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Handcuffs

Illegal conscience: U.S. activist sentenced to prison for photographing a war protest

© Ellen M. Blalock / The Post-Standard
Clare Grady (hands up) and her sister, Mary Anne Flores-Grady (on the left) are being arrested for protesting against drones, at the Thompson Road entrance to the New York Air National Guard.
Warplanes have long been based at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse, NY. But in 2009, something new arrived: MQ-9 Reaper drones that were flown remotely over Afghanistan, dropping missiles and bombs and unleashing terror.

Organizers in Upstate New York started protests soon after the drones arrived and founded Upstate Drone Action in 2010. In 2011, one longtime activist and member of the Catholic Worker movement, Mary Anne Grady Flores, 57, joined the struggle. As part of the "Hancock 38" in April that year, she was arrested for protesting at the base's main entrance by participating in a die-in to illustrate the indiscriminate killing of civilians overseas by drones.

She was arrested again in October 2012 for another act of "civil resistance," as she puts it, not "civil disobedience," to uphold the U.S. Constitution and international treaties the U.S. signed. That led to Grady Flores and the 16 others being placed under court orders restricting their protest rights. Frustrated by the protesters' persistence, a base commander, Col. Earl Evans, sought and received an orders of protection - usually reserved for domestic violence victims - which was used over time to bar approximately 50 protesters from the base's grounds.

Comment: See also:
  • Psychopaths on the Hill: "Unmanned: America's Drone Wars"


Health

Turkish Freedom Flotilla II being organized for Gaza will have military protection

Mavi Marmara
© Associated Press
Photo of Mavi Marmara taken on May 22, 2010
Media report says activists - the same behind 2010's 'Mavi Marmara' - scheduled to take off with Turkish military protection.

Amid Israel's Operation Protective Edge to stop Hamas attacks from Gaza, a "Freedom Flotilla" is being organized in Turkey to bring humanitarian aid to the Hamas-controlled Palestinian coastal enclave with the protection of the Turkish military, according to an unconfirmed media report.

The flotilla, called "Freedom Flotilla II," is being organized by the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), the same organization that was behind the Mavi Marmara flotilla that sought to break Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip in May 2010.

Israel Navy commandos boarded the ship, were attacked, and killed nine of the attackers.

IHH chairman Bulent Yildrim was quoted by The Middle East Monitor as telling Gulf Online last week that the activists would set sail as soon as they receive the necessary permit from the authorities in Ankara and that the Turkish military would provide protection to the ship.

Diplomatic officials said Jerusalem was following the reports carefully, but stressed that it was not clear whether the flotilla would ultimately set sail.

Comment: Israel has slaughtered over 1,000 Palestinians in the past weeks and destroyed entire communities. And then they turn around and say that aid will only hurt the Palestinian people. It should be blatantly obvious that Israel's intentions are singularly focused on the genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.

Readers may recall the propaganda surrounding the international effort for the 2010 Gaza flotilla. It was Israel who attacked and killed nine civilians and wounded dozens more. See the following Sott.net article by Joe Quinn in 2010 for more information:

Hourglass

How many Nakbas? The ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine

israel-palestine map

Palestinian Land losses since 1946
More than ever, there is a need today to understand the Israel-Palestine conflict

Gaza burns while the international community sits quietly, doing nothing about it. Israel has bombarded the territory for two weeks, killing more than 700 Palestinians and wounding well over 3,000. As I write this, I am aware that the death toll will only increase.

A massacre appals, disgusts, leaves one short of breath. It is a time for mourning, protest, but also education. Without an understanding of what is taking place in Palestine, we cannot put an end to this horror.

This is not a cycle of violence, or a tribal tussle. It is not a mutual embrace of revenge, or a childish tit-for-tat playground fight. It is none of those or other clichés used so readily and unthinkingly by politicians and journalists. This is settler colonialism and its consequences.

There is a line that connects the destruction of homes and displaced in Gaza today, back to the ruined villages and columns of refugees in 1948. The Palestinians call it Nakba - the catastrophe brought upon them by the Zionist movement that sought to establish a Jewish majority state in a land where there was none.

