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I’m part of the next generation of Jewish leaders, and for us, AIPAC has no cred

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This week, lobbyists, politicians, academics, and all the glitterati of the Israel lobby are gathering for the annual AIPAC conference in Washington, DC. Under the Trump administration, AIPAC has maintained a strong relationship with Republican members of congress, far right-wing Israeli politicians, and Christian Zionist groups. But the organization is facing a serious challenge: It increasingly has no cred with young Jews.

As AIPAC continues to embrace far-right politicians and lobby for militarism against Palestinians, more and more Jewish people are turning instead to political movements based on equality, dignity, and justice.

Lara Haft

Lara Haft

As a Jewish kid, I remember learning about AIPAC at my suburban Conservative synagogue. Members of my congregation eagerly attended the conference each year, and our Rabbi shared anecdotes from AIPAC on Yom Kippur as he preached the merits of buying Israel Bonds. It seemed to me, as a kid, that going to AIPAC’s annual conference was part of a Rabbi’s job description. And it wasn’t just at my shul. I heard rabbis singing the praises of AIPAC at the Reform temple down the road and at many bar and bat mitzvahs I attended.

But by the time I got to college, like many young Jewish people, I began to question the idea that AIPAC represented me. As I joined friends at vigils against Israel’s blockade on Gaza, AIPAC fought to increase U.S. funding of the military. As I scribbled notes at teach-ins about combating Anti-Semitism and White Supremacy, AIPAC repeatedly hosted far-right speakers, like Steven Emerson, a nearly annual speaker who has been called  “a ‘leading light’ of the Islamophobia industry.”

As more people are making connections between Standing Rock and Khan Al Ahmar, between Ferguson and Gaza, AIPAC has made clear that it has no place within progressive politics.  This year alone, the speakers list is rife with controversial figures, like Knesset Member Naftali Bennett, who once bragged, “I’ve killed lots of Arabs in my life and there’s no problem with that.” This year’s speakers also include representatives from several prominent Evangelical Zionist groups, arms- and oil-industry lobbyists, and the Israel On Campus Coalition (ICC), which made headlines for surveilling left-leaning Jewish college students.

I was working as a Jewish educator in Durham, North Carolina (the land of the Eno/Occaneechi Nation) when Donald Trump was elected. In the years since, Durham has repeatedly faced hate crimes anti-Black, Islamophobic, and anti-Semitic hate crimes. More and more young Jews — especially queer and trans Jews and Jews of color — are seeing the need for us to build a united movement against white supremacy, militarism, and racist policing. We know that there is constant work to be done to make our own communities more welcoming and to channel resources into protecting those in our community who are most vulnerable to state violence. Groups like Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, Network Against Islamophobia, and Movement to End Islamophobia and Racism (MERI) are growing rapidly, as demand increases for workshops about Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. Meanwhile, organizations like Dream Defenders, Red Nation, Jewish Voice for Peace, and BYP100 are building a powerful network that connects local activism to Palestinian resistance, whether by fighting racist policing or resisting the theft and environmental devastation of Native lands. That’s not to mention growing involvement in advocacy groups like If Not Now, whose counter-AIPAC marches draw hundreds of young Jews.

This year, I began Rabbinical School in Jerusalem (a year in Israel is a long-standing requirement at most U.S. Rabbinical schools.) It’s very clear that my peers, the up-and-coming rabbis and cantors from every denomination, are setting out to turn the political tide. Many future cantors, rabbis, and Jewish educators actively support Palestinian civil resistance, from planting olive trees in lands threatened by settlers to spending the night alongside Palestinian and Israeli activists to prevent the demolition of Khan al Ahmar. We’re part of a growing trend of faith leaders from around the world, led by Palestinian theologians like Rev. Dr. Naim Ateek and Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb, who believe that tearing down walls and prisons– fighting for true equality between Palestinians and Israelis– is one of the ways we honor God’s call to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Up-and-coming Jewish leaders don’t buy the “love first, questions later” approach to Israel. We don’t believe that loving Jewish people means staying silent every time a Palestinian teen is put in jail without a trial or every time a family is torn from their home to make room for a new settlement. We don’t believe that loving Jewish people means lobbying to increase the number of Made-In-The-USA bombs that are dropped on Gaza. Quite the opposite. Loving Jewish people means being part of mass movements against repressive regimes, racism, and militarism.

