Jerusalem, Israel, And The Palestinian People

Jerusalem, Israel, And The Palestinian People

 

So, tomorrow December the 6th President Trump is supposed to say whether or not he is going to officially recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and if the U.S. is going to move our Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. So, this article this evening is simply my thoughts on this issue, I am not consulting other writers nor any pre-written documents. I am only going by articles that I have already read during my lifetime, up to this point in time. I know that no matter what I say, I am going to get a lot of people angry simply because I don’t agree with them.

Today the President of Turkey, Mr. Erdogan threatened to cut relations with Israel if Mr. Trump goes ahead with the Jerusalem Capital issue. To me, this is a fraudulent concept, if Mr. Erdogan wants to cut relations with any country it should be the U.S. not Israel. Israel cannot control what comes out of the mouth of Donald Trump, no one can. It is said that the whole of the ‘Arab League’ will cause many deaths if Mr. Trump goes through with this announcement. These type of threats help show the ‘low road’ of the Islamic leaders, not their intelligence. It is also because of threats like this that would cause a narcissists like Trump to not bow down to such a threat because it would/will make him look weak and in this case, that is actually true.

Now, for my personal thoughts on how to make the Jerusalem Capital issue work for all sides, yet at the same time not make any side totally happy. Isn’t that pretty much what the definition of what a compromise is? My idea is for Jerusalem to be declared the Capital of Palestine, all of Palestine. This would encompass all of Palestine and all the people of Palestine, Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs, the people of Gaza and of the West Bank. This way it is everyone’s Capital. All people of this region, no matter if they are Israeli Jews or residents of the ‘so called’ Palestinians of the West Bank can prove that they are capable of recognizing each others right to exist, in peace with each other.

Because of the current security issues raised by terrorist groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS and the PLO plus the fact that Jerusalem was the Capital of Israel at least 1,600 years before Mohammad was even born, Israel would have to have control of the security issues within all of the city. Maybe in time these folks who are hell-bent on violence will mature into civilized human beings and the ‘walls’ of security can be let down. Israel on their side would need to allow the Palestinian people to have such things as their Embassy in Eastern Jerusalem once there is a two State agreement in place. All sides of this issue should be allowed to call Jerusalem their Capital. Jerusalem is the ‘City of God’ and it should be able to be an ‘International’ City. Yet the only way for this to come about is if groups like Hamas who refuse the existence of the State of Israel to lay down all of their weapons. Israel can not allow its citizens to continue to be fodder to murderers, so until all Islamic groups in the Palestine region agree to commit no violence, there can not be a safe and secure two State compromise.

Another reality is that even though Mr. Trump seems to think that he decides if Jerusalem is the Capital of Israel, he actually has no say so in the matter. Jerusalem is and has been the Capital of the people of Israel for more than 2,600 years. It is God who decided that Jerusalem is His City. The world can call Tel Aviv Israels Capital, but it has never been Israels Capital, Jerusalem is. But there is no reason that all of the people of Palestine can not call Jerusalem their Capital as it is the Capital of all of Palestine.

 

 

How History Got The Rosa Parks Story Wrong

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)

 

How History Got The Rosa Parks Story Wrong

The quiet seamstress we want on our $10 bill was a radical active in the Black Power movement.

 December 1, 2015

Jeanne Theoharis is distinguished professor of political science at Brooklyn College of CUNY and author of the award-winning “The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks.” Theoharis and Brian Purnell are editors of the forthcoming book, “The Strange Careers of the Jim Crow North.”

Sixty years ago, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Ala. Her courageous act is now American legend. She is a staple of elementary school curricula and was the second-most popular historical figure named by American students in a survey. When Republican presidential contenders were asked to pick a woman they wanted pictured on the $10 bill, the largest number of votes went to Parks.

Americans are convinced they know this civil rights hero. In textbooks and documentaries, she is the meek seamstress gazing quietly out of a bus window — a symbol of progress and how far we’ve come. When she died in 2005, the word “quiet” was used in most of her obituaries and eulogies. We have grown comfortable with the Parks who is often seen but rarely heard.

That image of Parks has stripped her of political substance. Her “life history of being rebellious,” as she put it, comes through decisively in the recently opened Rosa Parks Collection at the Library of Congress. It features previously unseen personal writings, letters, speech notes, financial and medical records, political documents, and decades of photographs.

There, we see a lifelong activist who had been challenging white supremacy for decades before she became the famous catalyst for the Montgomery bus boycott. We see a woman who, from her youth, didn’t hesitate to indict the system of oppression around her. As she once wrote, “I talked and talked of everything I know about the white man’s inhumantreatment of the negro.”

Parks was a seasoned freedom fighter who had grown up in a family that supported Marcus Garvey and who married an activist for the Scottsboro boys. She joined the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP in 1943, becoming branch secretary. She spent the next decade pushing for voter registration, seeking justice for black victims of white brutality and sexual violence, supporting wrongfully accused black men, and pressing for desegregation of schools and public spaces. Committed to both the power of organized nonviolent direct action and the moral right of self defense, she called Malcolm X her personal hero.

