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Landmark New York Synagogue attempts to shut down Nakba discussion

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On the eve of an important event to discuss the Nakba* scheduled to take place this evening, the Executive Director of a tony uptown synagogue in New York City where the event was contracted to take place has attempted to cancel the event with no explanation in what can only be perceived as an effort to shut down discussion of the “ongoing Nakba” within the Jewish community.

The event was to feature the Palestinian human rights organization, Badil (whose timely recently released Corporate Complicity in Violations of International Law in Palestine [pdf] is a must read), and Israeli human rights organization Zochrot. It is part of multi-city speaking tour, and was sponsored in New York by four organizations: Jewish Voice for Peace-New York; Nakba Education Project; Jews Say No!; and the National Lawyers Guild Palestine Subcommittee.

NEP tour schedule

“Facing the Ongoing Nakba” tour schedule

Prior to LSS Executive Director Ben Keil signing a contract to rent space for the event and accepting a $600 payment, Gail Miller of Jews Say No! made clear the event was “an opportunity for an Israeli group and a Palestinian group to talk about their work”, and expressly emphasized in writing “we need to be sure that somewhere down the line there won’t be a problem.”

Thusly, Keil responded, “For a rental like this, I’m not particularly concerned about the political stance of your program.”

So what happened? Yesterday Miller received an apologetic email from Keil “I’m sorry, but we cannot host your event at Lincoln Square Synagogue.”

Civil rights attorney and Jews Say No! member Alan Levine, informed Keil returning the rental fee did not relieve the LSS of its contractual obligations and warned him the sponsoring organizations retained their right “to pursue appropriate legal remedies” urging the synagogue to reconsider.

The last-minute cancellation has sparked outrage in the  community. “We encourage the pursuit of justice” stated Candace Graff from Jewish Voice for Peace-NY , “it is precisely these kinds of open discussions that we claim to value in the Jewish community yet many synagogues and other Jewish institutions are shutting down fundamental discussions about how to achieve it.”

The sponsoring organizations, who represent hundreds of New Yorkers, are holding a protest tonight in front of Manhattan’s first new temple in 50 years, the Upper West Side’s landmark Lincoln Square Synagogue, at 6PM.

Thankfully undeterred, the organizers have found a new venue. Advent Lutheran Church (2504 Broadway, corner of 93rd St. and Broadway) has offered to host the event which will take place on schedule tonight at 7 PM after the protest.  

The timing of the LSS cancellation is auspicious. Julia Kessler of the Nakba Education Project, one of the organizations sponsoring the event, said: “Given the election results in Israel, in which it is clearer than ever that Israel is becoming increasingly anti-democratic and unapologetic in its occupation of the Palestinian people, it’s obvious that we have to do more talking, not less, about the crucial issues like the Nakba and what happened in 1948 and how its effects are being felt, even today. Shutting down discussions and closing the doors to differing views will not help us to arrive at justice for all peoples.”

*Nakba, means “catastrophe” in Arabic and refers to the forced displacement of Palestinians that began with Israel’s establishment in 1948, and continues to this day.

annie
About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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83 Responses

  1. lonely rico
    lonely rico
    March 19, 2015, 10:29 am

    Thanks Annie, particularly for the reference to the Badil document –
    Corporate Complicity in Violations of International Law in Palestine

    Very interesting reading, although now I only have time to skim through it, I look forward to reading it carefully later in the day.

  2. johneill
    johneill
    March 19, 2015, 10:51 am

    thank you, annie, for bringing this to my attention. it’s my fervent hope, as an american, that more of my countrymen will know and disapprove of the continual human rights violations our tax dollars are funding. at the moment though, in america generally, and new york especially, money speaks louder than truth can hope to; i wouldn’t be surprised if an ‘influential’ congregant at the synagogue wanted to silence subversive jewish voices. (thank god there are some christians who live by their religious principles)

  3. peter123
    peter123
    March 19, 2015, 12:30 pm

    I would think that now is the time to file a claim of discrimination against the Executive Director of the synagogue. 1. Because of subject matter regarding Palestinian history. ….I’d love to hear the defense on this one. 2. Free speech ….point of view discussion, both Israeli’s and Palestinians were to be represented.

    Please someone do something to teach them that truth will not be silenced.

    • JeffB
      JeffB
      March 19, 2015, 2:49 pm

      @peter123

      This isn’t discrimination. But even if it were churches (and synagogues) are not subject to non discrimination clauses. They can discriminate against whomever they want for whatever reason they want. For example Section 702, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-1 exempts religious organizations from all prohibitions on discrimination associated with employment and Corporation of the Presiding Bishop v. Amos extends that to even non-religious activities by a religious organization.

      • annie
        annie
        March 19, 2015, 6:20 pm

        so jeff, you think it’s ok to make a contract with someone, accept the money and then 2 months later inform the people you’ve had a change of heart the day before the event? is that ok too in your book? did you read the article?

        Gail Miller of Jews Say No! made clear the event was “an opportunity for an Israeli group and a Palestinian group to talk about their work”, and expressly emphasized in writing “we need to be sure that somewhere down the line there won’t be a problem.”

