South Carolina passes law defining any criticism of Israel as ‘anti-semitic’ while Israel murders 60 unarmed civilians

US censorship israel

    

As many Americans criticize the number of civilian deaths on the Gaza Strip, a state has passed a measure labeling criticism of Israel as “anti-Semitism.”

The news that Israel killed more than 60 Palestinians on Monday alone, has sparked criticism from Americans who are frustrated with the United States’ failure to hold one of its closest allies accountable for the human rights violations it is committing-and individuals in one state will soon be labeled as “anti-Semitic” for openly voicing their opinion.

South Carolina will become the first state to legally define criticism of Israel as “anti-Semitism” when a new measure goes into effect on July 1, targeting public schools and universities. While politicians have tried to pass the measure as a stand-alone law for two years, they finally succeeded temporarily by passing it as a “proviso” that was slipped into the 2018-2019 budget.

According to the text of the measure, the definition of “anti-Semitism” will now include:

  • a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities;
  • calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews; making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as a collective; accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, the state of Israel, or even for acts committed by non-Jews;
  • accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust;
  • accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interest of their own nations;
  • using the symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism to characterize Israel or Israelis;
  • drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis;
  • blaming Israel for all inter-religious or political tensions;
  • applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation;
  • multilateral organizations focusing on Israel only for peace or human rights investigations;
  • denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, and denying Israel the right to exist, provided, however, that criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic.

As can be determined by the long list of ways in which South Carolina will now define “anti-Semitism,” individuals will be forced to tiptoe around a legitimate subject, and expressing an opinion that is no longer considered politically correct can now be legally used against them.

Calling out this bill is not antisemitic, it is pro free speech. Criticizing the Israeli government as well as any other government is the right and duty of all free humanity. Just as TFTP advocates for the freedom of Americans, we advocate for the freedom of Israelis and the Palestinians. Only through discussion and peaceful criticism will peace ever be achieved.

What’s more, even the chief of the IDF would be considered in violation of this law because in 2016, he gave a speech comparing the “contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”

For as long as this bill has been proposed, it has been criticized by many who argue that it infringes on Americans’ First Amendment rights. With the measure currently focusing on public universities, it has left protesters concerned that it will hurt one group while allegedly helping another. Caroline Nagel, a professor at the University of South Carolina, told The State that she is concerned the law will discourage discussions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and will hinder pro-Palestine student groups.

This bill, I fear, will silence professors and student groups who are trying to explain and to give voice to a diversity of opinions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I am frankly baffled as to why any legislator would consider an ideal to curtail our freedom of speech,” Nagel said.

The United States is a country that prides itself on the “freedom and democracy” it has shared with other foreign nations over the years, and there is no doubt that if the governments in Syria, Iran or Russia were openly shooting and killing civilian protesters, the U.S. would be calling for war and championing a full-scale invasion.

But when Israel shoots and kills 60 civilians and injures around 1,700 in just one day, the U.S. responds to the bloodshed by blocking the United Nations Security Council’s attempt to push for an independent investigation into Israel’s actions.

Unfortunately, the idea that Israel should be exempt from criticism, and that all of its actions are automatically justified-when a very different standard applies to its neighbors-is nothing new in the United States.

As The Free Thought Project reported, 41 other members of Congress came together to champion proposed legislation in July 2017 that would “make literal criminals of any Americans boycotting Israel-a brazen, if not explicit, attack on the BDS Movement, incidentally exploding in popularity worldwide as the belligerent nation continues its occupation of Palestinian lands.”

Then when a hurricane caused massive destruction in Texas in October 2017, residents in Dickinson received a notice from the city that they would only receive funds to repair their homes if they agreed “not to boycott Israel.”

The new measure in South Carolina may focus on public universities right now, but it is setting a blueprint for other states to follow, and in addition to chipping away at the First Amendment, it is serving as a clear reminder that the United States only seems to care about oppressive governments who commit human rights violations when those governments are not considered “close allies.”

Rachel Blevins is an independent journalist from Texas, who aspires to break the false left/right paradigm in media and politics by pursuing truth and questioning existing narratives. Follow Rachel on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Steemit and Patreon.