The Rosa Parks Collection, which opened in February, reveals how broadly Parks has been distorted and misunderstood. Her papers languished unseen for years following her death because of disputes over her estatethe hefty price the auction house put on the archives, and its refusal to allow any scholars to assess the papers before the sale. Last year, the Howard Buffett Foundation bought the archive and gave it to the Library of Congress on 10-year loan.

Though Parks later wrote an autobiography, her notes from decades earlier give a more personal sense of her thoughts. In numerous accounts, she highlighted the difficulty of navigating a segregated society and the immense pressure put on black people not to dissent. She wrote that it took a “major mental acrobatic feat” to survive as a black person in the United States. Highlighting that it was “not easy to remain rational and normal mentally in such a setting,” she refused to normalize the ability to function under American racism.

For her, the frustration began in childhood, when even her beloved grandmother worried about her “talking biggety to white folks.” She recounts how her grandmother grew angry when a young Rosa recounted picking up a brick to challenge a white bully. Rosa told her grandmother: “I would rather be lynched than live to be mistreated and not be allowed to say ‘I don’t like it.’ ”

Parks viewed the power of speaking back in the face of racism and oppression as fundamental — and saw that denying that right was key to the functioning of white power. Parks’s “determination never to accept it, even if it must be endured,” led her to “search for a way of working for freedom and first class citizenship.”

[Don’t criticize Black Lives Matter for provoking violence. The civil rights movement did, too.]

Parks carried that determination into adulthood, though she made clear the impossible mental state it required. She lyrically described the difficulty of being a rebel, the ways black children were “conditioned early to learn their places,” and the toll it took on her personally: “There is just so much hurt, disappointment and oppression one can take…. The line between reason and madness grows thinner.”

In the longest piece of the collection, an 11-page document describing a near-rape incident, Parks decisively uses the power of speaking back. When the document became public in 2011, there was controversy around its release and questions about whether it was a work of fiction. But it does not appear that Parks wrote fiction, and details of the story correspond to Parks’s life. Like the narrator of the story, Parks was doing domestic work during the Scottsboro trial, during her late teens in 1931. It’s written in the first person, though the narrator is unnamed.

In the account, a young Rosa is threatened with assault by a white neighbor of her employer, who was let into the house by a black worker, “Sam.” The heavy-set white man she aptly called “Mr. Charlie” (a term black people of the era used for white people and their arbitrary power) gets a drink, puts his hand on her waist, and attempts to make a move on her.

Furious and terrified, she resolved to resist: “I was ready and willing to die, but give any consent, never, never, never.” When Mr. Charlie said he’d gotten permission from Sam to be with her, she replied that Sam didn’t own her, that she hated the both of them, and that nothing Mr. Charlie could do would get her consent. “If he wanted to kill me and rape a dead body,” Parks wrote, “he was welcome but he would have to kill me first.”

It is significant that Parks’s philosophy of resistance is framed through an experience of sexual aggression. She was committed to women’s rights throughout her life — from working to get justice for black women who had been raped, such as Gertrude Perkins and Recy Taylor, to defending the rights of women prisoners. When Joan Little, a 20-year-old black woman serving a seven-year sentence for robbery, killed a white guard who sexually assaulted her, Parks co-founded Detroit’s Joan Little Defense Committee. Little was acquitted, becoming the first woman in U.S. history to successfully use self-defense against sexual assault in a homicide case.

Parks used this power of speaking back again on the evening of Dec. 1, 1955, when bus driver James Blake ordered her to give up her seat to a white passenger and she refused. Blake chose not simply to evict her from the bus, as he had done in the past, but to have her arrested. Calling attention to the larger power in the system, Parks questioned the arresting officers, “Why do you push us around?” One officer answered, “I don’t know, but the law is the law and you’re under arrest.”

[I was a civil rights activist in the 1960s. But it’s hard for me to get behind Black Lives Matter.]

After years of activism, Parks had reached her breaking point on the bus that December evening: “I had been pushed around all my life and felt at this moment that I couldn’t take it any more.” Her writings reveal the burden that this decade of political activism — which, with a small cadre of other Montgomery NAACP members, had produced little change — had been on her spirit. Describing the “dark closet of my mind,” she wrote about the loneliness of being a rebel: “I am nothing. I belong nowhere.”

Repeatedly in her writings, Parks underscored the difficulties in mobilizing in the years before her bus protest: “People blamed [the] NAACP for not winning cases when they did not support it and give strength enough.” She found it demoralizing, if understandable, that in the decade before the boycott, “the masses seemed not to put forth too much effort to struggle against the status quo,” noting how those who challenged the racial order like she did were labeled “radicals, sore heads, agitators, trouble makers.” Indeed, Rosa Parks was red-baited and received death threats and hate mail for years in Montgomery and in Detroit for her movement work.

