Film: Wajib (Jun 7)

Please join our brothers and sisters at the Mideast Focus Ministry for their First Friday Film series.
Date: Friday, May 3, 2019
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Location: St. Mark’s Cathedral
Bloedel Hall
1245 10th Ave E
Seattle, WA 98102
Information: Event information here →
Tickets: Free Admission
Event Details

There’s a quiet warmth that runs like a current through ‘Wajib,’ a new film from the Palestinian director and writer Annemarie Jacir. The title is Arabic for “duty,’ and here the obligation is shared by father and son. Abu Shadi, an aging divorcee living in a Christian Palestinian community in Nazareth, is driving around his neighborhood and its outskirts all day at the beginning of the Christmas season — he’s got ‘Jingle Bells’ as his phone’s ringtone — hand-delivering invitations to his daughter’s wedding. With him is his son, Shadi, an architect who now makes his home in Rome.
— Glenn Kenny, The New York Times

Continue reading “Film: Wajib (Jun 7)”

Trump doesn’t want peace — he wants Palestinian surrender

Israeli soldiers stand guard as Israeli bulldozers demolish a Palestinian house in the West Bank village of Dirat this month. (photo: Al Hashlamoun / European PressPhoto Agency via Shutterstock)
From what we know so far, the administration’s peace plan is a non-starter.

By Saeb Erekat | The New York Times | May 22, 2019

Mr. Trump’s Middle East team claims that they want to boost the Palestinian economy and improve Palestinian lives, but economic growth can never be a substitute for the right to live in dignity, free from military occupation and oppression, in our homeland.

The Trump administration says it has a peace plan for the Middle East. Those behind it claim that they are offering a new approach to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, one focused on an “economic vision,” and that it deserves a chance. Yet none of what has been revealed so far has addressed the real issues: the end of the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 and the preservation of the internationally recognized inalienable rights of the people of Palestine.

Unless the Trump administration’s plan addresses these issues head-on, it is a non-starter for the Palestinians. It should be for the rest of the world, as well. Judging from the statements and actions that have emerged from the administration so far, there is no reason to believe that President Trump’s supposed peace plan will present a departure point for peace. On Sunday, the administration announced it will hold a meeting next month in Bahrain called “Peace to Prosperity,” replacing the historic concept of “land for peace.” Let us be clear: There will be no economic prosperity in Palestine without the end of the occupation. Notably, the Palestinian leadership was not consulted by any party on this meeting.

Continue reading “Trump doesn’t want peace — he wants Palestinian surrender”

A Palestinian in Israeli military court: Issa Amro, the judge, and me

Palestinian activist Issa Amro arriving at the Israeli-run Ofer military court, Betunia, near Ramallah, West Bank, Jul 9, 2017. (Abbas Momani / AFP / Getty Images)
Nonviolent resistance is becoming an organizing principle of Palestinian civil society — which explains why Israel is so invested in criminalizing it.

By Batya Ungar-Sargon | The New York Review of Books | May 13, 2019

‘Israel is not afraid of violence. They immediately react with shelling and bombing. But when Palestinians use nonviolence, they don’t know how to respond, and they call it delegitimization.’
— Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the executive committee of the PLO

‘You know what is the one thing that most terrifies the State of Israel? That people, without guns, would start to walk. Picture it: 100,000 Palestinians start walking towards Jerusalem. Walking — nothing else. What would the IDF do? Say they kill fifty, they kill a hundred, they kill three hundred. What would happen if they just kept walking?’
— Ami Ayalon, a former Knesset member and former head of the Shin Bet

I think Israel is afraid of nonviolent activists. Israel knows — thank God — how to fight terrorism and violence. But if a very large number of nonviolent demonstrators would have huge marches like they had in India at the time of Gandhi, I don’t know how Israel would be able to stop that. And then, maybe, it would be a turning point in the occupation.’
— Gaby Lasky, Israeli civil rights lawyer

Two roads lead to the two separate entrances of the Ofer prison and military court in the West Bank, where Palestinians living under Israeli military rule in that territory are tried and sentenced. One road comes from the Palestinian territories. It leads to an outdoor waiting area, where Palestinian defendants and their families wait for their names to be called over a loudspeaker. The other road comes from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. It leads to a guard booth, where you hand over your passport and, if you are on a list, you are waved through to a security check. This entrance is used by lawyers, dignitaries, and, early in April, me.

