zaterdag 19 oktober 2019

Zionist Hollywood

I’m a Hollywood Actor. I Support BDS. Will I Be Blacklisted?

As actors age in Hollywood, they find fewer and fewer opportunities to earn a living, even those in the most privileged category: white males like me.
So a reader’s comment I came across below a recent article about me in the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles captured my full, survival-mode attention. The comment was from a veteran Hollywood producer, Howard Rosenman, whose most recent credit is Call Me by Your Name, a film that earned four Academy Award nominations and won the 2018 Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.
The Jewish Journal article was titled “Actor Declines Netflix Audition Because of Israeli Producing Affiliation.” The article reported on my recent decision to honor the cultural boycott of Israel for Palestinian rights. 
Rosenman’s comment below the story was brief and pointed:
So David Clennon wants to play that game? Two can play that game. I will NEVER work with that asshole David Clenon [sic] & I’ll get all my Jewish Producer friends as well.
A successful Hollywood producer is threatening to initiate a new blacklist against one somewhat successful but slightly washed-up actor: me. How did we get here?

My Previous Truthout Article

Several weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to audition for a new Netflix series, originally titled “Hit and Run,” now with the working title “Sycamore.” I was intrigued by the role and anxious for employment, so I set to work learning the audition scenes.
But I soon discovered that “Hit and Run”/“Sycamore” was an international co-production, a joint project of U.S. and Israeli television companies.
Since the Israeli massacre of 2,200 residents of Gaza in 2014, I have supported the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel under the larger umbrella of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. But I wasn’t sure whether U.S.-Israeli television co-productions should be included among cultural enterprises that socially conscious artists ought to reject. (I’m used to thinking in terms of professors or musical artists refusing to lecture or perform in Israeli venues.)
I consulted with a friend in the Los Angeles chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace. She confirmed that, yes, this is a different type of cultural venture but one we should also boycott. 
I informed my agents that I would not submit an audition video. 
I also decided to make a public statement about my boycott action. Going public would likely offend many powerful Hollywood decision-makers, but I thought it would be worthwhile to try to generate a discussion within our industry of BDS in general and the cultural boycott in particular.
After my story was published on Truthout, I didn’t know what to expect. What I least expected was that the story would be picked up by any commercial news outlets. But within 24 hours, I heard about stories in the U.K.’s Daily MailDeadline HollywoodThe Hollywood ReporterThe Jerusalem Post and the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles.
Except for the Jewish Journal and Deadline Hollywood, the articles were neutral or even slightly sympathetic. However, the comments posted by readers were overwhelmingly hostile. In their rush to vilify, the commenters did not address the cultural boycott, or my support of it. Instead, they consistently resorted to personal attacks, alleging that I was an anti-Semite, a loser and a publicity hound.

Criticizing Israeli Human Rights Abuses Is Not Anti-Semitism

This allegation is yet another example of how the charge of “anti-Semitism” has been widely employed by defenders of Israel’s expansionism and its crimes against the Palestinian people. Legitimate criticism of Israel has been strategically and unfairly labeled “anti-Semitism,” often drawing attention away from the many very real instances of actual anti-Semitism that exist in this age of rising white nationalism.
Many Jewish critics of Israel have argued that Israel is not a righteous embodiment of the Jewish faith and of Jewish tradition, and that it cannot rightfully stand as the single nation representing the entire international Jewish community. A state founded upon multiple acts of violent ethnic cleansing and maintained by a system of racial apartheid stands as a moral contradiction to centuries of Jewish theological reflection and ethical reasoning. 
Both Jews and non-Jews worldwide are justified in questioning the behavior of the Israeli state, and doing so does not constitute anti-Semitism. The Palestinian people are entitled to every right enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, proclaimed by the United Nations in 1948. Moreover, the Palestinian people should be allowed to call upon the world community to boycott Israel in order to pressure the government to change its ways.

