Law professor writes Kentucky newspaper op-ed accusing McConnell of breaking two oaths

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HILL NEWS PAPER)

 

 

Law professor writes Kentucky newspaper op-ed accusing McConnell of breaking two oaths

A Kentucky-born law professor went after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in an op-ed Friday, saying that the senator broke two of the three oaths in the U.S. Constitution.

The Boston College law professor, Kent Greenfield, criticized McConnell’s comments about an impeachment trial for President Trump.

“We Kentuckians know that our word is our bond. Oaths are the most solemn of promises, and their breach results in serious reputational — and sometimes legal — consequences,” Greenfield wrote in his op-ed published by the Courier Journal.

“President Donald Trump will soon be on trial in the Senate on grounds that he breached one oath,” Greenfield wrote. “Senate Leader Mitch McConnell is about to breach two.”

The first oath McConnell is breaking, Greenfield states, is the oath that he took when took office. It’s an oath that all state and federal officers take, an “Oath … to support this Constitution.”

The second oath pertains to the impeachment trial that will take place sometime after the new year.

“In Article I, the Constitution gives the Senate the ‘sole’ power to ‘try all impeachments,’ and the Constitution requires that ‘when sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation,’ ” Greenfield wrote.

Continuing, he wrote: “The framers wanted to make sure the Senate would never take such a trial lightly — this oath requirement is over and above the oath each senator has already taken to support the Constitution.”

McConnell has openly said that he plans to coordinate with Trump’s defense team and that he doesn’t view himself as an “impartial juror.”

Greenfield, a sixth-generation Kentuckian, targeted those comments in his op-ed.

“McConnell’s loyalty to Trump should not overwhelm his loyalty to the Constitution,” he asserts. “If he fails in this, he is not only violating his Article I oath but his Article VI oath.”

Greenfield concludes his piece by stating that history will be a “harsh judge,” and urges the longtime Kentucky senator to take his “obligation of faithful impartiality seriously.”

6 And A Half Years Since I’ve Worked

It’s Been 6 1/2 Years Now Since I’ve Worked

 

This letter tonight is just the ramblings of an old broken down used to be truck driver who hasn’t worked since June of 2013. That was the day that I totally knew that I couldn’t even attempt to work any longer, my body just would not let me. This is just an old guy sitting at his computer just before sunup on Christmas Eve morning whom hasn’t been to bed tonight but being that I am still awake I though I would try to write a good short story which just may bore each of us off to sleep.

 

I start I guess I started getting my ways of thinking from attitudes passed on to me by my Mom about such things as work ethics and on how a ‘good’ man would/should behave. Then man, I failed, a bunch. I bounced around from several types of jobs up until after I moved to Texas at the age of 24. It was at this age that I pretty much became self taught about how to drive a commercial truck for a living, it is a bunch of miracles that I didn’t kill my self or some one else during those first 5 years. Before I was able to lie my way into my first truck driving job (you could sometimes get away with that back in 1981) I had worked at several types of low paying jobs where you had to work 80 hours plus every week just to survive financially. So I was able to get into an industry that I had hoped would make a better living, one thing that I honestly ever figured was that I would probably die one day in the sleeper of my truck in some Truck Stop parking lot. I never figured that I would ever have anything of real material value plus I figured that I would be dead way before retirement age any way. Turns out I was retired at 56 years and 10 months of age, not my normal retirement age set at 67 and 3 months. If it wasn’t for the income I am blessed with, benefits that I worked for and earned, I couldn’t have personally physically survived. You see, I am blessed to live in a Nation with Constitutional guardianship.

 

Turns out, that time came, the time I knew it was impossible to even try to attempt to work any more. The moment that you really realize that you are through working whether you want to be or not is a very cold sobering slap to the face. Five months and one week later after I first filed with Social Security I was accepted so we have been getting along okay on SS disability and what I get from the VA Disability. I feel very blessed because I never figured that I would live long enough to ever retire, turns out my body retired me. I was just sitting here at home this morning when I realized that it has actually been 6 1/2 years since my last day of work, I am astonished that it has been that long, I am indeed a very blessed, ugly fat old man. I hope you are able to have a great Christmas Holiday Season, stay safe, have some fun, God bless.

