As in agreement with our far-leftist brothers, Sparking The Left supports the persecuted Palestinians in their battle against the occupying and murderous state of Israel. The reasons are too many to begin with here, but the below video investigation by the New York Times into a medic’s shooting death at the Gaza/Israeli border, should be a start. We profess our support for the Palestinian people, whether in Gaza, the West Bank, or those living as refugees outside of those borders. Israel is running an apartheid regime and has established a ghetto in the Gaza Strip.
As you watch
this story, be aware that it has gone completely uncovered by the mainstream
media outside of the Video Investigation Team at the NYT. Why? For any sense of empathy towards any citizen
of Gaza is too far left off the spectrum of acceptable dialogue to be engaged
in by most corporate media.
Money, money, money, dru-ugs…and guns. I forget how that song goes.
GOP presidential hopeful Marco Rubio lays out his economic plan for the country and it’s all kinds of terrible. Nothing overly surprising in the plan as it’s a giveaway to the wealthy and will hurt the poor and middle-class, like most GOP proposals. Tax cuts for corporations, elimination of dividends and capital gains tax, and cuts to Medicare and Social Security to pay for it. Please keep trumping that idea around so everyone is clear about what you want to do to us. I’m sure that presidential run will go great, Senator Nochanceinhell!
In economic inequality news, David Geffen donates $100 million to Lincoln Center. It’s great he wants to make such a donation to the arts but it’s hard to ignore the economic disparity when these donations are made at the same time the wages of the majority have stagnated for so many decades. It must be nice to donate the equivalent of 6631 minimum wage earners’ combined yearly salaries in one shot. The donation is great but it does help exemplify the huge difference between the have-everythings and the have-littles.
An appeals court has upheld a California city’s ban on gun magazines that hold more than 10 bullets. A small victory for commonsense gun policy but the case will go through more appeals as gun nuts desperately beg for an increase in the size of their magazines. Blah blah blah penis joke. Bob Loblaw penis joke. Blah blah blah penis joke. Moving on.
Heroin death rates in the United States have quadrupled since 2000. So odd it is happening. It’s almost as if the market has been flooded with more heroin from the people who grow the most heroin in the world since the year 2000 for some reason. I wonder how that happened?
The article is filled with good information until the end when this quote appears:
David G. Evans, of the Drug-Free America Foundation, blames the use of less-harmful drugs for the uptick in heroin use.
“I think heroin deaths are going up in part because the attitude has changed towards marijuana,” he said. “Kids now think marijuana is a medicine so it’s okay to use it. You get involved in a drug culture, you get high, you get addicted, one drug just seems like the other, and I think that’s a big part of it.”
Ah, the good ole Gateway Theory. Hasn’t that myth been killed enough by academics to never bother quoting in a serious article on drug use? It’s like finding a fossil fuel funded climate denying scientist to quote in a climate change article. We’re better than that now, aren’t we?
Palestinian president Abbas calls Israel gangsters over the tax dollars they are holding from the Palestinian people. If you read the article closely, it clearly maps out how this situation could easily (and will likely) devolve into more violence due to Israel’s horrendous action. Israel will then “mow the lawn” again and kill more innocent Palestinians in the name of their security, despite the fact they will have caused the situation to begin in the first place.
Already many of the PA’s 140,000 civil servants have had their pay cut by around 40 percent…
Gosh, why would 140k people be angry about their pay being cut nearly in half by an occupying government that just killed more than 2,000 of their people? But remember everyone, it’s Israel that is being treated terribly by the Palestinians and not the other way around. Just listen to their leader. If Netanyahu wasn’t busy lying about the non-existent nuclear threat of Iran, he would be able to lie to you about the threat of Palestinians.
Can’t avoid the impending Iran deal and the circus now around it but more good news on gay marriage.
Climate change was a contributing factor to the war inside Syria. This has been suggested before but now a team of scientists put together a report explaining this fact for the world to understand. They also mention refugees arriving from Iraq as a contributing factor (who caused that again?). But it’s cool everybody because all we have to do is send senile Senator Inhofe over to Syria with a few snowballs and this whole mess will be cleared up quickly. Peace is on the way!
