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April 2017

Yet another young American Jew has had it with Israel

Philip Weiss on

We must admit we are living in the golden age of Jewish anti-Zionism. A young Maine director, Eric Axelman, is doing a film about the American Jewish responsibility for the occupation. US Jews have the “magic stick” to change Israel, a Palestinian tells him.

Once I was lit by moonbeams

Liz Rose on

“No one in our family was ever as passionate about Israel as me, and now I’m the most critical.” Liz Rose meditates on her summer in 1986, at the Alexander Muss High School, when she fell in love with Jerusalem.

Map map on the wall, who’s most existing of them all?

Tom Suarez on

What is meant by Palestine having, or having not, ‘existed’? Humans have lived and died in the region we call Palestine for about as long as our species has walked the earth, regardless of who had the biggest club, the grandest throne, or the most F16s. Palestine includes regions that are among the longest inhabited on earth.

Why not a probe of Israel-gate?

Robert Parry on
Trump and Netanyahu, file photo (Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO-Israel)

There is no proportionality applied to the question of foreign interference in U.S. politics. If there were, we would have a far more substantive investigation of Israel than Russia. But if anyone mentions the truth about Israel’s clout, the person is immediately smeared as “anti-Semitic” and targeted by Israel’s extraordinarily sophisticated lobby and its many media/political allies for vilification and marginalization.

US body on religious freedom rebuffed Palestinian Christians– and Zogby says group was ‘bullied’

Allison Deger on

A religious freedom watchdog mandated by Congress rebuffed repeated appeals from Christian Palestinians to investigate Israel and “bullied” sympathetic officials into dropping their cause, said outgoing member to the committee for religious liberties James Zogby on Wednesday.

Zogby is the director of the Arab American Institute and was appointed eight years ago to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) by President Obama. With less than three weeks left in his term, Zogby went public with his dissenting opinion to the religious committee’s decision to excuse Israel from an investigation.

A call to join the #SaltWaterChallenge

Zeena Ismail on

Zeena Ismail says the call to support hunger striking Palestinian prisoners is a call to support humanity: “I could write a brief history recap on the conflict, but in all honesty, there is plenty out there for one to educate themselves about the topic without bias and with reason. This is why I will refrain from making a case for these prisoners simply because they already have the strongest case, the case of being human and wanting to be treated as one.”

Abbas should stop playing us for political gain, say young Gazan writers

Pam Bailey on

Abbas does not represent Palestinian youth, say young writers in Gaza. “We, the people of Gaza, are the children, but the fighting couple, Hamas and Fatah, are not keeping us out of it. Instead, each is using us as a tool to pressure the other into giving up.”

Jared Kushner is secret financial partners with the Steinmetz family, once the richest in Israel

James North on

Jared Kushner, the First Son-in-Law, is secret financial partners with what was once the richest family in Israel — the billionaire Steinmetzes, whose leading figure has been linked to a massive bribery scandal in Africa. Kushner’s hidden business ties, just revealed in the New York Times and Bloomberg, should prompt the same intense scrutiny that other Trump officials have gotten for their secret links to Russia.

Mohammad Saba’aneh had no choice but to become a political artist

Philip Weiss on

Why do you draw Israeli soldiers? an Israeli soldier asked cartoonist Mohammad Saba’aneh when he searched his suitcase at the Jordanian border. Because look around, that is all I see, Saba’aneh responded. He has just published a book of cartoons and is on an American tour.

New York rabbi links Jewish Voice for Peace to Osama bin Laden and Assad

Philip Weiss on

A leading New York rabbi says that Jewish Voice for Peace has “hearts of stone, Jewishly cold, lifeless and emptied of Jewish feeling,” and says the group’s statements on terrorism “would make Osama bin Laden blush,” and that they also seem to approve Bashar al-Assad. The April 7 sermon by an excited Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch of the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue is a sign of how rocked the Jewish community is today by the threat of anti-Zionism and the boycott movement, BDS.