An American’s Thoughts On India’s New Citizenship Laws (NRC & CAB)

An American’s Thoughts On India’s New Citizenship Laws (NRC & CAB)

 

Yesterday one of my readers asked me to write this article and I told him that I would once I had had a chance to study it more so this is my effort to fulfill that promise to him. As most American’s know there are big issues politically and personally about the immigration policies here in the U.S. concerning our southern border. So, I am going to try to match up the two nations ongoing concerns about this issue.

 

In India the new law called the NRC (National Register of Citizens) law seems to also be called the “anti-Muslim” Law just as in the U.S. the issues are only at our southern border. To me, the difference is that here in the U.S. I feel that the biggest issue is race (anti-Hispanic) while the biggest issue in India is Religion, not race. There is also the real truth that in both cases there are a lot of people, mostly among the poorest of the peoples about the influx of new immigrants taking what little jobs and housing that they are clinging to at this time. New people to your area still need to have human basic needs like food and housing. Truth is that if there are not jobs for these new people then they will still need an income whether it be from taking your job, having to use your nations welfare system thus draining it from the ones currently using it or be placed in the position of beggar’s or thieves. This is an issue that faces every nation when it comes to immigration. This is one of the biggest concerns of the people who live in the northeast of India at this time yet the biggest issue there seems to be the new laws are written for the purpose of being anti Muslim, or anti believers of the Islamic faith.

 

The government of India says the new law is in part meant to weed out infiltrators or illegal’s from within their nation. The law is designed to be favorable toward six religions that are persecuted in the Islamic nations that are northeastern neighbors of India, nations like Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. India’s government is said to be trying to give these persecuted people of these countries a safe place to live, meaning India while at the same time weeding out illegal infiltrators whom seem to be mostly Muslims or in reality, believers of Islam. One of the issues that is going to have to be resolved is if the Indian Constitution allows such curbs on a section of people based on a religious faith. The population of India is about 1.4 billion people with about 180 million of those being believers of Islam. The government is loosely using the reason why these new laws are legal is the fact that Islamic nations do discriminate against all faiths that are not Islamic even to the dividing point of if people are Sunni or Shiite. Being that these Islamic nations do discriminate and persecute against other faiths like the Hindu’s, Parsi’s, Sikhs, Buddhist, Jain’s and Christians that India is simply trying to give them a safe place to live. Concerning the Indian population of Islamic believers it seems to me the government is saying that if their Islamic citizens don’t like the new laws they can move to an Islamic nation. To me, it seems that just like here in the States with the discrimination against Hispanic people whether it is Constitutionally legal if India is going to have to go through the  process to discover if it is legal in India to do the same to a group of people based on religion.

 

 

India’s new ‘anti-Muslim’ law explained

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BBC)

 

Citizenship Amendment Bill: India’s new ‘anti-Muslim’ law explained

  • 11 December 2019
Activists of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti shout slogans during a protest against the government's Citizenship Amendment Bill in Guwahati on November 22, 2019Image copyright AFP
Image caption One analyst has called the bill the most consequential action of the Modi government

India’s parliament has passed a bill which offers amnesty to non-Muslim illegal immigrants from three neighbouring countries.

The bill provides citizenship to religious minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

The government, led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), says this will give sanctuary to people fleeing religious persecution.

Critics say the bill is part of a BJP agenda to marginalise Muslims.

The Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) passed the upper house of parliament, where the BJP lacks a majority, by 125 votes to 105 on 11 December. It had cleared the lower house two days earlier.

The bill has already prompted widespread protests in the north-east of the country which borders Bangladesh, as many people there say they will be “overrun” by immigrants from across the border.

What does the bill say?

The CAB amends the 64-year-old Indian Citizenship law, which currently prohibits illegal migrants from becoming Indian citizens.

It defines illegal immigrants as foreigners who enter India without a valid passport or travel documents, or stay beyond the permitted time. Illegal immigrants can be deported or jailed.

The new bill also amends a provision which says a person must have lived in India or worked for the federal government for at least 11 years before they can apply for citizenship.

Hindu refugees from Pakistan in a refugee camp in JammuImage copyright GETTY IMAGES
Image caption Hindu refugees from Pakistan in a refugee camp in Jammu

Now there will be an exception for members of six religious minority communities – Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian – if they can prove that they are from Pakistan, Afghanistan or Bangladesh. They will only have to live or work in India for six years to be eligible for citizenship by naturalization, the process by which a non-citizen acquires the citizenship or nationality of that country.

