11 September 2014

Islamic State in the US

Middle East Eye

No sooner had the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) become the latest global obsession than it turned up - where else? - in the United States.
particularly brutal jihadist organisation and the keepers of a new caliphate in the Middle East, IS apparently already maintains sleeper cells in the US. At least, this is what former CIA operative Bob Baer says current intelligence-gatherers have told him.
Now a national security analyst for CNN, Baer remarked in a recent interview: “The people who do this for a living are very alarmed.”
The threat is thus far a bit nebulous, and Baer explains that IS designs for the homeland are unknown. But intelligence professionals “think [the jihadists have] come across the Mexican border in some cases. Some are American citizens that have come back from [fighting in] Syria.”
While making notes for this article a few days ago, I wrote: “Wouldn’t be surprised if we soon learn that IS is in cahoots with Mexican drug cartels.” Sure enough, Fox News produced the following headline on 8 September: “Security Expert: ISIS Could Pay Drug Cartel to Attack U.S. Power Grid.” READ MORE AT MIDDLE EAST EYE.

06 September 2014

Israel’s New Favorite Christians

TeleSUR English

On 3 September, a Haaretz headline proclaimed: “Israeli Christian community, neither Arab nor Palestinian, are fighting to save identity.”
Datelined Baram National Park, Israel, the article is structured around the Aramean Heritage Camp, a late-summer camp in the Upper Galilee for kids from Israel’s Aramean community.
All you need to know about this community, apparently, can be boiled down to two points:
1. They are neither Arab nor Palestinian, although they speak Arabic.
2. They all want to join the IDF.
The article begins: “One camper here says she plans to join the Israel Defense Forces and become a ‘fighter’ after she graduates high school. The boys relaxing in the grass nearby nod their heads to indicate that they plan to do the same.” READ MORE AT TeleSUR ENGLISH.

03 September 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge for a frigid society

Al Jazeera

A recent Forbes article poses the question-and-answer: "Think The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Is Stupid? You're Wrong".

The Ice Bucket Challenge is one of the modern era's greater marketing coups: a social media-based campaign to raise awareness and funds for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fatal neurodegenerative disease. The premise is that you either donate money to ALS charities or have a bucket of ice water dumped over your head; some people do both. The dumping is filmed and videos are posted on the internet, while their soaked protagonists nominate others to accept the challenge.

The operation has been celebrity-heavy, drenching the likes of US business magnate Bill Gates and Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima. According to Forbes, the Ice Bucket Challenge "is awesome" and criticisms of it are unfounded, because what ultimately matters is the monetary accumulation (over $100mwas donated in 30 days).

The article concludes that "the people trying to throw cold water on the Ice Bucket Challenge "simply need to warm the icy cockles of their own hearts" - although the predicate of the sentence has been crossed out and replaced with the tamer suggestion that critics "should stop".

An examination of various aspects of the campaign, however, reveals it doesn't exactly merit cockle-warming. READ MORE AT AL JAZEERA.

Book review: The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprising

Middle East Eye

A standard feature of imperialism is that empire-induced disasters are deemed to require imperial solutions, one effect of which is, inevitably, further disaster.
Take the case of al-Qaeda, a force whose development was encouraged by US policy and military machinations. Even the imperial apologist Thomas Friedman has admitted: “It seems likely that some of the Saudi [September 11] hijackers first came in contact with al-Qaeda and went through Terrorism 101 when they signed up for the jihad in Afghanistan against the Soviets.”
The hijackers’ practical application of the lessons from their terrorism course was, obviously, 9/11. In response, the US government prescribed the War on Terror. Thanks in part to that effort, we’ve now got ourselves a caliphate in the Middle East, proclaimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), formerly al-Qaeda in Iraq. The new territorial entity is being attended to by US  drone strikes and other schemes by the empire and its friends.
In his just-released book The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprising, veteran journalist Patrick Cockburn sets the record straight with regard to the ongoing fiasco and the advance of ISIS - now called simply the Islamic State (IS) - and other jihadist groups. READ MORE AT MIDDLE EAST EYE.

30 August 2014

Reappearing the disappeared of Operation Condor

Al Jazeera

In September 1976, ten high school students were kidnapped in the city of La Plata, Argentina, in an operation coordinated by Argentine police and military intelligence. All were between the ages of 16 and 18.

Secretly imprisoned in abominable conditions, the ten were subjected to torture and abuse. Four were eventually released - following years of torment - while the other six make up but a small fraction of the estimated 30,000 persons disappeared during the Argentine military junta's so-called "Dirty War" of 1976-1983.

