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Radical element of reality: Israeli citizens who have refused to serve in the armed forces

© MondoweissMiriam Peretz and Ronnie Barkan on Israeli Channel 10.
Last month over 50 alumni of the Israel Arts and Science Academy called on students at the prestige school to refuse to serve in the Israeli armed forces. The story has gotten wide coverage but very little in the U.S. till now. Here are some developments.

First, Moriel Rothman-Zecker was published on the New York Times op-ed page - "Why I Won't Serve Israel" - where he points out that the ethos of service in Israel is being undermined on many sides, not just by the IASA letter. A tiny fraction of the 1.7 million Palestinians inside Israel serve in the army; hundreds of thousands of religious Jews don't serve; and thousands of Jews are in a "gray area" of getting out of service. He sees this community as contending with Israel's power structure:
In a recent interview, the Israeli author Amos Oz urged politicians to act as "traitors," and make peace. But the type of traitors Mr. Oz wishes for - visionary ministers, peace-minded military men - are nonexistent. The most left-wing of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's potential challengers in Israel's coming election is the same Mr. Herzog who attacked the 8200 refusers.

Peace won't come from the next Knesset, or the one after that. But some hope for a less violent, more decent future lies with the real traitors, the disregarded millions of Israeli citizens who have refused to serve in the army.
Of course, Rothman-Zecker also describes the monolithic social pressure to serve: "Refusal to serve is portrayed by politicians and pundits - many of whom began their careers through service in elite units - as treacherous and marginal."

On that note, here is Ronnie Barkan, one of the signers of the IASA alumni letter, going on Israel television and speaking of massacres in Gaza and keeping his cool during an onslaught of hostile questions. Barkan shows real bravery as the hosts blow up at him for saying that Israel is not a democracy. Those hosts are Orly and Guy on Channel 10, who I am told are on the left side of the Israeli mainstream spectrum.

"Your call for refusal is illegal. Your call harms the state... I will not accept harming the state," Miriam Peretz, who lost two sons in Israeli actions, catechizes Barkan.

Comment: Kudos to these courageous people for refusing to support genocide.


Albuquerque cop shoots first, asks questions later; turns out the person he shot was a cop

Albuquerque Police Department's five months without a shooting has come to an end as an Albuquerque police officer remains in critical condition after being shot by a fellow officer on Friday.

The unnamed officer was shot while undercover during a drug operation to bust two men for $60 worth of meth. Another officer sustained minor injuries, but information on how has not been released.

Comment: Cops are ever increasingly shooting people with little or no provocation including their own.

Cowboy Hat

Father and son turned away from 'Muslim-free' shooting range for being brown-skinned

© JanMorgan.comGun Cave Indoor Shooting Range owner Jan Morgan
A father and son say they were turned away from a "Muslim-free" Arkansas shooting range because they are brown-skinned.

The duo, who are not Muslim but are South Asian, said they were questioned about their religion and background while filling out paperwork at the Gun Cave in Hot Springs, reported the Arkansas Times.

The men told a woman at the counter they were from Hot Springs, and she informed them the business was "a Muslim-free shooting range," and if they didn't like that rule they should leave.

The younger man told the newspaper that they were not Muslim, but his father asked about the ban and they discussed the rule.

"Then, all of a sudden, I don't know what went wrong, but she stopped us from filling out the paperwork and said, 'I don't think you guys should be here,'" the younger man said. "She told us to leave or she'd call the cops on us."

Comment: Just another example proving that people who think the U.S. lives in a post-racial world is nonsense.


Over 50 anti-Muslim incidents in France since Charlie Hebdo attacks

french police
© Reuters/Youssef BoudlalFrench police stand next to the entrance of Paris Mosque as French Muslims arrive for Friday prayers in Paris January 9, 2015.
More than 50 anti-Muslim incidents have happened across France - including shootings - in less than a week since the deadly attack on satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, according to the nation's Muslim community, which is calling for heightened security.

