Tidbits – Oct. 12, 2023 – Reader Comments: Israel-Gaza War – Responses to Portside Posts, Letter From Israeli Jews and Arabs, Resources, Action You Can Take; Kennedy Family Releases Statement on RFK Candidacy; Cartoons; More…
Israel - Gaza War
Re: Netanyahu Bears Responsibility for This Israel-Gaza War (Velva Spriggs; Charles; Bruce Powers)
Re: Resistance in Gaza Launches Attack on Israel (Gary W Seeman; Stan Nadel)
War is the Liquidation of Politics (Geoffrey Jacques)
Peace Depends on Justice (MADRE)
Reader Comments; Cartoons; Memes:
Re: Sean Doolittle, Baseball’s Left-Wing Lefty, Retires (David S. Fine; Mike Liston)
Re: Biden Takes Initiative Against Junk Fees (Brad Smith)
What the Attraction Is for Donald Trump (Seymour Joseph)
Re: How American Democracy Fell So Far Behind (Dan Morgan)
Re: Clarence Thomas Has Yet Another Huge Conflict of Interest (Norm Littlejohn)
Re: Ten Elements of a Leftist Peace Policy (Ethan Young; Dan Morgan)
Violence in Israel-Palestine -- Let Congress Do It's Job (Action Corps)
Statement of Solidarity with Israel/Palestine (Beyt Tikkun - A Synagogue Wiithout Walls)
- Online Event - Women Making History: Showcasing the West Virginia Feminist Activist Collection - October 16 (West Virginia & Regional History Center)
Thank you for writing this article. You have created important insight, balance, and historical perspective that helps the reader see both the Israeli and Palestinian connections to this outrageous new military war. I am sickened by the propagandizing of this war by the media, only from the viewpoint of the Israelis.
All the main news outlets seem only to be pumping up Americans to be in support of the final destruction of Palestine for the benefit of the Israelis. More weapons, more guns, more planes to defend Israel, to be a partner with Israel in the genocide of a people.
I do not condone the killing carried out by HAMAS as the acts of killing and kidnapping are no small matter. It is all despicable. Now Israel is weaponizing the denial of water, electricity, food, and fuel for the Palestinians, further imposing the acts of oppression and apartheid that have probably led to the Palestinian rage we are now witnessing and their ultimate acts of resistance. For the US, there are political and capitalistic gains, and for Israel, the annexation of Gaza - a land grab - and all the areas occupied by Palestinians.
But look at the costs to human life on both sides. Who really cares as the search for power still reigns supreme in western cultures no matter who gets hurt - collateral damage! I will not engage in lifting up Israel while denigrating and dehumanizing Palestinians.
I am not antisemitic. I am simply a human being observing the treachery and inhumanity of other humans. My soul is anguished for the thousands who have suffered loss, illness, and death on both sides. There can be no good end to this story.
Never ceases to amaze, the desperate attempts to spin and invent a more "palatable" narrative for all this, as the "brave freedom fighter" cowards machine gunned kids at a music concert (a peace concert), and anyone on the street, in their homes and cars, etc., from small children to elders, cheering allah akbar . . . but then, oh no, now they'll have to fight against real soldiers from Israel. So, of course, the "freedom fighter" cowards now embed themselves into the Palestinian civilian population, using them as shields.
Yes, I know, the people voted for Hamas (the concept of elections there is very different than standard elections elsewhere in the developed world), so of course, there's going to be civilian casualties, that can then be used to prop up the usual "everything Israel is evil, everything Gaza is good and innocent victimhood" nonsense narrative.
The truly sad part is that there are more than a few who really believe this hideously distorted narrative.
Oh well, I know, that's not likely to be a very popular view here.
Too busy being a criminal.... and overthrowing democracy for himself .... just like Trump
Posted on Portside's Facebook page
please remove me from this list. not enough balanced coverage of Israel. thanks.
Perpetrating war crimes is not a leftist position
I was very disappointed today to find an article featured in Portside that presents a narrative that justifies war crimes on the part of Hezbollah when its soldiers deliberately attack and murder civilians and take civilian hostages.
Israel's atrocities against the Palestinian territories are no excuse for deliberate terrorism.
Portside's featuring that article makes me now consider whether I want to continue receiving updates about features on this site.
Gary W Seeman
How about posting something like this to balance the Hamas barbarism excusers?
