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  • The war for 'The New York Times'
  • Draft of Clinton letter called BDS 'odious,' 'unconscionable' attack on 'legitimacy of Zionism'
    • Portland University Passes pro-BDS Measure

      Near-unanimous vote draws links between black and indigenous civil rights activism and pro-Palestinian efforts.

      JTA Oct 27, 2016 12:53 PM

      Portland State University’s student senate passed a resolution on Monday urging divestment from companies that “profit from human rights violations” by Israel against Palestinians.

      The resolution passed with 22 votes in favor, two against and one abstention, according to the meeting notes, the conservative news and opinion site The College Fix reported. The measure draws links between black and indigenous civil rights activism and pro-Palestinian efforts.

      The resolution, authored by student senator Phoenix Singer and Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights, calls on the university to divest from companies harming Palestinians by working with the Israeli military. It also alleges that Israel has been occupying Palestinian land since its establishment in 1948.

      The text mentions several companies by name, including Caterpillar, G4S, Hewlett Packard and Motorola, all of which it says “profit from human rights violations against Palestinian civilians by the Israeli government.”

      It also calls on the university “to put in place an internal investment screen which prohibits investment in any company that provides weapons or equipment used” to harm Israeli or Palestinian civilians, conduct Palestinian home demolitions, build or maintain settlements or the Israeli West Bank security fence.

      In a statement released in June, Portland State President Wim Wiewel called the resolution “divisive and ill-informed.” Since the university’s funds are managed by the Oregon state treasurer together with other public university funds, the resolution in itself “has no practical effect,” Wiewel wrote.

      The Israel advocacy group StandWithUs condemned the resolution in a statement that noted the vote took place on the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah.

      “[T]he claim that Israel’s mere existence is an ‘occupation’ makes it clear that the purpose of this resolution is to promote bigotry, not justice or human rights,” said StandWithUs Pacific Northwest coordinator Noa Raman.

  • Netanyahu's big lie
  • Defying Scottish law, football fans fly Palestinian flags during match with Israeli team
  • BDS is a war Israel can't win
  • Flanked by AIPAC and Israeli consul, Cuomo signs anti-BDS order
    • Rally at Governor Cuomo's New York City Office on June 9

      When: Thursday June 9 5:30 PM
      Where: Cuomo’s NYC office 633 Third Avenue (between 40th and 41st) New York City

      On Sunday Governor Cuomo signed an executive order that would punish groups involved in the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement supporting Palestinian rights. This Thursday we will respond to his undemocratic action by holding a rally outside his NYC office. Please join CODEPINK, Adalah-NY, Jewish Voice for Peace-NY; and Jews Say No! in telling Cuomo that he may not assault the First Amendment and our right to boycott!

      This week begins the 50th year of the occupation of the West bank and East Jerusalem. We know how crucial the BDS work such as the Remodel RE/MAX and Airbnb Stolen Homes campaigns are, and that is why we must not let Gov. Cuomo get away with attacking our right to boycott!

  • Clinton campaign is 'nervous' Sanders will push 'divisive' battle over Democratic platform on Israel
  • How Eli Lake tricks readers so as to cast realists Walt, Mearsheimer and Freeman as anti-semites
    • Neocon-Bashers Headline Koch Event as Political Realignment on Foreign Policy Continues

      Zaid Jilani

      May 18 2016, 6:21 p.m.

      In the latest example of how foreign policy no longer neatly aligns with party politics, the Charles Koch Institute — the think tank founded and funded by energy billionaire Charles Koch — hosted an all-day event Wednesday featuring a set of speakers you would be more likely to associate with a left-wing anti-war rally than a gathering hosted by a longtime right-wing institution.

      At the event, titled “Advancing American Security: The Future of U.S. Foreign Policy,” prominent realist and liberal foreign policy scholars took turns trashing the neoconservative worldview that has dominated the foreign policy thinking of the Republican Party — which the Koch brothers have been allied with for decades.

      Most of the speakers assailed the Iraq War, nation building, and regime change. During a panel event also featuring former Obama Pentagon official Kathleen Hicks, foreign policy scholar John Mearsheimer brought the crowd to applause by denouncing American military overreach.

      “We need to pull back, stop fighting all these wars. Stop defending rich people who are fully capable of defending themselves, and instead spend the money at home. Period. End of story!” he said, in remarks that began with a denunciation of the dilapidated state of the Washington Metrorail system.