        Thusly, Keil responded, “For a rental like this, I’m not particularly concerned about the political stance of your program.”

      • annie
        annie
        March 20, 2015, 10:24 am

        ziusudra, on top of every page there is an “about” link and you can find the contact info of staff. yes, i have seen your many queries to me regarding your comments that were trashed, many of which i had not read before until i visited the trash to find out what you were referencing. i saw many many of your comments there regarding the talmud and stuff that happened back in the BC days. why don’t you direct your queries to adam and phil and they can do their own investigation of why moderators are trashing your comments. me, i am mostly just scrolling over them at this point.

        in general, we don’t discuss moderation issues in the threads, which is why so many of your comments get trashed. i’ve tried engaging you on this issue before, and you just don’t seem to get it. i also sent an inquiry to adam, phil and the other moderators yesterday or the day before because i keep running into your many comments/questions directed towards me in the comment queue. we’re discussing whether you’re the right fit for mondoweiss. if you really push it you could find yourself banned. stop writing me like this. if your comment gets trashed do not write the same thing over and over and over again.

        p.s. if a comment is consistently trashed then the logical* conclusion of your query is “no, we will not allow that discussion and debate here”.

        logic is not some people’s forte. many smart people lack common sense. apparently you fall into that category.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 20, 2015, 12:09 pm

        “concerning the Laws & Dictates in the Talmud & 613 Mitzvot as the bases of holding World Jewry back from “

        “613”? There’s six hundred and thirteen? This is terrible! I thought there was only 603! There’s ten I haven’t been doing! (of course! “13” is an ‘unlucky number’ so my Freudian slipped.) I am so screwed. Are there make-up, or mulligan mitzvots I could do?

      • Mayhem
        Mayhem
        March 21, 2015, 6:45 am

        Mooser can freely display his mocking disdain of Judaism.

        If I were to cast the slightest aspersion against Mohammed I would get stomped on immediately by an Islamophilic MW moderator. Similar remarks about Muslims would never be permitted at MW. This goes to show that MW openly practises duplicity and double standards in this whole discussion space. 

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 21, 2015, 12:37 pm

        “Mooser can freely display his mocking disdain of Judaism.”

        Oh, stop whining. You’re pathetic.

        Hey, Mayhem, tell me about your plans to stop the greatest proportion of Jews from being Reform or even mostly secular? You got a plan for that? Gonna kick us all out? Or are you gonna stand there and kvetch?
        Gee, Mayhem, maybe you could get Mayhem-style Judaism (whatever the fuck that might be) given a protected-species status.
        BTW, have you checked with Yonah, and JeffyB, and made sure you agree on what Judaism is in all 603 particulars?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 21, 2015, 7:57 pm

        “If I were to cast the slightest aspersion against Mohammed I would get stomped on immediately by an Islamophilic MW moderator”

        Can there really be somebody this pathetic?

      • Cliff
        Cliff
        March 23, 2015, 7:31 am

        @JeffB

        Why did you put ‘synagogue’ in parenthesis? It was the synagogue that discriminated against the Nakba event.

        Not the church.

        So by the sequence of events, you should be putting church in parenthesis (because a church could hypothetically discriminate as well).

        But at every opportunity you’re doing damage control for Zionism and the Jewish country club in Historic Palestine.

    • Steve Grover
      Steve Grover
      March 20, 2015, 9:53 pm

      I am sure there was misrepresentation as to how Anti Israel, Pro BDS and Pro Hamas the organizers of this event are. All these groups are offensive to most likely every member of that Synagogue. I say Yashir Koach to the Lincoln Square Synagogue for standing up for their principles, standing up for Israel and the Jewish People!

      • James North
        James North
        March 20, 2015, 10:02 pm

        Hasbara Central sends over another reinforcement.

      • Steve Grover
        Steve Grover
        March 21, 2015, 12:58 am

        Well James North, is it possible for you to reply with an argument instead of a pejorative?

      • Sycamores
        Sycamores
        March 21, 2015, 4:09 pm

        @ Steve,

        why argue, you support those who are trying to suppress the discussion of the Nakba, enough said.

      • just
        just
        March 21, 2015, 4:19 pm

        Steve, is this you?

        “UK Jews, as the great Keith Kahn Harris said – keep your agenda to yourselves. Think how your self-serving writing impacts on Israelis before writing.

        Really unhelpful article from Mr Freedland.”

        http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/20/inyamin-netanyahu-israel-election#comment-49258035

      • Steve Grover
        Steve Grover
        March 21, 2015, 5:44 pm

        You have free speech to talk about the Nabka. And, the Synagogue has the freedom of speech and religion to say not in our building where there is an Ark containing Torahs. Again, the groups that booked the event such as JVP are the most anti Jewish and anti Israel groups in the U.S. Lincoln Street Synagogue did the correct thing and American Jews will support them in any legal challenges that these anti Jews decide to bring about.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 21, 2015, 6:48 pm

        I am sure there was misrepresentation as to how Anti Israel, Pro BDS and Pro Hamas the organizers of this event are.”

        Of course you are sure! We haven’t had a Zionist here yet who wasn’t sure of absolutely everything.