To the rising Jewish leaders of the Trump era, supporting AIPAC is a stone’s throw away from touting the NRA. We don’t want anything to do with far-right politicians, arms-industry lobbyists, or national security “experts” preaching a gospel of Islamophobic pseudo-science.

To most young Jews, AIPAC has no cred.

Lara Haft

Lara Haft is a first year Rabbinical Student at Hebrew College. Originally from Piscataway-Conoy land (Rockville, MD), Lara currently lives in Occupied East Jerusalem where they are involved in organizing against demolitions/evictions of Palestinian homes. Lara is a member the Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical council. Get in touch on Instagram (@larahaft) and at diaspora6000.com.

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54 Responses

  1. wondering jew on March 26, 2019, 11:59 am

    For me Aipac has no cred, but JVP has no cred either.

    • Mooser on March 26, 2019, 1:36 pm

      “For me Aipac has no cred, but JVP has no cred either.”

      Who needs them! You don’t need anybody except Trump and Netanyahoo.

    • genesto on March 27, 2019, 12:27 pm

      Sounds like you are out there all alone on an island, wj.

      Pity!!

    • eljay on March 28, 2019, 9:13 am

      || wondering jew: For me Aipac has no cred, but JVP has no cred either. ||

      According to JVP’s “About” page:

      … we support full equality for Palestinians and Jewish Israelis grounded in international law and universal principles of human rights …

      … JVP supports the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including the right of people to return to their countries. …

      Jewish Voice for Peace is guided by a vision of justice, equality and freedom for all people. We unequivocally oppose Zionism because it is counter to those ideals.

      Justice, equality, respect for human rights – yup, it’s easy to see why dislike JVP.

      • echinococcus on March 28, 2019, 11:00 am

        More bull.

        “we support full equality for Palestinians and Jewish Israelis grounded in international law and universal principles of human rights”

        Since when do “universal principles of human rights” uphold equal rights for invader and invadee?

        When did “universal principles of human rights” bless conquest and invasion by giving any squatter rights to invader offspring?

        Answer, dammit!

        “JVP supports the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including the right of people to return to their countries.”

        No, it doesn’t. That country is invaded, occupied, its sovereignty subverted and any return as long as it is the Zionist entity will be under the boot of the occupier.

        “Jewish Voice for Peace is guided by a vision of justice, equality and freedom for all people”…
        including invaders. That’s why it is “Jewish” instead of being, say, New Yorker or Californian or American, etc.

        “We unequivocally oppose Zionism”
        after, what, 20 years? Sure.

    • Mooser on March 30, 2019, 11:05 am

      “For me Aipac has no cred, but JVP has no cred either.” “WJ”

      The next generation speaks, and we must listen.

  2. CitizenC on March 26, 2019, 2:55 pm

    Originally from Piscataway-Conoy land (Rockville, MD), Lara currently lives in Occupied East Jerusalem where they are involved in organizing against demolitions/evictions of Palestinian homes

    So Lara ostentatiously acknowledges her usurpation of American Indian land, but fights Zionist usurpation of Palestinian land in East Jerusalem, not in the Piscataway-US land of her birth and citizenship, whose support is indispensable to the usurpation she claims to fight, whose Jewish institutions are the leading force in securing that support.

    The fight of US citizens is in the US, and esp against Jewish institutions, not in Palestine. That is one reason JVP has no cred with Wondering Jew or anyone else who wonders.

  3. bcg on March 26, 2019, 8:01 pm

    “AIPAC Is Losing Control of the Narrative on Israel” – from the Atlantic:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/03/aipac-trump-poliicy-israel-divides-american-jews/585727/

    Inside the grand ballroom at AIPAC’s annual conference, longtime attendees and political leaders forcefully maintained that support for Israel is as strong and unifying as it has ever been. Outside the hermetic world of AIPAC, however, the American political conversation about Israel is shifting, in part because of backlash against America’s and Israel’s right-wing leaders….

