White House Defends Israel After Its Soldiers Reportedly Kill More than 50 Palestinian Protesters

from AlterNet

White House press secretary Raj Shah said there was no need for Israel’s leadership or soldiers to show any restraint after the country’s military reportedly killed more than 50 Palestinian protesters and wounded more than 1,000 others on Monday.

The protests and killings erupted on the same day that the United States celebrated the implementation of President Donald Trump’s move of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, a deeply contentious decision. Recent protests in the region have also led to mass killings of Palestinians.

“The death toll is over 50 in Gaza,” a reporter asked Shah during the day’s briefing. “Is the U.S. calling on Israel to use restraint in dealing with these protests?”

“Well, we believe that, you know, Hamas is responsible for these tragic deaths, that their rather cynical exploitation of the situation is what’s leading to these events, and we want them to stop,” Shah said.

“So there’s no burden on Israel to do something to sort of rein it in?” the reporter replied.

Shah was clear that the White House thinks Israel has done nothing wrong: “No. We think we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that Hamas is the one that frankly bears responsibility for the dire situation right now in Gaza.”

Jared And Ivanka Blessed By Israeli Rabbi Who Compared Black People To Monkeys

from Fast Forward

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump reportedly received a blessing in Jerusalem on Sunday from Israel’s Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef — who was condemned by the Anti-Defamation League earlier this year for comparing black people to monkeys.

Kushner and Trump, both senior advisors to President Trump, are in Israel as part of the American delegation celebrating the moving of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Jewish Insider reported that in addition to having dinner with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and attending a ceremony at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, they also received a blessing from Yosef, one of the country’s two chief rabbis.

During a sermon in March on how to properly say a blessing, Yosef used the Hebrew word “kushi,” which was used in the Bible but is now considered a derogatory term for black people…

[read more here]

US Child Marriage, Israel Bombs Gaza, US Yemen Hypocrisy, Cop Detainee Sex & Facial Recognition Lie

Last American Vagabond video

Rand Paul: New AUMF Gives President ‘Unlimited War Powers’

by Rand Paul, 21st Century Wire

In the near future, Congress will debate a new Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). I use the word “debate” lightly. So far, no hearings have been scheduled, and no testimony is likely to be heard unless something changes. That’s a shame, because this is a serious matter, and this is a deeply flawed AUMF.

For some time now, Congress has abdicated its responsibility to declare war. The status quo is that we are at war anywhere and anytime the president says so.

So Congress—in a very Congress way of doing things—has a “solution.” Instead of reclaiming its constitutional authority, it instead intends to codify the unacceptable, unconstitutional status quo.

It is clear upon reading the AUMF, put forward by Senators Tim Kaine and Bob Corker, that it gives nearly unlimited power to this or any other president to be at war whenever he or she wants, with minimal justification and no prior specific authority.

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John Bolton Once Sabotaged A Deal With North Korea – He Will Try To Repeat That Feat

from Moon of Alabama

The Washington Post published a half-truth story today about the U.S. occupied al-Tanf border station between Syria-and Iraq. Downplaying the possibility of military action around al-Tanf it inserts this strange nugget:

Mattis’s main focus of late has been preparing for possible conflict with North Korea.

Why is the Defense Secretary Mattis preparing for conflict with North Korea? Why is this his “main focus”? Ain’t we all gonna have peace and love after Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un meet on June 12 in Singapore? No? Why am I not surprised?

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Congress Weighs Indefinite Detention of Americans

(Well how about that? The other day I wrote about Trump carrying on with Clinton’s “Green Revolution” regime change op in Iran and now we have Hillary’s VP candidate helping him with a new, open-ended AUFM and tossing in provisions allowing him to lock up dissidents who oppose his endless wars.)

by Marjorie Cohn, Consortium News

Under the guise of exercising supervisory power over the president’s ability to use military force, Congress is considering writing Donald Trump a blank check to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens with no criminal charges. Alarmingly, this legislation could permit the president to lock up Americans who dissent against U.S. military policy.

The bill that risks conveying this power to the president is the broad new Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), S.J.Res.59, that is pending in Congress. Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair Bob Corker (R-TN) and Democratic committee member Tim Kaine (VA) introduced the bipartisan bill on April 16, and it has four additional co-sponsors.

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