      • Steve Grover
        Steve Grover
        March 21, 2015, 8:00 pm

        It is a great honor for me to be a Zionist. May Hashem continue to bless Eretz Yisrael. I am not sure of everything. I am sure of the BDS use of deception tactics and bullying to get people to listen to them because no one wants to dig what they say.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 21, 2015, 8:02 pm

        “them in any legal challenges that these anti Jews decide to bring about.

        The “anti-Jew” is among us! So will that be the delineation, Grover? There are ‘Jews” and then there are these other Jews who are the “anti-Jews”.

        Tell you what, Grover, you just keep pushing that line, that American Jews are too stupid to know what to think and turn into Jewish “anti-Jews”.
        And that having a Torah in the building means that truth can’t be spoken.

      • just
        just
        March 21, 2015, 8:13 pm

        But, Steve~ you must surely know that the ongoing Nakba is part and parcel of the Israeli/Jewish/ Zionist history… you probably shouldn’t deny the truth even/especially in what you call “our building where there is an Ark containing Torahs”!

      • just
        just
        March 21, 2015, 8:22 pm

        And you say this about yourself, too:

        “I can only listen to Pink Floyd when David Gilmour is singing because Roger Waters is a nauseating Jew Hater” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/profile/steve-grover#sthash.jq8s2ky8.dpuf

        imho, that’s pretty pitiful, Steve. Roger Waters is there anyway~ he’s a multi- instrumentalist, composer, and songwriter. And he doesn’t “hate Jews”.

        Out of earshot, out of mind?

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        March 22, 2015, 5:06 am

        “UK Jews, as the great Keith Kahn Harris said – keep your agenda to yourselves. Think how your self-serving writing impacts on Israelis before writing.”

        So British Jews should be a secretive cabal serving a foreign county. Brilliant idea.

      • March 22, 2015, 8:52 am

        1. “I am sure there was misrepresentation…”

        2. “…..as to how Anti Israel, Pro BDS and Pro Hamas the organizers of this event are”

        1. Steve is sure despite not having a single bit of information to support his pre-disposition.

        2. Steve also asserts that the Jewish Voice for Peace-New York and Jews Say No are “Pro Hamas” as if it were an established fact.

        Steve is delusional.

      • March 22, 2015, 8:54 am

        “It is a great honor for me to be a Zionist.”

        Steve. You are not a Zionist. You are a dupe of the Zionists. We can see the difference; why can’t you?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 22, 2015, 11:42 am

        “Mooser can freely display his mocking disdain of Judaism.”

        Sorry, I thought we were all Charlie for a minute. It’ll pass.

        I Giggled all night, and no matter how hard I looked, I couldn’t find anybody, certainly not any Jews ever made a joke about the complications and demands of the Jewish religion. Apparently I’m the first one ever. How did I come to this? I hate myself!

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 22, 2015, 1:54 pm

        “And, the Synagogue has the freedom of speech and religion to say not in our building where there is an Ark containing Torahs.”

        The Torah gives you a right to break contracts? Stevie, Stevie, not a good thing to say.

      • Steve Grover
        Steve Grover
        March 22, 2015, 5:22 pm

        Mooser, the name is Steve not Stevie. The Lincoln Street Synagogue can and should violate a contract that they were duped into by JVP etc. If there is a law suit brought forth let them go before a jury. I would personally donate to a legal fund in support of Lincoln Street Synagogue.

        Giles to see that JVP is […], Anti Israel and major promoters of BDS is very simple. All you have to do is go to their website and read their stuff. You could also go to Brant Rosen’s (a major JVP leader) web site rabbibrant.com and draw the same conclusion.

        JVPers have a great disdain for “mainstream” American Jews as they often write about and a hostility towards Israel And in my judgement as an American Jew I would say their actions and writings are ant-Jewish. The ADL has said they are one of the most anti Israel organizations in the United States.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 22, 2015, 9:59 pm

        “The Lincoln Street Synagogue can and should violate a contract that they were duped into by JVP etc.”

        Stevie, I shouldn’t have to tell you this, but when you start talking about one Jewish organization being “duped” by another Jewish organization, you are giving a lot of people a very bad impression of Jewish tribal unity, bro! Can’t you just hear them? “Is that how easily divided they are? Perhaps Jewish solidarity is not as formidable as I have been led to believe, they turn on each other over a simple discussion!”
        Is that the impression you feel it is fair to give the, ah, hem, ‘public’ Steve?

      • Cliff
        Cliff
        March 23, 2015, 7:32 am

        @Groveler

        Did YOU post an argument to reply to? Sounds like you’re just a religious fanatic (‘defending the Jewish people’).

      • Steve Grover
        Steve Grover
        March 23, 2015, 5:22 pm

        Cliff, my fanaticism extends to Rock and Roll not religion. Also, because there is the State of Israel, there is no need whatsoever for me to defend the Jewish people.

        Moose, Are you saying that Jews are united with Jewish Voice for Peace. Au contraire my friend, by far, the vast majority of Jews have zero respect for that organization and will say this without hesitation.

