Israel Out of Control, Dozens Dead. Report on Poor People’s Campaign & Distilled. 46 Forum

Israelis forces killed at least 75 Palestinians escalating its use of force on Palestinian protests, US sends bigoted pastors to do the Embassy blessing. At home, updates on the New Poor Peoples Campaign, Districts 41 and 46 primaries and primaries across the Nation.

Israel Soldiers Slaughters 75 Palestinians While the US Offends Most of the World

Depending upon your perspective yesterday was a festive little gathering of elites or a US sanctioned slaughter of Palestinians engaged in legitimate protest. Palestinians assembled at 10 points along the Gaza border to express their anger over the grand opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem, an offense to the entire Middle East Islamic community and protesting the 70th anniversary of the creation of the state of Israel. At the bottom of this post is a powerful DemocracyNow broadcast from yesterday describing the protest and US / Israeli response. As usual, Amy Goodman does an excellent job of providing context and commentary. Worth the watch. And if this post makes you mad, please join me at the Plaza at noon TODAY for a protest against the US Embassy in Jerusalem and the Israeli response to Palestinian protests.

While Kushner and Ivanka Trump were cozily applauding speeches and listening to blessings from two US evangelicals (more on that below), Israeli soldiers were shooting down Palestinian protesters outraged at recent Israeli policies and now the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem. Palestinians gathered at ten spots along the Gaza border. While a few Palestinians approached the fences these protesters were unarmed and didn’t represent the kind of threat the Israeli military asserted in stating that it had every right to “defend its border.’  One might also argue that Palestinians have every right to assemble within their border. Claims of Palestinians hurling explosives were not substantiated in media video of the protests.

Israeli soldiers killed at least 75 Palestinians, injuring over 2700. Many of the hospitalized suffered serious injuries as Israeli soldiers used bullets that according to the NY Times created “fist-sized” exit wounds.  While a brave few Palestinians ventured near the border fence, most protesters were over 100 feet from the fences. Multiple reports indicate that many Palestinians suffered wounds that will require legs to be amputated, as exit wounds shattered leg bones and shredded muscle tissue of Palestinians, many of whom are teens. 

As if the violence were not offensive enough, in what appears to be a continuing effort to offend the world (Paris, Iran) and further isolate the US, the US sent about the two most offensive evangelical pastors Donald Trump could possibly have sent to do the blessing before the ceremony: John Hagee and Robert Jefress.

From CNN:  “During the 2016 campaign, audio from one of Hagee’s sermons in the 1990s was leaked that seemed to suggest that Adolf Hitler had been fulfilling God’s will by aiding the desire of Jews to return to Israel in accordance with biblical prophecy. ‘God says in Jeremiah 16: ‘Behold, I will bring them the Jewish people again unto their land that I gave to their fathers. … Behold, I will send for many fishers, and after will I send for many hunters,'” Hagee said, according to a transcript of his sermon. “‘And they the hunters shall hunt them.’ That would be the Jews. … Then God sent a hunter. A hunter is someone who comes with a gun and he forces you. Hitler was a hunter.’ ”

The other pastor offering blessings, was Robert Jeffress who often condemned Mormonism as a “cult,” urging Christians not to vote for Romney for being Mormon during the 2012 presidential campaign. CNN goes on to report that: “Jeffress has described Islam and Mormonism as heresies ‘from the pit of hell,’ suggested that the Catholic Church was led astray by Satan, accused then-President Barack Obama of ‘paving the way’ for the Antichrist and spread false statistics about the prevalence of HIV among gays, who he said live a ‘miserable” and “filthy’ lifestyle.
In recent years, Jeffress has frequently denounced Islam, calling it an ‘evil religion’ that ‘promotes pedophilia’ because the Prophet Mohammed married a 9-year-old girl. (Many modern Muslim scholars disagree about her age.) The pastor has also said that Mormons, Muslims and Hindus “worship a false god.’Just the kind of guy you want out there representing our Nation, someone who manages to offend virtually every religion on earth, save fundamentalist Christianity while also disparaging the LGTBQ community.

Validating that the US, once again, stands nearly alone, a selection of international reactions:

  • Saudi Arabia has condemned Israel’s use of force against Palestinians, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency. “It is important for the international community to know its responsibilities towards stopping the violence against Palestinians and protecting them,” a senior Saudi foreign ministry official said, according to that news agency.
  • Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has said that the United States is an accomplice of Israel’s in what he said is a “crime against humanity”.  “Unfortunately, the US has arrogantly stood by the Israeli administration which kills civilians and has partnered in this crime against humanity,” he said in Ankara.
  • Jordan’s Queen Rania Al Abdullah has released a strongly worded statement lamenting the “dark and sad day in history”.
    “When will the world’s conscience mobilize to give Palestinians the rights so many of us take for granted”? she asked in a tweet.
  • UK Ambassador Karen Pierce: “Obviously it’s a very concerning event, it’s a very sad thing, The casualty list is now over 50 with more, possibly up to a thousand injured, Obviously one calls for restraint on all sides. This is not what we want to see on the ground.”

