Congresswoman Says Berkeley Riot was “a Beautiful Sight’

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Rep. Val Demings (D-Florida)

More mass insanity. Val Demings is the representative to Congress from Florida’s 10th district. According to Demings, the riot which took place in Berkeley, California on Wednesday, Feb. 1–in which protesters set fires, smashed shop windows, and lobbed fireworks and Molotov cocktails–was “a beautiful sight.” What is even more bizarre is that Demings is a former police officer and the former police chief of Orlando, Florida.

Furthermore, according to Wikipedia, she is marred to Jerry Demings, who is currently the sheriff of Orange County, Florida. It would appear we have finally entered The Twilight Zone.

Demings was first elected to Congress in 2012. You can go here to see a list of her top contributors in her 2016 campaign. It includes a $42,230 donation from Emily’s List and a $24,760 contribution from JStreet, the pro-Israel lobby organization.

The more Juif becomes Theresa, the more antisemitic becomes Britain.

February 02, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

By Gilad Atzmon

Today, the Jewish Chronicle (JC) reported that the number of antisemitic incidents in Britain in 2016 were the highest on record. The CST’s statistics show that there were 1,309 incidents of ‘Jew hatred’ last year — a 36 per cent increase on the previous 12 months.

Of course, the CST is not a reliable source and its‘antisemitism figures’ have been debunked numerous times before. However, if these statistics are accurate, they suggest only that the more the British government invests in fighting anti-Semitism…. the more antisemitic Britain becomes.

This is easy enough to explain. The fight against antisemitism is now a profitable industry.  Every day, we learn of some new Jewish organisation dedicated to fighting antisemitism and to hunt down the Jew haters, and all at the expense of the British tax payer*.

And, as always in the case of Israel and Zionism, these organisation are financially sustained by the very Jewish hatred they seek to oppose. And, when there is no Jew hatred to be found, they will either induce, or even invent some.

For instance, we learned in the last few weeks that Stephen Silverman of the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) launched a war against popular cult figure David Icke. The same Stephen Silverman who launched this war also launched a war against musician Alison Chabloz for expressing her thoughts on Holocaust religion by means of a cabaret performance.

These ugly campaigns against British truth-seekers are unlikely to make UK Jewry popular. Quite the opposite. Both these campaigns immediately backfired – Alison’s work went viral and the campaign against Icke proved only that Icke’s investigation into Rothschild Zionism is not only legitimate, it is actually essential.  These campaigns clearly are not going to silence Icke or Chabloz but they will confirm  that Jewish institutions here in Britain do not subscribe to the notion of freedom of thought and elementary human rights.

Dave Rich, Deputy Director of Communications at the CST told the JC: “I think there is an overall climate rather than one specific thing that is responsible for the rise in (antisemitic) incidents.”

Rich is wrong. There is one crucial factor in the rise in opposition to Jews and their politics: Jewish power has lost all its subtlety. It is now crude and vulgar and manifested right out in the open: whether it is the campaign against Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour party or theIsraeli embassy crudely interfering with British party politics or the constant hunting of critics of Israel or even the impunity of suspected child molester Lord Janner – more and more Brits are now reading between the lines. They have had enough.

If the British government is really concerned about antisemitism, it could eliminate it in no time at all. It must immediately strip Jewish organisations of any special treatment and funds and  must stop spending millions on the CST and all the other Jews-only paramilitary organisations operating in the kingdom.

We all agree that racism is a bad thing, so let’s fight it in a universal manner rather than following the whims of one particular tribe.

* Theresa May vowed recently to allocate more than 13.4 million pounds annually to Jewish security matters.

Seattle Protestor Says ‘We Need to Start Killing People’

Posted on February 3, 2017

Warning: the language is graphic. The protest reportedly took place in Seattle. The woman with the bullhorn engages in a five-minute tirade against white people, an outburst that includes the words, “We need to start killing people.” She also says, “The White House must die.”

It is unclear whether the woman is officially connected with Black Lives Matter, but if you watch the video  closely you will see that she is wearing a t-shirt that reads “Black Lives Matter” on the back. She also, during her speech, identifies herself as a pre-school teacher.

A Fox News report on the protest can be found here. Unfortunately, however, the article does not identify the woman by name.

Below is an edited version of the video without all the annoying screen pop-ups, and which also includes subtitles. Basically it just gives a clearer picture. I put up a post yesterday discussing the “mass insanity” currently sweeping America. This woman would seem to be another prime example. (H/T Jill rowan)

Ship the Statue of Liberty Back to France

Ship the Statue of Liberty Back to France

ERIC ZUESSE | 04.02.2017 |

Ship the Statue of Liberty Back to France

Today’s America is a mockery of it. Lady Liberty weeps now. So, let’s ship her back from whence she came, and maybe Europeans will like the symbolism of it.  After all: we got it from Europe, just like we got the immigrants from there.

Donald Trump might not be able to get Mexicans to pay for his wall that the U.S. is building to keep Mexicans out, but would Europeans pay to receive back this symbolic statue, which France gave to an America that deserved it, but that no longer does?

This monument for compassion, and against bigotry, is now merely a metaphorical sore thumb here, but maybe France would be happy to receive her back, and perhaps millions of Europeans will proudly pay to see her, touch her, and stand at her base, to welcome her back to Europe, which ironically consists of the same countries from which almost all of America’s immigrants used to come, before France had gifted the U.S. with Lady Liberty, back on 28 October 1886.