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/385733-South-Carolina-passes-law-defining-any-criticism-of-Israel-as-anti-semitic-while-Israel-murders-60-unarmed-civilians

Christians in South Africa to hold vigil for Palestine To Mark 70th Anniversary Of The NAKBA

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Source Article from https://theuglytruth.wordpress.com/2018/05/12/christians-in-south-africa-to-hold-vigil-for-palestine-to-mark-70th-anniversary-of-the-nakba/

Red Ants: Meet South Africa’s private security firm violently evicting squatters

red ants SA

    

The Red Ants are a South African private security company specialising in clearing “illegal invaders” from properties. Two, sometimes three times a week, a convoy of trucks drives out of the gates of a sprawling farm in Gauteng province, carrying hundreds of men and led by “officers” armed with shotguns and handguns.

The company is rarely out of the headlines in South Africa and has been repeatedly accused of crimes ranging from theft to murder. It is fiercely criticised by human rights campaigners. But the attitude of the general public is more ambivalent – and the Red Ants themselves are fiercely loyal to each other and their employers. “We are a family. We look after each other … We have built a community,” says Johan Bosch, the farmer who founded and owns the company.

Johannesburg’s crumbling buildings

A lack of adequate housing is one of the most toxic legacies of the apartheid regime that governed South Africa for nearly 50 years. Families, migrant workers, students and homeless people pay middlemen for plots on wasteland around Pretoria and Johannesburg or in derelict buildings in the cities’ centres. Local authorities show little sympathy and say they have to enforce the law. Their chosen enforcers are the police and, to provide the manpower for evictions, the Red Ants.

Fattis Mansions was once a fashionable 1930s block of flats in the heart of the banking and legal district in Johannesburg. Wealthy, mainly white, residents fled Johannesburg’s centre during the late 1980s and early 1990s, leaving hundreds of buildings to be taken over by poor migrants from rural areas. Four hundred people shared three taps. There were no toilets or electricity. The city authorities have been clearing these “hijacked buildings” one at a time for years – often using the Red Ants.

The operation, involving 600 Red Ants, begins in the early morning, without warning. Wailing police sirens fill narrow streets. The Red Ants pour through an entrance, then proceed on rusting iron stairways and down filthy corridors. There is no resistance. The pushers, gang leaders and the rent extorters have gone. Rubbish, furniture, mattresses pile on the roadway outside.

The singing starts, low and purposeful, as the Red Ants work. Children are carried out, followed by distressed mothers clutching salvaged belongings in plastic bags. Most adults knew this would happen one day. For those too young to understand, the sky has fallen in.

red ants

    

Who are the men in the red overalls? They come from impoverished small former mining towns, from distant provincial villages in parched mountains, from Soweto, from hardscrabble neighbourhoods half hidden amid the urban sprawl of Johannesburg. Most are young. Many are without basic educational qualifications. Some have criminal records. A few are former convicts. All are poor. They are paid the equivalent of $10 (£7.50) a day, plus some food. Many are squatters themselves.

One left neighbouring Mozambique to work on building sites but has struggled to find employment. “My wife said get a job … so I did,” he says, shrugging narrow shoulders. Another says he has siblings to feed and clothe and send to school: “No one likes doing this … But I go to church every Sunday and pray for my soul and I know my Lord is watching over me, even here.” All say they feel sorry for the squatters but “work is work”.

In charge are older men whose own life stories are intimately intertwined with the complex, troubled history of their nation. One fought in the 80s in the South African defence forces in cold war battles in Angola. Another, a former police officer from Soweto whose family was deeply involved in the struggle against apartheid, say his career ended when he denounced corruption. He says his work reminds him of his time in the police. He now suffers from chronic insomnia.

Demolishing shack settlements

First you see the smoke, above the dry hills and the scattered corrugated iron homes. Then you hear the noise. If the operation is going well, it is that of a work site: hammers rhythmically striking metal, straining diesel engines, work songs, radios, and shouted orders. If the operation is going badly, the noise is of a battle: shattering glass, rocks striking plastic shields, stamping feet, shots, sirens and screamed abuse.

Sikhumbuzo Dlamini, a Red Ant leader, watches 650 men, equipped with crowbars and shields, and all dressed in identical red overalls and helmets, move through an illegal squatter camp on the ragged outskirts of Pretoria, the administrative capital of South Africa. “We always win. We have to win … we are on enemy territory. We are a long way from home,” Dlamini says.

