Category Archives: Features
PNN reports: “Israeli forces on Monday razed the Bedouin village of Al-Araqib in Negev Desert for the 78th time on the pretext that it had been built illegally, eyewitness said. Local resident told Andalou agency that “Dozens of Israeli forces backed by five bulldozers stormed the village at dawn today and began demolishing homes and other structures, the soldiers were heavily armed. They drove us out under the rain before they demolished our homes for 78th time in four years.””
Ma‘an reports: Israel’s deputy transportation minister Tzipi Hotovely of the Likud party toured the al-Aqsa mosque compound Tuesday morning while being escorted by Israeli police officers. Commenting on the unwanted visitor, director of the Al-Aqsa Mosque Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani told Ma‘an that “the Israeli occupation continued with its policy of imposing siege on Al-Aqsa Mosque from dawn prayer until noon time.”
Palestine is occupied by Israel. Al Aqsa is occupied by Israel. Can the churches in Jerusalem and throughout the land escape that same occupation? Last Sunday, Rev. Páraic Réamonn from the Church of Scotland at St. Andrews gave a sermon in Jerusalem that promised a breakthrough in the relationship between the Christian church and the Jewish state.
Ma‘an reports: “Thousands of Palestinians participated in a march on Wednesday in Israel commemorating the 58th anniversary of the Kafr Qasim massacre, amid a comprehensive strike across the city.”
So now we’re back to the status quo. Al Aqsa is open again for prayer. If you’re over 50. Perhaps identification proving age will be required. Al Aqsa AARP? The status quo is death for Palestinians. Before death, ethnic cleansing. Before death, ghettoization. Are we really supposed to celebrate occupied prayer at Al Aqsa?
Are there any in more active complicity in the destruction of Palestine than Palestine’s well-wishers? J Street’s October 28 statement is the latest example of a “pro-peace” organization that is doing nothing to advance an end to the conflict in Israel/Palestine.
Haaretz reports: “A plan to build the first new Arab city in Israel since the establishment of the state will come before the National Planning and Building Council for approval next week. The city, to be built adjacent to the Arab community of Jdeideh Makr, which is just east of the northern coastal city of Acre, is planned for a population of 40,000. Planning for the new city, initiated by the Israel Lands Authority, the Housing and Construction Ministry and the planning administration in the Interior Ministry, has been in the works for the past four years in fulfillment of a 2008 cabinet decision.”
972 mag reports: “Nine Jewish Israeli families took over two empty buildings in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan in East Jerusalem overnight Sunday. According to the NGO Ir Amim, the families took control over 10 housing units in two buildings in the heart of Silwan. They moved in under the auspices of Ateret Cohanim, a settler organization based in the Muslim quarter of the Old City that works to create a Jewish demographic majority in East Jerusalem.”
Marc Ellis comments on Noam Chomsky’s recent appearance at the United Nations.
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.
Marc Ellis on his latest book “Burning Children: A Jewish View of the War in Gaza.”
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.”