What, pray tell, were the magnificent crimes that merited such punishment? It's quite simple: The leftist inclinations of these ten individuals made them a clear threat to the public order. Transgressions included agitating for reduced bus fare for students.

The apocalyptic threat was hardly confined to La Plata.Operation Condor - a collaborative effort of right-wing dictatorships in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay to combat the communist menace allegedly imperilling the hemisphere - lasted from the 1970s until the early 1980s and dispensed with some 80,000 people .

Anyone with less than far-right convictions was fair game, while dissent was criminalised but made inevitable by the state's own criminal behaviour. Human disposal methods included dropping sedated victims from airplanes into the sea. READ MORE AT AL JAZEERA.

28 August 2014

Fighting Palestinian flower-terror

Middle East Eye

In his seminal book Orientalism, published in 1979, the late Edward Said describes the portrayal of Arabs in Western films and television: “[T]he Arab is associated either with lechery or bloodthirsty dishonesty. He appears as an oversexed degenerate, capable, it is true, of cleverly devious intrigues, but essentially sadistic, treacherous, low.”
Elsewhere in the manuscript, Said documents common stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims as “hordes of hated barbarians,” “camel-riding, terroristic, hook-nosed, venal lechers,” purveyors of “licentious” and “dangerous sex,” “neurotic sexual being[s].”
Little progress, it seems, has been made since the 1970s - though the Israelis have managed to obtain honorary Western status despite the small matter of their geographical location. The formidably Orientalist website of the Israeli-American organisation Learn and Return (also known as Learn and Live) exposes the latest incarnation of the Arabs’ treacherous sexuality: “a new terrorism fought with roses instead of guns.”
According to Learn and Return’s calculations, “[m]ore than 1000 [Jewish] girls a year are trapped in Arab villages,” lured in with “gifts and flattery” by “Arab men, often pretending to be Jewish.” (For a mere $1000 donation, you can sponsor the rescue of one girl.)
As evidence of the alarming trend, the site directs us to a 2012 “Knesset Report on the Welfare of the Child” - which in addition to not being an official report also happens not to corroborate the organisation’s claims.
Anxious to find out more about flower-based terror, I did what any normal person would do: set up a fake email address and contacted Learn and Return with a concern about Jewish women being kidnapped to the Gaza Strip for use as human shields. READ MORE AT MIDDLE EAST EYE.

27 August 2014

GROSS OLD MEN ARE HOT AND BOTHERED BY WAR

Vice

In a scene near the beginning of David Burr Gerard’s acclaimed debut novel Short Century, journalist Arthur Hunt attends the assassination-by-drone-strike of "Little Brother," a dictator in a Muslim-African country referred to only as REDACTED. A 1960s leftist-turned-warmongering scribe, Hunt is invited to press the "kill" button by Sheila, a CIA source who has just given him an erection.
“The very model of the modern moral warrior, every inch of her," he recounts. "I imagined lifting her up on to her control panel, spreading her legs, and pushing her clit into the button before impaling her on the joystick, all while I readied my sleepy dick.”
The obliteration of Little Brother ends up taking out a burqa-clad civilian, but Hunt gives the collateral damage a feminist spin, congratulating himself for freeing other, still-breathing women in burqas from the grasp of tyranny. His support for imperial bloodletting doesn’t simply emerge from the humanitarian depths of his soul, however: he’s seeking atonement for a past incestuous relationship with his sister.
It may be a novel, but it's more than just fiction. READ MORE AT VICE.

23 August 2014

Pavlov in Israel

Middle East Eye

Imagine your news intake was restricted to Israeli media outlets and Zionist-friendly international ones. You’d most likely develop the notion that a life intermittently punctuated by air raid sirens is by far the worst fate to befall anyone on the planet.
The fact that the siren alerts never correspond to much in terms of human casualties or property damage is inconsequential. According to Israeli-dictated reality, living with annoying background noises is far more difficult than, say, living under indiscriminate bombardment.
As was the case with previous Israeli assaults on the Gaza Strip, the essentially unilateral slaughter currently taking place has been accompanied by a steady stream of articles and other media output detailing the unique suffering of the inhabitants of Israel. READ MORE AT MIDDLE EAST EYE.

