Book Now Available: Beyond The Two-State Solution by Jonathan Kuttab

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Book “Beyond the Two-State Solution” by Jonathan Kuttab
Beyond The Two-State Solution, by Jonathan Kuttab, is a short introduction to the current crisis in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Zionism and Palestinian Nationalism have been at loggerheads for over a century.

By Jonathan Kuttab  |    Nov 20, 2020 (email communication)

The Palestinian / Israeli conflict has had many ups and downs with hopes for peace, times of war, and relentless subjugation of Palestinians.  Many people including myself and Jonathan Kuttab supported the peace initiative of a 2 state-solution even though many Palestinian leaders were initially reluctant to settle for 22% of original Palestine.
— Mubarak Awad, Founder on Nonviolence International

After decades of work promoting creative nonviolence, I am about to publish a book which I hope, with your help can address the current impasse, and perhaps change the conversation around Palestine / Israel. Many activists are frustrated, despondent, and floundering with no clear vision or direction. We need some fresh out-of-the-box thinking. This is true for Palestinians, Israelis, and our friends in the international community. I’ve asked Nonviolence International, a group I co-founded and value deeply, to lead the effort to get this book into the hands of people across the political spectrum and across the world. Even with everything else already in their established plans, the team is going above and beyond to ensure this book gets the attention we believe it deserves.

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Representative Ilhan Omar: ‘I Hope President Biden Seizes This Opportunity.’

Ilhan Omar calls on Congress to censure Donald Trump at a rally on Capitol Hill in April. (photo: Aaron P. Bernstein / Reuters)
The president-elect has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reorient US foreign policy so this country truly means what it says.

By Representative Ilhan Omar  | The Nation |  Nov 20, 2020

In truth, these aren’t peace deals as much as they’re arms sale deals to human rights abusers. And they’re less about normalizing relations with Israel than they are about forming military alliances against Iran.

his month, we begin the transition away from a Trump era and toward a new presidency based on peace and cooperation. There is no area where this renewed vision is needed more than foreign policy. Trump has taunted, mocked, and burned bridges with our allies, while simultaneously cozying up to some of the most brutal dictatorial regimes around the world—especially those in the oil-rich Middle East. The damage done by the Trump administration runs deep, and it will take hard work and a clear understanding of the extent of the damage to fix it. With foreign policy primarily driven by the Executive Branch, President Biden has a tremendous opportunity to reorient our foreign policy in the region.

Trump began his presidency by backing out of the Iran nuclear deal, which had been a major feat in diplomacy with buy-in from all five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States—plus Germany and Iran. The deal was not only notable for the countries that it brought to the table, but for what it prevented: a nuclear-armed Iran that could threaten the United States and risk a global nuclear war.

Continue reading “Representative Ilhan Omar: ‘I Hope President Biden Seizes This Opportunity.’”

Gaza declares COVID-19 disaster with health system near collapse

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Medical workers in Gaza face a serious shortage of equipment to battle the quickly spreading COVID-19 outbreak. (photo: Walid Mahmoud / Al Jazeera)
With a lack of ventilators, PPE, and medicine, officials say Israel’s siege is a ‘death sentence’ for Gaza’s coronavirus patients.

By Walid Mahmoud  | Al Jazeera  |  Nov 23, 2020

Early hopes that Gaza’s isolation would spare it from the pandemic were dashed as the densely populated coastal region came under severe threat with a dilapidated healthcare system that is unable to handle the onslaught of patients.

Gaza City – A rapid rise in coronavirus infections in the Gaza Strip has reached a “catastrophic stage”, with the blockaded Palestinian enclave’s medical system likely to collapse soon, health officials warn.

COVID is spreading exponentially in Gaza – one of the most crowded places on Earth – especially in refugee camps, and the health ministry has warned of “disastrous” implications.

Dr. Fathi Abuwarda, adviser to the minister of health, told Al Jazeera the recent spike in infections could soon become uncontrollable, with hundreds of people contracting the virus each day and nowhere to treat them.

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Eight climate activists arrested in protest against new West Bank industrial zone

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Israeli climate and human rights activists chain themselves to the entrance of HeidelbergCement quarry in the occupied West Bank to protest a government plan to expand the quarry and build an industrial zone nearby, November 22, 2020. (photo: Oren Ziv)
Climate justice and human rights activists chain themselves to entrance of Israeli quarry to protest the theft of Palestinian land and destruction of local ecology.

