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The Road to Tantura Journey


By Marivel Guzman

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For the supporters of Israel who romanticize the creation of Israel as an event of resilience and courage, let me tell you that creating a village on the ruins and blood of the native residents is not romantic at all.

One of our own #Celebs4Palestine, #HalaGabriel, An American filmmaker, a Palestinian born in exile in Syria after all her family were expelled from their village in Palestine in 1948. Gabriel presents you with her “Road to Tantura Journey,” in one documentary; “Tantura.”

Tantura is a village in the Mediterranean shores of Palestine now called Tantura, Israel.

Gabriel’s documentary takes you in a journey of remembrance and pain; What is to be a refugee; how her village was invaded by Israeli army and through the voices of historians and survivors the film “speaks” how the men were put in open concentration camps and some left to died by thirst and starvation.

“Tantura” walks you through the exodus of Palestinians that ended in Syria and Lebanon as refugees, some still living in tents–How the lives of refugees transform from living in beautiful-monument homes to live in tents. The story repeats for Palestinians that until recently lived in Syria refugee camps, now, are again forced to another exodus of survival. Their story repeats after 70 years of exodus from their native Tantura to open concentrations camps in Europe.

 

 

You can read in The Jerusalem Post an account of the events in its article  The Tantura ‘Massacre’ Affair, published Feb. 09, 2004. The article was based on the writtings by historian Benny Morris, “The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problems,” originally published on by Cambridge University Press (New York, NY) on 1988.

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“Tantura” gives you a glimpse of the horrors residents of Tantura, Palestine suffered on the hands of the “heroic” Israeli soldiers who came to her family village. Some of those soldiers who just two years previous to the invasion of Tantura have suffered the same ordeal in Germany under the Nazi regime. A retired Israel soldier excused his participation in the invasion with “You have to ask yourself, he said,” “who gave the order.” Regardless of who gave the order; the story of displacement and murder of the residents of the village was the same.

Gabriel started the project “The Road to Tantura,” more than 10 years ago, now to finish the documentary “Tantura,” she has opened a kickstarter fund where you can help her to finish the journey.

President Trump versus the media


By Marivel Guzman

In the long run the relation of the President Trump with the press can erode to the point to become a dictatorship right in front of our eyes.

President Trump disregards the press as dishonest. It seems obvious that President Donald Trump wants to delegitimize the media and has being doing it so diligently, making it appear as a harmless game, but in reality Trump is pushing the media out of the White House. He easily refers to media as fake news, not even allowing the reporters that question his actions as our president to speak up. This undermines the role of media in our democracy. By doing this, reporters he chastises are silenced and essentially invisible.

Not only does President Trump undermine the role of media, but with his use of his personal Twitter account as a medium to release information related to his activities as a commander in chief, he bypasses the media and acts his own spokesperson, even. He breaks a traditional flow of communication around the White House and this behavior has his advisers trying to find a loophole in the security apparatus of the presidency in their attempts to excuse Trump’s disregard for the rules in place for a sitting president. For example, traditionally the White House Press Secretary’s primary role is to act as spokesperson for the president. The Press Secretary tells the public what the president is doing, and reporters get to ask questions about it. President Trump’s constant Tweeting does not allow for this regularity, making it difficult at best, if not impossible, for his own spokesperson to do his job.

Also, Trump is attacking TV networks calling them “dishonest” and “FAKE NEWS” at every opportunity he has. Trump has developed the mania to call TV networks dishonest if they do not broadcast news favorable to him.

His first tantrum against the media as Commander in Chief was the day of his inauguration as the 45th president; CNN and Vox published photos side by side of Obama 2008 inauguration with Trump 2017 inauguration, showing a much larger crowd for Obama’s inauguration. This photo got Trump so mad that he called National Park Service, upset over the inauguration crowd.

According to ABC, “President Donald Trump called the National Park Service’s acting director the morning after his inauguration to express displeasure over a retweet of inauguration crowd photos from the agency’s official account, according to the White House.” To put the “rumors” to rest, President Trump, had a photo by Abbas Shirmohammadi, who had been involved in creating images of presidential inaugural since former President Ronald Reagan, placed in the upper/lower press hall.

By replacing inauguration day photos to glamourize his own popularity, he is manipulating public perception, which is something dictators have been known to do.