21 August 2014

Peru's dangerous environmental regression

Al Jazeera America

This December, Peru will host the United Nations Climate Change Conference, during which representatives from 194 countries will convene in Lima to set the stage for a comprehensive international climate change agreement in 2015. The agreement would succeed the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on carbon emission reductions, which is set to expire in 2020.
Ironically, in the run-up to the conference, Peru has substantially pared domestic environmental regulations — arguing that this is necessary to attract investment. The Associated Press summarizes the terms of a new law enacted by Peruvian President Ollanta Humala in July:
The law … strips Peru’s six-year-old Environment Ministry of jurisdiction over air, soil and water quality standards, as well as its ability to set limits for harmful substances. It also eliminates the ministry’s power to establish nature reserves exempt from mining and oil drilling.
Also, the measure slashes fines for environmental violations, limits the duration of environmental impact assessments and enhances tax incentives for mining corporations. READ MORE AT AL JAZEERA AMERICA.

20 August 2014

Introducing the Deathright Program

Since the year 2000, the Taglit-Birthright Israel program has brought over 400,000 young Jewish people on 10-day, all-expenses paid trips to the Holy Land. The requirements for being young and Jewish involve being between the ages of 18 and 26 and having at least one Jewish grandparent.
To briefly illustrate the injustice of the arrangement: among the multitude of trip veterans is a former acquaintance of mine who was adopted into a mind-bogglingly wealthy part-Jewish family and was therefore deemed more deserving of a “birthright” and a funded trip than Palestinians literally born in the territory in question.
The point of the program is to cultivate a love affair between the Jewish state and members of the global Jewish community whose enthusiasm for Israel may not be sufficiently fanatical. This is often done by encouraging individual amorous relationships and hook-ups between participants on the excursion, which has led to a boost in Jewish “inmarriages” and in some cases immigration to Israel.
As journalist Kiera Feldman noted in her 2011 exposé for The Nation, titled “The Romance of Birthright Israel”: “Many groups pass a night in a fake Bedouin tent, where participants sleep crowded together, a setup conducive to first kisses.” READ MORE AT TeleSUR ENGLISH.

19 August 2014

Oh empty land, where art thou?

Middle East Eye

As we all know, the old Zionist canard that Palestine was “a land without people” greatly facilitated the usurpation of said land by the state of Israel.
A new version of this mantra has now been introduced by ex-Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, who regularly volunteers his expertise in criminal law to defend Israel’s war crimes. Recent efforts include hallucinating a plot by Hamas “to kill and kidnap” 57 Israeli babies and children.
In an article for the Gatestone Institute this month, Dershowitz put forth the theory that the Gaza Strip in fact encompasses a great deal of land without people. Titled “The empty spaces of Gaza”, the article begins:
“How many times have you heard on television or read in the media that the Gaza Strip is ‘the most densely populated area in the world’? Repeating this statement, however, does not make it true.”
This, of course, is a classic case of Dershowitzian projection; after all, repeating a million times that Israel only targets terrorists doesn’t change the fact that it regularly slaughters civilians. Dershowitz invites readers to explore the empty spaces of Gaza: “Just look at Google Earth, or this population density map.”
Never mind that the population density map to which he links comes complete with the explanation that Gaza is “one of the most densely populated tracts of land in the world”. READ MORE AT MIDDLE EAST EYE.

16 August 2014

Mission imprecision: the unexploded ordnance war

Middle East Eye

In September of 2006, Haaretz quoted the head of an Israeli Army rocket unit on his military’s performance during the recent 34-day war on Lebanon: “What we did was insane and monstrous, we covered entire towns in cluster bombs.”
As the article explains, the United Nations estimated at the time that approximately 40 percent of cluster rounds fired by Israel had failed to explode. This is why, despite intensive and ongoing cleanup efforts by Lebanese and international organisations, we still continue to see headlines like: “18-year-old Lebanese killed by Israeli cluster bomb.”
The Lebanese in this particular case was a shepherd who stepped on an unexploded bomb on a farm in south Lebanon, but aside from shepherds and farmers, other popular casualties of belatedly exploding munitions include sheep, goats, and children who often mistake the deadly items for toys.
Haaretz also quoted the response of the Israeli military spokesperson to the allegation that Israel had violated international law by saturating Lebanon with cluster bombs: “International law does not include a sweeping prohibition of the use of cluster bombs.” READ MORE AT MIDDLE EAST EYE.

