Will Hillary Clinton lead the opposition against Israel’s illegal occupation?

Getting Israel out of Palestinian territories, and subsequently negotiating a solution to the eternal stalemate, will require arbitrators, like the U.S., to be sure-footed and committed to principles of social justice and democratic ideals.  It is not apparent that any of the 2016 presidential candidates are especially qualified to lead this process.

Particularly troubling is the duplicity of former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who seems most eager to wear the mantel of experience with the issues that prohibit a peace process.

Sandy Tolan, in her article for Truthdig, points to some of Clinton’s statements as cause for voters to be concerned about her potential actions as President:

I hereby present you with the 2016 campaign’s Best of Clinton:

  • A promise to invite Netanyahu to the White House “during my first month in office” in order to “reaffirm” the “unbreakable bond with Israel”—no matter the prime minister’s attempts to embarrass and undermine President Obama by trying to scuttle the Iran deal. Or worse, Netanyahu’s devastation of Gaza during the summer of 2014, in which 521 children died, 108,000 Gazans lost their homes, 18,000 buildings were badly damaged or destroyed, and Israel’s destructive power, compared to all the rockets launched by Hamas, was an estimated 1,500 to 1.
  • Virtual silence on the settlement issue in a speech at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) 2016 conference. During the event, even Biden—he of the “absolute, total, unvarnished” support for Israel—decried the “steady and systematic process of expanding settlements.” By contrast, Clinton’s speech, a “symphony of craven, delusional pandering,” as Slate’s Michelle Goldberg put it, mentioned settlements only in the context of protecting Israel against its own violation of international law.
  • An attack on Donald Trump from the right by denouncing Trump’s once-expressed wish to remain “neutral” over Israel/Palestine. “We need steady hands, not a president who says he’s neutral on Monday, pro-Israel on Tuesday, and who-knows-what on Wednesday, because everything’s negotiable,” Clinton told the AIPAC gathering.
  • Unilateral condemnation of recent Palestinian aggression that has killed 28 Israelis. “Israel faces brutal terrorist stabbings, shootings and vehicle attacks at home,” she said at AIPAC. “Palestinian leaders need to stop inciting violence.” Yet she had not one word for the 188 Palestinians killed during the same period, some of them in extrajudicial executions by the Israeli military, including here, here and here. Nor did she utter the word “occupation,” under which Palestinians have been living for nearly half a century, and which has created a Jim Crow-like inequality that reminded then-Archbishop Desmond Tutu of apartheid South Africa.
  • Equating criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism, largely through condemnation of BDS(Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions), a nonviolent movement to confront Israel’s human rights abuses through direct economic and political pressure. (Would she prefer suicide bombers and rockets?) Never mind that the relatively modest movement has been endorsed by an assortment of international trade unions, scholarly associations,church groups, Jewish Voice for Peace and Tutu himself. At the root of BDS, Clinton hints darkly, is anti-Semitism. “At a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise across the world,” Clinton wrote in a letter to donor Haim Saban, “we need to repudiate forceful efforts to malign and undermine Israel and the Jewish people.”

 

It is evident that Clinton will not seriously contribute to the peace process but will continue down the path that leads the U.S. into more wars and less justice for Palestinians.

The American public needs to be much wiser than its leaders, more outspoken and more politically active to turn the tide toward peace and away from imperialistic enterprise in the Middle East.

Top five tweets

The five tweets that have received the largest audience from my Twitter account over the past two weeks:

Palestine (topic/keyword)
“Clinton aims to silence free speech and legitimate criticism of Israel” #Palestine http://buff.ly/1X2u22a
Cites an article published on Truthdig, by Sandy Tolan, “A Kiss Was Just A Kiss: Hillary Clinton’s March to the Radical Right on Israel
Tolan shows the shifting positions of Hillary Clinton with regard to Israel, Netanyahu, and her sympathy for the Palestinian cause. A great read for anyone who is still wondering how Clinton will handle Israel, the Middle East, and particularly the occupation of Palestine by the Israelis.

Organic (hashtag)
Monsanto Profits Drop Twenty-Five Percent Again as Farmers, Individuals Go #Organic http://buff.ly/1XmD5uO
Links to an article by the same title from the Centre for Research on Globalization by Mike Barrett, crediting consumer awareness of Monsanto’s use of GMOs in their agricultural products as the reason for Monsanto’s decline in profitability.

