Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 21 (since 2012-09-17 15:20:37)

Felice Gelman

Felice Gelman is a member of the Wespac Middle East committee and is on the board of the Friends of the Jenin Freedom Theatre

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  • Why Obama waited 8 years to take on Netanyahu
    • Just would like to say that, although American Jews certainly play a big part in Democratic politics setting and controlling the terms of the dialogue about Israel, Christian fundamentalists the arms industry and the intelligence agencies play an equally important role overall. Let's not forget them or let them off the hook. The Christian fundamentalists and forces in the arms industry like Eric Prince shut up Republicans like George Bush senior. The American Jewish community has historically been in charge of keeping progressives in line. But the corrupt no-questions-asked alliance with Israel has the foundations of its support in the deep state.

  • Where do we go from here? Our thoughts & yours on the US election
    • We know the Trump strategy -- we've seen it in action. It won't change. Fear and loathing will be the bywords. The racists, anti-Semites and xenophobes won't win by convincing the majority. They will win because most people don't want to engage with them. We have to go head to head . To me that means we need push back at every opportunity, we need to define a positive vision of the future, we need to support each others' work, and we need to act locally to draw people into political activity. On the issue of Palestine, we must be relentless on the issues that speak to Americans -- the billions going to support Israel's military occupation, the colonization of American police forces by Israel, and the export of Israel's surveillance state to the U.S.

  • Palestinian Harry Potter fan challenges J. K. Rowling on BDS using lessons from Hogwarts
  • Future of Yarmouk unclear as PLO abandons aid convoy to besieged refugee camp
    • The logical and appropriate response to this humanitarian disaster is for the Palestinians to return to Palestine.

  • US and Israel divorce rumors over Iran
    • Assuming Giuliani is referring to his own tenure as mayor when he felt he was so indispensable that he should remain in office after his term expired. I hadn't realized until he made the statement that he was suffering from the delusion that he was George Washington.

  • 'You are part of the problem, not the solution': Open letter to the editors of The New York Times
    • Roger Cohen's column is a perfect example of the casual racism that pervades mainstream media debate on the issue of Palestine. Sympathy with the people of Gaza is no substitute for a recognition that Palestinians have the same rights as other human beings. Taken to a more practical level that would mean that Israel's "security concerns" do not trump international law and human rights -- as our State Department so blandly puts it. It would mean that international donors, rather than pledging funds (only occasionally delivered) to rebuild Gaza after Israeli attacks, would instead hold Israel accountable for waging war and imprisoning millions. It would mean that, rather than suggesting "Israelis, Palestinians, Egyptians, Europeans and American turn Gaza into somewhere," it would mean that the great powers would end their efforts to impose an Oslo like regime on Gaza by subjecting all reconstruction funds to Israeli approval. It would mean that crocodile tears like those shed by Mr. Cohen would be recognized for what they are -- a refusal to admit the right of Palestinians to self-determination.

  • AIPAC celebrates Congress for laws that will 'dramatically strengthen bond between US and Israel'
    • Interesting that this was passed by a voice vote so there is no record of how any individual representative voted. Maybe they are figuring out that unblinking support of Israel is hardly in US best interests?

  • Ari Roth is fired by DC Jewish center -- after staging Nakba play
    • This looks like the establishment DC Jewish community's biggest self-inflicted wound yet. An earlier round of attempted muzzling took place in 2007 when donor pressure was exerted to force the Contemporary American Theater Festival to cancel its production of My Name is Rachel Corrie. Despite a big withdrawal of donations, CATF refused to cave and staged the play. CATF is now celebrating its 25th anniversary. It looks like Theater J won't have that opportunity -- thanks to the JCC muzzle. Wishing Ari Roth great success in his new venture.

  • Accounts of Israeli war crimes in Khuza'a, Gaza pile up
    • One of the most troubling things about the attack on Gaza has not been the bombing of churches and Christian casualties -- yes, it's disturbing but the slaughter of children, elderly and other civilians, the destruction of tens of thousands of homes, schools, public buildings, factories and infrastructure should be just as disturbing to Christians. Unfortunately it seems that so-called Christians like Pat Robertson have forgotten everything they read in the New Testament except the Book of Revelation.

      Finally, when you are shooting artillery with an accuracy of plus or minus 100 meters, it's always possible to claim you were aiming at something other than the target you hit. But, I will just add that in 2003 the Israelis dropped a bomb on the altar of St. Philips Episcopal Church in Gaza at a time of complete quiet. They claimed they were shooting at something else that time also. http://bit.ly/1yEvOJd

  • Kerry is off the Israel bandwagon
    • The Israelis' stunned reaction to Kerry's proposal to negotiate an end to the siege shows they remain clueless about Israel's standing in the world. Or at least they believe that the support of the US is a sufficient shield. Next step is to clue them in about how their value as a US ally has dwindled as a result of settlements, ongoing occupation, their "Just say no" policy towards peace proposals, and now -- the outrage about their massacre of civilians in Gaza. Our best tools? Continued massive street protests, boycott, divestment and sanctions organizing, and holding our own politicians accountable for mouthing mindless support of state terrorism.

  • Death comes to downtown Ramallah
    • The list of those who didn't sign is more interesting: Feinstein, Carper, Paul, Harkin, Imhofe, Reid, Corker, Leahy, Sanders, Kaine, Rockefeller, Baldwin. Some powerful senators in this group and probably a variety of reasons for not going along with this AIPAC special.

  • Skinny jeans, cockroaches and a kangaroo court—Mariam Barghouti's diary of a Palestinian in an Israeli prison
    • Thank you Mariam for showing us the lives, the faces and the hearts of women the Israeli occupation and the world powers barely admit even exist. I'm in awe of their bravery, touched by their hopes and determined that others should know them also.