10 August 2014

What the Gaza Slaughter and the U.S. Border Crisis Have in Common

AlterNet

When my friend and I used to hitchhike around Mexico some years ago, truck drivers would occasionally ask to see our passports to verify that we were not Latin Americans trying to smuggle ourselves into the United States. Aside from improvised passport control, obstacles to travel were quite minimal, and the worst thing that ever happened was that I was once trampled by a small bull after drinking too much tequila and deciding to participate in a village bullfight.
Obviously, things aren’t so easy for a lot of folks transiting Mexico. Earlier this year, Amnesty International reported that as many as 20,000 Central American migrants are abducted in the country annually while en route to the U.S. border, often riding atop trains. As many as six out of 10 migrant women are raped.
Crossing the desert into the U.S. on foot, an untold number of migrants perish from dehydration and exposure to the elements. Additional hazards occur in the form of right-wing vigilante groups that have taken it upon themselves to augment the anti-immigrant services offered by the Homeland Security Department. READ MORE AT ALTERNET.

05 August 2014

No Cocoa Pebbles for Corpses

TeleSUR English

On the first day of August, The Times of Israel published a blog post advocating for the genocide of Palestinians.
People complained and the post was deleted. According to a Jerusalem Post article that has now also inexplicably disappeared, the Times editors had declared themselves “angry and appalled” by the post and sworn that they would “not countenance blog posts that incite violence or criminal acts.”
Judging from Israeli media content since the debut of Operation Protective Edge last month, it’s perfectly fine to cheerlead for Israel’s genocidal policies—you just shouldn’t use the G-word itself.
The Times has meanwhile restored its reputation as a source of sophisticated and considerate commentary with the publication yesterday of a blog post titled “Does this war make me look fat?
The essay has emerged from the brain of Brooklyn native Rachel Weinstein, who now resides in Israel and is the cofounder of a Facebook weight support group called “Honey, I Ate The Fridge.” READ MORE AT TeleSUR ENGLISH.

02 August 2014

What we talk about when we talk about genocide

Middle East Eye

On 1 August, a Times of Israel blog entry titled “When Genocide is Permissible”  suddenly disappeared from the website. The Jerusalem Post explains that the entry had “provoked an avalanche of criticism and outrage on social media, prompting the news outlet to dismiss its author,” Yochanan Gordon, son of the founder of the New York-based 5 Towns Jewish Times, where the problematic dispatch also ran. The elder Gordon recently objected to the notion that there are “innocent civilians” in Gaza.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, it seems. In his own post, Gordon junior suggests that all Palestinians maintain terror tunnels and store rocket launchers in their homes, and deftly converts the call for genocide into a he-started-it kind of a thing: “We are at war with an enemy whose charter calls for the annihilation of our people.”
Never mind Gordon’s own assessments regarding the enemy’s “propensity to lie” and the fact that “falsehood and deceit is [sic] part of the very fabric of who they are and that will never change.” READ MORE AT MIDDLE EAST EYE.

29 July 2014

Make love and war

Ricochet
Back in 2007, the pages of Maxim magazine played host to a public relations effort to refurbish the image of the Israel Defense Forces, which had been tarnished by—among other nefarious affairs—the organized slaughter of civilians in Lebanon and Gaza the previous year.
The magazine spread featured scantily clad women, sporting bust-accentuating bikinis and come-hither looks—“The Chosen Ones,” apparently, of the Israeli military.
Seven years later, the female body has acquired additional uses in the context of Israel’s war machine. A page titled “Standing With the IDF” recently debuted on Facebook with an appeal for women to submit photographs of themselves for morale-boosting purposes among Israeli troops. This resulted in expressions of love for the IDF being emblazoned across various breasts and buttocks.
To be sure, naked women will always be way hotter than piles of corpses. READ MORE AT RICOCHET.

26 July 2014

Informant nation

Middle East Eye

It’s no secret that the 9/11 terror attacks in the US constituted a boon for various enterprises—weapons manufacturers, defence contractors, private security firms—which saw a soaring need for their products and services in the ensuing bellicosity abroad and the fortification of the homeland.
An array of new professional opportunities also sprang up, such as in the field of “terrorism expertise”. The ranks of domestic informants swelled, too, and the FBI currently boasts over 15,000 of them. Many are assigned to Muslim communities.
Informants”, a new documentary by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit, sheds light on this last component of the 9/11 industry and confirms that we pessimists generally aren’t exaggerating when it comes to US policy.
Convicted con artist Craig Monteilh, one of the informants interviewed in the film, summarises his motive for faking a conversion to Islam in order to enhance his employability by the FBI: “I wanted to be in on the big game, and to be paid top dollar for it.’” READ MORE AT MIDDLE EAST EYE.