 

” The easiest way to control a person’s thoughts is when s/he is afraid. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was well-aware of this fact when he cautioned Americans, “The only thing to fear is fear itself”. We have seen the awful repercussions of the Red Scare here in America. However, the most severe evidence of thought control through fear tactics comes from Nazi Germany.” Excerpt from Sierra Martinez’s essay,  June 3, 2003, Stanford University

Trump seems obsessed with tweeting his news directly to his followers. It is unorthodox that a sitting president tweets information rather than allows his press secretary to speak directly with the press in case there are questions that need to be answered.

In his final press conference Obama defended the role of the press and he joked a little bit with them. Obama maintained a cordial relationship with the press because he understood that the press is the only one that can demand accountability from the White House.

 

He said, “You’re not supposed to be sycophants, you’re supposed to be skeptics, you’re supposed to ask me tough questions,”

Remember the press is the watchdog that keeps an eye on the government

Are Whistleblowers heroes or traitors?


By Marivel Guzman

Patriots and heroes fall in the same category; a patriot is a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors. And a hero is a person noted for courageous acts or nobility of character.
Secrets that should not be hidden from the people. In this era of government’s secrecy, whistleblowers are patriots no less important than heroes that take the risk on their lives to expose the darkest secrets of governments. Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old former NSA technician is my favorite whistleblower and hero because his revelations have the most benefit for the people not just in the US but for the whole world.
Snowden’s Twitter’s status says in few words his motivations to expose
the NSA’s spying program.

He told the Guardian he worked for a major U.S. government contractor in Hawaii, earning a six-figure salary and enjoying the scenic state with his girlfriend. And he chose to leave everything behind to alert the public of the massive government surveillance program.
Snowden said that governments should be a transparent agency that work for the people and should be accountable and hiding secrets is not the best way to serve the people.
He is a hero in all the extension of the word and he should to be protected, defended, and supported for what they endeavor; in doing so, we will be defending ourselves, our privacy, security and most importantly defending our constitutional rights that, ultimately, are the only protection we have.
Some of Snowden’s leaks suggested the NSA had misled Congress about the scope of its domestic spying activities.

In a Senate hearing, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied when asked if NSA collects information on Millions of Americans. We only know that NSA spy on all of us thanks to Snowden’s revelations.
Now we know better not to say things in the phone that can be heard by prying ears.
Julian Assange, editor of WikiLeaks, although not a whistleblower in my opinion is an extraordinary journalist who has tasked himself with serving as a vehicle for whistleblowers to leak governments’ secrets and publish them WikiLeaks.
Recently President Donald Trump said the government will prosecute those who leak government secrets, in my opinion Trump is trying to instill fear in journalists, not only on whistleblowers.
Remember it was the New York Times who revealed the Pentagon Papers and The Guardian that published Snowden’s revelations.

At one point Director of National Intelligence Mike Pompeo called for Snowden execution, “He should be brought back from Russia and given due process, and I think that the proper outcome would be that he would be given a death sentence for having put friends of mine, friends of yours, in the military today, at enormous risk because of the information he stole and then released to foreign powers.”

I believe whistleblowers feel people deserve to know the truth, even as the government hides and denies the facts. Whistleblowers put their lives at risk for the sake of other people making more informed decision, which is an heroic act.

Cornel West speaks for Palestinians


By Marivel Guzman

 

Cornel West photo credit CornelWest.com

SACRAMENTO, Calif.– Sept. 29, 2016.  Cornel West at Press Conference at Sacramento State University.

I was aware of  West’s role in advising the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, particularly on the Palestine Issue. For over 40 years, West has been a vocal advocate and supporter of the Palestinian people in their struggle against the Zionist occupation of their nation; Knowing West’s position on this important issue-of-the-day, I was intrigued by his deep concern about the plight of the Palestinian people and the need for people in this country to gain an objective and historical understanding of the roots of the current plight of Palestinians.

In my familiarity with West’s books, he has almost maintained a very progressive stance by tying their oppression to foreign occupation of their country. Therefore, I was eager to hear more about his views when I attended his lecture and press conference at Sacramento State University.

