Amith Gupta reports, “New York City comptroller Scott Stringer, council members Melissa Mark-Viverito and Rory Lancman, and press secretary Eric Phillips joined Israeli ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon in strong-arming the Queens Museum to host an Israeli-government sponsored celebration of the creation of the State of Israel. ‘At a time when we literally have neo-Nazis marching in American streets, when bigotry is on the rise, the Queens Museum has sent a disappointing message to New York City and the world,’ said New York City comptroller Scott Stringer about the initial cancellation.”
Monthly Archives: August 2017
The Campus Anti-Fascist Network is a new grassroots, multiracial collective of faculty, students and staff committed to fighting the presence of fascists, white supremacists and nationalists on University campuses. One of the network founders, American Studies Professor Bill Mullen of Purdue University, says the network has exploded since the confrontation in Charlottesville, “We have nearly 200 members nationally and internationally. Nearly 1,000 people joined our [closed] Facebook page within 48 hours when it went live.”
Even as he hesitates to blame white nationalists for Charlottesville killing, saying we don’t know the facts, Trump leaps on Barcelona killings and blames Islamists and disseminates a widely discredited myth about mass executions of Muslims in the Philippines as an effective deterrent to violence.
Wolf Blitzer and Josh Marshall are strong voices against white nationalist violence. Yet Blitzer once wrote that the Deir Yassin massacre in Palestine was a “spurious myth.” And Josh Marshall named his son after an Israeli general who committed ethnic cleansing. Charlottesville is a moment of truth. If you’re going to stand up for liberal values here, you need to criticize Jewish nationalism there.
“The evidence provided for this charge of anti-Semitism is that the director of the Queens Museum, Laura Raicovich, edited a book entitled “Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency and Cultural Production.” As co-editors of this anthology we wish to address that charge.”
On Wednesday, Israel’s government agency responsible for assigning journalist credentials revoked the press card of a senior correspondent for Al Jazeera Arabic, citing the reporter as a member of the Palestinian “resistance.”
President Trump’s initial statement on Charlottesville, which blamed violence “on many sides,” has taken on a life of its own. All of this has made various Israeli leaders rather uncomfortable because while Israel is supposedly engaged in combatting anti-Semitism, it is more truly in an international ideological fight against the left. And Trump is making it difficult to make this argument without looking like a Nazi.
On Tuesday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son Yair posted on Facebook the bulk of the threats of the weekend should be attributed to the anti-racist protesters, specifically labeling the Black Lives Matter movement and Antifa as more dangerous than Nazis.
A recent article in Mondoweiss criticized Noam Chomsky saying his view of Israel is the romantic one he embraced in his younger years. Marc Ellis comments on the role nostalgia plays in politics, from Jerusalem to Charlottesville.
Rabbi Brant Rosen’s 2012 book, Wrestling in the Daylight: A Rabbi’s Path to Palestinian Solidarity, is out in a second edition, detailing his decision to leave an Evanston, Ill., congregation over Israel issues. His friend Liz Rose– who once came into his office and announced, “I’m losing my fucking mind” over Israel — says the book is a powerful guide for Jews setting out on the journey away from Zionism.
Lincoln Center went forward with Israeli-government-sponsored play this summer. But BDS campaign scored victories. Four newspapers that ran an ADL op-ed claiming that the BDS movement is bigoted against Israelis were compelled to correct the error to make it clear the target is a government that persecutes Palestinians.
“As far as is known, the main piece of evidence against the family is a Facebook post Abed wrote a few hours before the attack,” reports Haaretz.
When Nakba of Palestinians is your muttered policy– when you realize you may have to carry out another ethnic cleansing, as the Israeli right believes– it’s silly to moan about Nazis somewhere else. After all, you’re holding a very similar policy, and they’re likely to be your only allies. Yossi Gurvitz explains Netanyahu’s silence about Charlottesville.