Facing the Threat of a Contemporary Blacklist 

Because of my participation in the BDS movement, I have had to face the possibility that my career as an actor was in serious jeopardy, especially in light of Rosenman’s unambiguous threat and dozens of menacing troll-slurs in Deadline Hollywood.
The kind of formal, well-publicized blacklist of the 1940s, ‘50s and early ‘60s may never occur again. The practice got a bad name. Any contemporary blacklist is likely to be subtler. In 21st century Hollywood, dissidents may never know for sure if they’re being blacklisted. And it would be unwise to dismiss the possibility of some new form of coordinated blackballing. In Hollywood, Zionism could be as powerful a motivating ideology as anti-communism was in the 1940s and ‘50s.
So far, my own fears of being blacklisted, in any obvious way, have not been realized. My agents have stuck by me. So far, casting directors have accepted me into the audition process.
So far, producer Rosenman has not publicly declared that “all of my Jewish Producer friends” have in fact joined him in openly proclaiming that they too will “NEVER work with that asshole David Clenon [sic].”
It will be interesting to see if any of my auditions result in my being hired — to see if the decision-makers in the echelons above agents and casting directors determine that I’m fit to work in their productions.

The Larger Issue: What Is to Be Done?

But there is a question of much greater importance than one actor’s future prospects: Will the cultural boycott have a place in Hollywood?
Hollywood has had a love affair with Israel since at least 1960, when United Artists released Exodus, starring the late Paul Newman. Fictional Zionism, the compelling mythology surrounding the foundation of the Israeli state, has had an iron grip on the hearts and minds of Hollywood ever since.
Two years after Exodus, Columbia Pictures released Lawrence of Arabia. That film did not touch on the politics of Palestine, but it portrayed Arabs as almost uniformly uncivilized, violent, ruthless and needing the guidance of white father-figures like T.E. Lawrence.
After seeing these popular Hollywood epics, anyone, particularly of my generation, who thought about the Arab-Israeli conflict would be inclined to view Israelis sympathetically and respectfully, while assuming that Palestinians, portrayed like other Arabs, were unable to govern themselves, and thus fit for dispossession and subjugation. (Hollywood’s portrayals of Native Americans displayed troubling similarities.)
More recently, the ties that bind U.S. and Israeli entertainment enterprises seem to be getting tighter, even as the grip of the influential American Israel Public Affairs Committee is, very gradually, slipping over the hearts and minds of American politicians. As the mask of democracy slips from the face of the Israeli state, it seems some in Hollywood are joining forces with Tel Aviv to repair Israel’s image. 
There is no better time, no more important time, for creative people in Hollywood to say “No” and join the wider cultural boycott. My home state of California is one of 26 states to pass measures to penalize certain BDS activities, including the blacklisting of contractors who boycott Israel. That legal restriction on free speech, and the pressure that spawned it needs to be challenged, especially in the arena of mass entertainment.
The more we in the entertainment community foster outspoken dissent from Hollywood’s reflexive defense of the Israeli state, the harder it will be to penalize the dissidents by initiating a new version of the blacklist.
Will Hollywood progressives step up for human rights? Will they stand up against racism and apartheid in Israel? Will they stand up for themselves? 
Or will the specter of a new list of undesirable unemployables scare them off?

Nuking Russia

Top Russian Talk Show Rips Princeton U. Over Callous Fantasizing About Nuking Russia (Video)

An atmosphere of contempt that leads Western political leaders to make aggressive moves against Russia, China, and Iran, arrogantly expecting no pushback. 

Russia Insider Tip Jar - Keep truth alive!

- What a nightmare, Princeton University... We wish you all happiness and a long life. Anyway, let's reach an agreement... 