America’s Department of Homeland Security reports that, for the latest available data-year, 2015, the U.S. granted asylum to 69,920 people. By law since 2012, an annual limit had been established for refugees into the U.S.: 70,000.

During that same year in Europe, there were 1,322,825 applicants for asylum, and 69% of them were granted asylum.

Eurostat’s asylum statistics display vastly bigger figures than America’s, for the vast majority of the vastly smaller countries of Europe, as Eurostat described:

For first instance decisions, some 75% of all positive decisions in the EU-28 in 2015 resulted in grants of refugee status, while for final decisions the share was somewhat lower, at 69%. …

The highest share of positive first instance asylum decisions in 2015 was recorded in Bulgaria (91%), followed by Malta, Denmark and the Netherlands. Conversely, Latvia, Hungary and Poland recorded first instance rejection rates above 80%. …

The highest shares of final rejections were recorded in Estonia, Lithuania and Portugal where all final decisions were negative…

The number of first time asylum applicants in Germany increased from 173 thousand in 2014 to 442 thousand in 2015… Hungary, Sweden and Austria also reported very large increases (all in excess of 50 thousand more first time asylum applicants) between 2014 and 2015. In relative terms, the largest increases in the number of first time applicants were recorded in Finland (over nine times as high), Hungary (over four times) and Austria (over three times), while Belgium, Spain, Germany, Luxembourg, Ireland and Sweden all reported that their number of first time asylum applicants more than doubled. By contrast, Romania, Croatia, Lithuania, Slovenia and Latvia reported fewer first time asylum applicants in 2015 than in 2014.

Germany’s share of the EU-28 total rose from 31% in 2014, to 35% in 2015, while other EU Member States that recorded a notable increase in their share of the EU-28 total included Hungary (up 6.6 percentage points to 13.9%), Austria (up 2.2 percentage points to 6.8%), and Finland (up 1.9 percentage points to 2.6%). Conversely, France and Italy’s shares of the EU-28 total each fell nearly 5 percentage points between 2014 and 2015, to 5.6% and 6.6% respectively. …

Syrians accounted for the largest number of applicants in 12 of the 28 EU Member States, including 159 thousand applicants in Germany (the highest number of applicants from a single country to one of the EU Member States in 2015), 64 thousand applicants in Hungary and 51 thousand in Sweden. Some 46 thousand Afghan applicants were recorded in Hungary, 41 thousand in Sweden and 31 thousand in Germany. A further 54 thousand Albanians, 33 thousand Kosovans and 30 thousand Iraqis also applied for asylum in Germany; no other EU Member State received 30 thousand or more asylum applicants in 2015 of a single citizenship. …

In 2015, there were 593 thousand first instance decisions in all EU Member States. By far the largest number of decisions was taken in Germany, … constituting more than 40% of the total first instance decisions in the EU-28 in 2015. In addition, there were 183 thousand final decisions, with again the far largest share (51%) in Germany.

The much larger country, United States, under its new President Donald Trump, is promising to cut sharply the number of annually admitted refugees, downward from its present meager 70,000.

On a per-capita basis, Europe is taking in seven times as many refugees as the U.S. does. Both America and Europe are widely expected to reduce, not to increase, the acceptance of refugees.

So: Does the Statue of Liberty still represent America — or does it instead represent only an America that once was, but no longer is?

When considering this question, one might also consider what precisely caused the refugees to become refugees. Syria was the largest source of 2015’s refugees into Europe. What have they been fleeing from? According to Western-sponsored polls of Syrians throughout that country, they have been fleeing mainly from U.S. bombs and bombers, which were supporting Al-Qaeda-backed jihadist groups that have been trying to take over their country. Of course, as was being reported in the Western press, they were fleeing mainly from Syrian government and its allied bombs and bombers that have been trying to kill ‘moderate rebels’ against that government.

Those were figures from 2015, when the U.S. was bombing throughout the year in Syria (where it was, in fact, an invader), and when Russia (which was no invader, but instead was invited in by Syria’s government, to help it prevent an overthrow by that U.S.-Saudi alliance) started bombing there only late, on September 30th of 2015. Mainly, Syrians were fleeing both from jihadists who were trying to take over their country, and from American bombs that were supporting those Saudi-financed jihadists. (And, overwhelmingly, the residents there were fleeing from what Obama euphemistically called ‘rebel controlled areas’, to the areas that were still under the Syrian government’s control.)

The second and third largest sources of refugees into Europe during that year were Iraq and Afghanistan, two countries that America started bombing in 2001 in retaliation for the Saudi royal family’s 9/11 attacks inside America. The new Trump Administration is retaliating against refugees from seven countries, on account of the 9/11, and also other, jihadist attacks, which likewise weren’t perpetrated by people from any of these seven: Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. In fact, at the very moment of that U.S. announcement about those seven countries, the Saud family were not only supporting both Al Qaeda and ISIS in Syria, but were dropping American-made bombs onto Shiites in Yemen. And Trump was terminating refugees both from Syria and from Yemen, thus cutting off any escape to the U.S. for those victims of U.S. aggression against those two countries that the Saud family and the U.S. aristocracy want to conquer. Will Europe take these refugees in?