The American Jewish left is wrong about Palestinian ‘resistance’
If you think Hamas violence can bring Palestinian safety and freedom, keep watching the news
October 10, 2023
The Salt Lake Tribune
So Portside is now all in with the save Hamas brigade. No proposals for alternative ways to eliminate the fascist barbarians of Hamas, just condemnations of Israel's attempt to do so. That's just support for the fascists and shameful for supposed leftists. By this logic the allies should have taken pity on the civilians of Nazi Germany and refrained from crushing the Nazis. The bleeding hearts have lost so much blood that they (you?) are brain dead.
October 10, 2023
These are days of grief and deep concern for the future. Innocent lives were lost by the hundreds both inside Israel as well as in the Gaza Strip. The stories of Israeli civilians who survived the brutal attack by Hamas armed militias on towns near the Gaza Strip, evoke terrifying memories from Jewish collective memory. Survivors tell of children, babies, women and elderly who lost their lives, while in their homes.
All the while, Israeli warplanes bomb indiscriminately buildings in the Gaza Strip, killing many - including children. Israeli government officials openly state that they aim to cause suffering to the civilian population, with collective punishment, such as cutting all electricity and running water. In the West Bank, violent settlers launch attacks on nearby Palestinian villages, with the army standing by and doing nothing to stop them.
Yesterday, I visited the Shivah (traditional Jewish week of mourning, following the death of family members) at a friend's house, living north of Tel-Aviv. Both his parents - an elderly couple - were killed in their home in Netiv HaAsara, near Gaza Strip. I went there with a comrade of mine, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, who is active with me in Standing Together. The grieving friend, who is a veteran peace activist and a supporter of Standing Together, burst into tears as we visited him. He said his parents shared his commitment to our joint cause of peace. On the way back, I scrolled through social media, just to see more announcements of funerals, missing persons, abductees to Gaza, from people whom I know.
The attack on Saturday morning was a tragedy. About to be compounded by the ruthless acts of the Israeli government, bent on committing atrocities.
Listen to Alon-Lee Green, National Co-Director of Standing Together, speaks against beating the drums of war and against the hawkish statements made by Israeli government officials:
An important point was made by Sally Abed, member of the leadership of Standing Together, calling for people to express solidarity with peoples, rather than with governments. For someone abroad to "Support Israel" is very different from "Supporting Israelis".
Being part of the peace movement in Israel, naturally we aim our criticism first of all at the actions and policies of our government, since we wish to transform our society and change its political course. Nonetheless, deep criticism must also be drawn against the Hamas leadership in Gaza, for its responsibility on the attack against the civilian population in the south of Israel. Unfortunately, this is a criticism not always leveled, in statements made in the last few days by various organizations around the world.
We struggle for Israeli-Palestinian peace based on ending the Occupation and achieving independence, freedom and justice for both of our peoples. What motivates us are not abstract principles or theories, but deep care towards the people in our society. In trying times such as these, we are hurting for the suffering inflicted on Palestinians and Israelis alike.
Let's wish for better days to come soon,
We should finally put to bed the quaint notion, famously promulgated by a Napoleonic-era military mind, that war is politics by other means. War is the liquidation of politics.
Along with this, we who are democratic radicals, socialists, and social revolutionaries must extinguish once and for all the notion, far too widespread among us, that terrorism is a legitimate strategy, tactics, or political identity, and that those that use terrorism in the name of liberation are worthy of support. That idea is nothing more than a monstrous fraud whose first aim is to kill democracy as a practice, an aspiration, and as a path to liberation.
It is wholly unnecessary to support terrorists and their strategy and tactics in order to express solidarity with the Palestinian people. Similarly, neither does solidarity in support of resistance to imperialist aggression in Central Europe mean giving unqualified permission to our governments to depend on increased munitions for the victims of aggression as the sole instruments of solidarity. But solidarity also does not mean support for surrender on the part of the victims of imperialist aggression, any more than it means participating in the conspiracy of silence against those that suffer under occupation from a theocratic republic whose own limited democracy is facing crisis.
Those that adhere to the notion that a war of terror against civilians on the border between Israel and the Gaza strip is somehow a case of liberationists taking advantage, in favor of the Palestinian people, of Israel's current political crisis are radically misguided. The politicians of the Likud-led coalition in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem have found in Hamas no better ally. Terrorists feed on murder and information fog, and thuggishness is not the sole property of any one political cosmology.