Environment (topic and hashtag)
Monsanto Is Suing California for Telling the Truth About Its Chemicals #environment @kemba722 http://buff.ly/1UOu0NX
This was a retweet I posted about Monsanto suing the state of California for placing Monsanto’s herbicide glyphosate on its toxic chemicals list. The article cited by @kemba722 is located here.

Racial Injustice, #racism #education (topic and hashtags)
STUDY: White Teachers Often Expect Black Students to Fail #racism #education http://buff.ly/1SFbkwc
Published on “Colorlines” (Race Forward), by Kenrya Rankin, the article cites a study by the Johns Hopkins University, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, that finds that teachers have lower expectations of black students and that these lower expectations are self-fulfilling in many instances.

Palestine, #Gaza (topic and hashtags)
Israeli Navy Opens Fire On Gaza Fishing Boats; Army Invades Lands In Central #Gaza #palestine http://buff.ly/1qgPdmG
Cites an article by the International Middle East Media Center reporting on clashes between Israelis and Palestinians in occupied lands.

Healthy planet, healthy life: benefits of veganism

There are many reasons why people should consider a vegan diet and lifestyle, one of which has been emphasized in my Twitter posts, that is, the negative effects of a carnivorous diet on the planet and its accelerating impact on climate change.

In the past, I have emphasized another strong reason for going vegan, that is, the health benefits of the plant-based diet. Heavily influenced by the work of Thomas Campbell and the China Study, I have become convinced by the data, as well as my own experience of improved health, after adopting a strictly vegan diet.

However, though these are two excellent reasons for going vegan with a diet, at the very root of the vegan cause is the obvious, and most compelling, argument to be made, that is, the abject cruelty and immoral slaughter of animals for human consumption.

And, it is not only the slaughter that is egregious, but also the production activities of the enormous agricultural industry that is charged with the cruel duty of meeting the carnivores’ growing demand for more meat.

Horrendous living conditions, animal diseases, rampant use of antibiotics in food production, government complicity in the blatant disregard for animal well-being and its own regulations, all are contributors to the moral decline of the human appetite.

“Veganism” is sometimes viewed as trendy and sexy, while both weird and marginal to human behavior. But, at its core, it is a moral cause that is both healthful and neighborly to all of the inhabitants of the only planet we have.

 

Practical Tips for the Whistleblower | The Law Offices of Daniel Feder | San Francisco, California

Excellent tips on how to protect oneself against retaliation and/or loss of job if “whistleblowing” may be in your future.  See link below excerpt.

Whistleblowers are responsible for uncovering 43 percent of all corporate and government fraud, according to a Price Waterhouse study. This is more than all of the fraud uncovered by law enforcement and outside auditors combined. So, whistleblowing plays an important role in keeping corporations honest, and rooting out the bad guys and ladies from society.

via Practical Tips for the Whistleblower | The Law Offices of Daniel Feder | San Francisco, California

Israeli War Lies Unveiled as Corporate Media Crumbles – Truthdig

Found this article on Truthdig by David Swanson (see link below)

Swanson faults the corporate media for the U.S.’s willful blindness with regard to Israel’s aggression against Palestine and their other neighbors. He points to the diminishing effectiveness of the media to convince younger generations of the traditional “Israel bias”, largely because of their confidence in alternative news sources.

What happens when you take the control away? When young people in the United States get their news from the internet and foreign media, their support for Israeli wars and occupations plummets. Backers of Israeli wars find it necessary to start trying to ban criticism on U.S. college campuses. Just as young people have overwhelmingly backed Bernie Sanders despite corporate media opposition, those who avoid the corporate media are able to back justice for Palestinians (and often to a much greater extent than Sanders does).

The bias spelled out by Swanson…

The central lie of Israeli war propaganda is also the most effective lie in the United States and the focus of the first chapter of my book War Is A Lie, namely the lie that wars are defensive. Just as the U.S. corporate media engages in blowback denial with September 11 or Brussels, it tells us that Palestinian resistance is spontaneous irrational aggression, unprovoked and inexplicable except by understanding Palestinians as less than human. In the U.S. corporate media, the Palestinians always started it, and Israel is always acting in defense, even when it’s aggressively bombing civilians as it was doing in 1982 when U.S. media voices had not yet been properly trained.

via Israeli War Lies Unveiled as Corporate Media Crumbles – Truthdig

My rap on Obama

Let me get this out of the way.  I voted for him, and I’m supportive of many of his efforts.  Then, there are these:

  • Drones
  • Guantanamo
  • Early departure from single-payer
  • Bad trade deals
  • Failure (mostly) to engage with political opposition in seven years in office
  • Where’s his Justice Dept on the big bank bailouts and executive bonuses
  • Did I mention drones?