I was at Ofer as a journalist to attend the trial of Issa Amro, a Palestinian activist from Hebron. I have been writing about Amro for five years with growing admiration, visiting him in Hebron, chronicling his work, and publishing his words preaching nonviolent resistance against Israel’s occupation, where so many choose either violence or submission. These efforts have brought him growing prominence both internationally and within his own community. Together with the Hebron-based organization he founded, Youth Against Settlements, Amro has become famous for the kind of civil disobedience developed by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. . . .

Continue reading “A Palestinian in Israeli military court: Issa Amro, the judge, and me”

Film: Wajib (Jun 7)

Please join our brothers and sisters at the Mideast Focus Ministry for their First Friday Film series.
Date: Friday, May 3, 2019
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Location: St. Mark’s Cathedral
Bloedel Hall
1245 10th Ave E
Seattle, WA 98102
Information: Event information here →
Tickets: Free Admission
Event Details

There’s a quiet warmth that runs like a current through ‘Wajib,’ a new film from the Palestinian director and writer Annemarie Jacir. The title is Arabic for “duty,’ and here the obligation is shared by father and son. Abu Shadi, an aging divorcee living in a Christian Palestinian community in Nazareth, is driving around his neighborhood and its outskirts all day at the beginning of the Christmas season — he’s got ‘Jingle Bells’ as his phone’s ringtone — hand-delivering invitations to his daughter’s wedding. With him is his son, Shadi, an architect who now makes his home in Rome.
— Glenn Kenny, The New York Times

Continue reading “Film: Wajib (Jun 7)”

US denies visa to Palestinian peace activist

Nir Kafri / Haaretz)
Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the PLO executive committee, has travelled to the US frequently for decades and has family here. No reason was given for the denial.

By Amir Tibon, Jack Khoury and Reuters | Haaretz | May 13, 2019

I’ve met (and even negotiated with) every Sec. of State since Shultz, and every President since George H. W. Bush (present administration excluded) . . .
— Hanan Ashrawi via Twitter (@DrHananAshrawi)

Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, a PLO Executive Committee member and a senior figure in the Palestinian public relations arena, announced Monday evening that her US visa application has been rejected.

“It is official! My US visa application has been rejected. No reason given,” she wrote in the first of a series of tweets, providing a list of reasons for her visa’s refusal, which she told Haaretz was given without a reason.

“Choose any of the following: I’m over 70 & a grandmother; I’ve been an activist for Palestine since the late 1960’s; I’ve always been an ardent supporter of nonviolent resistance,” Ashrawi wrote.

Continue reading “US denies visa to Palestinian peace activist”

Film: Wajib (Jun 7)

Please join our brothers and sisters at the Mideast Focus Ministry for their First Friday Film series.
Date: Friday, May 3, 2019
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Location: St. Mark’s Cathedral
Bloedel Hall
1245 10th Ave E
Seattle, WA 98102
Information: Event information here →
Tickets: Free Admission
Event Details

There’s a quiet warmth that runs like a current through ‘Wajib,’ a new film from the Palestinian director and writer Annemarie Jacir. The title is Arabic for “duty,’ and here the obligation is shared by father and son. Abu Shadi, an aging divorcee living in a Christian Palestinian community in Nazareth, is driving around his neighborhood and its outskirts all day at the beginning of the Christmas season — he’s got ‘Jingle Bells’ as his phone’s ringtone — hand-delivering invitations to his daughter’s wedding. With him is his son, Shadi, an architect who now makes his home in Rome.
— Glenn Kenny, The New York Times

Continue reading “Film: Wajib (Jun 7)”

Film: Wajib (Jun 7)

Please join our brothers and sisters at the Mideast Focus Ministry for their First Friday Film series.
Date: Friday, May 3, 2019
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Location: St. Mark’s Cathedral
Bloedel Hall
1245 10th Ave E
Seattle, WA 98102
Information: Event information here →
Tickets: Free Admission
Event Details

