Can Israel’s courts deliver justice for Palestinians?

The Supreme Court decision to give a green light to the demolitions of buildings in areas under PA jurisdiction has raised questions [File: Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images]
The Supreme Court decision to give a green light to the demolitions of buildings in areas under PA jurisdiction has raised questions. (photo: Ilia Yefimovich / Getty Images)
Critics question merit of engaging with Supreme Court after it allows demolition of buildings under Palestinian control.

By Ben White |  Al Jazeera | Jul 17, 2019

…it is the court’s intervention – or lack of it – in Israel’s discriminatory planning system and associated demolition of Palestinian homes which has perhaps been most under the spotlight of late..

The demolition of Palestinian-owned buildings by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem is a routine occurrence.

But in Sur Baher, a neighbourhood southeast of Jerusalem, an unprecedented mass demolition is looming – with the approval of Israel’s top court.

Ten inhabited and under-construction buildings, containing dozens of apartments, are marked for destruction, after falling foul of a 2011 Israeli military order prohibiting construction within a 100-300-metre buffer zone of the separation wall.

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Trump’s attack on congressional women of color weaponizes hate, anti-Semitism and Israel

Image result for msnbc the squad image
Representatives Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) respond to President Trump saying they should “go back” to the counties they came from. (photo:  MSNBC)
Trump’s hate rhetoric should sound familiar and concerning.

By Richard Silverstein  |  Tikun Olam |  Jul 15, 2019

All this is not very far from the attitude of many Israeli Jews toward the Palestinian minority.

In his latest Twitter assault, Pres. Trump again targeted ‘The Squad’ (two of whose members are Muslim-American and two of whom are Black), the progressive Congressional women of color. His comments have taken an even more ugly twist in the past few hours, as he’s targeted Rep. Ilhan Omar claiming that she is anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and that she supports al Qaeda. Here’s what he said about the Minnesota Representative:

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Donald Trump and the perils of loving Israel just a little too much

 

President Donald Trump speaks on the South Lawn at the White House, July 15th, 2019. (photo: Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Trump’s latest comments should give Israel some cause for concern.

By Andrew Silow-Carroll | Jewish Telegraphic Agency| Jul 16, 2019

Trump’s attacks on four liberal congresswomen of color, telling them to ‘go back’ to their ancestral countries (only one was born outside of the United States) was exactly the kind of bigotry that the summit was devoted to combating.

It would have been remarkable in any administration: a Summit on Combating Anti-Semitism with appearances by some of the president’s top guns, including the secretary of the Treasury, the secretary of Education and the FBI director. And all hosted by and presided over by the attorney general.

That was the lineup at Monday’s all-day seminar at the Justice Department, and the turnout was appreciated by the Jewish professionals and lay leaders in the room, no matter what else they thought about President Donald Trump. Here was an entire day devoted to what that attorney general, William Barr, called “a marked increase in reported instances of anti-Semitic hate crimes.”

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Poof! One day in occupation causes young Jews on Zionist tour to question Zionism — ‘NYT’ reports

 

Shuhada Street in Hebron/al-Khalil. (photo: gettingoffthearmchair.wordpress.com)
Exposure to seeing what occupation looks like raises new questions.

By James North and Philip Weiss | Mondoweiss | Jul 14, 2019

‘My joy and my light shouldn’t be coming from someone else’s darkness,’
— Liyah Foye, a senior at UNC-Asheville

We are as critical of the New York Times as anyone, but we need to salute the superb report in the newspaper by David Halbfinger on a liberal Zionist trip for American Jews to see the occupation. Titled, “Touring the Israeli Occupation: Young U.S. Jews Get an Unflinching View,” the July 10 article offered horrifying glimpses of Palestinian conditions in Susiya and Hebron that left the young Jews staggered.

The article was about a very lukewarm tour of the occupation indeed, by the Zionist group J Street, which wants the visitors to engage in Israel advocacy back home, and wants to influence the more rightwing Jewish trips to Israel, notably Birthright, to stop off in Palestine.