Though the righteousness of her actions may seem self-evident today, at the time, those who challenged segregation — like those who challenge racial injustice today — were often treated as unstable, unruly and potentially dangerous by many white people and some black people. Her writings show how she struggled with feeling isolated and crazy, before and even during the boycott. In one piece of writing, she explained how she felt “completely alone and desolate as if I was descending in a black and bottomless chasm.”

Despite the boycott’s successful end, the Parks family still faced death threats and could not find steady work. In August 1957, they left Montgomery for Detroit, where her brother and cousins lived — “the promised land that wasn’t,” as she called it. There, in Detroit, she remained active in various movements for racial, social, criminal and global justice in the decades to come. Mountains of fliers, programs, letters, mailings, meeting agendas and conference programs document the span of her political activism there — though very few writings have survived in her personal papers from these later years.

The few that remain tell us that her radicalism never weakened. “Freedom fighters never retire,” she noted in a testimonial for a fellow activist. As she had for decades, Parks drew sustenance from the militancy and spirit of young people, working in and alongside the growing Black Power movement. Understanding the impact that years of activism with limited results can have on a person, she continued calling for rapid and radical change. In a 1973 letter posted at the Afro-American Museum in Detroit, she noted the impact that years of white violence and intransigence had on the younger generation:

The attempt to solve our racial problems nonviolently was discredited in the eyes of many by the hard core segregationists who met peaceful demonstrations with countless acts of violence and bloodshed. Time is running out for a peaceful solution. It may even be too late to save our society from total destruction.

Writing this after what many mark as the successful end of the modern civil rights movement, Parks clearly believed that the struggle was not over. In the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, she continued to press for change in the criminal justice system, in school and housing inequality, in jobs and welfare policy and in foreign policy. She worked in U.S. Rep. John Conyers’s office and spoke out against Clarence Thomas’s nomination to the Supreme Court, dismayed by his poor record on civil rights. Sometime in the 1990s, an older Parks doodled on a paper bag (preserved in the collection): “The Struggle Continues…. The Struggle Continues…. The Struggle Continues.”

[Five myths about Rosa Parks]

Much of the memorializing of the Montgomery bus boycott and the civil rights movement misses this side of Parks. Instead, we’ve become content to celebrate her “quiet” bus protest as a historic triumph in a movement that has long since run its course. But listening to Rosa Parks forces us to reconsider our view not only of our civil rights history, but also the demands of our civil rights present. We are forced to reckon with the fact that today’s rebels could be tomorrow’s heroes.

More from PostEverything:

Shooters of color are called ‘terrorists’ and ‘thugs.’ Why are white shooters called ‘mentally ill’?

On Twitter, Bernie Sanders’s supporters are becoming one of his biggest problems

Black people had the power to fix the problems in Ferguson before the Brown shooting. They failed.

U.S. Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Trumps Travel Ban

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNE)

 

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday that President Donald Trump’s travel ban can go into full effect, restricting entry into the United States for foreign nationals from eight countries — including six whose population is mostly Muslim.

The decision, supported by seven of the nine justices, was a major victory for Trump and his administration after two previous versions of the travel ban were blocked or narrowed in lower courts earlier this year. Lower courts will continue to consider legal challenges to the executive order, but for now, the president has gotten his way.

Here’s what happens next:

What does this mean?

The Supreme Court’s decision Monday means that the U.S. government can legally block some foreign nationals from gaining visas or enter the United States.

Who is affected by this travel ban?

The Supreme Court acted Monday on a “presidential proclamation” submitted by White House lawyers in September. The latest iteration of the travel ban affects nationals from previously named countries like Iran, Libya, Yemen, Syria and Somalia, as well as Chad, Venezuela and North Korea, which were recently added.

Based on that proclamation, the ban applies to foreign nationals in the following ways:

  • North Korea and Syria: Blocked issuance of all U.S. visas.
  • Iran: Blocked issuance of nearly all U.S. visas except for students and exchange visitors.
  • Venezuela: Blocked issuance of visas for government officials (and their immediate relatives) on business or tourist travel into the U.S.
  • Chad, Libya and Yemen: No new U.S. visas will be awarded, and business and tourist visas have been suspended.
  • Somalia: Entry to the U.S. is suspended; visa holders will be subject to extra scrutiny.

How and why did the Supreme Court rule this way?

The Supreme Court acted Monday on a request from White House lawyers to lift restrictions on the order, but it did not give any reasons why it did so, The Washington Post reported. Instead, the Supreme Court urged lower courts to move quickly on their cases challenging previous versions of the travel ban.

In this case, the White House argued that the September order was different because it applied to countries that were not Muslim majority countries — the root of major arguments against the travel ban.

Is this an permanent order?

No, the travel ban is only allowed to be carried out while pending legal challenges play out. The ban could be affected by future rulings.

What legal challenges remain?

The Trump administration is appealing two decisions in federal appeals courts. The two cases could be heard as early as this week, CNN reported.

