Israel Bars Entry of Dublin’s Mayor Over BDS Ties

No free speech allowed?


Israel government barred Dublin Lord Mayor Mícheál Mac Donncha on Tuesday from entering Israel because of he supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions on Israel movement.

According Haaretz  news paper the Israeli Strategic Affairs Ministry, in charge of fighting delegitimation of Israel, said the reason for the decision was was Donncha’s ties with the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which promotes boycotts of Israeli companies and international companies who work in Israel.

According to the ministry, the mayor promoted the IPSC’s ideas through the city council and publicly expressed support for them.

Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan said that “the policy I set is clear: He who works consistently to boycott Israel will not enter here.”

In January, Israel summoned the Irish ambassador in Israel for clarification and to express dissatisfaction in light of a proposed bill in Ireland’s national parliament calling for a boycott of Israeli settlements.

For more news on this issue clik her

TV host who said he would sexually assault Parkland’s David Hogg resigns

folks – this type of talking head is hard to believe even existed but… this can even happen? sad beyond words


Jamie Allman, who said he would use a ‘hot poker’ to attack David Hogg, is also taken off radio after advertisers exit shows

A conservative commentator who sent a tweet saying he would use “a hot poker” to sexually assault an outspoken 17-year-old survivor of the Florida high school shooting has resigned from a St Louis TV station and been taken off the radio after several advertisers withdrew from his shows.

KDNL-TV accepted Jamie Allman’s resignation and canceled The Allman Report, according to a brief statement from the Sinclair Broadcast Group, which operates the TV station. Before the show’s launch in January 2015, KDNL-TV touted it as a nontraditional newscast with a conservative spin.

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FBI raided the office of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen | 3CHICSPOLITICO

Source: FBI raided the office of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen | 3CHICSPOLITICO

There’s one other crucial factor here. Even if Michael Cohen’s Office contained documents that showed Donald Trump committed a crime, it still wouldn’t be admissible as evidence due to attorney-client privilege. So this means the judge believed evidence would be found that Trump and Cohen conspired to commit a crime together, which is the only instance in which attorney-client privilege is forfeited. We don’t know what evidence was or was not found today, and only a jury can decide guilt, but we’re now in a whole new ballgame.

The U.S. Government Only Believes Some Survivors

Last week Donald Trump expelled a rage-fueled series of tweets aimed at DACA, democrats, and the “caravan” of immigrants making their way to the southern U.S. border. Embedded in his temper tantrum were some grossly misinformed ideas about the criminality of the marchers and the nature of the DACA program. 

While no one is shocked at the blaring display of ignorance, this Trump-spun narrative is damaging to human rights movements everywhere. On behalf of the 400 women marching north, we have to straighten the story.

The “caravan” is a peaceful movement comprising roughly 1,000 Central American immigrants – mostly women and children – with hopes of openly applying for asylum in the U.S. The march was organized by an activist group called Pueblos Sin Fronteras. Zero evidence exists that Central American gangs and criminal groups are exploiting U.S. asylum procedures to their advantage.

A frequently dismissed player in the spike of asylum applications is the growing rate of gender-based domestic violence in Central America’s “northern triangle,” which includes El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. In a UN report  done last year, Latin American was found to be the world’s most violent region for women, with officials in northern triangle countries equating femicide and assault rates to epidemics.  In an attempt to escape, women make incredibly risky journeys to the U.S.-Mexican border where they have to prove the credibility of their trauma in order to be granted asylum. From there, asylum-seekers are indefinitely held in detention centers while awaiting their verdict, forcibly suspended in a traumatic purgatory very often without their children.

Passing a “credible fear” interview is the most critical, and potentially most difficult step to being granted asylum. In these interviews the subject is first asked a series of general questions, which quickly segue into inquiries about the source of their fear. If the subject answers “no” to whether or not their prior circumstances involved persecution for religion, ethnicity, political identity or nationality, they are not likely to pass. In other words, if a woman’s trauma does not fit succinctly into said boxes then she is set up to fail.

The Department of Homeland Security does not treat these women like holistic human beings with intersectional experiences. In many cases women are fleeing an amalgam of the listed options, or something excluded from the questionnaire (like sexual or domestic violence). In other cases women worry that fully disclosing their experiences will further harm them due to the volume of death threats they’ve received in their lives. The binary nature of credible fear tests poses an immense challenge to those whose persecution exists in a grey area.

