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Beastly Boy

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Member since: Fri Mar 18, 2016, 12:21 PM
Number of posts: 3,325

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Iranian Refugee Saeid Mollaei Thanks Israel After Silver Medal Win

Mollaei left Iran in 2019 after exposing that authorities ordered him to throw a match in order to avoid facing an Israeli opponent.



Mollaei is originally from Iran, where he was a citizen until 2019. That same year Mollaei exposed that Iranian authorities had ordered him to throw a match and intentionally lose a semi-final match in the 2019 Tokyo World Championships. The Iranian government feared Mollaei would face off against Israeli champion Sagi Muki and lose, which would make Iran look bad on the world stage.

The whole situation eventually came to light as the Judoka began talking about it, despite threats to his safety. This led to the International Judo Federation banning Iran from any future competitions in the World Championships.

Mollaei refused to forfeit the match and was then pushed out of Iran. He competed briefly as a German under a two-year visa, then accepted an offer of citizenship from Mongolian President Khaltmaagiin Battulga in 2019.

Hmmm... I am beginning to suspect that the recent wave of wrestlers from muslim countries refusing to face Israeli wrestlers have less to do with their devotion to the Palestinian cause and more to do with threats of retaliation coming from their respective "authorities".

New Israeli government and Palestinian Authority reach deal on COVID vaccines

Source: Axios

The new Israeli government agreed on Friday to transfer 1.2 million doses of Pfizer COVID vaccines to the Palestinian Authority. In return, Israel will receive the Pfizer vaccine shipment that the Palestinians were expected to get in October.

Why it matters: It's the first major decision by the new Israeli government on the Palestinian issue. Negotiations on the deal began during Netanyahu’s term but were expedited by the new government, Israeli health officials say.

Driving the news: The vaccines Israel will transfer to the Palestinian Authority are doses that will expire soon, and which Israel doesn’t need anymore because the majority of the population has already been vaccinated.

Israeli officials say this will allow the Palestinians to get the vaccines they urgently need three months ahead of time. Israel will get the shipment the Palestinians ordered from Pfizer that was supposed to arrive in the West Bank in October. As part of the agreement, the vaccines will be transferred to the Palestinian Authority, who will distribute them in the West Bank. No vaccines will be transferred to Hamas-controlled Gaza at the moment. A first shipment of more than 100,000 doses will be transferred to the Palestinian Authority on Friday, and the rest next week.

Read more: https://www.axios.com/israel-palestinian-authority-covid-vaccines-34565ee9-36ea-4b9e-ab52-6e98f90447d8.html

Blinken Says U.S. Will Aid Gaza Without Helping Hamas

Source: Huffpost

JERUSALEM (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken vowed Tuesday to “rally international support” to aid Gaza following a devastating war there while keeping any assistance out of the hands of its militant Hamas rulers, as he began a regional tour to shore up last week’s cease-fire.

The 11-day war between Israel and Hamas killed more than 250 people, mostly Palestinians, and caused widespread destruction in the impoverished coastal territory. The truce that came into effect Friday has so far held, but it did not address any of the underlying issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, something Blinken acknowledged after meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“We know that to prevent a return to violence, we have to use the space created to address a larger set of underlying issues and challenges. And that begins with tackling the grave humanitarian situation in Gaza and starting to rebuild,” he said.

“The United States will work to rally international support around that effort while also making our own significant contributions.” He added that the U.S. would work with its partners “to ensure that Hamas does not benefit from the reconstruction assistance.” Blinken will not be meeting with Hamas, which does not recognize Israel’s right to exist and which Israel and the U.S. consider a terrorist organization.

Read more: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/blinken-us-aid-gaza-without-helping-hamas_n_60acd8f3e4b09604b5272aa5

Bernie Sanders: Progressives Should 'Tone Down' Calling Israel An 'Apartheid' State

Source: Huffpost

Sen. Bernie Sanders said Sunday that his fellow progressives should “tone down the rhetoric” when it comes to language ― such as “apartheid” ― used to describe Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

The Vermont left-leaning independent sat down with CBS’s John Dickerson on “Face the Nation.” Dickerson pointed out that a number of progressives, some in the House, have called Israel an apartheid state amid the violence between militant group Hamas ― which has power over Gaza ― and the Israeli government.

Dickerson pointed out the rising anti-Semitic attacks in the U.S., with the Anti-Defamation League reporting 193 incidents this week, an increase from 131 the previous week. The correspondent also said that American Jewish Congress Executive Director Joel Rubin ― who handled Jewish outreach for Sanders’ campaign ― has said that using the word “apartheid” is a contributing factor to the increased attacks.


Sanders, like other progressives and advocates for Palestinian human rights, has said that it is possible to be a critic of Israeli policy without being anti-Semitic. The senator told Dickerson that it is extremely important to combat the rising anti-Semitic attacks both in the U.S. and around the world, just as it is extremely important to combat hate crimes directed at Asians, Latinos and Black people.

Read more: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/bernie-sanders-progressives-tone-down-israel-apartheid_n_60aaeedee4b031354798b3aa

Hamas' Haniyeh vows to destabilize Jerusalem, thanks Iran for support

Hamas will continue to “defend” Jerusalem, head of the Hamas Political Bureau Ismail Haniyeh said Friday hours after the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas came into effect.
Haniyeh suggested that Hamas’s current objective is to continue fueling the ongoing violence between Palestinians and security forces in the West Bank and in Jerusalem.