Continue reading “Poof! One day in occupation causes young Jews on Zionist tour to question Zionism — ‘NYT’ reports”

Abraham’s Land – A song sampling and discussion

Photo of Taproot Theatre Company - Seattle, WA, United States. Taproot Theater - Seattle WA
Taproot Theatre
Please join our brothers and sisters for a song performance of a musical theater work in progress that explores the human cost of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
Date: Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Time: 7:30 – 9:00 pm
Location: Taproot Theatre – Isaac Studio, 212 N. 85th St., Seattle, 98103.
Information: Event information here →
Tickets: Free – donations accepted
Event Details

Abraham’s Land is a full‑length musical drama set against the backdrop of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Israeli Sergeant Yitzhak prides himself on righteous conduct and admonishes the soldiers in his unit when they do not abide by the highest moral standards. But when a Palestinian street demonstration in East Jerusalem appears menacing, Yitzhak fatally shoots the provocateur, Ismail, only to realize too late, that his victim was unarmed. Yitzhak is haunted by the ghost of Ismail, and resolves to make amends by personally returning Ismail’s identity card to his family in Gaza to ask for forgiveness.

Originally created in the 1992 by the Jewish-Arab artistic team of Lauren Goldman Marshall, Hanna Eady & David Nafissian, and further developed in 1999 with Israeli and Palestinian teens at Seeds of Peace International Camp, this new incarnation features a substantially revised script and a dynamic new score by Pulitzer-nominated composer Roger Ames, who will be in residence for this workshop. Earlier versions of the work have been workshopped at Village Theatre in Issaquah, 1994 & 1995, and Nautilus Musical Theatre, in Minneapolis-Saint Paul, 1996 & 2017.

Book and lyrics by Lauren Goldman Marshall
Music and orchestrations by Roger Ames
With additional book material by Hanna Eady
And additional music by David Nafissian and Joan Szymko

Adapted from an earlier version by Lauren Goldman Marshall, Hanna Eady and David Nafissian

Music Direction by Chris DiStefano

Featuring: Mark Abel, Andi Alhadeff, Jeremy Berdin, Nick Bernard, Slade Burgess, Christin Byrdsong, Sammie Gorhman, Karen Hartman, Terrence Kelly, D’vorah Kost, Julie Olsen, Meg Savlov, Fune Tautula & Rocky Vega, with Ruby Harmon, Maggie McGough, and Tatum Poirrier as children.

More information here →

Benny Morris reveals more about the Israeli conspiracy to cover-up the Nakba

Benny Morris
Benny Morris
Disappearing historical archives raises questions of historical revisionism and censorship.

By Jonathan Ofir | Mondoweiss | Jul 12, 2019

Everything is being buried, by an arm of the Israeli government.
— Benny Morris, Israeli historian

Israeli historian Benny Morris is known for his uncovering of some of Israel’s darkest secrets from the Nakba. Only a week ago, he was mentioned in detail in Hagar Shezaf’s staggering investigative report in Haaretz titled “Burying the Nakba: How Israel Systematically Hides Evidence of 1948 Expulsion of Arabs”. The piece uncovered a secret yet systematic operation by an Israeli Defense Ministry department, causing critical Nakba archives to disappear from the public eye – archives that had already been cited since the late 1980’s by historians such as Morris.

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Ethiopians have an opportunity at solidarity with Palestinians. Will they take it?

Israeli police remove an Ethiopian-Israeli from a demonstration on Ayalon Highway following the police shooting of Solomon Tekah, July 2, 2019. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)
Israeli police remove an Ethiopian-Israeli from a demonstration on Ayalon Highway following the police shooting of Solomon Tekah, July 2, 2019. (photo: Oren Ziv / Activestills.org)
The plight of Ethiopian Israeli’s share similarities to Palestinian experiences yet there is a lack of connection to the shared experiences.

By Ashraf Ghandour | +972 Magazine  |  Jul 9, 2019

Palestinians do not need to be versed in political theory to know where the Ethiopian struggle is heading.

For over a week I have watched Ethiopian Israelis conduct a loud and righteous struggle against the systematic racism that has held them down for 35 years. As a Palestinian, as a person of color, I could not help but feel empathy for their pain, along with a strange sense of bewilderment when I saw Israelis of all stripes failing to connect the just struggle of Ethiopians to those of other groups oppressed by Israel.

