Op-Ed: Seattle’s extreme liberals also pose a threat to the Jewish community

Mark Weber / Op-Art
Mark Weber / Op-Art
Rabbi Weiner responds to the  the need for supportive allies and city leaders in this time of increasing anti-Semitism.

By Daniel A. Weiner |  The Seattle Times  |  Dec 2, 2019

The unqualified support of countless voices from around the world bore out the loving affirmation of the majority over the cowardly cravenness of the marginal.

Anti-Semitism is significantly and unquestionably on the rise. Even among the many vicious acts and inciting words characteristic of these tumultuous, Trumpian times, the marked increase in what many assert as the “oldest of hatreds” is a return to a troubling trope in our history. The statistics, media coverage and lived experience of American Jews reinforce this perception as reality.

And yet, there are many within our society, supportive allies and principled civic leaders, who have spoken out and acted against the resurgence of this dark specter. While I have worked closely with Regina Friedland, director of the American Jewish Committee, Seattle region, and respect her efforts, I take issue with her overgeneralized indictment of Mayor Jenny Durkan’s responsiveness to recent anti-Jewish bigotry [“Why are Seattle’s leaders silent about anti-Semitism?” Nov. 23, Opinion].

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Conversation: Turning possibility into power

Image courtesy of Dov Khenin
Interview with Dov Khenin, Israeli political scientist, lawyer, and one of the most prolific and progressive of Israel’s lawmakers.

By Libby Lenkinski  |  Jewish Currents  |  Dec 3, 2019

Fighting against the occupation is very central to our political activity in Israel—it has been and still is the main issue for my movement, and for me personally.
— Dov Khenin

Israel is stuck in parliamentary muck. After two elections in the span of six months, it’s now staring down the barrel of a third. This month marks a full year since the country has had a functioning government, while its prime minister-in-name-only—who was indicted on charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust—is hanging on by a thread. In the midst of this political turmoil, I reached out to former parliamentarian and social activist Dov Khenin to discuss the past and future of the progressive movement in Israel.

After serving in the now-deeply-dysfunctional Knesset for a dozen years as a member of Hadash (Israel’s joint Arab-Jewish Communist Party), Dov chose not to seek re-election last January. In his time there, he made his legislative mark, passing over 100 pieces of legislation, including sweeping environmental protection legislation and increases in the minimum wage. He was also the sole Jewish member of the Joint List, the alliance of the four Arab-majority political parties.

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Palestine is a climate justice issue

Palestinians walk past a pool of sewage on a beach in the northern Gaza Strip July 13, 2018. Picture taken July 13, 2018 [Mohammed Salem/Reuters]
Palestinians walk past a pool of sewage on a beach in the northern Gaza Strip July 13, 2018. Picture taken July 13, 2018 (photo: Mohammed Salem/Reuters)
The fight for climate justice for all is directly connected to the Palestinian struggle.

By Abeer Butmeh  | Al Jazerra | Nov 28, 2019

On the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, our Palestinian environmental organizations call for global pressure on Israel to end climate apartheid through boycotts of the Israeli government and institutions and companies that are complicit in destroying the environment, violating our rights and profiting from our resources.

This Friday, November 29, two major global events of great importance to me will coincide – the fourth Global Climate Strike, and the United Nations’s annual International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. This convergence also symbolically represents an important reality – that the fight for climate justice for all is directly connected to the Palestinian struggle. Palestine is a climate justice issue.

In my work coordinating Palestinian environmental organizations, I witness daily that for Palestinians, climate change is not just a natural phenomenon, but a political one. Israel’s regime of occupation and apartheid, which denies us the right to manage our land and resources, exacerbates the climate crisis Palestinians face, making us more vulnerable to climate-related events.

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Israel’s next move: The real danger in US decision to normalize illegal Jewish settlements

 

Palestinians attend Friday prayer during a protest against Jewish settlements near Yata, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank November 1, 2019.
Palestinians attend Friday prayer during a protest against Jewish settlements near Yata, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank November 1, 2019. (photo: Reuters)
The U.S. is giving Israel political carte blanche and asking nothing in return.

By Ramzy Baroud | Counterpunch | Nov 29, 2019

One theory regarding the ongoing surrender of US foreign policy to Israel is that Washington is slowly, but permanently, withdrawing from the Middle East…

It is hardly shocking that the United States government has finally decreed that illegal Jewish settlements which have been built in defiance of international law, are, somehow, “consistent” with international law.

US foreign policy has been edging closer towards this conclusion for some time. Since his advent to the White House in January 2017, President Donald Trump has unleashed a total and complete reversal of his country’s foreign policy regarding Palestine and Israel.

Let us not have any illusion regarding the American approach to the so-called ‘Israeli-Palestinian conflict’ prior to Trump’s Presidency. The US has never, not even once, stood up for Palestinians or Arabs since the establishment of the State of Israel over the ruins of historic Palestine in 1948. Moreover, Washington has bankrolled the Israeli occupation of Palestine in every possible way, including the subsidizing of the illegal Jewish settlements.

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Israel’s detention of Palestinian children is ‘completely preventable,’ says US congresswoman

Betty McCollum continues to rally support for bill that would stop US aid to Israel from being used in abuses of Palestinian minors.