      • annie
        annie
        March 23, 2015, 7:26 pm

        ah, the ol’ “vast majority of Jews” line stevie? impressive/not — when people prop up their arguments with by corralling along a whole slew of folks who allegedly agree with them.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 23, 2015, 7:40 pm

        “Au contraire my friend, by far, the vast majority of Jews have zero respect for that organization and will say this without hesitation”

        Funny, their college-age kids seem to be joining it in droves. Oh well.

        But I don’t get the “no respect” part. Why would they not respect a Jewish organization? We gotta stick together, you know!

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        March 27, 2015, 5:34 am

        By Steve Glover’s logic, Americans critical of US government do not stand up for America and the American people?

      • Steve Grover
        Steve Grover
        March 27, 2015, 2:02 pm

        Annie,
        Rabbi Brant Rosen who is Mr. JVP of Chicagoland appeared on “Chicago Tonight”. The host Phil Poncè said that they tried getting other Rabbis to appear on the show as well. None would and they made it clear that they would not appear on the show because Rosen was on the show. So yeah, I’m pretty comfortable with my vast majority statement.

      • just
        just
        March 27, 2015, 3:01 pm

        One did, Steve Grover. The rest who refused are clearly cowardly defenders of the status quo, toeing the AIPAC line without being open to any discussion.

        “A panel of Chicago-area rabbis with diverse views on Israel and the election joins us. Rabbi Andrea London is from Congregation Beth Emet in Evanston. She is a member of J Street, which describes itself as pro-Israel and pro-peace, and lobbies for an end to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and the creation of a Palestinian State – the so-called “two-state solution.” Rabbi Brant Rosen was at the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Evanston until last year. He chose to leave when his views on Israel became a flashpoint in the congregation. He is the author of Wrestling in the Daylight: A Rabbi’s Path to Palestinian Solidarity. Rabbi Rosen is a member of Jewish Voice for Peace. Many JVP members, including Rabbi Rosen, believe that a single state made up of Jews and Palestinians is the goal, rather than a Jewish state alongside a Palestinian one.

        Chicago Tonight had hoped to have a rabbi who is a member of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee or AIPAC, which describes itself as America’s Pro-Israel lobby, on the panel. Many calls were made and no one was available. Some explicitly said they would not sit on a panel with Rabbi Rosen. ”

        http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/2015/03/24/local-rabbis-israeli-election

        And from the ever gracious Rabbi Rosen:

        “Last night I appeared on WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight” with my friend and colleague Rabbi Andrea London to discuss the issue of Israel/Palestine in the wake of Netanyahu’s re-election. Andrea spoke to the J Street position while I represented the Jewish Voice for Peace point of view. Although the station tried repeatedly to find a local rabbi to represent the AIPAC line, none were willing to participate. I’m sad to report that several of the rabbis contacted cited my presence on the panel as the reason for their refusal.

        On the other hand, I was so heartened that Andrea and I were able to model a principled and respectful Jewish communal debate on this issue and I was so grateful for her willingness to engage.”

        http://rabbibrant.com/

      • Steve Grover
        Steve Grover
        March 27, 2015, 5:43 pm

        Rabbi Andrea London and Rabbi Brant Rosen have been friends for many years which she said on the show. If he wasnt able to get his friend on the show with him, there would have been no other Rabbi. The J-Street supporters also want to have nothing to do with him or JVP.

      • annie
        annie
        March 28, 2015, 9:38 am

        steve, they got a rabbi from jvp (of which there are several), they got a rabbi from j street, and they wanted a rabbi who was a member of aipac and couldn’t find one. because rosen and rabbi andrea london are friends is not evidence there are no other j street rabbis who would come on the show or that, as you claim ” J-Street supporters also want to have nothing to do with him or JVP.”

        you may or may not know of directives coming out of the organized jewish community that ban funding and participation with certain groups. it’s all about corralling the troops and pressuring people to stay in line. it doesn’t mean it reflects the will of each individual. just like people everywhere, within the jewish community there’s a wide range of viewpoints and fluxuation. you may not be aware a bunch of ex j street leaders moved over to jvp last summer, which is a rapidly expanding organization who got 60,000 new members during and after israel’s recent gaza slaughter.

        you started out this conversation by claiming to speak for other people beyond your own opinion, not satisfied with speaking for yourself. evidence suggests the rabbi of the synagogue was pressured to changed his mind regarding the rental of the space – not unlike the jewish director of the (non jewish) museum http://mondoweiss.net/2015/03/missouri-palestine-pressure who also ever so coincidentally cancelled on the eve of the event. evidence suggests there was in fact no resistance to hosting this group until thuggish members of the jewish community pressured the synagogue, as they are known to do.

        just so you and others can then come along and claim that all along they never would have booked the place to begin with! this has happened time and again and we’ve documented this kind of pressure occurring in nyc, like at the wmca canceling previouslt scheduled events.

        then you counter the response to your bs with “is it possible for you to reply with an argument instead of a pejorative? – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/03/landmark-synagogue-discussion/comment-page-1#comment-757416” knowing full well as anyone can see, you never offered an argument to begin with!! making these sort of declarations, as you have just done, is evidence of nothing but hasbara tactics. it’s unimpressive and serves to do nothing but spam the thread. and here you are over a week later on an old thread grasping for the last word with these dumb completely unsupported allegations.

        i’m done moderating your spamming comments.