One legal challenge in Maryland argues that “a nationality-based travel ban against eight nations consisting of over 150 million people is unprecedented” and that the travel ban was borne out of Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric during the campaign.

Another legal challenge in Hawaii argues that the travel ban “plainly discriminates based on nationality” and therefore violates federal laws.

White House lawyers argue that the president has the full discretion to enforce immigration laws.

How did Trump react?

Trump had not yet offered a reaction to the decision, but the White House said in a statement that it was not surprised by the decision.

“The proclamation is lawful and essential to protecting our homeland. We look forward to presenting a fuller defense of the proclamation as the pending cases work their way through the courts.”

WH spox reacts to Supreme Court travel ban ruling: “not surprised,” calls proclamation “lawful and essential to protecting our homeland”

The travel ban caused an uproar in the past, so how did people respond this time?

The Supreme Court’s decision drew a lot of reactions Monday. Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin, one of the original challengers of the travel ban, said he looked forward to a “speedy resolution.”

AG Chin: “Today’s ruling allows for a full travel ban while courts decide upon the merits of Travel Ban 3.0, with its stated expectation that the courts consider the issues, and do so quickly.” (1/2)

“We agree a speedy resolution is needed for the sake of our universities, our businesses and most of all, for people marginalized by this unlawful order. We look forward to the arguments this Wednesday on the merits before the Ninth Circuit.” (2/2)

Reaction to the ruling was overwhelmingly critical on social media, but some were cautious about reading too much into the ruling and wondered how the courts would rule next. Others saw it as a strong sign that Trump eventually would prevail. Others were deeply disappointed.

I’m disappointed in today’s ruling. This discriminatory and unconstitutional travel ban hurts our residents and is bad for our businesses and institutions. This is not who we are as a nation.

I look forward to the opportunity for full briefing and argument in the Supreme Court.

 

Under the current travel ban the Supreme Court has allowed to be implemented, me and my entire family – refugees from Iran – would not be allowed into the country. This does nothing for America, it fuels discrimination and impacts regular people and their lives.

Have some thoughts to share?

Join me in a conversation: Shoot me a private email with your thoughts or ideas on a different approach to this story. As always, you can also send us a tweet.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @RunGomez

Read The Conversation on Flipboard.

Copyright © 2017, The San Diego Union-Tribune

Missing 3-Year-Old Girl Is Believed to Be Dead, Police Say

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME.COM NEWS)

 

Mariah Woods
Mariah Woods
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

By Lisa Marie Segarra

11:48 AM EST

Authorities arrested a North Carolina man in connection to the disappearance of his girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter.

Investigators now believe that Mariah Woods, who went missing from her home Monday, is dead, according to a post from the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.

“Due to evidence gathered during the course of the investigation, it is believed that Mariah is deceased. At this time, the location of Mariah is unknown. The searches will now shift to a recovery process,” the post read.

Earl Kimrey, 32, was arrested Friday and charged with concealing of death, obstruction of justice, second-degree burglary, felony larceny and possession of stolen property, police said. Kimrey is being held on a $1,010,000 bond. Authorities also said additional charges could be pending as the investigation progresses. Kimrey is the live-in boyfriend of Mariah Woods’ mother Kristy Woods, CBS affiliate WNCN reported.

Records reportedly show that Kimrey broke into a home and stole two dressers around the time Woods disappeared, according to WNCN.

Authorities have been scanning the area and searching for Woods since her disappearance.

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The Ridiculous B.S. Jewish Families Had To Deal With Growing Up In Russia

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF DOLLY AT ‘KOOLKOSHERKITCHEN’)

Hi, my name is Dolly. Actually, I am Devorah Yentl, but when I was born, clerks in communist Russia were not allowed to record names like that on a birth certificate. So the woman said to my mother, “Little girl, go and come back with a good Russian name.” My mother was little, that much was true, and at 4’11” she did look like a teenager. She wasn’t timid, though, and she did come back with a good Russian name, Dolly. As you can see, it starts with a D and ends with an L. To the clerk’s exasperated whisper, “But it’s still foreign!” she calmly opened a book she brought with her. Leo Tolstoy, the Russian classic, had Princess Dolly among his main characters in Anna Karenina. You couldn’t argue with Tolstoy, and thus it was duly recorded, in memory of my two great-grandmothers. Lest you think it only happened to Jews, I will refer you to a documentary about a famous Russian actress Lyudmila Gurchenko whose father wanted to name her Lucy. The clerk flatly refused to record a foreign name, suggesting “modern soviet names” Lenina, Stalina, Lelud (Lenin Loves Kids), or Dazdraperma (Long Live May 1st). They finally settled on an old Russian Lyudmila, but throughout her long and eventful life she was known as Lucy.

