The effects of the original virus before I was vaccinated left, naturally, a long time ago. What stayed were the vaccines, all the COVID symptoms turned to vaccine symptoms absent the fever. Too many vaccines puts one in vaccine overload, which creates more intense symptoms, some old, some new, some that may not go away.
Pfizer et al are speeding up the aging process with their multitudinous supercharged vaccines by about ten years, not less. Now they’re going to supercharge the flu shot – one that most of us trust already.
Men share a bond that women don’t. That’s because traditionally bound by culture, women had to scrap and connive for what they got. They didn’t own anything, not even themselves. Not much has changed, when you lump the whole world together. Even in more progressive cultures, lines are drawn in favor of the male across all categories – some glaringly obvious, others more insidious.
“Did Pope Francis really say all animals go to Heaven?”
It really doesn’t matter who says it – either with supposed authority or not. How would any animal (including the human animal) know anyway, unless they’ve already been there (to heaven) and they could call back to the rest of us – hey we made it to paradise.
This is an animal rights issue (which also means a human rights issue, since humans are animals).
The problem with annexing Russia-backing parts of Ukraine is that the border of Russia now sets deeper into Ukraine. Note that not everyone in the previous Soviet Union wanted to be separate and they do count, whether or not USA and European Union think it in their own best interests.
Sure, the missile defense system won’t/can’t be installed in those previously sensitive Ukrainian regions, but all the Ukrainians will do is install USA and NATO backed defense systems in the regions now bordering Russia. Moving the Russia-Ukrainian border simply delays the process.
Note also that there’s an African Union, an Arab League, a British Empire aka British Isles, European Union, United States of America (more like separate countries under a federal umbrella; while California and Texas wanted to separate from the union, the union strongly resisted such moves), United States of Mexico, Canadian Provinces; the Union of South American Nations is currently in flux, but they possess desires to work together on common goals which require the involvement of multiple contiguous countries to achieve a more uniform result. There’s the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a one China policy including Taiwan, which is also discouraged by the USA and European Union, demanding in lighter terms that the status quo remain as is – separate with China-Taiwan cooperation, leaving China intact as a country, and Taiwan in a state of perpetual independence limbo.
So what happened to the Soviet Union? The USA fully expected to free by cold war methods/strategies all Soviet countries from the Russian umbrella rule. It worked, but looking back, it was overkill – way over. Not everyone wanted such a drastic geopolitical move, and those who didn’t obviously didn’t feel they had the right to resist, which put the USA into a dictator mode, something the USA claims to want to end in other countries. It’s one thing to dictate terms in your own country, but to dictate terms in everybody else’s country is just not a viable strategy for peaceful co-existence. The citizens of each country need greater say and the last say regarding their own right of determination, which countries outside the region currently impose. The USA appears to have swiped the free will of the people clean away from any consideration – and that disturbing reality is what keeps nations at war.
What excuse will the USA tell Ukraine to use as justification for those missile defense systems at the new Russia-Ukrainian border? Probably the same as before. Even if Ukraine is accepted into NATO, the issue remains the same, though not as relevant, since NATO is no longer necessary to avert war. The Russia/Ukraine conflict that was instigated by NATO led by the USA is a perfect example why, which serves as an admirable truth.
Adults playing childish games with people’s thoughts and views.
THE JAIL HAPPY PEOPLE @ FACEBOOK shouldn’t be censoring anybody unless they are committing a crime. And even then, people in the USA have been bred to expect innocent until proven guilty by a jury of their peers, no matter the offense, not by a jury of wealthy advertisers from Madison Avenue.
Why should USA citizens have to bow to countries with dictatorships by acting like them? I feel like a foreigner in my own country. Facebook aka government policies use the most rigid models for controlling behavior based on the most rigid governments. Am I in China? Russia? Iran?
Who are these Faceless people running Facebook behind the scenes acting like they own people’s minds, thus their views? The United Nations?
People have a right to their opinions. It’s like the dictatorship everybody hates, but it’s the only game in town. After all, one can socialize without leaving the comfort of home.
Because we don’t matter to them – across the board – every ethnicity, gender, age.
Be careful, it could get ugly before it gets better. Schoolyard brawls and all.
HWH Comment: My question is why scientists would think it okay to dissect an Axolotl in a laboratory? If they have brains, then they feel pain. Scientists absent a conscience. What do you think they’ll do with that knowledge? Use it to apply to humans, hoping someday we’ll be able to automatically regrow damaged brain tissue?
The axolotl (/ˈæksəlɒtəl/; from Classical Nahuatl: āxōlōtl [aːˈʃoːloːtɬ] ( listen)), Ambystoma mexicanum, is a paedomorphic salamander closely related to the tiger salamander. Axolotls are unusual among amphibians in that they reach adulthood without undergoing metamorphosis.
Lab-made mouse embryos grew brains and beating hearts, just like the real thing
HWH Comment: What’s the point? Lab-made mouse embryos grew brains and beating hearts, just like the real thing. Next stop humans? The perfect human? Scientists have no collective conscience. They need to get one, before the world turns on them.
Synthetic mice they call them? Synthetic humans next. They used real animal cells; there’s nothing synthetic about that. No mouse was harmed? It’s unclear what scientists call harm these days. Enslavement, torture and eventual slaughter doesn’t seem to fit into their designed-to-cover-reality definition of what harm means.
