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- ‘Visit Palestine’–My personal message to Mayor Bill de Blasio 5
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- NYC Community Board member calls BDS ‘the face of anti-Semitism’ 11
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- Poll: If two-states collapse, Americans overwhelmingly favor ‘democracy’ 85
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- On American Zionist Education: An excerpt from ‘The Politics of Teaching Palestine to Americans’ http://t.co/H8rDbZSLTb, 48 mins ago
- ‘Apartheid on the Hill’: Students transform Tufts campus to highlight Israeli occupation http://t.co/bfLo27JQcU, 49 mins ago
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- The Latest from Mondoweiss for 03/07/2014 - http://t.co/PYrDx7sDJc, 8 hours ago
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Author Archives: Alex Kane
The House of Representatives passed the U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act by a 410-1 vote today. The legislation, a major priority for the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), designates Israel as a “major strategic partner”–a first for any U.S. ally. AIPAC members lobbied Congress to approve the bill on Tuesday, in addition to asking elected officials to sign letters stressing that Congress should be informed of the nuclear negotiations with Iran. Only Thomas Massie of Kentucky voted against the bill.
The Anti-Defamation League’s latest dance with Islamophobia emerged in Arizona in the midst of a debate on a bill enshrining the rights of business owners to deny service to gays and lesbians. The ADL used specter of Muslims using the legislation to discriminate against non-Muslims to help kill the legislation.
The day after Mondoweiss exposed Stand4Facts.org, StandWithUs, the right-wing pro-Israel group, took the website down. But activists have downloaded the entire website for your viewing pleasure.
Boycotting the land you love: Israeli activist Leehee Rothschild on BDS and the struggle for Palestinian rights
Leehee Rothschild is a rarity in Israel. She’s one of the few Israeli Jews to fully support the campaign to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel–the country she lives in and calls home. Two weeks ago, Rothschild was in New York, and Mondoweiss’ Alex Kane met up with her in Brooklyn. They discussed BDS, the role of Israelis in the Palestinian movement for freedom and how Israeli society reacts to the radical left.
So Ali Abunimah is a “smooth” radical, Noura Erakat is “attractive” and inflammatory, and Breaking the Silence is “fringe.” The right-wing pro-Israel group StandWithUs has compiled dossiers on activist groups and speakers who work for Palestinian human rights. Alex Kane has obtained access to the files, which were made possible with funding from the Newton D. and Rochelle Becker Foundation
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s speech to the Israel lobby group AIPAC has stirred up a hornet’s nest. 700 people organized by Jews Say No! slammed Mayor Bill de Blasio’s speech in a letter delivered yesterday: AIPAC is a “right-wing organization that strong-arms elected and other government officials to support brutal Israeli government policies” that no progressive should support. And on his MSNBC show Chris Hayes questioned de Blasio’s declaration. While the progressive congregation B’nai Jeshurun is said to have divided over the matter.
The New Mexico House resolution that would have put the state on record as supporting a God-given Greater Israel was killed last night.
Hassan Jabareen has been on the front lines of the battle for Palestinian rights within Israel for years. The founder of Palestinian-Israeli human rights group Adalah, Jabareen spoke last night at Columbia Law School. He clearly explained why Palestinians refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state–and why that phrase is contradictory and misleading.
The New Mexico House of Representatives is the latest state body to consider a resolution supporting Israel’s right to control the occupied territories. The Zionist Organization of America-backed effort has garnered success in five other states. But in New Mexico, the Greater Israel resolution has encountered resistance. Representative Gail Chasey, a progressive Democrat in the state, is intent on killing the bill.
The New York Times’ recent coverage does a poor job of honestly explaining what the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement says about the future of Israel and Jewish life in the region.
The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) helped draft the New York legislation aimed at academic organizations that support the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, the Jewish Daily Forward reported on Friday. While the legislation was withdrawn from the New York Assembly last week, an amended version is back, and the JCRC is strategizing on how to pass it. The JCRC’s involvement in drafting the bill is the latest demonstration of their clout in the state. They are the go-to address for legislators looking to display their pro-Israel bonafides, and have forged close relationships with powerful officials. Above, New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver speaks at a JCRC organized rally in 2009.
