Mike Pompeo is an anti-Muslim bigot. Shouldn’t Jewish leaders condemn him, too?


Mike Pompeo. (photo: Forward / Getty Images)

Let’s not fall into the trap of condemning bigotry when it comes toward people who look like us, but tolerating it when it comes from people who look like us. We are required to be better than that.

By Jane Eisner | Forward | Mar 20, 2018

Mike Pompeo’s own statements and record of close associations with organizations that have frequently expressed hostility to Muslims and have trafficked in anti-Muslim conspiracy theories raise serious concerns about his fitness to serve as Secretary of State.
— Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO, Anti-Defamation League

Consistency in public life is often honored in the breach. But when it crosses that thin line into hypocrisy, there ought to be consequences.

We are at that moment with Mike Pompeo, the former Congressman and current CIA director who is President Trump’s choice to be the next Secretary of State.

And whereas many self-appointed leaders of the Jewish community raised holy hell when a couple of Congressmen and one of the leaders of the Women’s March refused to denounce the anti-Semitism of the Rev. Louis Farrakhan, we’ve heard precious little from those same critics about Pompeo’s well-documented anti-Muslim bigotry and his close ties with Islamophobic extremists.

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Take a side — the side of justice

Listen to Anne Baltzer’s inspiring TEDx on having the courage to take a side and take a stand.

By Anne Baltzer | TEDxOcala | Dec 8, 2017

“Equality is about treating everyone the same. Equity is about leveling the playing field.”

“I found a system of segregated roads, with nice roads for Jewish Israeli settlers and separate roads for Palestinians. And all around me I saw inspiring Palestinian popular resistance and its violent suppression by Israel, a military superpower armed by my own country, the United States.

“And I knew that Israel would pay me to move on to that Palestinian land, simply because I’m Jewish. I did not know at the time that Israel’s Jewish majority could only exist through the removal of Palestinians. . . .

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Will Israeli policies change if Netanyahu leaves office?


Students waving Israeli flags in Jerusalem. (photo: Kristoffer Trolle / Flickr /Providence Magazine)

Regardless of Netanyahu’s political future, Israeli policies towards Palestinians will remain unchanged.

By Ramzy Baroud | Counterpunch | Mar 15, 2018

“There are places where the character of the State of Israel as a Jewish state must be maintained, and this sometimes comes at the expense of equality. Israel is a Jewish state. It isn’t a state of all its nations. There is place to maintain a Jewish majority even at the price of violation of rights.”
— Ayelet Shaked, Israeli Minister of Justice

If scandal-plagued Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, exits his country’s political scene today, who is likely to replace him? And what does this mean as far as Israel’s Occupation of Palestine is concerned?

Netanyahu, who is currently being charged with multiple cases of corruption, misuse of government funds and public office, has, for years, epitomized the image of Israel internationally.

In Israel, Netanyahu has masterfully kept his rightwing Likud Party at the center of power. Even if as part of larger coalitions — as is often the case in the formation of most of Israeli governments — the Likud, under Netanyahu, has shaped Israeli politics and foreign policy for many years.

As Israel’s Jewish population continues to move to the right, the country’s political ideology has been repeatedly redefined in the last two decades.

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Americans have a constitutional right to boycott Israel


Growing numbers of Americans and the civil society institutions to which they belong are supporting economic action against Israel. (photo: Mike Groll / AP)

Growing numbers of Americans and the civil society institutions to which they belong are supporting economic action against Israel as a moral and nonviolent way of showing their disapproval of Israel’s oppression.

By Josh Ruebner | Al Jazeera | Mar 15, 2018

It should be a no-brainer that Americans can boycott whomever or whatever they choose without risking governmental punishment. After all, the Supreme Court ruled that states have no “right to prohibit peaceful political activity” such as a boycott, which is an “expression on public issues” that “has always rested on the highest rung of the hierarchy of First Amendment values.”

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) concluded its annual policy conference last week with a lobbying day on Capitol Hill. High on its legislative agenda was advocating for bills that would penalise Americans for engaging in their First Amendment-protected right to boycott for Palestinian rights.