  4. Sycamores
    Sycamores
    March 19, 2015, 1:23 pm

    hi Anne i know this is off topic but it’s closely link to the continual suppression of the Palestinian voice in the US.

    Seattle Wins Right To Ban ‘Israeli War Crimes’ Bus Ads

    Read more: http://forward.com/articles/216949/seattle-wins-right-to-ban-israeli-war-crimes-bus-a/#ixzz3UqnpDXSK

    how is banning ads not a violation of constitutional protections on free speech

    (Reuters) — County officials in Seattle can prohibit an advertisement criticizing Israeli policies toward Palestinians from appearing on local buses without violating constitutional protections on free speech, a U.S. appeals court said on Wednesday.

    In a 2-1 ruling, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco found that Kings County acted reasonably when it barred the ad, which sparked threats of vandalism and violence that could have endangered passengers.

    further on in the article

    After a local news broadcast about the impending ad, officials faced a public furor. Photos depicting dead or injured bus passengers appeared under the door of a transportation authority service center, the ruling said.

    should they not investigate who sent these photos before they banned free speech, you do not need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out who might have a motive in doing this.

    such as a rival ad campaigner say.. oh i don’t know… Pam Geller or/and David Horowitz.

    not to long ago David Horowitz confess to posting anti-Muslim posters all around campuses

    it’s true that both anti and pro Israel ads have been rejected, however i can’t help feeling this was the desire result of the rightwing pro Israeli campaigners.
    considering their ads were full of racist content and because of that are/were losing the battle of the ads.

    • ritzl
      ritzl
      March 19, 2015, 2:24 pm

      Hmmm. So the 9th Circuit CoA establishes precedent that violence and/or fear thereof, overrides free political speech? That HAS to be headed to the Supreme Court.

      All ANYONE has to do now to get opposition ads taken down is slip a Canadian cigarette pack (http://www.smoke-free.ca/warnings/Canada-warnings-on-packages.htm) under somebody’s door.

      How did we get this victim-y timid?

      • Sycamores
        Sycamores
        March 19, 2015, 2:55 pm

        Hi Ritzl,

        different sources quote different reasons

        http://www.pressdisplay.com/pressdisplay/viewer.aspx

        King County officials in Seattle initially agreed to accept the ad against Israeli aid in late 2010, but backed off after getting an avalanche of emails, some threatening disruptions or violence. The county’s Metro transit system, which had previously carried ads critical of Israel and other political messages, changed its policy after the incident and barred all political and ideological advertising on buses.

        unless i’m reading this wrong the King County officials in Seattle backed off on the ad against Israeli aid because of pro Israeli emails threatening disruptions or violence. WTF!

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        March 19, 2015, 4:06 pm

        Sycamores, and here:

        http://www.metnews.com/articles/2015/bus031915.htm

        Cancelling ALL the ads was critical to the majority decision. Favoritism would have made it another issue entirely. The dissenting judge raised the issue of enabling the “heckler veto” with this decision.

        That article also mentioned that other Circuits disagree with this decision, even as narrow (imho) as it is. The claim seems to be constitutional and the defense is commercial. It may be a Supreme Court candidate.

        Interesting.

      • Sycamores
        Sycamores
        March 19, 2015, 5:05 pm

        thanks Ritzl for the link

        when hecklers threaten violence they could be class as potential terrorists. court of law succumbing to terrorist threats.

        where are the jesuischarlie crowd now?

      • Dutch
        Dutch
        March 20, 2015, 8:34 am

        History Museum cancels Ferguson-Palestine discussion

        The Missouri History Museum canceled a speakers panel set for Thursday evening that intended, in part, to compare “state violence” in Ferguson and Palestine.

        http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/history-museum-cancels-ferguson-palestine-discussion/article_86b5ef4d-252e-52a3-8ca9-3f7aada3fa07.html

        Missouri History Museum stops panel including Palestinian presence

        An event planned for Thursday night has been cancelled at the Missouri History Museum after organizers refused to meet the museum’s demand that Palestinian activists be removed from a panel of speakers exploring the similarities between social movements in Ferguson, Ayotzinapa and Palestine.

        http://www.studlife.com/news/region/2015/03/19/mo-history-museum-stops-panel-including-palestinian-presence/

      • eljay
        eljay
        March 20, 2015, 8:41 am

        || Dutch: History Museum cancels Ferguson-Palestine discussion ||

        Museum spokesperson Leigh Walters, the assistant director of communications, stressed that the decision was made by the museum’s staff without any outside pressure from donors or other individuals or groups to do so.

        “No one else was involved. It was entirely a collective decision by our leadership team … ” Walters said.

        “At no time did we come under intense pressure from either Zionist or pro-Israel groups, and never did anyone tell us that they would attempt to smear us with accusations of anti-Semitism and ‘Jew hatred’ if we went ahead with this event. Never, no sir, not even once!”

      • Dutch
        Dutch
        March 20, 2015, 11:42 am

        Eljay,

        I’ve read that. I also read the voices that don’t believe it. In the end the event was cancelled. I think that’s the point here.