We of the multiracial, multinational, multiethnic, and multi-religious, working class-oriented left in the liberal democratic capitalist republics of Europe and North America can do better than we've done so far with regard to each of these situations. We must find ways to support democratic forces in the whole of Israel-Palestine, who now find themselves in the vice of adherents and politicians that practice versions of thuggish theocratic nationalism, political adventurism, and republican authoritarianism, and for whom terrorism is either an ideology, an identity, a strategy, a tactic, or all of these together, depending, it seems, on little more the momentary state of play and the time of day.
Similarly, we must find better ways of enacting solidarity with the peoples of Central and Eastern Europe, who are now facing an imperialist aggressor that has launched the biggest land war on that continent in nearly a century, right in the center of the world's most concentrated nuclear arsenal. Just as the voices that we in the "West" have heard from the least during Russia's war against Ukraine have been the trade unionists, peace activists, and the social movement and political movement activists and writers in Ukraine and Eastern Europe, so, too, have the civil society organizations and voices in Israel-Palestine that are trying to find a way out of the vice of theocratic nationalism and republican authoritarianism are all but unknown outside of their own neighborhoods, not least because of a widespread and increasing censorship campaign that, with its "don't say Palestine" orientation, mirrors the political gangsterism of the governor of our own so-called Sunshine state, with his "don't say gay" politics.
Enough with the empty slogans and the social imperialist hubris. Can we get back to doing what left wing movements do? I know this is hard, especially for those closest to these struggles, who, along with political concerns, may be intellectually, culturally, emotionally, religiously, or familially invested in the minutiae of the everyday. However, one can hope that, in the 21st century, there must still be first principles for left wingers. Anti-imperialism, solidarity with the oppressed and those fighting for democracy, and anti-terrorism should be among these principles.
October 11, 2023
MADRE mourns the Palestinian and Israelis who have been horrifically killed in these past days of violence, with more deaths announced each day. We will continue to support our partners, including those inside Gaza, who are providing emergency medical care and psychosocial support as casualties mount.
We stand with families who grieve and fear for their loved ones, and who – like this Israeli father connecting his suffering to a mother in Gaza – still cry out for peace.
We uphold that true, lasting peace and justice can only come from an end to Israel’s occupation and apartheid policies that have deprived and dehumanized Palestinians for generations. These policies have also made peace for Israelis and Palestinians impossible. Peace cannot coexist with or grow from occupation.
Actions that escalate this crisis will only worsen the horror and produce more generations trapped in occupation and war, fear and grief. Israel’s disproportionate retaliatory airstrikes and announcement that Gaza will be placed under “complete siege” with “no electricity, no food, no fuel” means we are charging down this brutal path – all with unwavering support and billions of dollars of funding, annually, from the United States. Our partners at the Palestinian Medical Relief Society are providing lifesaving aid to people in Gaza and have released a statement “remind[ing] the international community that denial of humanitarian access constitutes a war crime.”
This crisis is still unfolding, and even as we mobilize urgently to provide aid, we brace ourselves for what’s to come. We know that this devastation grows from the violence of the past. Even before the latest attacks, 2023 was the deadliest year for Palestinians since the height of the second Intifada. For 16 years, the people of Gaza have lived in what amounts to an “open air prison,” deprived of food, electricity, clean water and the basic freedom to move, and frequently targeted with airstrikes. A ten-year-old child in Gaza has already lived through four Israeli military campaigns. As Israel’s Defense Minister declared that this siege would be expanded, he justified that decision saying that “we are fighting human animals,” ramping up the language of dehumanization that paves the way for even more violence.
Despite Israel’s apartheid policies, and ongoing attacks against civilians in Gaza, the Biden administration has so far failed to call for accountability for war crimes on all sides. Instead, both President Biden and many Congressional leaders have expressed remorse for lives lost in Israel while ignoring lives lost in Gaza.
Through years of violence and oppression, Palestinian communities have cared for each other and mobilized in nonviolent collective action, with women often playing critical leadership roles to support their families and communities. During the months of the Great March of Return of 2018-2019, thousands of Palestinians responded to a call for peaceful mass action to gather at Gaza’s border fences and denounce their occupation – and were met with violent retaliation by the Israeli military. As Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, the only Member of Congress with Palestinian heritage, wrote, “the failure to recognize the violent reality of living under siege, occupation, and apartheid makes no one safer. No person, no child anywhere should have to suffer or live in fear of violence. We cannot ignore the humanity in each other.”