Presidential Candidates Refuse to Discuss Homelessness


Presidential Candidates Refuse to Discuss the Country’s Worst Crisis

Presidential Candidates Refuse to Discuss the Country’s Worst Crisis
A tent city in Sacramento, Calif., in 2009. (Rich Pedroncelli / AP)
In September 2015, I wrote a threepart series for Truthdig on homelessness. “Homelessness doesn’t rate a mention on the presidential campaign trail,” I wrote. “The subject is ignored or followed sporadically in the national media outside of policy oriented journals. Washington is happy to leave it in the hands of local politicians, cops and reporters who cover city halls and city streets. Out of sight and out of mind is the American treatment of the homeless.”
Since I wrote those articles, the homeless population in Los Angeles County, the nation’s most populous county, has grown from more than 44,000 to about 59,000. In the city of Los Angeles alone, the number of homeless people has increased from more than 25,000 to over 36,000. Nationally, the homeless numbers have grown, too.
Yet, as another presidential campaign gets underway, the homeless remain out of mind, although in many places they are no longer out of sight.
I’ve followed this issue during the campaign. Some candidates have made passing mention of the need for affordable housing, a popular issue related to homelessness. But where are the ringing cries for mobilization for the very poor? “I see one-third of the nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished,” Franklin Roosevelt said at his second inaugural. Harry Truman passed the Housing Act of 1949, which financed public housing. Jimmy Carter, who once lived with his family in public housing, continues to bring the issue into the public view with his work for Habitat for Humanity.
As a humanitarian crisis grows in the wealthiest country in the world, most of the media attention goes to President Trump and his expected impeachment by the House and trial by the Senate. Donald Trump has so overwhelmed politics that dialogue consists of his shouted lies, insults and threats and the Democrats’ scattered efforts to respond to them.
I confess that the drama obsesses me, too. As part of my daily morning ritual, I turn on cable news for the latest evidence of Trump’s insanity. I read the morning paper, drink coffee and pet one of our cats in a burst of multitasking. Then I go for a walk around the neighborhood.
That’s when I am reminded again that the homeless and their troubles haven’t made it onto the presidential campaign agenda. That omission is painfully evident as I pass by the increasing numbers of homeless who live in tents or under blankets on the streets of Los Angeles. Where were the homeless in the Democratic presidential debate this week? They got barely a mention.
At a Starbucks a few blocks from my house, an elderly African American man seated in a wheelchair on the sidewalk recently asked if I could help him out. I gave him some money.
“Where did you spend the night?” I asked.
“In a tent, near downtown,” he replied. He took the Expo Line commuter train to this more affluent neighborhood, where he had a better shot at some handouts. When he said “near downtown,” he likely meant skid row, the largest of the city’s ragged encampments, where the tents are packed so tightly on the sidewalks that passersby must walk in the street.
The man in front of Starbucks reflected much about the American homeless crisis. It is, to a large extent, a black crisis, inextricably linked to the systemic racism directed against African Americans.
African Americans make up 40% of the nation’s homeless, but only 13% of the population, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness. In California, blacks are 6.5% of the population but comprise 40% of the homeless. This is a higher percentage than for Latinos, Asian Americans and whites.
There are many causes of the high rate of black homelessness, but behind them all is invariably the great affliction of American society: racism.
As the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, the area’s main anti-homeless organization, put it recently:
“The impact of institutional and structural racism in education, criminal justice, housing, employment, health care and access to opportunities cannot be denied: Homelessness is a byproduct of racism in America.”
It is also a byproduct of income inequality, as racism and income inequality are also related.
Racism dooms too many African Americans to poor education, a fact that plays a key role in depriving them of the possibility for economic upward mobility. It maroons them in poor neighborhoods with substandard schools. This makes it hard to climb out of poverty and homelessness. Add to this that the poor need two or three jobs to survive, and you begin to see how they live in constant peril of losing their housing.
“We see that just one expense, one emergency of $500 or $1,000, throws them over the edge,” said Megan Joseph, executive director of Rise Together, a San Francisco Bay Area anti-poverty group. “We’re talking about a huge percentage that’s living on the edge and barely [making] ends meet.”
I am among many reporters who have spent years examining homelessness. I’ve interviewed people of all races who have become homeless at one point or another. I’ve talked to the admirable people who are dedicating their lives to fighting for the homeless, working in the streets, in medical care facilities, drug rehab clinics and jails. I still wonder how they keep at it day after day.
It is an endless war. And with Trump and the right in power, I don’t see the end to it. The president’s only interest in the homeless is to blame them for violating homeowners’ and merchants’ rights, and to somehow link them to the Democrats, as he does with undocumented immigrants. That’s what he did on a recent visit to California.
The homeless have no political clout. There are no votes for politicians to gain for helping them. They don’t do much marching or demonstrating. Political organizers don’t bother with them. The people who care are the volunteers, unpaid or low-paid, trying to steer them into the limited number of housing and aid programs that exist.
There seems to be no place for them in the presidential campaign.
I don’t have solutions. I once made the mistake of confessing that to Roosevelt Grier, the great National Football League star turned minister, when he asked me for my ideas on solving some problem. I said I was just a reporter. He looked down at me from his lineman’s bulk and in a powerful voice said it was my duty to have solutions. I believe he said that God wanted me to have them.
So here are some ideas, although not solutions: Raise taxes on the rich and big corporations, with the money going for housing for the poor, along with medical and mental health services.
Build public works projects in the hardest-hit areas. Many of the homeless are just a job away from making it. Give them a break.
And here is one more idea: The presidential candidates should talk about the homeless, visit the encampments, hear the stories and convince their more fortunate constituents to help. Out of sight, out of mind is no longer acceptable.

