A lot of troubling questions raised by the choices now facing Israel.
By Henry Siegman | Responsible Statecraft | Jan 22, 2020
The one-state solution that is preferred by many Israelis is essentially a continuation of the present de facto apartheid.
The threat of a new war with Iran that might have replicated what has been the worst disaster in the history of America’s international misadventures — George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq based on fabricated lies — sucked the air out of all other international diplomatic activity, not least of what used to be called the Middle East peace process.
Yet the failure of the peace process has not been the consequence of recent mindless and destructive actions by Donald Trump and of the clownish shenanigans of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who was charged with helping Israeli hardliners in nailing down permanently the Palestinian occupation. For all the damage they caused (mainly to Palestinians), prospects for a two-state solution actually ended during President Barack Obama’s administration, despite Secretary of State John Kerry’s energetic efforts to renew the stalled negotiations. They were not resumed because Obama, like his predecessors, failed to take the tough measures that were necessary to overcome Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s determination to prevent the emergence of a Palestinian state, notwithstanding his pledge in his Bar-Ilan speech of 2009 to implement the agreements of the Oslo accords.
A progressive president would have many tools at their disposal to ensure American weapons and taxpayers’ money do not violate Palestinian rights.
By Alex Kane | +972 Magazine | Jan 22, 2019
The U.S. Constitution gives the executive branch a great deal of power over foreign policy, and it’s time a Democratic president uses that authority to end Israeli human rights violations.
A year into the Democratic Party’s presidential primary, the top candidates have coalesced around a general consensus on how to reverse the Trump administration’s rightward lurch on Israel. This consensus includes: restoring U.S. funding to UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees; working toward a two-state solution; and opposing Israeli settlements.
But if that is all the candidates pursue, it would simply be a return to Obama-era policies. There’s a lot more a Democratic president like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren should do — and they can do it without Congress.
Israel arrests Palestinian kids in the middle of the night with impunity so now they are doing the same to undocumented children.
By Taly Krupkin | Jewish Currents | Jan 17, 2020
‘Israel does not see itself as an immigrant country that is open to immigrants of all nations, but the national homeland of the Jewish people, and as such, it opens its gates to Jews,’ — governmental report on foreign workers in Israel
On October 30th, 2019, Gena Antigo, a 13-year-old, Israeli-born Filipina girl, woke to news that the immigration police were in her apartment in Tel Aviv. “My mom told me, ‘Wake up, Gena, the police are here,’” she recalls. “I thought it was just a nightmare. When I realized it was reality, I started to cry.”
Gena and her mother, an undocumented foreign worker from the Philippines, were given less than ten minutes to collect what they wanted to bring with them, while the police urged them to hurry up. “I took my clothes and a blanket,” Gena says, “in case I got cold.”
The police escorted Gena, her mother, and a neighbor they had also arrested to a van. “The senior officer told me it’s hard for him to see me cry,” Gena says. “He asked if he could do something to make me stop, because he has kids, and it hurt him to see me cry.”
Martin Luther King Jr. courageously spoke out about the Vietnam War. We must do the same when it comes to this grave injustice of our time.
By Michelle Alexander | The New York Times | Jan 19, 2020
Many civil rights activists and organizations have remained silent as well, not because they lack concern or sympathy for the Palestinian people, but because they fear loss of funding from foundations, and false charges of anti-Semitism.
On April 4, 1967, exactly one year before his assassination, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stepped up to the lectern at the Riverside Church in Manhattan. The United States had been in active combat in Vietnam for two years and tens of thousands of people had been killed, including some 10,000 American troops. The political establishment — from left to right — backed the war, and more than 400,000 American service members were in Vietnam, their lives on the line.
Many of King’s strongest allies urged him to remain silent about the war or at least to soft-pedal any criticism. They knew that if he told the whole truth about the unjust and disastrous war he would be falsely labeled a Communist, suffer retaliation and severe backlash, alienate supporters and threaten the fragile progress of the civil rights movement.
