Sunday, May 20, 2018

Gaza Massacre, Trump Pulls Out of Iran Deal, Venezuela & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List May 13-20

This week's list of articles, news items and opinion pieces that I see as must reads if you are looking for a roundup that should be of interest to The Left Chapter readers.

This list covers the week of  May 13-20. It is generally in order of the date of the article's release.

This edition leads off with a special section of articles and statements related to the horrific massacre of unarmed Palestinian protesters by Israeli forces early in the week.

Gaza Massacre: 

1) Defiance, then death: Gaza suffers most horrific day of violence for four years

Hazem Balousha and Peter Beaumont, The Guardian

Amid the wail of sirens and the urgent to and fro of ambulances from the front line, Gaza’s hospitals struggled on Monday to cope with the influx of dead and wounded after Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian protesters.

Read the full article.

2) Hundreds Protest Opening of US Embassy in Jerusalem Today

Communist Party of Israel

Hundreds of Israelis marched through downtown Jerusalem Saturday night, May 12, to protest against the politically volatile moves of the United States next week that will increase tensions with the Palestinians and the Arab World.  The protesters marched from King George Street downtown to the Old City’s Jaffa Gate. Along the way, they chanted slogans: “We oppose an escalation [of the security situation],” “Jerusalem capital of two states – Israel and Palestine,” “End the occupation of east Jerusalem,” and “Netanyahu – resign! Peace is worth more [than the embassy move].”

Read the full article.

3) Trump threw a match into Jerusalem with no plan to put out the fire

Rachel Shabi, The Guardian

But with the embassy move, Trump has deployed that far-rightist trick of disruption for the sake of it. There is no follow-up, no renewed talks in the pipeline, no international diplomacy, just the usual, multipurpose mumblings from Trump about sealing a good deal. This is no Middle East policy, unless you count as policy the practice of being a fire-starter and appearing to sanction overwhelming Israeli violence. And as we are seeing today, it is those living in the region who will suffer the punishing consequences of his folly.

Read the full article.

4) Pastor who prayed at embassy opening is 'a religious bigot', says Mitt Romney

Martin Pengelly, The guardian

An evangelical pastor who former presidential candidate Mitt Romney denounced as a “religious bigot” delivered a prayer at the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem on Monday.

Read the full article.

5) Call it what it is: Israel massacred 58 Palestinians

Red Flag

What happened yesterday was a massacre. What happened the week before was a massacre. And the week before that. But you wouldn’t know it from the press coverage in the West.

Read the full article.

6) Global protests grow after Israeli killing of Palestinian demonstrators

Oliver Holmes, Hazem Balousha and Peter Beaumont, The Guardian

International condemnation of Israel’s killing of 60 Palestinian protesters in Gaza has escalated as tens of thousands of people rallied in the coastal enclave to bury the dead.

Read the full article.

7) “Unacceptable and inhuman” violence by Israeli army against Palestinian protesters in Gaza

Doctors Without Borders

This bloodbath is the continuation of the Israeli army’s policy during the last seven weeks: shooting with live ammunition at demonstrators, on the assumption that anyone approaching the separation fence is a legitimate target. Most of the wounded will be condemned to suffer lifelong injuries.

Read the full statement

8) "I would recommend FREEDOM"

Jewish Voice for Peace

Do yourself a favor and listen to Noura Erakat as she brilliantly responds to CBS News on Gaza and the U.S. embassy move.

Watch the full video.

9) How the UK's wall of silence gives Israel impunity for its actions

Peter Oborne, Middle East Eye

Those who shout loudest about Labour Party anti-Semitism have nothing to say about Israel maiming and killing unarmed protesters in Gaza.

Read the full article.

10) Canadian shot in Gaza says he was 'clearly marked' as a doctor

CBC Radio

Dr. Tarek Loubani decided not to use the tourniquet in his pocket to stop the bleeding when he was shot in the legs at the Gaza border on Monday.

Read/listen to the full story.

11) As mass killings horrify the world, Netanyahu’s circle dwindles

Doug Saunders, The Globe and Mail

“You have made history,” Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, said to U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday as the two leaders, flanked by a discomfiting alliance of far-right politicians, ultra-Orthodox rabbis and evangelical preachers who have declared that Jews are doomed to burn in hell, officiated over the U.S. embassy’s move to the contested city of Jerusalem.

Read the full article.

