Marc Ellis comments on Noam Chomsky’s recent appearance at the United Nations.
Category Archives: Features
Reuters reports: “A mosque [Abu Baker al-Saddiq] was set alight in a suspected arson attack in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday and the name of an Israeli vigilante group called ‘price tag’ was found scribbled on an outside wall, Palestinian officials and witnesses said. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin condemned the incident in ‘Aqraba, a village east of Nablus, and urged Israel’s police chief to head an investigation adding that the case ‘should be treated as terrorism.'”
John Kerry’s address to the Gaza Donors Conference in Cairo on Sunday was remarkably vacant, if not disingenuous. Reading through Kerry’s address paragraph by paragraph is an exercise in futility. Yet the political ramifications are extreme. Everyone knows that after the Gaza war a profound reckoning is needed. Yet John Kerry – and the Gaza Donors Conference – isn’t even close
Ma‘an reports: A large group of Israeli settlers on Saturday morning violently beat a young Palestinian woman while she was picking olives from trees in an orchard in the village of Yasuf in the Salfit district in the central West Bank, a Palestinian official said.
Devastation as far as the eye can see is our Yom Kippur geography. If a closing prayer is a must, chant the Amidah. The Shema. Anything that comes to mind. With a caveat. Stop the prayers if they don’t make sense in the Gaza rubble. If a prayer doesn’t make sense when the names of the murdered are read, call up another prayer. This goes for any comments that are made as well. If they make sense in the presence of the Gazan dead. Otherwise be silent.
Artist Ethan Heitner presents a profound protest idea on Yom Kippur.
Ma’an reports, “Israeli settlers early Tuesday occupied 23 houses in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan south of the Old City of Jerusalem, a local information center said.”
According to retired church personnel of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America the new presiding bishop, The Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, is seeking to retrench the church’s position on Israel/Palestine. And they fear a witch-hunt against those church workers who demand substantive action.
Haaretz reports: “Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir said during a visit to the south on Sunday that he was examining ways to lower the birthrate of the Bedouin community. Shamir heads the ministerial committee on Bedouin resettlement arrangements. “We have to take all the Bedouin and get them out of the desert a bit and bring them closer to a normal state from the perspective of legislation, life expectancy, education and livelihood,” Shamir said. “Perhaps we could even deal with the phenomenon of multiple wives to reduce the birthrate and raise the standard of living.”
Rabbi Jill Jacobs’s words are worth considering as the High Holiday season begins: “To be a rabbi is to be a moral leader. Moral leadership requires us to move beyond cheerleading to drawing on our tradition acknowledge fear, address ethical questions, offer loving critique, and inspire the hope that will move our communities toward supporting peace.” As Executive Director of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, Rabbi Jacobs is a religious leader with ethics at the core of her Jewishness. She should be congratulated for her efforts. But no matter how much passion she brings to her task, there’s something essential missing from her analysis.
Middle East Monitor reports: “Along one of the roads in the city of Ariha in the north of the occupied West Bank, merchants Khaldoun and Hassan regularly receive 30 tons of dates produced in the neighbouring Israeli agricultural settlements, in preparation for their transfer to one of the packaging factories built on the outskirts of the city, Anadolu news agency reported. Inside the factory, about 13 miners are working on “screening” the dates and repackaging them in bags that read “dates of the Holy Land” in both Arabic and English and “Made in Palestine” in order to market them locally, in the Arab states and in Europe.”
IMEMC reports: The Yesha Council of Settlements has reported that the number of Jewish settlers living in the occupied West Bank, including in and around occupied Jerusalem, has reached 382,031, adding that 7,500 Israelis have moved into West Bank and Jerusalem settlements in the last six months.
The AP reports: Some half million Gaza children made a delayed return to school on Sunday after a devastating 50-day war with Israel that killed more than 2,100 Palestinians and damaged hundreds of school buildings.
Palestine News Network reports: Numbers of Palestinians from Gaza illegally emigrating to Egypt and Europe have tripled since the Israeli assault on the enclave, sources told PNN. It is claimed as many as 10,000 people have fled in the last 8 months as life in Gaza has become unbearable.
Marc Ellis writes: “Reading Rabbi Rosen’s letter of resignation and the Tribune article I can’t help but think of the Biblical saga. Out of the blue the prophets arise, are shot down, then reappear. It hasn’t changed much in thousands of years. The prophetic is too deeply ingrained in Jewish life to pass quietly into our newly embraced colonial night. Apparently, synagogues are not for prophets. Those who practice the prophetic and attend synagogue, should take note. Your expulsion is inevitable.”
The Jewish Reconstruction Synagogue in Evanston, Illinois is looking for a new rabbi. Rabbi Brant Rosen is moving on. In a letter to the congregation Rosen wrote: “it has become clear that my [Israel/Palestine] activism has become a lightning rod for division at JRC. This crisis has taken an increasingly emotional toll on our community – and it has taken a considerable toll on my own well being as well. Given the current environment in our congregation, I believe my decision to resign is the healthiest one for all concerned.”
J Street had trouble finding its voice during Israel’s bombardment and invasion of Gaza. Now after some internal infighting and desertions, J Street is back, ostensibly seizing the moment with Israel’s confiscation of Palestinian land on the West Bank. Yes, back it is, but to where is the important question.
Israeli government ministers Yair Lapid and Tzipi Livni argue that the Israeli government’s decision to appropriate nearly 1,000 acres of Palestinian land to build settlements in the West Bank will hurt Israel internationally, but Economy Minister Naftali Bennett says “It’s 120 years that the world has opposed our construction, and we’ll continue to do it.”
Israel isn’t resting content with its gains in Gaza. Hence the new settlement expansion and the confiscation of land in the West Bank. So having withdrawn troops from Gaza, though still keeping its (somewhat adjusted) blockade in place, Israel is pushing the international Israel-gets-to-keep-all-it-has-taken envelope.
Phil Weiss considers himself outdoorsy but it upset him that lots of his friends had seen bears in the wild and he’d only seen one on the streets of Mumbai with a rope through its nose. All that changed yesterday, in the Poconos, when he saw five bears in the woods.
The Gaza war appears over – for now – but while Gazans are picking up body parts amid the rubble, the settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank are expanding. There’s even a yeshiva set to open in East Jerusalem. Just what the (un)Holy Land needs, more – occupied – religion. After all that’s where this invasion of Gaza ostensibly started.
West Bank / Jerusalem Jerusalem faces largest surge in arrests since 2nd Intifada BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 27 Aug by Charlie Hoyle — Palestinian communities in Jerusalem are experiencing the largest upsurge in detentions since the Second Intifada, with a marked increase in Israeli police brutality and the collective punishment of entire neighborhoods, local organizations say. The […]