      • eljay
        eljay
        March 20, 2015, 2:02 pm

        || Dutch: Eljay, I’ve read that. I also read the voices that don’t believe it. In the end the event was cancelled. I think that’s the point here. ||

        I won’t – and didn’t – dispute that. :-)

      • Dutch
        Dutch
        March 20, 2015, 7:50 pm

        Eljay,

        +1

        :-)

    • annie
      annie
      March 19, 2015, 6:18 pm

      thanks sycamores. yes, ed mast fro SEAMAC sent me this yesterday or the day before i just had not gotten around to drafting it. i’m backed up as you can imagine.

      i attended an awesome protest yesterday too. gotta get on covering that.

      • Sycamores
        Sycamores
        March 19, 2015, 8:34 pm

        Hi Anne,
        looking forward to you future posts, as usual they will be exemplarily.

      • annie
        annie
        March 20, 2015, 9:55 am

        eljay just mentioned another i’ve got on my desktop already! ahhh. lol…. and then there’s that swastica at georgetown. so many stories to tell, so little time…!

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 20, 2015, 6:32 pm

        Here now, what was all that, last month, I think, about how long it took you to get your articles out? Seems like you’re firing off posts like a Gatling-gun lately. While moderating away a mile a minute, too. A regular Nellie Tarbell.

    • annie
      annie
      March 23, 2015, 7:23 pm

      and thank you for the nice compliment sycamores. not sure if you had a chance to see my interview with ed mast last week. it’s already slipped off the front page http://mondoweiss.net/2015/03/discriminatory-transit-critical

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 23, 2015, 7:43 pm

        Mine was a compliment, too. Except that Nellie Bly and Ida Tarbell are two different people.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        March 27, 2015, 5:51 am

        Annie Robbins reminds me of what’s lacking in the main media, the corporate media, real investigative journalism. That Annie, she’s no stenographer! She’s a pip!

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 29, 2015, 3:01 pm

        “She’s a pip!”

        Yes, a real pip, and oojah-cum-spiff and pretty bijou to boot. And although it’s none of my business she’s got espièglerie, and to spare. In short, just like Mother used to make, when she’s fixed just right. Mother, that is.

  5. just
    just
    March 19, 2015, 3:53 pm

    Shame, shame, and more shame on Lincoln Square Synagogue.

    “Thankfully undeterred, the organizers have found a new venue. Advent Lutheran Church”

    This mention of Lutherans made me think of Reverend Bruce Shipman…

    “Well last night the Episcopal Church at Yale along with the Tree of Life Educational Fund helped to host a benefit concert for the Ahli Hospital in Gaza. The concert was originally scheduled to be held at Dwight Memorial Chapel on Yale’s campus. The venue was switched to a Lutheran church a block or so from the Divinity School in the last few days (as commenters on our site noted).” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/09/benefit-backlash-priests#sthash.1bVo67Gg.dpuf

    So a Lutheran church is once again the venue that permits dialogue and truth.

    I spot a trend.

    Thanks, Annie.

    Interesting to note the history of Lincoln Square:

    “Lincoln Square was formerly called San Juan Hill, a predominantly African American neighborhood of tenements, generally bordered by Amsterdam Avenue to the east, West End Avenue to the west, 59th Street to the south, and 65th Street to the north. It has been suggested that the area was named after the 10th Cavalry that fought with Theodore Roosevelt at the Battle of San Juan Hill during the Spanish-American War, but this is not certain. It was possibly the most heavily populated African-American neighborhood in Manhattan in the early 20th century.[2] Notable residents had included Thelonious Monk, who came to live here in 1922. In addition to the significant African American community, there was also an Afro-Caribbean community there, which has left its traces in Bye-ya and Bemsha Swing compositions of Thelonious Monk, co-written much later with Denzil Best, who also grew up in this neighborhood.[3]

    In 1940, the New York City Housing Authority characterized the area as “the worst slum section in the City of New York,” and made plans to renew the area by demolishing the old tenements and building in its place the Amsterdam Housing Projects and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.[2]”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln_Square,_Manhattan

    • lysias
      lysias
      March 19, 2015, 3:55 pm

      Isn’t that the neighborhood that West Side Story was set in?

      • just
        just
        March 19, 2015, 4:16 pm

        iirc, yes.

    • annie
      annie
      March 20, 2015, 10:02 am

      just. did you open my embed to LSS? i almost mentioned it costs 50 million in the article. my eyes popped out reading that. it’s a feat of architecture. for a synagogue that seats about 500 people.

      when i was in nyc last fall i couldn’t believe all the building going on. apparently manhattan is has become so unaffordable everyone is moving to brooklyn and it too is being gentrified block by block. ordinary people who have traditionally lived in these neighborhoods are being pushed out.

      • just
        just
        March 20, 2015, 10:41 am

        The price tag boggles the mind. Wonder if they claim tax- exempt status… Which brings me to another issue that bothers me quite often, as I have heard folks speak from “pulpits” in clear violation of this:

        “The organization may not intervene in political campaigns. Participation in political activities even to an insubstantial degree can cause a church to lose its tax-exempt status. Contributions to political campaigns or public statements of position made by the organization are clearly in violation.