12) Killing Gaza

Chris Hedges, Truthdig

Israel’s blockade of Gaza—where trapped Palestinians for the past seven weeks have held nonviolent protests along the border fence with Israel, resulting in scores of dead and some 6,000 wounded by Israeli troops—is one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters. Yet the horror that is Gaza, where 2 million people live under an Israeli siege without adequate food, housing, work, water and electricity, where the Israeli military routinely uses indiscriminate and disproportionate violence to wound and murder, and where almost no one can escape, is rarely documented. Max Blumenthal and Dan Cohen’s powerful new film, “Killing Gaza,” offers an unflinching and moving portrait of a people largely abandoned by the outside world, struggling to endure.

Read the full article.

13) Seven Palestinian journalists injured by gunfire in Gaza protests

Committee to Protect Journalists 

The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the use of gunfire by Israeli forces against journalists covering protests today in the Gaza Strip. At least seven Palestinian journalists have been injured by Israeli gunfire while covering today's demonstrations, according to the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS), reports shared on social media by media outlets and journalists, and CPJ interviews with local journalists Saud Abu Ramadan and Moneeb Saada.

Read the full statement.

14) Palestinians bury those gunned down by Israel

Steve Sweeney, People's World

Palestinians buried their dead yesterday as thousands of people took part in protests to mark the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, or “Catastrophe”—the mass expulsion of more than 700,000 Palestinians from their land that accompanied the foundation of Israel in 1948.

Read the full article.

15) Israeli communists call on allies around the world to help Gaza's hospitals

The Morning Star

ISRAEL’S communists have written to other communist and left progressive parties, asking them to examine how best to generate material assistance to hospitals in Gaza after this week’s horrific massacre.

Read the full article.

16) CPUSA condemns Gaza massarcre

Communist Party USA

The Communist Party USA reacts with anger and sorrow to the killing of at least 62 Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza by Israeli security forces on Monday, May 14.  The CPUSA directly blames the Israeli government of Prime  Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and the U.S. government of President Donald Trump for this tragedy.

Read the full statement.

17) UN votes to send war crimes investigators to Gaza

Al Jazeera

The United Nations' top human rights body has voted to send a team of international war crimes investigators to probe the deadly shootings of Gaza protesters by Israeli forces.

Read the full article.

18) On Trump, Gaza and white supremacy in South Africa

Tafi Mhaka, Al Jazeera

From South Africa to Palestine to the US, there is a systematic attempt to whitewash the crimes of white supremacy.

Read the full article.

Other Issues/Articles:

19) By ending the Iran deal, Trump has put America on the path to war

Bernie Sanders, The Guardian

Last week, Donald Trump made one of the most reckless moves of his presidency:  (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear agreement. With this decision, the president discarded years of hard work by our diplomats, who had obtained an extremely rigorous set of restrictions and inspections guaranteeing that Iran would not obtain a nuclear weapon. He also slammed the door on a once-promising possibility of detente between the US and Iran.

Read the full article.

20) Trump, Iran sanctions and the danger of war

Mazda Majidi, Liberation

On May 8, President Trump announced that the United States would violate the nuclear agreement with Iran and re-impose sanctions. Trump claimed that Iran was continuing its pursuit of nuclear weapons, contradicting 11 certifications of compliance by the International Atomic Energy Agency and ignoring U.S. government intelligence. Standing reality on its head, Trump said, “We will not allow American cities to be threatened with destruction.”

Read the full article.

21) The Coming War Against Iran

John Kiriakou, Canadian Dimesion

I spent nearly 15 years in the CIA. I like to think that I learned something there. I learned how the federal bureaucracy works. I learned that cowboys in government – in the CIA and elsewhere around government – can have incredible power over the creation of policy. I learned that the CIA will push the envelope of legality until somebody in a position of authority pushes back. I learned that the CIA can wage war without any thought whatsoever as to how things will work out in the end. There’s never an exit strategy.

Read the full article.

22) More than half of NDP candidates are women, a first for Ontario political parties

CBC News

Some 56 per cent of the NDP's candidates in the upcoming spring election are women, the party said Sunday, the first time in Ontario that a major political party has fielded more women than men.

Read the full article.

23) A right on paper, not in reality: More severe attacks on abortion rights in 2018

Nathalie Hrizi, Liberation

Over 40 years ago, a 21-year old mother wanted to terminate her third pregnancy. Her life wasn’t in danger which was the only legal reason she could get an abortion. The abortion provider who would provide an illegal termination had been shut down. While this is thought of as history, she was in the position that many many women today find themselves–unable to access abortion care.

