Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bailed out banks conspire to block workers' rights

By Sam Stein, Huffington Post


Three days after receiving $25 billion in federal bailout funds, Bank of America Corp. hosted a conference call with conservative activists and business officials to organize opposition to the U.S. labor community's top legislative priority.

Participants on the October 17 call -- including at least one representative from another bailout recipient, AIG -- were urged to persuade their clients to send "large contributions" to groups working against the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), as well as to vulnerable Senate Republicans, who could help block passage of the bill.

Bernie Marcus, the charismatic co-founder of Home Depot, led the call along with Rick Berman, an aggressive EFCA opponent and founder of the Center for Union Facts. Over the course of an hour, the two framed the legislation as an existential threat to American capitalism, or worse.

"This is the demise of a civilization," said Marcus. "This is how a civilization disappears. I am sitting here as an elder statesman and I'm watching this happen and I don't believe it."

Donations of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars to Republican senatorial campaigns were needed, they argued, to prevent America from turning "into France."

"If a retailer has not gotten involved in this, if he has not spent money on this election, if he has not sent money to [former Sen.] Norm Coleman and all these other guys, they should be shot. They should be thrown out their goddamn jobs," Marcus declared.

Earlier he argued: "As a shareholder, if I knew the CEO of the company wasn't doing anything on [EFCA]... I would sue the son of a bitch... I'm so angry at some of these CEOs, I can't even believe the stupidity that is involved here."

Audio of the conference call, which was obtained by the Huffington Post, is excerpted throughout this piece to provide a clearer insight into the pitched battle surrounding the Employee Free Choice legislation. At one point, relatively early in the call, Marcus joked that he "took a tranquilizer this morning to calm myself down."

"This bill may be one of the worst things I have ever seen in my life," he said, explaining that he could have been on "a 350-foot boat out in the Mediterranean," but felt it was more important to engage on this fight. "It is incredible to me that anybody could have the chutzpah to try and pass this bill in this election year, especially when we have an economy that is a disaster, a total absolute disaster."

The legislation -- which would allow workers to form a union either by holding a traditional election or having a majority of employees sign written forms -- is virtually certain to face a Republican filibuster. Obama and Senate Democrats have stated their commitment to the bill, though the timing of the vote remains a topic of heated debate.

Weeks before the November election, Marcus, Berman, and others saw this ominous political landscape taking shape. Hoping to aid opponents of EFCA in the Senate, they pleaded with participants on the call, mostly stock analysts or individuals with investment portfolios, to urge clients to prop up the campaigns of endangered Republican candidates, including Norm Coleman of Minnesota, Gordon Smith of Oregon, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, and Roger Wicker of Mississippi.

"If there are not enough Republicans operating as a firewall, after this election it is going to be very difficult to hold the line," predicted Berman. "The only way after these elections if we don't have a filibuster proof Senate... is to make this issue so hot in some states so that even a Democrat who is up for election in 2010 has to think twice about whether or not they are going to let this thing go by."

At one point, another individual on the call suggested that participants send major contributions to Berman's organization as a way of affecting the election without violating the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law. "Some organizations have written checks for $250,000, $500,000, some $2 million for this," said the man, likely Steven Hantler, the director of free enterprise and entrepreneurship at Bernie Marcus' Marcus Foundation.

Citing the massive war chests that unions have brought to the EFCA fight, Marcus asked participants to make campaign donations rather than lobbying payments. "Fire all these guys in Washington," he said of the K-Street operators, "they are worthless anyway."

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Berman said that there "was nothing on that call that spoke to funneling money to anybody." Indeed, at a separate point, Marcus discussed the need to contribute to issue advocacy and education activities. The call, Berman continued, was designed to explain some of the economic implications of passing EFCA and was "one of a series with people around the country who are connected to businesses."

"There has been, though it has changed in the last few months, a fairly significant deficit in terms of understanding what this law is about," Berman said. "I know a number of business groups have held calls with people about the impact of this legislation... The unions who are a proponent of this have not made it a high profile issue. I think they have learned from their polling that it doesn't poll well, which is why they don't' want to make it a public issue."

