Here’s the slapfight as it’s going down
Here’s the slapfight as it’s going down
When Jodi Rudoren, Jerusalem bureau chief of the New York Times, read Monday’s statement from the Foreign Press Association in Israel and the Palestinian territories, she couldn’t believe her eyes.
The association, representing some 480 resident correspondents and hundreds more visiting Israel/Palestine each year, protested “in the strongest terms the blatant, incessant, forceful and unorthodox methods employed by the Hamas authorities and their representatives against visiting international journalists in Gaza over the past month.”
The FPA said it knew of journalists who were “harassed, threatened or questioned over stories or information they have reported through their news media or by means of social media” and accused Hamas of “trying to put in place a ‘vetting’ procedure that would, in effect, allow for the blacklisting of specific journalists.”
“Every reporter I’ve met who was in Gaza during war says this Israeli/now FPA narrative of Hamas harassment is nonsense,” Rudoren tweeted, referring to Israeli accusations that Hamas pressure on foreign reporters had helped massage the messages coming out of Gaza in the last month.
Rudoren’s Tweet was followed by a furious email exchange with the FPA, in which Rudoren denounced the statement as “dangerous.”
Crispian Balmer, last year’s FPA chairman and former Jerusalem bureau chief for Reuters, told Haaretz the FPA was not in the habit of issuing such protests without very good reason.
“When I was on the FPA board, we took our statements very seriously,” said Crispian Balmer. “They were never written on a whim and were only issued after broad consultation - either face-to-face at a board meeting or via a stream of email exchanges. Our prime concern was always the well-being of the foreign press pack and we would not pull our punches if we thought our members needed vocal support. We would certainly never issue broad statements condemning the behavior of one side or the other if we did not feel that a good number of our members had been impacted.”
Even more intriguing, Rudoren’s deputy at the NYT, Isabel Kershner, was one of the FPA board members who approved the statement. How could two colleagues from the same newspaper observing the same sequence of events come to such different conclusions?
“I was not in Gaza during the height of the hostilities, I have only been here a week,” Rudoren told me. “But in conversations with many colleagues, those who were here from NYT and other major news organizations who I trust, I have not heard about harassment, intimidation, censorship or threats. There have been a few anecdotes re Hamas people shooing photographers away from fighters’ faces at the hospitals, asking people not to shoot this or that, and yes, names and phone numbers were taken down in a spiral notebook of who was here, but nothing that these veteran war correspondents consider unusual.”
“I am confident the FPA based its statement on detailed reports from members regarding their experiences on the ground, and only had the best intention of protecting journalists and journalism, as it always does. But I found the wording of the statement overly broad, and, especially given the narrative playing out in some social media circles regarding foreign correspondents being taken in by the Hamas narrative and not reporting on the war fully or fairly, I was concerned that it undermined what I consider to have been brave and excellent work by very talented people,” she said.
Rudoren wasn’t actually there. Her conclusions are based on talking to colleagues. But several other reporters who spoke to Haaretz agreed with her. British freelancer Harry Fear was reporting for Russia Today TV when he was asked to leave Gaza by three plainclothes Hamas officials at Al-Shifa Hospital, apparently for referring to rocket launches near his hotel. But Fear said he did not feel he had been subjected to intimidation or interference for the four weeks he reported from Gaza, where he has worked intermittently since 2012.
More at Haaretz, including THIS:
Some reporters received death threats. Sometimes, cameras were smashed. Reporters were prevented from filming anti-Hamas demonstrations where more than 20 Palestinians were shot dead by Hamas gunmen.
If you’re paying attention to the events unfolding in Ferguson—and by God, you better be—then you probably already know there is a group of people in this country of ours who are determined to change the focus of the conversation about the murder of Mike Brown and the subsequent protests, attempting to shift the lens away from the Constitutional rights of U.S. citizens and the shooting of a black teenager.
If you’re reading this, you probably already know the folks I’m talking about. But here they are.
1) The Full-Blown Racist Troll
Block on sight. Some of them are friends of your Facebook friends—block them. Some of them are your Facebook friends. Many of them are accounts like this one: anonymous and relying on blatantly racist language, such as blackface imagery, “monkey” references, use of the “N-word,” etc. These have exploded over the last week. We’re talking hundreds. I’ve been using Twitter avidly for years, and I can’t recall ever seeing quite this much racist bile taking over an event-related hashtag (#Ferguson) as I have this week.