StandWithUs, the right-wing pro-Israel group, is gearing up to combat the annual “Israel Apartheid Week” on college campuses. A document Mondoweiss obtained reveals details of the strategy StandWithUs, which works closely with the Israeli government, plans to employ at university campuses. The document offers grants of $200 to pro-Israel groups and suggests holding events like a “Hummus Not Hamas” party.
A bill has been introduced in the Maryland Senate that bars public universities from providing funds to academic organizations that support boycotts of Israel.
Two academics have issued an open letter criticizing the anti-boycott bills being debated in the New York legislature.
A bill in the New York Assembly targeting academic groups that boycott Israel was halted in its tracks yesterday after activist mobilized over the weekend to stop it. Three committees in the New York Assembly did not discuss or vote on the anti-boycott legislation, even though it was on their schedule. The defeat came after a variety of groups, like the New York State United Teachers, blasted the legislation as an attack on academic freedom.
This week, the New York State Assembly is set to consider legislation prohibiting state aid from going to academic groups that support boycotting Israel. But Palestinian rights and civil liberties groups are mobilizing fast in an attempt to halt the anti-boycott bill. The Assembly is considering the legislation after the New York Senate approved it last week.
‘NYT’ fails to disclose that Op-Ed author arguing Israel’s case against BDS is husband of ‘NYT’ reporter in Israel/Palestine
Hirsh Goodman, an Israeli-South African analyst and the husband of Isabel Kershner, pens a column in the New York Times on how the BDS movement is winning the narrative war in the West. The column by is noteworthy for two reasons: the Times doesn’t see fit to disclose that his wife reports for the paper on Israel/Palestine; and he reflects growing Israeli panic over the BDS movement.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee voted unanimously for a bill that designates Israel as a “major strategic partner” and waives visa requirements for Israelis who visit the U.S. While the House version of the legislation does not include much criticized exemptions for Israel’s participation in the visa waiver program, activists for Palestinian rights see other pro-Israel provisions of the bill as deeply problematic.
The New York Senate has passed a bill by a vote of 56-4 that prohibits colleges and universities from spending taxpayer funds on academic groups that support boycotting Israel. Introduced by Democratic Senator Jeff Klein, above, the bill’s passage marks the first time a legislative body has successfully passed a bill to target the ASA over its decision in December to boycott Israeli academic institutions. A companion bill is currently being considered in the Assembly. If it passes there–48 lawmakers are co-sponsors of it–it will be up to Governor Andrew Cuomo to either sign the bill or veto it.
Did the lobby twist Bill de Blasio’s arm, or does he believe that he must support Israel as part of his job? Jerome Slater has a dialogue with Alex Kane
A New York bill to cut off state funding to the American Studies Association over its Israel boycott has the support of 48 lawmakers.
Israel’s UN ambassador received a rude awakening in NY last night, as a love-fest turned into a forum for questions about Israeli policies. Ron Prosor came to talk about bias against Israel at the U.N. but the spiel was overshadowed by critical attendees, who questioned Prosor on “internment camps” for Africans, illegal settlements, and killings in Gaza: “My mother told me about how in her village in the Ukraine, the Cossacks came in and killed the Jewish family next door. I would like to know how I can support Israel that treats the Palestinians the same way that the anti-Semites treated my mother’s family in the Ukraine?”
In the wake of the American Studies Association’s endorsement of the boycott of Israel, advocates for the Jewish state frequently claimed that the BDS movement seeks the “destruction” of Israel. Cary Nelson, the most prominent scholarly voice against the academic boycott, wrote that the goals of the movement would lead to Jews being “exiled” or killed.” But a survey of some of the leading Palestinian supporters of BDS reveals a starkly different vision: that of a shared future in Israel/Palestine, where the rights of everyone are upheld.
Brooklyn College professor and Nation columnist Eric Alterman has declined to debate author Max Blumenthal–again.
Ariel Sharon may be dead, but the apparatus of separation he is responsible for remains. In 2002, Sharon decided to build the West Bank separation barrier, which was sold to the Israeli public and the world as a surefire way to prevent the suicide bombings rocking Israel. But the route of the wall made clear it served other important purposes: staunching the flow of Palestinian movement between the West Bank and Israel, creating a de facto border Israel would never give up and bolstering the Jewish demographic majority the state is so obsessed with.