By Oren Ziv  | +972 Magazine |  Nov 22, 2020

‘We are here to demand climate justice for all who live in this land, humans and animals, Palestinians and Israelis, women and men, from every group, from every identity,’
— Ya’ara Peretz, one of the leaders of the action

Dozens of climate justice and human rights activists blocked the entrance to an Israeli quarry in the occupied West Bank Sunday morning to protest a plan to build a new industrial zone in the area. According to the protesters, the expansion plan of the HeidelbergCement Quarry, which will also include the building of a new Israeli cemetery, will destroy the ecological corridor of the center of the country and deepen the annexation of the West Bank.

The activists, which belong to the “One Climate” group, chained themselves to the entry of the quarry and unfurled a giant sign that read “Stop the Destruction,” while preventing the entry and exit of trucks transporting cement across the country. The action caused a large traffic jam of trucks outside the quarry, with one driver estimating that the protest led to over NIS 100,000 in losses for the company.

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In pandemic, of all times: Number of Palestinians Israel has left homeless hits four-year record

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The destruction in Khirbet Humsah.  (photo: Sarit Michaeli,  B’Tselem, 4 Nov. 2020)
Israel continues to treat the West Bank as its own leaving Palestinians with no almost no way to build legally.

By B’Tselem staff |  Nov 4, 2020

While the world deals with the coronavirus crisis, Israel has devoted time and effort to harassing Palestinians instead of helping protected residents living under its control.

In the midst of an unprecedented health and economic crisis, more Palestinians in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) lost their homes in the first 10 months of 2020 alone than in any full year since 2016 – the highest year on record since B’Tselem started collecting this data. As a result of Israel’s policy, 798 Palestinians have already lost their homes in 2020, including 404 minors who lived in 218 homes – compared to 677 Palestinians in all of 2019, 397 in 2018 and 521 in 2017.

Israeli authorities also demolished 301 Palestinian non-residential structures and infrastructure facilities in the first ten months of 2020. This includes humanitarian infrastructure such as water cisterns and pipes and electricity grids, which are crucial to sanitation and health at this time.

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Pompeo: US to recognize BDS movement as antisemitic

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyah in Jerusalem, Nov. 19, 2020.  photo: Amos Ben-Gershom / GPO)
This announcement that the USA will brand BDS-supporting organizations as ‘antisemitic’ is alarming.

By Lahav Harkov  | The Jerusalem Post  |  Nov 19, 2020

‘The time is right… We want to join all the other nations that recognize BDS for the cancer that it is.’
— Mike Pompeo, U.S. Secretary of State

The US will withdraw funding from groups boycotting Israel, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during his meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Thursday.

“We will recognize the global BDS campaign as antisemitic,” Pompeo said. “The time is right… We want to join all the other nations that recognize BDS for the cancer that it is.”

Netanyahu interjected that the policy is “simply wonderful.”

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Obama follows in Jimmy Carter’s footsteps and speaks out against Israel and AIPAC

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Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat (L) US President Jimmy Carter and Israeli Premier Menachem Begin (R) laugh before sign of the Israel-Egypt Peace Agreement on 26 March, 1979 on the north lawn of the White House, Washington DC. (photo:AFP/Getty Images)
Past presidents have a unique position to see abuses of power and use their platform to call out these abuses.

By Nasim Ahmed |  Middle East Monitor |  Nov 16, 2020

It would be almost politically suicidal for members of Congress to espouse a balanced position between Israel and Palestine.
— Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the USA

Upon leaving office, US Presidents have, on occasion, mustered the courage to speak their mind about America’s relationship with Israel and the influence of the Zionist lobby in Washington. Jimmy Carter is perhaps best known for this. The 39th President of the USA, despite his role in mediating the 1979 Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel, was denounced as an anti-Semite following the publication of his 2006 book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, which went on to become a New York Times bestseller.

After a fierce backlash, Carter explained why it was so difficult for US politicians to discuss America’s relationship with Israel and the policies of the Zionist state in an honest fashion. “It would be almost politically suicidal for members of Congress to espouse a balanced position between Israel and Palestine,” he wrote in the Guardian at the time. “Very few would deign to visit the Palestinian cities of Ramallah, Nablus, Hebron, Gaza City or Bethlehem and talk to the beleaguered residents.” He urged his fellow Americans to know the facts about the “abominable oppression of the Palestinians.”

