Norman G. Finkelstein: Has Amnesty International Lost Its Way? (Part 4)

Has Amnesty International Lost Its Way? (Part 4): [byline.com] (d) Ambulances. During OPE, 45 ambulances were also either damaged or destroyed as a consequence of direct Israeli attacks or as collateral damage. Amnesty reports that Israel “released video footage which it claimed showed Palestinian fighters entering an ambulance.” This 24-second video clip is the one and only piece of evidence Israel adduced to justify its targeting of ambulances during OPE.[3] In fact, the video possesses zero evidentiary value. It shows a pair of unarmed Hamas militants on an unknown date at an unknown place entering an ambulance belonging to the emergency medical unit of Hamas’s armed wing (Al-Qassam Brigades). For all anyone can tell from the clip, they were en route on a routine medical rescue operation. Shouldn’t Amnesty have also noted that in prior operations Israel has methodically targeted Palestinian ambulances;[4] that, notwithstanding its high-tech surveillance technology, in only one single incident did Israel ever endeavor to adduce evidence justifying such a criminal attack; and that, in this sole instance, Amnesty itself found the evidence dubious?[5] Indeed, Amnesty, the Medical Fact-Finding Mission, and the FIDH delegation extensively documented shocking premeditated and unprovoked attacks by Israel on Palestinian ambulances during OPE.[6]


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How the Flag Came Down | The Aspen Journal of Ideas

How the Flag Came Down | The Aspen Journal of Ideas: During the governor’s campaign of 2014, I called for South Carolina to lower the Confederate Flag from the state capital grounds. The goal was to restart efforts to move the flag that had stalled in recent years. I told friends that if we made it an issue, the flag could come down within three years regardless of whether I was the next governor. The incumbent governor said it should keep flying and mocked our efforts. But Clem and others understood and appreciated the stand I took, even if my campaign staff was not thrilled. Of course, I had no idea that unimaginable and horrific events would soon swamp Charleston and the whole state like a tidal wave, rushing the entire issue forward.


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Good Riddance to White Supremacists — All That's Left

Good Riddance to White Supremacists — All That's Left: The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a large national coalition-based group with hundreds of member groups, kicked out Alison Weir’s If Americans Knew (IAK). This follows (but was separate from) last month’s statement from Jewish Voice for Peace, declaring their intentions to not partner with Weir or IAK on events, host her book talks, or in coalition organizing. I’m not going to rehash every reason why Weir deserves this; the US Campaign’s statement is excellent and deserves to be read and reread. I trust that the readers of this blog would agree on first glance that someone who repeatedly appears on white supremacist radio shows, spreads updated forms of blood libel, and defends Holocaust deniers is not someone you would want to be associated with when fighting for Palestinian human rights -- or fighting for justice at all, for that matter.


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Finns rally against racism after lawmaker calls multiculturalism a 'nightmare'

Finns rally against racism after lawmaker calls multiculturalism a 'nightmare': [stream.aljazeera.com] Thousands of Finns protested on Tuesday in response to a lawmaker’s comments calling multiculturalism a “nightmare”. Protests took place around the country, with 15,000 people gathering in downtown Helsinki in a show of support for diversity. The protests were spurred by a Facebook post from Olli Immonen, a member of the Finns Party. The party belongs to the country’s ruling coalition and is known for its tough stance on immigration.


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Check whether Hacking Team demoed cyberweapons for your local cops - Boing Boing

Check whether Hacking Team demoed cyberweapons for your local cops - Boing Boing: Michael from Muckrock sez, "Turns out death squads aren't the only agencies buying Hacking Squad's controversial spyware. Town from Miami Shores, FL to Eugene, OR appeared on a list of US agencies that received demonstrations from the hacked surveillance vendor. MuckRock has mapped out who was on the lists, and is working to FOIA what these towns actually bought, if anything. Check and see if your city is on the map."


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Justice for #PaulCastaway - July 20, 2015 - YouTube

Justice for Paul Castaway - July 20, 2015 - YouTube





Among the group were family and friends of Paul Castaway, a Native
American man who was recently killed by Denver police officer Mike Lee
Traudt.



The police had been called because Castaway was
suicidal, and in need of help. According to eyewitnesses and video
footage reviewed by FOX News reporter Tammy Vigil, Castaway was standing
with a knife to his own throat when Traudt murdered him.



The
official story from the Denver Police Department (DPD) was drastically
different than what this eyewitness and video footage revealed –
claiming Castaway lunged at officers with a knife.



At the point
in the demonstration this video begins the DPD had just started
arresting people – starting with a local videographer who was targeted
out of the group and violently arrested.



The police officers
then order the demonstrators back across the street. This puts them in
harms way, as the street had not been closed off.



Shortly after,
an angry driver, who was distracted because he’d paused to yell at other
demonstrators and didn’t look up before hitting the gas, rams his SUV
into two women.