Does this mean that synthetic fabric has animal hair cells as its origin?
Find a better word than ‘synthetic’. A synthetic cow is a real cow.
Does synthetic rubber mean it used real rubber cells to make it?
Regarding the scientists absent a conscience: Getting overly-complicated with your definitions causes pain and suffering. It’s a sure sign that you’re covering something that the world would frown upon.
Science is supposed to be all about accuracy. Yet the interpretations and applications suggests otherwise.
Accuracy from start to finish.
There are valid reasons why so many people don’t trust the science, and I know that you know them all, so act as such and people will accept the truth as truth. The minute you bend it, you corrupt the science.
For example, these were not lab-made embryos as if the mouse had nothing to do with it, so right there out of the box you lie to make people think you created a mouse in the laboratory. Even God can’t do that. But you did?
No, you did not. You used mouse stem cells that contain mouse DNA and everything else needed to create an embryo.
Understand? Or is that over your head, because you’re not required by law to have a conscience?
Scientists made synthetic mouse embryos (left) that closely resemble natural embryos (right) during the early days of development. (Image credit: Amadei and Handford)
Scientists coaxed mouse stem cells to grow into synthetic embryos that began developing hearts and brains, just like the real thing.
The lab-made embryos, crafted without any eggs or sperm and incubated in a device that resembles a fast-spinning Ferris wheel full of tiny glass vials, survived for 8.5 days. That’s nearly half the length of a typical mouse pregnancy. In that time, a yolk sac developed around the embryos to supply nutrition, and the embryos themselves developed digestive tracts; neural tubes, or the beginnings of the central nervous system; beating hearts; and brains with well-defined subsections, including the forebrain and midbrain, the scientists reported in a study published Thursday (Aug. 25) in the journal Nature(opens in new tab).
“This has been the dream of our community for years and [a] major focus of our work for a decade, and finally, we’ve done it,” senior study author Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz, a developmental and stem-cell biologist with labs at the University of Cambridge, UK, and the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, said in a statement.
The new work produced very similar results as an earlier study, published Aug. 1 in the journal Cell, which was led by Jacob Hanna, an embryonic stem cell biologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and co-author of the new Nature paper. In their recent Cell study, Hanna’s team used different starting stem cells but the same incubator to culture synthetic mouse embryos for 8.5 days. Those embryos also grew digestive tracts, beating hearts, and tiny, wrinkled brains before ultimately dying, Live Science previously reported.
Although the two recent studies produced similar embryos, the experiments started out slightly differently. In the Cell study, the researchers started by coaxing mouse stem cells into a naive state from which they could morph into any cell type, such as heart, brain or gut cells. From there, the team divided these naive cells into three groups. In one group, they switched on genes to form the placenta, and in another group, they switched on genes to make the yolk sac. The last group they left alone to develop into embryos.
Zernicka-Goetz’s research group, on the other hand, began with three mouse stem cell types, rather than starting with only naive cells. One type of stem cell gave rise to the embryo, while the other two morphed into the placental tissues and yolk sac. Throughout the experiment, they observed how these three stem cell types interacted, exchanging chemical messages and physically butting up against each other in the glass vials.
Studying such exchanges could give hints as to how the earliest stages of embryonic development unfold in humans — and what happens when things go awry.
“This period of human life is so mysterious, so to be able to see how it happens in a dish — to have access to these individual stem cells, to understand why so many pregnancies fail and how we might be able to prevent that from happening — is quite special,” Zernicka-Goetz said. “We looked at the dialogue that has to happen between the different types of stem cell at that time — we’ve shown how it occurs and how it can go wrong.”
In both the Cell and Nature studies, the resulting synthetic embryos closely resembled natural embryos, albeit with some slight differences and defects in how the tissues self-organized. However, in both experiments, a very low proportion of the stem cells actually gave rise to embryos, suggesting that the efficiency of both systems could be improved. In addition, neither set of synthetic embryos survived to the ninth day of development — an obstacle that would need to be overcome in follow-up studies.
“The reason for the block in further development is unclear but might relate to the defects in the formation of some of the placental cell types that the authors report,” James Briscoe, a principal group leader and assistant research director at the Francis Crick Institute in the U.K. who was not involved in either study, told the Science Media Centre(opens in new tab), a U.K.-based press office that works with researchers, journalists and policymakers to disseminate accurate scientific information.
The research also raises ethical questions about if and how such technology might be applied to human cells in the future.
The USA government under the direction of Joe Biden via the military at his command altered and diminished the threat of Monkeypox on behalf of black African peoples who copulate with monkeys apes chimpanzees, then come to America to continue the sexual carnage via gay humans. It’s a highly contagious sexually transmitted disease which also can be passed person to person absent sexual contact.
Gay men in Africa demonized by the government and the general population choose to stay safe by engaging in sex acts with beasts who will love them back.
Apes monkeys chimpanzees gorillas.
Then they come to America to spread the word.
The World Health Organization is changing the name monkeypox stating the name is racist against black peoples, when in fact it’s gender biased against gays.
It’s like saying chicken pox doesn’t come from birds.
Stop having sex with non-human animals is the way to avoid this virus.
Then stop discriminating against monkeys.
Engaging in sex with non-human animals is an epidemic throughout Europe. Address that issue, before bending to the will of people who prefer to have sex with beasts. It’s called beastiality in case the World Health Organization forgot.