U.S. aggression combines now with a tightening closed-door policy, and neither reality fits the Western myth. So, might Lady Liberty be crying also because of Western lying? She has become alien to this country as a misfit here, as being both a refuge and a model for the world. She no longer belongs in this country, in spirit. She might as well be officially included on President Trump’s banned list, a resident alien that’s being returned to sender. Maybe if Trump sends her back to France, he’ll try to negotiate with France’s leaders, some sort of price that they will be billed — not, of course for creating the statue (since it was created by the French), but, like he plans to get Mexicans to pay for building his wall to keep them out.

How far will Trump go in his ‘politically incorrect’ new form of ‘Americanism’?

Appeal Aimed at Fordham University: ‘Don’t Ban Students for Justice in Palestine!’

 

Posted on January 31, 2017

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[ Ed. note – Imagine a student organization at a major American university–(where such lofty ideals as academic freedom and free speech presumably are held dear)–being banned before it even gets organized or holds its first meeting.

Well, that’s what happened at Fordham University with the local Students for Justice in Palestine chapter.

The school’s dean of students, Keith Eldredge, vetoed a measure approved by the University Student Government association which would have recognized the SJP group. Eldredge announced his decision in a December 22 email sent out to the young student activists who had applied for permission to form the organization on campus.

“After consultation with numerous faculty, staff and students and my own deliberation, I have decided to deny the request to form a club known as Students for Justice in Palestine at Fordham University,” he wrote. “While students are encouraged to promote diverse political points of view, and we encourage conversation and debate on all topics, I cannot support an organization whose sole purpose is advocating political goals of a specific group, and against a specific country, when these goals clearly conflict with and run contrary to the mission and values of the University.”

So in other words opposing an apartheid state and calling for an end to a decades-long occupation runs against the “mission and values” of Fordham University? What’s disgusting about this is that Fordham is, at least nominally, a Christian university that was founded by the Catholic diocese of New York. So is Eldredge trying to imply that SJP’s support for the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement somehow violates the teachings of Jesus?

“There is perhaps no more complex topic than the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and it is a topic that often leads to polarization rather than dialogue,” Eldredge goes on.

So Jesus–a man who called the Pharisees hypocrites, turned over the tables of the money changers, and accused the Jewish scribes of turning his Father’s house into a den of robbers–was somehow timidly averse to being polarizing when a clear need presented itself?

“The purpose of the organization [SJP] as stated in the proposed club constitution points toward that polarization,” the dean continues. “Specifically, the call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of Israel presents a barrier to open dialogue and mutual learning and understanding.”

Thank you, Dean Eldredge, and I’m sure the Zionist settlers in the West Bank are also aware of the dire need for “open dialogue and mutual learning and understanding”

Maybe the occupation of Palestine is a “complex topic” to the deans at Fordham University, but of course for most of the rest of us, it’s really not that hard to figure out.

The current president of Fordham is the Rev. Joseph M. McShane. If you follow one of the links below you will find a letter addressed to McShane written by Palestine Legal, whose mission is to protect “the civil and constitutional rights of people in the US who speak out for Palestinian freedom.” Quite a big job obviously and probably about to become even more challenging.

Also below you will find an appeal addressed to Fordham University by the Friends of Sabeel North America. I must say I admire their diplomacy. It’s probably more than I could have mustered. FOSNA, by the way, is a Christian ecumenical group affiliated with Sabeel, an international peace movement launched by Palestinian Christians. ]


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After subjecting Palestinian student activists to an extensive and abnormally elongated vetting process that lasted over a year, Fordham University in New York City has banned its chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine. Palestine Legal and the Center for Constitutional Rights stated that the ban “blatantly violates [the University’s] promise to guarantee freedom of inquiry on campus,” calling on Fordham’s administration to “immediately permit and facilitate the formation of SJP.”

On Monday, FOSNA Executive Director Tarek Abuata sent an open letter to Fordham’s administration urging them to reinstate the chapter.

Help us tell Fordham University that as people of conscience, now more than ever, we have a responsibility to take action and support Palestine solidarity efforts.

Please call, write, or e-mail:

President Rev. Joseph M. McShane
president@fordham.edu

Keith Eldredge, Dean of Students
eldredge@fordham.edu

Office of the President, Fordham University
441 East Fordham Road
Bronx, NY 10458
Tel: 718-817-3000

Free debate and open inquiry are hallmarks of university study. Help us ensure that Fordham University gives students who seek to debate, organize, and advocate for justice in Palestine and Israel the opportunity to do so as part of their educational experience.

Support our work by donating

Letter in support of Fordham Students for Justice in Palestine:

President Rev. Joseph M. McShane
Keith Eldredge, Dean of Students
Office of the President, Fordham University
president@fordham.edu
eldredge@fordham.edu
441 East Fordham Road
Bronx, NY 10458
Tel: 718-817-3000

Dear President Rev. McShane and Dean Eldredge,

Friends of Sabeel North America is a Christian ecumenical organization seeking justice and peace in the Holy Land through nonviolent advocacy and education. As executive director, I write to express deep concern that Fordham University has decided to prohibit students from organizing a Students for Justice in Palestine chapter on your campus.

You may have seen this week’s statement from the Catholic Bishops of the 2017 Holy Land Coordination. This statement provides an urgent plea for the people of the world (and Catholics in particular) to pray and act for justice in the Holy Land:

Fifty years of occupation demands action.

For fifty years the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza have languished under occupation, violating the human dignity of both Palestinians and Israelis. This is a scandal to which we must never become accustomed.  Our Coordination has called for justice and peace every year since 1998, yet the suffering continues. So this call must get louder. As Bishops we implore Christians in our home countries to recognise our own responsibility for prayer, awareness and action.