      “I completely agree on infrastructure,” Hicks said. “A big footprint in the Middle East is not helpful to the United States, politically, militarily, or otherwise.”

      Chas Freeman, a former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, decried U.S. thinking on toppling foreign governments. “One has to start questioning the basic premise of regime change, whether it is to be accomplished by invasion and occupation or by covert action or the empowerment of NGO activity on the ground or other means,” he reflected. “Frankly, it generally doesn’t go well.”

      “If you want to know why our bridges are rickety … our children are educationally malnourished, think of where we put the money,” concluded Freeman, pointing to the outsized military budget.

      Over lunch, Stephen Walt, the Foreign Policy columnist and Harvard realist foreign policy scholar, said the presidential election is providing evidence that the military-restraint camp is starting to make progress. “On the campaign trail, both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have gotten receptive audiences when they questioned certain aspects of foreign policy. Really, Hillary Clinton is the only candidate defending the status quo,” he boasted. “I think those public doubts are not surprising because … our current policy has been a costly failure.”

      Walt dubbed his own prescription for foreign policy “offshore balancing” — a middle ground between full-scale military engagement and isolationism, where the U.S. would engage diplomatically and economically first and foremost, and retain the capacity to militarily intervene only when major power imbalances occur, where one state would be able to threaten global security.

      Mearshiemer, Walt, and Freeman are particularly despised by neocons, and not simply for their starkly different policy prescriptions. Walt and Mearsheimer’s 2006 book The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy was critical of the U.S.-Israel relationship, arguing that it was overly influenced by domestic interest groups. Freeman’s nomination to an intelligence post in the Obama White House was derailed by behind-the-scenes accusations that he wasn’t sufficiently pro-Israel.

      Bloomberg View columnist Eli Lake, a hawkish supporter of Israeli government policies, expressed horror at their appearance on institute panels in a column on Wednesday, writing that “the Kochs have stayed away from the uglier fringes that blame Israel and its supporters for hijacking U.S. foreign policy. That is, until now.”

      The lone prominent hawk among the panelists was Michael O’Hanlon, the Brookings Institute scholar and liberal interventionist. But perhaps in deference to the audience’s skepticism of nation building and sustained military engagement, even O’Hanlon said we need to be “very selective about when we actually employ military force,” insisting that he preferred utilizing economic sanctions rather than war in possible future confrontations with Russian and Chinese spheres of influence.

      Still unresolved is whether the institute intends to take on neoconservative orthodoxy on a regular basis. “Part of what the Charles Koch Institute can do is to help increase the range of arguments on the table, have that marketplace of ideas, so the best ideas can win so that our country can flourish,” said William Ruger, the institute’s vice president for research and policy. Ruger told The Intercept that numerous additional foreign policy-centric events are planned.

      “I certainly think we’re uneasy with the status quo. It doesn’t seem like the status quo is making us safer, especially given the cost of this to our soldiers, especially given the high expense in terms of our fiscal situation. Also in terms of some of the ways it affects our civil liberties as well as our standing in the world. We want to make sure that we’re not missing opportunities for ideas to be added to this conversation.”

  • Students explain why they protested Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat at San Francisco State University
    • Because East Jerusalem is not in Israel, we have to ask who is the mayor of East Jerusalem and who elected him or her?

  • 'Forward' columnist and Emily's List leader relate 'gigantic,' 'shocking' role of Jewish Democratic donors
    • The power of Jewish zionists who are in charge of the entirety of our mainstream print and broadcast media which creates American public opinion, complete with racist depictions of Palestinians, contrasts with the puny efforts that "Jewish money" could ever hope to achieve.

  • Attachment to Israel is 'central part of Jewish identity,' Forward editor says
    • Would she agree that synagogues should be taxed now that they have converted themselves from religious institutions into Jewish identy institutions that are obliged to part of Israel's fifth column in the US?

  • Trump 'has no business being president' because he would be 'neutral' to Israel -- Clinton tells AIPAC
    • Bernie Sanders Delivered A Killer AIPAC Speech ... In Utah
      The pro-Israel group wouldn’t have liked what he said.
      03/21/2016 08:11 pm ET

      Samantha Lachman
      Staff Reporter, The Huffington Post

      Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) declined to speak at the country’s largest pro-Israel gathering in Washington on Monday. Instead, the Democratic presidential candidate, who is the only Jew in the race, gave a speech detailing his belief in a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — in Utah.