Being denied entry into the U.S. can be a death sentence for many asylum-seeking women. They often feel forced to take enormous risks to get into the U.S. through other means. Several women have reported being sexually propositioned by U.S. border agents they encounter while crossing, or kidnapped by coyotes looking to take advantage of vulnerable migrants. Others return home to the violence they were trying to escape.

For border patrol agents, it all boils down to deeming one woman’s suffering believable and another one’s false. Contrary to Trump’s ideas, most people don’t actually want to leave their home.

While much of the country is caught up in the momentum of the #MeToo movement, survivors who break their silence are praised and honored. And while we must recognize survivors who share their story, we must also honor those kept silent by enormous force – the President, immigration officials, and the American judicial system.  At the root of #MeToo is the importance of believing a woman’s truth even amidst massive cultural skepticism. In the case of thousands of women attempting to find safety in America, their truths are ignored by our government institutions.. Our values are moot if not applied to all women.

Image credit: John Moore/Getty Images

Shy and Sweet #haiku #alzheimers

Thanks – someone I am close to is now in this shy and sweet spot as she approaches her next journey.

penned in moon dust

 shy once more

sweet are the years’  memories

what’s his name?


one red one black

yesterday’s thoughts blow by

whose shoes are those?

Sharing this set with Ronovan Writes the theme this week being Shy and Sweet.

Alzheimers is a tough disease that robs the present. Walk on yesterday’s path with these folks and try to find the daisies still left to enjoy.

photography © moondust designs

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Russia and the West Repeating Usual Mistakes of Dictatorships and Democracies about Each Other

via aleksey godin

Paul Goble
            Staunton, April 9 – Russia and the West are repeating the mistakes dictatorships and democracies make about each other, with the former viewing the latter’s slowness in responding as an indication of weakness rather than deliberation and the latter viewing the bold aggressiveness of the former as evidence of a strength the dictators do not have.
            In a commentary for Radio Svoboda, Kyiv commentator Vitaly Portnikov focuses on the Russian side of this equation, on the ways in which Moscow has been misreading the West and operating on the assumption that bold aggressiveness will be sufficient to win out, something that won’t work when the West reads Russia right (
            “The strength of Russia is not in the powerlessness but in the inaction of the West,” he argues, and “the chief error of Vladimir Putin is to view inertness as weakness.” When the Western democracies did not take serious action against his aggression in Ukraine, Putin concluded that they were weak and that he could move elsewhere. 
            But that notion and the related one that Russia defeated the West in Ukraine “exists only in the fantasies of Putin and many of his fellow citizens.” For the West, “the Russian-Ukrainian conflict” was initially something far away and even inexplicable, and thus it acted as it did. But “the Russian president believed that the West is powerless, and he moved into Syria.
            There Putin repeated his mistake of thinking that he was fighting a war with the Americans, Portnikov argues.  In fact, Washington wanted to bring stability to that country and the region and didn’t view the Asad regime as being able to make a contribution to that goal, rather, just the reverse.
            Thus, Moscow and Washington have been fighting for different goals rather than with each other as Putin imagines.  But because Putin read the situation the way he has, the Kremlin leader felt that he could advance in yet another way against the West and hence the poisoning in Salisbury.
            But contrary to his expectations and assumptions, “the West began to respond in a serious way. Without any particular desire or delight and each time stopping and seeking agreement, but to respond.” And that has created a new and uncomfortable situation for Putin: how can he respond when the response involves “not declarations and telephone calls” but “real action?”
            The Kremlin leader had no real response to Trump’s airstrikes in Syria or even to the destruction of a Russian plane by Turkey; “and if the Americans again decide to bomb Asad, there will not be any answer. And in this is the main problem of the Kremlin,” according to Postnikov.
            Moscow’s ability to respond in “mirror-like” fashion to the West is something that exists “only in the Kremlin’s imagination because in the real world and not that which is shown on television, the US and Great Britain are at the center of the globalized world and Russia is on its periphery.”
            The Russian side can respond to sanctions only by taking actions that further weaken it. It can close a US consulate in St. Petersburg after the US closes the Russian one in Seattle but the fact is that “citizens of Russia are the ones who need both these consulates” more than does the United States.
And Moscow can impose sanctions on Western businessmen and politicians, but the situation they are in is not the same as that of Russian businessmen on whom the West has imposed sanctions: the Russians keep their money and property in the West and many want to live there. Few Westerners have villas in Russia or want to live in that country.
As long as the West doesn’t take serious steps, Putin can imagine he is winning by responding; but when the West does decide to do so despite all of Putin’s boldness and aggressiveness, the Kremlin leader’s weakness and lack of choices becomes increasingly obvious to all.