    • Peter in SF on March 27, 2019, 4:09 am

      When Emma Green, the writer, refers to “American political conversation about Israel”, she makes it clear that she is talking about American Jews‘ conversation about Israel. This is the same Atlantic writer who wrote a long and blathering and clueless article about Ilhan Omar, anti-Semitic tropes, and AIPAC. She’s an embarrassment to her magazine. Why do they get her to write about this when they have other writers who can draw on far more experience? Because the Atlantic doesn’t want to cover this issue in a serious way. If readers complain, they can suggest that readers shouldn’t be so hard on a young woman who’s just starting out in her career.

      • Mooser on March 27, 2019, 12:14 pm

        “Because the Atlantic doesn’t want to cover this issue in a serious way.”

        I don’t get it. Why, with such an expert as Jeffrey Goldberg as Editor, what other publication is so well equipped to cover the subject?

        And Googling “Jeffrey Goldberg” the word “Israel” only appears once on the page, under “Nationality”. Odd, I’d say

      • Peter in SF on March 28, 2019, 2:00 am

        Didn’t Goldberg sort of admit not too long ago that people weren’t taking him seriously anymore on matters related to Israel, so he was going to take a break? Or maybe it was MW readers who read that into whatever he said.

        Anyway, today the Atlantic has a dumb article on its website about AIPAC, this time by Russell Berman, also quite youthful-looking:
        https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/03/democrats-aipac-israel-dual-loyalty-hoyer-pelosi-omar/585754/
        Somehow the writer takes Hoyer’s statement, “When someone accuses American supporters of Israel of dual loyalty, I say: Accuse me“, and calls that a “forceful denunciation of the ‘dual loyalty’ charge” rather than a guilty plea.
        And great line here:

        Ocasio-Cortez has not been quite as hostile in her public comments toward Israel since her election, but last May she accused its military of “a massacre” of Palestinians in Gaza, and she referred to Israel’s “occupation” of the West Bank during an interview later in the year.

        I guess he’s pointing to her as the exception that proves the rule — no other member of Congress besides AOC, Ilhan Omar, or Rashida Tlaib has referred to Israel’s “occupation” of the West Bank in the past year. Even though I’m sure quite a few of them have visited it.

        James Fallows has been around Washington for 40 years and could say something about his experiences with AIPAC, but nothing from him in the Atlantic. Because he knows too much.

  4. DaBakr on March 27, 2019, 2:52 am

    she may be the “next generation” of american jews but she certainly doesn’t represent this democraphic in any sense of a majority. there are equally active and enthusiastic young american jews who support israel and identify as zionist getting involved in israel advocacy that runs counter to what this young woman represents as another ‘new’ trend.

    • Mooser on March 27, 2019, 3:14 pm

      “there are equally active and enthusiastic young american jews who support israel and identify as zionist getting involved in israel advocacy”

      And what’s more, almost the entire 100% of those “young american jews who support Israel” support Israel.

      • DaBakr on March 28, 2019, 12:04 am

        @ms

        yeah. and they support israel too as well as supporting israel.

      • Mooser on March 28, 2019, 5:06 pm

        “they support israel too as well as supporting israel.”

        And no matter what anti-Zionists say, nearly 100% of those young people will always be nearly 100% of them, no matter how many there are.

  5. Peter in SF on March 27, 2019, 4:39 am

    You conclude with:


    To most young Jews, AIPAC has no cred.

    That would be nice if true, but you haven’t shown that this is really the case for most young Jews. You’ve written about some inspiring rabbinical students, and OK, they might be showing more leadership qualities than classmates who love AIPAC, but that doesn’t imply that they’re in the majority. And most obviously, most Jews are not American; if you’re in Israel then you must be seeing a lot of young Israeli Jews, and don’t most of them go into the IDF willingly? If they don’t, then that is big news, so please write more about that.

    How far does this commitment to equality go among these up and coming leaders go, anyway? Do you all support right of return for descendants of those expelled in 1948? If so, then again, that is big news, so tell us more. Especially if this is a prevalent view among Israeli rabbinical students.

