The problem with Oren Rosenfeld’s feel-good Israeli movie, “Hummus! The Movie!” is not the cultural appropriation of a dish, but the willfully blind message that Jews, Muslims and Christians get along great in borderless Israel, Ahmed Abdelmageed explains. (And hey– don’t put pumpkin spice in hummus.)
Monthly Archives: October 2018
Israeli political and military sources tell Haaretz they no longer plan to deal with Hamas through the PA. Abbas wants increased tensions between Hamas and Israel as it affords him leverage. “In the near term, he plans to increase the punitive measures against the organization, the officials say.”
Earlier this month, BDS Vancouver activists launched a campaign after learning that Ballet BC was planning to perform in Israel in January, 2019. The petition that was started has now garnered over 4200 signatures, with a clear call to Ballet BC to not be complicit in helping Israel cover up its war crimes.
Young Jews have blocked the entrance to the Metropolitan Republican Club in New York City Tuesday afternoon, protesting the GOP in the wake of the killing of 11 Jews at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill over the weekend.
After nearly two months on high alert, the fear of imminent demolition permanently lingering in the air, the residents of Khan al-Ahmar and the activists supporting them took a collective, albeit temporary, sigh of relief last week.
When news spread that the Israeli government was postponing the demolition of the village until further notice, the Bedouins of Khan al-Ahmar, along with hundreds of activists and Palestinian government officials rejoiced.
Now, as the euphoria of the postponement wears off, the residents of Khan al-Ahmar are back trying to resume their daily lives as normal until the next decision comes.
“President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you fully denounce white nationalism,” Bend the Arc, a progressive Jewish group, informs the president ahead of his Tuesday visit. J Street and Jewish Voice for Peace also hold the president responsible for inciting anti-Semitic violence in statements on Saturday’s massacre of 11 Jewish worshipers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.
Jonathan Greenblatt of the ADL, who has been everywhere in the media explaining Pittsburgh, has a history of accusing leftwing critics of Zionism of anti-semitism as “damaging” as white nationalism. Last January he accused IfNotNow and Jewish Voice for Peace of taking extreme views on Israel in reaction to Trump, and he said his former boss President Obama had made a “series of missteps” on Middle East policy.
“As we mourn this horrendous act of violence against Jewish communities, we know that this is not an isolated attack and our response cannot be isolated either. The attack on the Pittsburgh synagogue is part of the growing threats and acts of murderous violence based on white supremacy, xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Jewish hatred, misogyny, homophobia and transphobia.”
The murderous rampage at the Tree of Life synagogue had absolutely nothing to do with the struggle for Palestinian rights. And anyone who is telling you there is is shamelessly trying to use the murder of 11 innocent people to further their own racist agenda to dehumanize Palestinians and justify their ongoing oppression by the state of Israel.
Mara Ahmed writes, “The struggle against anti-Semitism is permanently intertwined with the fight against Islamophobia, settler colonialism, and imperial violence and encroachment. It’s not possible to pick apart and support one component versus another, and it’s our decision to commit to all, or nothing.”
A group of 50 Anti-Zionist Israelis joined the Great March of Return from the Eastern side of the fence that besieges the Gaza Strip.
Lesley Williams has seen the despair and terror in the Jewish community since the attack in Pittsburgh and wonders as a Jew of Color where this response was following other recent racist attacks. “I have a message for all of you, my white Jewish friends,” Williams writes, “I feel no more fear, no more rage, no more terror than I did two days ago. No more than I have felt every day as a black person in this country.”
Robert Herbst writes, “Now the poisons circulating in our politics, with a heavy dose injected by Donald Trump and his discourse of hatred, have killed 11 members of Tree of Life Congregation in the Jewish community of Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh, and left their mark on the whole American Jewish community. My fear is that this incident will increase our communal sense of victimhood. In the wake of Pittsburgh, there is no Jewish future in turning inward, either physically, spiritually, or politically, here in the United States, or in the Middle East.”
Hanan Ashrawi notes that the $3.8 billion the U.S. sends Israel is costing American children extracurricular programs — during a “tele-summit” on the best strategies in leading Palestinian solidarity, led by the artist and activist Katie Miranda. The summit also features Haidar Eid and Neta Golan.
Many moral voices are blaming Donald Trump and the spirit of xenophobia he has licensed for the hate-crime in a Pittsburgh synagogue Saturday that killed 11. But some advocates for Israel, including Josh Block and Shmuley Boteach, are blaming anti-Zionists.
The theme of Gili Getz’s work “The Forbidden Conversation” is that dialog must take place between anti-Zionists and Zionists, and between US Jews and Israeli Jews, or Jews will fragment as a community — and not deal in a more healthy way with Israel/Palestine. Abba Solomon doubts the efficacy of that program.
Clyde Haberman of the New York Times accuses Democratic congressional candidates Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar of being “hostile toward Israel and maybe … toward Jews in general” in a discussion at the Center for Jewish History. Neither Rabbi Jill Jacobs or Halie Sofier of the Democratic Jewish council pushed back against the smear.
Liz Rose says Matti Friedman’s New York Times Op-Ed on the new Tel Aviv to Jerusalem train line does nothing but recycle Zionist blind spots. “He doesn’t say anything new, and the New York Times loves it,” Rose writes. “Friedman’s commitment, above all else, is to preserving a myth, rewriting history, and then mystifying the whole experience until it becomes nothing but sentiment for a mythologized past.”
Jair Bolsonaro, the fascist who will probably be elected president of Brazil in the second election round this Sunday, is an enthusiastic supporter of Israel who says he will follow Donald Trump’s example and move his nation’s embassy there from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Bolsonaro’s extreme views have divided Brazil’s 120,000-strong Jewish community, the 9th-largest in the world.
On Wednesday Israeli police removed Coptic priests holding a sit-in at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City and arrested one. The clergy were protesting a renovation dispute that arose because the historic site’s roof is nearing collapse.
UN Special Rapporteur S. Michael Lynk tells an audience in New York, “annexation trends in the occupied territories, particularly with respect to the West Bank, are quickening, and annexation is in the air, and formal annexation may be occurring sooner than we are thinking.” The Israeli right has been creative, but the human rights activists give him hope.
Israels nation state of the Jewish people has been denounced for making Palestinians less than second-class citizens. But Sara Greenberg, Netanyahus adviser told American Jews the law shows the “strength” of Israeli democracy because worse clauses were removed from the bill before it passed.
David Friedman, Trump’s ambassador to Israel, seems to think of himself as an ambassador for Zionist Jews only. In a speech today in Tel Aviv, he described Israel as the “land of our national history,” and distinguished between the “country of our citizenship,” the U.S., and the country “we love so much,” Israel. He never mentioned Palestinians, nor the Christians and Muslims who feel a connection to Jerusalem.
Shahd Abusalama writes, “Palestinians’ legitimate claims continue to be silenced at the expense of sustaining Israel’s longstanding myths of being the safe haven for world Jewry and a democracy with the world’s most moral army. As if we are not as worthy as the children of Holocaust survivors of freedom, security, justice and dignity.”
Would Lara Alqasem’s liberal Zionist supporters have defended her right to enter her homeland if she had wanted to attend Bir Zeit University instead of Hebrew University? Nada Elia writes that there is much more to Alqasem’s case that needs to be examined, hinging on her identity and her choices, as well as how these were perceived, or intentionally ignored, by some of her defenders.