As for the business community, Berman added, "I do think that most businesspeople fully appreciate the damage that out-of-control labor leaders have caused for other businesses. There is no appetite for finding out if you are going to have to be the next business to deal with other labor issues."

A Bank of America spokesman declined a request for public comment, and the bank's representative on the call played a minor role. The conference call was referenced in a November 5 Bank of America research document, in which the company noted that EFCA "increases the likelihood that retailers would be unionized, which could drive higher labor cost at retail." On "the flip side," however, the document said the bill would increase the "spending power of lower income consumers as this would be a de facto wage and benefit increase."

As evidenced by its dual interpretation of the legislation, Bank of America's role in the EFCA fight is a bit murky. The company, as stated by an official there, hosted the call for the purposes of equity research, meaning that their goal was to represent the opinions of clients and not the bank itself. But their involvement in an effort to drum up support for defeating the labor-backed legislation, so soon after getting bail out funds from the federal government, left a bad taste in the mouth of some union officials.

"Bank of America is now not only getting bailout money. They are lending their name to participate in a campaign to stop workers from having a majority sign up [provision]," said Stephen Lerner, Director of the Private Equity Project at SEIU. "The biggest corporations who have created the problem are, at the very time, asking us to bail them out and then using that money to stop workers from improving their lives."

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

President Barack Obama Inauguration Day photos

Photobucket Album

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Google joins with civil rights groups for high-tech inaugural ball

This week's presidential inauguration was a time of many firsts. One you may have missed on the mix was a high-tech ball sponsored by the Leadership Conference of Civil Rights (LCCR) and giant technology company Google, Inc.

Billed as a "a break from traditional inaugural balls," the gala occasion held Jan 20 at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C., and according to the LCCR website featured "laptop stations set up throughout the party enabled guests to contribute to five charities including DC Central Kitchen, One Economy, the Sunlight Foundation, Green for All, and LCCR. Google matched the donations received at the event." The event also provided Nintendo Wii video game consoles and other high tech devices for the entertainemnt and education of the guests.

The ball attracted politicos such as Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Google founder Larry Page and actors such as Ben Affleck, Glenn Close, John Cusack, and Jessica Alba.

The Leadership Conference for Civil Rights is a coalition of more than 200 civil rights, human rights and labor organizations and represents the coordinated struggle for civil rights in the U.S. Google, Inc. is a Fortune 500 corporation that focuses on software and web development.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

#inaug09 We Are One concert slideshow

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#inaug09 People are nice and happy

Despite the desperate economic situation and being in two wars, people here are happy and nice. That's what hope and change does to you, I guess.

Like yesterday, we were lost in Baltimore, trying to get to the Beltway, and not once but twice ordinary Baltimoreans (one white, one black) came to help us. Noticing our out of state plates and map in hand, one man wearing a tan construction jacket and driving an SUV honked his horn and said he could tell we needed directions. And we got to where we needed to go. Thanks guys!

Even in the massive line-up for the Lincoln Memorial We Are One concert people were so nice and patient (except for the immature privileged-looking youngsters who tried to jump the line but they got their just desserts from the vigilant Obama volunteers).

Let's hope when there are a few million of us together on Tuesday the same happy and niceness will be there.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

#inaug09 Along the Civil War trail

Second leg of Inauguration-palooza was long and intense. We drove through the Ohio Valley into Pennsylvania, West Virginia and then Western Maryland. It’s mountain-country – rugged and beautiful.

Stopped in southeastern Ohio, near Wheeling. We were looking for a mall to get long underwear and struck it rich. A Circuit City! We did our Great Depression duty and shopped at CC for a digital camera our family has been wanting to buy for years. Yep we still have a film camera. So we figured – let’s take advantage of the closing down the business sale.

Got a great camera – lots of folks in the store – and depressing. Talked to a couple of workers there. They just found out a day ago it was closing. No time to get other job prospects. Of course – other jobs??? Not too many around. The country is shedding them faster than my dog sheds his fur. This is such a deep crisis.