Recently, a growing Israeli democracy movement has also denounced the abuses of their government, with some connecting the roots of this authoritarianism to Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. This weekend, an Israeli lawmaker said, “There is an ethnic cleansing going on. It was obvious the writing was on the wall, written in the blood of the Palestinians – and unfortunately now Israelis as well.”
The US government has a choice to make. It could choose solidarity with the vision of peace and justice expressed by these Palestinians and Israelis, who know that the best path forward lies in accountability and an end to the occupation. Across administrations, the US has often chosen complicity with violence, condemning present and future generations of Israelis and Palestinians to an endless cycle of grief and revenge. What we need now are policies rooted in care and healing – not violent retaliation – and an even application of international law for all parties to the conflict.
121 West 27th Street #604
New York, NY 10001
A truly great man! We will miss seeing you on the field Brother!
David S. Fine
Posted on Portside's Facebook page
Seems like a great athlete in all respects,
limits on credit card late payment fees?
October 2, 2023
Chattanooga Times Free Press
To understand what the attraction is for Donald Trump I go back to the gangster movies of the 1930s. We weren’t attracted to the detectives and G-men who brought the culprits to justice, we loved the bad guys played by Bogart and Cagney.
Forget law and order; their bravado and daring registered with us. You might call them the first Anti-heroes. When Trump took the stage at the first Republican debate in 2016 it was a shock. He was brash and disrespectful, not “politically correct,” like the others surrounding him. And though his behavior was not even socially acceptable, there was enough ho-hum about the others to give him the nomination, and eventually the presidency.
Unfortunately, this is not the movies, which you walk away from and no harm is done. This is real life and really dangerous. In this “scenario,” We the People are the detectives and G-men, and if we don’t bring Donald J. Trump to justice there’ll be no walking away from the consequences.
The Kennedy family just released a joint statement denouncing Robert Kennedy Junior as a fraud.
Follow Occupy Democrats for more.
Yes, liberal democracy in the USA could be improved. But is liberal democracy real democracy? When it is the context of capitalism (almost by definition) it leaves real power in the hands of a small minority, through control of the mass media and all state institutions including the judiciary, intelligence organizations, police and military.
The history of liberal democracies show that when capitalist rule is threatened all sorts of mechanisms come into play to prevent it. From destroying Jeremy Corbyn's leadership of the Labour Party in Britain, to the military coup in Chile. A few countries have managed to escape, at least for some time - Venezuela with Chavez notably. But to maintain and build real democracy, socialist democracy, dramatic changes are necessary.
Posted on Portside's Facebook page
June 9, 2023
Revolving Door Project research reveals that right-wing elites in the Horatio Alger Association stand to benefit from a lawsuit attempting to destroy the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The group has close ties to Clarence Thomas.
Posted on Portside's Facebook page
Calling Putin's invasion what it is, is so stigmatized that the writer to completely glides over the name 'Ukraine'. 'Solidarity' is invoked, but no mention is made of the Ukrainian resistance, which is undercut by the demand for the US to push besieged Ukraine to negotiate. With these omissions, the proposed peace policy may apply to a world where the same rules apply to every conflict, but not to this one. Fear of taking a position that seems to align with NATO, should not obscure the fact that Putin was not forced to invade -- he chose to.
Just as the 'negotiations now' demand is buttressed by arguments that are indistinguishable from Russia's rhetoric. The difference is NATO is engaged in imperialist power plays in the region, while Russia burst through the border and is now smashing civilians of a weaker neighbor.
Posted on Portside's Facebook page
Ethan Young maybe you did not see an Amnesty International press release of August 4, 2022. No? Possibly because it was written by their people on the ground but was not to the liking of their bosses, and so was disowned. It showed that civilians were purposely put in danger in Ukraine by placing military targets close to them. Other recent examples - the missile that hit a market recently was blamed on Russia but later admitted to be Ukrainian. Compare Ukraine with the flattening of Gaza now, and see where civilians are being 'smashed'.
Posted on Portside's Facebook page
Violence and war can leave us feeling powerless. The escalation of violence in Israel and Palestine these past few days has been devastating. I encourage us to show kindness to ourselves and one another, and to join humanitarian and faith-based organizations, and members of Congress, in calling for a ceasefire and de-escalation.
Hamas’ attack on Israel this past weekend represents the country’s deadliest in decades. In response, Monday the Israeli defense minister ordered a “complete siege,” cutting Gaza off from electricity, fuel, and food. Israel is pummeling the country, striking offices, mosques, and residential buildings. We condemn the Hamas attacks – including its attacks on Israeli civilians and its taking of hostages – and the Israeli military and settlers’ assault on the Palestinian people.