Oh, and yes it can be transmitted to heterosexuals much like a contact dermatitis. It’s a contact virus, not airborne. We hug a lot in my neighborhood, which means transmission is more likely than in more distant communities – no matter your gender or sexual orientation.
The reason some people associate monkeypox or monkey virus to COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) is it’s similarity to the COVID rash and bat rash (histoplasmosis).
Note that no one recommended changing the bat rash or chicken pox to other names.
Stop discriminating against non-human animals. I’m European. An anthropology professor at Smith College classified her students according to color (not skin) and whether they were knuckle walkers. I don’t know what color category she put me into, but I was definitely a knuckle walker. She was right. My arms are long and my knuckles face forward when I walk. So what! I evolved from an ape. A pretty smart ape at that!! Not bad lookin’ either, some say.
Why does India have so many sick people, very sick, damaged, disfigured people, when they say turmeric and pepper cures the world of all that ails it? Why does the world buy into it? Because they say it with confidence and back it up with science.
How can one prove something like that? One can’t. But it sells a lot of turmeric and black pepper and a whole bunch of other India grown and used supplements. Hey even I take it, till my teeth started turning yellow and it took a chemical whitener to remove it.
HWH Commentary: No where does it list Israel or Jews in the ancient history logs anywhere in the world. So why do they act like they own the planet? They were here first? Just where were the Jews during these formative times? China? Iraq? Egypt? India? Peru? Mexico? If so, then that would make them Chinese, Iraqi (Arab), Egyptian (Arab), Indian and/or Peruvian.
Which is it?
Unrelated questions: If Jews only mated with their own as they claim, then why do so many of them look Roman?
When counting Jews globally, do only purebred Jews count or all peoples with some Jew in them, like say a Jew marries a Brit?
While modern civilizations extend to every continent except Antarctica, most scholars place the earliest cradles of civilizations—in other words, where civilizations first emerged—in modern-day Iraq, Egypt, India, China, Peru and Mexico, beginning between approximately 4000 and 3000 B.C.
These ancient complex societies, starting with Mesopotamia, formed cultural and technological advances, several of which are still present today. “A great many of the details of modern life, not just in the Middle East and the West, but across the world, have origins that go back for thousands of years to the ancient cultures in their respective regions,” says Amanda Podany, author and professor emeritus of history at California State Polytechnic University.
Here’s a look at six of the earliest civilizations—and the legacies they left to the world.
1. Mesopotamia, 4000-3500 B.C.
Meaning “between two rivers” in Greek, Mesopotamia (located in modern-day Iraq, Kuwait and Syria) is considered the birthplace of civilization. The culture that grew up between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers is noted for important advancements in literacy, astronomy, agriculture, law, astronomy, mathematics, architecture and more, despite near-constant warfare. Mesopotamia was also home to the world’s first urban cities, including Babylon, Ashur and Akkad.
“Mesopotamia is the earliest urban literate civilization on the globe—and the Sumerians, who established the civilization, established the ground rules,” says Kenneth Harl, author, consultant and professor emeritus of history at Tulane University. “Those who know how to research and write run the civilization and everyone [else] does the grunt work.”
The cuneiform writing system, used to establish the Code of Hammurabi, is among the most famous Mesopotamian advancements. They also created the base 60 numeric system, which led to the 60-second minute, 60-minute hour and 360-degree circle. And it was Babylonian astronomy that first divided the year into 12 periods named after constellations—what the Greeks would later evolve into the zodiac.
Persia eventually conquered Mesopotamia in 539 B.C. Centuries of upheaval followed.
“Within the three millennia in which ancient Mesopotamia flourished, innumerable individual kingdoms came and went, and a few empires rose and fell for various reasons,” says Podany, author of the forthcoming book Weavers, Scribes, and Kings: A New History of the Ancient Near East. “But at its core, the civilization was recognizably the same from around 3500 BCE to as late as 323 BCE—and, many would argue, beyond that. The region was rarely unified, but the civilization was very stable.”
2. Ancient Egypt, 3100 B.C.
Perhaps the most romanticized of past civilizations, ancient Egypt stood as one of history’s most powerful empires for more than 3,000 years. Set along the fertile Nile River and at one time extending from today’s Syria to Sudan, the civilization is most known for its pyramids, tombs and mausoleums and the practice of mummification to prepare corpses for the afterlife.
Harl, author of the forthcoming book, Empires of the Steppes: How the Steppe Nomads Forged the Modern World, says Egypt’s use of labor to undertake architectural projects—such as the pyramids—was unrivaled. “The ability to amass 100,000 men to assemble the great pyramid in 2600 B.C. is just not matched anywhere,” he says.
The Egyptians also proved extremely skilled at agriculture and medicine, he adds. And they developed exquisite sculpture and painting traditions, as well.
The ancient Egyptians also left a legacy of monumental writing and mathematics systems. The cubit, a measure of length roughly the span of a forearm, was key to designing the pyramids and other structures. They developed the 24-hour day and 356-day calendar during this time. And they established the hieroglyphic pictorial writing system, followed by the hieroglyphic system that used ink on papyrus paper. The civilization came to an end in 332 B.C. when it was conquered by Alexander the Great.
In ancient India, where Hinduism was founded, religion held great importance, Harl says, along with great literary traditions and incredible architecture. The Upanishads, or sacred Hindu texts, include the ideas of reincarnation and the caste system based on birthright, both of which have endured into modern times.