  • 'Apartheid on the Hill': Students transform Tufts campus to highlight Israeli occupation
    • Dear awesome Tufts students: As an alumna of graduate school at Tufts, I'm so proud of you all. I don't remember that our protests against the Vietnam war there were so imaginative and informative. Bravo!

  • Freezing and canoeing in Gaza
    • This is a humanitarian disaster enormously compounded by Israel and Egypt's coordinated siege and blockade. Among the supplies Gaza lacks needed to respond to severe weather and flooding: fuel for electricity and heating (Egypt has shut the tunnels that it was smuggled in through and the supply Israel permits to enter is woefully inadequate), pumps (Israel has blocked their importation for years), adequate housing (Israel has blocked construction materials since at least 2009, permitting only occasional imports by UNRWA for their own building, so people's homes are built or repaired with rubble, mud, scrap).

      Please bombard the New York Times, LA Times, Washington Post with emails demanding they cover this situation

  • The world will support a campaign for Palestinian citizenship in Israel
    • Activists supporting Palestinian rights are certainly feeling frustrated by this intractable struggle -- by the brutality of the occupier, by the incessant collaboration of the US and other western governments, and by the political and moral collapse of the PA -- but it is vital to remember that it is a Palestinian struggle. Palestinians must decide how and what to fight for. If they want the annexation of their land and Israeli citizenship, I'm sure we will hear about it from them. Meanwhile, the only people who are calling for annexation are the Israeli settlers and their rabid supporters.

      What we have heard from Palestinians is that they ask their supporters to fight, via an international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions, for an end to the occupation, equal rights for the Palestinian citizens of Israel, and for the right of return for the Palestinian diaspora. That's pretty clear.

      Americans particularly need to practice a little self-restraint when it comes to organizing or even imagining the political lives of others. That humility might help us reign in our own over-reaching government.

  • After Kerry visit, Israeli and Palestinian leaders quietly re-open economic negotiations
    • The game is a simple one: increase the dependence of the urban West Bank population on government and NGO jobs, destroy the ability of the rural population to live on agriculture, herd them into the cities. If the PA holds out for any actual sovereignty, pull the plug on the money and starve the population into submission.

      Unfortunately, the conditions the US and Israel insist on forcing down the PA's throat are completely unacceptable to millions of Palestinians -- in the West Bank, in Gaza, in the refugee camps, and the in the diaspora. The result almost has to be a conflagration -- which must be laid at the doorstep of a US government that has never challenged Israel's basic commitment to take all the land and immiserate as many of the Palestinian people as possible.

  • 'Arabs, I hate Arabs!'--Independence Day and just another day in Jerusalem
    • Racists respond to power. When African Americans in the US won the struggle to end overt segregation and were able to elect local officials of color, the power equation began to change. Overt racism became less socially acceptable. African Americans were able to claim their human dignity. (Yes, covert racism remains rampant, but there are now ways to address it). The simplest solution to Jewish Israeli racism is a state with equal rights for all. That would result in an immediate "attitude adjustment" -- one sorely needed. The author is right -- the hardships and small indignities of Palestinian life in Israel cannot be rectified by dialogue, confrontation, or any other form of one-on-one effort. The only course for the individual is to challenge the power structure that nurtures the racists.

  • Kerry suggests that Palestinians change Arab Peace Initiative to suit Israelis
    • An iconic photo appears today in the New York Times: Netanyahu ranting, Kerry grimacing, Peres sleeping. Kerry's Israeli interlocutor for these talks is Peres. Everything's off to a great start. Per today's NY Times, it looks like the only thing Palestinians may get for their land and freedom is 3G (the top item on the Sabih Masri, Chairman of Paltel Group, list of demands when Obama visited). The 1% are alive and well in Palestine and Kerry's job is to feed them some scraps.

  • Dov Hikind dons blackface for Purim party (Updated)
    • Wonder how NYC mayoral wannabe Bill Thompson feels about his political pal Hikind now. How will Bill dress up on Halloween? Could this possibly put some pressure on these Progressive Except Palestine politicians that haunt every corner of NYC?

  • Hagel and the lobby, the unending non-story
    • It's worth thinking about the "special relationship"'s bearing on Chuck Hagel's confirmation travails. Do the defense contractors who receive billions of dollars annually in orders from the Israeli military want Chuck Hagel overseeing military spending? Do the companies supplying the US Army Corps of Engineers project of building the Israeli Air Force's new headquarters (yes, that's right) think that Chuck might not be a fan of the US building Israel's military bases for them.? Do the American police departments that use federal grants to send cops to Israel for training think their overseas junkets might be at risk? And I'm sure the list goes on from here.

  • Is the 'New York Review of Books' afraid of Islam?
    • Just a tiny message re your comment on Jodi Rudoren NYT correspondant... "women's freedom is a crucial criterion for her when she weighs Palestinian society against the Israeli society she lives in." Israel, using the same hasbara techniques we are so familiar with, for years has gotten far more mileage than it deserves out of issues relating to the status of women. Even 20 years ago, at social occasions in Tel Aviv, I remember the extreme disinterest and dismissiveness of Israeli men in my work and professional life. I felt it like a slap in the face at the time -- a startling contrast to life in the U.S. Today, the myth of warrior equality -- the women tank drivers, etc. has vanished. Instead, women face constant challenges from the religious right -- dress, employment, even their presence in public places -- and a constant imperative from mainstream society to be sure to bear enough children to outrun those frightening Arab "demographics." If Jodi is alert to the Israeli society she lives in, she will find the situation of women in Israel deteriorating rapidly -- surely a cost of the endless occupation and the ideology that enables it.

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