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Tidbits – Nov.23, 2023 – Reader Comments: Thanksgiving; Stop Calling It a Conflict, It’s…; Ceasefire; Trump’s Calling Opponents Vermin, Repeats Language of Hitler; the Real Bayard Rustin; Antisemitism, Anti-Zionism, Dangerous Conflations; Cartoons

Reader Comments: Thanksgiving; Stop Calling It a Conflict, It's...; Ceasefire; Trump's Calling Opponents Vermin, Repeats Language of Hitler; The Real Bayard Rustin; Antisemitism, Anti-Zionism and Dangerous Conflations; Cartoons; and more....

Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources, Announcements, AND cartoons - Nov. 23, 2023,Portside


Big Kids Table  --  Cartoon by Mike Luckovich

Mike Luckovich
November 17, 2023
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Re: Should America Keep Celebrating Thanksgiving?  

Thank you for this article. I wish the country were courageous enough to follow your lead during this Thanksgiving season and all year round.  You may be too late as they are heavy-handed on banning books and mythologizing history while discouraging any focus on an appreciation for diversity and truth telling. I trust that in spite of my viewpoint, you will enjoy an indigenous Thanksgiving feast.

Velva Spriggs

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We're looking forward to a traditional Thanksgiving this year.  We plan to invite all the neighbors, serve them a big meal, and then kill them and steal their land.

David Richardson


Ah finally, something truthful about Thanksgiving.

Rita Giacaman

Thankful for Farmworkers  --  Cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz  

Lalo Alcaraz
November 2022
Lalo Alcaraz reposted United Farm Workers

November 23, 2023

Stop Calling It a Conflict Its Literally Genocide  --  Meme


November 11, 2023

Once Weapons Were Manufactured to Fight Wars. Now....

Re: Bernie Sanders Starts an Important Fight in the Democratic Party  

The USA conditions aid on various requirements all over the world — and Israel receives more aid from the USA than any other nation.

Norm Littlejohn
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Maybe those sit-ins at Bernie's offices in DC and Vermont, and open letters from former Bernie staffers and campaign volunteers, have had an impact. He's been betraying, among others, his supporters in labor who are calling for a ceasefire, including my union.

Alan Hart

Re: Merkley Just Second US Senator To Demand Gaza Cease-Fire


The left seriously needs representation in our government, having 2 far right parties isn't working out too well.

Ben Cupp
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: When Anti, Anti-Zionism Becomes Anti-Semitism  

Excellent piece. It is astounding how crazy mixed up people are about what is going in Israel right now.

Will Glennon
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: The Real Reason Israel Is Attacking Gaza’s Hospitals  

Israel is committing genocide with the support of the USA.

Gary Lafortune
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

DDS  --  Cartoon by Nick Anderson

Nick Anderson
November 15, 2023
Reform Austin

Trump Vermin  --  Cartoon by Clay Jones


Clay Jones
November 15, 2023

Re: Biden’s Quagmire: Israel, Gaza, and Those Really Scary Polls  

While I understand the deep frustration with Biden's unequivocal support for Israel, the almost certain alternative to the President will be Donald Trump who will be way worse for Arab Americans. I'm sorry but I have no sympathy for anyone who voices their anger through refusing to vote...the lesser of two evils is way way less evil.

John Berman


Caught between a rock and a hard place .

John Frediani
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

CLUW Calls for Ceasefire

Thanks for your updates about unions calling for a ceasefire in the Gaza-Israel War. I am especially heartened by the APWU statement.

This past weekend at the CLUW Convention in Minneapolis, we passed a resolution that I authored with a friend and fellow delegate, calling for diplomacy over militarism in the Russia-Ukraine War. Due to submission deadlines, this was sent in to the Resolutions Committee well before the war in Gaza began. Raising a new resolution at the Convention is a complicated and uncertain process, so I added two Amendments from the floor instead. One calls for support for Barbara Lee's bill to cut the military budget by $100 billion. The second calls for a ceasefire in Gaza, release of all political prisoners, massive aid to the Palestinians and safe ways to deliver it.

Of course we could have said much more. But given the bureaucratic constraints of the Rules, we felt it best to just get this position on record.

Passage wasn't seriously in doubt, and in fact, our Gaza amendment solicited immediate cheers. CLUW has a proud history of opposing war, cutting military spending in favor of funding the many societal needs of US residents, and demilitarizing our foreign policy. Our Philadelphia Chapter of CLUW was a founding member of US Labor Against the War, and national CLUW soon followed suit. We were very active in USLAW throughout its tenure, and I served as a Co-Convener for many years.