It also says people holding Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cards – an immigration status permitting a foreign citizen of Indian origin to live and work in India indefinitely – can lose their status if they violate local laws for major and minor offences and violations.

Why is the bill controversial?

Opponents of the bill say it is exclusionary and violates the secular principles enshrined in the constitution. They say faith cannot be made a condition of citizenship.

The constitution prohibits religious discrimination against its citizens, and guarantees all persons equality before the law and equal protection of the law.

Delhi-based lawyer Gautam Bhatia says that by dividing alleged migrants into Muslims and non-Muslims, the bill “explicitly and blatantly seeks to enshrine religious discrimination into law, contrary to our long-standing, secular constitutional ethos”.

Historian Mukul Kesavan says the bill is “couched in the language of refuge and seemingly directed at foreigners, but its main purpose is the delegitimisation of Muslims’ citizenship”.

Critics say that if it is genuinely aimed at protecting minorities, the bill should have have included Muslim religious minorities who have faced persecution in their own countries – Ahmadis in Pakistan and Rohingyas in Myanmar, for example. (The government has gone to the Supreme Court seeking to deport Rohingya refugees from India.)

Rohingya Muslim refugees protecting in IndiaImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Defending the bill, senior BJP leader Ram Madhav said, “no country in the world accepts illegal migration”.

“For all others about whom the bleeding hearts are complaining, Indian citizenship laws are there. Naturalized citizenship is an option for others who legally claim Indian citizenship. All other illegal [immigrants] will be infiltrators,” he added.

Also defending the bill earlier this year, R Jagannathan, editorial director of Swarajya magazine, wrote that “the exclusion of Muslims from the ambit of the bill’s coverage flows from the obvious reality that the three countries are Islamist ones, either as stated in their own constitutions, or because of the actions of militant Islamists, who target the minorities for conversion or harassment”.

What is the history of the bill?

The Citizen Amendment Bill was first put before parliament in July 2016.

The legislation cleared parliament’s lower house where the BJP has a large majority, but it did not pass in the upper house, after violent anti-migrant protests in north-eastern India.

The protests were particularly vocal in Assam state, which in August saw two million residents left off a citizens’ register. Illegal migration from Bangladesh has long been a concern in the state.

The CAB is seen as being linked to the register, although it is not the same thing.

The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is a list of people who can prove they came to the state by 24 March 1971, a day before neighboring Bangladesh became an independent country.

The government says the National Register of Citizens is needed to identify illegal migrantsImage copyright AFP
Image caption The government says the National Register of Citizens is needed to identify illegal migrants

In the run-up to its publication, the BJP had supported the NRC, but changed tack days before the final list was published, saying it was error-ridden.

The reason for that was a lot of Bengali Hindus – a strong voter base for the BJP – were also left out of the list, and would possibly become illegal immigrants.

How is the citizens’ register linked to the bill?

The two are closely linked, because the Citizenship Amendment Bill will help protect non-Muslims who are excluded from the register and face the threat of deportation or internment.

This means tens of thousands of Bengali Hindu migrants who were not included in the NRC can still get citizenship to stay on in Assam state.

Later, Home Minister Amit Shah proposed a nationwide register of citizens to ensure that “each and every infiltrator is identified and expelled from India” by 2024.

Indian activists from the right-wing organization Hindu Sena hold placards as they shout slogans against Rohingya Muslim refugees being granted asylum in India, in Delhi on September 11, 2017Image copyright AFP
Image caption Right-wing groups have protested against Rohingya refugees living in India

“If the government goes ahead with its plan of implementing the nationwide NRC, then those who find themselves excluded from it will be divided into two categories: (predominantly) Muslims, who will now be deemed illegal migrants, and all others, who would have been deemed illegal migrants, but are now immunized by the Citizenship Amendment Bill if they can show that their country of origin is Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan,” Mr Bhatia said.

Taken together, the NRC and CAB have the “potential of transforming India into a majoritarian polity with gradations of citizenship rights,” said sociologist Niraja Gopal Jaya.