AIPAC conference attendees pressed their elected officials to support the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, sponsored by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD). The original, draconian version of this bill, unveiled at last year’s AIPAC conference, proposed to jail individuals for 20 years if they advanced an international organization’s call for a boycott of Israel, or even of products from its illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

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What Gaza really needs is for Israel to recognize the humanity of its occupants


A boy scavenging bicycle parts in Gaza. (photo: Getty Images)

Israel and its supporters must separate the civilians from Hamas militants and stop the collective punishment.

By Mohammed Shehada | Forward | Mar 13, 2018

Whether you call it a crisis or call it a passing distress, names are irrelevant when you try to describe the impossibility of life in Gaza that no man could endure yet no man can escape.

On March 13, Jared Kushner and Jason D. Greenblatt held a White House summit on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza with leaders from Israel, several Arab nations and Western countries — but there were no leaders from either the Palestinian Authority or Gaza in attendance.

“We all know that none of this will be easy,” Greenblatt reminded those gathered at the summit. “Everything we do must be done in a way that ensures we do not put the security of Israelis and Egyptians at risk — and that we do not inadvertently empower Hamas, which bears responsibility for Gaza’s suffering. But the situation today in Gaza is unacceptable, and spiraling downwards.”

Any plan for Gaza would be better than the status quo. But if the summit is to accomplish anything, it must acknowledge three hard truths: Life in Gaza is unbearable. Unbearable suffering is fueling Hamas’s continued reign of terror. And the only way to free Gazans from their unbearable suffering is to acknowledge Israel’s role in it.

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Why Benjamin is walking from Sweden to Palestine


Benjamin Ladraa is walking from Sweden across Europe all the way to Palestine to raise awareness of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. (photo: Benjamin Ladraa)

Benjamin’s journey takes him to communities across Europe large and small, taking the first step towards justice.

By Benjamin Ladraa | TRT World | Mar 13, 2018

I went through the Swedish school system and came out knowing close to nothing about Palestine. I decided then that the most effective thing I could do to propel the change that was so urgently needed was to reach as many people as possible, and share the stories from Palestine with them.

The year 2017 was an auspicious one which marked the centenary of the Balfour declaration, the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, 50th anniversary of the total occupation of Palestine and the 10th anniversary of the siege on Gaza.

Each one of these events represents a tragedy that is difficult to describe in words and are all a part of the gradual destruction of the Palestinian people.

Having pursued a musical career for most of my life, Palestine and Israel was not really a topic I knew much about. After meeting some Palestinians through my part-time job at the Red Cross and hearing their stories I became curious and started reading about the occupation and eventually I decided to visit.

What I witnessed left me shocked to the core.

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Rachel Corrie: 15 Years Later (Tomorrow)


A fundraising event to raise $15,000 to sustain work in Rachel Corrie’s name.

Date: Saturday, Mar 17, 2018
Time: 12:30 – 3:00 pm
Location: Plymouth Church
1217 Sixth Ave
Seattle, WA  98101
Information: Event information here →
Tickets: Free admission
RSVP required here →
Event Details

Join the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice (RCF) in Seattle on Saturday, March 17, 2018, to remember Rachel Corrie and celebrate fifteen years of Palestinian solidarity and community organizing! In honor of 15 years of dedicated work around the globe, the Rachel Corrie Foundation wishes to raise $15,000 to support the programs that carry on Rachel’s vision, spirit, and creative energy!

This fundraising event will feature guest speakers Huwaida Arraf, Palestinian-American human rights activist, lawyer, and cofounder of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), and Cindy and Craig Corrie, founders of the Rachel Corrie Foundation and parents of Rachel Corrie. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear first-hand accounts of Rachel Corrie and the work of the International Solidarity Movement, what the last 15 years have yielded in terms of struggle and victory for the Palestinian people, the challenges of holding the Israeli and US governments accountable, and the impact of grassroots organizing. Continue reading