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Media promote Israeli distortions as civilians dodge airstrikes in Gaza

In recent days, has Israel launched a series of aggressive military actions in the besieged Gaza Strip, killing a Palestinian woman and injuring several other people, including three children.

And like clockwork, mainstream Western media swooped in to throw the narrative in Israel’s favor, brushing aside Israel’s relentless violations of the Gaza ceasefire and its killings of dozens of civilians in the besieged territory.

But first, the facts.

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Hillary vs Bernie as interpreted by children

My niece and nephew staged a mock debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders and it’s hilarious!

The Struggle For Black Liberation: Beyond 2016 Election and Establishment Politics

Possibly the only movement to force a response from presidential candidates in the election is Black Lives Matter. Activists pushed Bernie Sanders to develop a racial justice platform after disrupting his speeches. Activists in South Carolina and Philadelphia have challenged Hillary Clinton over her support for policies of mass incarceration and her “superpredator” comment in the 1990s.

Along with Latino and American Muslims, Black activists have been at the forefront of protests against Donald Trump when he holds rallies. They have challenged his racism often facing the threat of brutality from Trump supporters. Media pundits have lectured activists on whether it is effective to protest Trump, even as they suggest Trump’s spreading of bigotry has crossed a line.

For this week’s episode of the “Unauthorized Disclosure” podcast, hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola interview, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, the author of “From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation.” She provides a historical context and sharp insights on what has unfolded. She talks with us about the Congressional Black Caucus, solidarity in the Black Lives Matter movement, and poverty among Black Americans. She addresses the issue of the Democratic Party and what kind of obstacle it presents to Black liberation—and much more from her book.

In the discussion segment, Khalek and Gosztola highlight the U.S. military’s decision to charge no officers with crimes for the bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz. They briefly talk about the storming of parliament by Iraqis. Then, the hosts discuss Donald Trump’s foreign policy speech, and the next phase of Bernie Sanders’ campaign for president.

The interview is available for download on iTunes. For a link to the interview (and also to download the interview), go here. A page will load with the audio file of the interview. The file will automatically start playing so you can listen to the interview.

To listen to this week’s discussion (and also to download the discussion), go here. A page will load with the audio file of the discussion. It will automatically start playing for you to hopefully enjoy.

Below is a partial transcript.

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US adopts lethal Israeli tactic to “protect” civilians

The US military has adopted an Israeli procedure known as “roof-knocking” in its war on Islamic State, also known as ISIS or Daesh, adding yet another failed Israeli tactic to its counterterrorism toolkit.

Roof-knocking entails striking the roof or upper story of a home or building with a mortar shell or missile prior to bombing it with even bigger munitions, in a supposed effort to warn civilians inside that they should evacuate.

Israel used this tactic to absolve itself of liability for killing civilians in Gaza. But human rights investigators found the tactic to be ineffective and at times deadly to the very civilians it was allegedly supposed to protect.

Two years later, however, the US is copying it.

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Defying establishment, Bernie Sanders defends humanity of Palestinians

Crossposted from The Electronic Intifada

During Thursday night’s Democratic presidential debate, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders did something that no major candidate in recent memory has dared to do.

Defying the bipartisan pro-Israel consensus that dominates American politics, Sanders forcefully defended the humanity of Palestinians and delivered perhaps the most blistering indictment against Israel’s right-wing government ever uttered by a US senator.

And he did so in front of a New York audience, with millions more watching on CNN, just days ahead of a heated primary race in a state where Jewish voters are expected to make up 16 to 19 percent of the electorate.

It was a stunning response from a candidate who just two summers ago had angrily shouted down his constituents who supported Palestinian rights at a Vermont town hall, where he defended Israel’s 2014 military assault on the besieged Gaza Strip.

And it was a huge risk. Though Sanders is the first Jewish candidate in US history to win a single primary state, Jewish voters aren’t feeling the bern.

According to an NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll, Clinton is leading among Jews in New York with 65 percent support to Sanders’ 32 percent.