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Injured Worker In Hard Rock Hotel Construction Crane Collapse To Be Deported

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NBC NEWS)

 

India: 5-judge constitution bench to begin hearing Article 370

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF INDIA’S HINDUSTAN TIMES)

 

5-judge constitution bench to begin hearing Article 370 pleas today

A special bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said it had no time to hear the cases since it was busy with another Constitution bench matter.

INDIA Updated: Oct 01, 2019 06:00 IST

HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

Hindustan Times, New Delhi
A five-judge Constitution bench led by Justice N V Ramana, which will hear pleas challenging the August 5-6 nullification of Article 370 stripping Jammu and Kashmir of its special status .
A five-judge Constitution bench led by Justice N V Ramana, which will hear pleas challenging the August 5-6 nullification of Article 370 stripping Jammu and Kashmir of its special status .(PTI)

A five-judge Constitution bench led by Justice N V Ramana, which will hear pleas challenging the August 5-6 nullification of Article 370 stripping Jammu and Kashmir of its special status from Tuesday, will also take up individual petitions on alleged restrictions imposed in the Valley and lack of access to basic facilities.

A special bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said it had no time to hear the cases since it was busy with another Constitution bench matter. A CJI-led bench has been hearing the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute suit on a daily basis for more than a month now.

The newly constituted bench is scheduled to start hearing the batch of petitions on J&K from October 1. CJI Gogoi said petitions challenging restrictions on the media would also be taken up by the bench headed by Justice Ramana on Tuesday itself.

The Centre on August 5 moved to end special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the region into two union territories. A day later, Parliament passed the changes in the form Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019.

Meanwhile, the CJI on Monday disposed of Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) general secretary Vaiko’s habeas corpus petition seeking the release of former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah who was on September 16 detained under Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, that enables detention without trial up to two years.

Solicitor general Tushar Mehta urged the court to even dispose of CPI (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury’s petition against the alleged detention of his party colleague MY Tarigami.

First Published: Oct 01, 2019 04:04 IST

Russian Envoy Insists on Forming Syria’s Constitutional Committee in September

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Russian Envoy Insists on Forming Syria’s Constitutional Committee in September

Wednesday, 11 September, 2019 – 11:30
Syrian refugee women stand in front of their homes at Azraq refugee camp, near Al Azraq city, Jordan (File photo: Reuters)
Moscow – Raed Jabr
Moscow hopes the formation of the Syrian Constitutional Committee will be completed by the end of September, announced Mikhail Bogdanov, the Russian president’s special envoy for the Middle East and African countries and Deputy Foreign Minister.

Bogdanov said that Moscow discussed with a number of foreign ministers, including the Turkish FM, the committee’s formation.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed confidence that forming the committee will be completed soon, noting that the disagreements were on a “name or two” in the third list that the UN should have submitted.

Lavrov noted that Russia was surprised that the formation of the 150-member committee would be disrupted because of differences on one or two names.

Meanwhile, Moscow announced that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will arrive in Sochi on Thursday to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Last week, Kremlin Aide Yuri Ushakov said Netanyahu’s visit to Russia could take place very soon. The visit is most likely to be held in Sochi, he said.

Russian and Israeli media sources agreed that the discussions will address security coordination in Syria, especially against the backdrop of warnings recently reported by Russian media, regarding Israel’s failure to comply with previous understandings in informing Moscow of the details of military operations in Syrian airspace.

Netanyahu affirmed that he intends to discuss the Iranian presence in Syria, an issue present on the agenda of all Russian-Israeli meetings.

Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry denied reports that Russian aircraft violated the ceasefire by attacking the Idlib de-escalation zone.

“Since the beginning of the cessation of fire regime on August 31 in the Idlib de-escalation zone, Russian Aerospace Forces and Syrian Air Force aircraft have not performed any combat missions to hit targets on the ground,” the Ministry said.

The statement comes after Reuters citing several sources that Russian planes had carried out two raids in the strategic Jabal al-Akrad mountain range near the western Latakia coast.