24 July 2014

A New Round of Birth Pangs

TeleSUR English

During Israel’s 2006 war on Lebanon—a 34-day affair that ultimately killed approximately 1200 persons, primarily civilians—then-U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice helpfully described the carnage as the “birth pangs of a new Middle East.”
Of course, some observers may have been at a loss to detect the war’s life-giving qualities. But “birth pangs” admittedly sounds better than, say, the “coat-hanger abortion of the Middle East.”
The blatant Orientalism embodied in Rice’s suggestion is certainly par for the course among U.S. politicians and pundits, for whom the Arab/Muslim world is a backwards region that lacks agency and must be whipped into shape by the “West” and its adopted progeny, the state of Israel.
The 2006 birth pangs were Orientalism 101—the presumed creation of the Middle East according to Western specifications. In this case, Israel’s godlike efforts were facilitated by rush shipments of bombs from the U.S. (Other Orientalist incursions by the empire and its friends have featured Arabs and Muslims in slightly post-fetal stages of development; see, for example, New York Times foreign affairs columnist Thomas Friedman’s depiction of Afghanistan as a “special needs baby”). READ MORE AT TeleSUR ENGLISH.

22 July 2014

The second coming of the caliphate in Spain

Al Jazeera

In June, Spanish monarch Juan Carlos abdicated the throne in favour of his son Felipe.

More drastic systemic rearrangements have since been proposed, however, by the guardians of another world order. A short video, the subject of recent hype in the Spanish media, features two men who claim to be jihadists in Syria and who explain - in Spanish - that "Spain is the land of our grandfathers" and will thus be reclaimed for Islam as part of the effort to recuperate rightful territory "from Jakarta to Andalusia". (Their particular jihadist outfit is not specified.)

The tone of the declaration is slightly less than spine-chilling. The holy warriors appear carefree, and one laughingly encourages the other to speak: "Come on, man."

Of course, some view prospects of land recuperation as more apocalyptic in nature. On her website Atlas Shrugs, professional Islamophobe Pamela Geller took credit for predicting the impending Muslim takeover; in a post under the category Spain's Islamic Kingdom, she wrote: "Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Libya… Jordan and now Rome and Spain. Regular Atlas readers have been expecting this for some time". READ MORE AT AL JAZEERA.

Dershowitz’s tunnel vision

Middle East Eye

Let’s imagine for a moment that recently retired Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz defended animals rather than criminals and savage states.
In a case involving the mauling of a goat by a hyena, for example, a typical Dershowitzian approach might argue that the hyena was engaged in self-defence and that the civilised world must thus stand behind it.
In a situation in which a group of hyenas devours an entire goat farm, including an array of baby goats, he might instead lecture us that the goats in question had built underground tunnels to facilitate the mass murder and kidnapping of young hyenas.
It may appear that Dershowitz has been over-represented in my writings of late, but the fact is that the man is never absent from the sidelines during periods of systematic slaughter of Palestinians and other Arabs by the state of Israel. READ MORE AT MIDDLE EAST EYE.

17 July 2014

Burn Before Reading

Jacobin

Matt Taibbi once remarked with regard to the journalistic techniques ofThomas Friedman, the New York Times foreign affairs columnist, corporate lapdog, and Iraq war fetishist: “Friedman never forgets to name the company or the brand name; if he had written The Metamorphosis, Gregor Samsa would have awoken from uneasy dreams in a Sealy Posturepedic.”

So we can only imagine what must have been Friedman’s utmost glee when the current Israeli slaughter of Palestinians enabled him to unleash the sentences: “You used to need a contract with Boeing to get a drone. Now you can make one in Gaza.”

This analysis appears in Friedman’s latest dispatch, titled “Order vs. Disorder, Part 2” (never mind that the previous column was titled “The World According to Maxwell Smart, Part 1”). In the lede, Friedman asserts that the Israeli-Arab conflict is “to the wider war of civilizations what Off Broadway is to Broadway … a miniature of the most relevant divide in the world today: the divide between the ‘world of order’ and the ‘world of disorder.’” READ MORE AT JACOBIN.

16 July 2014

Israel’s war on civilisation

Middle East Eye

The recent Haaretz headline “Hamas rockets spur births in southern Israel” might raise a few eyebrows. After all, isn’t the reason for the current demolition of the Gaza Strip supposed to be that Hamas rockets endanger Israeli life, not “spur” it?
According to the article, the staff of Be'er Sheva's Soroka Medical Center observed a 10 percent increase in births in the days following the debut of Operation Protective Edge last week. The “surge” was attributed to the stress of air raid sirens and other centrepieces of life in Israel whenever the state is pummeling its neighbors. READ MORE AT MIDDLE EAST EYE.

