Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Guardian UK:
"Ban Ki-moon calls Israeli settlement expansion an 'affront' to the world. ... In unusually strong language, Ban also questioned Israel’s commitment to a two-state solution, claiming Palestinian violence was the result of 'frustration'.

'Palestinian frustration is growing under the weight of a half-century of occupation and the paralysis of the peace process,' Ban told a UN security council meeting on Tuesday. He called the settlement building 'an affront to the Palestinian people and to the international community'."

-->The NYT couldn't avoid printing this important story. But let's look at how Isabel Kershner (whose son is in the Israeli Army and husband works for a think tank linked to the Israeli military and funded by a billionaire Zionist) presents the facts. Her piece is entitled "Netanyahu Assails UN Leader for Faulting Settlements," and most of the story covers Israeli denials and Jewish suffering. Just in case anyone misses the point, a large picture that goes with the story is of the grave of a Jewish settler attacked by a Palestinian. More pro-apartheid propaganda from our newspaper of record.


Common Dreams:
"The fact that a majority of Americans support a single-payer, or Medicare for all, health care system is not news. Or at least it ought not to be news, especially to veteran political journalists. But enter the vaunted PBS Newshour, which bills itself as 'one of the most trusted news programs on television.' ...

Newshour co-anchor Judy Woodruff [said] '...essentially, the argument is whether you just wipe away...what we have done and you go to a single-payer health care system, which most Americans say they don’t want...'

Wait, what?  Most Americans say they don’t want a single-payer health care system?  Where did Woodruff pull that one from? According to a 2014 Program for Consultation study analyzing public polling occurring between 2008 and 2013, majorities in both 'red' (Republican-dominated) and 'blue' (Democratic-dominated) congressional districts prefer government to play a greater role in health care. 

When presented with the statement, 'Healthcare is a right, not a privilege,' 62.3% of respondents in red districts agreed, compared to 62.9% of respondents in blue. ...
Meanwhile, a 2015 Progressive Change Institute poll found over 50% of Americans support a single-payer health care system like that proposed by Sanders, including 80% of Democrats.

-->Even PBS takes the corporate approach to universal healthcare, stating falsely that Americans don't want it. Major funders of PBS don't want it, and that is not the same thing.


Common Dreams:
"Bernie Sanders Gets Group Endorsements When Members Decide; Hillary Clinton When Leaders Decide. When it comes to what the word 'Establishment' means, there is a pattern worth noting

In the war for endorsements in the Democratic presidential primary, there is a clear trend. Every major union or progressive organization that let its members have a vote endorsed Bernie Sanders. 

Meanwhile, all of Hillary Clinton’s major group endorsements come from organizations where the leaders decide. And several of those endorsements were accompanied by criticisms from members about the lack of a democratic process."

-->This not so subtle point escaped the notice of The NYT, whose coverage of the race so far has been decidedly favorable to the elites rather than to the rank and file. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

"Housing rental giant Airbnb profits off of illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory, Al Jazeera revealed in a new report. The website lists segregated settlements in the occupied West Bank as if they were in Israel. In reality, these settlements were built in direct violation of international law, and are not legally considered part of the country.

Airbnb, which is headquarted in California, is popular in Israel, and growing. Settlers host lavish rooms for hundreds of U.S. dollars per night. Yet the website never informs potential customers that these are illegal properties, nor does it mention that, were clients to rent a room, they would have to travel through Israeli military checkpoints. ...

Husam Zomlot, Palestine’s ambassador at large, blasted the company for its profiteering. 'It’s not only controversial, it’s illegal and criminal,' he told Al Jazeera. 'This website is promoting stolen property and land. There will come a time when companies like this, who profit from the occupation, will be taken to court.' "

-->Hard to find this story in the US media, including the NYT, although our newspaper of record did put the story on-line.


The Guardian:
"The European Union has unanimously adopted a tough resolution criticising Israeli settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territories, despite fierce efforts by Israel to persuade some EU members to block it.

The resolution was agreed by the EU foreign affairs council on Monday after Greece, one of five countries Israel had hoped would block acceptance of the resolution, backed down following a weekend of wrangling and pressure from Palestinian officials and other European diplomats. ...

Hinting that further measures may be in the pipeline, it continued: 'The EU will continue to closely monitor developments on the ground and their broader implications and will consider further action in order to protect the viability of the two-state solution, which is constantly eroded by new facts on the ground.' "

-->No mention of this important resolution in the NYT, which often just filters out stories critical of Israeli apartheid. The story was put on the NYT website.


Common Dreams:
"A jury in Washington state on Friday found that the defendants in the potentially groundbreaking 'Delta 5' case, who in September 2014 blockaded an oil train in Everett and this week argued they were compelled to act over the threat of climate change, were not guilty of obstruction.

The defendants were found to be guilty of trespass, but will not face claims of financial harm to Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railway company after being cleared of the obstruction charges. They will also not face jail time.

According to Tim DeChristopher, a Seattle-based climate activist and co-founder of Peaceful Uprising, the jury said they understood the defendants were trying to raise public awareness to critical issues. 

One juror reportedly told them, 'Thanks for the education.' "

-->The NYT does not like court cases that put the public good over the rights of major corporations. It didn't report this story.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

"Of all extremist groups, the far right is consistently given the kindest news coverage in US corporate media. This weekend, the world witnessed a prime example of such friendly treatment in action.

