Monthly Archives:
April 2012

When the Methodist Church decided that slavery was regrettable but none of our business

Philip Weiss on

Harriet Beecher Stowe In 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, succeeded as no other abolitionist writing had in rousing public sentiment across the country against slavery with its vivid depictions of the cruelty of the practice. One of Stowe’s central ideas was that Christian principle forbade slavery. But the church was deeply corrupted

‘Magnes Zionist’ calls on Methodists to do the right thing

Philip Weiss on

Jerry Haber appeals to the Methodist general conference to pass divestment. Excerpt: I have… seen how other members of the Jewish community have become aware of, and then involved with, the struggle for the basic civil and human rights of the Palestinians. That process will continue, as Jewish supporters of Israel free themselves of the

Ending Israel’s occupation is the only way to truly invest in Palestine

Hedy Epstein on
awad2

Editor’s Note: United Methodist Kairos Response sent out a email today saying that the divestment resolution will be considered by the conference plenary tomorrow. You will be able to watch live here. In 2004, the end of one of my first journeys to the Israeli-occupied West Bank, I endured a shocking experience at Ben-Gurion airport

Romney beats Obama– to the eulogy anyway

Philip Weiss on

Today, Mitt Romney released the following statement on the death of Benzion Netanyahu: I extend my sincere condolences to the family of Benzion Netanyahu. Not only was he the father of my friend Benjamin, the Prime Minister of Israel, and the father of Israel’s hero of the Entebbe raid, Yonatan Netanyahu, he was also a

An account of the Guardian’s racist endorsement of the Balfour Declaration

Nu'man Abd al-Wahid on

Jaffa, 1898-1914. (Photo: Matson Collection) ‘The settler owes the fact of his very existence, that is to say his property, to the colonial system.’ -Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth. Imagine if China, for one reason or another suddenly replaced or supplanted the United States as Israel’s main diplomatic, financial and military supporter. That

Tail has stopped wagging, so dog can stop talking about war with Iran

Philip Weiss on

The New York Times fed the hysteria 3 months ago with this cover story. Now Israeli leaders have given it permission to staunch the hysteria The Israel/Iran story is suddenly exploding (as my friend Ilene Cohen puts it). The solid argument for war that Israel and its friends built in the last year is crumbling.

The push for divestment continues as the Methodist General Conference enters its second week

Anna Baltzer and Sydney Levy on
awad2

Palestinian Methodist Missionary and Pastor Alex Awad outside the Tampa convention center where the Methodist divestment vote will take place. (Photo: Anna Baltzer) At this moment, the United Methodist Church (UMC) is holding its General Conference in Tampa, Florida. About one thousand delegates are considering whether to divest from companies that profit from the Israeli

Beinart’s Blindspot: Israel has always been a non-democratic apartheid state

Matthew Taylor on

Like other Mondo contributors, I find Beinart’s new book to be brave, important, and blinkered all at once. The biggest problem is Beinart’s false, idealized image of pre-1967 Israel as a “flawed, but genuine democracy.” This doesn’t work because even within the green line Israel has always been a non-democratic apartheid state. Reference the international law definition of the crime

John Wesley advises Methodist delegates on divestment

Joe Catron on

Congregants prepare frond crosses for Palm Sunday in the Church of Saint Porphyrius, Gaza, Palestine (Photo: Joe Catron) As delegates to the United Methodist Church’s General Conference 2012 debate whether it is good and proper for their tithes and offering to sustain military contractors directly responsible for the control, displacement, and killing of their fellow human beings in the Gaza Strip, West Bank, and elsewhere, perhaps some will benefit from Wesley’s thoughts on

The Peacemakers of Palestine and Israel

Joe Parko on

Most media reports coming from Israel and Palestine focus on the conflict there. The impression you get is that Jews and Palestinians are interested only in making each other suffer. As a Quaker who tries to follow Christ’s call to be a peacemaker, I wanted to see for myself what was happening there in terms

Zahi Khouri to Methodist conference: ‘We don’t need charity; we want freedom to help ourselves’

