Society's Child

Heart - Black

Pro-Israel lobby's McCarthyism and extreme measures to slime BDS human rights activists


As pro-Israel extremism reaches new depths with the notorious Canary Mission project, the FBI investigates growing threats against BDS activists.

This article is part one of a four-part investigation.

The Israel lobby is redirecting resources to a new project after its failure to stop the Iran nuclear deal despite spending an estimated $30 million to halt it. Following the defeat, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered a campaign against the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement that is spreading on American college campuses. The funding is flowing from donors closely linked to Netanyahu's government. But the effort has almost instantly run into trouble. It is inspiring an atmosphere of incitement and intimidation, and the FBI is now investigating violent threats made against BDS activists.

The BDS movement has gathered momentum at a staggering pace since it was devised by Palestinian civil society groups in 2005. With its call for grassroots level boycotts to pressure Israel into respecting the human rights of Palestinians, the movement has spread across European capitals and found fertile soil on American college campuses. Groups like Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace now boast chapters at almost every major university, and student governments at most University of California campuses have passed resolutions to divest from occupation-linked corporations. The trend is sending shockwaves through pro-Israel circles, prompting a desperate multi-million dollar campaign to crush it.

Comment: Clearly, if these AIPAC goons can't attack the message, then they will attack the messenger in any despicable way they can.


Pope Francis admits to 'sense of regret' over meeting gay marriage opponent Kim Davis

Pope Francis' meeting last week with an American woman at the center of a row over gay marriage was not something he had sought and should not be seen as an endorsement of her views, the Vatican said on Friday.

One Vatican official said there was "a sense of regret" that the pope had ever seen Kim Davis, a Kentucky county clerk who went to jail in September for refusing to honor a U.S. Supreme Court ruling and issue same-sex marriage licenses.

The encounter in Washington was originally kept secret and has sparked widespread debate since it became public this week, proving something of a misstep for the pontiff.

Looking to smother the fierce controversy, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said Davis was one of "several dozen" people who had been invited by the Vatican ambassador to see Francis during his visit to the U.S. capital.

Comment: The question remains whether the Pope truly regrets meeting with such a reprehensible person as Kim Davis, or it the expressed regret is merely PR damage control after the controversy erupted. One hopes that the Pope realizes he was not dealing someone truly Catholic at heart:

Hypocrite: Kim Davis, who refuses on biblical grounds to give marriage licenses to gay couples, has committed adultery and had child out of wedlock
Mayoral candidate inspired by Kim Davis wants to "eradicate homosexuals" by throwing them in jail

Star of David

Parents of slain Palestinian teen claim knife found near her was planted by IDF

© al-Jabhat al-Islamiyya/Youtube
Hadil al-Hashlamoun skipped breakfast the last morning she was alive. She rushed out of her home, past a furnishing store and clothing shop with plastic mannequins in the front window. The sun was rising, her four siblings were still sleeping. The only other person awake in the second story apartment was her mother who was already busy with housework, too engaged in her daily routine to have a final conversation.

Within an hour 18-year old Hadil would be dead.

Hadil was shot to death at a Hebron checkpoint by Israeli soldiers under disputed circumstances on September 22. Amnesty has called the killing an "extrajudicial execution."

That morning Hadil was fasting in preparation for a feast of a dinner her family would share for the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha. With a deepening religious faith, six months ago, Hadil began wearing a niqab, a loose black covering that concealed her face and body but left her hands exposed. When she reached the checkpoint that divides the city of Hebron between Palestinian and Israeli control, soldiers yelled at her in Hebrew—a language she did not understand. They told her not to pass through the crossing. She obeyed, yet was struck with at least six bullets.

Her small frame was left without medical attention for 45 minutes while soldiers and settlers alike photographed her body. She was then transferred to an Israeli hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Comment: See also:

Mr. Potato

Mob of angry vegans protest Toronto steakhouse

A group of vegans thought they would further their cause by storming a Toronto steakhouse, peppering a hostess with questions and shouting at customers.

Instead, even those on the left are ridiculing their tactics.

Several protesters from a group identified as "Direct Action Everywhere Toronto" by the Huffington Post entered The Keg Mansion steakhouse in Toronto, Canada. Video shows the lead agitator perusing a menu near the entrance of the restaurant.

Comment: Are these protesters suffering from the brain shrinkage that often accompanies vegetarian and vegan diets?

Arrow Down

Child abuse: Ponerized federal judge allows school district to use pepper spray on students

© Reuters / Sergiy Polezhaka
Pepper Spray
A federal judge won't stop an Alabama school district from punishing students with pepper spray for minor offenses, but he ordered school resource officers to come up with a new policy for using the nonlethal devices.

U.S. District Court Judge Abdul Kallon ruled Wednesday that six Birmingham students sprayed by SROs with Freeze+P during fights were entitled to a total of $40,000 in excessive force claims, reported

The Southern Poverty Law Center — which filed a federal lawsuit five years ago against the school district, the police chief and six SROs — claimed police used chemical irritant 110 times on 300 students, most of whom were black.

More than 1,200 other students in the predominantly black school district were also exposed to pepper spray during those incidents, the SLPC reported.