“Jerusalem remains the center of the conflict,” he said, indicating that despite the ceasefire coming into effect, the reality is still highly volatile, suggesting that Hamas has no intention of stopping its effort to destabilize Israel, by arranging and funding riots across the country and at al-Aqsa Mosque specifically.
Essentially, Haniyeh confirmed the connection between the actions carried out by the terrorist organization in Gaza and the ongoing riots on the Temple Mount and throughout Jerusalem, claiming that the rockets launched from Gaza were meant “to defend Jerusalem.”


Haniyeh concluded his speech by thanking “the Islamic Republic of Iran, who did not hold back with money, weapons and technical support” and by suggesting that others will soon join. “We will use the aid of other Arab countries as well.”


I always had a nagging feeling that Rudy reminds me of someone, but could never put my finger on it.

I finally did.

Colonel Klink from Hogan's Heroes

An observation: DU posts condemning Hamas are curiously few and far between.

In the midst of a barrage of posts condemning the destruction of a single building in Gaza with no human casualties, it appears we are selectively disregarding certain aspects of the current conflict far more worthy of condemnation and outrage.

So far, over 1500 missiles, each one of them a violation of the Geneva Conventions, have been launched from the Gaza strip aimed directly, without any pretense to the contrary, at the civilian population centers.

Certain military resources are, in violation of the Geneva Conventions, being methodically co-mingled among the civilian population, deliberately exposing them to military threats.

The fact that Iran has turned the whole Gaza Strip into one huge ammunition dump is not even being mentioned.

While Israel takes much greater care to protect their civilian population, casualties, including women and children, are mounting on both sides.

I see little merit in taking sides when the fight between right wing zealots and professional militants gets murderously vicious, especially in light of all the civilian casualties that follow (actually, I find any such attempt a bit ridiculous), but I couldn't help but notice the inequity in dispensing outrage here on DU.

Update: The big Pentagon internet mystery now partially solved

Sat, April 24, 2021, 4:15 PM

BOSTON (AP) — A very strange thing happened on the internet the day President Joe Biden was sworn in. A shadowy company residing at a shared workspace above a Florida bank announced to the world’s computer networks that it was now managing a colossal, previously idle chunk of the internet owned by the U.S. Department of Defense.

That real estate has since more than quadrupled to 175 million addresses — about 1/25th the size of the current internet.

”It is massive. That is the biggest thing in the history of the internet,” said Doug Madory, director of internet analysis at Kentik, a network operating company. It’s also more than twice the size of the internet space actually used by the Pentagon.

After weeks of wonder by the networking community, the Pentagon has now provided a very terse explanation for what it’s doing. But it has not answered many basic questions, beginning with why it chose to entrust management of the address space to a company that seems not to have existed until September.

The military hopes to “assess, evaluate and prevent unauthorized use of DoD IP address space,” said a statement issued Friday by Brett Goldstein, chief of the Pentagon's Defense Digital Service, which is running the project. It also hopes to “identify potential vulnerabilities” as part of efforts to defend against cyber-intrusions by global adversaries, who are consistently infiltrating U.S. networks, sometimes operating from unused internet address blocks.


Madory said advertising the address space will make it easier to chase off squatters and allow the U.S. military to “collect a massive amount of background internet traffic for threat intelligence.”

Some cybersecurity experts have speculated that the Pentagon may be using the newly advertised space to create “honeypots,” machines set up with vulnerabilities to draw hackers. Or it could be looking to set up dedicated infrastructure — software and servers — to scour traffic for suspect activity.

“This greatly increases the space they could monitor,” said Madory, who published a blog post on the matter Saturday.

More on the mysterious Florida company that now claims to be managing the aforementioned millions of IP addresses at the link:


Manchin calls for 'enormous' infrastructure package paid for with new taxes

Source: NBC News

WASHINGTON — Sen. Joe Manchin said Wednesday that he favors a large infrastructure package that would be paid for in part by raising tax revenues — a point of contention between the two parties.

"I'm sure of one thing: It’s going to be enormous," the West Virginia Democrat, who is seen as a swing vote in a chamber divided 50-50, told reporters at the Capitol.

While he didn't predict a price tag, Manchin said Congress should do "everything we possibly can" to pay for it. He said there should be "tax adjustments" to former President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax law to boost revenues, including by raising the corporate rate from the current 21 percent to at least 25 percent.

The tax benefits in the Republican law were "weighted in one direction to the upper end," Manchin said. He also suggested an "infrastructure bank" paid for with revenues, potentially a value-added tax, that would be used for "rebuilding America."

"I'm not afraid to look at other things," he said.

Notably, Manchin said the Republican resistance to higher taxes was not a "reasonable" position in an infrastructure negotiation.

Read more: https://news.yahoo.com/manchin-calls-enormous-infrastructure-package-182500518.html

Just a little pause in Manchin bashing. I am not aware of any "moderate" Republican whose position would even come close to this.

Did you hear this one?

A priest, a pastor and a rabbit walk into a barber shop. The priest says to the barber: I want to cut my hare”. The pastor looked at the rabbit with concern but remained silent for fear of being autocorrected.
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