Look at Gaza, its bleeding, defiant population. Where are these Palestinians from? For many, they are from villages and land a matter of a few miles away; refugees still, because they are not Jewish. Old men and women in the camps of Gaza were forced from their homes at the point of a bayonet by the same armed forces that now use drones to achieve the same result.
People

Social Media is neutralizing Israeli propaganda: Israel's crumbling media war

© MSNBC
Israeli propaganda has hit a new low. While the world was still trying to come to terms with the mass deaths in Shejaiya, Benjamin Netanyahu went on CNN to state that Hamas uses the "telegenically dead" to further "their cause." He added that for Hamas: "The more the dead, the better." Even while Netanyahu followed the propaganda script, which is to first show sympathy and express remorse, by reducing dead Palestinians to a photo-op he showed how his own mind works.

There is a standard script for how to deal with Palestinian casualties. After Israel killed four boys on the Gaza beach on July 16, the U.S. establishment media fell in line behind Israel's PR framework: acknowledge the tragedy but blame Hamas. This is exactly what Israeli spokesperson Mark Regev said on Channel 4 News when grilled by the anchor Jon Snow. It is also how the U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki responded, using the same word-for-word talking points.

This framework, developed in 2009, can be found in The Israel Project's 2009 Global Language Dictionary. The Orwellian manual provides a detailed outline on how to "communicate effectively in support of Israel."

One of its first instructions is that pro-Israeli propagandists need to show empathy. The manual insists that they should "show empathy for BOTH sides" (caps in original) as a way of gaining credibility and trust. To make sure that the point is understood, the manual repeats again (in bold, and underlined this time) the instruction "use Empathy" - the suggestion being that empathy is an important tool to be used in the propaganda war.


Comment: It's very revealing of the state of the souls of Hasbara foot-soldiers when they have to be instructed on how to demonstrate empathy. And Netanyahu still struggles to show any empathy, which is clearly an alien concept to psychopaths like him.

Camera

Bloggers debunk photos of 'Russian' air-defense systems in Ukraine


Still from VK.com video/love_donbass
Ukraine continues to concoct evidence of Russia's air defense system's involvement in the Boeing tragedy. This time Ukraine's secret service has published as 'proof' month - old photos of Kiev's own Buk-M missile system, claiming it is Russian.

Although even American officials have privately admitted that there is no evidence that Russia is involved in the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 disaster on July 17, Kiev has its own idea.

On July 19, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) published some indistinct photos on its website, alleging they show Russia secretly withdrawing its Buk-M (NATO designation SA-11) surface-to-air missile system from the conflict zone in Ukraine.

As of Wednesday, July 23, the photos remain on the intelligence service's site.

Comment: Perhaps the military jet was tracking flight MH17 to ensure all went according to plan with this 'false flag' meant to further demonize the Russians, and distract from the Israeli ground offensive in Gaza.

Star of David

Journalist attacked by 'angry Israeli' during on-air report near Gaza

A BBC Arabic correspondent was attacked on air in the Israeli city of Ashkelon, just outside Gaza, while reporting on the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The journalist, Feras Khatib, was wearing a PRESS vest during the live report in the Arabic language when a man, apparently an Israeli, approached and violently shoved him sideways, as seen on the video posted on YouTube.


The attacker was quickly pulled away from camera view by another member of the BBC team, while Khatib continued his reporting.

The incident took place in Ashkelon, just north of Gaza, according to a BBC Arabic spokesman. The attacker reportedly left right after the incident.

Khatib "was manhandled by an angry Israeli...Feras was unharmed and will continue reporting as normal," the channel said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Al Jazeera's office in Gaza was fired at on Tuesday. The network blames Israel for the attack. "Two very precise shots were fired straight into our building," Al Jazeera's Stefanie Dekker said. "We are high up in the building so we had a very strong vantage point over the area. But we have evacuated."

Tuesday saw the Gaza conflict move into its third week. According to the Gaza Health Ministry, the number of Palestinians killed has risen to 633 - the vast majority of whom are civilians.

Overall, five mosques, a sports stadium, and the home of a deceased Hamas military chief were hit on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, 29 Israelis have been killed - two of them civilians. Two soldiers were also killed on Tuesday, according to Tel Aviv. This death toll is the highest number of Israeli military deaths since the 2006 Lebanon war.

Comment: How dare this reporter attempt to tell the truth about Gaza!

Star of David

The End of Jewish-only Israel

IDF soldiers
In his speech to the nation Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged yesterday that the war on Gaza is a battle for the existence of the Jewish State. Netanyahu is correct. And Israel cannot win this battle; it cannot even define what a victory might entail. Surely the battle is not about the tunnels or the militants' underground operation, the tunnels are just weapons of resistance rather than the resistance itself. The Hamas and Gaza militants lured Israel into a battle zone in which it could never succeed and Hamas set the conditions, chose the ground and has written the terms required to conclude this cycle of violence.

