Aug 10, 2014

The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist

August 9, 2014

The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist
J. Scahill, R. Devereaux - The Intercept
The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither "concrete facts" nor "irrefutable evidence" to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept ... The new guidelines allow individuals to be designated as representatives of terror organizations without any evidence they are actually connected to such organizations, and it gives a single White House official the unilateral authority to place entire "categories" of people the government is tracking onto the no fly and selectee lists.

The Myth of the Innocent Civilian

New Leaker Disclosing U.S. Secrets, Government Concludes
E. Perez - CNN
The federal government has concluded there's a new leaker exposing national security documents in the aftermath of surveillance disclosures by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, U.S. officials tell CNN. Proof of the newest leak comes from national security documents that formed the basis of a news story published Tuesday by the Intercept, the news site launched by Glenn Greenwald, who also published Snowden's leaks.

Israeli Extermination In Gaza
Ali Jarbawi - The New York Times
... The rise in Israeli racism and extremism against Palestinians would not have happened without the unconditional support that Israel receives from its allies, most significantly the United States. Israel cannot continue to be the exception to the rule of international law and human rights. The international community must hold it accountable for its rhetoric and its actions, and begin to treat it like all other countries. It should not be allowed to continue to enjoy its state of exceptionalism and to use this to wreak destruction on the Palestinian people.

Israel: Winning the Battle, Losing the War
The Economist (Britain)
... But as the occupation of Palestinian territory has dragged on, sympathy has seeped away. In a poll published in June, before the destruction of Gaza, the citizens of 23 countries put the balance of those who think Israel is a good or bad influence on the world at minus 26%, ranking it below Russia and above only North Korea, Pakistan and Iran ... Time is not on Israel's side. Palestinians may already outnumber Israelis in the lands they share. Without two states, Israelis and Palestinians will be left with one that contains them both. The risk for Israel is of either a permanent, non-democratic occupation that disenfranchises Palestinians, or a democracy in which Jews are in a minority.

Millennials Are Over Israel: A New Generation Rejects Washington's Reflexive Support
D. Palumbo-Liu - Salon
... Americans are used to having Israel and the issue of the Palestinians framed by two heretofore closely intertwined narratives: that of the Holocaust and that of the founding of the state of Israel ... International support for Israel is ebbing because the Holocaust narrative can no longer offer an omnipotent shield against a critique of the second narrative regarding the founding of the state of Israel ... More and more younger Americans, growing up well past the postwar era, find the Holocaust narrative to be less than absolutely and unquestionably a good reason to support the horrible killings in Gaza. And as they learn more, their support will wane further.

Ebbing Support for Israel Among Young Americans Worries Zionist Groups
R. Kampeas - JTA
If the results of a recent focus group and polls are any indication, the gap is growing between the US Congress and young Americans when it comes to support for Israel ... Support for Israel is weaker among younger Americans and Democrats than among Americans generally. Add to that the results of a recent focus group culled from twelve congressional staffers - a small but very influential cohort - and pro-Israel activists are worried about the long-term sustainability of broad US support for Israel in Congress. Last Friday, a select group of Jewish institutions was sent a confidential summary of the staffers discussing the recent Gaza conflict. The tone of the summary, which was obtained by JTA, was one of alarm.

As Jews Unite, is US Youth Moving to Anti-Semitism?
The Times of Israel
... From a 2,200-strong rally in Colorado to Manhattan's mega event, politicians of all stripes and religious persuasions are speaking in defense of Israel alongside Jewish community representatives. However, there is another narrative being voiced as well. A recent Pew poll highlights an age group that is less than "supportive." Instead of standing with Israel, the poll finds that a third of all young Americans aged 18-29 (Jews and non) in fact blame Israel for the Gaza conflict ... So, The Times of Israel wonders: is this a watershed moment of pro-Israel support for the US Jewish communities - or just another notch in the belt of an ever-encroaching anti-Semitism?

Israel's Propaganda Machine Is Finally Starting To Misfire
Patrick Cockburn - The Independent (Britain)
... Frank Luntz, the Republican strategist who produced a confidential booklet in 2009, promptly leaked, advising Israeli spokesmen how best to manipulate American and European public opinion. "Don't confuse messages with facts," Dr Luntz advises the spokesmen as he explains how facts should be selected and best presented to make Israel's case ... For all the good advice of Dr Luntz there are signs of Israeli leaders getting rattled. Mr Netanyahu complained on CNN that Hamas wants "to pile up as many civilian dead as they can" and "to use telegenically dead Palestinians for their cause." Even the best propaganda machine cannot explain away massacres of civilians as happened in Lebanon at Sabra and Shatila in 1982 and at Qana in 1996 and 2006.

Five Israeli Talking Points on Gaza Debunked
Noura Erakat - The Nation
... Israel's propaganda machine, however, insists that these Palestinians wanted to die ("culture of martyrdom"), staged their own death ("telegenically dead") or were the tragic victims of Hamas's use of civilian infrastructure for military purposes ("human shielding"). In all instances, the military power is blaming the victims for their own deaths, accusing them of devaluing life and attributing this disregard to cultural bankruptcy ... Below I address five of Israel's recurring talking points.

Israel is Losing Support Among Evangelical Christians
Haaretz (Israel)
Support for Israel is weakening among evangelical Christians, prompting a new struggle for the hearts and minds of younger members of America's largest pro-Israel demographic group. While hard numbers are not available, evangelical leaders on both sides of the divide on Israel agree that members of the millennial generation do not share their parents' passion for the Jewish state; many are seeking some form of evenhandedness when approaching the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ... The grip of Christian Zionists over young evangelicals has been loosening for several years, according to observers within the community.

Christian Zionism
Mark Weber - Podcast
The fundamentalist and evangelical Protestant Christians in the US who fervently embrace Israel are the single most important block of non-Jewish American supporters of the Zionist state and its policies. But few of these "Christian Zionists" realize just what an odd minority they are among the world's Christians, and how out of step their views are with traditional Christian principles. Christian Zionists reject the ethical values of Jesus as laid out in the Gospels, and betray fellow Christians in Palestine who are victims of Israeli dispossession and oppression.


Michael Santomauro
Cell: 917-974-6367

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