Comment: The role of police in schools has nothing to do with protecting children, but is intended to instill fear and compliance in an increasingly militarized and violent police state. It also works to keep sufficient numbers of children in the school-to-prison pipeline, thus insuring the revenue stream of the prison industrial complex.


Oakland community in shock after artist shot dead while painting peace mural

© Oakland Superheroes Mural Project / Facebook
A young artist has been shot dead in a rough part of Oakland. He was working on a community project painting a motivational mural to inspire young people to dream big.

Fellow artists have described the shooting as random, saying Antonio Ramos, 27, had had an argument with a passerby who wasn't part of the group working on the Mural Project. The argument quickly escalated, and the offender used his gun on Ramos and ran away.

Comment: Terribly sad outcome for this young man. Pray the killer is apprehended.


Explosion at Miami Beach high-rise building leaves over 30 injured

© MiamiDadeFire / Twitter
The explosion occurred at the Chateau Beach Condo, in Sunny Isles Beach, Miami. A large hole can be seen in the building.
At least 34 people have been injured after an an explosion at a high-rise building in Miami Beach, Florida. The blast appears to have originated in the boiler room, and there are reports of a gas leak, according to WSVN.

The explosion occurred at the Chateau Beach Condo, in the Sunny Isles Beach neighborhood. A large hole can be seen in the building.

Multiple emergency units are on the scene, and it has been listed as a Level 3 Mass Casualty Incident, meaning at least 20 people are hurt, officials told WSVN.

"There was [an] explosion at the top of the building. We are on scene with Ocean Rescue, assisting them as they need us," said Sunny Isles Beach Sgt. Brian Schnell.

Pedestrians may have been struck by large pieces of concrete from a side wall. Glass and debris also rained down on beachgoers and hotel patrons next door to the condo.

Several people are being treated for severe burns and will be sent to area hospitals.

The building was under construction, officials told WTVJ.

An active gas leak was reported near the scene at the adjacent Travelodge Monaco, WFOR reported.

The 33-story building was under construction. Argentine developer Manuel Grosskopf and his father Sergio broke ground on the 84-residence project in January 2013. The completion date is listed only as 2015, according to real estate company Linda G Properties.

It is now a two-alarm fire, according to Alertpage Inc.


Booming arms trade between UK and Mexico fueling drug wars

© Edgard Garrido / Reuters
Britain is fueling a deadly conflict in Mexico as human rights abuses become entrenched and the state's drug war spirals out of control, an anti-arms trade charity has warned.

In a bid to highlight UK complicity in Mexican human rights violations, campaigners gathered outside the Mexican Embassy in London earlier this week.

The protesters called upon the British government to stop its arms sales to Mexico, as allegations of torture committed by the state's police and armed forces mount.

The campaigners gathered at the embassy in Mayfair on the anniversary of a brutal police massacre in the Mexican town of Iguala in 2014.

Mexican police ambushed a fleet of buses carrying students who were making their way to a protest.

The police and a number of unidentified gunmen subsequently opened fire, leaving six people dead and injuring others. The officers abducted a further 43 students, who were never seen again.

Comment: The so-called war on drugs is really just a cover operation for intel agencies, weapons manufacturers and corrupt officials to rake in billions of dollars, while the population suffers from the ongoing violence. Because this 'war' is so profitable, it's unlikely that any real attempts will be made to end drug trafficking.


German police officials warn refugee camps may blow with violence

© Michaela Rehle/Reuters
Germany is at risk of violent outbreaks in camps housing asylum seekers, senior German police personnel warned after a string of incidents at various facilities accommodating the refugees.

"We're running the risk that the situation in refugee accommodation will get out of control," German police union chief Rainer Wendt told the mass-circulation newspaper Bild.

"Our experience suggests that in many places there are, unfortunately, very targeted and well-prepared violent clashes with ethnic or religious motivations almost every day."

A similar warning came from Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere on Thursday.

"They go on strike because they don't like the accommodation and they cause trouble because they don't like the food. They beat each other in the facilities for asylum seekers," he said.

"That's still a minority at the moment, but we have to say clearly that whoever comes to Germany ... must allow themselves to be distributed to wherever we send them, take part in a fair process and respect our legal system."

A mass brawl between Syrian and Afghan refugees happened on Wednesday in Hamburg, leaving four people including a guard injured. An unrelated scuffle in Hamburg resulted in four asylum seekers being arrested.

Comment: Conditions in Roszke refugee camp in Hungary reminiscent of WWII atrocities

Snakes in Suits

Study finds right-wingers think they are morally superior

© Roy Letkey / Reuters
British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, 1987
Conservative-minded Britons are more likely to think they are morally superior to everybody else than left-wing people, according to a new study.

While lefties are often accused of brandishing their moral superiority, the new study by polling firm YouGov appears to flip that claim on its head.

"This turns out not to be true," data journalist Will Dahlgreen wrote on the YouGov website. The findings indicate it is "those on the right who are more likely to believe they are morally superior."

Some 47 percent of people who consider themselves to be right-wing or right-of-center claim that they are a better caliber of person than the average Briton, while 43 percent say they are at least as good.

Significantly, fewer lefties think they are better than everyone else, with a humble 39 percent thinking they are better than the average Briton and 51 percent thinking they are about as good as others.