Hasbara and Truth: Palestine's Search for a Just Media

Time to End the ‘Hasbara’: Palestinian Media and the Search for a Common Story

by Ramzy Baroud  - PalestineChronicle.com

May 25, 2016

Merely being in the company of hundreds of Palestinian journalists and other media professionals from all over the world has been an uplifting experience. For many years, Palestinian media has been on the defensive, unable to articulate a coherent message, torn between factions and desperately trying to fend off the Israeli media campaign, along with its falsifications and unending propaganda or ‘hasbara’.
It is still too early to claim any kind of paradigm shift, but the second Tawasol Conference in Istanbul, which took place May 18 to 19, served as an opportunity to consider the vastly changing media landscape, and to highlight the challenges and the opportunities facing Palestinians in their uphill battle. Not only are Palestinians expected to demolish many years of Israeli disinformation, predicated on a make-believe historical discourse that has been sold to the world as fact, but also to construct their own lucid narrative that is free from the whims of factions and personal gains.
It will not be easy, of course.
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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Natallie Drolet, Steve Lawson, Janine Bandcroft May 25th, 2016

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com


May 24, 2016


Just over a week ago, a delegation of temporary workers, accompanied by migrant worker leaders from across the country, paid a visit to Parliament Hill. They went to Ottawa to make their concerns known to the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities.

The Coalition for Migrant Worker Rights Canada helped coordinate the testimonies, and insists more needs be done to ensure migrant worker participation in the laws that affect their lives. Natalie Drolet is Executive Director of the West Coast Domestic Workers' Association, and has served as the WCDWA Staff Lawyer since 2014.

Listen. Hear.

A native Ottawan, since moving to Vancouver Drolet has worked on access to justice for newcomers, founded a working group on labour trafficking, and has advocated for her clients before various administrative tribunals at all levels of court in BC.

Natalie Drolet in the first half.


And; there was sad news last week for BC's environmental community. Long-time ecologist and Clayoquot Sound defender, Steve Lawson passed away on May 8th. Steve was, with partner Susanne Hare, well-known as a 'War in the Woods' warrior, opposing the logging of the old-growth forests and mining within B.C.'s oldest nature reserve, Strathcona Park. More recently, Steve was at the forefront of efforts to stop trophy hunting, putting an end to the bear parts market, and fighting to ensure the survival of wild salmon and marine life. I talked to Steve last July about the renewed fight to protect again the Walbran from logging.


Steve Lawson and a clear-cut call to arms in Clayoquot and the Walbran in the second half.


And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio braodcaster, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us news of some of what's good to do on, in, and around our town's streets, and beyond there too, in the coming week. But first, Natalie Drolet and calling for real immigration reforms in Canada.



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Throwing Canada's Legitimacy Into the Syria Crucible

Canada Loses Legitimacy: Stop Supporting All Terrorists in Syria

by Mark Taliano - AHT

May 24, 2016


The legitimacy of Canada’s government needs to be questioned, as long as it continues to hide its barbaric foreign policy decisions beneath a mantle of egregious lies and deceptions. Informed consent requires truth and transparency, not lies and degeneracy.

Currently, we are imposing illegal sanctions on Syria; we are supporting mercenary terrorists invading Syria; we are supporting a Wahhabi dictatorship, and we are supporting criminally corrupt corporate media messaging. All of this is being done without the informed consent of Canadians.

An article published in The Lancet|Global Health, “Syria: end sanctions and find a political solution to peace” enumerates the toll exacted by these sanctions on the people of Syria:


“The economic losses of the country at the end of 2014 stood at US$143.8 billion, with more than 80% of the population living in poverty, of whom a third (32.6%) were in abject poverty, unable to obtain even basic food items. More than half of the population (52.8%) is displaced, of whom a third are internally displaced.
“Life expectancy has been reduced from 75.9 years in 2010 (one of the highest in the region for countries not part of the Gulf Cooperation Council) to 55.7 years in 2014—a loss of 20 years.
“The unemployment rate rose from 15%5 in 2011 to 55.7% in 2014, with more than 3 million losing work within the first 2 years of the conflict.
“The cost of basic food items has risen six-fold since 2010, although it varies regionally. With the exception of drugs for cancer and diabetes, Syria was 95% self-sufficient in terms of drug production before the war. This has virtually collapsed as have many hospitals and primary health-care centres.”
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Winning the War on America's Treasury: Smoke, Mirrors, and the Pentagon's Slush Funds

The Pentagon’s War on Accountability: Slush Funds, Smoke and Mirrors, and Funny Money Equal Weapons Systems Galore
by William Hartung  - TomDispatch
May 24, 2016
Now you see it, now you don’t. Think of it as the Department of Defense’s version of the street con game, three-card monte, or maybe simply as the Pentagon shuffle. In any case, the Pentagon’s budget is as close to a work of art as you’re likely to find in the U.S. government -- if, that is, by work of art you mean scam.
The United States is on track to spend more than $600 billion on the military this year -- more, that is, than was spent at the height of President Ronald Reagan’s Cold War military buildup, and more than the military budgets of at least the next seven nations in the world combined. And keep in mind that that’s just a partial total.
As an analysis by the Straus Military Reform Project has shown, if we count related activities like homeland security, veterans' affairs, nuclear warhead production at the Department of Energy, military aid to other countries, and interest on the military-related national debt, that figure reaches a cool $1 trillion.
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Kerry's Promise of Perpetual War for Syria's Recalictrants

Kerry Threatens War-Without-End on Syria

by Finian Cunningham  - Information Clearing House 

May 23, 2016

Alleged peace-maker John Kerry threatened to wage war-without-end on Syria - if the Middle East country does accept the US demand for regime change.

