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Author Archives: Marilyn Neimark and Donna Nevel
In the aftermath of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison, he was greeted by throngs of New Yorkers. But not by the Jewish establishment. Why? Because the leader who sat in jail for 27 years for fighting apartheid was not an acceptable Zionist.
The Israeli right continues to try to halt discussion of the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Most recently, Al Jazeera reports that right wing groups have tried to censor schoolbooks and silence organizations that make visible to the Israeli public the Nakba.
In smear campaigns waged in the last decade, right-wing Islamophobes used Israel as a cudgel to attack the legitimacy of a Boston mosque and Brooklyn school. Those campaigns illustrate how, when Israel enters the equation, many Jewish groups, public figures, and institutions (including those that claim to oppose Islamophobia) take positions based on their implacable commitment to Israeli policies.
Peter Beinart’s recent New York Review of Books piece, “The American Jewish Cocoon,” makes an important point about the Jewish community’s lack of understanding of Palestinians. However, while it initially reads as a progressive call for deeper understanding, at its core it continues to reflect many of the damaging assumptions of the mainstream Jewish community that he claims to assail.
In a statement timed for the Jewish New Year, the Jews Against Islamophobia Coalition re-commits itself to being an ally and partner with the Muslim community and all communities challenging Islamophobia, racism, and injustice.
Steven Emerson, an anti-Muslim ideologue, is currently suing Cyrus McGoldrick, an American Muslim community organizer and human rights activist, over a sarcastic tweet that McGoldrick sent to two friends. No “reasonable person,” McGoldrick’s lawyers maintain, “could have understood that joke as stating an actual fact about Emerson,” which is fundamental to a “viable libel claim.” Even a loyal supporter of Emerson has publicly acknowledged that the tweet was a joke. Emerson is part of a network of Islamophobes that is well-funded, connected to right-wing Israeli politics, and an integral part of the U.S. “war on terror.”
The Jewish establishment refused to embrace Nelson Mandela on his visit to NY 23 years ago because he had not come out in favor of Israel. This led progressive Jews, who felt unrepresented by the establishment, to form Jews for Racial and Economic Justice
One NY rabbi could hear the questions, but another barred them from his synagogue: Is Israel—or can it be—a democracy? Is there—or can there be—equality in Israel? Can a Jewish state be democratic?
The Anti-Defamation League, which is supposedly committed to civil liberties for minorities, has failed to criticize the NY Police Department for its surveillance of Muslims
Open up genuine discussions in the Jewish communities about the occupation, the wall, and the right of return. Stop the tactics of calling one’s opponents anti-Semitic or claiming that they advocate the “elimination of Israel”
Mainstream media accounts of Islamophobic speech fail to make the connection the bigotry and the support it is getting inside the hard right Zionist camp
The separation of the world into “good Muslims” and “bad Muslims” is integral to U.S. foreign policy, which encompasses the “special” relationship between the U.S. and Israel and the “war on terror.” Within the mainstream Jewish community, the litmus test separating “good” and “bad” Muslims relates most often to Israel.
After Phil Weiss wrote about Occupy Wall Street and faulted Jews for Economic and Racial Justice (JFREJ) for not focusing on the Palestinian issue, Donna Nevel sent him the following note. She gave us permission to publish it. I was … Continue reading
A Jewish journalist recently asked me whether having a panel of Jews about the cultural boycott of Israel (see flyer below) privileges Jewish voices over those of Palestinians. This is a serious question deserving of serious consideration. Of course we … Continue reading
We may have lost the Almontaser battle, but we built a respectful coalition across ethnic/religious lines to counter racism
Monthly Review has published two pieces on the Khalil Gibran International Academy affair in New York. One is by the school’s former principal, Debbie Almontaser, and there is a companion piece by Donna Nevel. Go to Monthly Review to read … Continue reading
Donna Nevel was part of the media team for the US boat to Gaza. At Monthly Review she tells the story of meeting two passengers on the boat, Missy Lane, 32, and Max Suchan, 22, during the Greek uprisings early … Continue reading