With Tisha B’Av upon us, Rabbi Brant Rosen has released his contemporary take on the Biblical Book of Lamentations – Lamentation for a New Diaspora. Marc Ellis writes, “Rabbi Rosen’s lamentation is poetic, strong and dark. Trauma is the global name of the game. The ravages of mass culture, industrialization, militarism and climate change have taken their toll. The New Diaspora, the community of refugees and exiles of every stripe who gather to protest the coming global catastrophe, are themselves scattered and without hope.”
Monthly Archives: July 2017
The investigation of Russia’s meddling in U.S. politics dominates the liberal press. Phil Weiss writes that he believes the suspicions about Donald Trump and the Russians, but what stands out to him is that conduct that is Watergate-worthy when it comes to Russia is hunky-dory when it comes to Israel. Just in the last week there have been two other expressions of Israel’s active interests in our politics that the liberal media have failed to say boo about.
The State Department finds Israeli settlements, settler attacks, changes to the status quo at al-Aqsa mosque and a lack of progress on Palestinian statehood are the driving cause of violence.
When American Jews take a position on Israel based on it calling itself a Jewish state, they are playing Israel’s game: claiming Jews are a nation, and therefore that their voice counts more than non-Jews who live in Israel, giving strength to illiberal forces in that land. American Jews should express themselves as liberals, and form coalitions of others in and out of Israel on that basis.
Israel’s security cabinet announced late Monday evening that metal detectors installed at the gates of the al-Aqsa mosque compound would be removed and replaced with “smart cameras,” following more than a week of protests and upheaval against the new security measures following a deadly shooting at the site. Munther Amira, the head of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee in the West Bank, told Mondoweiss, “Nothing about this is acceptable, the only option we accept is the to return the status of the mosque back to the status quo without cameras or any other additions.” Amira said Palestinians view the extra security measures as a way for Israel to exert its control over the al-Aqsa mosque.
Speaking to Mondoweiss from Friday’s prayer at Lion’s Gate in Jerusalem, Sheikh Mustafa Tawil fears the latest Israeli security measures at the Al-Aqsa mosque will lead to partitioning it just like with Hebron’s Ibrahimi mosque in 1994. “Muslims aren’t allowed to pray at the Ibrahimi mosque on Israeli weekends and holidays. The occupiers want to do the same thing to Al Aqsa mosque,” Tawil said. “We refuse these gates because they were set up by the occupiers to force their control over the mosque. We refuse the Israelis’ sovereignty over the mosque at all. The metal detectors are just the first step in dividing Al Aqsa mosque.”
Five leaders on an interfaith delegation to Israel/Palestine were refused permission to board their plane in the United States, in what appears to be an implementation of Israel’s travel ban on supporters of Palestinian rights and Boycott, Divestment Sanctions (BDS). Rabbi Alissa Wise: “We were told at check-in that the airline has a letter from the Israeli government saying we are not allowed to fly to Israel. I wasn’t even able to get as far as checking my bag.”
Israeli authorities on Monday installed extra security cameras around the entrances of the al-Aqsa mosque compound, Member of the Israeli Knesset’s Arab Joint List, Aida Touma-Suleiman, confirmed to Mondoweiss. The newly installed security cameras were added amid growing unrest and daily clashes over security measures instituted ten days ago following a deadly attack near the site.
The “grip” of AIPAC is so complete that writers who challenge it are smeared as “anti-Semites” and politicians who buck it “see their careers suddenly stalled,” Andrew Sullivan says in denouncing Schumer for leading the charge on the “creeping authoritarianism” of the Israel Anti-Boycott Act before Congress.
Likud minister Tzachi Hanegbi says that Palestinian protests may lead to their “third Nakba”. “This is how a Nakba starts,” Hanegbi said. “I pray that they do not bring a third Nakba on themselves.”
“Hitler’s secret weapon was coercing Jews to destroy themselves,” Shmuley Boteach writes, and we might do so again he warns. He says that Jews are now collaborating in the destruction of Israel, and by this he means they support a Palestinian state!
The Anti-Israel Boycott Act was challenged repeatedly at Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s Town Hall in the Bronx on Saturday July 22. Gillibrand promised to take another look at the bill, said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has no vision for peace, and acknowledged that AIPAC has a stranglehold on Congress.
Olav Fykse Tveit of the World Council of Churches urges church leaders to pray for a just solution of the troubles in Jerusalem. Marc Ellis writes, “The WCC is now on record here urging a reestablishment of the status quo at Al Aqsa and in Jerusalem, a status quo that affirms Israeli occupation.”
Palestinian violence outside Al-Aqsa mosque justifies the Israeli restrictions on the site, in the eyes of Israelis. But Al Aqsa is a Muslim compound, and the greater paradigm is that of Israeli state criminality and occupation, beginning with the ethnic cleansing of the Mughrabi quarter in 1967.
Islamic hospital in occupied East Jerusalem calls on international organizations to intervene to protect the hospital from raids by Israeli security forces, “roaming Hospital corridors under the pretext of looking for injured Palestinians.”
In a book once regarded as heretical among American Jewry, The Tragedy of Zionism, Bernard Avishai explained more than 30 years ago that Zionism evolved from a Histadrut (trade union) movement, to statism that aspired to be Jewish and democratic, and from this statism to a new unabashedly undemocratic Zionism.
Muhammad Abu Ghanam, 20, a student at Bir Zeit University, was shot by Israeli forces during demonstrations in East Jerusalem and died in al-Makassed hospital. A crowd of Palestinian men hauled his body in bloodied sheet over the hospital walls to prevent Israeli forces from doing what they often do, confiscating demonstrators’ bodies. Abu Ghanam had a funeral shortly after.
Don’t give the Trump administration any power to “lock them up,” J Street warns Congress about new “Israel Anti-Boycott Act,” while the ACLU warns that “simply requesting information about such boycotts” could expose a person to penalties.
Gaza’s sea waters are becoming increasingly polluted with raw sewage amid the Strip’s electricity crisis, but swimmers are still diving into the sea. “Our families have been living in this area for 50 years, if we do not swim in the sea, we will not have a break from ruthless mosquito bites along the night.”
Three Palestinian youth were killed during demonstrations in occupied East Jerusalem on Friday, as clashes erupted across the occupied West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in protest against new security measures installed by Israeli authorities at the al-Aqsa mosque after a deadly shooting earlier this week.
Part two in a series where Dr. Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi examines a federal complaint filed against her, the California State University Board of Trustees, and the San Francisco State University by the Lawfare Project, a self-described “legal arm for the pro-Israel community” whose executive director affirmed that its objective is to “make the enemy pay.”
Proponents of law targeting BDS in Massachusetts argue that Israeli companies would leave the state if the legislature fails to pass anti-BDS act. That’s frankly absurd. Israel needs Massachusetts much more than Massachusetts needs Israel.
A new initiative to stifle Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) in the Massachusetts legislature is a bill to “Prohibit Discrimination in State Contracts”, arguing that targeting Israel is a form of discrimination aimed at people’s religion and national origin. Opponents showed that this is a facade to hide the anti-free-speech intent of the legislation.
Neighbors of a mansion on Chicago’s north side yesterday OK’d Haymarket Books’ plan to move in by a 50-30 vote; but only after the publisher’s application for a zoning variance was attacked by pro-Israel forces who conflated anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism.
Last Monday, Senate minority leader, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who is also a major supporter of the anti-BDS legislation, diverted from his Senate speech on health care, to address anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism and BDS. He equated Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions with anti-Semitism.