Israel: The Haredi establishment’s threat to constitutional democracy and equal rights

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

The Haredi establishment’s threat to constitutional democracy and equal rights: No marginal issue

The sex discrimination against women in public spaces is just the beginning of the havoc the ultra-Orthodox are wreaking on Israeli society

(Facebook)

(Facebook)

Veteran political analyst Anshel Pfeffer has published an incisive analysis of the dynamics now playing out on the right and far-right of the Israeli political spectrum, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu losing those who used to be his natural political partners: Liberman, Bennett, Shaked, Smotrich (“Netanyahu is Running Out of Natural Partners,” Haaretz, August 13, 2019). The Haredi establishment, he notes, is taking up that slack, however much it has been a reliable partner of his until now.

Pfeffer’s otherwise incisive analysis contains an appalling throwaway line about the Haredi establishment, one that expresses an all too common perception: “[Netanyahu] granted them total hegemony in the narrow areas of public policy and communal autonomy they care about.”

Narrow areas?

The ongoing dismissal, in particular on the left, of the threat to constitutional democracy posed by the religious establishment is a serious danger in its own right. Ben Gurion can be excused for not realizing the danger in giving blanket draft exemption to yeshiva students —  65 years ago. There is no excuse for such blindness now.

The Haredi establishment uses institutions of government, like the courts, and certainly, coalition politics, to further its own narrow, sectoral interests, while having no fundamental loyalty to these institutions. Deputy Minister of Health Litzman, who does not take a “deputy” salary, but a full one, and who has used his office richly (pun intended), for Haredi interests, as he defines them (the victims of the Haredi rapists he has protected, according to a pending indictment, are also Haredi), is “Deputy,” rather than full Minister, because his boss, the Gerer rebbe, and he, do not recognize the State of Israel. The State’s payouts, however, they very much recognize.

The threat to public space — in the news just this week, in the ruling of a court against sex discrimination in a public space in Afula — is huge and ongoing. As the Israel Women’s Network and other groups have noted, this is a war of attrition. Newly minted Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich said this himself when, after a flurry of outrage about his call for a theocracy here, he acknowledged that such is not possible now — but that piecemeal steps can be and will be taken. This is why it is so important for Smotrich and his ilk not just to be members of Knesset but ministers, who have  broad discretion, staff, and budgets at their disposal. As with the abortion struggle in the US, piecemeal steps are the means to a larger goal.

If it is acceptable to discriminate against women in public space, we are back to demands for sex discrimination in buses, sidewalks, etc. We already struggle against demands for sex discrimination in universities and in the army, refighting the conclusion long ago reached on the basis of too much sorry experience, that there is no such thing as “separate but equal”; any such demands necessarily and inevitably entail discrimination. The Haredi establishment makes an argument for privilege: its religious “needs” and sexual objectification of women take precedence over equal civil rights. Marginal issue?

The Haredi establishment fully supports immunity legislation for Netanyahu, not only as a quid pro quo for his favors but because Minister of Interior Arye Deri, is under police investigation for serious financial crimes and Deputy Minister of Health Yaacov Litzman is too, with the police investigative unit recommending indictment.

The Haredi establishment backs legislation to gut the authority of the Supreme Court by giving the Knesset the power through simple majority vote to override any Supreme Court ruling. This would end the separation of powers and the very meaning of a Supreme Court as the arbiter of constitutionality.

The Haredi establishment runs a vast patronage system in the yeshivas and in the Chief Rabbinate. Keeping Haredi males illiterate and financially dependent on it is the base of that establishment’s power: perpetuation of this system is its call on the public purse. Its right to continue depriving that population of basic secular education — math, English, civics, history — is therefore, its prime demand, which government after government, yes, Labor-led, too — grants, with the rest of us paying for it with our taxes not once, in ever escalating subsidies, but perpetually, to support a growing, impoverished population. Why do yeshiva students get automatic exemption from army or alternative service and university students do not? Equal rights?

Study after study has shown the inflation of prices we pay for food in order to support the patronage system which is the kashrut kingdom of the Chief Rabbinate.

To dismiss all this as some marginal issue is beyond comprehension and effectively, collusion with the abuse the Haredi establishment hopes to keep perpetuating.

While Netanyahu, increasingly cornered by various dynamics, may be further sidling up to the Haredi establishment, his opposition in the Blue and White party is hardly showing awareness of, or determination about, the threat to constitutional democracy, equal rights, or rational government, posed by the Haredi establishment.