Unlike other ancient civilizations, the Indus River Valley Civilization, built in the Indus River Valley (modern-day India, Afghanistan and Pakistan) does not appear to have been war-torn. Historians and archaeologists instead point to sophisticated, organized city planning, complete with uniform baked-brick homes, a grid structure and drainage, sewage and water supply systems.
The collapse of the Indus Valley, around 1700 B.C., is often credited to migration prompted by climate change or possible tectonic movement that caused the Saraswati River to dry out. Others cite a great flood.
4. Ancient China, 2000 B.C.
A Xia-era miniature bronze bell, c. 2100 B.C. The ancient Chinese are credited with inventions including the abacus and the sundial.
Museum of East Asian Art/Heritage Images/Getty Images)
Protected by the Himalayan Mountains, Pacific Ocean and Gobi Desert, and situated between the Yellow and Yangtze rivers, the earliest Chinese civilizations flourished in isolation from invaders and other foreigners for centuries. To stop Mongols from the north, they built barriers seen by some as early precursors to the Great Wall of China, built later in 220 B.C.
Generally divided into four dynasties—Xia, Shang, Zhou and Qin—ancient China was ruled by a succession of emperors. The civilization is credited with developing the decimal system, abacus and sundial, as well as the printing press, which allowed for the publication and distribution of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, still relevant more than 2,500 years later.
Like the Egyptians, the ancient Chinese were able to mobilize populations to build massive infrastructure projects. The construction of the 5th century-era Grand Canal, which links the Yellow and Yangtze rivers, for example, allowed vast numbers of military forces and goods to move across the country.
“China is perhaps the most successful centralized state in human history,” Harl says. “And at several points in human history is without a doubt the greatest civilization that stayed on the globe.”
Peru served as the cradle of civilization to a number of cultures, including the Chavín, Paracas, Nazca, Huari, Moche and Inca. Archaeologists have unearthed evidence of metallurgy, ceramics and advanced medical and agricultural practices from within these groups.
The civilization culminated with the great Inca Empire, which stretched from today’s Colombia to Chile and is noted for the Andean city of Machu Picchu, with its elaborate urban grid.
The Incas did not develop a writing system; instead they used pictures and symbols. But they did use a knot-based accounting system, built paved roads on rugged terrain connecting towns and settlements and created sophisticated agricultural and architectural innovations.
Smallpox and other diseases, introduced to South America by the Spaniards, ravaged the Inca populations, Harl says, causing an internal weakening that helped the Francisco Pizarro-led conquest of 1532. “So many people were being carried off by disease—they had no immunity,” he says. “So rather than the state itself weakening in any significant way, it was disease introduced by the outside that helped prepare for the Inca toppling of civilization in Peru.”
Parts of today’s Mexico and Central America were once home to a number of Indigenous cultures, beginning with the Olmec around 1200 B.C., followed by the Zapotec, Maya, Toltec and, ultimately, the Aztecs.
Fertile farmland led to agricultural advances, with corn, beans, vanilla, avocado, peppers, squashes and cotton becoming important crops. Pyramid-style temples, intricate pottery, stone monuments, turquoise jewelry and other fine arts have been uncovered. Scholars believe the Zapotec developed Mesoamerica’s first written calendar and writing system, while the Mayans are noted for their advancements in mathematics, hieroglyphics, architecture and astronomy.
The nomadic Aztecs founded Tenochtitlan (today’s Mexico City) in 1325 on small islands in Lake Texcoco, and the city became a booming market for trade. The Aztecs used a 365-solar calendar along with a 260-day ritual calendar, practiced human sacrifice and bloodletting, used a form of picture writing and created works of art with terracotta, feathers, mosaics and stone.
The Hernán Cortéz-led 1519 Spanish invasion, aided by Mesoamerican foes of the Aztecs, brought the Aztec civilization to an end by 1521. “When Cortez showed up, the Aztecs were having great difficulty maintaining control over their subject tribes,” Harl says. “They were greatly hated, and Cortez gave enough advantage to all those disadvantaged subjects to topple the Aztec Empire.”
“The US supports Ukrainians’ right to resist military occupation, and will supply them with all they need to fight back,” said political analyst Omar Baddar. “In Palestine, the US supports Israel’s brutal military occupation, & will ensure the occupiers get the weapons they need to maintain it.”…”
USA LEFT OUT A PART. The occupation by Israel in Palestine is in the USA interest. The resistance to the occupation by Russia in Ukraine is in the USA interest. There’s no morality here. It’s what suits the USA militarily globally. Putin still insists this is not an occupation; it’s a military operation.
USA SUPPORTS SLAVERY IN PALESTINE. THAT’S WHAT OCCUPATION IS. YOU CAN’T FIGHT BACK AND LIVE TO TELL ABOUT IT. THAT MEANS YOU ARE OWNED.
USA ARMS OCCUPIERS/SLAVEHOLDERS in 2022 in Palestine to pressure Iran into submission to Israel.
PALESTINE UNDER Jewish OCCUPATION since 1948. Seventy-four years, and 28 years before that under Great Britain. All these years the world told Palestinians they had to earn their freedom.
What a lie. There was never any intention of freeing anybody. There is no deal on earth that could be made to free these slaves on their own land that would be in any way satisfactory for what they suffered by the hands of Jews worldwide. The world knows it and the world lives just fine with that hypocrisy. Enslaving humans to get back at another country is torture and the Jews worldwide were witness to their slaughter time and time again. Seal the borders, no corridors for slaves, then bomb them to hell.