So many people in the Holy Land have spent their entire lives under occupation, with its polarising social segregation, yet still profess hope and strive for reconciliation. Now, more than ever, they deserve our solidarity.

(See the signatories and full text)

We implore you to encourage your students to become active for justice and peace in Palestine and Israel by allowing the SJP chapter to form. As you know, throughout history students have been at the forefront of debating and organizing for justice causes (women’s rights; abolition of slavery; equality in racial, ethnic, and economic matters; opposition to war and to the apartheid regime in South Africa).

The First Amendment protects free speech as a hallmark of our democracy. Free debate and open inquiry are hallmarks of university study. Please give to the students who seek to debate, organize, and advocate for justice in Palestine and Israel this fundamental opportunity as part of their educational experience at Fordham University.

Friends of Sabeel North America has worked closely with SJP groups across the country. We find they are composed of bright, compassionate, highly conscientious students. SJP chapters are usually comprised of Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and secular students. They represent a cross-section of ethnic, racial, and religious diversity.

Please allow your Fordham students the freedom all Americans hold dear. Encourage rather than prohibit their work for justice in Palestine and Israel as the Catholic Bishops of the 2017 Holy Land Coordination have urged.

With warm regards,

Tarek Abuata, Executive Director

Friends of Sabeel North America


Fordham University’s Ban on Palestinian Rights Group Sets Dangerous Precedent

By Joe Catron | January 26, 2017

Mint Press News

NEW YORK — Nearly a hundred students and community members rallied on Fordham University’s Manhattan campus before marching to nearby Columbus Circle on Monday.

The protest marked the latest chapter in an ongoing effort by students at the Jesuit institution to found a chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine on their campus.

SJP organizations, which take their name from a still-existing student group founded at the University of California, Berkeley in 1993, already exist on over a hundred campuses in the United States, as well as several overseas.

A national organization using the same name organizes annual conferences attended by many of these loose affiliates, but maintains no formal relationship with them.

On Nov. 19, 2015, four students at Fordham applied with the university’s administration to register an SJP club at the school’s Lincoln Center campus.

By all accounts, they did not expect the grueling ordeal that lay before them.

Their plans finally ground to a halt on Dec. 22, 2016, when Keith Eldredge, dean of students at the Lincoln Center campus, informed several SJP activists in an email that he had overruled a vote by the school’s United Student Government to recognize the group a month earlier and denied it registration as a student organization.

“According to sources within student government, he has never even reviewed a club for veto, let alone actually vetoed one, in his entire ten years here at Fordham,” Sapphira Lurie, a senior and lead campus organizer for Fordham Students for Justice in Palestine, told MintPress News. “This is a clear example of the Palestine exception to free speech.”

“The Palestine exception,” a term popularized by Palestine Legal and the Center for Constitutional Rights in a 2015 report of that name, refers to barriers to free speech and organizing faced by Palestinian and solidarity activists in the US.

In a Jan. 17 statement on Fordham’s ban of SJP, Palestine Legal, a nonprofit organization that provides legal assistance and representation to Palestine activists, said it had responded to more than 600 attempts to repress their activities nationally since the start of 2014.

Of these, it said, “the vast majority” targeted students and faculty.

On campus, these efforts often include obstacles to student organizing, like challenges to event funding and space registration, or the unwarranted suspension of recognized groups, as well as the intimidation, and occasional termination, of faculty.

But Fordham’s preemptive ban of a student organization sets a dangerous new precedent, one students and other local activists are determined to fight.

“As far as we’re aware, this is the first time a college has summarily banned a group supporting Palestinian rights before students even held their first meeting,” Radhika Sainath, a Palestine Legal staff attorney and cooperating counsel at the CCR, told MintPress News.

‘Fordham breached its express promise’

Palestine Legal’s statement summarized a letter, sent by it and the CCR to Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., Fordham’s president, on the same day.

When they filed their application, the letter said, “[T]he students expected Fordham would approve their group within a few weeks so that they could start their educational programming.”

[[[ Read Palestine Legal’s letter to Fordham’s president Rev. Joseph M. McShane. ]]]

Instead, they faced months of stonewalling, punctuated by meetings at which administrators asked if they would consider a different name, expressed concern at their support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and use of the word “apartheid,” and inquired about their willingness to work with groups like Jewish Voice for Peace, J Street, and Seeds for Peace.

The administrators also inquired whether an anti-BDS resolution passed by the New York City Council or an executive order and blacklist opposing the movement issued by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, all last year, should preclude SJP’s recognition by the university.

As the USG decision on Nov. 17 neared, one administrator, Dorothy Wenzel of the university’s office of student leadership, who had previously admitted to polling Jewish faculty on whether SJP should be allowed to register at Fordham, instructed a USG officer to notify the school’s Jewish Student Organization of the pending vote.

Continued here

Last Moments of the Three Bahraini Martyrs with the “Turbaned Man”

January 17, 2017

Three young martyrs executed by the Bahraini authorities

Bahraini people will never forget what happened Saturday morning and the afterward events. The morning that witnessed Bahrain king’s approval to execute three innocent young men over a story fabricated by his Royal Court. The next dawn, Bahraini authorities executed the defendants with the support of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and others.

Why has the execution sentence been issued? How the fabricated charges against Abbas Al-Samea, Ali Al-Singace and Sami Mushaima brought them to the guillotine of execution.

