Kairos Puget Sound Coalition’s Summer Potluck and Play

KPSC Summer Potluck 2018.  (photo:  Ann Marchand)
Please join our brothers and sisters with the Kairos Puget Sound Coalition for their summer event.
Date: Saturday, July 13, 2019
Time: 5:00 – 8:00 pm
Location: Huda Giddens home, 4338 N.E. 44th St., Seattle
Information: Event information here →
Tickets: Free
Event Details

The annual potluck event takes place at the lovely home of Huda Giddens.  A play reading “Where I Grew Up” with Yusef Mahmoud and Ed Mast, followed by an active discussion, will occur in the park adjacent to Huda’s home.

Everyone welcome and bring a potluck dish to share to Huda Giddens.

Evening Schedule:

5:00 – Welcome, remarks, and social
5:30-6:30 – Potluck
6:30-8:00 – Play – with Yusef Mahmoud and Ed Mast, followed by a guided discussion
with Ed Mast.

More information here →


J Street launches birthright alternative, featuring ‘Occupation 101’

An alternative ‘birthright’ tour that will include the Palestinian narrative.

By Judy Maltz (Haaretz) |   Forward  | Jul 1, 2019

By omitting Palestinian perspectives, Birthright trips create ‘a political environment that allows home demolitions, settlement expansion, and other destructive policies of occupation to continue unchallenged.’
— J Street

A first-of-its-kind “alternative Birthright” tour aimed at progressive-minded young American Jews kicks off in Israel on Tuesday.

Forty participants are set to take part in the 10-day inaugural trip, titled “Let Our People Know,” which is sponsored and financed by J Street.

The tour includes visits to the West Bank cities of Hebron and Ramallah, as well as meetings with Jewish settlers from the Binyamin Regional Council.

Continue reading “J Street launches birthright alternative, featuring ‘Occupation 101’”

Jared Kushner’s plan for Palestine is even crazier than you thought

Kevin Lamarque /Reuters)
Kushner’s “economic peace” plan repeatedly claims that occupied Palestine can model itself after Singapore, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. That’s certainly ambitious — but also ignorant, absurd and even dangerous.

By Teresita Cruz-del Rosario and Victor Kattan | Haaretz | Jul 4, 2019

The lessons of these Asian economic success stories is fairly straightforward: sovereignty was key to transforming these states into Asian economic power houses embedded in strong states that could drive development policies.

Jared Kushner’s glossy “economic peace” plan has been widely, although not universally, panned.

Critics have attacked the plan from innumerable angles: from the photographs used to promote it, culled from USAID programs whose funding had been ended by the Trump administration, to the recycling of old, largely discredited ideas, associated with previous Israeli and US plans that promoted economic development before a political plan.

None of these peace plans, including those that prioritized economic development ahead of a political program, have worked.

One key claim of the plan, largely overlooked by critics, are Kushner’s case studies, which are repeatedly referenced throughout the document: Singapore, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan.

Continue reading “Jared Kushner’s plan for Palestine is even crazier than you thought”

Germany threatens journalist with prison for speaking about Palestine

A man wearing a Palestinian scarf speaks at a podium
Khaled Barakat (photo: No One Is Illegal Vancouver)
Germany fearful of open discourse critical of Israel.

By  Riri Hylton  |  The Electronic Intifada  |  Jul 1, 2019

‘The same forces advocating for and issuing this political ban against me are involved in repressing Jewish voices that criticize Zionism, Israeli policy and German policy on Israel.’
—Khaled Barakat

German authorities barred Palestinian-Canadian journalist Khaled Barakat from speaking at a Palestine solidarity event in Berlin, claiming his “anti-Semitic” speeches posed a threat to public order and could undermine relations between the country and Israel.

The activist has been prohibited from attending future political events and threatened with up to one year in prison, marking another success in the Israel lobby’s bid to clamp down on criticism abroad.

Barakat had been invited to speak at an Arab community event in Berlin on 22 June to discuss Palestinian liberation and its implications for other Arab communities, as well as US President Donald Trump’s so-called Deal of the Century.