One incident prompts a slew of new allegations. The Red Ants are hired to clear squatters from land where a shopping complex is due to be built in Lanesia, on the southern outskirts of Johannesburg. The operation starts in the early morning. But the squatters are ready and fight the Red Ants with machetes, rocks and staves.


Comment: In 2017 police spokesperson Kay Makhubele said of the Lanesia incident:

“Someone was shot dead and another was beaten to death’ allegedly by the Red Ants'”…

The police are investigating two cases of murder and numerous assault cases’ but “the charges might change to attempted murder because some people have been taken to the hospital”.

The eviction stalls and the Red Ants withdraw. Two squatters lie on the ground. One is dying from head injuries, the other is dead. Under a tree, huddled in a plastic chair salvaged from her makeshift hut, a widow sobs. The violence prompts investigation by private security industry regulators. The Red Ants deny wrongdoing.

Losing one of their own

Red Ants are injured, sometimes even killed. Kervin Woods died when land invaders opened fire in Lenasia South. The Red Ants said community members stabbed him, some using screwdrivers, after he fell to the ground. Preparations were made to set fire to his body when Red Ants started shooting, dispersing the crowd.

Woods’s funeral takes place in Soweto. The dead man’s aunt weeps, comforted by a handful of family members and neighbours. But this is primarily a Red Ants funeral. Senior leaders salute the coffin and deliver short eulogies before the rank and file sing hymns as the coffin is closed. Then, as a guard of honour, they follow a hearse to a cemetery where they sing as each takes a turn with a shovel to pour dry soil into the grave.

Handguns and shotguns are fired into the air in a final salute before the Red Ants return to their buses and their base for a memorial meal. Within days, they are out on another clearance operation.

South Africa is a fractured land. It is optimistically known as the Rainbow Nation, a reference to the diversity of its communities. But in a rainbow, the colours remain separate. The most striking divide in South Africa is economic. The Red Ants are on the frontlines of a conflict between those with land and those without, the haves and the have-nots, the winners and the losers in one of the most unequal countries in the world. During their 12-hour days, they are on one side. But when their work is done, they return to the other.

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/385359-Red-Ants-Meet-South-Africas-private-security-firm-violently-evicting-squatters

South Wales Police Facial Recognition System Generated 92% False Positives at Soccer Match






South Wales Police Facial Recognition System Generated 92% False Positives at Soccer Match


May 7th, 2018

Via: Engadget:

Ask critics of police face recognition why they’re so skeptical and they’ll likely cite unreliability as one factor. What if the technology flags an innocent person? Unfortunately, that caution appears to have been warranted to some degree. South Wales Police are facing a backlash after they released data showing that their face recognition trial at the 2017 Champions League final misidentified thousands as potential criminals. Out out of 2,470 initial matches, 2,297 were false positives — about 92 percent.















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3 Responses to “South Wales Police Facial Recognition System Generated 92% False Positives at Soccer Match”





  1. dale Says:




    Whoa. That could be life changing. You pass a camera, then, “you have ten seconds to comply.�





  2. Dennis Says:




    Imagine the problems for the Chinese system! Perhaps cross-referencing cellphone data will do the trick.





  3. tm Says:




    Sorry “Aussies”, but you let the gov’t disarm you, so now you are completely at the state’s mercy. Enjoy your land being restored to a penal colony.









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The “Lee Harvey Oswald Reason” Trump Cancelled His South American Trip

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Source Article from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DaveHodges-TheCommonSenseShow/~3/sD-IZoXyPaI/

US troops to remain in South Korea even if peace treaty signed with North – Moon

“US troops stationed in South Korea are an issue regarding the alliance between South Korea and the United States. It has nothing to do with signing peace treaties,” Moon’s spokesperson Kim Eui-kyeom said at a press conference. 

The statement came in response to a Foreign Affairs magazine article written by presidential adviser, Moon Cung-in, in which he stated that it would be “difficult to justify [US forces] continuing presence in South Korea,” if peace is concluded with the North. The spokesperson warned the adviser “not to cause any more confusion” with such comments.