Among the 54 anti-Muslim incidents, there have been 21 reports of shootings and grenade throwing at Islamic buildings, as well as 33 cases of threats and insults, said Abdallah Zekri, president of the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF). CCIF is a monitoring body within the Central Council of Muslims.

The figures were provided by the Interior Ministry, Zekri said, and do not include Paris, its suburbs, or the Poitiers mosque fire on Sunday.

Comment: After an attack like that of last week's, it is just as important, if not more, for the French government and police to be on the lookout for anti-Muslim attacks. With such a public wound, there will be many French citizens who wish to take out their urge for vengeance on people who are completely innocent of any crime. France's Muslim population should not be collectively blamed for the crimes of a pathological few. It is now crunch time to see how much France actually cares for ALL its citizens.

Eye 2

Woman discovers that her husband has raped her over 300 times in her sleep

© RexOrdeal: Sarah Tetley on This Morning
A mother has revealed the shocking and depraved abuse she was subjected to by her husband when she was fast asleep.

Sarah Tetley said she only discovered the extent of what her husband Charlie was doing when he was arrested and she watched the sick videos police discovered on his computer.

It wasn't until November 2013, two years after the abuse began, when Sarah, 26, started to suspect something was horribly wrong and raised the alarm.

"I woke up in the morning in that sort of drowsy just waking up stage and realised that he was molesting me in my sleep," she told ITV's This Morning.

Comment: This is totally psychopathic. It's completely evil to rape anyone, but to do it to your wife and mother of your child, while she is asleep? It's unthinkable, and this man should be in prison for the rest of his life for what he's done.

Eye 2

Man impersonating cop rapes woman after responding to Craigslist massage ad

© NYPDPolice say this man pretended to be a police officer then raped a woman at a Brooklyn motel on Oct. 24, 2014.
A man who responded to an online ad for a 30-minute massage forced a woman to have sex with him after he lied and told her he was a police officer, NYPD said.

It happened Oct. 26, 2014, at the Linden Motor Inn at 714 South Conduit Blvd. Police released surveillance video in the case Wednesday as they asked for help finding the attacker.

The man was at the motel responding to a Craigslist ad for a half-hour massage, police said. When his massage was finished, the man identified himself as a police officer to the 25-year-old victim and ordered her to have sex with him against her will.

He displayed a gold and blue "FDA" badge, police said.

After sexually assaulting her, the man stole the woman's cellphone and an undetermined amount of money before fleeing the scene in a black C-class Mercedez Benz.

The perpetrator is described as a black male last seen wearing a black t-shirt with yellow lettering, light blue ripped jeans and black sneakers.

Anyone who recognizes him is urged to call NYPD's anonymous Crime Stoppers tipline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).


SOTT Focus: Nous sommes Charlie! The death of freedom and innocence

Charlie Hebdo Puff 580px
© Sott/Charlie HebdoSome of our favorite covers.
If anyone doubts that the attacks on Charlie Hebdo were personal, they are deluding themselves. This hate crime has rightly shocked the entire world, and it sounds a wake up call that the people of the world need constant vigilance in the face of terrorism.

While some may think that the French State could have done a bit more to stop these attacks, we see that they are making honest efforts to curb the liberal attitude that makes terrorism such an effective method of attack. Many people are mobilising to do more than just condemn terrorism, but to take an active role in weeding it out and ensuring the future prosperity of humanity.


Delta Air Lines flight forced to return to LAX for emergency landing after pilots lose control of plane

The Delta Air Lines Boeing 757, right, sits parked after making an emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport
The pilots of a Delta Air Lines flight from Los Angeles to Minneapolis declared an emergency soon after takeoff Tuesday when they began having trouble controlling their Boeing 757.

Flight 2116 safely returned to Los Angeles International Airport after circling off the Southern California coast for about an hour to burn fuel. There were no reports of injuries among the 152 people on board.

One passenger, Nathan Smith, revealed that everyone on the plane was 'unnerved' and that some were in 'tears.'