In my own country, boasting to be the greatest nation on earth, riding on the tails of imaginary freedom from bondage, while supporting slavery in foreign countries when it is in their best interest to do so. They do that in our name. In the name of We the People.
It is not in We the People’s best interest to promote slavery since 1948 and beyond until not one Palestinian remains on the land of Palestine, except as placement in settlement centers to discourage or deter Palestinians from conducting freedom operations where Palestinians live.
The Jews once again made a laughing stock of the USA. And we paid them 4.8 billion dollars to do it – in just one year. They should be paying us instead of us paying them to hold slaves in captivity, as payment to the Jews post WWII fulfilling the promise of Adolf Hitler – work shall set you free – to occupy the land of Palestine and all who inhabit it.
That’s ownership. That’s Hitler bartering with people. The Jews worked for Hitler, and Hitler paid them in Palestinians rather than dollars. Paid them in People. The land came along with the people. Nobody objected strongly enough to make a difference – 74 years now, and they’re still siphoning money from the USA to maintain that occupation. Billions of dollars every year. You can bet, not much of that goes to quality of life maintenance.
Hi, this is Phil Weiss, filling in for Michael Arria this week.For a while we’ve pointed out how much energy the Anti-Defamation League spends attacking anti-Zionists, including younger Jews, as supposed antisemites. Now the American Jewish Committee has thrown in. I watched a few hours of the AJC’s conference this month in New York, and my jaw dropped as speaker after speaker directed criticism at young Jews for not standing up for Israel.
Author Abigail Pogrebin despaired to Ted Deutch, the incoming director of the AJC, that young Jews won’t stand up for Israel.It’s harder for those under 30 to stand strong. We’re both seeing it. We have kids in their 20s. It’s a constant conversation at AJC. It’s gotten harder than it has ever has in my lifetime to stand up particularly with the pressures that are virulent on social media in May 2021 [during the Israeli assault on Gaza]. You know the challenges. The number of young people who are hiding their Jewishness [saying] It’ s not just a headache, it’s not worth the fight, I’m going to be canceled or attacked.
Deutch, a Florida congressman until he assumes his new position, said the next generation is the ballgame. And he said the mission of the AJC is to try to give those reluctant young Jews a spine.You have to prepare the young people to be advocates. People who aren’t comfortable but they want to [advocate].
That means telling “a very positive story” about Israel, Deutch said. Its technology foster agricultural production in food-insecure countries and battles climate change. “Our young people should feel comfortable telling it.” (And when people point to the human rights reports that say Israel practices apartheid, Deutch calls them antisemites.)
New York Times columnist Bret Stephens was pessimistic. He said you can “feel the energy” of young Jews turning away from Israel. Something really has “gone wrong” with the Jewish community, he said.”
The turn away from Israel is extraordinarily worrying for a variety of reasons… For millions of secular minded American Jews, Israel was the glue, Israel was the cause, Zionism was an effective and powerful and emotionally satisfying substitute for religious observance that many people found themselves leaving behind… At the height of last year’s war, so many young American Jews were eagerly signing letters denouncing Israel’s behavior with nary a word to say about suffering of Jews in bunkers under rocket fire… That should have been another moment for us to worry about what has gone wrong with the American Jewish community.
Again– no acknowledgment of Israel’s human rights abuses and unending occupation. Stephens even said antisemitism was gaining a foothold in the Congress, witness the introduction of a bill to commemorate the Nakba, the creation of 750,000 Palestinian refugees during the establishment of Israel.Daniel Pincus of the AJC bewailed the choice that young Jews face on campus. Social justice causes that Jews have traditionally allied themselves with, including women’s rights and LGBTQ rights groups, “demand a renunciation of Zionism,” he said. So, “What are proud Jews to do with this clash of core aspects of their identities?”
Pincus turned to Rachel Fish, an Israel educator, who said Zionists should take no prisoners. No, those young Jews have to learn to stand up to the “blood libel” against Israel.I get calls from those students… The majority of those students desperately want to be accepted by the group whatever it may be [feminist, LGBTQ, or other minority groups]… and they beg for a crumb to be accepted into that room. I have to tell you, it is all of our jobs to actually tell them to stop begging and stand up. We need to get them to stand up, to stand extremely tall and have the moral courage to recognize those organizations and individuals are engaging in acts [of antisemitism]
The AJC trotted out a number of young Jews who are standing up for Israel on campus. For instance, Natalie Kahn, president of the Harvard Hillel and an associate news editor at the Harvard Crimson, said that Zionists need to fight anti-Zionist fire with fire.”We are losing the marketing game and letting the loudest voices win while we attempt to play nice and let them walk all over us… We let the cancel culture mob ally with BDS supporters and now activists have channeled their fervor to the wrong side. People are afraid to go big, go loud, and create controversy.”
Obviously I have a bias, but I think the AJC strategy will fail because more and more young Jews are seeing that Israel has no desire to end the occupation– no Judea and Samaria are the crowning glory of the biblical Jewish state– so they will simply walk away from ethnonationalism (as both Bret Stephens and Eric Alterman say they are doing). And I’m hardly the first person to say that when people in their 70s scold young adults, it doesn’t work. You’d think that the AJC might spend a minute or two confronting the racist and murderous conduct that is driving young people away from Israel. No, the AJC can’t face that.