    Please avoid writing like this:

    AIPAC repeatedly hosted far-right speakers, like Steven Emerson, a nearly annual speaker who has been called “a ‘leading light’ of the Islamophobia industry.”

    Why should readers care what someone has been called, in passive voice? Note that one can write, equally truthfully, that Ilhan Omar “has been called an anti-Semite”.

  6. Jejasalo on March 27, 2019, 10:22 am

    Thank God for the younger generations of activists and their vitality. If there is any hope for a sane resolution to the question of Palestine, it is with them. The same is almost certainly true about the future of our planet.

  7. JoeSmack on March 27, 2019, 10:42 am

    Anyone else notice how this entire essay is about her and her own community? Like, seriously, who cares? If Lara and others from JVP want to be “leaders” then they should be passing the mic, not promoting their own brand of “Look at me”.

  8. CitizenC on March 27, 2019, 11:04 am

    Up-and-coming Jewish leaders don’t buy the “love first, questions later” approach to Israel. We don’t believe that loving Jewish people means staying silent every time a Palestinian teen is put in jail without a trial or every time a family is torn from their home to make room for a new settlement. We don’t believe that loving Jewish people means lobbying to increase the number of Made-In-The-USA bombs that are dropped on Gaza. Quite the opposite. Loving Jewish people means being part of mass movements against repressive regimes, racism, and militarism.

    Is “loving Jewish people” the main object of Palestine politics?

  9. Donald on March 27, 2019, 11:11 am

    You could say the exact same thing about anyone reporting on the activists they know about. Pass the mic. It would become an endless series of mic-passing.

    The one criticism made so far that makes sense to me is the one asking for actual percentages. How many young Jews in Israel share her views? How many in the US? How do the views break down? Some might support full fledged apartheid, some might be two staters of varying degrees of seriousness and some might be 1 state equal rights for everyone supporters. Are there polls?

    It would also be nice to know these numbers for Americans in general, but I bet most Americans don’t even know about the Nakba. And that would be a different article anyway.

    • echinococcus on March 28, 2019, 7:43 am

      Donald,

      The only question that makes sense with this kind of thing is the exact percentage of **religious** Jews in the US. Anything else means racist identity politics / mytho-nationalist segregation.

      No matter the author’s subjective belief that her practice is non-Zionist, or “less-Zionist”, her opposition to today’s particular cultivar of Zionist leadership is predicated on the following set of beliefs:

      – That “Jews” (including the non-religious, 1000% all-American elements) are a “people” apart from generic Americans, not only re religion, but in some ID politics or cultural (non)sense,

      – That the main objective of her militancy (“activism” in today’s fashionable parlance) is to improve the image and self-image of the so-called “people” indicated above (ie fighting “antisemitism”), not ridding the Palestinian people from the Zionist invasion.

    • Mooser on March 30, 2019, 6:09 pm

      ” How many in the US?”

      Organised Judaism and Zionism are so closely allied that not supporting Zionism almost always means (with a few exceptions) leaving organised Judaism.

      That keeps the percentages nice and high.

  10. annie on March 27, 2019, 11:35 am

    Thank you Lara Haft! As a young up and coming rabbi it’s good to hear your heart and mind are in a loving place and that you’re finding your peers, fellow rabbinical students spending their required first year in israel, are of like mind.

    please keep us updated! i look forward to hearing more from and other young rabbis. be safe, be daring, and come back home, you’re needed here more than ever.

  11. Boris on March 27, 2019, 12:49 pm

    She needs some education.

    Just like Eno/Occaneechi are the indigenous people to what is now called America, Jews are the indigenous people to what is now called Palestine.

    • Talkback on March 27, 2019, 5:49 pm

      Boris: “Jews are the indigenous people to what is now called Palestine.”

      You need some education.

      Jews once were the indigenous people to what is called Palestine. Since 1919 Palestinians are the indigenous people to what is called Palestine, including native Jews and Nonjews. The non native Jews are just foreign colonists who infiltrated Palestine under British de facto occupation.