It wasn’t easy to keep kosher in communist Russia. You couldn’t go to a kosher store and buy anything, from soup to nuts, with a Hecksher,  the way it is in the US.  Here, chicken is already shechted for you, and cows conveniently label their own parts as “beef for stew.” As Yakov Smirnov used to say in the eponymous TV sitcom, “What a country!” For us, Cholov Israel meant my Zeide actually watching the milking process.  And when the shoichet was retired because his hands were shaking, Zeide would buy live chickens and shecht them himself. Since childhood, I was taught how to salt a chicken to drain all blood out of it, to make it kosher. When I bought my first kosher chicken in a Jewish store in America, I brought it home, cut it open, and to my horror, found a small clot of blood! I salted it and left it to drain as I had been taught. For quite a few years after that, I kept “kashering” kosher meat, just in case.

I am semi-retired, I love to cook, and I now have time on my hands to share my recipes and exchange new food ideas. My recipes are different from traditional American Jewish food. I invite you to explore, to experiment, and by all means, to get your kids involved in the magical fun of transforming this-that-and the other into something delicious to grace your table. This is truly better than I-pad, so what’s a little mess made by little hands, when there is lots of love and laughter!

This blog is dedicated to my children who have been incredibly supportive throughout an ordeal of my father’s illness and – Acharon, acharon… – to the memory of my father, a beautiful person loved by all.

A concentration camp victim identifies a SS guard, 1945

((Photo credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum / Harold Royall).)

(THIS ARTICLE IS A COPY PASTE OF THEIR ARTICLE)

Russian survivor liberated U.S. Army in Buchenwald camp in Germany identified a former guard who were brutally beating prisoners. April 14, 1945. Colorized version. The original photograph.

Russian survivor liberated by the U.S. Army in Buchenwald camp in Germany identified a former guard who were brutally beating prisoners. April 14, 1945. Colorized version. The original photograph.

The picture depicts a liberated Russian inmate pointing an identifying and accusing finger at a Nazi guard who was especially cruel towards the prisoners in Buchenwald camp (original picture). There’s something really fascinating about this picture. We can only see so much of the prisoner’s expression here, but that finger means so much. Days, maybe even hours earlier, that prisoner might have been afraid to cross paths with or even make eye contact with this man. Now he’s casting an accusatory finger that’s as well as pointing a gun at the back of the man’s head, and the defeated look on his face seems horribly aware of that.

That medal on the guard’s chest looks like a World War One imperial wound badge, meaning this guard fought for the German Imperial Army during the Great War. The badge is the black variant (3rd class, representing Iron) and was given to those wounded once or twice by hostile action (including air raids), or frostbitten in the line of duty.

After the outbreak of World War II, Buchenwald continued to house political prisoners and, later, Poles and Russians. Most inmates worked as slave labourers at nearby work sites in 12-hour shifts around the clock. There were some 18,000 prisoners after Kristallnacht, 11,000 on the eve of the war, 63,000 by the end of 1944, and 86,000 in February 1945, when Buchenwald became the destination for some of the inmates forcibly evacuated from Auschwitz.

Although there were no gas chambers, hundreds perished each month from disease, malnutrition, exhaustion, beatings, and executions. Camp records indicate that throughout its existence some 240,000 prisoners from at least 30 countries were confined at Buchenwald. At least 10,000 were shipped to extermination camps, and some 43,000 people died at the camp.

(Photo credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum / Harold Royall).

Trump Betrays Israel Again: Gives Russia Top Secret Information Again

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

((oped) IS TRUMP THE SINGLE BIGGEST FOOL IN THE WHOLE WORLD?) (trs)

 

ISRAEL’S INFO ALSO LED TO BRIEF US BAN ON LAPTOPS ON PLANES

Trump divulged to Russia details of a daring Israeli raid in Syria — report

Vanity Fair sheds new light on the nature of the information the president handed over to Moscow, and on the damage done to the US-Israel security relationship

A handout photo made available by the Russian Foreign Ministry on May 10, 2017 shows US President Donald J. Trump (C) speaking with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak during a meeting at the White House in Washington, DC. (HO / RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY / AFP)

A handout photo made available by the Russian Foreign Ministry on May 10, 2017 shows US President Donald J. Trump (C) speaking with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak during a meeting at the White House in Washington, DC. (HO / RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY / AFP)

US President Donald Trump revealed details of a daring top-secret mission into northern Syria by Israel’s Mossad spy agency and elite Sayeret Matkal commando unit in a May meeting with Russian officials, sticking a dagger into the robust Israeli-American intelligence-sharing apparatus, according to a report Thursday.

The account, published in Vanity Fair based on information from unnamed sources the magazine described as “experts on Israeli intelligence operations,” sheds new light on both the highly sensitive covert operation deep in the heart of Syria and the damage done to the security relationship between the allies after the president revealed the secret information while apparently bragging about the quality of his intelligence reports.

A number of details about the operation, which involved an Israeli intelligence source that uncovered an Islamic State plot to use laptops to bomb planes, have already been reported on.