Block them and report them for spam immediately.
2) The “Wait for Evidence” Troll
This troll may or may not be anonymous and pretends to be focused on respecting and upholding the law. “We don’t know what happened yet,” they say. “Wait for evidence before you lambast an officer of the law.” They pretend that things like racism, police brutality, and police corruption don’t exist and insist that if concrete evidence is released, they will be swayed to feel “sympathy” for Mike Brown.
But they won’t. When evidence arises, they find objection to its relevance or veracity. They then transform into The “Mike Brown Shouldn’t Have [insert human action here]” Troll, our next entry.
3) The “Mike Brown Shouldn’t Have [Insert Human Action Here]” Troll
This troll (and the others as well) will go great lengths to justify the taking of black life, using justifications like “he shouldn’t have run,” “he shouldn’t have been sagging,” and “he shouldn’t have been walking down the middle of the street,” and “he shouldn’t have stolen something.”
These trolls come in all races and will insist that when a police officer (or a homeowner, or a security guard) assaults a person of color, that person must have done something to deserve it. The fact that Mike Brown was shot at least six times doesn’t register as overkill, even when two of those shots were in the head.
They will also extend effort to paint Ferguson as a ghetto, where this kind of thing happens all the time. Nope. Ferguson, Missouri had zero murders until Officer Darren Wilson killed Mike Brown.
4) The “Police Are the Good Guys” Troll
These folks have a blissfully naïve version of police in their heads, the one fed to them since they were children that says police are the good guys and that no matter what they do, they must have had a reason. These people have no concept (or pretend to have no concept) of the depth of white supremacy and the way it is ingrained in every facet of our culture—even our police. Because they believe the police are always right—and usually because they also believe that groups of black people are inherently violent—they have no qualms about police dressed in military gear, sitting on tanks and tear-gassing American citizens.
You may also hear these trolls say, “What about due process?” Well, we would proceed with due process. If they would actually arrest Darren Wilson. Which they haven’t.
We have seen them all.
“…It was the corroboration of their worth and their power that they wanted, and not the corpse, still less the staining blood.” James Baldwin, “To Be Baptized,” from No Name in the Street, 1972
I have been asked by many people to take a close look at the Michael Brown shooting case in Ferguson, Missouri and offer my opinion. I felt it best to take a step back and really absorb all the circulating currents of opinion and matters of fact before I made any personal pronouncements. This is my best attempt to answer that call, hopefully soberly, responsibly and with as much restraint as I can muster in the face of this deeply American tragedy. This is inherently a blog about food and food culture, but anyone who regularly reads this blog understands that it also is a blog about social and cultural justice. It is clear to anyone who knows the African American experience and tradition—to speak on it demands the celebration of the best of our cultural and historical legacy, scholarly excellence, and absolute commitment to social and cultural responsibility. This is a raw piece—it’s not meant to be perfect—far from it. It’s just how I feel. My condolences to the Brown family. There is profanity in this blog post.
I received a nasty tweet last night; a tweet with a food theme in fact. Michael Brown’s bleeding corpse with pictures of food transposed around it—fried chicken, bananas, watermelon, with Kool-Aid to wash it down. My chest hurt and then I stared into space and before I knew it, I vomited. It was not nausea—it was anger mixed with revulsion and memories from lives only my cells know.
This is evil. This is evidence that some people have no heart. We have to be better, we have to have light. We have to be the love G-d expects of us.
I want you to understand something—I’ve been on multiple plantations and urban sites dealing with slavery. I’ve felt the Ancestors in the fields. I’ve seen the auction block and the whipping post and the hanging tree. I embrace it, I own it, and I live it through food so I can say “Never Again,” with confidence. I do the work that I do to educate people about the genesis of America’s original sin—I consider myself steeled. This however, was different—this was personal; that body could have been me.
Swirling around us are accusations, whispers and rumors about a “gentle giant,” named Michael Brown. Michael Brown cannot be defined by the politics of respectability or the politics of backlash. He cannot be dismissed with smirks and allegations he was just a “thug.” Michel Brown is dead. He was on his knees, with his hands up in a gesture of surrender and he was shot six times and then left in the street, his blood merging with asphalt, his life draining out with his future, the dreams of his parents and the hope of his ancestors. That’s what surrounded him—not racialized food icons.