All this is anything but a marginal issue and, whereever we are on the political spectrum, we minimize it at our peril.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shulamit S. Magnus is a professor of Jewish history and an award-winning author of books on Jewish modernity and on Jewish women’s history.
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About BDS and Congressional and Other Manipulations

So many resolutions in Congress about BDS; ostensibly, these are about being for and against boycotts and the right to boycott though it is clear that, without mentioning BDS or Israel, specifically, that is what all this is about.

For some, it’s hard to follow the moves till now but the various motions and anti-motions are just beginning. All this has become a political live-wire between the Republican and Democratic parties, with the Republicans sensing a juicy opportunity to exploit Democratic division and paint that party as anti-Israel, or even ant-Jewish, facts be damned. When Jews and Israel, the Jewish state, become stand-ins for dividing lines between major parties and segments of popular opinion, it is not good news for the Jews. Some have felt that a choice between Jewish and constitutional, democratic commitments is what is called for in this moment. That is not true, at all.

There is no contradiction between upholding the Constitution and the constitutional right to free speech, including speech with which one disagrees, and supporting the right of individuals, or states, or the Federal government, not to give their private business, or government business, to entities that boycott Israel. Either boycotts are ok or they aren’t. And they are.

The question is selective use of them, and in particular, in this case, the language used in supporting them, and disgusting analogies that are employed, that are intended to serve, and that serve, to demonize Israel. Not to oppose specific policies but to continue an obscene discourse, promoted about no other state or people on earth, about a “right to exist.”

BDS, of course, is marketed as boycotting only Israeli products from over the Green Line but anyone with an honest interest in all this needs also to be aware of the founding history and continued purpose of BDS, which has nothing to do with selective boycott or specific Israeli policies, but with deliberately misleading people about the founding history and continued purpose of BDS. Anyone who wants to dissociate from settlements or products from over the Green Line cannot credibly dissociate from the larger context in which organized efforts to this end are being waged. Which does not mean that individuals can’t follow their consciences about this but that they need to be aware of their bedfellows, whose “conscience” may be running on an entirely different agenda.

Google, “BDS,” if you never have, and see what comes up; try to get the BDS founding charter. See the language used by the organization itself to define its goals; the dishonesty. Here is cut-and-paste, with interpolation by me, in caps:

“Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) is a Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice and equality. BDS upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity. (DOES THIS INCLUDE SELF-GOVERNING JEWS?).

“Israel is occupying and colonising (SIC) Palestinian land, (NOTE THE FAILURE TO DESIGNATE WHAT PALESTINIAN LAND IS INTENDED. THAT EXCLUSION IS QUITE DELIBERATE, SINCE THE FOUNDERS OF BDS CONSIDER ALL OF ISRAEL, PRE-1967, TOO, “PALESTINIAN LAND,” AND EQUATE ZIONISM WITH “SETTLER COLONIALISM” OF, E.G., THE BOERS IN SOUTH AFRICA. THE ISSUE IS NOT THE WEST BANK , OR 1967, AS IT IS FOR SO MANY WHO SEEK TWO STATES FOR TWO PEOPLES, THAT IS, A NEGOTIATED END TO THE NATIONALITY/ LAND CONFLICT HERE, BUT ISRAEL ITSELF. WHY DON’T BDS’ FRAMERS JUST COME OUT AND SAY THIS, THAT THE GOAL IS THE END OF ISRAEL? BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE A HARDER SELL TO NICE, LIBERAL PEOPLE, WHILE MISLEADING PEOPLE IS SO MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE), discriminating against Palestinian citizens of Israel and denying Palestinian refugees the right to return to their homes. (OK, IN CASE YOU MISSED IT OR DID NOT WANT TO TAKE MY WORD FOR IT IN THE ABOVE COMMENT, HERE IT IS, THE RIGHT OF RETURN AND THE END OF ISRAEL. THIS, WHILE NO SIMILAR CLAIM HAS BEEN OR IS BEING PRESSED IN OTHER NATIONALITY CONFLICTS AND ABOUT OTHER STATES, NOT LEAST, ARAB STATES, CREATED SINCE THE END OF WORLD WARS ONE AND TWO. PALESTINIAN ADVOCATES, TO BE SURE, ARE ENTITLED TO MAKE AN EXCEPTIONAL CASE FOR THEIR CAUSE BUT THE REST OF US SHOULD BE AWARE THAT THAT IS WHAT THIS IS). Inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement, the BDS call urges action to pressure Israel to comply with international law. (NICE! COMPARE ISRAEL, WITH ARAB MKS, MEMBERS OF THE SUPREME COURT, THE MEDICAL AND UNIVERSITY AND BANKING  ESTABLISHMENTS, ON THE BEACHES AND IN THE SWIMMING POOLS, IN THE BUSES, TRAINS, STREETS, CAFES, THEATERS– WITH APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA– OR NAZI GERMANY. BY ALL MEANS, DON’T CONFINE THE DISCUSSION TO THE OCCUPATION REGIME ON THE WEST BANK; MAKE IT ABOUT ISRAEL ITSELF. NEEDLESS TO SAY, DON’T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT THE CORRUPT, REPRESSIVE, PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY (PA), NEVER MIND, HAMAS; OR ABOUT SEVERAL PEACE DEALS THAT THE PA REJECTED, UNDER WHICH THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN A PALESTINIAN STATE, WITH A CAPITAL IN JERUSALEM, SEVERAL TIMES OVER, LONG AGO.)