On March 3, 2014, Bahraini authorities announced that three soldiers were killed along with an Emirati officer in a bomb blast it said went off in Diyya town north of the country.

Bahrainis still question the story. At that time, people of Diyya not only didn’t hear any sound that resembles the sound of explosion, but also said that the four military personnel in subject were killed by a bomb blast that was in the possession of the UAE officer who was involved in the suppression of Bahrainis inside their safe villages.

Hours later, Bahraini interior ministry arrested “a number of the perpetrators of the bombing.” Prior to any investigation, their photographs were displayed on the state television, which claimed their responsibility for the incident!

Inside the prison, torture was a daily meal for three detainees. They had to be forced to confess and save face for Bahrain with the UAE. Bahraini authority wanted to close the case by a “punishment” that satisfies Emirati people without asking: What was our officer doing in Bahrain? What was the Emirati military doing against the unarmed people of Bahrain?

In a leaked recording from inside the prison, martyr Abbas Al-Samea said: “After the bombing of Diyya, it was necessary for the government to satisfy its followers and the UAE after the killing of al-Shehhi (the Emirati officer Tariq al-Shehhi), there should be a scapegoat that was my brothers, people of my village and I. This is what we were told in the torture chambers.”

Samea was arrested along with his four brothers, Sami Mushaima was arrested with his two brothers, in addition to Ali Al-Singace and a tenth detainee.

Statement by Rawabi school proving that Abbas Al-Samea was at work the time of Diyya explosion

Statement by Rawabi school proving that Abbas Al-Samea was at work the time of Diyya explosion

Upon holding the trial, defense lawyers presented a document issued by the school where Samea works as a sports teacher, proving that he was at school the time of the bombing. However, the court ignored the document, stripped Samea of his citizenship and sentenced him to death.

Regarding the case of Mushaima, the court rejected the testimonies given by some twenty witnesses who reported that he was at home at the time of the bombing. The court did not approve the statements, but stripped him of his citizenship and sentenced him to death.

As for Singace, his mother confirmed that he had not been investigated on the killing of the UAE officer. Her son hadn’t been asked about the blast immediately after his arrest on April 2, 2015 in the town of Diraz, but was forced to sign papers stating that “he acknowledges his responsibility for the Diyya bombing.” On that day he was sentenced to death.

Last Friday, Bahraini judiciary approved the execution sentence, soon the King signed it, and the sentence was carried out Sunday dawn on January 15. Four bullets pierced the heart of each of Samea, Mushaima and Singace.

Later on, activists circulated photos of the three young men laid down over the bather. Mushaima’s photo took everyone who saw it back to his words at the Pearl Square in 2011, when he was asked by the Bahraini activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja about a previous arrest: After the torture you suffered, would you continue or not?

Smiling and full of confidence Mushaima replied: I will continue to death!

Mushaima’s mother recalled her visit to him in prison after the last detention, his face was puffy and toothless, and effects of burns were clear on his hands… This is how Mushaima was forced to sign fabricated confessions.

Singace’s name, who refused to collaborate with the regime, appeared for the first time on media in 2012 when he was 15 years old. At the time he was found lying in a garage of his town of Sanabis, stripped of his clothes. Later, After refusing the regime’s offer, he was threatened, a charge was fabricated against him and was sentenced to 5 years in jail. He spent his days fugitive and wanted, before his body knew stability in the Mahooz cemetery after he was executed.

At midnight on Saturday, regime authorities summoned a turbaned man dispatched by Bahrain’s Interior Ministry to the prison. However, he did not meet the three young men before 03:00 a.m.

The turbaned man talked to the three youths, he was quoted as saying that he found them ready for the execution, he asked them to express their last demands. Singace and Samea asked to pray and to write their wills. He brought to them papers and pen.

“Martyr teacher Abbas [Samea],” as his mother would like to call him, asked to call his parents to say goodbye for the last time, but was rebuffed.

Mushaima couldn’t be able to write his will. the 40-year old man does not know how to write, he recited the will verbally before the turbaned “Sheikh”, hoping it will reach his parents and siblings.

So far, families of the martyrs have not received the wills and belongings of their children. No one will be able to know what Samea and Singace wrote and what Mushaima said before condolences ceremonies end. Until today, they only narrate the commandments they had heard from their children: “If people want to win, they will have to stand before the oppressor and sacrifice what they have” Not a right is obtained without sacrifices, Not a nation is build without sacrifices.

Source: Al-Manar Website

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Reporting from Cuba: The absence of right…wing politics

by Ramin Mazaheri

It is with great regret that I have to leave Havana after 1 month of special-assignment reporting for Press TV in order to return to Paris.

That may surprise a lot of people, but think of what type of work I am returning to: Stories about unabashed capitalism, chauvinistic neo-imperialism, anti-Muslim xenophobia and the upcoming presidential contest in which the only 2 serious contenders are a right-wing candidate and the far-right National Front.

Why is reporting in France (leftist reporting) considered easy? I cannot count the number of times I have been tear-gassed in the last year while covering on France’s anti-government protests, due to ineffective austerity policies.

Let’s not forget that France is still (14 months now) a police state of emergency, one step short of marital law. The government’s power grab due to just 2 terror attacks continues to undermine France’s claim of democracy (the Nice tragedy was a crazed lone wolf and not organized by any terror group).

And yet it was Cuba which was described as “militarist”, “tyrannical” and “dictatorial” across the West following the recent death of Fidel Castro.