If you do an update, perhaps you can include our position. Thanks for your excellent reporting.

Peace and solidarity,

Kathy Black, Executive Board Member, President Emerita, Philadelphia Coalition of Labor Union Women; AFSCME retiree

Re: The Real Bayard Rustin  


As biopics go, this one is so-so. It gets the basic details of Rustin’s story right, and the acting is decent. But nobody other than Martin Luther King should ever try to play Martin Luther King. (Maybe it can work with J. Robert Oppenheimer or Leonard Bernstein.) And no actor can equal the real Bayard Rustin.

Fortunately, there is a superb documentary about Rustin himself, the world he inhabited, and the difference he made. It’s perfectly titled Brother Outsider. The film was made in 2003 by California Newsreel, produced and directed by Nancy Kates and Bennett Singer, and deserves your attention. It’s a little hard to find to stream, but you can rent it on Vimeo for $2.99.

Lorraine Suzuki
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Please note you can see this movie for free on Kanopy which most public libraries provide. Let's promote anti capitalism instead of big business whenever we can.

Thank you

Griffin Toffler

Re: Blaming Mass Shootings on Mental Illness Doesn’t Address Either Issue  

Thank you for writing about this subject.  I personally tire of hearing the two primary responses of officials when there is a mass shooting: "...sending thoughts and prayers" and empty statements about the tragedy being the result of a mental health problem.  These excuses simply let these "intend to do nothing" legislators off the hook; there is never any serious attempt to examine root societal causes and do something comprehensively concrete and meaningful about this social ill. Mental illness is a very serious matter and no doubt plagues the lives of many of these perpetrators of mass murder. Nevertheless, to isolate these tragedies as a product solely of mental illness is irresponsible without having a commitment to examine and address the larger issues that are rooted in societal values and functions. I really think the "empire" is falling apart as it goes the way of all great historical empires.

Velva Spriggs

Re: The Smartest Sci-Fi Show of 2023 Just Dropped a Painfully Realistic Twist

(posting on Portside Culture)  

Space slaves is very real. They don't give a damn. The fact that they even name this show "For all mankind" echoes not only the spacewalk, but the line used by the U.S. military to coerce the Bikini islanders to render up their island for atomic bombing practice. No, the techno-utopians don't give a damn.

Koohan Paik-Mander

Re: Ohio Abortion Vote Shows Value of Direct Democracy  

Thank you for writing this and for your perspective on direct democracy. It's something for me to think about because I've grown very wary of the ballot initiative process -- and the referendum and recall -- that have been features of government in California since 1911. It's been my impression in recent years that lawmaking at the ballot box in California has become a way of appealing to the public's fears and resentments as much as self-government.

If you want to prohibit same-sex marriage, gather enough money to put it on the ballot and then run ads about how they're after your children. Shift the budget from schools to prisons and police by calling your multimillion-dollar initiative the Victims' Bill of Rights. Do something similar to recall a DA who wants to reduce sentencing or prosecute police. Not to mention the $200 million-plus Uber and Lyft spent to get us to classify their drivers as contractors rather than employees.

But articles like yours remind me that there are reasons to give the public a say in how they're governed and not just in who governs them. I think we're starting to refine the process by requiring hearings on some proposed ballot measures and possibly changing the rules for signature-gathering and ballot language on referenda and recalls. Seems difficult to put any meaningful limits on ballot measure spending in our Citizens United world, but maybe there are ways to counteract that as well. Anyway, thanks for your insights, and thanks as well to the Brennan Center for being a longtime resource for people like me.

Bob Egelko

Re: Maxwell Frost on Ron DeSantis, Hopes for a Progressive Florida, and the Power of Collective Movement  

Hope springs again..(a quick glance will do...)

Jeanne Lenzer

Supreme Court Ethics  -- Cartoon by Nick Anderson

Score a win for corruption. Senate Democrats on Thursday backed down from their plan to subpoena Leonard Leo and Harlan Crow in their probe of Supreme Court ethics. Senate Republicans had promised to turn the hearing into a "shit show" if the Democrats issued the subpoenas, and threatened retribution if/when they win the majority. Don't they do that anyway? The decision to back down was a mistake.