Netanyahu’s lies are starting to sink him. A great video on AJA appeared today giving you 5 things he will refuse to admit when he testifies to Congress and is worth watching to give you a quick version of why we should barely pay attention to him. The Intercept also put together a good piece pointing out the many times he has “cried wolf” over the years. Both pieces mention his testimony to Congress about Iraq’s advanced nuclear technology in 2002. Listening to Netanyahu about other country’s nuclear ambitions is like listening to idiot preachers continually predicting the end of the world. No matter how many times these tools are wrong, the foolish still think they speak the truth.
JohnBoehner is one of the foolish and can’t hide it. Boehner defended his invite to Netanyahu by stating “Congress wants to support Israel and wants to hear what a trusted ally has to say”. Yes, because Bibi has no way of transmitting his message to Congress in any other way than to give a speech there during an Israeli election year. No one will put a camera on him or a microphone in front of his mouth. Poor fella. It was like he was a ghost prior to giving his speech. By the way, Mr. Speaker. What is the cost of this versus, say, a conference call with Bibi? I mean, you guys are fiscal conservatives so this is the cheaper route, correct?
Iran is and has been a rational actor throughout all of this and there is no evidence they are pursuing a nuclear weapon.An excellent read from The Atlantic focusing on this reality but one section is worth quoting here and should be constantly noted about the situation:
That’s why the Bush administration’s 2007 National Intelligence Estimate said Iran is “guided by a cost-benefit approach.” It’s why Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in 2012 that “we are of the opinion that Iran is a rational actor.” It’s why Benny Gantz, then head of the Israel Defense Forces, declared the same year that “the Iranian leadership is composed of very rational people.” It’s why Meir Dagan, the longtime head of Israel’s intelligence agency, called the Iranian regime “rational” in an interview with 60 Minutes. And it’s why Ron Burgess, the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told Congress that “the agency assesses Iran is unlikely to initiate or provoke a conflict.” Could all these men, who analyze intelligence about Iran for a living, be wrong?
Nebraska’s ban on gay marriage has been struck down by the courts. Another state is added to the ranks of those on the right side of history. I guess they wanted to be able to say they legalized gay marriage prior to the Supreme Court legalizing it across the nation this coming June. No reason, at this point, to be a state that has to be drug kicking and screaming across the finish line by the federal government.
I was reading the front page story on the NYT’s website about the Israel/Gaza Strip conflict and found five bits of information that drew my interest.
Israel’s aerial assaults on targets in Gaza broadened on Tuesday, with barrages that destroyed Hamas’s media offices, the home of a top leader and what Palestinians said was a devastating hit on the only electricity plant, plunging the enclave of 1.7 million into deeper deprivation with no power, running water or sewage treatment.
Israel’s military made clear it had widened the scope of the bombing campaign in Gaza to hit the political structures of Hamas and another militant group, Islamic Jihad, including the home of Ismael Haniya, the No. 2 Hamas official behind Khaled Meshal, its leader-in-exile in Qatar. But Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a spokesman for the Israeli military, said it was unclear whether Israel had been responsible for the debilitating strike on the power plant, where an enormous fire hurtled thick, black smoke skyward, visible for miles.
The shutdown of the power plant, which Israel previously attacked in 2006 and which sat idle for weeks this past winter for lack of fuel, threatened to turn the situation in Gaza into a major humanitarian crisis. The facility powers water and sewage systems as well as hospitals, and it had been Gaza’s main source of electricity in recent days after eight of 10 lines that run from Israel were damaged.
F-16 and Apache helicopter strikes also ruined the headquarters of the Al Aqsa satellite television and radio channels affiliated with Hamas.
Also flattened was the Financial Monitoring Authority, a government building where some Hamas leaders kept offices. Relatives of Raji Sourani, director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, own the home next door, which was damaged; Mr. Sourani said his brother, his brother’s wife and his 94-year-old aunt were in the house at the time of the strike and had received no warning.
My question here is what happened to the stated goal of stopping rocket fire into Israel and eliminating Hamas’ smuggling tunnels? What’s all of this now? Collective punishment and the destruction of Hamas is the only real goal.
According to the NYT and the AP, six young men have been arrested as suspects in last weeks beating and burning death of a 16 year old Palestinian boy named Mohammed Abu Khdeir. The autopsy revealed that the victim was still alive when the burning took place.
The AP reports that, “Israeli authorities said the killers [of Khdeir] had acted out of ‘”nationalistic”‘ motives.” The “grisly” murder happened shortly after the burial of three kidnapped and murdered Israeli youths whose bodies were found in the West Bank near Hebron a few days before .