      How is it possible that you even pervert the meaning of the word “indigenous”? Do you actually know what it means?

      • Boris on March 28, 2019, 12:01 am

        @Talking Arse

        So, following your logic, Americans are indigenous to America, not American Indians.

        Interesting…

      • Talkback on March 28, 2019, 10:39 am

        Borsh: “@Talking Arse”

        Poor Bubbele. Are you still mad that you found out that half of your genes which supposed to prove your Ancient Hebrewness originated in Anatolia? And what does 23andme has to say about your fixation on this body part?

        Borsh: So, following your logic, Americans are indigenous to America, not American Indians.

        Interesting…”

        Bubbele, eveybody knows the difference between natives and settlers. American Indians are natives, “Americans” were obviously settlers. Palestinans are natives (ok, except the 5% with Arabian genes), the Jews who “settled” in Palestine after 1878 are obviously settlers.

        So my point is this. Who was as legal citizen of Palestine in 1925? And who infiltrated Palestine without the consent of the native population under a de facto British occupation? That’s the difference between natives and settlers.

    • eljay on March 27, 2019, 7:14 pm

      || Boris: She needs some education. … Jews are the indigenous people to what is now called Palestine. ||

      You need some de-Zionification.

      Up until Zionism got its ugly way and geographic Palestine was carved up, Palestinians – people living in and up to n-generations removed from geographic Palestine – were the indigenous people of Palestine.

      Since then, people living in and up to n-generations removed from:
      – Partition-borders Israel are Israelis; and
      – Partition-borders not-Israel are not-Israelis.

      People all over the world – citizens of homelands all over the world – are neither Israelis nor Palestinians nor ancient Israelites / Judeans simply because they choose to embrace the religion-based identity of Jewish.

    • YoniFalic on March 28, 2019, 5:34 am

      Modern Jews are no more descendants of ancient Judeans, who are ancestors of modern Palestinians, than modern Roman Catholics are descendants of ancient Romans.

      In Don’t blame the Israel lobby on Christians and Republicans, I discussed how Jewish identity comes to have ethnic sense in an area where there is only one Jewish ethnic group and the Jewish ethnic group does not correspond to any co-territorial non-Jewish ethnic group.

      • Nathan on March 29, 2019, 5:02 pm

        Yoni – Maybe the modern Jews are the descendants of ancient Judeans, and maybe they’re not. Nevertheless, they are now Israelis. You claim that the Palestinians are the descendants of ancient Judeans, which might be true or it might not be true. They themselves generally claim to be the descendants of the Canaanites and the Philistines (they would be very insulted if you were to tell them that they are the descendants of the ancient Jews whom Allah cursed). But, still, it’s all nonsense. In politics, we deal with citizenship, not with pedigrees. So, the Jews in Israel are citizens of Israel, and that’s about it.

      • Talkback on March 30, 2019, 7:40 am

        Nathan: “Maybe the modern Jews are the descendants of ancient Judeans, and maybe they’re not. Nevertheless, they are now Israelis. You claim that the Palestinians are the descendants of ancient Judeans, which might be true or it might not be true. … But, still, it’s all nonsense.”

        Now there is some perfect inequality in this statement, don’t you think? The Jews are Israelis. But what about the significant majority of Nonjewish citizens of Palestine who lived in the territory which became Israel? They are not. They are kept expelled and denationalized.

        In international law we deal with international and human rights. These Palestinians should be Israelis. This principle was reflected in the partition resolution, too. It’s no surprise that Jews living in the territory which became Palestine became ipso facto citizens of Palestine in 1925. This transfer of nationality by a successor state is the norm. Also the right to return and to citizenship after the atrocities before 1945.

        Nathan: “In politics, we deal with citizenship, not with pedigrees.”

        In JewishApartheid politics, we deal with Jewishness, neither with citizenship nor with equality nor with a state for all its citizens.

        Nathan: “So, the Jews in Israel are citizens of Israel, and that’s about it.”

