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Athena's books

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Palestine Laboratory (2023, Verso Books) 5 stars

What's appealing to growing numbers of regimes globally is learning how Israel gets away with politicide. That term was adapted to Israel/Palestine by the late Israeli scholar and professor of sociology Baruch Kimmerling, who argued in 2003 that Israel's domestic and foreign policy is "largely oriented towards one major goal: the politicide of the Palestinian people. By politicide I mean a process that has, as its ultimate goal, the dissolution of the Palestinian people's existence as a legitimate social, political, and economic entity. This process may also but not necessarily include their partial or complete ethnic cleansing from the territory known as the Land of Israel."

Palestine Laboratory by 

The OED defines politicide as "The killing or extermination of a particular group because of its political or ideological beliefs; an instance of this."

So, the venn diagram can include both ethnic cleansing and genocide as means for politicide, and, as Holocaust scholar Omer Bartov argues (among many others), from a historical and legal perspective, ethnic cleansing is often the precursor of genocide.

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Broken Code (2023, Diversified Publishing) 2 stars

By the spring of 2016, however, Harbath started to feel that something was a little off in online politics. The first sign came not at home but in the Philippines, home to the highest concentration of Facebook users in the world. Ahead of that country’s May election, Harbath’s team had offered its standard consulting to the major parties. One campaign, that of Rodrigo Duterte, had thrived. A tough-guy mayor, Duterte’s presidential campaign was ugly—he cursed out the pope, promised the extrajudicial killing of drug users, and mocked his own daughter as a “drama queen” when she said she had been raped. Facebook thought Duterte’s campaign rhetoric was none of its business—but as the election progressed, the company started receiving reports of mass fake accounts, bald-faced lies on campaign-controlled pages, and coordinated threats of violence against Duterte critics. After years in politics, Harbath wasn’t naive about dirty tricks. But when Duterte won, it was impossible to deny that Facebook’s platform had rewarded his combative and sometimes underhanded brand of politics. The president-elect banned independent media from his inauguration—but livestreamed the event on Facebook. His promised extrajudicial killings began soon after.

Broken Code by  (Page 20 - 21)

Katie Harbath, head of the Facebook elections team.

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Love poems (1997, Morrow) No rating

In a career that has spanned more than a quarter century, Nikki Giovanni has earned …

Mothers by Nikki Giovanni

the last time i was home to see my mother we kissed exchanged pleasantries and unpleasantries pulled a warm comforting silence around us and read separate books

i remember the first time i consciously saw her we were living in a three room apartment on burns avenue

mommy always sat in the dark i don't know how i knew that but she did

that night i stumbled into the kitchen maybe because i've always been a night person or perhaps because i had wet the bed she was sitting on a chair the room was bathed in moonlight diffused through tiny window panes she may have been smoking but maybe not her hair was three-quarters her height which made me a strong believer in the samson myth and very black

i'm sure i just hung there by the door i remember thinking: what a beautiful lady she was very deliberately waiting perhaps for my father to come home from his night job or maybe for a dream that had promised to come by "come here" she said "i'll teach you a poem: i see the moon the moon sees me god bless the moon and god bless me" i taught that to my son who recited it for her just to say we must learn to bear the pleasures as we have borne the pains

Love poems by 

Mating in Captivity (2006, HarperCollins) 3 stars

Why does great sex so often fade for couples who claim to love each other …

Not sure why I read the entire book

3 stars

This isn't really for anyone who has practiced consensual nonmonogamy or doesn't identify with relationships based on domestic normativity in the first place. It's like watching a reality show.

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Palestine Laboratory (2023, Verso Books) 5 stars

Israeli history can be split into two eras: before and after 1967. Before the Six-Day War, Israeli policy was not noble but at least gave the rhetorical impression of (sometimes) opposing repression. In 1963, Foreign Minister Golda Meir told the United Nations General Assembly that Israel “naturally opposes policies of apartheid, colonialism and racial or religious discrimination wherever they exist” because Jews understood what it meant to be victims. Israel bonded with newly independent African states, enjoying their postcolonial freedoms, and African nations backed Israel at the UN. Many Israelis then and now viewed their country as a liberation struggle akin to being freed from colonial bondage. They had no time for the view that Zionism was tinged with colonialism. (…) Journalist Sash Polakow-Suransky recounts in his book on Israel’s secret relationship with apartheid South Africa, The Unspoken Alliance, that 1967 saw a watershed in Israel’s defense posture. Assisted by Soviet and Arab propaganda, “Israel’s image as a state of Holocaust survivors in need of protection gradually deteriorat[ed] into that of an imperialist stooge of the West.” Thereafter, many Third World nations turned away from Israel and the “Israeli government abandoned the last vestiges of moral foreign policy in favour of hard-nosed realpolitik.” Partnering with the world’s most brutal tyrants followed. Israel’s relationship with Iran under the Shah was an early example.

Palestine Laboratory by