Gaza early on Monday. local media reported.

This came as Israel's military introduced a “tactical pause” in fighting in some areas to allow aid into the enclave.

At least four people were killed – including a woman – and four others injured after Israeli forces targeted a residential apartment belonging to the Maqat family at Sheikh Radwan Pond, north of Gaza city, according to reports.

One of the injured is reported to be in a critical condition.

At the southern city of Rafah, one man was killed by Israeli shelling on the Bir Kandah area, west of the city. 


The dead today includes a journalist.  ALJAZEERA notes:

The Government Media Office in Gaza has announced Israel’s killing of Mahmoud Qassem, a Palestinian journalist working with digital publication Palestine Online.

It did not elaborate on the location and the date of the killing.

His death brought the number of journalists killed during Israel’s war on Gaza to 151, it said in a Telegram post.


Gaza remains under assault. Day 255 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 37,347 people have been killed in the territory during more than eight months of war between Israel and Hamas, the enclave's Health Ministry said. During the past 24 hours, 10 people were killed and 73 were injured, it said. The latest toll brings 85,372 injuries."    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."


New content at THIRD:


The following sites updated: