Nov 16 2012

Weekly Digest – 11/16/12

Our weekly edition is a nationally syndicated one-hour digest of the best of our daily coverage.

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This week on Uprising:

* On-the-Ground Report From Gaza; California Students Use Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions Campaign to Address Israeli Occupation
* Greece Debt Crisis Continues to Unravel, Offers Strong Lessons for the US
* Killing the American Dream: How Anti-Immigration Extremists are Destroying the Nation

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On-the-Ground Report From Gaza While Israel Drops Bombs; California Students Use Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions Campaign to Address Israeli Occupation

Israeli Intelligence and Defense forces assassinated Hamas military leader Ahmad Jabari in a targeted attack on Wednesday afternoon in the Gaza Strip. Jabari’s son was also killed when a missile ripped apart the car they were traveling in. Also killed on Wednesday was the 11 month old son of Palestinian BBC correspondent Jihad Masharawi, whose house was bombarded by Israeli forces.

Even before the escalation, thirteen-year-old Palestinian boy Muhammad Abu Daqqa was shot by Israeli forces while playing soccer on November 8, followed by a series of exchanges of rocket fire by Palestinian resistance fighters at Israeli Army forces, and bombing of Palestinian civilian areas by Israel. However, the November 14th assassination of Jabari shattered a truce that was actually holding. Israel has maintained that it is acting in self-defense. So far nearly 2 dozen Palestinian civilians have been killed with over a hundred injured. Three Israeli civilians were killed in a rocket attack on an apartment building and three Israeli soldiers injured. This morning it was reported that a Palestinian rocket was fired for the first time toward Jerusalem. The rocket landed in an open area – no injuries or deaths resulted.

Meanwhile, the Associated Students at the University of California, Irvine responded recently to what they call Israel’s “apartheid,” policies by voting 16-0 to request that their college divest from doing business with eight corporations with Israeli ties. The 8 companies were chosen for their connection to the Israeli military and the construction of the separation barrier in the West Bank settlements. The resolution is non-binding and waiting to be approved by the University’s Student Executive board and also by the school’s administration. However, if it is passed, it would mark the first time a California Campus has taken such a stance.

UC Irvine students have been known for their activism on the Israeli occupation. In 2010, 11 UC Irvine students were arrested for protesting Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren’s on-campus speech.

GUESTS: Hussein Amody, one of the founders of Witness Gaza, a group of young people in Gaza, and Osama Ahmed is a student at UC Irvine and part of the BDS campaign at UC Irvine

Greece Debt Crisis Continues to Unravel, Offers Strong Lessons for the US

Euro zone finance ministers, also known as the Eurogroup, have decided to hold off on approving a further 31.5 billion Euro loan to relieve Greece’s crippling debt. As of now they have not yet approved the loan even though the Greek Parliament passed an austerity budget. The ministers are expected to sustain a freeze on loans to Greece until an agreement on how to make Greece’s debt sustainable is reached.

A senior EU official admitted that agreement on a debt solution plan for Greece will very likely occur only after a second round of discussions are concluded and approved of by national parliaments -notably Germany. The Greek Parliament has already passed two parts of the bill in the last two weeks amidst massive protests. Last Thursday saw nearly 100,000 Greeks gathered in central Athens to rally against the austerity bill, which also makes it easier for employers to hire and fire workers. Chaos erupted when some protestors attempted to break through a barricade and enter the assembly, triggering a response from riot police.

Meanwhile new reports of racist attacks against migrants in Greece are raising serious concerns. Nearly 90 cases of attacks have been registered since the beginning of the year but advocates feel the real number runs into the hundreds. The attacks have coincided with a sharp rise in popularity of Greece’s right wing party, Golden Dawn whose platform is based on rounding up and deporting immigrants and militarizing Greece’s borders.

Meanwhile here in the US, talk around a similar set of austerity measures has focused on avoiding a “fiscal cliff,” a colorful term for economic recession. Some claim the US will reach a fiscal cliff with the expiration of the Bush Tax Cuts this year and an activation of across-the-board spending cuts under the Budget Control Act of 2011. President Obama has invited congressional leaders to the White House for talks on avoiding a fiscal cliff expressing that a compromise must include higher taxes on the wealthy.

GUEST: Yanis Varoufakis, political economist and author of The Global Minotaur: America, the True Causes of the Financial Crisis and the Future of the World Economy, a Professor at the University of Texas at Austin

visit Yanis’ website at www.yanisvaroufakis.eu.

Killing the American Dream: How Anti-Immigration Extremists are Destroying the Nation

After winning the Presidential election with over 70% percent of Latino voters supporting him, President Barrack Obama announced last Wednesday that he expects a comprehensive immigration reform bill to be introduced in Congress shortly after his inauguration in late January. Meanwhile, during a meeting with campaign contributors on the same day, GOP candidate Mitt Romney explained his election loss to supporters by saying President Obama won by bestowing “gifts” on blacks, Hispanics, and young voters that included the Affordable Care Act, student loan concessions, and more.

The resulting media brouhaha has not only pushed the mainstream GOP to disavow Romney’s comments, but resulted in some notable Republican leaders also calling for comprehensive immigration reform. During an ABC interview, Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner said he favors comprehensive immigration reform, something he had not done previously. Republican Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John McCain of Arizona are expected once more to espouse comprehensive immigration reform as they have in the past. Arizona congressman Jeff Flake, co-author of the recently failed national immigration reform bill, is also expected to participate in redirecting the GOP toward a softened-stance on immigration. Even conservative Fox News host Sean Hannity, once voicing staunch anti-Latino rhetoric, shocked followers by advocating a “pathway to citizenship” for law-abiding undocumented immigrants.

The US has a long and varied history on immigration policies. Pilar Marrero, senior political writer for La Opinion has authored a new book called Killing the American Dream: How Anti-Immigration Extremists are Destroying the Nation. In it, she takes a historic survey of immigration policies in the United States and how anti-immigration hostility has generally emerged from the American right wing and resulted in their constant push for policies that generate fear in immigrant communities.

GUEST: Pilar Marrero, Senior Political Writer for La Opinion, author of Killing the American Dream: How Anti-Immigration Extremists are Destroying the Nation

Sonali’s Subversive Thought for the Day

“If the United States still has a future as a world power, it is thanks to, not in spite of, its immigrants – those of today and those who came before.” — Pilar Marerro

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