        Exactly. Expulsion an denationalization is a normality for you as long as Jews are not the victims. But let me remind you of another state in which they were victims, because the country, too, decided to not be the state of all of its citizens and also differentiated between nationals and citizens. It also started its criminal existence by denationalizing and expelling those who were it didn’t consider to be nationals of the state and belonging to its nation.

        Would you also claim that “that’s about it”?

        My experience tells me that you just don’t get all of this, do you?

    • Citizen on April 1, 2019, 8:58 am

      When they declared Israel’s existence, Jews owned less than 7 percent of the land in Palestine. Arabs owned more land than Jews in every single district of Palestine. Arabs also constituted a numerical majority in Palestine. Despite mass immigration, Jews remained a minority comprising about a third of the population.

      Even within the territory proposed by the UN for the Jewish state, when the Bedouin population was counted, Arabs constituted a majority. Even within that territory, Arabs owned more land than Jews.

  12. Blairstation1000 on March 27, 2019, 6:30 pm

    Great article!

  13. Nathan on March 27, 2019, 9:37 pm

    Gee, Talkback, don’t you feel the need to update your observations? It would also be a good idea to use the past tense when dealing with events of the past. One can argue that “since 1919 Palestinians are the indigenous people to what is called Palestine…”; but surely you should add an update to that brilliant insight: Since 1948, there is a state called Israel, and the Israelis are the citizens of that state.

    You raise the claim that “the non-native Jews ARE just foreign colonists who infiltrated Palestine under British de facto occupation”. Since this statement refers to an event from quite some time ago, surely it deserves to be argued in the past tense. In your opinion, these Jews WERE colonists, obviously. Even in the language of the anti-Israel world, there is that moment in which “are” becomes “were”. If you insist on using the present tense, then you could say that the great-grandchildren (or is it the great-great-grandchildren) of those “non-native foreigners” are now native Israelis.

    What is a “de-facto” occupation? I’ve never heard the term before. How is that different than the de jure type of occupation? There seems to be a strange urge in propaganda-style writing to add unnecessary adjectives. I remember reading Pravda during the era of the USSR, and there too every phenomenon had a string of adjectives to make sure that the reader understands whom to hate today. This phenomenon is also seen in your phrase: “the non-native Jews are just foreign colonists”. Notice that they’re “non-native” and “foreign” all in one sentence.

    • Peter in SF on March 28, 2019, 2:08 am

      I remember reading Pravda during the era of the USSR

      You’re a lot older than I thought.

      What is a “de-facto” occupation?

      Talkback is saying that the form of British control of Mandatory Palestine was effectively that of a military occupation, even though it wasn’t called that.

    • Talkback on March 28, 2019, 11:16 am

      Nathan: “Gee, Talkback, don’t you feel the need to update your observations? One can argue that “since 1919 Palestinians are the indigenous people to what is called Palestine…”; but surely you should add an update to that brilliant insight: Since 1948, there is a state called Israel, and the Israelis are the citizens of that state.”

      Ok, here is my update: Since 1919 Palestinians are the indigenous people to what is called Palestine. Since 1948 the indigenous people are under belligerent occupation by Jews whose majority ARE settlers and their descendants.

      Nathan: “What is a “de-facto” occupation? I’ve never heard the term before. How is that different than the de jure type of occupation?”

      Palestine was under a de jure mandate. (We could discuss here how this particular mandate was a illegal perversion of the mandate system by polical powers). But de facto it was nothing else than an occupation. Not only did the mandatory ignore the wishes of the native population, but it had no interest to help Palestine become indepedent like other Class-A-mantes (Lebanon, Syria, etc.). Instead it denied the Palestinians the right to self determination and enforced the infiltration of foreignsettlers upon them.

      Nathan: “There seems to be a strange urge in propaganda-style writing to add unnecessary adjectives. I remember reading Pravda during the era of the USSR, and there too every phenomenon had a string of adjectives to make sure that the reader understands whom to hate today. This phenomenon is also seen in your phrase: “the non-native Jews are just foreign colonists”. Notice that they’re “non-native” and “foreign” all in one sentence.”