        Publication 1828 cites certain activities that may not be prohibited, including voter education activities conducted in a nonpartisan manner, voter registration activities and get-out-the-vote drives. Still, voter education activities that favor or oppose a candidate or a group of candidates over the others are prohibited.

        Individuals, including clergy, are allowed to speak for themselves—even on important public policy issues. But religious leaders cannot make partisan comments in official publications or at official functions. A religious body may invite a candidate to speak at its events as long as it provides equal opportunity to all candidates seeking the same office.”

        http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/Issues/2006/May/TaxReportingForHousesOfWorship.htm

        “ordinary people who have traditionally lived in these neighborhoods are being pushed out.”

        It’s always the same, innit?

  6. JeffB
    JeffB
    March 19, 2015, 11:07 pm

    @Annie

    so jeff, you think it’s ok to make a contract with someone, accept the money and then 2 months later inform the people you’ve had a change of heart the day before the event?

    No I think what I responded Peter about. Your post would be analogous to me responding your post with something like “So Annie, you think it is OK to run through stop signs on the corner or 3rd and Elm?”

    • annie
      annie
      March 20, 2015, 10:07 am

      They can discriminate against whomever they want for whatever reason they want. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/03/landmark-synagogue-discussion/comment-page-1#comment-755532

      and my point was, i’m not sure you can “discriminate against whomever they want for whatever reason they want.” once you’ve signed a contract with someone.

      jeff, if there’s no reply button attached to the comment you’re responding to, is it so very difficult to scroll up til you find one?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 20, 2015, 11:33 am

        “if there’s no reply button attached to the comment you’re responding to, is it so very difficult to scroll up til you find one?”

        That does work, BTW, even if you have to scroll up 50 comments to find a “reply” button. Find it, and it will put your comment at the bottom of that nested discussion. Works every time.

      • JeffB
        JeffB
        March 20, 2015, 2:03 pm

        @Annie —

        You are confusing discrimination prohibitions with contract law.
        A has a contract with X and keeps it no discrimination involved.
        B has a contract with X and breaks it no discrimination involved.
        C has a contract with X and breaks it discrimination involved.

        For a private business C might be subject to two different penalties one for discrimination and one for breach of contract. For a church C and B are in the same situation. The fact that C and B are the same doesn’t mean anything about whether B and A are the same.

        As for no reply button. Yes. Having comments in random places is annoying. I’d rather just have a top level comment and have at least one more round of responses be in the clear. Why not just fix the setting to allow greater nesting or indicate responses its partially your board?

        I’d rather just have a clae

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 20, 2015, 2:51 pm

        . “I’d rather just have a top level comment”

        Oh yes, he’s come to settle. Next he’ll be talking about ‘Greater Mondoweiss’ and demanding a page for the exclusive use of Zionists.

  7. just
    just
    March 20, 2015, 8:45 am

    O/T but we’ve got plenty of ‘problems’ here, (Via Rania Khalek):

    “PINE BUSH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A school in upstate New York has apologized for reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic after getting complaints from district residents who lost family members in the war in Afghanistan.

    The pledge was read in Arabic during Wednesday morning announcements at Pine Bush High School, located 65 miles northwest of New York City.

    Some students were angered and responded with catcalls. District Superintendent Joan Carbone told the Times Herald-Record of Middletown that she received complaints from residents who lost relatives in Afghanistan and from Jewish parents.

    “Judging (from) what the country is dealing with now with extreme Muslims and all the war and stuff over there, I wouldn’t have started off with Arabic,” resident William Steiger added.

    To many, the Arabic Pledge of Allegiance seemed “un-American.”

    Patriotism, for them, is a narrow highway.

    “I think it should be spoken in English. This is America,” resident Joyce Larsen said.

    The district said the school’s foreign language department arranged to have the pledge recited in different languages for National Foreign Language Week, which was last week.

    Andrew Zink, the senior class president, usually gives the morning announcements and recites the pledge. He said he allowed an Arabic-speaking student to handle the pledge duties Wednesday.

    “The intention was to promote the fact that those who speak a language other than English still pledge to salute this great country,” the district said in its statement.

    “Had it been done in Spanish first or Japanese first, we wouldn’t be having this conversation today,” Principal Aaron Hopmayer told Young.
    ……
    Some locals told Young they actually found the district’s apology offensive.

    “They wouldn’t have to apologize to me or my family for that,” New Windsor resident Patrick Brown said.

    “It doesn’t bother me that they did it. Everybody should be welcome. Everybody should be free,” Pine Bush resident Joel Heir added.

    At an American Legion meeting on Thursday night, Benjamin Weiss was the only person who supported saying the pledge in another language.

    “I thought it was relatively harmless and a good idea,” Weiss said.
    Veterans said it’s not about a hatred of Arabic or Islam.