I cannot convey to you how debasing it is to be expected, by convention of racialized submissive behavior to offer conciliatory pardons and excuses for Michael Brown’s less savory choices and behavior (or those of disaffected youth looting in his community for that matter). What is clear is that he will not be tried by me or anyone else for alleged misdeeds prior to his death. What is further clear is that he was not worthy of death for the activities behind said allegations nor for walking in the street. The same country where some white folk are celebrating their “right,” to bear firearms in Targets and Starbucks and pointing rifles at Federal agents (a la Cliven Bundy) without reproach, dares lecture Black America about the legalized lynchings of its sons for petty theft or perceived slights against police and governmental authority. The same country where people are thrilled by movies about white collar crime on Wall Street and the theft of millions on the same, has robbed people of their savings is the same country where “stop and frisk” jukes the stats uptown while the real crooks downtown go wild and unrestrained after their rape of the American dream.
But I digress. Michael Brown is not alone—Eric Garner, Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, so many others—all of these humans-as Rep. Steven King of Iowa unfortunately put it—“of a single continental origin,” were my brothers. In the spirit of the Torah, “my brother’s blood cries out from the earth.” I’m here to tell you what their blood is saying to me…
It’s wet out here, and the water is deep.
Sharks the size of Cadillacs, eating entire SUVs!
The Great Detroit Flood
PARIS - Prominent Jewish group the Simon Wiesenthal Centre has sent a letter to France’s interior minister to demand that a tiny hamlet south of Paris called “Death to Jews” be renamed.
The group’s director of international affairs, Shimon Samuels, wrote to Bernard Cazeneuve saying he was “shocked to discover the existence of a village in France officially called ‘Death to Jews’.”
“It is extremely shocking that this name has slipped under the radar in the 70 years that have passed since France was liberated from Nazism and the (pro-Nazi) Vichy regime,” he wrote.
However, the deputy mayor of the village of Courtemaux - population 289 - which has jurisdiction over the hamlet located around 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of Paris, dismissed the concerns.
“It’s ridiculous. This name has always existed,” Marie-Elizabeth Secretand told AFP.
“No one has anything against the Jews, of course. It doesn’t surprise me that this is coming up again,” she added.
Changing the name would require a decision by the municipal council, which Secretand deemed unlikely.
“Why change a name that goes back to the Middle Ages or even further? We should respect these old names.” “A previous municipal council, at least 20 years ago, already refused to change the name of this hamlet, which consists of a farm and two houses,” she explained.
In May, residents of a village in Spain with a similarly unfortunate name, Castrillo Matajudios (“Castrillo Kill Jews”), voted to change the name.
In a tight referendum, the citizens opted for the less offensive, older name for the town, Mota de Judios, or “Hill of the Jews”.
- See more at: news.asiaone.com
WHAT. THE. FUCK.
(Reuters) - Police in Miami investigating the killing of a 60-year-old Orthodox rabbi over the weekend said on Monday they haven’t yet decided whether the shooting was a hate crime.
While investigators at a news conference called for witnesses to come forward, Jewish groups have issued conflicting interpretations of Rabbi Joseph Raksin’s murder.
Raksin, a New York City resident who was in Miami visiting relatives, was shot Saturday morning allegedly by one of two black men who approached him as he walked toward a temple in a heavily Jewish enclave of North Miami Beach, according to police. No arrests have been made in the case.
Local representatives of the American Jewish Committee told the Miami Herald that recent acts of vandalism, including the July 28 discovery of what appeared to be a swastika and the name of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas written on the temple where Raksin was headed, point to the possibility of a hate crime.
The Miami branch of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in a statement over the weekend said Raksin’s death appeared to have stemmed from a robbery gone awry.
“While our community is on high alert due to recent anti-Semitic incidents that have coincided with hostilities in the Middle East, we must be careful not to assume this was a hate-motivated crime,” ADL Florida Regional Director Hava Holzhauer wrote.
However some Jewish activists working with Miami-Dade police to investigate Raksin’s death disagreed with the ADL.
“There is one witness who wants to stay anonymous and he watched two guys go up with a gun, kill a guy, and walk away smiling,” said Yona Lunger, a member of North Miami Beach’s Shmira Patrol, which is akin to a neighborhood watch.