      So many words to accuse me of evoking hatred, Nathan. I guess you ran out of arguments. No, let me rephrase this. Actually I don’t see any counter-argument. You are just wasting words and time.

      • Nathan on March 29, 2019, 4:25 pm

        Talkback – You claim that there is no counter-argument, but you answered nevertheless. So, we both know that you understand what my counter-argument is. I have brought to your attention that the Israelis are citizens of the State of Israel. They are, by definition, local people. I understand that in your political dictionary they are foreigners, and it’s forever. This point of view of yours brings to mind the obvious question if your dictionary is universal or if it has been written only for the Jews in Israel (i.e. only the Jews of Israel remain foreigners in perpetuity in the land of their birth).

      • annie on March 29, 2019, 4:34 pm

        I have brought to your attention that the Israelis are citizens of the State of Israel.

        whoa, deep.

        They are, by definition, local people.

        the colonists are locals now. whatever you say boss.

        Notice that they’re “non-native” and “foreign” all in one sentence.

        yeah. non-native foreign locals. we got it.

      • eljay on March 29, 2019, 5:05 pm

        || Nathan: … I have brought to your attention that the Israelis are citizens of the State of Israel. … ||

        Israelis are citizens of the State of Israel.

        Refugees from the State of Israel are refugees from State of Israel and should be permitted to return to and to be(come) citizens of State of Israel.

        Not-Israelis – even if they are Jewish – are not citizens of the State of Israel.

      • Talkback on March 30, 2019, 7:19 am

        Nathan: “I have brought to your attention that the Israelis are citizens of the State of Israel. They are, by definition, local people.”

        That’s what settlers and their descendants always claim after they established their settler state.

        Nathan: “I understand that in your political dictionary they are foreigners, …”

        It’s not in my dictionary:
        “A settler is a person who has migrated to an area and established a permanent residence there, often to colonize the area.”
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Settler

        I’m not talking about natives who became ipso facto Palestinian citizens in 1925. Or thos who immigrated with the majority consent of these citizens even if they created “settlements” to live in.

        Nathan: “… and it’s forever.”

        As long as the settler state upholds its Apartheid and keeps the indigenous people expelled, denying their right to return, citizenship and equality. And in this case the illegal colonialization, occupation and annexation is still going on.

        Nathan: “This point of view of yours brings to mind the obvious question if your dictionary is universal or if it has been written only for the Jews in Israel (i.e. only the Jews of Israel remain foreigners in perpetuity in the land of their birth).”

        Settlers by definition were not born in the land they are settling. Childrens of settlers are settler children.

        Up until now all my arguments have nothing to do whether anyone is Jewish or not. They are about the rights of an indigenous people to an independent country in all of its territory. And they are about the crimes which violate this right by enforced immigration (wheher under a mandate or belligerent occupation), hostile takeover of the country by these settlers and the crime of expulsion, dispossesion and disenfranchisement of the indigenous people by these settlers.

        So it’s quite ironic that you of all people make this question. I have asked you countless times to formulate a single universal principle which could justify the creation of a “Jewish” settler state that defines itself to be the state not for all of its citizens, but only for the Jewish people no matter whey there were born.

        Keep failing. As all Zionists do.

  14. larick on March 28, 2019, 12:47 am

    The historical phenomena in question is that of a colonial settler state. Think Northern Ireland, South Africa, and yes, here. The colonial settlers and their violent seizure of land, is usually accompanied by genocide. The fact that Eastern European Jews might to be descendents of Palestine is a powerful fairy tale, as you probably know. There is not a shred of evidence proving any connection whatsoever. Like the conquered and despised Scots of 15th century England, you can always convince a faction of oppressed people to populate stolen land with the backing of the empire. “We’ll give you the best weapons: go seize! Go slaughter! They are not fully human.” The difference is that for Israel unlike the U.S., the genocide is not in the trailing off phase, it’s still in a very active phase. Try as you might to rationalize it, it is there for everyone to see thanks to a new device; a cel phone camera. See the soldiers so well armed go into the grammar school and grab an 8 year old boy and drag him away with weapons pointed at the teacher? That is called a “war crime” So go ahead and mince words, temporize, dismiss, demain the crime and the victims, but the toothpaste is out of the tube for all to see: Israel is a colonial settler state, which means, it is a criminal state.