According to the Vanity Fair account, two Sikorsky CH-53 helicopters carrying Israeli commandos and Mossad agents flew into northern Syria, as part of a mission to insert a listening device to spy on an Islamic State cell that was devising new methods of carrying out bombing attacks sometime at the end of last winter.

The troops and spies were dropped off and transferred to jeeps, in which they drove to their target, where the commandos patrolled while the Mossad agents planted the device. The commandos and agents then raced back to the helicopters and returned to Israel undetected, the report said.

Soldiers run to a helicopter during an exercise in northern Israel simulating a war with the Hezbollah terrorist group in September 2017. (Israel Defense Forces)

Several days later, signal intelligence troops from Israel’s Unit 8200 were reportedly able to listen in on an Islamic State soldier explaining how to make and use the laptop bombs, apparently devised by Saudi explosives mastermind Ibrahim al-Asiri.

Ibrahim al-Asiri (Wikipedia)

Despite having been warned by US officials that Trump had been “leveraged” by Moscow and could pass sensitive info to the Russians, Israel shared the information with the US intelligence community, sparking the temporary ban on bringing laptops out of several Middle Eastern countries.

The report did not name the location or exact date of the operation, but Trump, in recounting details of it to Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and Sergey Kislyak, then Russia’s ambassador to the US, during an oval Office meeting on May 10, did reveal the location, Vanity Fair said, potentially endangering assets Israel had on the ground.

Just as worrisome for Israel, though, was the idea that the Russians could pass the information on to their Iranian or Syrian allies.

The Israeli government has not officially confirmed that it is the source of the reportedly leaked intelligence. Yet Trump’s indiscretion sparked anger in the Israeli intelligence community, prompting calls by some for a scaling back of intelligence sharing with the US.

Illustrative undated image posted on a militant website on January 14, 2014, shows Islamic State fighters marching in Raqqa, Syria. (AP, File)

“Trump betrayed us,” the magazine quoted a senior Israeli military official as saying. “And if we can’t trust him, then we’re going to have to do what is necessary on our own if our back is up against the wall with Iran.”

Former heads of the Mossad have also publicly railed against the US president and implied that officials today should be far more guarded about the types of intelligence they pass along to their American counterparts.

“If tomorrow I were asked to pass information to the CIA, I would do everything I could to not pass it to them. Or I would first protect myself and only then give it, and what I’d give would be totally neutered,” Shabtai Shavit, who led the Mossad in the 1990s, said in a phone interview with The Times of Israel in May.

He described the US president as a “bull in a china shop” — or as the Hebrew version of the expression goes, an “elephant in a china shop” — cavalierly passing along information to Russia without first being properly briefed and unwittingly violating the unwritten codes of conduct of espionage.

Earlier reports said an Israeli intelligence asset embedded in the terrorist group had provided the tip-off that eventually led to the laptop ban, and that Trump’s information-sharing possibly put that asset’s life in danger.

Facing criticism over the leak, Trump admitted he had given information to the Russians, though he asserted in a tweet he had the right to do so. At the time, the source of the confidential material hadn’t yet been confirmed, but while media reports pointed first at Jordan, speculation quickly turned to Israel as being the original provider.

The US president then seemed to inadvertently confirm that Israeli operatives were the source of the intelligence in an off-the-cuff remark to journalists during his visit to Israel at the end of May: As he headed into a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump volunteered that he had “never mentioned the word Israel” in his conversation with the Russian foreign minister.

Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

READ MORE:

Postal worker assaults boy who tried to stop theft

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF LEXINGTON KENTUCKY WKYT TV)

 

Postal worker assaults boy who tried to stop theft

SOURCE: MGN
By Associated Press |
 
     

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP/WKYT) – Authorities say a postal worker in Kentucky assaulted a boy who was trying to stop a package theft.

Lt. Paul Boyles with Lexington police told the Lexington Herald-Leader that a child picked up a package a postal worker had dropped off Sunday afternoon and a second child told him to stop.

Boyles said the postal worker saw the confrontation, and chased down and attempted to detain the child who was trying to stop the theft. Boyles said the worker said the boy was guilty by association.

It’s unclear how the child was assaulted, but he received minor injuries. A report for fourth-degree assault was taken, but no arrests were made. The boy’s mother can decide to press charges.

Susan Wright with the postal service released a statement to WKYT saying: “The postal service is currently investigating this incident, to obtain all the facts.”

The postal worker wasn’t named. It’s unclear how old the boy was.

Della Reese, ‘Touched by an Angel’ star dies at 86

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Della Reese, ‘Touched by an Angel’ star and singer, dies at 86

Actress and singer Della Reese

(CNN)Della Reese, who rose to fame as a jazz singer and later found television stardom on the drama “Touched by an Angel,” has died.