“BDS is now a vibrant global movement made up of unions, academic associations, churches and grassroots movements across the world. Thirteen years since its launch, BDS is having a major impact and is effectively challenging international support for Israeli apartheid and settler-colonialism.” NOTE THE SLEIGHT OF HAND IN THE FINAL WORDS HERE, WHICH CHARACTERIZE ISRAEL’S EXISTENCE AS INHERENTLY ILLEGITIMATE.

Me again, straight up:

It’s a free country and people are free to support, or oppose, boycotts, or other political and economic activities, as they wish. Many liberals are pushing to boycott US states that have recently passed legislation banning abortion. That is their right. And individuals and governments can choose where they give their business: either boycotts are ok or they aren’t; it can’t be had both ways. Telling people they can’t support boycotts, punishing them via employment or other measures, is clearly unconstitutional. It is also politically, stupid.

It is stupid for people who support Israel to align that support with anti-constitutional , anti-democratic, anti-liberal measures. It may be more than just stupid; it offends the Jewish principles of many. But at the least, it is does not serve Israel’s interests, indeed, is very counter-productive to those interests. And to those of Diaspora Jews. This tactic is a set-up  for charges of that old, Jew-hating canard of Jewish “dual loyalty; or for accusations of “self-hatred” and “assimilation.” All this is lose-lose for Jews and we should not allow ourselves to be played like this.

We CAN, and indeed, must walk and chew gum at the same time . This may be, indeed, is, challenging, but not in fact, that complicated.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shulamit S. Magnus is a professor of Jewish history and an award-winning author of books on Jewish modernity and on Jewish women’s history.
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Sudan: Arab States Welcome Sudan’s Agreement on Constitutional Document

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Arab States Welcome Sudan’s Agreement on Constitutional Document

Monday, 5 August, 2019 – 11:15
Deputy Head of Sudanese Transitional Military Council, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo and Sudan’s opposition alliance coalition’s leader Ahmad al-Rabiah hold up signed copies of the constitutional declaration during a signing ceremony in Khartoum, Sudan August 4, 2019. (Reuters)
Cairo, Jeddah – Sawsan Abu Hussein, Asharq Al-Awsat
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, Bahrain and GCC, Arab and Islamic organizations welcomed the agreement reached on the constitutional document between Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC) and Forces of Freedom and Change in Sudan.

Saudi Arabia praised the qualitative step, saying it will move the country towards security, peace and stability.

The Kingdom commended efforts exerted by all parties to give priority to the national interest and open a new chapter in the country’s history, according to a source at the Foreign Ministry.

The source reiterated the Kingdom’s full commitment to support Sudan stemming from the close ties between the two countries and peoples.

Egypt also welcomed on Sunday the agreement for a new period of the transitional government, describing the deal as an important step to achieving security and stability in Sudan.

The Foreign Ministry asserted its full support to the choices and aspirations of the Sudanese people as well as the state institutions.

Recent steps that were taken in Sudan, including the agreement on the constitutional declaration and the agreement to form a civilian government, prove that Sudan is back on the constitutional path, read the statement, noting that the suspension of Sudan’s membership in the African Union should be lifted.