We Have No Choice But to Try and Stop Shell

Published on 

After Shell CEO Claims 'We Have No Choice' But to Invest in Fossil Fuels, McKibben Says, 'We Have No Choice But to Try and Stop Them'

With "overwhelming evidence that we are on the brink of climate and ecological collapse," executive's comment elicits intense rebuke
sign: the people vs. shell
Social and environmental justice groups opposed to Shell's plans to drill for fossil fuels in Arctic waters organized a protest in kayaks on the shores of Seattle's Elliot Bay in 2015. (Photo: Greenpeace)
Climate activists and experts underscored the necessity of fighting to urgently end the use of fossil fuels worldwide after Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden claimed Monday that "we have no choice" but to invest in long-term oil and gas projects.
On Tuesday, Bill McKibben, co-founder of the global environmental advocacy group, declared that "we have no choice but to try and stop them."

The 61-year-old fossil fuel executive's comment was part of an exclusive interview published Monday by Reuters. According to the news agency:
A defiant van Beurden rejected a rising chorus from climate activists and parts of the investor community to transform radically the 112-year-old Anglo-Dutch company's traditional business model.
"Despite what a lot of activists say, it is entirely legitimate to invest in oil and gas because the world demands it," van Beurden said.
"We have no choice" but to invest in long-life projects, he added.
Shell, which is headquartered in the Netherlands and incorporated in the United Kingdom, is among the world's largest energy companies. Last year, the publicly traded company's revenue was $388.4 billion.
Based on an investor presentation from June, Reuters reported that "Shell plans to greenlight more than 35 new oil and gas projects by 2025."
On Twitter, biologist and activist Sandra Steingraber highlighted Shell's plans for the future—plans which directly conflict with global scientists' warnings that the world needs to rapidly transform energy systems, replacing fossil fuels with renewable sources, to prevent climate catastrophe.

Dharini Parthasarathy of Climate Action Network International (CAN) called out van Beurden as a "climate criminal" who refuses to abandon oil "despite the overwhelming evidence that we are on the brink of climate and ecological collapse."

Patrick Galey, a global science and environment correspondent for Agence France-Presse, posited that "when the trials of oil and gas executives come, this interview will be Exhibit A."
As Common Dreams reported in July, "lawsuits that aim to push governments to more ambitiously the address climate emergency and make polluting corporations pay for the damage caused by their sizable contributions to the global warming are growing in popularity around the world."
Examples include the state of Rhode Island's ongoing lawsuit that aims to make 21 fossil fuel giants—including BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Shell—pay for knowingly "causing catastrophic consequences to Rhode Island, our economy, our communities, our residents, our ecosystems."
Another legal strategy that climate advocates are pursuing is using courts to force major energy companies to reform their business practices. In April, a coalition of environmental groups who argue that Shell has an obligation under Dutch law to act on the Paris climate goals delivered a court summons to the company in a bid to legally compel Shell to "cease its destruction of the climate, on behalf of more than 30,000 people from 70 countries."
Earlier this month, in response to Shell's latest quarterly outlook for investors, Andy Rowell of the group Oil Change International wrote that "while it may have dipped a toe into the renewable pool, Shell belligerently refuses to dive in to help achieve a livable future, despite decades of science imploring Big Oil to act."
"We do not trust Shell. We now know #ShellKnew, but carried on drilling," he added, referencing evidence that Shell scientists secretly warned company leaders decades ago about the threat that fossil fuel emissions pose to the planet.
"It could act, but it cares not to. At the end of the day, Shell still cares more about its shareholders than it does about society," Rowell concluded. "It cares more about profit than it does people. It cares more about cash than a safe climate. And that has to change, fast, because the hour glass is nearly empty."
The criticism of Shell and its chief executive over the company's continuing contributions to heating the planet come in the middle of a two-week series of protests and civil disobedience, organized by the global movement Extinction Rebellion, to pressure governments to pursue bold, science-based solutions to the climate crisis.
"The past week has been a moment in history: to simply list the thousands of arrests, the many tens of thousands undertaking civil disobedience, would not do it justice," Extinction Rebellion said Tuesday. "We have proven to the world that this rebellion is a truly global movement, growing rapidly within and between nations, and comprised of people with the selflessness, the creativity, and the courage to resist the madness of this ecocidal system."

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