      But then the speech he gave would have ruffled feathers before the approximately 18,000 attendees at the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The people gathered at a high school in Salt Lake City were at least his supporters.

      AIPAC had invited Sanders and his rival for the Democratic nomination, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to speak. The group also invited businessman Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, the three remaining Republican presidential hopefuls.

      Sanders was the only candidate to decline the invitation, citing scheduled campaign events in Idaho, Utah and Arizona, which host their respective caucuses and primary on Tuesday. (He did request to address the conference remotely, which the group decided wasn’t kosher.)

      Presidential candidates who come to AIPAC tend to emphasize their “unwavering commitment” to Israel’s security, with some warm anecdotes thrown in about past visits to the country and how much they loved it. The candidates this year, including Clinton, spent a large portion of their speeches talking about the Iranian nuclear deal, which AIPAC had tried unsuccessfully to torpedo.

      Most White House hopefuls don’t say what Sanders did in Utah, which is that Israel’s government should get serious about a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

      “We are obligated to speak the truth as we see it, and that is what real friendship demands, especially in difficult times,” Sanders said. “It is important among friends to be honest and truthful about differences we may have.”

      While Sanders declared his support for Israel’s continued existence as a Jewish state, he also talked about Palestinian unemployment and poverty.

      “When we talk about Israel and Palestinian areas, it is important to understand that today there is a whole lot of suffering among Palestinians and that cannot be ignored,” he said.

      Clinton had mentioned the sensitive issue of Israeli settlements just once in her speech to AIPAC on Monday morning. In contrast, Sanders spent significant time condemning construction of the settlements as counter-productive to the currently nonexistent peace process. He said that peace would require “compromises on both sides.”

      He called it “absurd for elements in [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s government to say that building more settlements in the West Bank is the appropriate response” to the most recent round of violence in the country. He argued that new settlement construction ultimately undermines Israeli security and predicted that Israel would have to pull back settlements in the West Bank, “just as it did in Gaza.” And he criticized Netanyahu’s government for withholding tax revenue it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.

      This is a stronger position against settlements than that of most American political leaders, who talk about Israel swapping land with the Palestinians to compensate for some large settlement blocs in the West Bank that most assume would remain in Israel’s control under a two-state solution.

      Sanders did not explicitly lay out the parameters for what a two-state solution should look like. But he said that Hamas and Hezbollah would have to “renounce efforts” to undermine Israel’s security and that he’d require “the entire world” to recognize Israel’s right to exist. He also said that Israelis should feel secure from violence and terrorism, while Palestinians should have self-determination and civil rights. He argued in favor of ending the economic blockade of Gaza.

      The senator implicitly criticized AIPAC for lobbying against the Iran nuclear agreement last year.

      “I do not accept the idea that the pro-Israel position was to oppose the deal,” he said. “Preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon will strengthen not only America’s security, but Israel’s security as well.”

      In yet another line that presidential candidates don’t tend to take before the AIPAC crowd, Sanders called on Israel to end “disproportionate responses” to attacks — though he said any attack launched against Israel is “unacceptable.”

      Sanders condemned indiscriminate rocket fire from Hamas into Israel proper. But he also mentioned that he had spoken out “strongly against the Israeli counter-attacks that killed nearly 1,500 civilians and wounded thousands more” when Israel responded to rocket attacks by invading Gaza in 2014.

      “It is clear to me that the path to peace will require tapping into our shared humanity to make hard but just decisions,” he said, concluding the Israel-related section of a speech that also touched on the self-described Islamic State and civil war in Syria.

      Sanders’ speech would have made quite a statement at AIPAC, which places more of an emphasis on American-Israeli security cooperation and ignores the settlements issue.

      But he didn’t seem to want even his supporters to know he was giving a speech on foreign policy, although he had long promised one. His campaign tweeted about it just once while he was delivering his remarks, after sending a
      link to watch it live.

