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Politics and its Discontents: Would You Hug A Terrorist?

There is no question that here in the West, we like to treat almost as an embarrassment; we sanitize it, hide it away in hospitals and palliative care units, and conduct our lives with a kind of cognitive dissonance, believing on some level that while it happens to others, somehow an exception will be made in our case.

Not for us the graphic horror of many deaths: severed limbs, exposed entrails, torrents of blood. One need only look at how photos of the Boston Marathon victims were doctored to realize the truth about our aversions.

Unfortunately, in the many war-torn (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Israel- Palestine in One Paragraph

Yesterday we discussed the modern trend of policy divorced from reality.  One ugly example of that is the policy of Canada’s government, and Trudeau’s Conservative-Lites, lavishing absolute support on Israel in its persecution of the Palestinians.  Not to say that the NDP is much better.If you’re a Liberal, consider your party’s policy against Noam Chomsky’s summary of the cat and mouse game Israel is playing with the Palestinians.

It is critically important to recognize that a pattern was established almost a decade ago and has been followed regularly since: A ceasefire agreement is reached, Israel makes it clear that (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Israelis Of Conscience

I reproduce the following story without comment, except to state the obvious. It is a testament to the courage and integrity of those described therein, who will likely face all manner of vitriol at home for their principled decision:

Forty-three reservists from Israel’s elite army intelligence unit have announced their refusal to serve, accusing the military of “abuses” against Palestinians, in a letter published on Friday.

The letter, circulated to Hebrew-language media and addressed to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, referred to the army’s intelligence work in the occupied Palestinian territories, including targeted assassinations and intrusive surveillance of civilians.

The soldiers (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Israel committed war crimes in Gaza: Human Rights Watch

Human rights groups says Israel committed war crimes during Gaza conflict, urges the International Criminal Court to facilitate the “prosecution of serious international crimes by both sides.”

The post Israel committed war crimes in Gaza: Human Rights Watch appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Alberta NDP still running that other leadership contest

TweetIt is pennies compared to the $1.8 million raised by Jim Prentice during the Progressive Conservative leadership race, but in the world of the Alberta NDP leadership contest, the money is flowing. The NDP’s monthly contributions report from its leadership candidates shows Edmonton-Strathcona MLA and front-runner Rachel Notley has raised $82,826.99, Edmonton-Calder MLA David Eggen has […]

Cowichan Conversations: Why I Left The NDP-Sana Hassainia, the MP for Verchères-Les Patriotes

Sana Hassainia MP – Left the NDP

One week after her resignation from the NDP, Sana Hassainia, the MP for Verchères-Les Patriotes in Quebec, speaks about why she left and the direction of the party under Thomas Mulcair’s leadership.

Editors’ note: This is a translated version of an interview originally conducted and published in French by Gabrielle Brassard-Lecours for the French edition of Ricochet.

The original version can be found here.

“For many weeks I thought about my involvement with the NDP. Before my resignation, I was thinking of simply not running in the 2015 election because the NDP no longer (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Hamas popularity surges

Whatever damage Israel did to Hamas during the recent war, it didn’t harm the group’s standing among the Palestinian people. Quite the contrary. According to a survey by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research, the popularity of Hamas has surged in both Gaza and the West Bank to the point that if elections were held today it would win, as it did in the last Palestinian election in

The Canadian Progressive: Harper Nobel Peace Prize nomination “a disgrace and insult”

A fast-growing online petition on Change.org is calling on the Norwegian Nobel Committee to reject Prime Minister’s Stephen Harper’s pending nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize for his unequivocal support of Israel.

The post Harper Nobel Peace Prize nomination “a disgrace and insult” appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Wasteful Destruction in Gaza

The destruction of this apartment tower is ridiculous. How is it in any way acceptable for a state to destroy an obvious civilian complex with weapons of war?

We’re supposed to believe that the hundreds of occupants were all enemy combatants, and Israel is safer having made them homeless?

The Canadian Progressive: Gazonto: Imagining Toronto Being Bombed Like Gaza (Video)

With short film, Gazonto, Canadian filmmaker and activist John Greyson reimagines Toronto as Gaza being bombed by Israel during the ongoing Gaza conflict.