READ MORE: Trump considers Peace House on North-South Korea border for Kim Jong-un meeting

The discussion regarding US troops in Korea follows Friday’s historic meeting between Moon and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, which resulted in the two signing an agreement in favor of the Korean peninsula’s “complete denuclearization.” The summit marked the first time leaders of the divided nation have met in 11 years, and the first time a North Korean leader has entered the South since 1953.                                                   

North Korea previously signaled its readiness to denuclearize at a meeting between Kim and Chinese President Xi Jinping last month, noting that it would require a “security guarantee,” according to a report by the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun. What the guarantee implied remains unclear, as North Korea reportedly dropped its long-held demand for US troop withdrawal, at least according to Moon’s public statement in late April.

The US has already expressed its intention to make North Korea take “irreversible” steps towards denuclearization, without guaranteeing any concession in relation to its military presence.

CIA Director and newly appointed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo identified the Trump administration’s “objective” with regard to North Korea as “complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization” in an ABC News interview.

In a separate interview with Fox News, US National Security Advisor John Bolton stated that the 2003 agreement to eliminate Libya’s weapons of mass destruction program could serve as a model for the North Korea negotiations.

“We have very much in mind the Libya model from 2003, 2004. There are obviously differences. The Libyan program was much smaller, but that was basically the agreement that we made,” Bolton said.

Former Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi agreed to dismantle the country’s nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of imposed Western sanctions. In 2011, he was killed by a NATO-led bombing of the country, which led to a civil war and Islamist terrorism groups rising in the region.

At the historic Korean summit, Kim and Moon agreed to establish a direct telephone line between their executive offices, through which they will “hold frequent and candid discussions on issues vital to the nation,” according to the declaration they signed. President Moon is also set to visit Pyongyang this fall, months after US President Donald Trump’s anticipated meeting with Kim in the coming weeks.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/news/425648-us-troops-korea-stay-moon/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Military Industrial Complex Stocks Sent Crashing as North and South Korea Achieve Peace

koreakorea

North and South Korea reached a historic peace deal this week, and as the leaders from the two nations met in person for the first time and agreed to pursue an end to the Korean War, it signaled an incredible breakthrough in diplomacy and sent the stocks of defense contractors in the United States crashing.

When North Korea’s Kim Jong-un shook hands with South Korea’s Moon Jae-in for the first time on Friday, they put thousands of people both at home and around the world at ease, as they agreed to a peace deal that has the power to break the tension that has been between the two countries for decades.

However, while peace may seem like the best possible outcome to the average person who is aware of how the ongoing war has hurt both North and South Korea over the years, it is a resolution that hurts the United States military-industrial complex, as can be seen by the results from stocks following the meeting.

On Friday alone, the five largest defense contractors in the U.S. lost more than $10 billion in value.

Lockheed Martin (LMT) started the week at $352.79 per share and ended it at $321.95 per share, falling 2.5 percent to a valuation of about $92 billion.

LMTLMT
Lockheed Martin | Screenshot via Google Finance

Northrop Grumman (NOC) started the week at $356.67 per share and ended it at $321.86 per share, falling 3.4 percent to a valuation of $56 billion.

NOCNOC
Northrop Grumman | Screenshot via Google Finance

General Dynamics (GD) started the week at $222.92 per share and ended it at $203.70 per share, falling 3.8 percent to a valuation of $60 billion.

GDGD
General Dynamics | Screenshot via Google Finance

Raytheon (RTN) started the week at $227.67 per share and ended it at $204.09 per share, falling $3.6 percent to a valuation of $50 billion.

RTNRTN
Raytheon | Screenshot via Google Finance

Boeing (BA) lost less than 1 percent of its stock, ending the week with an evaluation of $200 billion.

When the United States invades sovereign nations, overthrows foreign governments and launches countless drone strikes that kill innocent civilians, the military-industrial complex profits by the billions. But the industry is so volatile that while a peaceful meeting between two leaders can send its stocks crashing, threats and angry Tweets from another leader can cause its stocks to soar.

President Trump vowed to meet North Korea with “fire and fury like the world has never seen” in August 2017, and as The Free Thought Project reported, the stocks of weapons manufacturers and defense contractors increased significantly in response:

“Fear has infected the planet—so the fraught business of national defense is booming.‘

The level of dialogue around missile defense is now at the prime minister and minister of defense level,’ vice president of Lockheed’s Air and Missile Defense business, Tom Cahill, noted in an interview with Reuters, which added, ‘Some countries are putting missile defense at the top of their list of desired capabilities, Cahill said. Interest has increased over the last 12 to 18 months, as have threats, he said. Shares of Lockheed are up nearly 8 percent, to $300.10, since North Korea’s first long-range missile test on July 4. The stock is up 20 percent year-to-date.’