Marc Ellis writes: Charlottesville and White nationalism have brought the issue of monuments commemorating the fallen to the forefront. Often remembrance is a form of denial. Jews are very present in the movement to oppose white supremacy and were involved in opposing white nationalism in Charlottesville. Yet, Jews have our own history to struggle with as well. Where and how the memory of our own suffering is portrayed is crucial to the Jewish future. It is hotly contested as well.
Israeli-American Ronit Dinson makes the decision to leave Tel Aviv and return to the U.S., “Am I coward for saying “khalas” (Arabic for “enough”), I want out of here? Or, are there just too many avenues that have dead-ended here in Israel? I want the same thing that all Israeli Jews, Arabs, and asylum seekers want, to live in peace with my family and for my future children to have equal opportunities. I don’t see this happening here in Israel unless the apartheid structure finally ends and all people have equal rights, regardless of their nationality, race, or religion.”
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand may want to run for president in 2020 and she is on the defensive from Israel lobby groups for withdrawing her name from anti-boycott bill. She pushes back, saying it is an “important part” of her oath to defend the Constitution that she protects the alliance with Israel. Sen. Cory Booker is under similar pressure.
On the 50th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory architect Eyal Weizman re-released his book Hollow Land, which examines the political and vertical matrix that the Israeli military implements to control Palestinian land and lives. Weizman writes “Israel’s system of control, which evolved in fits and starts throughout the occupation’s first four decades, has, during its fifth decade, hardened into an exceptionally efficient and brutal form of territorial apartheid, in which verticality is the operative principle.”
Politicians from Senators Marco Rubio and Orrin Hatch to Chuck Schumer and Ron Wyden have been outspoken in their condemnation of Saturday’s Unite the Right March in Charlottesville and the vicious acts of terror it spawned. Yet, the same senators are united by their ardent support for a racist regime that is no less inspired by racial supremacy.
It is a familiar scenario. A Palestinian voice that defies a rigidly enforced popular narrative rises and is heard. Gatekeeper pro-Israel organizations, purporting to represent the entire Jewish community, spring into outraged action and whip up Islamophobic hysteria that terrorism and antisemitism lurk where Palestinian political expression is allowed. This scenario is playing out today, as the right-wing, pro-Israel brigade vilifies Reem’s California, an Arab street-corner bakery in Oakland, CA, as promoting terrorism and hatred of Jews and seeks to drive it out of business. Against this background, the local community, as well as social justice organizations, have rallied to Reem’s side.
In late July, dozens of Israeli settlers raided and occupied the Abu Rajab family home in the Old City of Hebron near the Ibrahimi Mosque. Since then they have slowly moved in under the constant protection of armed Israeli soldiers. Abu Rajab family members are now subjected to daily harassment from the settlers, while soldiers control the family’s every move in and out of the parts of the home where they have been able to remain.
While Palestinian protesters are generally armed with rocks and a few sporadic Molotov cocktails, Israeli forces are armed with some of the world’s leading crowd control weapons that they designate as “non-lethal.” But medical professionals say that considering tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets, sponge rounds and .22 caliber live bullets as non-lethal is misleading. Mondoweiss spoke with Doctor Nasser al-Jaberi, the Director of the Emergency Room Department at the West Bank’s Arab Society Hospital, to get a better idea of what these weapons are capable of.
A comparison of Donald Trump’s weak and vague statement on the Charlottesville white supremacist attack with his earlier failure to address a specific question on anti-Semitism. He doesn’t notice bigotry because he fosters it.
Imagine that the women’s liberation movement was relegated to back yard barbecues? Imagine if the boycott campaign against South African Apartheid amounted to writing an op-ed and carrying a megaphone? Deep expressions of free speech and activism are absent from Senator Ron Wyden’s circumscribed description of free speech in justifying the Israel Anti-Boycott Act he favors.
If you know what Israel’s plan for Gaza is, you must give up on erudite chit-chats with even the finest Israelis. But Noam Chomsky is still caught up in a romance of what Israel could have been, so he opposes the only thing that can change it, BDS.
American Muslims for Palestine has just posted a great new video on the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, Senate 720, making clear the stakes in this legislation: The US Congress is selling out our right to free speech to the highest bidder, and to lobbyists.