Lunger said a woman who attended Raksin’s funeral on Sunday returned home and found what appeared to be a swastika scratched into the family’s car. Miami-Dade police spokeswoman Robin Pinkard confirmed the incident.
And here comes the TCOT swarms.
And to prove it James O’Keefe crossed back and forth across the Rio Grande in an Osama Bin Laden costume.
The investigation took place in Hudspeth County, Texas, at a crossing commonly used by illegal immigrants and drug smugglers.
Via Project Veritas.
Okeefe says in the video: “If the president or Senator Reid or anyone else tries to tell you that our borders are secure, they are lying to you.”
Investigative filmmaker James O’Keefe exposes the U.S.-Mexico border’s vulnerability to terrorism in his latest undercover project, obtained exclusively by The Daily Caller.
O’Keefe’s Project Veritas video reminds viewers of recent statements by the president and Obama administration officials that the southern border is secure. O’Keefe then proceeds to Hudspeth County, Texas, to easily cross back and forth cross the Rio Grande wearing the costume of modern history’s most recognizable terrorist.
“I see no border patrol. I see no security,” O’Keefe said in the video before donning a bin Laden mask. “Thousands of people have stood in my footsteps right now. They’ve come from South America, Honduras, Guatemala, and they’ve all crossed the border. And if they can cross, anybody can cross.”
Considering that Osama Bin Laden is dead, his costume should have been Zombie Bin Laden.
This is TEH DUMBEST STUNT IN THE HISTORY OF DUMB & CUNNING STUNTS.
James O’Keefe wins the Bronze in Dumb Journalism Olympics.
A 60-year-old Orthodox rabbi from Brooklyn, N.Y., on his way to a local synagogue was gunned down in broad daylight Saturday morning during a likely random robbery attempt on Northeast 175th Street, according to Miami-Dade police and local Jewish community leaders.
The shooting victim, Joseph Raksin, was walking eastbound on Northeast 175th Street at about 9 a.m. when he was confronted by two young men. Following an altercation, Raksin was shot by one of the two young men, police said.
It’s unclear how many shots were fired at Raksin. But Raksin’s critical wounds prompted authorities to immediately airlift him to the Ryder Trauma Center, where he later died.
The shooting took place in an area of unincorporated Northeast Miami-Dade near North Miami Beach, where swastikas found painted on a local synagogue last month have worried local Jewish leaders.
“At this time there is no indication of this being a hate crime,” said Miami-Dade police spokeswoman Elena Hernandez in a statement.
She said police are searching for two young male suspects, one of whom may have fled on a bicycle. The other may have run from the area on foot.
Late Saturday, Hava Holzhauer, the Anti-Defamation League Florida Regional Director, whose organization has been in close contact with Miami-Dade homicide investigators, said the crime “appears to be a robbery that went badly.”
“Currently no evidence has been brought to light that it was motivated by anti-Semitism,” said Holzhauer.
“This is a terrible tragedy,” said Holzhauer. “While the motivation for this crime is still being investigated, nothing can justify the killing of an innocent man walking to his place of worship to pray on his holy day.”
Miami-Dade police have not commented on whether the shooting was connected to a robbery attempt on Raksin.
Yona Lunger, a local Jewish community activist and member of the Shmira Patrol — a neighborhood watch group — confirmed to the Miami Herald late Saturday that Raksin was an Orthodox rabbi from Brooklyn who was in South Florida to visit his granddaughter and other relatives.
Read more here: miamiherald.com
Well this is terrible news. My daughter lives in this neighborhood. She said her husband has been considering buying a gun as many members of their congregation carry. He has been resistant to the idea because he is from the UK.
“At this time there is no indication of this being a hate crime,” said Miami-Dade police spokeswoman Elena Hernandez in a statement.
It was a Saturday. Jews don’t carry money on Saturday. Yes it for damn certain was a hate crime—the feds take this very, very seriously.
That break in I had 4 years ago? That was classified as a hate crime when it was prosecuted apparently the perp was targeting Jewish homes because he thought “Jews have money” or whatever. They took our TV but did not steal the Sabbath silverware, and the robbery was done on a Tuesday but I got a letter from the Justice Department that this was classified as a hate crime in addition to regular robbery.
UPDATE: This happened 2 blocks from where my daughter lives. My son (also in Miami) is urging her and her husband to attend the “gun safety” course that my daughter-in-law attends.
My son is already trained in firearms from his service in the IDF.