For ten days Netanyahu did all he could to prevent an IDF ground operation. He was facing the reality that Israel lacks a military answer to Palestinian resistance. Netanyahu knew that a defeat on the ground would eradicate the little that remains of IDF's power of deterrence.

Five days ago, Israel, at least in the eyes of its supporters, held the upper ground. It saw it citizens subject to an endless barrage of rockets, yet it showed relative restraint, killing Palestinian civilians only from afar, which served to convey an imaginary image of strength. But that has changed rapidly since Israel launched its ground operation. Israel is now, once again, involved in colossal war crimes against a civilian population and worse, at least strategically, its elite infantry commandos are being eradicated in a face-to-face street battle in Gaza. In spite of clear Israeli technological superiority and firepower, the Palestinian militants are winning the battle on the ground and they have even managed to move the battle to Israeli territory. In addition, the barrage of rockets on Tel Aviv doesn't seem to stop.

IDF's defeat in Gaza leaves the Jewish State with no hope. The moral is simple. If you insist on living on someone else's land, military might is an essential ingredient to discourage the dispossessed from acting to reclaim their rights. The level of IDF casualties and the number of bodies of Israeli elite soldiers returning home in coffins send a clear message to both Israelis and Palestinians. Israeli military superiority belongs to the past. There is no future for the Jews-only-State in Palestine; they may have to try somewhere else.
Bulb

Shock, a government that helps its citizens! Kentucky town opens city-owned gas station to counter high prices

gas station kentucky
© AFP Photo / Scott Olson
A Kentucky town listened to its citizens' complaints about high gas prices within its borders, and responded by opening a gas station run by the city government. Now critics are accusing Somerset's officials of socialism.

The city of 11,000 opened the gas station on Saturday, and 75 customers filled up in the first three hours, according to WDRB. It served 360 vehicles over the course of the entire day, according to WTVQ.

A gallon of regular unleaded - the only type of gas sold - cost $3.36, which is three cents cheaper than at several nearby stations. Gas in the town often averages 20 to 30 cents a gallon more than in neighboring towns, George Wilson, the town's economic development business coordinator, told the Associated Press. The no-frills station does not have a convenience store or a mechanic.

The mayor, Eddie Girdler, said the station was created in response to years of grumbling by townspeople about consistently high prices. It is repurposed from a government-vehicle-only station to one that can be used by the city's residents and visitors.
Megaphone

Hundreds show for pro-Palestinian protest in Nicosia, Cyprus

© EPA
Protesters gather during a pro-Palestinian demonstration against the Israeli army's attacks on the Gaza Strip outside the Israeli embassy in Nicosia, Cyprus, 21 July 2014.
Several hundred pro-Palestinian protesters have demanded a halt to military action in Gaza during a peaceful protest near the Israeli embassy in the Cypriot capital.

Monday's protest was organized by left-wing trade unions and peace groups and included Turkish Cypriot activists from the ethnically divided island's breakaway north.

Riot police standing behind a cordon of barbed wire-topped fences prevented marching protesters from approaching the embassy's entrance.

Some protesters burned a hand-painted Israeli flag.

Organizers condemned the bloodshed in Gaza and urged the international community to put pressure on Israel to stop the fighting.
Light Saber

11,000 take to the streets of Vienna in Gaza protest

© Reuters/Leonhard Foeger
Pro-Palestinian protesters shout slogans and hold flags during a demonstration against Israel's military action in the Gaza strip, in Vienna July 20, 2014.
Almost 11,000 demonstrators have attended a pro-Palestinian protest in the Austrian capital Sunday between the Hofburg Palace and the Rathaus town hall, in anger at Israel's military campaign which has killed more than 400 people already.

'Free, free, free Palestine' and 'Let Gaza Live', the protesters changed while wielding a variety of posters and flags.

"We are not against the Jewish people. the Jewish people should feel free and live free like everybody. We are against the Zionists, actually, who are supported from this big, big mafia and lobby around the world," Abderrahmen Laarouchi told Ruptly.

The protesters made their way to the historic Hofburg Palace, which is now the official residence of the country's president. The demonstrators were playing drums and some were carrying bloody sheets wrapped like a dead body or dolls, signs saying "Made in Israel".
Wake up World!!! #GlobalSolidarityWithGaza in #Vienna#Austria#gaza#Palestine [email protected] pic.twitter.com/D5YgqWpk8a
- Solidarity Gaza (@GazaGlobal) July 17, 2014
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