She was 86.
“On behalf of her husband, Franklin Lett, and all her friends and family, I share with you the news that our beloved Della Reese has passed away peacefully at her California home surrounded by love. She was an incredible Wife, Mother, Grandmother, friend, and Pastor, as well as an award-winning actress and singer,” actress Roma Downey, Reese’s co-star on “Touched by an Angel,” said in a statement on Facebook.
“Through her life and work she touched and inspired the lives of millions of people,” Downey’s statement continued. “She was a mother to me and I had the privilege of working with her side by side for so many years.”
For nine seasons on CBS, Reese played Tess on “Touched by an Angel,” tasked with sending Angels to Earth to help people redeem themselves.
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“We were privileged to have Della as part of the CBS family when she delivered encouragement and optimism to millions of viewers as Tess on “Touched by an Angel,” CBS said in a statement to CNN. “We will forever cherish her warm embraces and generosity of spirit. She will be greatly missed. Another Angel has gotten her wings.”
Like many during her era, Reese got her start in the black church, where she began singing at the age of 6.
When she was 13, Reese snagged a gig with gospel legend Mahalia Jackson after another lyric soprano became pregnant and was unable to tour.
“Mahalia was magnificent,” Reese told the Archive of American Television in 2008. “I didn’t particularly like her because she didn’t let me do what I wanted to do. I thought when I got away from my mother on the road, I’d be able to get down and break it loose and do all the stuff she wouldn’t let me do. Mahalia was stricter than my mother.”
Reese went on to sign a record deal with indie New York label, Jubilee Records and in 1957 landed at No. 12 on the pop chart with the ballad “And That Reminds Me.”
Her initial success caught the attention of RCA, where her hits “Don’t You Know” and “Not One Minute More” helped secure her place in the music industry as an R & B/pop vocalist.
Reese would later become known for her live jazz performances.
But it was acting that broke her into the big time.
Her stint as the landlady on the 1970s comedy “Chico and the Man” led to other roles that showed off Reese’s sass, including as Vera, the tough-as-nails madam in a brothel in Eddie Murphy’s 1989 film “Harlem Nights,” which also starred her good friend, comedian Redd Foxx.

Charles Manson Is Dead At Age 83

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF YAHOO NEWS)

 

Charles Manson, whose cult slayings horrified world, dies

JOHN ROGERS

,

Associated Press
1 / 10
FILE – In this 1969 file photo, Charles Manson is escorted to his arraignment on conspiracy-murder charges in connection with the Sharon Tate murder case. Authorities say Manson, cult leader and mastermind behind 1969 deaths of actress Sharon Tate and several others, died on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. He was 83. (AP Photo, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Charles Manson, the hippie cult leader who became the hypnotic-eyed face of evil across America after orchestrating the gruesome murders of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six others in Los Angeles during the summer of 1969, died Sunday after nearly a half-century in prison. He was 83.

Manson, whose name to this day is synonymous with unspeakable violence and madness, died at 8:13 p.m. of natural causes at a Kern County hospital, according to a California Department of Corrections statement.

Michele Hanisee, president of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys, reacted to the death by quoting the late Vincent Bugliosi, the Los Angeles prosecutor who put Manson behind bars. Bugliosi said: “Manson was an evil, sophisticated con man with twisted and warped moral values.”

“Today, Manson’s victims are the ones who should be remembered and mourned on the occasion of his death,” Hanisee said.

California Corrections spokeswoman Vicky Waters said it’s “to be determined” what happens to Manson’s body. Prison officials previously said Manson had no known next of kin and state law says that if no relative or legal representative surfaces within 10 days, then it’s up to the department to determine whether the body is cremated or buried.

It’s not known if Manson requested funeral services of any sort. It’s also unclear what happens to his property, which is said to include artwork and at least two guitars. State law says the department must maintain his property for up to a year in anticipation there might be legal battles over who can make a legitimate claim to it.

A petty criminal who had been in and out of jail since childhood, the charismatic, guru-like Manson surrounded himself in the 1960s with runaways and other lost souls and then sent his disciples to butcher some of L.A.’s rich and famous in what prosecutors said was a bid to trigger a race war — an idea he got from a twisted reading of the Beatles song “Helter Skelter.”

The slayings horrified the world and, together with the deadly violence that erupted later in 1969 during a Rolling Stones concert at California’s Altamont Speedway, exposed the dangerous, drugged-out underside of the counterculture movement and seemed to mark the death of the era of peace and love.

Despite the overwhelming evidence against him, Manson maintained during his tumultuous trial in 1970 that he was innocent and that society itself was guilty.

“These children that come at you with knives, they are your children. You taught them; I didn’t teach them. I just tried to help them stand up,” he said in a courtroom soliloquy.

Linda Deutsch, the longtime court reporter for The Associated Press who covered the Manson case, said he “left a legacy of evil and hate and murder.”

“He was able to take young people who were impressionable and convince them he had the answer to everything and he turned them into killers,” she said. “It was beyond anything we had ever seen before in this country.”