The post Gazonto: Imagining Toronto Being Bombed Like Gaza (Video) appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: On broken connections

The CP reported here on Sana Hassainia’s resignation from the NDP caucus and the immediate aftermath. And it’s worth taking a look at both the narrow view that seems to have led Hassainia (among others) to choose to be isolated from party politics, and the unfortunate response from the NDP.

I haven’t commented much personally on the Gaza crisis, so I’ll quickly summarize my take on the NDP’s official position. Initially, Mulcair did seem all too eager to take the same line as the other federal leaders: the NDP’s position included no questioning whatsoever of Israel’s incursion into Gaza, and (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Chomsky on Israel’s Gaza assault – ‘hideous atrocity, sadistic, murderous’: video interview

In this edited Democracy Now interview Noam Chomsky graphically describes the vicious cycle of violence Israel visits time and again on Gaza… with particular reference to the most recent Israeli military assault dubbed Operation Protective Edge.

It’s a hideous atrocity, sadistic, vicious, murderous – totally without any credible pretext. It’s another one of the periodic Israeli exercises in what they delicately call “mowing the lawn.” That means shooting fish in the pond to make sure the animals stay quiet in the cage you have constructed for them. After which you go to a period of what’s called ceasefire which (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: The Shooting May Have Stopped But, For Civilians, Gaza’s Suffering Deepens.

For good and obvious reasons, destruction of essential civilian infrastructure such as water supply and sewage systems is prohibited by the laws of war.  Attacking such targets is a war crime.

For Israel, it’s not just a war crime.  It’s a strategy and it’s called Dahiyeh. It’s the deliberate targeting of civilians; their homes, schools and hospitals; and the water plants and sewage systems essential for public health and safety.

When Israel began waging Dahiyeh against Gaza Palestinians in July, it sent warplanes in to take down the water station and sewage plants.  Now a group of 30-humanitarian agencies banded (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Mounting Evidence of Deliberate Attacks on Gaza Health Workers by Israeli Army

Amnesty International releases disturbing testimonies revealing evidence of deliberate attacks on Gaza health workers by the Israel Defense Forces.

The post Mounting Evidence of Deliberate Attacks on Gaza Health Workers by Israeli Army appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Bill Longstaff: Israel vs. Hamas or Likud vs. Gaza—framing the issue

A major goal in a propaganda war is to frame the issue on your terms. For example, in labour disputes, businesses (and their political and media allies) often claim the argument is not with the workers but with the “union bosses.” The objective is to convince the public and perhaps even union members that management has no quarrel with their decent, hard-working employees, it’s all the fault of

The Canadian Progressive: Noam Chomsky on media’s “shameful moment” in Gaza

by: Democracy Now! | Posted Mon. Aug 11, 2014

As a new 72-hour ceasefire takes hold in Gaza, we turn to part two of our interview with world-renowned dissident and linguist,MIT Professor Noam Chomsky. Criticizing U.S. media coverage of the Israeli assault on Gaza, Chomsky says: “It’s a shameful moment for U.S. media when it insists on being subservient to the grotesque propaganda agencies of a violent, aggressive state.” Chomsky also discusses his long-standing view that popular pressure at home is critical to ending the U.S. government’s backing for Israel’s occupation of the (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Chris Hedges, Gaza Rally in NYC: God’s Covenant in the Promised Land

Here is the note written by Leigha Cohen as an introduction to the following video on You Tube featuring Chris Hedges:

On August 9th, 2014 a rally supporting the people in Gaza took place at Columbus Circle in NYC. The rally lasted for 2 hours which was followed by a march to the United Nations.

Prior to the rally starting, I was approached by Chris Hedges who mentioned that he had written a 8 minute speech that he wanted to deliver to the thousands of people attending the rally. However, he was told that all of the speakers were being (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Hedges Invokes "God’s Covenant" on Gaza

Chris Hedges spoke at a rally and march in support of Gaza in New York on Saturday.  A Harvard divinity school grad, he invoked God’s Covenant.   Here are excerpts from his speech:

God’s covenant in the Promised Land was not made, finally, with any race or religion. It was not made with the Jews. It was not made with the Muslims. It was not made with the Christians. God’s covenant—in the Bible and the Koran—was made with the righteous. When Ibrahim asked in the holy Koran if the covenant could be inherited, he was told bluntly: “My covenant (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Welcome to the 1,000th Politics, Re-Spun Editorial!