That's hardly the language of a supposed bona fide diplomat who presents an image to the world as a politician concerned to bring about an end to the five-year Syrian conflict.

The US Secretary of State repeatedly sounds anxious to alleviate the appalling suffering of the Syrian nation, where over the past five years some 400,000 people have been killed and millions displaced as refugees.

Anyone who has not been brainwashed by Western media propaganda knows full well that the suffering of Syria has been caused by Washington and its allies sponsoring a covert war for regime change in that country.


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Left Victorious in Austrian Presidential Squeaker

Imagine that! Could there be a lesson here for Sanders and his backers?: 72-Year-Old Fringe Left Candidate Wins Presidency in Austrian Run-Off Election

by Dave Lindorff  - This Can't Be Happening

May 23, 2016  

A fringe party that had never been considered a serious contender in post-war Austrian politics, just won a narrow victory over Norbert Hofer, a right-wing candidate of the neo-fascist Freedom Party who had been favored to win.

Two crusty old socialists: Austrian President-elect Alexander 
van der Bellen and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders

72-year-old college professor, Alexander van der Bellen, running for president as the candidate of the leftist Austrian Green Party has won in a squeaker. The run-off, held on Sunday, but not decided until today when some 750,000 mail-in ballots were finally counted, was held after an initial presidential election contest on April 24 in which no candidate won a majority of the vote.


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Operation Crusader 2.0: NATO's Libya Campaign Readies

US prepares troop deployment to Libya amid fight for oil fields

by Bill Van Auken - WSWS

21 May 2016


Five years after a US-NATO war shattered Libya, Washington is preparing to send troops into the oil-rich North African nation for a “long-term mission,” the Pentagon’s top uniformed commander said Thursday.

Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters returning aboard his plane from a meeting of NATO commanders in Brussels that the new military deployment, which could involve thousands of US troops, could happen “any day.” It awaited only a formal agreement with the new government that the Western powers and the UN are attempting to set up in Tripoli, he indicated.


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Out from the Wings, Next "New American Century" Chicken Hawks Take Flight

America Should Rule the World, Says Neocon Infested Think Tank Report

by Stephen Lendman

May 22, 2016


The neocon infested Center for a New American Security (CNAS) promotes endless wars on the phony pretext of protecting US security at a time America’s only enemies are ones it invents.

Its aim is solidifying US global dominance by eliminating all sovereign independent states. Several CNAS members hold or previously held key Obama administration posts.

The organization and like-minded ones threaten world peace. They publish reports on militarism, terrorism, irregular warfare and national security challenges.


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Roiling for Israel: New Labour's Witch-Hunt

Labour to open re-education camps?

by Jonathan Cook - The Blog from Nazareth

18 May 2016


The manufactured “anti-semitism crisis” in the British Labour party rumbles on into new realms of ideological insanity. The witch-hunt against commentary critical of Israel or Zionism has been in full flow, and now an internal party inquiry led by Jan Royall has reached its conclusions.

Note that in this report by the Guardian newspaper, it appears to be a given both by Royall and the Guardian that Ken Livingstone and the others suspended from the party are guilty of anti-semitism rather than anti-Zionism.

I have challenged that assumption in previous posts, such as here and here. I am therefore going to put quotation marks around the word “anti-semitism”, at least as used by Royall, because it is far from clear to me that most of those under investigation have said things that are anti-semitic.


Baroness Royall: Leading the Witch-hunt


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Sanders Lands Running in California

Bernie Comes to Vallejo

by Rick Sterling  - CounterPunch

May 20, 2016

Vallejo is geographically close but economically far from more affluent San Francisco Bay Area cities to the south. In 2008 the city of Vallejo filed for bankruptcy. Yesterday, May 18, the Bernie Sanders campaign came to Vallejo.

The gathering was held in a huge grassy area alongside the water estuary. The area was enclosed with security fencing so that audience members all had to pass through metal detectors.

One and half hours before Sanders’ speech, the line to go through the security screening was half a mile long. Yet spirits were high with a buzz in the air.
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Taking the Piss in Europe: An American Looking at America from Abroad

An American Abroad: Europe, the US and the Politics of Pissing and Being Pissed

by Dave Lindorff  - This Can't Be Happening


May 20, 2016  


Vienna - As an American visiting Krakow, Poland, where I was last week, it felt weird to read about the inane latest chapter of the so-called culture wars being fought back home over whether states and localities should have the right to bar transgender people from using a public lavatory appropriate to their psychological identity, forcing them instead to use the one that accords with how many X chromosomes they have by birth in their cell nuclei.

After all, in Poland, except for the tonier tourist restaurants and hotels catering to well-heeled American tourists, bathrooms tend to be unisex: men and women enter such a toaleta through a single door into an anteroom, where they find a number of stalls each containing a single commode.


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Canada's National Energy Board Ignores Opponents, Approves Controversial Kinder Morgan Pipeline

Kinder Morgan approval is meaningless with BC opposed

by Wilderness Committee

May 19, 2016

VANCOUVERWilderness Committee is outraged but not surprised the National Energy Board (NEB) approved the Kinder Morgan pipeline today despite overwhelming opposition in British Columbia.

“I shouldn’t be surprised, but this is an outrageous decision. The NEB has ignored and wasted the time of countless communities, First Nations and individuals who have stood up to oppose this irresponsible pipeline proposal,” said Peter McCartney, Climate Campaigner with the Wilderness Committee.
“Kinder Morgan’s project has no social licence and this pipeline will not be built.”

Widespread criticism of flaws in the NEB process meant the decision was a foregone conclusion.

“Nobody had much hope the NEB would act in the public interest and reject this project,” said McCartney.
“Now the ball is in Trudeau’s court to do the right thing -- protect our coast and our climate.”

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