No self-determination

Tony Greenstein on

Israeli socialists have long argued that the primary agent for change in Palestine is the Israeli-Jewish (Hebrew) working class which must be tempted into abandoning the advantages that it presently enjoys, or perceives that it enjoys, in a Zionist state based on Jewish supremacy. Tony Greenstein counters that until Zionism is defeated socialism will be off the agenda in Israel and the Middle East. Zionism and the idea of a Jewish nation are the guarantee against any unity between the Jewish and Arab working classes.

Open Letter to Radiohead: Stay away, until apartheid is over

Artists for Palestine UK on

Artists for Palestine UK send an open letter to the rock band Radiohead about their upcoming concert in Tel Aviv: “Please do what artists did in South Africa’s era of oppression: stay away, until apartheid is over.”

Letter to the mayor of Frankfurt, from a refugee of that city

Lillian Rosengarten on

Zionist intention is to gather Jews from around the world to support and live in the “Jewish State,” using the idea of Jewish unsafety. I cannot be this Jew. As a refugee [from Nazi Germany], I identify with the homeless displaced Palestinians.

Students sue Fordham over justice for Palestine club rejection

Palestine Legal on

Students at Fordham University filed a lawsuit against the school over its refusal to grant club status to Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). The students argue that the denial is “viewpoint discrimination” in violation of Fordham’s policies regarding free expression. “As a Palestinian on campus, I was denied the opportunity to advocate for freedom for my people,” said Ahmad Awad, a graduating Fordham student. “Instead of encouraging our human rights advocacy, the university sided with those trying to silence our voices.”

The agony of J Street

Abba Solomon on

Abba Solomon finds a historical parallel between a recent “misadventure” at an anti-BDS conference where members of J Street attended and were called “anti-Semitic” by a speaker from the stage, and “the American Jewish Committee (AJC) [who] felt it must cooperate with the Zionist movement, in order to be within the tent when decisions were made. It participated in the formation of the Jewish Agency for Palestine on the understanding the Agency would be a joint Zionist/non-Zionist enterprise.”

Palestinian refugees are under attack in Lebanon again

Duaa Ardat on

Duaa Ardat describes recent clashes in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, “News reports said a battle had broken out between the Fatah movement and a mysterious extremist named Bilal Badr and his followers. Many people were fleeing the camp under the hail of the shelling; others were stuck in their homes, afraid of being hit by random shots. The Lebanese media call Ein El-Helweh the “zone without laws,” but it is home to more than 100,000 people (about half of whom are Palestinian).”

People are drinking salt water in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike

Allison Deger on

Aarab Marwan Barghouti, the son of jailed Palestinian official Marwan Barghouti who is leading a hunger strike of more than 1,500 Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons, gave a boost to prisoner solidarity campaigns by releasing a video of him drinking a bitter mixture of salt and water. The clip closes by asking others to participate in his “salt water challenge” in solidarity with the Palestinian hunger strikers.

Barghouti: BDS is growing as Israel becomes associated with far-right movements around the world

Jesse Rubin on

After overcoming multiple legal and administrative hurdles, including an Israeli-imposed travel ban, Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, appeared on a panel at Columbia University last night entitled “The Road to Freedom: The BDS Movement for Palestinian Rights and the Struggle Against Apartheid.” Barghouti listed BDS’ many accomplishments since its launch in 2005 by Palestinian civil society and his commentary was sharp and at times funny. “BDS cannot claim full responsibility for Israel’s growing academic, cultural and increasingly economic isolation” Barghouti said. “For Israel itself deserves a big share of the credit.”

Federal charges against Arab protesters at Friedman hearing dropped

American Muslims for Palestine on

American Muslims for Palestine writes, “The federal government has dropped the charges against AMP [American Muslims for Palestine] staffers Taher Herzallah and Kareem El-Hosseiny. Stephen Rickard, Deputy Chief of the misdemeanors section in the U.S. Attorney’s office notified the men’s attorney Ann Wilcox on Friday evening.” Herzallah and El-Hosseiny faced charged for protesting during the Senate confirmation hearing of Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. The two were arrested along with four others who were not charged.