“Obama wants to extend unemployment insurance to part-timers who lose their job,” my husband tells one of the workers there. “Yeah. That would be good,” he says. He works part-time at Circuit City. All these part-time workers aren’t eligible now for unemployment. Pretty outrageous.

As we poked through the basket of $6.96 (plus 10 percent discount) iPod covers we start talking to a lady. Turns out her daughter is on her way with her school to the inauguration.

This part of Ohio is coal and steel country – majority white families. The governor – Ted Strickland – is from the area and along with the mine workers and steelworkers unions – the area went for Obama.

Crossing into Pennsylvania and W. Virginia the mountains start to get steeper. Then the snow came. Crazy things can happen in the mountains at night, I hear our comrade Joe Sims’ voice saying. Luckily, the snow wasn’t sticking and no ice.

We go across the Civil War trail in Maryland – near Fredericksburg – where the Confederate troops crossed the Mason-Dixon line into Pennsylvania. Big battles in Chambersburg and of course Gettysburg. Wow. This is a long journey in more ways then one.

Lincoln’s speech at Gettysburg has been called one of the most profound and poetic political speech in American history. Here it is.


The Gettysburg Address

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
November 19, 1863

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

What Would King Think?

“Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor. It must be demanded by the oppressed” –MLK.

What Would He Think?

In mid-January every year, the most common question asked on talk shows is, “What would Dr. King think if he were alive today?” This year, the answer is often, “He would condemn the Israeli attacks against civilians in Gaza!”

North Texas Palestinians made the point clear in the largest of the Martin Luther King Jr celebrations during the Dallas march/parade on January 17. Several Muslim groups, including Dallas Masjid Al-islam and the Committee on Arab-Israeli Relations, joined together to form one of the larger marching contingents in the event.

The 2009 parade was one of the most diverse groups in Dallas civil rights history. The Jobs with Justice contingent included church, community, student, and union activists. Especially impressive was the group of sanitation workers from Teamsters Local 767, fresh from a major victory over Allied Waste company. They reminded the thousands of onlookers that Dr. King was working on a similar union fight in Memphis when he was murdered.
--Jim Lane

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#inaug09 #dctrip09 Ohio to Baltimore

It's cold in Yellow Springs, Ohio. But not as cold as it was when we left Chicago. Yellow Springs is a self-described small town, liberal bastion near Dayton, Ohio. It is famously known as the home of Antioch College, a liberal arts college founded in the 1860s, whose famous alumni include Coretta Scott King, Steven Gould and Rod Steiger.

We'll be driving with teenagers to Baltimore, Md. It will take about eight hours. There we'll stay with Baltimore's famous Wheeler family who opened their wonderful home to us.

Looked on Twitter and saw lots of posts of people getting to D.C. or going to D.C. I'm hoping to get to the Lincoln Memorial tomorrow a.m. for the mega-concert and invocation by Eugene Robinson. Once my 13-year-old heard Josh Groban was performing she was ready to wait 10 hours in the cold.

This is perhaps one of the wildest things our family has done.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Fort Worth Teamsters Win Significant Victory

On Martin Luther King's 80th birthday, sanitation workers in the suburbs around Fort Worth voted down management union decertification effort. Union leaders from Teamsters Local 767 said that Allied Waste bosses had brought in a union-busting attorney to try to destroy the union. He or she must have been very disappointed when the workers voted to keep the union by more than 2 to 1!
Teamsters 767 is the same big North Texas local that demonstrated how solidarity can work during the big contract battle against UPS management in 1997. They continued their successful solidarity strategy with this small unit of solid waste haulers. Unions from all around Tarrant County joined the Teamsters in a rally on the day before the decert election, January 14. They were joined by Jobs with Justice and a number of young activists from surrounding colleges. Union organizers utilized radio and the world wide web to mobilize their support.
Allied Waste has stalled the organizing process for more than a decade. Activists at the rally pointed out that the strongest feature of the proposed Employee Free Choice Act may well be the restrictions it puts on management's ability to stall. The fight for the new legislation is getting a boost from the Teamster victory.
Martin Luther King Jr was murdered while helping sanitation workers in a similar battle in Memphis. The Teamster group in Fort Worth brought home that lesson of civil rights and union partnership during their struggle. They used the same theme as the Memphis battle, "I AM A MAN!" They intend to bring that same message into the Martin Luther King Birthday celebrations.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sen. Whitehouse: 'If Obama Won’t Investigate Bush’s Crimes, I will'