Of course, that was yesterday. Today, Lockheed Martin stocks continue to rise—just prior to publication, stocks hovered around $305 per share—and show no indications of falling to levels typical of a less charged global atmosphere.”

The United State government accounted for around 70 percent of Lockheed Martin’s revenue in 2016, and when the Trump Administration began threatening to launch a full-scale war against North Korea, the company’s shares skyrocketed by 8 percent, marking a 20 percent increase in Lockheed Martin’s stock in the first 8 months of the year.

Now that lasting peace could be on the horizon between North and Korea and stocks are dropping, it raises questions about how defense contractors in the U.S. will recover. If there is no bear to poke and no war to threaten in North Korea, will the U.S. increase tensions in Syria, at the risk of provoking Russia? Or will it resume its propaganda campaign against Iran in an attempt to convince Americans that the country is in desperate need of “freedom and democracy,” when in reality the military-industrial complex is in dire need of high stocks and successful profits?

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Source Article from https://thefreethoughtproject.com/lockheed-martin-raytheon-northrop-among-military-stocks-sent-crashing-by-korea-peace-deal/

Trump considers Peace House on North-South Korea border for Kim Jong-un meeting

US President Donald Trump says his much-anticipated meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will take place “over the next three to four weeks.

“It’s going be a very important meeting, the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula,” Trump told a campaign rally in Washington Saturday. “But we’ll see how it goes. I may go in, it may not work out, I leave.”

The date and venue for the talks between the US and North Korean leaders have yet to be announced, with Singapore, Mongolia and even the Russian city of Vladivostok suggested as possible locations by various media outlets.

Peace House was the site of the historic meeting between the leaders of the two Koreas last week.

During the first meeting of the leaders of the two Koreas in over decade, a declaration on “complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean peninsula” has been signed. Kim and Moon also agreed to continue negotiations, involving US and China, in order to finally sign a peace accord instead of the truce that has been in place since the end of the Korean War in 1953.

The South Korean president’s office said on Sunday that the Pyongyang had promised to shut down its nuclear test site in May, with foreign experts and press invited to ensure “transparency.” Pyongyang also plans to shift its time zone 30 minutes earlier to align with South Korea.

The Peace House mentioned by Trump in his tweet is the same venue where Kim and Moon met on Friday. The three-story building was erected in December 1989 in the Joint Security Area (JSA) on the military demarcation line between the North and South Korea in order to host peace talks.

The Freedom House is another facility in the JSA, located some 130 meters away from the Peace House.

The outcome of Trump’s talks with Kim is hard to predict, as Washington has a lot of demands towards Pyongyang. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said North Korea must take irreversible steps to rid the country of its nuclear arms program, while National Security Adviser John Bolton said the US wants to use a 2003 agreement to eliminate Libyan weapons of mass destruction program as a model for the North Korea negotiations. Back then, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi agreed to give up his weapons of mass destruction in exchange for the lifting of Western sanctions. The elimination of the arsenals was monitored by observers from the US and Britain. The statement raised some eyebrows, considering the fate of Gaddafi, who fell from power and lost his life following the Western-backed uprising in 2011.

North Korea has not commented yet on the summit with the US. In recent months, Trump has been touting what he calls a “maximum pressure” policy on North Korea. It includes harsh economic sanctions, frequent live-fire military drills with South Korea as well as name-calling, threats, and boasting about having a bigger nuclear button on Twitter. The US president has switched to calling Kim “very honorable” in anticipation of the talks, but his warning to abandon the negotiations if they turn out futile remains in place.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/usa/425519-trump-meeting-kim-border/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

North and South Korea Reportedly Set to Announce Official End to War






North and South Korea Reportedly Set to Announce Official End to War


April 17th, 2018

Via: Reuters:

North and South Korea are in talks to announce a permanent end to the officially declared military conflict between the two countries, daily newspaper Munhwa Ilbo reported Tuesday, citing an unnamed South Korean official.

Ahead of a summit next week between North Korean premier Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, lawmakers from the neighboring states were thought to be negotiating the details of a joint statement that could outline an end to the confrontation.















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