The Manson Family, as his followers were called, slaughtered five of its victims on Aug. 9, 1969, at Tate’s home: the actress, who was 8½ months pregnant, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, celebrity hairdresser Jay Sebring, Polish movie director Voityck Frykowski and Steven Parent, a friend of the estate’s caretaker. Tate’s husband, “Rosemary’s Baby” director Roman Polanski, was out of the country at the time.

The next night, a wealthy grocer and his wife, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, were stabbed to death in their home across town.

The killers scrawled such phrases as “Pigs” and “Healter Skelter” (sic) in blood at the crime scenes.

Three months later, a Manson follower was jailed on an unrelated charge and told a cellmate about the bloodbath, leading to the cult leader’s arrest.

In the annals of American crime, Manson became the embodiment of evil, a short, shaggy-haired, bearded figure with a demonic stare and an “X” — later turned into a swastika — carved into his forehead.

“Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969,” author Joan Didion wrote in her 1979 book “The White Album.”

After a trial that lasted nearly a year, Manson and three followers — Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten — were found guilty of murder and sentenced to death. Another defendant, Charles “Tex” Watson, was convicted later. All were spared execution and given life sentences after the California Supreme Court struck down the death penalty in 1972.

Atkins died behind bars in 2009. Krenwinkel, Van Houten and Watson remain in prison.

Another Manson devotee, Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, tried to assassinate President Gerald Ford in 1975, but her gun jammed. She served 34 years in prison.

Manson was born in Cincinnati on Nov. 12, 1934, to a teenager, possibly a prostitute, and was in reform school by the time he was 8. After serving a 10-year sentence for check forgery in the 1960s, Manson was said to have pleaded with authorities not to release him because he considered prison home.

“My father is the jailhouse. My father is your system,” he would later say in a monologue on the witness stand. “I am only what you made me. I am only a reflection of you.”

He was set free in San Francisco during the heyday of the hippie movement in the city’s Haight-Ashbury section, and though he was in his mid-30s by then, he began collecting followers — mostly women — who likened him to Jesus Christ. Most were teenagers; many came from good homes but were at odds with their parents.

The “family” eventually established a commune-like base at the Spahn Ranch, a ramshackle former movie location outside Los Angeles, where Manson manipulated his followers with drugs, supervised orgies and subjected them to bizarre lectures.

He had musical ambitions and befriended rock stars, including Beach Boy Dennis Wilson. He also met Terry Melcher, a music producer who had lived in the same house that Polanski and Tate later rented.

By the summer 1969, Manson had failed to sell his songs, and the rejection was later seen as a trigger for the violence. He complained that Wilson took a Manson song called “Cease to Exist,” revised it into “Never Learn Not to Love” and recorded it with the Beach Boys without giving Manson credit.

Manson was obsessed with Beatles music, particularly “Piggies” and “Helter Skelter,” a hard-rocking song that he interpreted as forecasting the end of the world. He told his followers that “Helter Skelter is coming down” and predicted a race war would destroy the planet.

“Everybody attached themselves to us, whether it was our fault or not,” the Beatles’ George Harrison, who wrote “Piggies,” later said of the murders. “It was upsetting to be associated with something so sleazy as Charles Manson.”

According to testimony, Manson sent his devotees out on the night of Tate’s murder with instructions to “do something witchy.” The state’s star witness, Linda Kasabian, who was granted immunity, testified that Manson tied up the LaBiancas, then ordered his followers to kill. But Manson insisted: “I have killed no one, and I have ordered no one to be killed.”

His trial was nearly scuttled when President Richard Nixon said Manson was “guilty, directly or indirectly.” Manson grabbed a newspaper and held up the front-page headline for jurors to read: “Manson Guilty, Nixon Declares.” Attorneys demanded a mistrial but were turned down.

From then on, jurors, sequestered at a hotel for 10 months, traveled to and from the courtroom in buses with blacked-out windows so they could not read the headlines on newsstands.

Manson was also later convicted of the slayings of musician Gary Hinman and stuntman Donald “Shorty” Shea.

Over the decades, Manson and his followers appeared sporadically at parole hearings, where their bids for freedom were repeatedly rejected. The women suggested they had been rehabilitated, but Manson himself stopped attending, saying prison had become his home.

The killings inspired movies and TV shows, and Bugliosi wrote a best-selling book about the murders, “Helter Skelter.” The macabre shock rocker Marilyn Manson borrowed part of his stage name from the killer.

“The Manson case, to this day, remains one of the most chilling in crime history,” prominent criminal justice reporter Theo Wilson wrote in her 1998 memoir, “Headline Justice: Inside the Courtroom — The Country’s Most Controversial Trials .”

“Even people who were not yet born when the murders took place,” Wilson wrote, “know the name Charles Manson, and shudder.”

___

AP writer Michelle A. Monroe contributed to this report. This story contains biographical information compiled by former AP Special Correspondent Linda Deutsch. Deutsch covered the Tate-La Bianca killings and the Manson trial for The Associated Press and has written about the Manson family for four decades.

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