Hamas was founded in 1987 with some assistance from Israeli intelligence who tolerated its efforts against the secular Fateh movement. How much help it received is unclear as both sides have an interest in keeping that obscure.
Since that time it has used a variety of tactics including attacks on Israeli civilians and attacks on the Israeli military. It has also engaged in pitched battle for control against Fateh, especially after Fateh failed to recognize the Hamas electoral victory in 2007 and launched attacks against it.
Much of its growing popularity in the Occupied Territories comes not only because it resists Israel’s oppression and Fateh corruption, but because of its extensive social welfare projects in health, education and other public services.
A Chicago march against the Israeli siege of Gaza Read more
Filed under: Global Economy & Politics, U.S. Politics
Israel refuses to grant equal status to the Palestinian Arabs no matter if they resist non-violently, violently or not at all— as there have been periods of relative quiescence. This has been Israeli policy since the mass expulsion of 1948. That never changes. That is why many people call Israel an apartheid state.
Israel can do this because they have the backing of Washington who will kill or allow to be killed a seemingly unlimited number of people to keep the oil flowing.
Will Israel have it “Mandela moment” ? Will its rulers finally realize that its own unique brand of apartheid is no longer sustainable? South Africa’s came in 1992. But South Africa is not located next to strategic oil reserves.
Filed under: Discrimination, Global Economy & Politics, U.S. Politics
According to the AP news service: “Israel withdrew most of its ground troops from the Gaza Strip on Sunday in an apparent winding down of the nearly monthlong operation against Hamas that has left more than 1,800 Palestinians and more than 60 Israelis dead.”
But both sides made it clear that despite a 7 hour ceasefire called by Israel, fighting will continue. Gaza, surrounded by its enemy Israel and and a hostile Egypt has been called the world’s largest “open air prison”
Israeli dissident Uri Avnery said at the beginning of the 2014 Siege of Gaza that there are IDF officers who not only have an aversion to occupying Gaza, but believe that the Hamas leadership is neither fanatical nor unreasonable, whatever their charter or their other political propaganda might state.
Filed under: Global Economy & Politics, Race, U.S. Politics
“There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt.” ― Erma Bombeck
Labor cartoonist Fred Wright was a radical artist who walked that thin line in a way that would impress any circus tightrope walker. The son of working class parents, Fred Wright knew the world of class warfare up-close and personal when he first began cartooning for the National Maritime Union (NMU) in 1939. He became staff cartoonist for the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) in 1949, a job he held until the early 1980’s.
Layoffs, industrial accidents, harassment of all types, discrimination, poverty wages, union-busting, exposure to mean bosses and other human tragedies were the basis for his humor.
Poet and playwright Bertolt Brecht once said,”The man who laughs has not yet heard the terrible news.” Fred Wright was used to hearing terrible news. It was all around him. And like Brecht, Wright understood how tragedy can be the basis of humor; humor that can help people laugh in the face of adversity and then if possible, organize and try to prevent the same tragedies from happening again.
Filed under: Job Safety & Ecology, Society & Economy, U.S. Politics, Unions, Workplace
“Imagine what a community would look like that you and your children deserve and what are you willing to do to bring that to fruition.”—–Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) activist Tara Stamps
Chicago Teachers Union(CTU) activist and West Side resident Tara Stamps repeated variations of that phrase in a packed community July 17th meeting held at LaFollette Park in the 37th Ward within the Austin neighborhood on Chicago’s far West Side. Each time she said it, she spoke slowly and distinctly to catch people’s attention.
West Siders and allies gather in the LaFollette Park fieldhouse on Chicago’s West Side
With the expected announcement that CTU President Karen Lewis will run for Mayor against Rahm Emanuel, along with plans by the CTU and groups like the newly formed United Working Families to conduct massive voter registration and coordinate efforts by progressive aldermanic campaigns, meetings like this one at LaFollette Park take on a more urgent significance. There have been a number of similar meetings across the city in recent weeks.
Filed under: Discrimination, Society & Economy, U.S. Politics