    • Published on
      Monday, March 21, 2016
      Common Dreams
      Critics Aghast at 'Disgusting Speech' Clinton Just Gave to AIPAC

      Democratic presidential candidate speech praises "everything that is bad about Israeli policy and U.S. imperialism"
      Lauren McCauley, staff writer


  • 2017 is a crucial year for the Palestine Question
    • In 1917 Palestine was part of the Ottoman Empire which ended in 1922. The British government's promise that it would donate at some future time another nation's land to Jews was made as part of the effort to obtain British Jewish support for World War I.

  • 'We wasted 40 years talking about nothing, doing nothing' -- Pappe demolishes peace process
  • New Birthright trip for Jewish law enforcement seeks to counter BDS movement
    • Former IDF camp guard of Palestinian prisoners, Colonel Jeffrey Goldberg will be the perfect tour guide for fellow authoritarians.

  • Jeffrey Goldberg compares Iranian Jews to 'petting zoo' animals
    • Corporal Goldberg has never explained how American Jewry benefited from his service as an IDF camp guard of Palestinian prisoners.

  • Palestine and the anxiety of existence
    • Good news from Illinois.

      U.S. Court Overturns Palestinian's Guilty Sentence for Failing to Disclose Israel Terror Convictions

      Rasmieh Odeh was convicted in November 2014 for failing to disclose that an Israel military court convicted her for two 1969 bombings in Jerusalem, one of which killed two men.
      Mary Wisniewski Feb 25, 2016 9:58 PM

      REUTERS - A U.S. appellate court on Thursday vacated the conviction of a Palestinian activist charged with immigration fraud for failing to tell U.S. authorities she had been imprisoned in Israel for a 1969 supermarket bombing that killed two people.

      Rasmieh Yousef Odeh, 68, has said her confession to the bombing was the result of severe torture by the Israeli military, including rape and electric shocks.

      The 6th Circuit U.S. Appellate Court opinion said a lower court should have allowed expert testimony that Odeh was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to torture in prison, and did not know her statements to immigration officials were false.

      The appellate court said the lower court erred by excluding the testimony.

      The expert would have testified that Odeh's PTSD caused her to interpret questions in a way to avoid any thought of her trauma, the court opinion said.

      The three-judge panel also vacated the 18-month prison sentence against Odeh imposed last March, and sent the case back to the district court. Odeh has been out on bond during her appeal, said defense attorney Michael Deutsch.

      "It goes to the heart of the case," said Deutsch of the opinion. "We're happy, because we're still going to be fighting for her rights in court."

      Another judge on the panel wrote that the conviction should be vacated on other grounds.

      If the lower court decides the PTSD testimony is admissible, it will require a new trial. If the court finds another reason to exclude the testimony, the case will go back on appeal, Deutsch said.

      Gina Balaya, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's office in Detroit, said the office respects the court's opinion and will argue its position at the evidentiary hearing.

  • Viral video says BDS supporters want to shoot the bible and Dannon yogurt
    • Mario Vargas Llosa, Michael Chabon Among Writers Collaborating on Book on Israeli Occupation

      Breaking the Silence initiative will bring famous authors to Israel and West Bank, to tell real stories.
      Gili Izikovich Feb 21, 2016 8:22 PM

      A number of famous writers will participate in a book on the occupation to be edited by award-winning author Michael Chabon and his Israeli-American wife Ayelet Waldman. The book will be published in June 2017 by HarperCollins in the United States, and by Books in the Attic (Sifrey Aliyat Hagag) in Israel.

      The book is an initiative of Breaking the Silence to mark 50 years of the occupation.

      The writers will visit Israel and the West Bank for a week before writing their articles. They will come as delegations and their organized tour will include a few days in villages in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and meetings with Israeli and Palestinian human rights activists, intellectuals and legal experts. Each author will choose their focus and study those issues more deeply, including additional visits.

      The first delegation will begin its visit today and includes British authors Hari Kunzru and Taiye Selasi, and Irish novelist Eimear McBride. The other writers will come later this year, including the recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature Mario Vargas Llosa, Dave Eggers, Lorraine Adams, Rachel Kushner and Colm Toibin. They will be joined by Israeli and Palestinian authors Ala Hlehel, Assaf Gavron, Raja Shehadeh and Nir Baram.

      Waldman, Chabon and Vargas Llosa wrote to the participants they are not looking for Middle East experts, but storytellers. They said they believed storytellers could give new life to the situation and the conditions so readers could understand it in new ways, through human stories and not through the destructive details they see in the news.