President-elect Obama this week said his team was in the midst of “evaluating” Bush administration policies to see whether a criminal investigation would be worthwhile.

NPR reports that Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) says that he understands Obama’s reluctance to pursue investigations but that he may take matters into his own hands:

“I think that there’s a lot that remains to look at, and I appreciate that President Obama doesn’t want to make it his purpose as a new president, with America in real distress in many directions, to go back and look at all this, but I think we in Congress have an independent responsibility, and I fully intend to discharge that responsibility.”

In a 487-page report out today recapping Bush’s “imperial presidency,” House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) recommends that “the incoming Administration finally begin an independent criminal review of activities of the outgoing Administration.”

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Friday, January 9, 2009

First Victory for Women and Working Families in the 111th Congress

Statement from the National Organization for Women on recent bills (finally!) passed in the House of Representatives:

NOW logo
For Immediate Release
Contact: www.now.org

First Victory for Women and Working Families in the 111th Congress:
House Passes Two Pay Fairness Bills

January 9, 2009

"It's a one-two punch for women, that could knock out many pay inequities," said NOW President Kim Gandy as the U.S. House of Representatives passed two bills today that would advance fair pay for women. In a vote of 247-171 the House passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (HR 11) to address the setback delivered by the U.S. Supreme Court last year for women victims of pay discrimination, and in a 256-163 vote they passed the Paycheck Fairness Act (HR 12).

Thanks to the leadership of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and George Miller (D-Calif.), these bills were on the schedule for the opening days of the 111th Congress and serve as an encouraging sign for things to come. Women voted overwhelmingly to elect President-elect Barack Obama, who said during his presidential campaign that he would make pay equity a priority in his administration. Women voters also helped to elect a Congress that is more women-friendly than it has been in over a decade. We have worked for and have been waiting for this day in the House.

The Ledbetter legislation, which was blocked in the Republican-led Senate last year, will essentially reverse the Supreme Court decision that requires workers to file charges on a pay discrimination claim within the first six months of receiving their first discriminatory paycheck. The Court's decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear gave employers the go-ahead to discriminate as long as they weren't caught in the first six months after the onset of their illegal actions.

The companion bill, the Paycheck Fairness Act, which did not even make it to the Senate floor last year, closes loopholes that allow employers to pay men and women discriminatorily and provides consequences.

"NOW has been working since our founding over 40 years ago to end wage discrimination against women. We celebrate this day and look forward to the Senate's upcoming vote on both bills," said Gandy. The bills will go as a package to the Senate and Majority Leader Harry Reid has promised that "pay equity" legislation is at the top of his to-do list.

While NOW is proud of the House for today's bipartisan victory, we are reminded that this is just a beginning. We will look to the courts to honor and enforce the equal pay and civil rights laws that protect women workers. We will continue to work with the new Congress to ensure that women's economic security and employment opportunities are included in any stimulus package, that paid sick days and paid leave for caregivers become a reality, and that our minimum wage is a livable wage, especially for women who manage families as the sole wage earner.

In addition, we will be working with the Obama administration and Secretary of Labor-designate Hilda Solis to ensure that the U.S. Department of Labor once again fulfills its mission to represent the interests of working people. Statistics on women's work and women workers must again be collected, and overtime pay, comp time regulations and family leave policies need to be reviewed and strengthened.

We thank the House for passage of the two bills, but now all eyes will be on the Senate where we expect a bipartisan majority to pass the House bills and send them to the President for his signature. We cannot wait another forty years.