Now Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel stated that, “We do not differentiate between terrorists,” referring to rather they are Israeli or Arab. “We will respond to all of them.”
But according to a quote in the AP piece, Khdeir’s mother argued that, in reference to the six arrested Israeli suspects, that, “They need to treat them the way they treat us. They need to demolish their homes and round them up, the way they do it to our children.”
The Israelis rounded up 800 prisoners in the West Bank, killed six in their operations, and destroyed two homes and countless “Hamas targets” during the search for the youths over a three week period. There is a double standard.
Judging by reports, a third intifada could become a reality in Israel/Palestine if something does not break in the search for the three missing Israeli teenagers in the West Bank. Four Palestinians, one of them 15, have already been killed by Israeli troops and 340 have been arrested by their forces in an operation called Brother’s Keeper.
The photos of the Palestinian deceased have been hoisted at mass funerals for they are seen as martyrs in the liberation struggle.
Israel has now detained 240 Palestinians in West Bank raids (including 65 freed prisoners from the Gilad Shilat prisoner exchange) in an effort to locate and free three kidnapped Israeli teenagers. Yet the Israelis are also openly claiming that these actions are also an attempt to hurt Hamas.
Now I am not condoning the kidnappings by whom or whoever is behind these actions, and Palestinian Authority (P.A.) Pres. Mahmoud Abbas has come out publicly against them. But the Israeli government is using these raids as an excuse to target and intimidate Hamas members, also.
The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, said the re-arrest of the prisoners freed in the Gilad Shalit exchange “sent an important message” that the purpose of Israel‘s military campaign was both to return the teenagers and damage Hamas’s infrastructure in the West Bank.
As well as the arrests, the IDF said on Wednesday that it had carried out about 800 searches since Eyal Yifrach, 19, and Gil-ad Sha’er and Naftali Frankel, both 16, went missing on Thursday. These included raids on Hamas’s charity arm, Dawa, which Israel claims is used to recruit operatives, disseminate information and raise funds.
“We are turning Hamas membership into a ticket to hell,” Naftali Bennett, a far-right member of prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet, told army radio on Tuesday.
Should not the Israelis be trying to focus on the humanitarian issue here instead of having ulterior motives? Should they not be trying to cooperate with the new unity government and Abbas in that he has publicly announced his abhorrence regarding these kidnappings?
They do not for this is how the Israeli’s deal with the Palestinians. They act with over-aggression and with disregard for the so-called “peace process.” They do not want a two-state solution, they just want the Palestinians to just disappear.
According to a NYT report today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is blaming the new joint Palestinian Authority for the disappearance/kidnapping of three missing Israeli teenagers from West Bank settlements in public statements today made to the International community. He is placing blame more specifically on Hamas, who just reconciled with the West-Bank base Fatah party to form the new joint P.A., but he said that P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas is directly responsible.
So what does Israel do but completely overreact with extreme acts of violence even though there is no proof that Hamas is behind the kidnapping? The article reports:
Hamas members of Parliament, former ministers, imams and professors were among those arrested in the night raids in Nablus, Jenin, Ramallah and other West Bank cities, villages and refugee camps. Israel also carried out six airstrikes in the Gaza Strip overnight that Palestinian health officials said wounded a 15-year-old girl and a 27-year-old woman, and it closed its commercial and pedestrian crossings into Gaza with exceptions only for fuel deliveries and humanitarian emergencies.
Now if Hamas would be behind these kidnappings it would be a breach of international law and should be treated as such. But as Qadura Fares, the Palestinians’ former minister of prisoner affairs, said, “the kidnapping is the result of the peace-process stalemate,” and the Israeli’s are using the incident to “make political gains.” The frustration with Israel’s planted obstacles to peace has kindled much resentment amongst Palestinians.
But, as usual, Israel is playing the victim here. They played to the international community today with Netanyahu speaking English, to appeal to the West, and spewed their usual apocalyptic predictions of Israel’s destruction at the hands of Muslim extremists.
But do they not now threaten the region the most with their over-use of military power?
A good piece in The Guardian by Peter Beaumont argues that the United States, and Secy. of State John Kerry, specifically, is more invested and engaged with Mid-East peace talks than either Netanyahu or Abbas.
Beaumont’s analysis seems to be apparently true according to my opinion.