Continue reading “Germany threatens journalist with prison for speaking about Palestine”

The ‘deal of the century’ as a deliberate deception

White House adviser Jared Kushner presented his economic plan
White House adviser Jared Kushner presented his economic plan ‘Peace to Prosperity’ at a workshop in Manama, Bahrain on June 25. (photo: Bahrain News Agency via AP)
Kushner’s plan recycles failed past proposals and will clearly not succeed. But was it meant to in the first place?

By Ibrahim Fraihat  | Aljazeera |  June 29, 2019

Kushner’s ‘deal of the century’ has by far surpassed all others in this regard by completely decoupling politics from economic solutions.

Proposing an economic approach to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is nothing new and it was definitely not pioneered by President Donald Trump and his adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner. It was put forward many times in the past by both the Israeli side, most prominently represented by Israeli leader Shimon Peres and his New Middle East vision, and by various international mediators, including the Quartet on the Middle East, which was created by the UN, US, EU and Russia after the Second Intifada.

Needless to say, all past proposals have failed for one simple reason: They all suffered from an imbalance between economics and politics. Kushner’s “deal of the century” has by far surpassed all others in this regard by completely decoupling politics from economic solutions.

Continue reading “The ‘deal of the century’ as a deliberate deception”

What “Holy Land” tours miss

(photo: SJ Travel Photo and Video / Shutterstock)
Congratulations, I want to say. You have managed to visit the Holy Land without meeting an Arab.

By Jessica Moore | Sojourners | Jun 27, 2019

This tourist avoids seeing a checkpoint in action, with lines of Palestinian men, women, and children standing on the side, legs spread, waiting for a soldier to check them. Avoids facing the miles of thick concrete security wall, snaking in between crumbling Arab villages and gleaming Jewish settlements. Avoids seeing the barb-wired watch towers, with teenagers — who have lived their whole lives behind the wall — kick a soccer ball below.

As a Palestinian Christian who grew up in Jerusalem, I have a hard time knowing where, if anywhere, my narrative fits among the pictures evangelical Christians paint of Israel. I was reminded of this recently when an acquaintance of mine did a “holy land tour,” and posted travel updates that showed up on my social media stream.

Seeing others post pictures in the same spots where I walked home from school, went on a field trip, or stopped for bread on the way back from church, is like watching someone’s first-date encounter with your old friend. But as the pictures roll by, something else begins to gather in my chest. Rage.

One more person visiting my homeland and also not visiting my homeland.

Continue reading “What “Holy Land” tours miss”

Trump should scrap his Israeli-Palestinian peace plan and focus on Gaza

Palestinians in Gaza City protest against the US-sponsored Middle East economic conference in Bahrain on Jun 26. (photo: Mohammed Abed / AFP / Getty Images)
The White House’s fantasy proposal is bound to fail.

By Hady Amr, Ilan Goldenberg and Natan Sachs | Foreign Policy | Jun 28, 2019

If the Trump administration wants to help Palestinians and Israelis, it should shelve its fantasy plan, which the Palestinian leadership has already rejected, and instead focus on something much more tangible — addressing the ongoing Gaza-Israel conflict.

Over the weekend, the White House released its multibillion-dollar plan for the Palestinian economy as part of President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century,” which his administration has billed as a broader program for Middle East peace. Jared Kushner — Trump’s son-in-law, senior advisor, and point person on Israeli-Palestinian issues — spent two days in Bahrain this week at a White House-led conference trying to generate international support for this approach.

The conference faced tremendous challenges: With the United States and Iran on the brink of a potential conflict, convening in Bahrain, which hosts a major US naval base, cast the event in the shadow of US-Iran tensions. No Palestinian government officials attended, and nearly all Palestinian businesspeople skipped the event as well because the Trump administration has alienated them. And the Israeli government was largely absorbed with a new round of elections set for September. The event did not seem to generate much interest in Trump’s plan or bring the sides even an inch closer to anything resembling a deal.

Continue reading “Trump should scrap his Israeli-Palestinian peace plan and focus on Gaza”