Immediately after this, rather than take
interest in the man who just hit two people with his car, or the safety
of the two victims, the DPD protect the driver and instead violently
arrest a well-known activist. She suffered a concussion and other
injuries. As far as I know the driver was not ticketed or otherwise
charged.



Not long after this, the DPD arrest me as well - for the second time in just a few months.



Worse
yet, they arrested one of the women hit by the SUV. They literally took
her from an ambulance, to handcuffs, to the back of a police car, and
to jail.



For some good reporting about these events and the general milieu in Denver see this story from Kit O'Connell: http://www.mintpressnews.com/death-of...


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'A symbol of racism': group calls for N.S. to ban Confederate flag | CTV Atlantic News

'A symbol of racism': group calls for N.S. to ban Confederate flag | CTV Atlantic News: “The Confederate flag is unequivocally, without any scintilla of doubt, is a symbol of racism,” said Isaac Saney.

Saney is a historian and professor at Halifax’s Dalhousie and Saint Mary’s universities, as well as one of the organizers behind the effort to have the flag banned.

The group has been collecting hundreds of signatures in a petition they plan to present to the government, and they’re planning a press conference for Wednesday to publicize their cause.

The group says the Confederate flag’s presence in Nova Scotia has been increasing.

“Ten thousand Nova Scotians, overwhelmingly white, fought in the U.S. Civil War on the side of the North, and they fought because of a sentiment against slavery,” Saney said.

“I mean, this is an insult to their memory.”


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A Minor Penalty For A Major Infraction: Ignoring The Harassment of American Indian Children in South Dakota | Virally Suppressed – Muckraking For The Modern World

A Minor Penalty For A Major Infraction: Ignoring The Harassment of American Indian Children in South Dakota | Virally Suppressed – Muckraking For The Modern World: The pursuit of justice for these Native children has been predictably, if not still discouragingly, lax. Despite large protests from members of the Oglala Lakota community and civil rights activists, along with public condemnations of the racially motivated harassment by these drunk men by Rapid City’s mayor, it would appear at the present moment as if the generations of discrimination of American Indians by whites in the region still holds sway within the justice system. According to Gloria Kitsopoulos, the superintendent and principal of the American Horse School and a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe, state officials showed tremendous disrespect to herself and the community as a whole in their dealings with them. During a visit from Rapid City’s chief of police, city attorney and South Dakota’s attorney general, a PR rep from Rapid City who was helping to facilitate a meeting with concerned residents addressed the group after first taking the microphone by telling them that, “if anyone wants to use the talking stick when I’m done, let me know,” while the Rapid City Journal ran victim blaming smear on page one of their paper asking, “Did native students stand for national anthem?”, as if an answer one way or the other could justify a group of grown men flinging racist epithets and dumping beer on the heads of children.


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Justice Department: We’ll Go After ISIS’s Twitter Army - The Daily Beast

Justice Department: We’ll Go After ISIS’s Twitter Army - The Daily Beast: Provocative tweets, Facebook posts, and grisly online beheading videos have all been key parts of ISIS’s recruitment and propaganda strategy, and one of the hardest elements of the terror group’s rise for U.S. national security agencies and technology companies to combat. And ISIS has attracted supporters online who, while they don’t participate in attacks or killings, endorse the group’s actions and proliferate its message. The Obama administration devoted much of last week to a summit on countering extremism—especially extremism online.


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Turkey Launches Heaviest Assault Yet on PKK | Al Jazeera America

Turkey Launches Heaviest Assault Yet on PKK | Al Jazeera America: The strikes hit six Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets, including shelters and arms depots near the group's mountainous stronghold in Qandil, according to a statement from Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's office.

Turkey launched near-simultaneous strikes against the PKK in Iraq and ISIL in Syria last Friday, in what Davutoglu has called a "synchronized fight against terror."

The NATO member also opened up its air bases to the U.S.-led coalition battling the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), joining the front-line in the battle against the armed group after years of reluctance. NATO gave Turkey its full political support on Tuesday.


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Amanda Terkel: There Have Been 132 Pro-Confederate Flag Rallies Since The Charleston Shooting





WASHINGTON -- [huffingtonpost.com] There has been an outbreak of rallies in support of the
Confederate flag since the June 17 mass shooting of nine black
churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina.



The Southern Poverty Law Center works to fight bigotry and monitors hate groups around the country. It has been keeping track of the pro-Confederate flag events in the past month and found that 132 have occurred since the Charleston shooting, with another 29 in the works.


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The last keffiyeh factory in Palestine | Middle East Eye

The last keffiyeh factory in Palestine | Middle East Eye: In his research, Ted Swedenburg of the University of Arkansas points out that prior to the revolts, the keffiyeh was traditionally worn by Palestinian peasants, the fellah. Its main purpose was, after all, to shield head and face from the sun in summer and from the wind in winter. Its adoption by the urban classes marked a moment of "inversion of social hierarchy," Swedenburg explained. The warrior fellah successfully dictated the dress-code that signified national unity.