There’s a quiet warmth that runs like a current through ‘Wajib,’ a new film from the Palestinian director and writer Annemarie Jacir. The title is Arabic for “duty,’ and here the obligation is shared by father and son. Abu Shadi, an aging divorcee living in a Christian Palestinian community in Nazareth, is driving around his neighborhood and its outskirts all day at the beginning of the Christmas season — he’s got ‘Jingle Bells’ as his phone’s ringtone — hand-delivering invitations to his daughter’s wedding. With him is his son, Shadi, an architect who now makes his home in Rome.
— Glenn Kenny, The New York Times

Continue reading “Film: Wajib (Jun 7)”

Film: Naila and the Uprising (Friday)

Please join our brothers and sisters at the Mideast Focus Ministry for their First Friday Film series.
Date: Friday, May 3, 2019
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Location: St. Mark’s Cathedral
Bloedel Hall
1245 10th Ave E
Seattle, WA 98102
Information: Event information here →
Tickets: Free Admission
Event Details

When a nation-wide uprising breaks out in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, a young woman in Gaza must make a choice between love, family, and freedom. Undaunted, she embraces all three, joining a clandestine network of women in a movement that forces the world to recognize the Palestinian right to self-determination for the first time. Naila and the Uprising chronicles the remarkable journey of Naila Ayesh and a fierce community of women at the frontlines, whose stories weave through the most vibrant, nonviolent mobilization in Palestinian history — the First Intifada in the late 1980s.

Using evocative animation, intimate interviews, and exclusive archival footage, this film brings out of anonymity the courageous women activists who have remained on the margins of history — until now. While most images of the First Intifada paint an incomplete picture of stone-throwing young men front and center, this film tells the story that history overlooked — of an unbending, nonviolent women’s movement at the head of Palestine’s struggle for freedom. Continue reading “Film: Naila and the Uprising (Friday)”

EVENT: Israel, Zionism and the Jewish Community in 2019 (May 23)

Peter Beinart. (photo: Center for American Progress Action Fund / Flickr)
Please join our brothers and sisters for this exciting evening with Peter Beinart.
Date: Thursday, May 23, 2019
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Location: Temple de Hirsch Sinai
1511 E Pike St
Seattle, WA 98122
Information & Registration: Event information here →
Event Details

Join us for a discussion with Peter Beinart, a prominent columnist for The Atlantic and the Forward. He will share his thoughts on anti-semitism, the changing conversation on Israel in the Jewish community, the results of the Israeli election and more.

Peter Beinart is Associate Professor of Journalism and Political Science at the City University of New York. He is also a contributor to The Atlantic, a Senior Columnist at The Forward, a CNN Political Commentator and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Foundation for Middle East Peace. He has written three books, The Good Fight, The Icarus Syndrome and The Crisis of Zionism.

Beinart has written for The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, the Boston Globe and other prominent publications. Beinart became The New Republic’s managing editor in 1995. He became the magazine’s Senior Editor in 1997, and from 1999 to 2006 served as its Editor.

This event is co-sponsored by J Street, Kavana Cooperative, Temple Beth Am, Temple de Hirsch Sinai and Congregation Beth Shalom.

More information here →

Ilhan Omar’s deeply American message

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D–Minn.). (photo: Leah Millis / Reuters)
The Minnesota lawmaker urged American Muslims to act like citizens, not guests. Other religious minorities should take note.

By Peter Beinart | The Atlantic | Apr 15, 2019

‘You can go to school and be a good student. You can listen to your dad and mom and become a doctor. You can have that beautiful wedding that makes mom and dad happy. You can buy that beautiful house.
‘But none of that stuff matters if you one day show up to the hospital and your wife or maybe yourself is having a baby and you can’t have the access that you need because someone doesn’t recognize you as fully human.’
— Ilhan Omar

I watched Ilhan Omar’s recent address to the Council of American Islamic Relations for the same reason most people did: to see whether she had—as Donald Trump claimed—minimized the 9/11 terrorist attacks. What I found was unexpected. In offering a vision for how to live as an American Muslim, her speech to CAIR beautifully evoked what I treasure about being an American Jew.

Omar’s core argument was simple: We Muslims are not guests here. We are as American as everyone else and, thus, we should bring our full selves into the public square. “For a really long time in this country,” she said, “we have been told that there is a privilege that we are given and it might be taken away. We are told that we should be appropriate. We should go to school, get an education, raise our children and not bother anyone, not make any kind of noise, don’t make anyone uncomfortable.”

Continue reading “Ilhan Omar’s deeply American message”