Armed far-right anti-government militants occupied a federal building in Oregon late on January 2 and announced they would remain there indefinitely. Although the armed occupation was ostensibly organized to protest the imprisonment of ranchers on arson charges, the ultra-conservative militants made it clear from the beginning that they were willing to use violence, and hoped to inspire a larger anti-government uprising.

Major US media outlets ignored these basic facts, nevertheless, instead characterizing the far-right militants as peaceful 'ranchers’ rights protesters' and 'activists.' "

-->Why isn't this a mainstream story, how the media coddles rightwing, militia groups? Too busy stirring up Islamophobia, and these rancher groups are Christian.


Common Dreams:
"Joining the techies and pitchers of gizmos at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was Edward Snowden in a surprise 'telepresence' appearance via his trusty robot Beam. Beamed in from Moscow, Snowden virtually turned up at the  Suitable Technologies booth, just down from the U.S. Army booth, utilizing the same roaming screen on wheels he used at a TED talk last year. 

A Snowden Beam also resides in the offices of his ACLU attorneys in New York, where he sometimes rolls into the hallways to chat with staff - and once offered emergency medical advice  - in a use of new technology his attorney touts as 'a profound response to exile.' (Less profound, but kinda nifty, is Robot Snowden's Twitter account. Sample tweet: 'Beep boop I believe in transparency.') In Las Vegas, Snowden cited the  potential to liberate, transcend borders and subvert government. 'This is the power of Beam, or more broadly the power of technology,' he said onstage. 'The FBI can’t arrest a robot.' "

-->Snowden is off the radar for mainstream media, despite this being a good story and coming at the opening of the new StarWars movie. The NYT is all about upholding the power of the national security state, not of subverting it.


Common Dreams:
"Bernie Sanders has won the presidential endorsement of progressive advocacy group by the largest margin in its history, the organization announced on Tuesday.

With a record-setting 79 percent of 340,665 votes cast by the group's members, MoveOn Political Action officially endorsed Sanders for president in 2016.
'His refusal to accept the status quo of the wealthiest Americans using their power to influence politicians matters to me. If we’re going to push back against the rising oligarchy in our country, we need people like Bernie Sanders representing us in government,' said one member, identified as Matt R. from Reston, Virginia.

In fact, according to feedback from voters, the top reason Sanders won their endorsement was his 'lifelong commitment to standing up to corporate and 1% interests to fight for an economy where everyone has a fair shot.' Second on the list was his support for initiatives such as police demilitarization and an end to failed policies like mass incarceration and the so-called War on Drugs."

-->MoveOn has long supported the Clintons, often at the expense of Democratic reform candidates. The fact that this large, on-line community is now endorsing Sanders is a big deal, except for readers of the NYT who didn't get to see this story.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

"A federal lawsuit filed last week alleges that U.S.-based tax-exempt entities who raise money for Israeli settlements are engaged in money-laundering and other crimes, and seeks a Treasury Department investigation into those activities.

The suit, filed by the firm Martin McMahon and Associates on behalf of plaintiffs like Palestinian-American writer Susan Abulhawa, details a host of violations they say tax-exempt organizations commit. The suit alleges that the estimated 100 organizations are violating laws on money laundering that prohibit the transfer of money to assist illegal activities. In addition, the lawsuit says the organizations violate other U.S. laws that prohibit mail fraud, war crimes and the financing of terrorism.

Unlike past lawsuits on this issue, this one does not directly take aim at the entities themselves, though the suit is harshly critical of them and alleges they are engaged in the funding of crimes. Instead, it is asking a court to direct the Treasury Department to investigate whether the organizations, which include groups like the Hebron Fund and American Friends of Ariel, have violated federal regulations on the conduct of 501(c)(3)’s."

-->Tax breaks for Zionists in the US who contribute funds for the illegal settlements? Readers of the NYT haven't learned of this lawsuit. 


Common Dreams:
"A treaty facilitating relationships between Vatican and Palestine – referred to as a “state” in the text – has entered full force, sealing de-facto recognition of Palestinian statehood by the Holy See.

The Vatican announced Saturday that its 'Comprehensive Agreement' with the 'State of Palestine' signed in June 2015 has come into full force, in which the Holy See bolstered support for the two-state solution of the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Referring to Palestine as 'state' means Vatican has recognized it as an equal partner, thus sealing support for 2012 UN General Assembly resolution granting Palestine a non-member observer status. ...

The historic 2015 treaty is to secure rights and privileges of the Catholic Church on Palestinian territories in exchange for brokering two-state solution as well as giving more weight to Palestine’s political stance in the world."

-->More news about Palestine that got left out of our mainstream media, including the NYT.


"As Jodi Rudoren exits the Jerusalem bureau of The New York Times, she leaves behind a series of gaping holes in coverage of Palestine-Israel, above all in her failure to expose the treatment of the most vulnerable, who suffer disproportionately under the constant brutality of the Israeli occupation.

Readers of the Times have never been told of the international outcry over the abuse of Palestinian children detained by Israeli security forces. They know nothing about the myriad Israeli breaches of the 2014 ceasefire with Gaza, especially the frequent attacks on fishermen and farmers; and they are uninformed of the cruel measures imposed on struggling Bedouin communities in the Jordan Valley and elsewhere.

Rudoren, who leaves her post as Jerusalem bureau chief at the end of this month, replaced Ethan Bronner nearly four years ago. She has written from inside a Israeli Jewish perspective, giving voice to official Israeli spin and omitting the stories that beg to be told."

-->Yes, our newspaper of record leaves a lot out about apartheid Israel, and has for the last several decades. All the news that Israel thinks is fit to print.