But Solomon Tekah was shot because he was Black, and because I am a Palestinian I had to keep listening closely.

Continue reading “Ethiopians have an opportunity at solidarity with Palestinians. Will they take it?”

Book Reading: Reclaiming Judaism from Zionism: Stories of Personal Transformation

Please join Seattle writer and activist Alice Rothchild, along with Portland activist Ned Rosch who will read from their contributions to a new anthology edited by Carolyn L. Karcher, Reclaiming Judaism from Zionism: Stories of Personal Transformation.
Date: Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Location: Elliot Bay Book Company, 1521 Tenth Avenue
Seattle, WA 
Information: Elliot Bay Book Company
Tickets: Free
Event Details

Seattle writer and activist Alice Rothchild, along with Portland activist Ned Rosch read from their contributions to a new anthology edited by Carolyn L. Karcher, Reclaiming Judaism from Zionism: Stories of Personal Transformation (Interlink), along with helping discuss the premise of the book itself.

“These powerful stories send a message about the resilience and passion of a courageous group of Jews who have come to the realization that the state of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians does not live up to the ethical standards Jewish tradition demands. Taken together, their words challenge the idea that Judaism and Zionism are inseparable. Their commitment to live a Jewish life without Zionism bodes well for the future of Judaism.” — Rebecca T. Alpert.

Alice Rothchild is the author of the books, Broken Promises, Broken Dreams, On the Brink, and Condition Critical. Ned Rosch is co-founder of Jewish Voices for Peace in Portland.

More information here →

Innovations in the U.S.-Israel security alliance

An Iron Dome system in action in southern Israel. Photo: Reuters
An Iron Dome system in action in southern Israel. (photo: Reuters)
Cutting-edge Israeli defense technology has become increasingly critical to American military operations

By Seth Frantzman | Tablet | Jul 9, 2019

Israel now has three of the largest defense companies in the world, Elbit Systems, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

In April an Israeli airstrike struck an Iranian base in Syria on the road to the ancient city of Palmyra. The target, according to an Israeli report, was an Iranian 3rd Khordad air defense system. Two months later a U.S. Global Hawk drone flying over the Gulf of Oman was struck by a missile fired by a 3rd Khordad system in Iran, almost leading to war.

The two incidents highlight the shared threats faced by the U.S. and Israel, not only from Iran but also from hybrid groups like Hezbollah, Hamas, the Taliban, and Islamic State, which operate as both parastate entities and terrorist organizations. The result of these shared threats and the close political ties between Washington and Jerusalem is a uniquely close relationship between the two country’s militaries. Often the Israel-U.S. defense relationship is seen through the lens of U.S. foreign military financing for Israel, which comes to more than $3 billion a year. Far less attention is paid to the fact that since the 1980s Jerusalem has become a key supplier of advanced military technology to Washington. To name one recent example, the kibbutz-owned Israeli vehicle manufacturer Plasan supplied add-on “modular armor kits,” exterior platings that covered American military vehicles and protected U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. “That armor which was developed in Israel has saved many hundreds or thousands of lives of U.S. troops of vehicles hit by IEDs,” recalls Dan Shapiro, former U.S. ambassador and visiting fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies.

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Protesters rally as Christian-Zionist leaders heap praise on Trump for Israel support

Around 100 protesters stood in the rain to draw attention to the plight of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. (photo: Azad Essa / MEE)
Human rights advocates are bringing attention to the role of Christian Zionist organizations on US foreign policy.

By Azad Essa | Middle East Eye | Jul 8, 2019

‘The pro-Israel bias of the US Congress, especially on the Republican side, is more due to Christian Zionism among evangelicals than it has to do with appealing to the Jewish community in the US.’
— Jonathan Brenneman, a Palestinian-American Christian working with the Mennonite Church USA.

US-Israel relations are at the strongest point they have ever been in the two countries’ history.

That was the overwhelming message heard on Monday as the two-day, Christians United for Israel (CUFI) summit kicked off at the Washington Convention Centre.

The annual Christian Zionist summit, attended by thousands of delegates from across the United States, as well as other countries around the world, is one of the most feverish platforms of support for the Israeli state.

Continue reading “Protesters rally as Christian-Zionist leaders heap praise on Trump for Israel support”