This week Senator Ben Cardin introduced an AIPAC-backed amendment to a trade bill that seeks to thwart the growing BDS movement. The legislation is designed to pressure the EU, which is currently negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the United States, to reverse course on the steps it has taken in recent years to oppose Israeli settlements. If it passes it would set a dangerous precedent for free speech and solidify the United States’ role as the chief enabler of Israel’s occupation.
Monthly Archives: April 2015
Israeli soldiers shot and killed, on Friday at night, a young Palestinian named Ali Sa‘id Abu Ghannam, 16 years of age, near the Zaim military roadblock, east of occupied Jerusalem.
Combatants for Peace respond to a recent Mondoweiss report, “Marking Memorial Day in Tel Aviv with Kahanists and Combatants for Peace.”
Hatim Kanaaneh reflects on the recent news that the Israeli Supreme Court will permit the “legal seizure” of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem by remembering a story from his youth of trying to pick the delicious, and dangerous, prickly pear.
Yesterday, members of the Baltimore chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace interrupted a Yom Ha’Atzmaut party held at a downtown bar, denouncing it as a celebration of ethnic cleansing and confettiing it with educational flyers about the Nakba.
The only two times that Labor has won since 1977 is when they had proven generals, heroes, men with “blood on their hands,” Chemi Shalev says at Manhattan JCC, explaining why Isaac Herzog lost the election when it was winnable by anti-Netanyahu forces
The question of punishing illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian territory was considered separately in Europe and Israel last week, with only superficial differences in the conclusions reached. Israel’s near half-century occupation is in no immediate danger, either at home or abroad.
Yesterday, an estimated 5,000 Palestinian citizens of Israel and Jerusalemites participated in the March of Return in an open field overlooking the Sea of Galilee and above a valley where ruins of the village of Hadatha are scattered. Organized annually by the Association for the Defense of the Rights of the Displaced People, the March of Return commemorates the ethnic cleansing of Palestine by pre-state Zionist forces in 1947-1948 — what is known as the Nakba.
A New York Times article celebrating sacrifice in the Israeli army on the country’s memorial day was deeply disturbing to Tzvia Thier, who has personally experienced such loss. These soldiers died in vain, for a government dispensing terror. Journalists should not be celebrating that sacrifice.
Stanford student Molly Horwitz says she was the target of anti-Semitism during an interview with a coalition of students of color who endorse student candidates. Horwitz, who recently won a senate seat, says she was asked how her Jewishness would impact a vote on divestment–a charge that has been met with denials. She quickly became a cause celebre, but the students who Horwitz says asked her that question have released a strongly worded statement denying the charges. The result is two diametrically opposed, and unresolvable, narratives that have become the latest fodder for a nationwide debate on anti-Semitism and criticism of Israel at American colleges.
Jacob Burns writes about taking Arabic lessons with Echlas al ‘Azza in Bethlehem. He says, “What makes the experience of learning from Echlas unique, however, is that when you learn with her, you learn in her home in al ‘Azza refugee camp. This means that the lessons are not just about the language, but also an education in the history and culture of Palestinian refugees. Without understanding one, she says, it is not possible to understand the other.”
Tuesday night, a busload of Palestinians from the West Bank and hundreds of Israeli Jews filed into the Tel Aviv Exhibition Grounds to attend a Combatants for Peace event billed as an “Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day Ceremony: Honoring the Victims, Fighting for Peace.” Kahanist protesters had opposed Palestinian participation in the event and baited attendees as they entered. Dan Cohen reports on the proceedings and finds the Kahanists may be a bit more honest then their liberal Israeli counterparts.
Republican Jewish consultants say Obama’s policy is sending big Jewish donors to the Republicans, thereby threatening Hillary Clinton’s ability to win
Marc Ellis first met Cornel West almost thirty years ago when he was invited to share the podium with him on the subject of Israel and the Palestinians. Since then West has become a leading African American public intellectual and taken daring stands for Palestinians, including during Israel’s attack on Gaza last summer. Ellis reflects on West’s career and prophetic voice in light of Michael Eric Dyson’s New Republic article excoriating West, and writes, “Though Dyson’s predicted fall of Cornel West is clearly exaggerated, his penchant for disciplining West’s prophetic voice should be taken seriously.”
“If I put together a finance team that will make me financially competitive enough to stay in this thing…I may have the first all-Jewish cabinet in America,” Sen. Lindsey Graham joked, but he is telling the truth about the political process, and reporters have an obligation to explore the role of the Israel lobby in our politics. So far, crickets.
Within days of President Obama’s framework agreement on the Iran nuclear program polls showed that the American public supported the framework by almost 2-to-1, but the support weakened as opposition to the deal emerged from the Israeli government, AIPAC, other members of the Israel lobby. Jeff Warner and Dick Platkin deconstruct a column by Jewish Journal of Los Angeles publisher David Suissa which parrots the Israel lobby opposition to the deal.
In the face of growing intimidation from Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government, Independent Jewish Voices – Canada (IJV) issued a statement identifying the tangible threat to criminalize criticism of the state of Israel in Canada. The positive response to this IJV initiative has been inspiring. At last count, 81 organizations from across English-speaking Canada and Québec – including major trade unions, labour councils, civil liberties, anti-war, faith-based, student and other groups — have endorsed the statement.
Rabbi Daniel Dahan, chief rabbi of Aix-en- Provence, speaking in Berkeley, said that French Jews should not emigrate to Israel out of fear but stand up for their rights in France.
Wadi Qana is Palestinian agricultural land surrounded by Jewish settlements in the northern West Bank. Israeli authorities have issued evacuation orders to villagers and lately religious settlers from Immanuel uprooted 450 olive trees
Top Hollywood bosses enjoy a strong relationship with the Israeli government and various pro-Israel lobbying groups across the United States, according to a cache of Sony internal emails leaked to Wikileaks and published for the first time last week.
NYT reporter Jodi Rudoren publishes unadulaterated hasbara glorifying Israeli army, and soldier killed in 1973, defending occupied Sinai, though the Times never tells you that
“It’s a shame [ISIS] doesn’t catch them before they reach Israel” was one of many racist responses in Israel to news that 3 asylum seekers who left Israel so as not to be detained were killed by ISIS in Libya
Bill Clinton came out four-square for the Iran deal today: “I hope and pray that we will leave behind a system where we can say with some confidence that we can keep really big, bad things from happening. That’s why this negotiation with Iran is so important.” A good sign for Hillary Clinton’s position.
Sami Sulaiman writes that if Armenian-American college students felt betrayed in the past day, he would not blame them. Yesterday the umbrella organization United States Council of Muslim Organizations released a statement on the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide that said President Obama should not refer to the “events of 1915” as a genocide without further investigation. They call for a more “balanced” approach through academic consensus based on Turkish archives that Turkey refuses to open to establish a “just memory.” Sulaiman says that USCMO member American Muslims for Palestine should know better.
Leading Rabbi David Ellenson and Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt first publicly criticized Israel last December in the Wall Street Journal, after a member of the Israeli Knesset urged them to come forward. Where will young American Jews go for leadership?