Please join our brothers and sisters from BelPres church’s Israel Palestine Impact Team to welcome Andrew Bush and learn about the Bethlehem Center for Global Peacebuilding and Justice. It’s a new initiative in a region that is suffering from decades of strife and violence. Andrew will serve as director of the Bethlehem Center.
For the past 40 years, Bethlehem Bible College has been preparing Christian Palestinians to serve their local churches and communities. Next fall, with help from Andrew Bush, the college will also start preparing its students for peace and reconciliation ministry. The new venture is called the Bethlehem Center for Global Peacebuilding and Justice, and it’s a welcome initiative in a region that is suffering from decades of strife and violence. Andrew will serve as director of the Bethlehem Center.
For Andrew and his wife Karen, launching the Bethlehem Center marks their return to Palestine after a number of years of church planting in the Philippines. The Bushes served in the Palestinian Territories from 1998 to 2005 and still have a number of friends there.
Andrew has a postgraduate degree from the Ecole Biblique et Archeologique Francaise in Jerusalem and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. He is the author of Learning from the Least: Reflections on a Journey in Mission with Palestinian Christians. You can learn more about the Bushes at their website.
Bishops’ lament the international community’s failure to realize justice and peace in the land of Christ’s birth.
By Catholic Bishops’ Conference Of England And Wales | Jan 16, 2020
…we implore our governments to help build a new political solution rooted in human dignity for all.
Bishops from across Europe and North America called on their governments to insist on the application of international law in Israel and Palestine, following their visit to the Holy Land this week.
The bishops of the Holy Land Coordination, who visit the region every year in support of the local Church to promote dialogue and peace, said they were inspired by the enduring resilience of the people they met in Gaza, East Jerusalem and Ramallah despite the worsening situation.
Laws stifling the Boycott, Divest, Sanction movement to protest Israeli policy toward the Palestinians are bad for Americans, Jews and our foreign policy.
By Jeremy Ben-Ami and Rabbi Jill Jacobs | NBC News | Jan 15, 2020
We believe…that previous Supreme Court rulings about consumer boycotts firmly establish that the BDS movement’s activities are entitled to First Amendment protection.
In recent years, several states have enacted legislation to use the power of government to stifle boycotts against Israel and Israeli settlements. These laws not only violate the First Amendment; they also open the door to much broader government control of public discourse, something that all Americans and especially American Jews should fear.
At a time when our democratic institutions are under attack, it has never been more important to hold the line on our constitutional freedoms, rather than throw them away to advance a misguided cause.
Please join this event organized by the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington and co-sponsored by the University of Washington’s Stroum Center for Jewish Studies, Middle East Center, and Department of Communication.
NPR international correspondent Daniel Estrin will share the stories behind his reporting, from Israel to Gaza to Syria to the White House, and the joys and challenges of storytelling in one of the most contested and culturally rich corners of the world.
Daniel Estrin is NPR’s international correspondent in Jerusalem. Since joining NPR in 2017, he has reported from Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria, chronicling the Trump Administration’s shifting policies in the region. He has also told tales of secret agents, antiquities dealers, and ancient manuscripts. Daniel has reported from the Middle East for over a decade, including seven years with the Associated Press. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The New Republic, PRI’s The World, and other media.
As the ICC prosecutor’s investigation awaits a green light, Palestinian experts reflect on what the legal battle portends for their struggle.
By Amjad Iraqi | +972 Magazine | Jan 13, 2020
While Israeli and U.S. officials condemned the news, Palestinians praised it as a major step in the fight for accountability and justice.
In a surprise statement last month, Fatou Bensouda, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court at The Hague, announced that there is legal basis to probe Israel and Palestinian groups over war crimes in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip, and that her office was ready to investigate the matter.
While Israeli and U.S. officials condemned the news, Palestinians praised it as a major step in the fight for accountability and justice. Yet many remain concerned by one caveat: the prosecutor asked the ICC’s pre-trial chamber to “confirm” that Palestine was indeed a “state,” a status it has held since it was officially recognized by the UN General Assembly in 2012. Without that approval, the ICC may not have the jurisdiction to carry out its work. The chamber has till April to give its answer.