Knowing that the mainstream media would not only shy away, but ignore the conflict in the Middle East, particularly in regards to the Palestinian issue, I made it a point to ask  West about his role in advising the Sander’s campaign regarding the rights of Palestinians that live under Israel’s occupation. His response made it clear that he remained firm in his conviction that the people of this country must understand and support the Palestinian struggle to regain statehood.

When I asked why the Democratic Party after the primaries refused to acknowledge the Palestinian issue, his reply was unequivocally clear,

“If they didn’t address it, they were just wrong, this was cowardly and too indifferent, too unwilling to engage the level of suffering and misery and injustice of precious Palestinians brothers and sisters.”

West went on to explain that the position of the Democratic Party has been “tied too long to American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee.” He went on to explain that “AIPAC is not representative of Jewish-Americans, it represents a slice of centrist and conservative Jewish-Americans.” He then went on to explain that the AIPAC is “very powerful, like the NRA, and any other powerful lobby that is shaping U.S. policy … and for too long the kind of policies that the AIPAC promotes has not recognized the humanity (of the Palestinians) and the evil of Israeli occupation …. I am against foreign domination, I think what we are about is that every human being has some security from domination.”

The topic went on to highlight Assembly Bill 2844 which Governor Brown recently signed into law opposing the boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel.

There is a broad campaign both nationally and internationally to boycott, divest and impose sanctions upon companies that financially benefit from the Israeli seizure of Palestinian lands and resources.

This campaign included a boycott of those products from the occupied territories. The intent of Governor Brown bill is to protect the Israel by silencing and suppressing the groundswell support of an ever-growing number of people in this country and worldwide of the Palestinian people. Therefore, I asked West for his opinion of Assembly Bill 2844 and whether he thought groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union would challenge it on the basis of a denial of free speech. He felt that there would be legal challenges to this bill because he considers himself a libertarian when it comes to freedom of speech.

He went on to state that “there’s no doubt that there are many brothers and sisters in the BDS movement who are being targeted and demonized because they have a critique of not just Israeli occupation, they have a critique of the Israeli state that is perceived by very powerful elite at the top as being anti-Semitic …” “It is very difficult to have that conversation in the United States and so those of us who are part of the BDS we get demonized, we get viewed as if we are anti-Jewish, anti-Semitic and we just have to make it clear that we have to rob that kind of shallow characterization of the substance, we have to be very explicit about that fact that we take principled stance against anti-Jewish hatred and anti-Jewish prejudice and anti-Jewish sensibilities and still have fundamental commitment to the self-determination of Palestinians…”

I was very heartened by West’s formulation of the Middle East conflict and his wholehearted opposition to bigotry of any type. It was evident that he has pondered the issue long and hard or in his words for “30 to 40 years.” I found that his comments about President Obama’s neoliberal identity that leads him to support the State of Israeli to be on-target. He bravely criticized President Obama for his support and allowing himself to be captive to the right-wing elements in Israel. This included the passage of the $38 billion bill to the State of Israel. West concludes that the Middle East conflict is a very complex issue that demands “that we have enough people who are willing to tell the truth the best way they know it.”

Get off the bandwagon

November 13, 2016 1 comment

By Marivel Guzman

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Photo taken in Sacramento State’s Quad, after a Black Live Matter non-violent protest. Sac State students vented their fears and dissatisfaction with the latest incidents of police brutality and murders of African American in different parts of the country. Faculty, Staff also attended the event. Sacramento, Calif. Sept. 22. (Marivel Guzman)

I chose the photo above to give you an idea of how an organic protest  looks like. Nobody is throwing chairs around, or  insulting each other. Nobody is using incendiary material or being disrespectful to students, faculty or staff.

What you have seen on national television relating to the latest violent protests after Nov. 8 elections, are not organic protest but organized by elements  of our society that want to create fear between the population.

What you see on television does not reflects the present state of our country but groups of people easily managed to be enraged by emails being sent by MoveOn.org, Jewisch Voice For Peace, Courageous Resistance,  and other organizations behind Clinton’s agenda.

I refused to accept or follow the fear incitement campaign started by left-wing elements of the democratic party in association with mainstream media and financed by corrupt money.

