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In defense of Cornel West’s prophetic voice

Marc H. Ellis on
Dr. Cornel West

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 has taken daring stands in support of 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. Ellis writes, “Though Dyson’s predicted fall of Cornel West is clearly exaggerated, his penchant for disciplining West’s prophetic voice should be taken seriously.”

Palestinian youth loses eye after being shot by Israeli forces in East Jerusalem

Kate on
Sponge-tipped bullets. (Photo: Emil Salman via Haaretz)

From Haaretz: “A Palestinian youth has lost an eye, apparently as a result of being shot at with a sponge bullet. It is the latest of a series of similar incidents in which Palestinian youths and children, primarily in East Jerusalem, have lost eyes to sponge bullets fired by the Israeli security services.”

Thousands in Ramallah mourn Ali Mahmoud Safi, 20, killed by Israeli soldiers while protesting

Kate on
Ali Mahmoud Safi's funeral in Ramallah.

Ma’an reports: (Ma‘an) 26 Mar — Thousands of Palestinians on Thursday marched in the funeral of a young man who succumbed to his wounds the day before after being shot by Israeli forces during a protest near Ramallah last week. 20-year-old Ali Mahmoud Safi was buried in the al-Shuhada (Martyrs’) Cemetery in the al-Jalazun refugee camp north of Ramallah Thursday, as thousands mourned the first Palestinian youth to be killed in the camp so far this year.

Netanyahu’s honesty towards Palestinians casts unwelcome light on American Jewish leadership

Marc H. Ellis on
Reform leader Rabbi Rick Jacobs, shown speaking at the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly in Baltimore, November 2012. (Robert A. Cumins/JFNA)

In the closing hours of his political campaign, Benjamin Netanyahu announced his opposition to a Palestinian state and evoked Jewish fears of Palestinians outside and inside of the state of Israel. Netanyahu’s honesty caught the American Jewish leadership by surprise. It seems that Netanyahu compromised a special Jewish Occupation Code honed over many years. In essence, Netanyahu cast an unwelcome light on a thoroughly compromised American Jewish establishment that has enabled Israeli policies toward Palestinians for decades. Netanyahu stood up for injustice without apology. It’s time for Jewish leaders to tell us – without apology – where they stand.

French immigrants are recruited to West Bank settlements

Kate on
Yakir settlement

Palestinian journalists increasingly find themselves in the line of fire when Israeli soldiers seek to suppress demonstrations in the West Bank, Haaretz reports. And: settler group recruits French immigrants to move to West Bank colonies.

Israeli prosecutor calls Bil’in protest ‘ideological crime’ at Abu Rahmah sentencing hearing

Kate on
Abdallah Abu Rahmah in court in 2010. (Photo: Activestills)

972 reports: European diplomats joined Palestinian, international and Israeli activists at a sentencing hearing for Palestinian non-violent Palestinian protest leader Abdullah Abu Rahmah at Ofer Military Prison in the West Bank on Sunday. The military prosecutor demanded a harsh punishment consisting of a long prison sentence and a large fine claiming that Abu Rahmah is somebody who commits ideological crimes, thus his chance for rehabilitation is low and he must be given a punishment that will deter him from doing similar things in the future.

Israeli police seize weapons from extremist Jewish settlement

Kate on
Yitzhak Ginsburg

Yitzhar is an extremist Jewish settlement in the northern West Bank that was founded by rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburg, who has commended a text condoning the killings of non-Jews. Israeli police raided it Tuesday, seizing weapons they said could be used on Palestinians or Israeli forces

Settler shoots Palestinian teenager in East Jerusalem

Kate on
Settlers raise guns at Palestinians near Nablus on August 7, 2009 (Photo: AP)

Ma’an reports: “A settler shot and injured a 17-year-old Palestinian teenager in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan on Monday, witnesses said. Muhammad Yusuf Burqan, 17, was shot while tending to a small herd of sheep in the Wadi Yasul area of the neighborhood, his cousin told Ma‘an. “I came back to check up on Muhammad and found him lying on the ground surrounded by about 15 settlers, one of whom had a gun in his hand. I tried to access Muhammad and give him first aid, but the settler with the gun threatened to shoot me”