Bahrain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomed the initial signing of the constitutional declaration, underlining the importance of the step in further establishing peace and stability in the country and realizing the aspirations of the Sudanese people in achieving progress and prosperity.

Bahrain appreciated the keenness of all parties on protecting the greater interest and for the efforts exerted to reach this agreement, according to the statement.

The Ministry reiterated Bahrain’s firm stance of solidarity with Sudan, especially during this crucial stage in history and its support for all that enhances Sudan’s interests and benefits its people.

For his part, UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said Sudan was turning over the page of the former regime and Muslim Brotherhood.

“Sudan is turning the page of the rule of Al-Bashir and the Muslim Brotherhood into a new era in its political history by turning to civil rule,” Gargash said on Twitter.

The Minister noted that the path to a state of institutions, stability and prosperity will not be filled with roses, asserting UAE’s confidence in Sudan and its people.

Also, GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif al-Zayani praised the signing of the constitutional document saying it is an important historic step to establish stability, security and peace in Sudan.

Zayani called upon the Sudanese people and all national forces to strengthen confidence and consensus, unite ranks and efforts, uphold national unity and embark on building a democratic and civil state in accordance with the principles of justice to achieve the aspirations of the Sudanese people.

OIC Secretary-General Yousef al-Othaimeen also welcomed the signing between the TMC and the Forces, which paves the way for handing over the administration of the country to a transitional civilian government.

Othaimeen stressed that this agreement is an important step in the course of the political process and the fulfillment of the requirements of the transitional period.

The Sec-Gen reiterated that OIC stands by Sudan at this delicate stage to achieve the aspirations of its people for security, peace, stability and development.

Sudan: Agreement on Constitutional Declaration for Civil Governance

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Sudan: Agreement on Constitutional Declaration for Civil Governance

Sunday, 4 August, 2019 – 09:45
Sudanese people celebrating after reaching an agreement between the Transitional Military Council and “Forces of Freedom and Change” on Saturday August 3, 2019 (AFP)
Khartoum – Ahmed Younes
Parties in Sudan have reached a final agreement on the constitutional declaration of governance for the transitional period.

People celebrated the agreement reached on Saturday which was also welcomed at Arab, international and domestic levels.

Sudan has now entered a new era in its political history. It has shifted to civil governance after the 30-year-rule by ousted President Omar al-Bashir, seven months of popular protests and four months of negotiations between the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC), which led the popular movement and the Transitional Military Council.

The technical committee held meetings in the capital, few hours after African Union mediator for Sudan Mohamed Hassan Lebatt announced reaching the agreement on the constitutional declaration.

The meetings were aimed at setting a timetable for the arrangements to sign the agreement between the military council and the FFC.

“The two sides fully agreed on a constitutional declaration outlining the division of power for a three-year transition to elections, Lebatt said in a press statement.

The two sides reached a preliminary agreement last month following pressure from the United States and its Arab allies, amid growing concerns the political crisis could ignite a civil war. That document provided for the establishment of a joint civilian-military sovereign council that would rule Sudan for a little over three years while elections are organized.

A military leader would head the 11-member council for the first 21 months, followed by a civilian leader for the next 18 months.

There would also be a Cabinet of technocrats chosen by the protesters, as well as a legislative council, the makeup of which would be decided within three months.

FCC spokesman Madani Abbas Madani said in a press conference on Saturday that the document signed is set to establish a parliamentary rule giving the executive branch and the prime ministry great authority.

“Achieving peace in the country is one of the priorities of the transitional period and opens the door to the establishment of a state of freedom and justice,” Madani stressed.

FFC legal affairs negotiator Ebtisam al-Sanhouri, for her part, said the constitutional declaration sets the stage for a parliamentary system with a civilian prime minister.

The premier will be nominated by the protest movement and confirmed by the new sovereign council, which will have a civilian majority, Sanhouri explained.

The declaration also envisages the appointment of a 300-member legislative assembly to serve during the transitional period, she said, adding that the protest movement will be allocated 201 of the 300 seats.

The pro-democracy movement would choose 67 percent of the legislative body, with the remainder chosen by political parties that were not part of Bashir’s government, Sanhouri noted.

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