What should you FOIA? There’s a new tool to help you figure that out. – Poynter

Poynter has a new article regarding the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) and how journalists, or anyone else, can get better and more streamlined access to public information.

For activists who want to drill beneath the headlines and main stream media stories, this will be invaluable resource.

It’s called the FOIA Mapper. Here’s a clip from the story on Poynter which contains a link to the Mapper.

FOIA Mapper works by offering a way for people to see what information exists, which agencies have it, what format they have it in and how to request it in a way that makes that request the most likely to be filled. You can also search the FOIA log to see what other people and news organizations are requesting.

via What should you FOIA? There’s a new tool to help you figure that out. – Poynter

Top five tweets

A feature of 60Left will be the weekly Top Five tweets list, with references and texts, and at times, some additional commentary.  These are the top five performing tweets in terms of audience reached, primarily through RTs.  The timeline varies.  They are taken from the last 30 tweets that met a minimum threshold.

This week, the top five tweets that have performed best during this period fall into four categories: corporatism, progressive politics, vegan, and revolution/political action.

Here they are, from top to bottom:

Corporatism
Hillary’s emails reveal an arrogance of power #corporatist http://buff.ly/1UmPJMv
This was a blog article of my own, an extended commentary, on information derived from
VICE News.

Progressive Politics
The Backlash Against North Carolina’s Anti-LGBT Law Is Growing #lgbt #homophobia http://buff.ly/1WR2HzJ
References an article by Bryce Covert (@brycecovert) for ThinkProgress News.
A development late last week that hit Twitter with a storm. Activists must let our voices be heard loudly and clearly as the state legislature in North Carolina seek to circumvent progress made by the LGBT citizens in their state.

Vegan
Veganism is sustainable living in action, so let’s take it a few steps further : Ecorazzi #vegan http://buff.ly/1Uj9DYb
Article by Lauren-Elizabeth McGrath (@l0l0mcg) for Ecorazzi
The article consists of a well-written list of practical tips on adopting a vegan lifestyle of sustainability.

Study reveals tremendous benefits of eating less meat #vegan #climate http://buff.ly/1RFVrZs
Article by Katherine Martinko (@feistyredhair) for Treehuggers.com
Presents a list of various eating lifestyles and the impact on the health of the planet.

Revolution/Political Action

Black voters have seen #votersuppression for years! Tactics are old, just a broader demographic! #DNC is not our friend, progressives!
This was a tweet I wrote in response to the appearance of voter suppression in Maricopa County in Arizona during the Democratic primary.

Voting Is An Act Of Violence | Farm Wars

Excerpt from Voting Is An Act Of Violence | Farm Wars

“Voting” in a corporate-controlled state is merely casting your lot for the CEO of the corporation. You don’t actually get a say in the process nor the outcome, but are brainwashed into thinking you do by the mere act of voting. The Board Members will do what they want to encourage the growth of that corporation and are beholden to the shareholders. The shareholders are not we the people. The shareholders are the PTB. These are the uber-rich guys who hold all the cards and choose whom they like to do their will.

Great blog by “Farm Wars” author, Barbara Peterson!

includes entire article by Hans Scherr (1999)

article quotes excerpt from A Nation Beguiled

 

Getting a head start on revolution

For people who were not political activists prior to this election, it is essential that we find organizations or causes with whom we can align so that our political revolution can build.

We cannot lie down and wait for four years to get active again. This cycle is literally killing us, the planet, the intellectual development, the social integration, and the economic parity that will provide the basis for social justice. We wait, we hope, we kick the can down the road.

We are not dependent on a candidate. A progressive candidate might make it easier, but most likely, it would make it even harder than it is now. It would give the appearance of change, but the political process of compromise and acquiring congressional votes, and influencing career politicians who are corporate whores, in some ways, may be even harder. Just look at 2008 and what happened since Obama was elected! Some gains, yes, but some compromises that will be hard to erase (ex. ACA).

We should start now, aligning ourselves with groups and causes who seek progressive change. It will require active revolutionaries. Working from the keyboard will be helpful, but working with a good pair of walking shoes will be better.

I’m making my list, and you’ll read about them in the days ahead.