Read the full article.

24) Choking women is all the rage. It's branded as fun, sexy 'breath play'

Gail Dines, The Guardian

Choking seems to be in fashion, and I don’t mean the type where you need the Heimlich maneuver. Since the #MeToo movement, we’re learning just how many men seem to see choking women as a legitimate form of “sex play”, as it is often euphemistically referred to in porn.

Read the full article.

25) The lives of Grenfell tower

The Guardian

Portraits of all 72 people who died in Grenfell Tower, based on exclusive, moving testimony from family and friends.

Read the full article.

26) Right-wing charities report zero political activity…again

Press Progress

For at least the fifth year in a row, right-wing organizations report no political activity while uncertainty remains for many progressive charities.

Read the full article.

27) Exclusive: how rightwing groups wield secret 'toolkit' to plot against US unions

Ed Pilkington, The Guardian

Rightwing activists are launching a nationwide drive to persuade public-sector trade union members to tear up their membership cards and stop paying dues, posing a direct threat to the progressive movement in America.

Read the full article.

28) 'Tax Amazon': Seattle passes plan for corporate wealth tax to fund housing

Levi Pulkkinen, The Guardian

A parade of hardhat union workers and threats from hometown-behemoth Amazon did not stop Seattle leaders from passing on Monday a “head tax” meant to fund housing projects and homeless services.

Read the full article.

29) First female Communist elected in Iraq's holiest city calls for 'social justice'

Alex MacDonald and Mustafa Abu Sneineh, Middle East Eye

 Iraqis appear to have broken with the political establishment in response to what they see as rampant corruption and incompetence.

Read the full article.

30) North Korea threatens to cancel Trump summit over nuclear demands

Julian Borger and Justin McCurry, The Guardian

North Korea has abruptly cancelled high-level talks with Seoul and threatened to pull out of a planned summit with Donald Trump if the US continues to insist on the regime giving up all of its nuclear weapons.

Read the full article.

31) Beyond the headlines: here’s North Korea’s actual statement on Trump meeting


“Kim Jong-un Shows True Colors by Threatening to Cancel Trump Meeting.” This was how the New York Times headlined its recent “news” article, throwing any pretense of objectivity into the wind. This is typical of the imperialist media, which never accurately presents the perspective of countries that have been targeted for regime change, giving instead only the most sensational and selective soundbites that assist their demonization.

Read the full article/statement.

32) Indigenous rights activist Vernon Harper dies in Toronto

The Canadian Press

A Cree elder who was a co-organizer of a cross-Canada trek to raise awareness of broken treaties and grievances against the federal government has died, according to an organization that advocates for dozens of First Nations communities in Ontario.

Read the full article.

33) 'CEOs don't want this released': US study lays bare extreme pay-ratio problem

Edward Helmore, The Guardian

The first comprehensive study of CEO-to-worker pay reveals an extraordinary disparity – with the highest gap approaching 5,000 to 1.

Read the full article.

34) Mysterious rise in banned ozone-destroying chemical shocks scientists

Damian Carrington, The Guardian

A sharp and mysterious rise in emissions of a key ozone-destroying chemical has been detected by scientists, despite its production being banned around the world.

Read the full article.

35) Newfoundland and Labrador under new pressure to cover abortion pill

The Canadian Press

Newfoundland and Labrador — the only province that does not provide at least partial coverage of the abortion pill — is under renewed pressure to do so.

Read the full article.

36) 43 Percent of American Households Can’t Afford Basic Needs

Ilana Novick, Truthdig

Donald Trump may be celebrating the fact that America’s unemployment rate is at its lowest level in nearly two decades, but that’s not enough for the alarming number of American families still struggling to put food on the table and pay their rent.

Read the full article.

37) This great-grandmother was forced from her home of 31 years. Hers is the face of a broken public housing system

Jennifer Pagliaro and Emily Mathieu, The Toronto Star

Edna Rose is exhausted.
The great-grandmother is piling everything she owns into cardboard boxes while a large white moving truck parks outside next to her beloved garden where decades ago she planted peach and nectarine trees, then later flowers in honour of family.

Read the full article.

38) Nepal: Ruling Leftist Parties Merge into Marxist Leninist Party


Nepal's two ruling communist parties merged Thursday to form a unified Nepal Communist Party, or NCP, after winning a parliament majority in last December's elections as a coalition of left-wing parties.

Read the full article.