I heard only one intelligent response as I watched the AJC forum: Hebrew Union College president Andrew Rehfeld who said that the Jewish community “must allow diverse opinions within our communities flourishing about the very things we are challenged about.” He included BDS (which he opposes). “I believe we need to have broader shoulders, wider hallways for conversations, and not alienate our very people, our young people, who want those conversations.”
Rehfeld’s was a lonely reasonable voice. I think it’s just a matter of time before the AJC’s smashmouth strategy completely implodes. Or runs out of rightwing donors.
–Because as our Palestine bureau is documenting, Israel has no answers to inequality besides violence. This week there were four more killings of young Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, three by Israeli forces, and a fourth man killed by Jewish settlers seeking to take more Palestinian land.
–Oh and that’s why the one-year-old “Change” government fell in Israel. It sought to extend the apartheid law that governs the West Bank, and failed only because the further-rightwing parties wouldn’t sign on, in an effort to bring back the most popular leader in Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu.
–Speaking of anti-Zionism’s growth, there was a fascinating discussion this week between Beth Miller, the political director of JVP Action, and Robert Herbst, co-chair of the board of ICAHD, about the politics of Palestine. Miller is very positive. She said the movement is much further along than she would have thought five years ago. “People weren’t talking about conditioning military funding” to Israel in Washington then. “Now it’s constantly being discussed.”
That discussion will only widen, Miller said, as organizers publicize Israel’s human rights record. She looks forward to the day when overwhelmingly Americans conclude, “We shouldn’t be sending money to an apartheid regime.
”Miller acknowledged the power of the pro-Israel organizers. Progressive Summer Lee was up by 24 points in polls for the Democratic congressional primary in Pittsburgh last month and won by a nose thanks to millions spent for her mainstream opponent by AIPAC and Democratic Majority for Israel. Miller also explains why JVP Action is not endorsing incumbent Rep. Jamaal Bowman in New York. “Jamaal Bowman has done a lot in Congress that’s been really good for the Palestinian rights movement, and he’s done a lot that has not been good for the Palestinian rights movement… We have to change the political calculus for everyone.”
–And speaking of the lobby’s power, AIPAC isn’t starving. “Republican billionaires Paul Singer and Bernie Marcus each gave $1 million to the United Democracy Project in May as the new AIPAC-affiliated super PAC has intervened in Democratic primaries in NC, PA, TX, MD, and CA,” says Shane Goldmacher of the New York Times notes.
I see in Wikipedia that Singer is 77 and Marcus is 93. So no wonder the AJC has an outdated strategy. Like every other rightwing Israel lobby group it depends on older Zionists who have a ton of money.
— There was quite a setback this week. A federal appeals court ruled that Arkansas’s anti-boycott-of-Israel law is not an unconstitutional violation of free speech. The Arkansas Times joined by the ACLU had sued over the law, which requires anyone who receives state funding to pledge not to endorse boycotts of Israel; and they argued that boycotts are a longstanding element of political speech.
The very conservative court said that boycotts are strictly commercial activity, “not expressive,” and the state can regulate them. Pretty much what 28 states have argued in imposing these absurd rules on folks who don’t want to underwrite apartheid.
ACLU attorney Brian Hauss pointed out the important political history of boycott in a comment to the Arkansas Times. “This country was founded on a boycott of British goods and… boycotts have been a fundamental part of American political discourse ever since.
”The Times said it expects to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court, and that overwhelming reader support for its position has cushioned the blow. Alan Leveritt, the Times publisher, is inspiring: “We consider being banned from doing business with our state government for refusing to sign a pledge not to boycott Israel a ridiculous government overreach that has nothing to do with Arkansas.”
How activists got General Mills to dump its Israeli settlement factory
Michael Arria speaks with the AFSC’s Economic Activism Director Dov Baum about the successful Pillsbury boycott campaign, and what comes next.
BY MICHAEL ARRIA
PROTESTERS CALL ON GENERAL MILLS TO STOP MANUFACTURING PILLSBURY PRODUCTS ON AN ILLEGAL SETTLEMENT IN THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY IN SEPTEMBER 2020. THE DEMONSTRATION TOOK PLACE AT THE CORPORATION’S MINNEAPOLIS HEADQUARTERS ON THE EVE OF ITS ANNUAL BOARD MEETING. (PHOTO: EMMA LEIGH SRON / AFSC)
On May 31 General Mills announced that it had divested from its business in Israel and would stop making Pillsbury products in an illegal settlement annexed during the 1967 war. The move came after a two-year campaign by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), which called on consumers to boycott Pillsbury products until they stopped manufacturing on stolen land.
General Mills has been using the factory, located in the Atarot Industrial Zone, since 2002. A 2019 report on the settlement from Al-Haq, documents how the facility impacts Palestinians living nearby. “When they pour the flour [into the mixers which are outdoors], the flour comes into our house. Sometimes the bags of flour overflow into the house,” explained one resident. In 2020 the United Nations identified General Mills as one of the 112 companies that are violating international law by operating in the occupied territories.
General Mills statement about the divestment does not mention AFSC’s campaign, or Israel’s human rights record. “This divestiture represents another step in General Mills’ Accelerate strategy, which is centered on strategic choices about where to prioritize our resources to drive superior returns,” it claims. “Internationally, the strategy includes efforts to reshape the company’s portfolio for sustainable, profitable growth by increasing its focus on advantaged global platforms, which include Mexican food, super-premium ice cream and snack bars.”