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Pompeo expected to announce process for U.S. to label groups anti-Semitic

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at media briefing on Tuesday at the State Department. (photo: AP / Jacquelyn Martin)
The secretary of State’s decision would address certain organizations’ such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Oxfam as anti-Semitic toward the Israeli government.

By Nahal Toosi |  Politico  |  Nov 11, 2020

…supporters of the organizations said that by targeting them, Pompeo would send a major signal to dictators and other leaders overseas that it’s acceptable to crack down on these and similar organizations

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has decided to establish a new process by which the United States can declare groups, including NGOs, to be anti-Semitic.

For now, however, Pompeo won’t be naming any names.

The decision is a compromise. Three people familiar with the issue confirmed it, but noted that Pompeo could still change his mind and hold off on an announcement.

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The Israel lobby’s ‘QME’ scam

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Cumulative US Foreign Assistance to Israel 1949-2020: $295 billion. This doesn’t include additional aid to Israel for intelligence support and other covert funding. Data from Congressional Research Service adjusted for inflation. 
Concern over keeping Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge has led to proposal giving Israel veto power over US arms sales.

By Grant Smith  | Antiwar.com |  Nov 10, 2020

Today, as the US offers additional advanced weapons to regimes successfully coerced to establish ties with Israel, someday those countries could stop obeying US marching orders and respond to popular demands for change, like Egypt during the Arab Spring. That is a problem, according to pro-Israel thinkers.

The United Arab Emirates bid to purchase F-35 multirole stealth aircraft caused a firestorm among Israel lobby operatives, pundits, and congressional fellow travelers. They say the US has an obligation to maintain Israel’s “Qualitative Military Edge” (QME) if not Israel’s “Qualitative AND Quantitative Military Edge.”  QME is a doctrine that US war planners originally conceived to assess and counter the Warsaw Pact’s numerical troop advantage over US and allied forces stationed in Europe. The US was thought to need a qualitative advantage in military systems in order to counter the imbalance.

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Hope Still Rises

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Please join Kairos Puget Sound Coalition’s holiday event to hear from Palestinian Christian Daoud Nassar who is the Owner and Director of the Tent of Nations educational and environmentally family farm located outside of Bethlehem.
Saturday, December 5, 2020
10:00 am – 12:00 pm Pacific Time
Live Zoom Event
Event Flyer
Free with required registration
Event Details

Daoud Nassar, a Palestinian Christian farmer, is Owner and Director of the Tent of Nations Project, an educational and environmentally conscious farm, that seeks to build bridges among people, and between people and the land. Daoud’s family has legally owned the farm since 1916, when Palestine was under Ottoman rule. The one-hundred-acre farm, located 6 kilometers from Bethlehem, is surrounded on three sides by Israeli settlements, and below by the Palestinian village of Nahalin. The family has been in Israeli courts since 1991, seeking formal recognition of their legal claim to this land. Daoud has traveled to the United States twice each year, since 2007, and spoken at nearly 350 venues in the U.S., under the sponsorship of Friends of Tent of Nations North America (FOTONNA.org). Daoud shares the story of his family’s commitment to living a life of non-violent resistance. At the entrance to Daoud’s farm, one is met with a large sign painted on a huge rock, stating “We Refuse to be Enemies”. The continuous – and numerous – obstacles they face in their daily life, mirror the experience of most Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.

In June 2013, Daoud was invited to preach at the well-known Riverside Baptist Church in New York City, which is where other more famous human rights leaders such as Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, and Bishop Tutu, have also preached. In July 2018, Daoud was invited to the Carter Center in Atlanta to be a participant in the Human Rights Defenders Forum. In October 2018, Tent of Nations and the Nassar Family received a Peace Award from the World Methodist Council. That same year Daoud was among 15 individuals to receive the Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law.

Daoud has a bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies from the Bethlehem Bible College, a bachelor’s degree in Business from Bethlehem University, and a degree in Tourism Management from Bielefeld University in Germany. He is married to Jihan Nassar, and they have three children. Daoud speaks and understands Arabic, Hebrew, German and English.

More information here →