Action Corps urges members of Congress to join Sen. Ed Markey, and Reps. Barbara Lee, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Cori Bush, humanitarian organizations like Oxfam, and faith-based organizations like the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, in calling for ceasefire, de-escalation and respect for civilian populations. Furthermore, we call on U.S. lawmakers to enforce U.S. law on U.S. military aid to Israel, preventing the use of U.S. weapons against civilians or in civilian areas..
We should press Congress to do its job. Congress should ensure that the U.S. follows international law and norms, and holds the executive branch accountable for the effects of our country’s foreign policy.
The road ahead won’t be easy, and there’s suffering to come that we may not be able to stop. But where we can make a difference, let’s.
Please stay in touch.
Isaac Evans-Frantz he/him
We are outraged by, mourn deeply, and unequivocally condemn the horrific actions of Hamas. According to Israeli sources, more than 1,200 people were killed and 2,900 injured, most of whom were civilians, and over 100 individuals (including children, women, and the elderly) were taken as hostages into Gaza.
Tikkun magazine and Beyt Tikkun: A Synagogue without Walls partnered with others to write a joint statement that we hope can help us rise above divisiveness and division and call us to our highest selves.
What follows is our joint statement. We invite everyone who agrees with our statement to add your name. You can read the statement below and add your name by clicking here.
Solidarity with Israel/Palestine
This statement is written and signed by Palestinians, Jews, and others who are committed to holding complex truths and striving to overcome polarization. We feel the pain of our people, identify with their pain, and need to work together to uplift our shared humanity.
The unfolding horror in Israel and Gaza is an escalation of decades of state-sanctioned violence by Israel against Palestinians. We condemn the horrific actions of Hamas against Israeli civilians. We likewise condemn Israel’s unbridled bombing and cutting off access to all basic needs, including food, water, electricity, and medical care. Attacks on Palestinian and Israeli civilians are repugnant.
Israeli violence against Palestinians has been intentionally hidden, slow, and steady. Contrary to what the media is reporting, this attack was not unprovoked. The Israeli and American governments have worked together to suppress and deny the inhumane acts against Palestinians that have led to this moment. There are Palestinians and Jews who have been raising red flags and warning about this inevitable outcome for decades, only to be dismissed and ignored.
The world’s failure to challenge Israel’s ongoing occupation, apartheid, and unbridled violence by settlers and soldiers in the West Bank provides the context for what is happening now. The recent Israeli government’s escalation of violence, encroachment of Al Aqsa Mosque, and its 16-year siege of Gaza has led to the current explosion.
We repeat: the brutality of Hamas’ attack on Israeli civilians is unjustified.
As we watch the violent attacks and rallying of xenophobia on both sides, we are brokenhearted. Although it feels like a time to stand with “our people,” we know this is a time to come together. This is a time of great suffering for all; a time of painful emotions. It is only by recognizing our shared fears and our shared tears that we will find our way through this nightmare. It is a struggle we need to undertake jointly.
When we fall back into our separate and distinct identities we risk becoming part of the problem, not the solution. Both peoples suffer from ongoing trauma. We are all on high alert. The fear is palpable. And it is easy for us to objectify the 'other.'
We seek a third path that neither perpetuates a xenophobic response nor sustains an unjust status quo. This moment calls us to slow down, sit with the pain and complexity, and grapple with our discomfort. It is a moment for digging deep, seeing across differences, and remembering our deep yearning for peace and justice. It is only through compassion and empathy that we will find a different way.
We recognize and uplift the humanity of all peoples in Israel/Palestine.
We call for an immediate ceasefire from Hamas and Israel.
We demand that basic needs be provided to Gazans.
We demand that the United States provide only humanitarian support to Israel and Gaza.
We support the creation of a movement that recognizes and affirms the humanity, dignity, and desire of both peoples to live in peace through reconciliation and justice.
You can add your name by clicking here.
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Berkeley, CA 94708
Join the WVRHC this October for the Feminist Activist Exhibit opening with WVU Professor Emerita Judith Stitzel and Dr. Jessie Wilkerson.
“Women Making History” is a collaborative exhibit that features sections written and curated by students in the WVU History department as well as faculty and staff from WVU Libraries. It features content from several collections that make up the West Virginia Feminist Activist Collection.
This is a hybrid event! Register for the stream here
West Virginia & Regional History Center
1549 University Ave
PO Box 6069