Comment: See also these other recent reports: Plane lands safely at Heathrow after declaring urgent safety condition

Panicking passengers refuse to re-board AirAsia plane after engine stops with loud bang on Surabaya airport runway

Plane bursts tyre upon landing at Rio de Janeiro airport

Philadelphia-Manchester flight is forced to make emergency landing after flames appear under the plane

UK EasyJet flight makes emergency landing after pilot declares medical emergency

Air Asia plane overshoots runway in the Philippines

Thai Airways flight to London dumps fuel and returns to Bangkok due to 'hydraulic leak'

Problems with another Air Asia aircraft: Flight AK6242 makes emergency landing due to technical difficulties

SOTT EXCLUSIVE: Year of the planes: Cluster of plane problems as 2014 comes to a close

War Whore

Who is celebrating the NYPD work slowdown the most? Black New Yorkers - 'This is a taste of what it's like to be white.'

NYPD work slowdown
For the second consecutive week, New York City police have virtually ceased writing tickets and arresting people for many nonviolent crimes, on the order of a 90 percent drop from a year earlier. After perceived slights by Mayor Bill de Blasio, civil protests against police brutality, and the murder of two officers by a deranged gunman, the New York Police Department is fighting back by not doing its job. Or rather, police appear to be using their resentment as an organizing incentive to skip certain non-essential cop duties.

The police seem to be trying to teach a lesson to a city they feel doesn't adequately appreciate them. For New Yorkers who value fair policing, though, the slowdown is an occasion to celebrate.

Many of the offenses police have tacitly declared legal are considered quality-of-life (QOL) infractions. Those follow the broken window strategy, a policing philosophy that has been widely discredited since its heyday in Rudy Giuliani's mayoralty. QOL meets small transgressions with arrests and fines - a way, it's thought, to nip more substantial crimes in the bud. Perhaps because QOL policing grants cops near-unlimited discretion in determining whom to sanction, its penalties fall disproportionately on people of color. Between 2001 and 2013, the New York Daily News found, more than 80 percent of the 7.3 million people penalized for these infractions were black or Latino. The vast majority of African Americans and Latinos in all walks of life feel like they're treated unfairly by law enforcement, and consider police discrimination the most endemic form of societal mistreatment.It's unfair, brutal, racist, and financially burdensome, and it often follows such small transgressions as jaywalking, skipping $2.50 subway fares or merely irritating police.

To many of us from these communities, the past two weeks have amounted to a vacation from fear, surveillance and punishment. Maybe this is what it feels like to not be prejudged and seen as suspicious law breakers. Maybe this is a small taste of what it feels like to be white.

Comment: This pleasant interlude appears to be ending. NYC just can't seen to do without the revenue of its 'back door' taxes. A notice was posted in all precincts with an eye to the ending the slowdown. No time off until ticketing was back to acceptable levels. (Though that was never said, of course.)
nypd vacation


Alabama: Browns Ferry nuke plants leaks tritium into the environment

Browns Ferry nuclear plant
© APBrowns Ferry nuclear plant
A leak of radioactive water from a tank at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant released tritium into the environment this week, but a TVA spokesman said Saturday the leak was quickly contained and presented no public risk.

The Tennessee Valley Authority, which operates the plant near Athens, Ala., said a drain line leaked between 100 and 200 gallons of water containing tritium levels above acceptable EPA drinking water standards. The leak was fixed within three hours of when it was discovered and was largely contained within the plant area, according to TVA.

In an incident report to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, TVA said it has increased monitoring of water around the plant but has not detected any elevated tritium levels outside the plant.

"In the unlikely event any of the tritiated water enters either the intake or outflow channels, it would be significantly diluted in the 2 million gallon-per-minute flowrate (of the Tennessee River)" TVA spokesman Jim Hopson said. "Based on all of these factors, there is no danger to the public or plant workers."

Comment: See also:

US: Tennessee Valley Shuts All Browns Ferry Nuclear Reactors After Storm

Nuclear plant closed - Again