      Chabon and Waldman distributed a document they wrote jointly, which explains the idea behind the project, telling of a visit they made to Israel in 1992, during the period of the Oslo Accords, which was Chabon’s first visit to Israel. They speak of the atmosphere that has changed so sharply since then.

      Gili Izikovich

      Haaretz Contributor

  • Jewish Voice for Peace and Jews Say No! take credit for faux 'NYT' highlighting biased coverage on Israel/Palestine
  • Park Slope Food Coop puts up firewall against boycott of Israeli goods
  • 'I cannot support Israel as long as Netanyahu is in office'-- many American Jews are saying
    • If God could give the Pilgrims the land of the American Indians, justifying their extermination, why couldn't God have the same deal with Jews to take Palestinian land and extermiate those who resist?

    • To RoHa's comment

      “If Netanyahu loses the next election and a Labour leader takes over, …”

      Labor would call not for an end to ethnic cleansing of Palestinians but, instead, for slowing its pace as well as less frequent lawn mowing of Gazans, for the unwanted attention the pace and the frequency cause.

  • Iraq war hangover is fueling anti-establishment candidates
  • As sanctions end over nuclear program, US socks Iran with new sanctions over missile testing
    • U.S. Sidelines Itself in the Rush to Iran

      However, the U.S. trade embargo with Iran remains largely intact -- outside of
      newly created authorizations for the import of Iran-origin carpets and certain foodstuffs and the sale to Iran of commercial aircraft. Under the trade embargo, U.S. companies are barred from engaging in trade with or investment in Iran -- with few exceptions. Violating these U.S. sanctions prohibitions can lead to serious criminal and civil penalties.

      This is a significant loss for the United States. Right at this moment, Europe, Japan, and a host of the U.S.'s closest allies are sending trade delegations to Tehran to connect with their Iranian counterparts and snap up new business opportunities, all the while effectively reintegrating Iran with their own respective economies. Having isolated Iran for the past decade, the United States is now left fencing only itself off from Tehran - an unfortunate consequence of the lack of political will and imagination from which Washington continues to suffer with regards to the Islamic Republic.

  • Groundbreaking Human Rights Watch report shows how settlement businesses contribute to Israeli occupation
  • 'Netanyahu at War' on PBS was dreadful but not without interest
    • Netanyahu is a sideshow that our media must promote lest people learn why it is that Israel and its zionism are the problem. The pretend oppostion to Netanyahu's antics is a reminder that when Israel's politics was limited to Labor versus Likud, both sides supported the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians with Labor called "liberal" for objecting to the pace of that cleansing (because it drew unwanted attention to what Israel, under both Labor and Likud, was doing to wipe out the Palestinians).

  • New Jersey teenager threatened with legal action by high school over pro-Palestine activism (Update)
  • Inside GILEE, the US-Israel law enforcement training program seeking to redefine terrorism
    • Genuine supporters of law and order are invited to join the Abdel Aziz v. Treasury lawsuit.

      Martin F. McMahon & Associates is proud to announce the filing of a lawsuit against the United States Department of Treasury requesting the court require Treasury to do its job in investigating American 501(c)(3)s and other tax-exempt entities which are sending money to settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories to promote wholesale violence and ethnic cleansing.

      A pdf version of the complaint can be found here.

      Media references can be found at Courthouse News, Haaretz, Al Jazeera English, Al Jazeera Arabic, Law and Disorder, and Mondoweiss, among others.

      Individuals interested in joining the lawsuit as plaintiffs can do so by contacting [email protected].

      There is a $150 administrative fee to join.

      Once the law firm gives you permission to join the suit as a plaintiff, payment of the administrative fee can be made by mailing a check to Martin F. McMahon & Associates, 1150 Connecticut Ave. N.W., Suite 900, Washington, D.C. 20036 or by credit or debit card via Paypal at the link below:

  • Krugman's economy: I will spend none of my immense journalistic capital criticizing Israel or its lobby
  • Nate Silver should stop calling Israel a democracy
    • Of, by, and for European Jews exclusively from day 1 to the present, who rule over, not with, all others in and beyond its borders.

  • US spying on Israel reveals cynical heart of the 'special relationship'
    • Corporal Jeffrey Goldberg earned his military title from the IDF while serving as campguard of Palestinian prisoners.

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