    • MHughes976 on March 28, 2019, 5:09 pm

      Scotland was not conquered during the 1400s or at any later time. During that century she was an important ally of France. There may have been some bad feeling but the Scottish King was able to inherit the crown of England without much opposition in 1604, which would have been much more difficult if the Scots had been massively despised. Scotland remained very assertive within the UK ever after.

      • RoHa on March 28, 2019, 10:20 pm

        “Scotland was not conquered during the 1400s or at any later time. ”

        Technically true. However, from such unimpeachable sources as Kidnapped and The Beano (specifically, the “Red Rory of the Eagles” series) I get the impression that the crushing of the Jacobite Rebellion felt like conquest and occupation to quite a few Scots.

        (The Marshal Wade verse was never officially part of the national anthem.)

      • MHughes976 on March 30, 2019, 2:48 pm

        I tend to think of the 45 as a civil war for two kingdoms, though really ignited only in one of them. In Scotland it was the last phase of two centuries of religious conflict. The Presbies surely felt that they were among the victors, not among the oppressed, and that the Piskies were finally crushed as a political force. At that time Jacobitism seemed like a live force and Jewish Restorationism like a fantasy. How things change.

      • RoHa on March 31, 2019, 1:18 am

        The religious aspect did not get much mention in The Beano.

  15. [email protected] on March 29, 2019, 12:10 am

    In the title of this essay, the author denounces AIPAC as having no credibility. Interesting that the two Palestinians allies she names are Naim Ateek, An Episcopalian and Mitri Raheeb a Lutheran. 90% of Palestinians are Muslim and of the 10% who are Christian, 98% are native and whos Christianity was not brought to Palestine on the back of guns and Settler Colonialism. In short, she allies herself Palestinians who have zero credibility within our community while complaining about AIPACS credibility.

    • annie on March 29, 2019, 1:53 am

      Both Ateek and Raheeb were born in Palestine, why do you say they have zero credibility there? i have been to several Sabeel conferences all including many palestinians. I met Naim Ateek at one, he seemed quite revered by everyone, including Palestinians. He was a truly beautiful person. I’ve never heard anyone say anything negative about him before.

      • gamal on March 29, 2019, 9:11 am

        “I met Naim Ateek at one, he seemed quite revered by everyone, including Palestinians.”

        He was very much respected by the assorted Shuyukh of my acquaintance, I wonder if there is not, to use an Irish idiom, a bit of the taking of the soup resentment here from pdx please forgive my impertinence as taking the soup implies surrendering to Anglicanism.

  16. [email protected] on March 29, 2019, 10:54 am

    Rev. Naim Ateek is the founder of Sabeel. At a Sabeel conference, I would expect him to be universally revered. I’ve been to couple of Sabeel conferences as they are based in Pdx which is also my hometown. The quality of some of the speakers, particularly the Jewish ones, Max Blumenthal, Mikko Paled, Phyllis Bennis were excellent. The problem is that Sabeel even though it has an office in Palestine isn’t run by Palestinians. What you ask? It claims to be “the voice of the Palestinian Christians and is ecumenical you say”. Well no, it has had 35 chapters in the US and all but one have no Palestinians as their officers. I’ve asked Reverand Toll,
    Sabeel’s white cofounder, what percentage of its monies come from Palestinians and it is less that 2%. So 98% non Palestinian. So it is a white run organizations with almost all monies given by whites and claims to act in the interest of Palestinian Christians without much of our voices unless approved by the whites who control it.

    So to go back to the original point which is of credibility. Sabeel is for the training of white Protestants about Israel Palestine. It serves a useful function there as white Protestants really don’t like to hear from people of color unless they “Control” them or their message is approved beforehand. But in terms of credibility inside the Palestinian community, Naim Ateek and Sabeel has none. It is a tool created by white protestants to educate white protestants (an essential function to move investment screens forward recently) but a legitimate expression of Palestinians with credibility in our community, it is not.

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