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Vietnam mandates "open source" software

Vietnam became the first country in the world to mandate open-source software on all government servers and computers this week.

Essentially the Vietnamese government has done what many of us would like to do and given Microsoft the shaft.

On January 6, Vietnam's Ministry of Information and Communications issued instructions for all state agencies to be open source compliant by 2011.

The first objective is for all government IT divisions to have 100 percent open source software on servers and desktop machines as well as full training of all government staff with an objective of 50 percent of the staff being proficient by June 3
0, 2009.

There is a further goal for the majority of all state worker in the country of 86 million people with one of the fastest growing economies in the world to be be using Linux operating system, OpenOffice word processing program, Mozilla Thunderbird email program, Mozilla FireFox web browser as well as other examples of open source services by year end.

Vietnam is also home to the open source keyboard converter Unikey.

"Open source" is an approach to software dev
elopment and distribution which is highly democratic, anti-corporate and free. Open source software is free to download, distribute and use, as opposed to the commercial license software which can be very expensive to purchase, upgrade and is usually illegal to share.

The programming code, the collection of text and numbers following a defined programming language which make a piece of software do what it does, is totally public and open to programmers to adapt, change and collaborat
e on. This not only allows for greater innovation and evolution of software, but makes the software more secure to use. Proprietary software is often targeted for viruses and other destructive and dangerous threats. A good example is the Microsoft Explorer web browser, which has had highly publicized security breaches, putting millions of users at risk.

The Vietnamese initiative also calls for the elimination of "cracked" software—programs with their commercial license bypassed—from computer bundles. In much of the developing world, software is pirated because of the excessive cost of proprietary licenses. Open source software is now growing in popularity in lesser-developed countries.

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela pledged to increase use of open source tools in government agencies a few years ago, and last year introduced a "Bolivarian" desktop computer loaded with Linux open-source operating system.

Vietnam's recent bold move will certainly be a huge boost to the open source movement, increasing exponentially the number of open source users on the globe.

For more information on open source software and movement, visit the Open Source Initiative.

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Facebook reaches 150 Million accounts

Early today, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, the landmark "social networking" website, announced on his blog that the company had reached a huge milestone of 150 million users.

Zuckerberg commented:

"Today, we reached another milestone: 150 million people around the world are now actively using Facebook and almost half of them are using Facebook every day. This includes people in every continent—even Antarctica. If Facebook were a country, it would be the eighth most populated in the world, just ahead of Japan, Russia and Nigeria.

When we first started Facebook almost five years ago, most of the people using it were college students in the United States. Today, people of all ages—grandparents, parents and children—use Facebook in more than 35 different languages and 170 countries and territories."
Facebook and other social networking utilities like Twitter, Friendster, MySpace, Orkut, Ning, etc. have not only changed the face of the Internet, they have changed the way that millions of people interact we each other in any medium.

Social networking services offer user-friendly tools to connect with friends, family and contacts in order to share opinions, interests and activities using the web, email, "cell phones and other digital devices. Most of these services are free and make their money from advertising on their websites.

Now other kinds of web pages are using social networking functions and tools to change the way visitors interact on their sites. The New York Times, Amazon.com, and many others are using social networking to attract visitors and keep them coming back more often by creating a sense of community. Social networking is becoming less of a destination on the web as a way of interacting with friends and contacts wherever you visit on the web.

The Presidential campaign of Barack Obama utilized Facebook, YouTube and their own my.barackobama.com site to encourage community building, fundraising, political action and more, using cutting edge tools that helped win the day in the elections. Sites like Facebook have become significant places to debate politics and current events as well as organize and mobilize action both in the digital and physical spheres.

With Facebook growing at approximately 450,000 users per day, and News Corp-owned MySpace closing in on the 150 million mark itself, the Facebook milestone is clearly just the beginning of the potential of social networking.

"The full potential of the web is to make the world more open, so everyone has a voice and can share what is important to them," said Zuckerberg.