Nick Anderson
November 10, 2023

George Santos  -- Cartoon by Steve Breen

Steve Breen
November 17, 2023

On Antisemitism, Anti-Zionism and Dangerous Conflations  --  A Jewish Voice for Peace and PARCEO Explainer

Right now, there’s a lot of pain and fear and grief in our interwoven communities. And as our multiracial, multi-faith movements rise in powerful solidarity with Palestinians, violent rightwing forces are going to try to divide us, attack us, and pit us against each other. Being clear and ready to defend against threats on any one of our communities is essential to staying unified, safe, and powerful as a movement.

We worked with our partners at the PARCEO resource and education center to offer some explainers for ourselves and our beautiful movement, for how to dismantle antisemitism in this moment while also resisting the intentional and dangerous conflations that harm our intersectional movements for justice and put our communities at risk. We keep us safe!

A Jewish Voice for Peace and PARCEO Explainer

What is antisemitism? 

Antisemitism is grave, serious, and totally incompatible with movements for collective liberation, and we stand against it in any form. 

Antisemitism is discrimination, targeting, violence, and dehumanizing stereotypes directed at Jews because they are Jewish. In the past decade alone, some examples of the horrifying white nationalist antisemitic violence we have witnessed include the murder of 11 congregants at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018, synagogue shootings at a Chabad synagogue in Poway, California in 2019, Nazi symbols at the January 6, 2021 U.S. Capitol insurrection, antisemitic hate groups and rallies, and the desecration of cemeteries. We have also seen the use of Jewish stereotypes and conspiracy theories as part of racist ideologies. Visibly observant Jews have been especially harassed and harmed. 

We understand antisemitism as historically contextual, situated amidst interrelated conditions and struggles. That’s why we fight antisemitism within, and as part of, broader struggles against oppression and for collective liberation. For instance, white nationalist violence has been on the rise in the U.S., fueled by anti-immigrant and racist manifestos, sentiments, and conspiracy theories, such as the “great replacement” theory. Jews are among the targets of white nationalist violence, along with Black people, immigrants, Muslims, and trans and queer people, among others. Our safety is bound together with the safety of all people, and none of us is free if we aren’t all free. 

Attacking Jewish individuals or communal spaces for being Jewish, or blaming the Jewish people for the actions of the Israeli government, is antisemitic and unacceptable and flatly contrary to the values of our movement. Our movement for justice in Palestine stands firm as an anti-racist movement, which of course includes opposing all acts of antisemitism. 

What is anti-Zionism? 

Being an anti-Zionist means opposing the political ideology of Zionism, which resulted in the expulsion of 750,000 Indigenous Palestinians from their land and homes. It means standing against the creation of a nation-state with exclusive rights for Jews above others on the land. Anti-Zionism supports liberation and justice for the Palestinian people, including their right to return to their homes and land. Anti-Zionists believe in a future where all people on the land live in freedom, safety and equality. 

Zionism suggests Jews require a supremacist nation state to answer the real question of Jewish safety.  We believe that everywhere in the world, Jews belong and should be safe. Real safety does not grow from guns, checkpoints, walls and a police state. True safety is built through forging real solidarity with all those fighting for a more liberated world. 

Why is it dangerous to confuse antisemitism with anti-Zionism? 

At a time when white supremacists and white nationalists take advantage of this moment to sow confusion and promote antisemitism, Islamophobia, and racism, misstating what antisemitism is harms all of our work for justice and endangers our communities. 

Opposition to the political movement of Zionism and/or the policies of the state of Israel is no different from criticism of any other political ideology or policies of any other nation state, such as the settler colonialism, imperialism and white supremacy at the foundation of the United States.

But the Israeli government, U.S. government, and anti-Palestinian organizations run concerted campaigns to redefine and misstate the meaning of antisemitism, aiming to falsely conflate it with criticisms of Israel or Zionism. They do this so the Israeli government can avoid accountability for its policies and actions that violate Palestinian human rights. 

Conflating antisemitism with opposition to the Israeli government’s policies or ideology is especially dangerous right now. Supporters of Palestinian rights are losing their jobs, being doxxed and harassed online, being attacked physically, and facing congressional censure for trying to save lives. 

In fact, the agenda of white nationalists, war profiteers, and anti-Palestinian organizations has nothing to do with protecting Jewish people, and all to do with harming our intersectional movements for justice. 

Warmongers try to make it hard, but it’s actually really clear and simple: Fighting for Palestinian freedom and against antisemitism are intertwined. We are deeply committed to both.

For a full training on antisemitism from a framework of collective liberation, contact PARCEO at

Jewish Voice for Peace  
P.O. Box 589
Berkeley, CA 94701

(510) 465-1777