Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Bad News Blog is Back, January 12, 2010

Gabrille Giffords

It seems that the nutty world has gone even more over the edge since the last of these postings.  The shooting of Gabrielle Giffords,
the Congresswoman, in Tucson is an example of how the world is evolving and what violent political discourse can generate.   I agree totally with  William Rivers Pitt that the crazies who fire the shots are driven by the rhetoric of the fanatic right.  Indeed there are people who will say this was just one bad weed (e.g. Yigal Amir who assassinated Yitzhak Rabin) or a single deranged individual, in order to avoid accountability of the right, as claimed by  Charles Krauthammer .   As said by  Shulamit Aloni
about Amir, these weeds are raised  in a well fertilized flower bed by people who cannot abide certain things such as a black President or a peace agreement or whatever drives their madness.  For the Tucson case no one can claim a direct connection between Loughner and Sarah Palin, Glen Beck and the rest, but in the Rabin assassination, I have no doubt that rabbis from the West Bank settlements sent him and the government lacked the cojones to investigate them.  It was convenient to hang it all on a deranged loner.
 Robert Kennedy Jr. brings back his memory of the assassination of his Uncle Jack and the wild right wing incitement that gripped Dallas at that time.  He ends with "Gabrielle Giffords lies in a hospital room fighting for her life, and a precious nine-year-old girl is dead along with five others. Let's pray for them and for our country and hope this tragedy prompts another round of examination of conscience."
Christina Green, born on Sept. 11, 2001, a day of unmatched terrorism, died at the hands of a terrorist.
It is sad that her funeral required protection from anti-gay activists by emergency legislation.  These nuts from Topeka claim that all the bad things are a result of homosexuality and indeed will picket the funeral of Judge Roll and the hospital where Gabrielle Giffords is fighting for her life.  How beautiful is life in a world of hate, all in the name of God and Christ. 
 The Westboro Baptist Church is a travesty of religion.

SAVE THE BEES  Bees are dying off in the billions and our entire food supply is in danger.  I append a call to sign a petition to put a stop to the use of pesticides that are causing the catastrophe.  Please sign and pass it on.

I also would like to ask you to sign a petition to protect Archbishop Desmond Tutu from the horrible personal attacks that have been made on him by Jewish organizations because of his criticism, most justified, of  human rights violations.  Archbishop Tutu deserves better of us.
We are living through terrible times in Israel today.  The anti-democratic elements in the body politic have found a leader in our Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and legislative initiatives designed to stifle dissent and impose a fascist style political culture are being passed in the Knesset, one by one.  The latest is a law to set up a parliamentary committee to investigate left wing and human rights organizations.  Some of us are old enough to remember HUAC and the excesses of the McCarthy
era.  One might consider converting to an Eastern religion that preaches reincarnation since Joe McCarthy is alive and well in Israel,
Lieberman's party pushed through the law on investigating human rights organization in a debate in which they referred to people like myself as "germ" and "traitors."  To be fair, we must say that  several right wing MK's stood up against him and incurred his wrath.  People like Begin and Meridor, although conservative and nationalist in their views, understand that such legislation is dangerous for our society as a whole and for our democratic way of life, or what is left of it.  They incurred the wrath of Lieberman who attacked them as weak on patriotism and claimed that left wing groups are collaborators with terrorists.   For his part, Meridor defended his position and referred to the initiative as "dangerous."  Indeed it is.
People on the left were much more explicit.  In truth, two years ago Shulamit Aloni lamented the demise of democracy in Israel.  Yossi Gurvitz has published a blog statement on the question of the appointment of the new Chief of Staff.  The question of the legitimacy of Glantz as CoS is now before the Supreme Court and YG casts serious doubt on the courage and integrity of the court.  He has a point and I wish I could share his blog with all of you.  Those who read Hebrew are invited to open the blog link that appears alongside this blog.
Amnon Dankner, the writer and former editor of the mass circulation Maariv, has apparently also walked the Road to Damascus and has responded the latest round of fascist outbreaks in the country with a  very strong essay. in Hebrew in which he tells us that he is now ashamed to be an Israeli.  Where has he been  he all these years, on Robinson Crusoe's island?     Richard Silverstein has a partial translation into English on his blog .
Yossi Sarid the former Minister of Education and former Head of the Meretz party invokes the memory of the late and unlamented fascist rabbi, Meir Kahane in describing Lieberman.  There is much to be said for this simile.
We have experienced something similar to the right wing incitement that led to Tucson.  A film was posted on YouTube calling for the assassination of Shai Nitzan the deputy state attorney.  In this case, the man was found and is now in custody.   The same person also posted a call to   assassinate Ehud Barak the defense minister.  As in the United States, such motivation derives from the inflammatory rhetoric of the right wing.  We also see a repeat of the Sarah Palin blood libel complaint in the reaction of a right wing parliament member to the arrest in the Nitzan/Barak case.

A protest against the separation fence in Bil’in in 2009. Jawaher Abu Rahmah can be seen in the second row in a black and white shirt.
Photo by: Hamadi Abu Rahmah
Jawaher Abu Ramah died young. She stood facing the demonstrators against the separation fence in her village, inhaled very large quantities of the gas that Israel Defense Forces soldiers fired that day, collapsed and died several hours later at a Ramallah hospital.
Since this event, the Army has been spinning one lie after the other in a vain attempt to avoid responsibility.  It is indeed surprising that they care, since they shot an old man in his bed this week and then shrugged it off as an identification error.  I wonder if a day of reckoning for these bloodthirsty killers will ever come.  Let me link you to Gideon Levy who can rant better than I can and who has more details.
I must add another link from Richard Silverstein in the blog Tikkun Olam who points out that Orthodox rabbis in a so-called family publication  are calling for bringing "Amalek" to death camps.   This is an attack on rabbis who objected to the command not to rent or sell to Arabs.  We should all be proud of our rabbis.
מעניין אם את ריכוז העמלקים במחנות
השמדה הם ישאירו לאחרים או אולי יכריעו
שמחיית עמלק כבר לא רלוונטית. ימים יגידו.

Gene Weingarten has nothing new this week , but I can give you a Tom Toles cartoon on the situation in the US:
and a Borowitz comment on the same issue.
Have a nice week.  Next  week we will have a Pollyanna blog.

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