Steve Harper, the greatest threat to Canadian security in the modern era.

Happy August! Happy Day!

I have a few comments about this, the 1,000th editorial at Politics, Re-Spun. But you can read them below, about my sabbatical plan, new visions for this almost 12-year-old website, and other things.

But at the top of this post, I have something slightly more urgent to delve into before I check out for a break.

That great sick freak, Donald Rumsfeld is generally credited with popularizing the concept of unknown unknowns to our modern/post-modern era. Being a sick freak, he spun that bafflement (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Why a lifelong Dipper is disappointed with Thomas Mulcair

Born and raised in Saskatchewan, I’ve been a supporter of the CCF/NDP since before Thomas Mulcair was born. The major reason is simply that Canada’s social democratic party has always been the voice of the vulnerable and the oppressed. And that is also the major reason I am uncomfortable with its current leader, specifically with his failure to speak out strongly about the atrocities being

Politics and its Discontents: Our Politicians Serve Nothing But Their Own Ambitions

Given the ongoing Israeli assault on Gaza, many in Canada have been dismayed, not by the predictable and uncritical enthusiasm for all things Israeli from the Harper regime, but by the relative silence or complicity demonstrated by the two major opposition leaders, Justin Trudeau and Thomas Mulcair; both have amply demonstrated that political expedience trumps principle in their cribbed set of values. By contrast, Green Party leader Elizabeth May has once more demonstrated that rareness of all qualities, integrity:

May denounced the three main federal parties for “parroting” Benjamin Netanyahu’s positions:

“It should be possible for all other political (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Global Day of Rage calls for sanctions against Israel – photos: Barnaby Raine speech – "Jewish Bloc Against Zionism"

August 9 saw Day of Rage demos around the world protesting Israeli actions in Gaza and calling for sanctions. Behind the fold I’ve posted a selection of photos.

I’ve also posted a video from the London Day of Rage featuring a speech by a nineteen-year-old British activist named Barnaby Raine who has been involved in organizing a “Jewish Bloc against Zionism.” His impassioned appeal underscores the importance of solidarity of all people in the face of the inhumanity of Israeli occupation and aggression.

Click “read more” for videos and photos.

Day of Rage demos around the world:

Amman, Jordan (Read more…) . . . → Read More: drive-by planet: Global Day of Rage calls for sanctions against Israel – photos: Barnaby Raine speech – "Jewish Bloc Against Zionism"

The Canadian Progressive: #DayofRage: For Gaza, Palestinians, History and Humanity

by: Obert Madondo Follow @Obiemad | Published Sat. Aug 9, 2014

“Die-In” protest in front of NDP Leader Tom Mulcair’s office in Montreal, held on Aug 5, 2014. (Photo: Darren Ell/FACEBOOK)

Gaza, Palestine and you, freedom lovers everywhere, you’ve educated me.

Now I know why they didn’t support indigenous Zimbabweans’ justified armed struggle against British colonial rule. Why I spend the first precious 8 years of my life in Rhodesia. In the midst of a vicious war, fear, uncertainty and fragility.

You have reminded me why they took their time to condemn apartheid South Africa. Why far too (Read more…)

LeDaro: John Baird thinks that it is Palestinians’ fault that they are being butchered by Israel

John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs, blames Palestinians that they are being butchered by Israel. He is a bigger jackass than his boss Stephen Harper who holds similar views.

Tories Release Pro-Israel Ad Amid War In Gaza, But They Don’t Want Everyone To See It

Other parties don’t have much different views including Justin Trudeau.

Read more here.

Politics and its Discontents: A Good Start

Posted by MoS, the Disaffected Lib:

Major European countries are proposing a UN mission to Gaza aimed at lifting the siege of Gaza while dismantling Hamas’ tunnel network and rocket arsenals. From Foreign Policy:

It remains unclear whether the European plan has the support of Hamas, Israel, or the United States. It does, however, include several elements the Obama administration believes are essential, including the need to ease Gazans’ plight, strengthen the role of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and ensure the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip.

The plan — described in a so-called non-paper titled “Gaza: Supporting a (Read more…)