The statement has predictably been cited by pro-Israel websites who insist that the BDS movement can’t claim credit for the victory. Mondoweiss’s Michael Arria spoke with the AFSC’s Economic Activism Director Dov Baum about the factory, the end of the boycott, and how to parse the General Mills statement.
Can you talk about the General Mills factory and why the group began the campaign?
At AFSC we publish database of corporations that are directly involved in the Israeli occupation in specific ways and we look at all the larger corporations that operate factories in Israeli settlements on the West Bank. This is because settlements are illegal and also by the mere fact of being there, they exploit confiscated land. It’s land that was confiscated from Indigenous legal owners by force. They exploit the captive labor of Palestinian workers that have no civil rights and therefore no recourse for organizing.
One of these companies for years was General Mills. General Mills has sourced Pillsbury products from a factory in the Atarot Industrial Zone, which is in East Jerusalem and this is an area that was confiscated from Palestine many years ago. The company did not own the factory, but it did make Pillsbury products in it. In fact, the factory had a big sign on the entrance with the Pillsbury Doughboy logo and the word “Pillsbury” on it. They were making solely Pillsbury products. So we asked General Mills to stop producing in that plant. The company has appeared in a database published by the UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights as one of only seven US based companies with direct operations in the illegal settlements.
This campaign began in 2020. Can you talk about what kind of actions you carried out during that time and what other groups were involved? I’m also wondering if you had any communication with General Mills during the campaign.
We launched the campaign shortly after writing the company and sharing our concerns about this factory. We have not received any answer directly from the company. We have seen answers that the company has given to news outlets. For example, they would say things like, oh, we give Palestinians a good salary and a place to work, and we thought that was not a sufficient answer considering the fact that it is a Palestinian campaign asking companies to stop doing business in the settlements.
Shortly after we launched the campaign with the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), we had other national and local groups join the campaign coalition, including American Muslims for Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), and local groups in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, which is where the company is headquartered. One of those groups was Women Against Military Madness (WAMM), which organized several rallies outside the company headquarters, many at the same time as the company’s annual shareholder meetings.
There were local groups in Pittsburgh, Oakland, Philadelphia and other places that have staged vigils and picket lines outside grocery stores. For example, I’ve joined in with QUIT, Queer’s Undermining Israeli Terrorism, and they’ve organized some really colorful and creative protests outside grocery stores here in the Bay Area. They dressed up with big chef hats, handing out non-Pillsbury cookies, and handing out vouchers for consumers to buy “Killsbury” products. I thought that was hilarious. We also had someone wearing a large Doughboy suit that was handing out those vouchers and he was very popular, especially with the kids coming into the grocery store who wanted to poke his belly.
We also had an investor coalition. We contacted the company asking to learn more about their policies in conflict affected zones. We participated as shareholders in the annual meetings and encouraged other investors to ask the company questions about this factory. Both times we did that we actually got responses from CEO of General Mills that indicated that he was not very informed about the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, which was quite interesting for us to find out.
American Muslims from Palestine (AMP) launched a bake off during the holidays. Pillsbury usually sponsors a bake off competition during the holidays, so they had an alternative bake off. At the height of COVID restrictions, it was hard to come up with ideas for what people could do at their homes to show support for the campaign. Another action were initiative by two congregations, two local congregations that we hoped were the beginning of a wave of faith community involvement in the campaign. Two congregations declared themselves “Pillsbury Free.” One was United Church of Christ congregation that Charlie Pillsbury is a member of. Charlie Pillsbury is a direct descendant of Charles Pillsbury, who founded the Pillsbury company that later merged with General Mills. He and four other members of the Pillsbury family wrote an op-ed in the [Minneapolis] Star Tribune last year calling for a boycott of Pillsbury.
Charlie joined the campaign very organically. I mean, he’s somebody who has been active as an activist for many years. I had some conversations with him. He told me about campaigns he had joined 50 years ago, looking at corporate malfeasance and complicity of large corporations in all sorts of violations of people’s rights in war and occupation abroad. So this is not his first campaign. And it made sense for him to take a public stance on the company that uses his name as the brand name. That was a very powerful op-ed. I think it had a big impact on the general public, but also with the company itself.
When General Mills made this announcement they framed it as a business decision and didn’t mention the campaign at all. Their statement has been cited by pro-Israel media as proof that the BDS movement didn’t have an impact on them. What do you make of their statement and that argument?
There are two things that people really need to understand. The first and most important one is that companies are not moral subjects. We don’t expect the company to come out with an ethical, moral political announcement. Corporations are not people, they are money making machines. They are made up of people, but they are machines that are designed just to maximize their bottom lines. So in the 15 years of me working on these issues, I’ve seen dozens of companies stepping back for their exposure to the risks of doing business in occupied Palestinian territory. This is a controversy risk. It’s potential legal risk. It’s really a large controversy in a very small market. So it’s a good business decision. I want to just say very clearly, the company is telling us the truth. It is a business decision. I believe that a company such as General Mills cannot afford to continue doing business in an occupied Palestinian territory in an illegal settlement, especially after being highlighted, as it was internationally by the UN, because this is a high controversy issue. It is something that is not going away. And as a company that tries to sell things to people, I’m sure they didn’t want to be associated with this controversy.