Well, working in Cuba has been totally free of the reactionary violence which is a daily occurrence in France. It has been a celebration of leftist resistance, and the honoring of amazing advances in the face of the genocidal US-orchestrated international Blockade.

I was quite happy to spend 1 month of my life to defend the modern democratic will of the Cuban people and thus the ongoing Cuban Revolution. About all I am looking forward to in France is the bread.

Cuban bread – the type the average person eats and which I regularly bought at local, state-run panaderías – is an offense to bread everywhere. Cubans rightly pointed out that it was the best they can do when the Blockade makes things like oil, butter and salt scarce. Sure, a piece of the subsidized “staff of life” costs just one-fourth of one US penny, and it did keep me from hunger many nights, but I will remember it only as the bitter taste of omnipresent US imperialism, which tastes bad even when dipped in evaporated milk.

In France I defend more than just the culinary endowments of Western Europe’s geographical breadbasket, I defend the democratic will of the people (when France isn’t being reactionary and racist). However, I am part of a very small minority, both socially and as a journalist. In Cuba, I am not, and it has been wonderful.

Why is it like this? Why is France so rich and yet so troubled? Why do I have such trouble finding positive stories there? I have an idea:

In Cuba a far-right simply does not exist – racism, xenophobia and such reactionary stupidities are banned. If you call that “tyranny”, all I can say is that I side with the Cubans in refusing to defend to the death your right to spread inequality, hate and regression.

And what I cannot stress enough is the enormous effect the absence of a right-wing clearly has on the hearts, minds and daily bearing of the Cuban people.

You cannot simply chalk up to the weather the yawning difference between the open-hearted Cubans and the cold, unfriendly, excessively forma and pessimistic French. Surely it is more due to the corrosive cultural effect of tolerating right-wing thought.

Just imagine for yourself what your Western nation would be like if there was no far-right influence? If the goals of racial solidarity and economic equality simply could not be questioned, and had to be promoted?

That’s what Cuban culture has that the West does not, and such cultural gold is both beyond measure and incredibly rare anywhere in 2017.

It clearly gives many French the jollies to insult, denigrate and promote competitiveness, but I assume this is why the silent majority is nauseated, depressed and reportedly adulterous.

But right-wing thought is more than just tolerated across the West, it is avidly promoted by both government and media. From chauvinistic nationalism to capitalist neoliberal dogma which has no factual grounding in reality to “on what moral ground could you possibly claim” humanitarian interventionism – with such ideological tent poles, how can any Western nation claim to be more “modern” or “humanistic” than Cuba?

And yet, the total war against leftist thought means that it’s the French who are considered “modern” and “advanced”. Paris is city full of rich old people who can afford to live in the past – Havana, so close to the belligerent United States, cannot afford such illusions.

People said I could not “report from Cuba”

The idea was something like that I would be prohibited, spied on, redacted and thought-controlled.

Nothing like that happened remotely. It was quite simple, and here is how you do it: You work with the government, not against it.

You don’t sneak into the country on a tourist visa and do a halfway job – you get a formal journalist visa and follow their laws. You provide the government with a list of story ideas and be upfront about what type of journalism you want to do. You meet with them a few times. You talk with them as equals. You remind them that they know more about their own society than you do, and welcome their ideas. You act like what you are – a guest, and not some zealot missionary there to spread light and truth amid darkness and lies.

This is all to show the government that…you are not one of the very many advocating the destruction of their society and culture.

If you cannot understand why Cuba would be vigilant in this respect, you are not smart enough to be permitted to report from here and I hope your visa request is denied!

If you say “such governmental oversight proves the press is not free”, I encourage you do just a bit of research to find out how Iran’s Press TV, to give one example, has been banned, hounded and subverted in places like France, the UK and the US.

There is a crucial difference here: I don’t ever recall Cuba claiming to be a beacon of free press. I have heard the same false claims from the three Western countries just mentioned.

Bottom line: The Cuban Center for International Press was only helpful in my work, and never once did they do anything which I considered remotely infringing on my press freedom.

They permitted me access wherever I wanted to go, helped find me appropriate analysts, and if I had more time here they would have been even more help. They did not redact anything, nor did they have the chance to as they never even asked to see my final products – my work was published without any oversight from the Cuban government whatsoever.

What did I learn from 1 month reporting in Cuba?

If you only read one paragraph, read this:

I talked to dozens of people here, maybe over 100, and from all ages and backgrounds: What seems rock-solid to me is that Cuba is not changing, post-Fidel. He gave up power 9 years ago anyway, so there is no huge sea change due to his death, just a profound sadness for a national hero. I repeat – if you think Cuba is an island adrift, come visit and talk to the people.

Let’s make one key idea clear: The Cuban Revolution is clearly supported en masse.

Their wrong hypothesis is: That the Cuban Revolution was the work of just one exceptional man, Fidel, instead of the combined, sustained efforts of millions of people.

My hypothesis: Not one but two generations have grown up under a total Blockade, so how could they not support the Revolution? Who could go without so long under the gun of a blockade, being deprived of so many basic opportunities, and not be converted? They have no illusions here that the US can or should be trusted; they are committed to independence, anti-imperialism and solidarity with and for all.

This is the main point I take away from Cuba: The Cuban Blockade is an absolute crime against this noble, modern culture.