    In 2013, the parents of several Jewish students attending Pine Bush elementary and middle schools said their children were the targets of anti-Semitic harassment from classmates. The families filed a federal civil rights lawsuit, claiming district officials turned a blind eye to the behavior. In November, a federal judge in White Plains ruled the case could go forward.”

    http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2015/03/19/upstate-n-y-school-apologizes-for-reciting-pledge-of-allegiance-in-arabic/

    (Never mind that most Afghans don’t speak Arabic except to pray…but that’s another topic. It seems like such a great idea…)

    • Walid
      Walid
      March 22, 2015, 5:39 am

      You should hear the general Pakistani population reciting the prayers; just like in the days of the pre-1966 Catholic mass when nobody understood a word of Latin. There’s a rule that says that the Quran unless read or recited in Arabic doesn’t count for much. Go figure. More important to use the proper language than to understand what is being said.

  8. mcohen.
    mcohen.
    March 22, 2015, 3:12 am

    21 march 2015

    may the 7 children rest in peace.let their souls live on eternally to guide the children of abraham

    3:21

    • annie
      annie
      March 22, 2015, 3:51 am

      very sad, tragic. may they rest in peace.

      • Walid
        Walid
        March 22, 2015, 5:24 am

        Very sad for the 7 children, first reports yesterday were saying it may have had something to do with electric food warmer and the Shabbat restriction on using electricity. I’m guessing probably a defective timer.

    • eljay
      eljay
      March 22, 2015, 8:56 am

      || may the 7 children rest in peace. ||

      The loss of life is tragic. What’s even more tragic is that it was entirely avoidable. :-(

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 22, 2015, 5:59 pm

        Gosh, and “mcohoen”s eulogy is even more affecting, if possible, than the ones he writes for the victims of “Protective Edge”. But I guess that’s only natural.
        And 3:21 was the perfect verse to cite.

      • Walid
        Walid
        March 23, 2015, 12:02 am

        An Orthodox Jewish friend once showed me his house and how he had it all on about 5 or 6 separate timers, one of which was to turn on and off the lights throughout the house and outside, to turn on the food warmer for dinner, and one that turned the TV on and off. The restriction did not affect him and he said that this was very legitimate as mostly everyone on his street was also doing it.

        The NYT article said that the Sassoon family left their hot plate on, which I’m assuming was all night Friday to ensure the kids had warm food on Saturday.

  9. Mooser
    Mooser
    March 23, 2015, 7:51 pm

    “An Orthodox Jewish friend once showed me his house and how he had it all on about 5 or 6 separate timers”

    I hope he does not forget the Scriptural injunction which reads:

    “Do not render unto any small-appliance timer an amperage greater than indicated, nor overloadeth the cords of extension attached thereunto”

    • Walid
      Walid
      March 23, 2015, 8:16 pm

      Mooser, I suspect that this was the cause of the fire, if a timer was used at all but from the NYT article, it seemed to say that the food warmer had been simply left on all these hours, probably from the start of Shabbat.
      As to my smart friend, he began by boasting how the timer got his roastbeef cooked but when I asked what kind of timer he had to turn on the 220 oven, he said the roast is pre-cooked and the timer was used on the warmer only.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 23, 2015, 9:11 pm

        Didn’t Rabbi Hillel, when asked if it was violating the Sabbath to rescue a mud-bound horse, say that life was more important than ritual, and had to come first? And mark ye well; this stuck-in-the-mud-on-Sabbath-horse wasn’t even a Jewish horse, And it was rumored Hillel had dropped a bundle on this nag at the track, too, which just goes to show you the kind of lamden he was!

      • just
        just
        March 23, 2015, 10:17 pm

        Thank you.

        Mooser, you are very lucid.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 24, 2015, 12:12 pm

        “Mooser, you are very lucid.”

        Thought I was getting closer to lurid. Remember, they string all these wires and timers and hot plates to avoid, to get around, adhering to the Sabbath regulations, not to obey them.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 29, 2015, 3:08 pm

        “adhering to the Sabbath regulations”

        My Dad explained all that very carefully to me when I was young, just before my Bar-Mitzvah: “Son” he said, and that, considering the circumstances, was darned nice of him, “You’ll be a man soon, and someday, you’ll be married. Always remember, the Sabbath Day and keep it Holy. Never work on Sabbath; the only two things a Jewish husband can make on Shabbos is love, and reservations!”

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        March 30, 2015, 2:54 am

        “Remember, they string all these wires and timers and hot plates to avoid, to get around, adhering to the Sabbath regulations, not to obey them.”

        I will probably make no friends by saying this, but I cannot forbear from seeing a connection between this sort of thing and Zionist thinking. These people think that if they can find ways to keep the letter of the Law, they need not concern themselves with the spirit of the Law. Similarly, I have seen that Zionists like to argue legality without any concern for the underlying morality.

  10. Mooser
    Mooser
    March 30, 2015, 11:40 pm

    “These people think that if they can find ways to keep the letter of the Law, they need not concern themselves with the spirit of the Law.”

    In electrical matters, I look to Buddhism for guidance, and always follow Ohm’s law.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      March 31, 2015, 2:19 pm

      “These people think …”

      You may want to modify that verb if you spend some time with “Failed Messiah” blog. I’m certain something is going on, but I’m not sure “thinking” is the mott’s juice for what they do.

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