We can only hope so.

Check out the People's Weekly World on Facebook.

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Monday, January 5, 2009

NY Times gives props to PeoplesWorld on Twitter/Gaza Qs

The following is the full article in Sunday's Week in Review section on the press conference the Israeli Consulate had re: Gaza. Peace organizations were encouraged to send in questions. So the People's Weekly World (PeoplesWorld on Twitter) being a newspaper that advocates peace and justice sent in a question. It was on the top of the New York Times list. List of questions follows the short article below.


January 4, 2009

The Toughest Q’s Answered in the Briefest Tweets

The Israel Defense Forces, recognizing that success in neutralizing the Hamas movement in Gaza is as much a public relations challenge as a military one, has enlisted an arsenal of Internet tools to take their message directly to a global audience. There is a military channel on the video-sharing site YouTube where you can watch suspected Hamas sites being obliterated by ordnance; blogs that spread the message of the foreign affairs ministry; and in the newest wrinkle, a news conference conducted through the microblogging service Twitter.

"Since the definition of war has changed, the definition of public diplomacy has to change as well," said David Saranga, the head of media relations for the Israeli consulate in New York, which conducted the Twitter news conference on Tuesday. Some, including the MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow, mocked the idea of a government spokesman addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in tweets barely a sentence long. "The Israeli government is trying to explain a conflict that people write books about, a conflict that newspaper writers struggle to explain in 2,000 words, in 140 characters at a time," she marveled.

Mr. Saranga said Tuesday's online dialogue, which was open for questions from anyone with a Twitter account, was "the first governmental press conference ever held on Twitter." And he made no apologies for using common text-messaging abbreviations — 2 for to, 4 for for, and r for are, and other shorthand like civ for civilian — in his answers. "I speak to every demographic in a language he understands," he said. "If someone only speaks Spanish, I speak in Spanish; if someone is using a platform like Twitter, I want to tweet."

Still, it is a long way from the courtly Abba Eban, the public face of Israel in its earliest days. For example, when he was Israel's ambassador to the United States in 1958, Mr. Eban was asked by Mike Wallace in a TV interview to assess Israel's relationship with Egypt's leader, Gamal Abdel Nasser. Here is how he put it: "Well, at present, Nasser's policy is one of acquiescence towards us, and there has been a relative tranquility on our frontier with him. Perhaps the memories of the Sinai expedition have had a salutary effect in causing him to avoid his previous belligerent provocations …"

What follows are some of the questions and responses on Twitter, many in text-messaging dialect.

Question from peoplesworld: 40 years of military confrontation hasn't brought security to Israel, why is this different?

Answer from israelconsulate: We hav 2 prtct R ctzens 2, only way fwd through neogtiations, & left Gaza in 05. y Hamas launch missiles not peace?

EhsanAhmad: you didn't get my point that Hammas is an elected govt and if u keep attacking them they got right to attack you

israelconsulate: if hamas's goal were 2 btr the lives of its cit. they wouldn't target IL. they would invest in edu/hlth not in bombs

explore4corners: How many attacks have there been against IS in the last 6 months? How many casualties? The MSM doesn't report that here.

israelconsulate: ovr 500 rockts Hit IL in the 6 mts of CF. per the last 72 hrs mre thn 300 hit IL. kiling 4 ppl & injuring hndrds

carrotderek: On what conditions would Israel consider a ceasefire?

israelconsulate: CF must ensure no more rockets on IL+ no arms smuggling. btw crossings for Human Aid r open and trucks are entering

backlotops: 1 side has to stop. Why continue what hasn't worked (mass arial/grnd retaliation)? Arab Peace Initiative?

israelconsulate: we R pro nego. crntly tlks r held w the PA + tlks on the 2 state soln. we talk only w/ ppl who accept R rt 2 live.

shahidkamal: Your nation has been disgraced on Twitter. This inverted Nuremberg Trial will not rescue your image.

israelconsulate: the point of this was to hear what ppl say and to share our POV with fellow twitters.

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