14 July 2014

Schnitzel the Cat

Jacobin

In my last blog post, I marveled at Israeli resilience in managing to survive — with the help of Facebook and other life-saving devices — the wanton slaughter Israel’s military is currently inflicting on the Gaza Strip. One hundred seventy-two persons have thus far been killed in the coastal prison, but at least the Palestinians don’t have to listen to air raid sirens.

As it turns out, humans are not the only heroes in wartime Israel. A Jerusalem Post article headlined “Missiles are no match for Schnitzel the Cat” reports that an Israeli cat “escape[d] unscathed after missile shrapnel fell directly on his tree Sunday afternoon.” The shrapnel, we are told, was the result of a rocket interception by Israel’s Iron Dome defense system. The scene is captured in a 12-second security camera video, at the end of which “Schnitzel the Cat hops down from the same tree and runs home, presumably to the joy of his owners.”

Since said owners apparently haven’t been spoken to, it’s not clear how the Posthas determined the cat’s name. But hey, it sounds good. READ MORE AT JACOBIN.

12 July 2014

Homage to Bint Jbeil

Middle East Eye

In July and August of 2006, the Israeli military pummeled Lebanese territory for 34 days, killing approximately 1200 people. Most were civilians. Other casualties of the onslaught included bridges, highways, homes, farmland, power plants, factories, UN observation posts, and a variety of non-human organisms; as Oxfam reported at the time, “initial estimates put livestock loss at one million poultry, 25,000 goats and sheep, and 4,000 cattle.”

Shortly after the end of the bloody affair, a friend and I embarked on a hitchhiking tour of Lebanon that lasted for several months and transformed our conception of what constituted a normal landscape. When we subsequently crossed into Syria and then Turkey, intact infrastructure seemed suddenly aberrant. Villages that hadn’t been reduced to rubble looked out of place.
A main epicentre of Israeli destruction in Lebanon was the south Lebanese town of Bint Jbeil, situated four kilometers from the Israeli border and occupied by the Israel Defense Forces for 18 years until the IDF was forced to withdraw in May 2000. Bint Jbeil’s recent history reveals much about why the Israelis were so intent on flattening it. READ MORE AT MIDDLE EAST EYE.

11 July 2014

'Nazis rape Brazil': The World Cup according to Twitter

Al Jazeera

For viewers of the World Cup, it's been pretty hard not to notice FIFA's ubiquitously advertised#SayNoToRacism social media campaign. As it turns out, football audiences could potentially benefit from other educational campaigns as well, such as #SayNoToRapeAndNaziJokes.

When Germany defeated Brazil 7-1 in the July 8 semifinal match, Twitter and other social media platforms played host to a competition for most repugnant reaction. Tweeters showcased their presumed wit, with a heavy focus on gang rape and the Adolf Hitler era: "Brazilian team decided to file a case in the court against Germany for gang rape"; "I expected a Germany win. I didn't know they'd dish out a brutal prisongang rape"; "july 8 2014 germany starts it's second holocaust,this time it's for brazilians and it's welcomed by everyone. #BrazilvsGermany #gangrape"; "Brazil did Nazi this coming".

tweet from the official Twitter account of "Lebanese STAR Maya DIAB", which boasts 335,000 followers, speculates that "#hitler is there in person", while a Malaysian parliamentarian weighed in with the following: "WELL DONE..BRAVO...LONG LIVE HITLER…" READ MORE AT AL JAZEERA.


Dead People Can't Take Selfies

Jacobin

In one of the worst opening lines ever, Allison Kaplan Sommer writes atHaaretz: “When the going gets tough, the tough take selfies.”

She continues: “That’s the attitude that Sara Eisen, a resident of [the Israeli town of] Beit Shemesh decided to adopt when she started a Facebook groupcalled ‘Bomb Shelter Selfies.’”
The need for this valiant effort arose when “rockets began to rain on Israel” from the Gaza Strip earlier this week. Of course, the Israelis love to allege that rockets are raining on them. But weather reports for their neighbors are inevitably much worse.

To pick one from the timeline of largely one-sided slaughter by Israel — euphemized as “conflict” in international media — the Israeli army launched “Operation Summer Rains” on Gaza Strip in June of 2006, one year after it had supposedly un-occupied the coastal enclave. More than 400 Palestinians, including 85 children, were killed, while only five Israeli soldiers lost their lives. READ MORE AT JACOBIN.

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