39) PC candidates are skipping debates in ridings all over Ontario

Press Progress

PC candidates have reportedly skipped debates in at least 23 ridings so far.

Read the full article.

40) Chilean villagers claim British appetite for avocados is draining region dry

Alice Facchini and Sandra Laville, The Guardian

UK demand for fruit increased by 27% last year alone, prompting accusations that growers are illegally diverting rivers and leaving locals without water.

Read the full article.

41) Even ‘nice guys’ don’t have a right to sex – and On Chesil Beach shows why

Hanna Flint, The Guardian

There are no end of movies about the “nice guy” getting the girl, but nowadays Hollywood is showing us that he might not be so nice after all. It began last year with Nacho Vigalondo’s Colossal and the character Oscar, played by Jason Sudeikis. He’s the quintessential “nice guy” throughout the film until he doesn’t get his own way, at which point his inner monster – both figuratively and literally – comes out. And how many of us recognise that pattern of behaviour from real life? Everything’s sweetness and light until the man in question doesn’t get something he wants.

Read the full article.

42) York police probe Highway 407 data breach that led PC candidate to quit

CBC News

York Regional Police's fraud unit is investigating the "internal theft" of customer data from 407 ETR, the company that oversees Highway 407, CBC News has learned.

Read the full article.

43) PC incumbent praises Donald Trump, cites his tax policies as a model for Ontario

Press Progress

The Trump tax cuts for the rich have been called the biggest wealth grab in modern history.

Read the full article.

44) The Forgotten Filipino American Activist Behind the Delano Grape Strike

Paula Mejia, Gastro Obscura 

A children’s book about Larry Itliong aims to rectify history.

Read the full article.

45) ‘Many grievances, one solution!’ - huge union rally in Melbourne, Australia

Kat Galea, Socialist World 

Upwards of 60,000 people hit the streets of Melbourne, on May 9, in the biggest union protest in over a decade. Some estimates put the figure in excess of 100,000. Seeing the streets flooded with union flags was a sight to behold and gave just a glimpse of the potential power of the workers’ movement. It was clear that many unions had mobilised for the ‘Change the Rules’ rally in a way they have not done for years, with many unions represented by large contingents.

Read the full article.

46) Belgium: Massive demonstration against pension reform

Socialist World

Six months after a huge trade union demonstration with 40,000 in Brussels, a new demonstration mobilised two times as many on Wednesday 16 May: 80,000. The anger against previously taken measures and new plans of the right wing government on the pensions is huge. The pension age went up from 65 to 67, access to early retirement was limited and now the government is planning to go even further by slashing pensions with a new calculation method aimed at forcing people to work longer.

Read the full article.

47) Consistent, Free, Fair: Venezuela's Election History Analyzed

Erin Fiorini and Monica Sabella, Telesur

Since Venezuela announced plans in January to hold early presidential elections, world leaders and factions of the opposition have condemned President Nicolas Maduro and his administration, branding the elections 'illegal' and claiming the vote will somehow be 'rigged.'

Read the full article.

48) Maduro: Development, Respect for the Sovereignty of Venezuela


Maduro commented that he leads the charge in the battle for Venezuela's independence, sovereignty, democracy and the right for peace.

Read the full article.

49) Where marital rape is legal: Sudanese teen's death sentence fuels wider fight

Mohammed Amin, Middle East Eye

In Sudan, a story of forced marriage, marital rape and murder has shone a spotlight on the country's personal status law and the vulnerabilities women and girls face every day.

Read the full article.

50) 'I'll be asked to clear out': how Harry and Meghan's wedding affects Windsor's homeless

Harriet Sherwood, The Guardian

Four months after Simon Dudley, the council leader, attracted national attention with his demand that police use legal powers to clear rough sleepers off the streets before the royal wedding, little has changed for the town’s homeless residents.

Read the full article.

51) 'Royal Parasites': Activists, Citizens Protest the Elites' $42M Royal Wedding As Population Faces Austerity


Many disagree with the people paying for a lavish event for the elites, especially in the United Kingdom, which has implemented a hash program of austerity that has affected essential public services for the many.  

Read the full article.

52) The Communist Party's Ontario Election Kickoff

Dave McKee, Communist Party of Ontario

On May 12th, supporters of the Communist Party of Canada (Ontario) met in Toronto to kick off the 2018 Ontario election. Speech by leader Dave McKee

You Tube link.

See also: Corbyn and the Media, Doug Ford, Teacher Revolt & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List May 6 - 13

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