If you had to rank it, you could place slightly behind the Nazi genocide against Jews, and the Israeli genocide against Palestinians. But the Cubans justifiably call the blockade “The longest genocide in history”. Are not all three the attempt to kill an entire people and destroy an entire culture? This is exactly what is going against Cuba.

Let’s dispense with another idea: The Cuban government/Communist Party also has widespread support because Cuba has been able to do so much despite such total aggression.

Gaping tourists appear slightly more idiotic in Cuba than elsewhere, because the lack of infrastructure is a surprise. This is a poor country, and that is obvious everywhere.

This country is so impoverished that there should be widespread famine – there isn’t, as the people appear very robust. There should be widespread begging in Havana – there is literally none, save one or two drunks. They should be illiterate and jobless and sick – they aren’t.

The lack of these things amid such poverty perfectly explains why Communist Party has justifiably earned the support of the people.

And I could go on here about how Cuba’s system is, in fact, democratic, with popular votes, easy access to candidature, bans on election campaigning, mechanisms for recall, etc., but this is not a dissection of Cuba’s system of communist democracy, which is not at all a contradiction. It is, however, all there in black and white and in the law for those who want to learn more about it.

Anyway, we need space to discuss the fact that one need not even confuse the Cuban Revolution and the Cuban government: to do so is an attempt to construct a strawman argument, and this is precisely what anti-Cuban or anti-Castro forces do (and all they do).

Recall that I am coming from a place where the president has a 4% approval rating, and where his policies are so unpopular, so undemocratic, that he cannot even stand for re-election. This only confirms my thesis that nobody actually likes their government anywhere in the world and that complaining about any and every government is as natural a pastime as talking about the weather.

But despite all the people who hate Donald Trump, does anyone in the US really push for overturning the American Revolution of 1776? Of course not – it is the same here: You can be pro-revolution and anti-government without contradiction, if you insist.

If you are anti-Cuban government as well as anti-Cuban Revolution…you are just a reactionary fascist. The Cuban Revolution, undoubtedly, restored power, land and life to the people. It ended tyranny and foreign domination.

Now, if you do not realize that you should support the Cuban people’s popular choice of government in order to also give much-needed support their Revolution…well, then you are just an average Western fake leftist.

Yes, nobody here every told me that the Cuban government was the most effective, efficient group of men and women who levied taxes and monopolized the use of force, but you’ll never hear that anywhere. If you are looking for such “insights”, I suggest tuning into Washington-funded propaganda outlet Radio and TV Marti.

A government working amid the US-led Blockade genocide

Just as Sartre said that to understand communism must one first embrace its ideals, to truly understand the Cuban government (and by extension Cuban culture) one must first embrace the idea that they have provided food, health, education and security despite the orchestration of a trans-national blockade for nearly 60 years.

And what is the Blockade? Firstly, it is not what the US claims it is – simply a bilateral “embargo”. The US ruthlessly persecutes any nation which tries to do business or even aid Cuba.

It should be stunning to find out that any ship which docks in Cuba cannot dock in the US for 6 months. Cuba is an island nation, after all, hugely reliant on maritime shipping. But how many shipping companies can afford to bypass the world’s largest market just 100 kilometers away in order to work with Cuba?

The Blockade bans any 3rd party from importing products with Cuban sugar or nickel, their only natural resource. The Blockade bans half of all new, world-class drugs, causing innumerable deaths.

Cuba is locked out of the international banking system, crippling their ability to buy and sell goods.

The US even obstructs charitable donations!

This is total war against Cuba, given that invasion already failed at the Bay of Pigs.

The Cuban government deserves an incredible amount of accolades for providing the equal standard of living that they currently have.

Perhaps I am especially sensitive to all this as I am an Iranian citizen – I thought the US sanctions on our country were bad, but Cuba is another level. Iran benefits from increased distance from the US, 6 times more people, and plenty of oil, but innumerable Iranians have died due to the same lack of medication, modern technology and other aggressions against our popular, democratic revolution.

Iran’s development has skyrocketed since the end of the Iran-Iraq War, but even if you could import 10,000 Macintosh computers to Cuba you would find very few buyers because there is simply no money on the island.

It’s not just Cuban cars which are stuck in a time warp: Seemingly everything here dates from 1959, and that’s the new stuff!

That’s what happens after 6 decades of being unable to sell goods; 6 decades of having foreign investors scared off by the United States.

This is what the Communist Party has been up against for so intolerably long, and yet they still lead the hemisphere in many respects.

Obama apologists will point to Cuba as a success – don’t believe it

Opening an embassy was not gutting the Blockade, which he could have via executive order. Full stop. Obama apologists lose, alongside 11 million innocent Cubans. Please stop trying to defend the indefensible.

He also waited too long to even try – less than $400 million in goods have been exported to Cuba since 2014 – and now there are no “economic realities on the ground” which could prevent Trump from reversing everything, as he has promised.

Yeah I’m sure Cuba did go slow, but the dangerous of immediate US economic domination should be obvious. They also largely insist on productive joint ventures, not typical capitalist exploitation.

Exports to Cuba (mostly food) have actually fallen since restrictions were “eased”, and yet less food for Cuba is somehow a success?

Obama had a ton of executive power at his disposal and his main contribution will be to simply reopen communication, but there should be no doubt that he also strengthened the genocide.Even after restoring relations in 2014 his administration levied billions in fines against French and German companies for “blockade violations”.

The message was clear: there is no thaw in relations, and Cuba stays under our thumb.