By Ali Harb  |  Middle East Eye  | Nov 20, 2019

‘Children are being used as pawns to get their parents and those fighting for the liberation of the Palestinian people. But it’s also a means for conditioning these children to believe that they are not worthy of respect, that they are less-then, that they are not entitled to basic human rights.’
— Reverend Aundreia Alexander, associate general secretary for action and advocacy at the National Council of Churches

The Israeli army’s mistreatment of Palestinian children is “completely preventable,” a United States congresswoman said, as she urged other lawmakers to support a bill that would prevent American military aid to Israel from being used to abuse Palestinian minors.

“The Israeli system of military detention of Palestinian children is immoral, and not a single dollar of US taxpayer funds should be allowed to support what’s in explicit violation of international humanitarian law,” said Representative Betty McCollum, a Minnesota Democrat, at an event on Wednesday at the US Capitol building in Washington.

McCollum introduced the legislation, HR 2407, in late April, and since then it has gained 22 co-sponsors — mostly progressive members of the House of Representatives.

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Thousands participate in Palestinian ‘Day of Rage’ against US, Israel

Palestinian protesters during the Day of Rage near Ramallah on Tuesday November 26 2019  (photo credit: KOBI RICHTER/TPS)
Palestinian protesters during the Day of Rage near Ramallah on Tuesday November 26 2019.
(photo credit: KOBI RICHTER/TPS)
The protests came in the aftermath of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent announcement that settlements are not inconsistent with international law.

By Khaled Abu Toameh  | The Jerusalem Post  |  Nov 26, 2019

Israel has left the Palestinians with no choice other than ‘popular resistance.’
— Mahmoud Aloul, deputy chairman of Fatah

Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets in the West Bank and Gaza Strip on Tuesday in protests against the US administration and Israel.

Scores of Palestinians were injured, mostly from tear gas inhalation and rubber bullets, during clashes with IDF soldiers in several parts of the West Bank, Palestinian sources said.

Organized by several Palestinian factions, including the ruling Fatah faction, the protests came in the aftermath of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent announcement that settlements are not inconsistent with international law.

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The problem with settlements is not that they are illegal. It’s that they are immoral

File:16-03-31-israelische Siedlungen bei Za'atara-WMA 1178.jpg
Israeli settlement in the West Bank near Za’atara. (photo: Ralf Roletschek)
Settlements are not only an obstacle to peace and but violate the fundamental principle of human equality.

By Peter Beinart | Forward | Nov 19, 2019

… morally, the issue is not whether Jews have the right to live in the West Bank. It’s whether Jews have the right to live there under a different law than their Palestinian neighbors.

Yesterday the Trump administration said Israeli settlements in the West Bank don’t violate international law. That’s absurd. Among international lawyers, the consensus that settlements are illegal rivals the consensus among international scientists that humans contribute to climate change. As UCLA’s Dov Waxman has pointed out, the legal advisor to Israel’s own foreign ministry admitted that “civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention” after Israel conquered the West Bank in 1967.

But critics who condemn the Trump administration for disregarding international law are missing the deeper point. So are critics who condemn it for undermining the two-state solution.

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Eyes on Gaza: A report from Norwegian physician and activist Mads Gilbert

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Please join our brothers and sisters at Jewish Voice for Peace for webinar about the conditions in Gaza.
Date: Wednesday, Dec 4, 2019
Time: 8:00 – 9:00 pm ET
Location: Webinar
Information: Event information here →
Tickets: Free, but must register
Event Details

Dr. Mads Gilbert has worked extensively in Gaza in al-Shifa Hospital starting with the 2008 Israeli assault and will be presenting a vivid, first-hand description of medical and humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip. Mads Fredrik Gilbert is a Norwegian physician, humanitarian, outspoken activist and politician for the Red Party. He is a specialist in anesthesiology and head of the emergency medicine department at the University Hospital of North Norway and Professor of emergency medicine at the University of Tromsø. He is the author of Eyes in Gaza and Night in Gaza.

More information here →

Criticize Israel? For Democratic voters, it’s now fair game

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party promoted his relationship with President Trump during his re-election campaign in September.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party promoted his relationship with President Trump during his re-election campaign in September. (photo: Ammar Awad/Reuters)
President Trump’s hawkish support of Israel has led many Democrats to question the United States’ relationship with one of its closest allies.

By Giovanni Russonello  |  New York Times | Nov 1, 2019

… a Pew survey conducted in April found that Jewish Americans were far more likely than Christians to say that Mr. Trump was ‘favoring the Israelis too much.’

Free tuition to public colleges? Just a few years ago it seemed unthinkable, but now it’s a popular proposal embraced by some leading Democratic presidential candidates.

Medicare for all? Same thing.

But what about foreign policy? Are Democratic voters moving to the left on world affairs, too?

There is at least one area in which the answer seems to be yes: the United States’ once-unquestionable loyalty to Israel.

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Lecture and Discussion: Palestine Refugees in Lebanon

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Please join our brothers and sisters at Holy Spirit Lutheran Church in Kirkland WA for a lecture and discussion about Palestine refugees in Lebanon.
Date: Sunday, December 8, 2019
Time: 6:00 – 8:30 pm
Location: Holy Spirit Lutheran Church, 10021 NE 124th St, Kirkland WA
Information: Event information here →
Tickets: Free
Event Details

Abby Brook, a graduate student of Middle East Studies of the American University of Beirut, will share her first-hand knowledge of the history and current conditions of Palestine Refugees in Lebanon followed by a Q&A session.  Abby has worked with several organizations advocating for human rights, justice, and peace for Palestinians.

More information here →