The same way that righ-wing people and organizations are branded  right-wing by their radical leaning to the right and yes, but their disregard of the views and interests not aligned with their ideas and agendas–the left which for years have been nested inside the democratic party for being progressive and liberal, now days, it has fell in the same category of radicalism and fundamentalism, where is their agenda which only matters.

They have proven not to care for people  and I’m talking about the Democrats, they become too cozy with the  profits they gained from the corporate world.

The establishment refused to persecute Hillary Clinton. They kept looking in the wrong emails’s batch. Why not used Wiki-Leaks emails. Assange put them in a silver plate for the FBI and the District Attorney.

The New World Order’s ideas were brewing inside the corrupt Democratic Party heavily financed by the banking, arms, pharmaceutical, energy conglomerate, and shamelessly by foreign powers as well. Those NWO’s ideas wanted to take United States to World War Three.

Hillary Clinton was so fired up to declare war with Russia and attack Iran, all for her obsession in defending Israel’s security. Wouldn’t an American public official be more interestd in defending the right of the American people, our economy, our security and not being waging war defending Israel’s security, which it a foreign nation that only get us enenmies.

Why is the media cheering for the Soros -incitement “protests”?

Are you fueling fire for a violent revolution?

The billionaires club profit from revolts; big and smalls. They do not care if you become homeless, refugee or if you die. Either way they [corporate magnates] will make money building weapons, homes or caskets, and even will make money with television adds broadcasting the American Revolution.

Why is people jumping in the bandwagon of discord?

The electoral college is the way our democracy system works, deal with it.

Before I pronounced my next statement, let me make clear that I’m independent, that Voted for Jill Stein. Saying that, I feel more comfortable writing the following.

Unfortunately a big number of the American people voted for the lesser evil, and what is done is done. Donald Trump won the elections and we must work united to defend our republic, from him, or from who ever want to take our constitution rights from us.

We have the Constitution to protect and to protect us. We won’t allow the president to take us  backwards in our victories in the Supreme Court, but we cannot defend our rights destroying public property, attacking the police and simply yelling in the streets.

Not even trying to reverse the electoral college. Only because Hillary Clinton did not win. At least not a day after the elections and not through violence.

Organize and work in your districts. Make your council members accountable for their mischief as public officials. Force them to come clean with the deals they make behind doors with corporations before they sign bills.
Get involve in the political system of the country, inform yourself in the mechanisms of local, state and federal laws and politics.

If you invest the energy you are spending being mad in the political process, we can move forward and demand from Trump a different administration away from the corrupt one you know.

Trump is not more powerful than our Constitution.

“We have to remember that we’re actually all on one team…We are not Democrats first, we’re not republican first, we are American first.

We’re patriots first. We all want what’s best for this country.” Barrack Obama addressed the nation, a day after the elections, on Nov. 9.

Ilokano Farms Fights Against Foreclosure


Here we see Mary Jane Galbiso in her farm, Ilokano Farm in Orosi, Tulare County

Here we see Mary Jane Galbiso in her farm, Ilokano Farm in Orosi, Tulare County

The local municipal water district wants to built 88-housing sub-division at Mary Jane Galbiso’s farm through foreclosure action. 

What allows a municipal water district to take such legal steps?  Many rural water districts are not regulated by state agencies and conduct themselves like fiefdoms.

“Early in 1933, the Wall Street Journal announced that a “profitless year for agriculture” had at last come to a close. Commodity prices had fallen 50 percent on average from 1931 to 1932. A quarter of the population, 32 million Americans, worked in the agriculture industry, yet their share of national income was half that size.” Bloomber

The same tactics used during the depression of the 1030s by the banks that took advantage of the situation of the people and took they lands by cheap prices.

In the case of Ilokano Farms, the municipal district is assessing made-up liens to be able to take the land from its rightful owner.

 

The double standards: Islam El Shehaby vs The World


Islam El Shehaby (photo/Islam Elshehaby)

Islam El Shehaby (photo/Islam Elshehaby)

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    Egyptian judoka Islam El Shehaby was 9 times African Champion 2002-2013 and he was World bronze medallist in 2010 in Tokyo. El Shehaby won 18 World Cup medals and achieved victories in Abu Dhabi, Dusseldorf, Cairo, Moscow, Qingdao and Baku. In 2016 silver at the Grand Prix in Düsseldorf.

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