Pam Bailey on

When United Methodist delegates gather as a plenary to vote on church policies this week, two petitions will be presented that reflect opposing approaches to helping Palestinians. The first is the approach Palestinian Christians themselves have asked for: divestment from companies that support the occupation. The second, re-written by the Financial Administration Committee, calls only

How Zionists implanted their dream in Einstein

Nima Shirazi on

  “If you will it, it is no dream.” – Theodor Herzl, Altneuland (1906)   The 2010 film Inception explored a world in which the subconscious mind may be infiltrated, manipulated, subverted and deceived as a form of corporate espionage. The general method of such criminal activity was to enter into a shared dream-space (sometimes

‘When Netanyahu and I look up we see nothing but the sky’ — Deputy Messiah Barak

Matthew Taylor on

Barak, messianic Former Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin’s discourse-warping indictment of Bibi and Barak as self-anointed messiahs is not hyperbolic criticism; it’s based on (among other things) an actual megalomaniac Barak statement: “At the end of the day, when the military command looks up, it sees us — the minister of defense and the prime minister.

Boots on the ground: Israel wants hikers with guns to visit renamed hilltops in West Bank

Annie Robbins on

Hiking in Palestine Israel’s defense ministry chose to distribute hiking books to over 20,000 members of bereaved families as a memorial gift ahead of Memorial and Independence day celebrations. The book, chosen by committee members of the Public Council for Soldier Commemoration, includes at least 50 sites in the West Bank and directs hikers to trek

Settlers raise Israeli flag over Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque for the first time

Kate on

Settlers raise Israel’s flag on top of Ibrahimi mosque IMEMC 26 Apr — A group of Israeli settlers raised Israeli flags on top of the fourth holiest site in Islam, the Ibrahimi Mosque in the southern West Bank city of Hebron. This is the first time ever since Hebron fell under Israeli occupation in 1967.

Investment in Palestine no substitute for divestment from oppression

Pam Bailey on

Supporters of divestment at the Methodist General Conference. (Photo: UM Kairos Response) Below is an article I wrote for the newspaper of the Love Thy Neighbor coalition (the “liberals”) at the UM conference. A subcommittee of the church’s Financial Administration Committee voted Friday to totally transform the petition to divest from the Israeli occupation into

Media ignores eight Palestinian hunger strikers as they near death

Allison Deger on

Palestinians in Gaza protesting Israeli prisons at the Red Cross office on April 23, 2012.          (Photo: Mohammed Abed/AFP) Palestinians are railing against Israeli administrative detention, imprisonment without charge, with over 2,000 prisoners currently on hunger strike, two of which are in critical condition, now in their 59th day of strike. Yet the new wave of

Huge Co-op in UK dumps suppliers linked to Israeli settlements

Annie Robbins on

The Co-operative Group Head Office city center Manchester The Boycott Israel Network (BIN) sent out the following press release earlier today: Palestine human rights campaigners today welcomed news that the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer, The Co-operative Group, will “no longer engage with any supplier of produce known to be sourcing from the Israeli settlements”.

Major olive producing village ordered to uproot 1,400 trees by May 1

Allison Deger on

Villagers relaxing in Deir Istiya, 2009. (Photo: Genevieve Long) Earlier this week, Israel ordered Palestinian farmers in Deir Istiya, a major West Bank olive producing village, to uproot 1,400 trees by the end of this month. By comparison, this order is 400 more trees than the total number uprooted in all of 2011. “This is the

Progressives to Jewish establishment: Ray Kelly doesn’t deserve support

Alex Kane on

Donna Nevel, a leading activist in Jews Against Islamophobia, protests outside the Simon Wiesenthal Center. (Photo: Ryan Chavis/NYU) Earlier this year, the leadership of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York penned a fawning Op-Ed in favor of Ray Kelly, the head of the New York Police Department (NYPD). It was titled “The Case

Denver billboards lead to– hold on to your hat– spirited debate!

Annie Robbins on

The Stop $30 Billion Campaign put 10 billboards up in Denver for four weeks last month, and 10 new ones for four weeks this month. They are due to come down this week. This follows the 48-foot-wide flag billboard on I-40 in New Mexico, which ran for six months in the latter half of 2011.