Obama did not end subversive US programs, bans on imports and exports, a little torture chamber called Guantanamo on Cuban soil which he promised to close and didn’t – all could have been ended by executive order.

At the 11th hour Obama has just repealed the preferential “wet foot/dry foot” immigration policy. Kudos, better late than never. But by waiting so long he added to the US “brain drain” of Cuba for 7 years, 11 months and 51 weeks – he squeezed the most he could out them, I guess.

Try as his apologists might, Obama cannot be transformed into a leftist, because any clear-eyed analysis shows he’s not even a centrist. As is typical of his entire presidency he only represented a change in form and color, not a change in US tactics.

I was able to console Cubans with, “Iranians say the same thing”: They don’t report any changes following a so-called “historic thaw in relations”.

Getting started is always the most difficult, but going from 0 to 1 on a scale of 10 is not a major advance nor worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize.

In fact Obama just added 10 more years of sanctions against Iran, and he did it in his typical “form over substance” method: He didn’t sign the bill, but he allowed it to pass. This is the same thing but now he has plausible deniability.

Now his apologists can say that the sanctions are only the result of an “obstinate Congress”. It’s best to remember that it was assumed he would sign the bill, but this change of tactic was a surprise.

One step forward, 11 steps back, look good doing it, stress racial/identity politics – peaked on election night 2008, no doubt. No wonder many in Cuba support Trump, even though the Donald really only talked tough against Iran and Cuba.

I had so many stories left to do!

3,500 Cubans killed by Miami-based terrorists and not 1 American by Cuban revolutionaries; the occupation of Guantanamo Bay (the only far-right in Cuba, LOL); who will the US seek to assassinate now that Fidel has passed from natural causes; Raul is stepping down next year after two 5-year terms, what’s his legacy; who is Miguel Diaz-Canal, the 55-year old engineer tipped to become the new Communist Party leader; and much more!

But I am glad to have made my small reports. It is too bad that capitalism and imperialist forces dominate the West so thoroughly that pro-Cuban reports – i.e. reporting what the majority of Cuban people believe – are such an outlier in the English language; it’s too bad that so many English-language journalists are so heavily-indoctrinated that they look askance at any report which isn’t “balancing” the Blockade with accusations of tyranny and dictatorship.

I doubt I have made many friends in the Little Havana area of Miami – that’s no problem, because I don’t expect a warm reception in the Iranian-exile dominated area of Beverly Hills, either.

But enough about me and more about Cuba!

And this where Cuba deserves some criticism: They are failing terribly in the information war.

They have not realized that Cuba needs an international media presence like Iran’s Press TV, Venezuela’s TeleSUR and Russia’s RT/Sputnik.

In a place where technological development has been so forcibly retarded, I hypothesize that Cuba simply doesn’t realize that the Internet means that Cuba can finally broadcast their own story to the world; no longer is the world dominated by AP, Reuters and the New York Times.

Yes, such a media costs money, and Cuba is rightly focused on providing for the basic needs of their own people, but I know the world’s leftists are starving for information about Cuba, that Cuba has so many amazing stories to tell and that Cuba has so many fascinating programs to reveal.

Cuba is certainly the leftist leader of the Western Hemisphere – their history of resistance, geographic location and modern culture also makes them a global leftist leader. They need an international media which reflects that, for the good of international leftism. Granma is, after all, just 8 pages long.

Cuba is undoubtedly has a third-world economy – and that’s an unforgiveable crime created by the Blockade – but it is undoubtedly a first-world culture.

I leave Havana convinced that post-Fidel Cuba will not be regressing, and will remain an amazing place for so many of the right leftist reasons.

*****

One final note of interest I’d like to include:

As the longtime correspondent of Iran’s Press TV in France I take a special interest in Muslims – if I don’t cover the bottom of France’s social pyramid, who will? There are only 10,000 Muslims in Cuba, but I visited Havana’s main mosque and not one person said they had ever encountered governmental or even societal discrimination due to their religious belief. One person said he converted 13 years ago and had never heard any Muslim make such a complaint.

This is the exact opposite of what Muslims report in France, as well as much of supposedly “tolerant” Europe.

Of course, the idea that Cuba is anti-religion has been outdated for 2 decades – John Paul II was here in 1998. It’s only promoted by establishment media because it’s another form of anti-Communist propaganda.

Banning religion has clearly not been a long-term success for Communism anywhere, and Cuba recognized that and changed.

Yes, some hugely annoying (and US-based) evangelistic groups like the Jehovah’s Witnesses have been banned, but perhaps they should consider not knocking on everyone’s door to aggressively convert people. When I lived in Gary, Indiana, they disturbed my Saturday morning too many times to count.

I’m not condoning religious oppression and I didn’t care to dig that deep into it, but I was reminded that seemingly every society has some religion that gets oppressed: Scientologists are harassed in Germany (even though I doubt many even know what its tenets are – I don’t), the US killed 82 Seventh-Day Adventists at Waco, Texas, Muslims are attacked in Burma, Jews are targeted for attacks in France, and the list goes on.

The biggest religion in Cuba may be Santeria – a distinctly Cuban-African mix. I visited the homes of White/Aboriginal people who put up elaborate altars to this West African religion, with pictures of Jesus and some Catholic saints added in. It’s pretty telling about the open-mindedness of Cuban culture that non-Blacks have widely embraced a religion which started among the Yoruba of today’s Nigeria.

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television.

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