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US Says Release of Israeli Spy in November Not Connected to Iran Nuke Deal / Sputnik International

US Says Release of Israeli Spy in November Not Connected to Iran Nuke Deal / Sputnik International: The 60-year-old American was convicted in 1985 under the Espionage Act, after he was caught selling classified information to the Israeli government. Through his job with US Naval Intelligence, Pollard was able to obtain intel which he then passed on to a former Israeli Air Force colonel named Aviem Sella.

Pollard’s imprisonment has been a major hurdle for US-Israel relations for decades. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had personally fought for Pollard’s release, arguing that he had served far too much time given the relatively minor crime of spying for such a close US ally.


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In Ethiopia, Obama Hails Democracy Despite Recent Election Where Ruling Party Won 100% of Seats | Democracy Now!

In Ethiopia, Obama Hails Democracy Despite Recent Election Where Ruling Party Won 100% of Seats | Democracy Now!: On Monday, President Obama made history by becoming the first sitting U.S. president to visit Ethiopia. But he is facing criticism after twice describing Ethiopia as having a democratically elected government despite the fact human rights groups have denounced Ethiopia’s democracy as a "sham." In a recent election, for example, Ethiopia’s ruling party won 100 percent of the country’s 547 Parliament seats. Human Rights Watch criticized the government in a recent report, writing, "Authorities use arbitrary arrests and politically motivated prosecutions to silence journalists, bloggers, protesters, and perceived supporters of opposition political parties." We speak with Horace Campbell, professor of African-American studies and political science at Syracuse University. He has written extensively on African politics. His new piece for CounterPunch is called "Obama in Kenya."


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Manning: Sarah Lee Circle Bear Died While in Police Custody; Family Seeks Justice - ICTMN.com

Manning: Sarah Lee Circle Bear Died While in Police Custody; Family Seeks Justice - ICTMN.com: The family of Sarah Lee Circle Bear continues to grieve, and meanwhile seek justice for their beloved daughter. They are presently looking into different options for lawyers, and fear that without the right lawyer they may miss an opportunity for justice for Sarah.

While the family and loved ones await the results of a toxicology report, the fact remains that Sarah Lee Circle Bear, a beautiful young woman worthy of life, was blatantly neglected and treated cruelly by the jail staff while in their care.

When any person is taken into custody and under the care of law enforcement, it is their right to receive appropriate medical attention and just treatment. This does not appear to be the case with Sarah Lee Circle Bear, and in the state of South Dakota where Native Americans are the largest minority and hate crimes are reported at high levels, it is time to demand a thorough investigation into her neglect and her death. It is time to demand better treatment of Native women, and justice for Sarah.


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Gay CIA Contractor Claims Dangerous Harassment in War Zone | abc13.com

Gay CIA Contractor Claims Dangerous Harassment in War Zone | abc13.com: So Jones said he secretly made copies of some evidence in the form of an expletive-laden mission brief from a contract company's computer and a series of what he called racist and homophobic images from an official CIA computer, and then made up a cover story to slip out of the country. This week the CIA declined to comment on Jones' specific allegations, but did not dispute his account.

'You Have to Know Those Guys Are Going to Have Your Back'Jones told ABC News that in the decade-plus he has served on and off with the CIA GRS, mostly providing armed security for Agency assets in "high threat environments," he has routinely run into issues in which teammates use homophobic or racist language.

Jones is white, but says he "doesn't tolerate racism or bigotry." He said that in past instances, he's managed to diffuse the situation by taking the speaker aside and politely but firmly asking them to refrain from that kind of talk. Generally, he said he always got along well with his colleagues - most of whom are well aware he's gay.


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Instagram Had to Restrict Sandra Bland's Hashtag for the Most Depressing Reason - Mic

Instagram Had to Restrict Sandra Bland's Hashtag for the Most Depressing Reason - Mic: When users attempted to search for or post content to the #SandraBland tag, they ran into problems. As the Huffington Post reported, numerous posts were disappearing from the gallery page, leading some users to question whether the platform was censoring the hashtag.

According to Instagram, however, the restriction was an attempt at blocking hate speech, of which numerous examples had popped up in step with the hashtag's burgeoning popularity.


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Dash cam records Medford detective threatening, yelling at driver | Local News - WCVB Home

Dash cam records Medford detective threatening, yelling at driver | Local News - WCVB Home: The dash camera video, which was posted to YouTube, records Lebert as saying, "I'll put a hole right through your head," as he repeatedly swore at the driver.

"You are lucky I am a cop or I'd beat the (expletive) out of you right now," Lebert is heard saying on the video.

Lebert was warned several times by the driver that he was being recorded, but continued to yell at the driver, as the driver continually apologizes for his driving mistake.

"I am troubled by what I have seen on the video," said Medford Police Chief Leo Sacco. "I was upset to see one of my officers involved in this kind of activity."

Lebert, who was not in uniform, called other Medford police officers, who are recorded as handling the situation calmly and telling the driver that he will receive a summons for the traffic violation.

Lebert told 5 Investigates Kathy Curran that he had not seen the video and had no comment.


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