What difference did #MeToo actually make? In 2017 and 2018, the viral hashtag became a global sensation that motivated millions to speak out about sexual assault and harassment. But more recently, critics have questioned whether the flurry of activity ended up leaving much of a legacy. This questioning is hardly surprising. If there is one thing that is most consistent when it comes to mass protest movements, it is that these mobilizations will be dismissed by mainstream political observers as being fleeting and inconsequential. Time and again, they are labeled as fads, scolded for being too “confrontational and divisive,” and written off as flash-in-the-pan eruptions with little lasting significance.
The Black misleadership class casts a very wide net. This group is not just composed of elected officials and organization heads. The misleaders have a media team too and they have already begun the process of herding Black voters into the Democratic Party wing of the duopoly and getting them to cast ballots for Joe Biden without any question or complaint. The media misleaders are getting an early start on the 2024 presidential campaign season. Despite the fact that Biden has no competition from any democrat and the party has already said there will be no debates even if a competitor appears, Biden’s weak approval ratings and poor showing in polls vis a vis Donald Trump, have them running scared.
Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields. You’ve heard the claim echoed ad nauseam in Western corporate media. Yet numerous reports from Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and other human rights groups have found the allegations, which are brought to bear by Israeli officials nearly every time Gaza hits the news, to not only be untrue, they’ve discovered that Israel itself has consistently engaged in wanton use of Palestinian civilians, including children, as human shields. In 2014, Amnesty International said of allegations that Hamas was using human shields: Amnesty International is monitoring and investigating such reports, but does not have evidence at this point that Palestinian civilians have been intentionally used by Hamas or Palestinian armed groups during the current hostilities to “shield” specific locations or military personnel or equipment from Israeli attacks.
I attended the Janazah and burial of Wadea Al-Fayoume on October 16. In the first weeks of Israel’s assault on Gaza, the six-year old Palestinian American boy, from a suburb of Chicago, was stabbed 26 times by his family’s landlord in a hate crime. The United States is currently awash in rhetoric justifying Muslim and Arab deaths. Joseph Czuba, 71, the landlord charged with killing Wadea and gravely injuring his mother, was on the receiving end of that rhetoric. Czuba was reportedly an avid listener of conservative talk radio. According to Czuba’s wife, he’d grown irate over supposed plans for a “national day of jihad,” a mistranslated call for mass protests that was weaponized by rightwing media to cause panic.
Joining me to discuss this censorship is Dylan Saba, a staff attorney with Palestine Legal. He was commissioned by an editor at The Guardian newspaper to write about the campaign to silence voices critical of Israel’s assault but was then informed shortly before the piece was to be published that the newspaper would not run it. So let’s begin with this level of censorship which is probably unprecedented since maybe immediately after the events of 9/11. I was one of them attempting to denounce the calls to invade Iraq. But let’s lay out its intensity, its reach, and then let’s go into perhaps the causes of it.
There is a growing body of compelling evidence showing that Russia and Ukraine were involved in serious negotiations to end the war in Ukraine right after it started on 24 February 2022 (see below). These talks were facilitated by Turkish President Recep Erdogan and former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and featured detailed and candid discussions on the terms of a possible settlement. By all accounts, these negotiations, which took place in March-April 2022, were making real progress when Britain and the US told Ukrainian President Zelensky to abandon them, which he did.
History is repeating itself — and every politician and establishment journalist is pretending they cannot see what is staring them in the face. There is a collective and wilful refusal to join the dots in Gaza, even when they point in one direction only. There has been a consistent pattern to Israel’s behaviour since its creation 75 years ago — just as there has been a consistent pattern to the “see no evil, hear no evil” response of western powers. In 1948, in events the Palestinians call their “Nakba,” or Catastrophe, 80 percent of Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from their lands in what became the self-declared Jewish state of Israel.
Although corporate news media have made it clear they don’t buy the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) claim that al-Shifa Hospital has been a cover for a Hamas command and control center and weapons armory, Western media have failed to report a much bigger story. The IDF and the Israeli government already knew when they launched their propaganda campaign about al-Shifa that Hamas had no military command and control facility hidden there because it had already found the complex kilometers away. As Consortium News reported last week, for 15 years the Israelis claimed Hamas was operating its primary command and control base from a tunnel underneath al-Shifa.
As the Israel/Gaza crisis continues unabated, eliciting massive protests around the world, US media offer a strikingly narrow debate. On the Sunday political news shows, which are both agenda-setting and reflect what corporate media view as the most important perspectives on the most important stories, the guests invited to speak on Gaza skew strongly toward US politicians—especially those with strong financial influence by the military industrial complex and pro-Israel advocates. The resulting conversations leave little room for dissent from a pro-war stance. FAIR looked at four weeks of Sunday shows covering the current conflagration in Gaza, October 15 through November 5.
Austin - In his November 7, 2023 New York Times newsletter, the economist Paul Krugman asks a good, albeit belated, question: Why did so many economists get the inflation outlook wrong? After all, the near-consensus among mainstream economists in recent years was that inflation would persist – and even accelerate – and that this justified substantial interest-rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve. Yet the quasi-inflation of 2021-22 proved transitory. Krugman poses his question with impeccable diplomacy, professing “respect” for three authors of a September 2022 paper published by the Brookings Institution (which was then promoted by Harvard University’s Jason Furman) projecting that it would take at least two years of unemployment at 6.5% to bring inflation back to the Fed’s self-imposed 2% target.
“We’ve come to Egypt to speak to the world directly from the border of Gaza, which we were not permitted to reach, and which we cannot traverse, and which remains closed for fuel, adequate food, clean water, medical supplies, equipment, and people, including healthcare professionals, to enter Gaza.” Statement from the International Delegation in Support of Gaza This columnist recently returned from Cairo, Egypt, where Black Agenda Report was among the organizations invited to participate in an effort to bring attention and help to the people of Gaza. The National Lawyers Guild played a leading role in assembling the group.
However counter-intuitive it may sound, there are three good grounds — ethical ones, at that — for refusing to join in the chorus of condemnation of Hamas’ actions on Oct. 7. That isn’t the same as condoning what Hamas did. It is clear the group carried out war crimes that day — not least by attacking civilians and taking them as hostages. But there is an important distinction to be made between recognising that crimes were committed and colluding in an act of condemnation that has been openly politicised, and continues to be politicised, to justify harming Palestinian civilians.
Since Israel’s genocidal assault on Gaza began, Zionist officials, pundits, journalists, and their Western opposite numbers have endlessly invoked the sinister specter of “terrorism” to justify the industrial-scale slaughter of Palestinians. It is because of “terrorism,” twice-failed U.S. Presidential candidate and unconvicted war criminal Hillary Clinton representatively wrote for The Atlantic on November 14 that “Hamas must be permanently erased.” Destroyed hospitals and schools and civilians killed en masse are reasonable “collateral damage.” Such is the unparalleled evil of “terrorists.”
Propaganda is about forceful impact, subtlety the last thing on the propagandist’s mind. The banal will always do. The Japanese during the Pacific war were “Japs” or “Nips,” and in the plentitude of American propaganda images they had buck teeth and pencil mustaches and wore round glasses over their evil Asiatic eyes. After watching the Herzog video I went in search of footage from London the previous day. There have been many demonstrations against Israel’s savage military campaign in Gaza since hostilities erupted Oct. 7, and may there be many more, but London last Saturday looks like the biggest to date.