Click here for the full report and then TAKE ACTION. 

TAKE ACTION. Please call your representatives about this. They need to hear that we are not okay with unbridled slaughter. Unarmed Palestinians hundreds of feet from the border fence were murdered yesterday and if no on calls our elected officials, then the message is clear. We don’t care. Make sure our elected officials know that we are strongly opposed to Israel’s over-reaction to legitimate Palestinian protest and that we are opposed to the US establishing an embassy in Jerusalem. Between this and the withdrawal from the Iran deal, it is clear where Trump wants to take this and it can’t be good for Palestine.

  • Michelle Lujan Grisham:  (202) 225-6316
  • Tom Udall (202) 224-6621
  • Martin Heinrich (202) 224-5521

It was another dark day for the US and the world. It seems that each week I ask the question:  When is enough going to be enough? When do we get out of our homes and into the streets?  An apt transition to yesterday’s Poor People’s Campaign launch.

Poor People’s Campaign. Hundreds Arrested in Protests Across the US

USA News reports that: “Reports by police from seven state capitols and Washington, D.C., showed more than 200 people had been arrested or cited during the first day of the so-called Poor People’s Campaign. In many instances, police said protesters were cited for blocking traffic. In Washington, the two leaders of the campaign were among the protesters arrested outside the U.S. Capitol. Campaign leaders said the protests would cover 35 states.” In Santa Fe, about 200 protesters rallied at the Roundhouse in an event that was not designed to confront police. A symbolic act was organized, with protesters planting ‘seed balls’ throughout the Roundhouse grounds, symbolic of NM children who are 50th in the Nation in childhood poverty.

Next week, NM’s Poor People’s Campaign will shift to ABQ with a protest led by Black Lives Matter and focusing on racism. From PPC organizers, this is a protest that may well result in arrests, as NM plans to ramp up the volume. Details will be shared as they become available, but we are hoping that many hundreds of Santa Feans make the journey to ABQ next Monday.

House District 41 and 46

District 41. Susan Herrera joined Andrea Romero in obtaining the endorsement of Conservation Voters of NM. For information on Susan and how you can support her campaign, click here. She is canvassing every precinct in her district and so if you live in or near Dist. 46, she could use your support and, of course, funds are needed for billboards, flyers and mailers.

District 46. Andrea Romero. Andrea Romero will be facing off with Rep. Trujillo tonight in the second Candidate Forum in two days. Trujillo is facing eroding support from unions and groups like the Sierra Club which reversed its endorsement. As reported in the New Mexican, Trujillo no longer enjoys endorsements from any of the unions once endorsing him. Retake hopes that the campaign can focus on differences on the issues relevant to holding public office. Using a focus on voting record and positions on issues, Retake decided to support Andrea Romero.

District 46 Candidate Forum, Tuesday, May 15, 2018, 5:30-7;30pm at the Villa Alegre Senior Center, 144 Villa Alegre Street located just off West Alameda Street and east of St Francis Dr.  Democratic Primary for NM Legislative District HS 46 is one of the most hotly contested elections this election season. For this reason, members of the Torreon Neighborhood Association banded together to organize a candidate forum for candidates Carl Trujillo and Andrea Romero. Our intent is host a forum focused on the issues that affect out district and NOT on the more sensational assertions that have been made in the press recently.  The forum will be moderated by Former Sgt At Arms for the NM Legislature, Rusty Rodke, with technical support by area Toastmasters.

Primary Tuesday for Pennsylvania, Oregon, Idaho, & Nebraska

There are races involving progressives and DCCC backed candidates, a progressive Indigenous woman running for Governor of Idaho, and intriguing battles for control of state legislatures. Vox does a great job of identify all the candidates, where they get their $$ support, what is at stake and recent polling, a perfect guide for your CNN viewing tonight. For the full Vox report, click here.  Results should be in by the time you get back from the Romero vs. Trujillo Candidate Forum.


Keep in mind, Democracy Now was recorded early Monday morning before the full scope of the death toll was known, however, this is very worth viewing as it includes both powerful video and commentary.

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne


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