Also it’s a very small business for them. That factory is a small factory. In fact, the entire Israeli market is a small market. So it is a very solid and sound business decision they have made and it’s very rare that a company would come out with an ethical statement on these issues. I know two such examples around the settlements, the latest one being Ben and Jerry’s. With the current legal situation and anti-BDS legislation, Ben & Jerry’s can expect a very serious backlash from Zionist organizations and from these new preposterous legal mechanisms that are penalizing all speech on Palestine. So I think General Mills made solid business decision to step away from this market, but at the same time try to avoid this hateful backlash from Zionist sympathizers. So they made a good decision. This is one big point. This is a good business decision indeed.
The second point to note is that they have a very clever messaging strategy. The company has chosen to come out with a statement about restructuring and a sale of the Israeli subsidiary, General Mills Israel, and to highlight the fact that they will continue making business in Israel. They have directed this messaging directly at Zionist media outlets and the Israeli media, they had lengthy conversations with these media outlets. They don’t want to end up on that list of companies who have caved to BDS pressure.
So I understand why they did that, but the messaging they came out with was misleading. For two years, our campaign has asked them to stop sourcing Pillsbury products from that factory, but their original statement didn’t say anything about that factory. So selling off their Israeli subsidiary did not necessarily mean that they would stop sourcing from that factory. We wrote to the company asking for clarification about that and, again, we received no answer. In the last few days, our campaign came out with a victory statement saying, yes, we think the company really, indeed plans to stop sourcing from the factory. We do that on the basis of reading between the lines of their statements and between the lines means that they came out with another statement saying that they would continue selling their other brands in Israel, which to me means they will no longer sell Pillsbury products in Israel.
They also said that they are moving away from the dough business. The factory is a frozen dough production line, so that means they would stop producing in that factory. In one of the news outlets, they were actually asked about the factory and they said, “Well, that is a dough factory. So we will not continue using it.” So I find this all to be very clever maneuvering on their part, but a total victory for our campaign. They’re doing what we’ve asked them to do and I congratulate them for that.
I think it was really important for the company not to come and clearly state that they would no longer make Pillsbury products in this factory because that might be interpreted as stepping away from the settlements. For us it really doesn’t matter how they speak about it as long as they’re doing it.
The boycott has ended, but what can people do to help support this effort going forward?
You can go to our campaign website BoycottPillsbury.org and sign a letter to the company thanking them for their good decision. I think it is important that the news of this campaign and the news of what General Mills is doing reaches a wider audience because they are not the first, and hopefully not the last, to withdraw from activities in the occupied territories and potentially in the Israeli market altogether. We don’t just want other people to learn about this, but also other companies. We have almost 20 companies that have done that already. In fact General Mills was almost one of the last large corporations with business in the settlements. There is maybe one or two left. That’s it. It’s important to create a new standard for corporate behavior on the ground. Even if the political situation is really awful it is still important that large multinationals do not have a stake in that business because they also have political influence and power. We don’t want them meddling and making sure settlements are recognized and legalized. So that’s one thing that people can do.
This is just one campaign out of many. If you go to Investigate.info you can find out more about companies around you. The main call for action right now is for institutions, including people’s workplaces or universities or faith communities, to divest from Israel. So if you go to our website you can see a divestment recommendation list. We’re asking institutions to divest from companies that are involved in severe human rights violations as part of Israeli apartheid and we give all the tools for them to implement such decisions. The hard part would be to come out publicly and say so. Maybe these days it is a little easier because so many corporations have announced stepping back from their activities in the Russian market or from activities in the occupied areas of the Ukraine. This is the same reasoning. We don’t want to directly support brutal military occupation with our money.
HWH Commentary: Here’s what YOU need to know??According to whom? Who’s in charge of what ‘We The People’ need to know? A tabloid news agency pretending to be real news – just what you NEED to know RIGHT NOW.
According to whom, the writer? Who cares if all news agencies play The Copycat News Game, but how about the truth? That’s all anybody wants. That would be a breath of fresh air. Yet all governments, planet-wide, lord over the deliverance of the news to the populace as if they were the government writing it.
Why trust ‘government sources’? If the government has something to say, then speak directly to the people and not through news agencies that paint the story according to approved government snitches.
Statements approved anonymously by the government demonstrate a weak, insecure operational process that doesn’t stand by its intel. Acting like writers of the bible – remaining anonymous so no one has to accept responsibility for mistakes made – creates chaos, not calm.
The populace needs the confidence of the truth, instead of being influenced thus controlled by people refusing to identify themselves on behalf of the government.
When the news media tells you your opinion before you read the story, that’s oppression by the news media and the government.
Relying on government approved snitches/sources, corrupts the process of information dissemination. Information crafted for the purpose of influencing the masses based on incomplete, thus flawed intel, sets the stage for more flawed intel to come. One lie after another is where it leads.
It doesn’t matter if the government snitch is accurate, who’s to say next time will be the same? Unidentified government source. There’s no transparency. No wonder there are so many conspiracy theorists. Unidentified people are essentially writing the stories before the press even gets them.
Perhaps it’s time to separate serious government news from opinion news that has taken over all news. It’s time all governments owned up to their own words and actions. If corrections need to be made at least the populace will hear only one rendition, instead of going through government appointed snitches and wading through the corruption of third and fourth party generated transmissions.