While the relative lack of Jewish enthusiasm for Sanders isn’t necessarily related to his position on Israel, his performance last night likely alienated some in this crucial voting bloc even more. In other words, Sanders had little to gain from saying what he said when he said it.

If anything, it was a demonstration of his more principled commitment to equality, a trait his opponent, notorious for shifting her positions with the political winds, clearly lacks. Read more

Is Hillary Clinton more dangerous than Donald Trump?

The “Warrior Queen” could be worse for world stability than an isolationist Trump

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Hillary Clinton attacks dead Palestinians in battle against Bernie Sanders

With the presidential race heating up ahead of the New York primary, Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton has joined right-wing proponents of Israeli violence in attacking Bernie Sanders for his criticism of Israel’s 2014 military assault on Gaza.

In an interview with the New York Daily News editorial board last week, Sanders qualified Israel’s attack on Gaza as “indiscriminate” and emphasized that “a lot of innocent people were killed who should not have been killed,” prompting feverish denunciations from Israeli government officials and their supporters.

Sanders was right. According to the UN, 2,251 Palestinians were killed in Gaza, 1,462 of whom were civilians. Another 11,000 Palestinians, including 3,436 children, were injured, nearly 10 percent of them suffering permanent disabilities.

But he went on to confuse the number of civilian deaths in Gaza with the number of wounded, saying, “I happen to believe … anybody help me out here, because I don’t remember the figures, but my recollection is over 10,000 innocent people were killed in Gaza. Does that sound right?”

The Daily News corrected Sanders, who accepted the casualty figures and everyone moved on. Well, everyone except for hardline Zionists. And Hillary Clinton.

Hillary attacks the dead

According to Clinton insiders, the former secretary of state had planned to go after Sanders’ Israel-related remarks to court New York’s Jewish voters, who make up a significant 16 to 19 percent of New York’s Democratic primary electorate.

On Sunday morning, Clinton did just that.

Speaking to CNN’s Jake Tapper, Clinton disputed Sanders’ description of Israel’s assault on Gaza as “disproportionate.” Clinton argued that “Hamas provokes Israel.”

On top of blaming Palestinians for Israel’s deadly violence, Clinton called into question the innocence of dead Palestinian civilians, arguing, “They often pretend to have people in civilian garb, acting as though they are civilians, who are Hamas fighters.”

Maybe Clinton was referring to the 551 children Israel killed in Gaza, 68 percent of whom were under the age of 12. Or maybe she was talking about the 844 Palestinians that the Associated Press determined were killed in Israeli airstrikes on residential homes, including 19 babies and 108 preschoolers between the ages of 1 and 5.

Or perhaps she meant the 140 Palestinian families that had three or more members killed by Israel that summer.

This isn’t the first time Clinton has shamelessly attacked dead Palestinians for political gain.

In the midst of Israel’s 51-day assault, Clinton accused Hamas of “stage-managing” media coverage of the slaughter by inviting Western journalists to Gaza. She also recycled Israel’s excuses for its attacks on UN schools by alleging – without providing evidence – that Hamas was firing rockets from their grounds.

In an earlier interview with Sanders, Tapper expressed bewilderment “that the first Jew in American history to win a delegate, much less a primary” had openly criticized Israel.

“Usually in American politics, everyone just supports Israel whatever Israel wants to do, but you are taking a more critical position,” said Tapper.

Sanders interjected, “I’m taking a more balanced position.”

“Whether you’re Jewish or not Jewish, I would hope that every person in this country wants to see the misery of never-ending war and conflict ended in the Middle East,” said Sanders. “Of course the United States supports Israel, but you cannot ignore the needs of the Palestinian people in Gaza right now: poverty, unemployment, their community has been decimated.”

“Blood libel”

Clinton was capitalizing on the chorus of Zionist outrage provoked by the Daily News interview.

American-born Israeli lawmaker Michael Oren accused Sanders of advancing a “blood libel” against Israel and called on American Jews to demand an apology. Read more

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