The following remarks are from presentation by Rev. Alex Awad at conference “A Response to Christian Zionism” held in Seattle WA Oct 5, 2019. These reflections are his experiences as a Palestinian meeting people who are Christian Zionists.
By Rev. Alex Awad | Kairos Puget Sound Coalition | Oct 5, 2019
The passion of Christian Zionists to bring Jews to the Holy Land and create a Jewish state and their success in achieving their goal was accomplished through piling layer upon layer of wars, massacres, bloodshed, ethnic cleansing, political manipulations and pain.
I am here participating in this symposium because millions of people have been severely and negatively impacted as a result of the political thrust of Christian Zionism. The passion of Christian Zionists to bring Jews to the Holy Land and create a Jewish state and their success in achieving their goal was accomplished through piling layer upon layer of wars, massacres, bloodshed, ethnic cleansing, political manipulations and pain. Millions of Palestinians, Jordanians, Lebanese, Syrians, Iraqis, Egyptians and Jews have suffered death and destruction. This has been in large part due to the theological convictions and political activities of Christian Zionist leaders combined with the political might of secular Zionists and the religious zeal of Jewish settlers. Were Christian Zionism confined to theology and theological assumptions alone, I wouldn’t be so concerned about it and I wouldn’t be as driven as I am in exposing the harmful consequences of its teachings.
Portland Trailblazers respond to protestor demands to drop relationship with sponsor selling rifle scopes to Israeli military.
By Michael Arria | Mondoweiss | Oct 1, 2019
I think it’s terrible that Leupold & Stevens actively profits from war crimes, as many IDF have been spotted using their scopes in ‘combat’ zones against Palestinian protesters. — Josuee Hernandez, US Marine
Portland Trail Blazers president and CEO Chris McGowan has announced that the National Basketball Association (NBA) team will no longer partner with a rifle scope manufacturer that has a contract with Israeli military. The move comes after a year-long campaign by local activists to pressure the Blazers to drop the sponsor.
The intersection of Israel’s election, US impeachment efforts and the resignation of US Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt create many roadblocks to what is already a failed peace proposal.
By Adnan Abu Amer | IMEMC News | Oct 9, 2019
With Trump’s constitutional crisis to consider, as well as Greenblatt’s resignation and the political deadlock in Israel, Palestinians and Israelis are adopting contrasting positions regarding the deal and its announcement.
Palestinians and Israelis are following the ongoing constitutional measures to impeach US President Donald Trump with great interest. They want to know what the implications will be for the so-called deal of the century; will, for example, its formal announcement have to be postponed due to Trump being otherwise engaged? There is also a nagging fear that the US President will be impeached, and that it will have negative consequences for Washington’s already waning involvement in what passes for a peace process.
The Palestinians welcome the legal and constitutional procedures against Trump, not least because he has put them under great pressure to accept the deal. Moreover, the so-called US peace envoys have stopped visiting the region, and Jason Greenblatt has announced his resignation. This coincided with Israel’s General Election and the political deadlock that has resulted.
More than 100 Jewish academics sign open letter demanding the Trump administration stop exploiting anti-Semitism in order to quash criticism of Israel on college campuses.
By Joshua Leifer | +972 | Oct 6, 2019
‘We have the Department of Education leveraging an attack on a conference related to Gaza to have a chilling effect on free speech overall on campuses.’ — Lara Friedman, president of Foundation for Middle East Peace
Jewish academics are fighting back against the Trump administration’s attempts to silence criticism of Israel on college campuses. More than 100 Jewish scholars have signed an open letter to the U.S. Department of Education in response to its demand that the Duke-University of North Carolina Consortium for Middle East Studies modify its curricular programming or face defunding.
The open letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, whose signatories include renowned scholar Judith Butler, Noam Chomsky, and artist Molly Crabapple, condemns the Education Department’s recent investigation of the consortium and subsequent ultimatum as “an unfounded and anti-democratic campaign of intimidation” and charges the Education Department with “exploiting fears of anti-Semitism” and “using Jews and our concerns over anti-Semitism to try and justify repressive policies.”
Four years ago, a Palestinian citizen of Israel was arrested because the security services decided a poem she wrote and published on her personal Facebook page was ‘incitement.’
By Oren Ziv | +972 | Oct 3, 2019
The efforts to taint her poetry as a criminal act were now at an end. — Attorney Gaby Lasky
Dareen Tatour, the Palestinian poet arrested in 2015 over a poem she published on Facebook, is finally free. After years of house arrest, months in prison, and dogged efforts by the government to secure the maximum conviction possible, the Supreme Court last week rejected the state’s petition to restore her overturned conviction for incitement to violence. With that, Tatour’s legal ordeal came to an end, more than four years after it began.
A complex and paradoxical mix of polarization and integration in the Middle East creates uncertainties and potential for all-out war.
By Robert Malley | Foreign Affairs | November/December 2019
When it comes to the Middle East, Tip O’Neill, the storied Democratic politician, had it backward: all politics—especially local politics—is international.
The war that now looms largest is a war nobody apparently wants. During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump railed against the United States’ entanglement in Middle Eastern wars, and since assuming office, he has not changed his tune. Iran has no interest in a wide-ranging conflict that it knows it could not win. Israel is satisfied with calibrated operations in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Gaza but fears a larger confrontation that could expose it to thousands of rockets. Saudi Arabia is determined to push back against Iran, but without confronting it militarily. Yet the conditions for an all-out war in the Middle East are riper than at any time in recent memory.
This debut feature film by journalist Abby Martin began while reporting in Palestine, where she was denied entry into Gaza by the Israeli government on the accusation she was a “propagandist.” So Abby connected with a team of journalists in Gaza to produce the film through the blockade.
This collaboration shows you Gaza’s protest movement like you’ve never seen before. Filmed during the height of the Great March of Return protests, it features exclusive footage of demonstrations where 200 unarmed civilians have been killed by Israeli snipers since March 30, 2018.
The documentary tells the story of Gaza past and present, showing rare archival footage that explains the history never acknowledged by mass media. Victims are heard from the ongoing massacre, including journalists, medics and the family of internationally-acclaimed paramedic, Razan al-Najjar.
Creating a coalition with Palestinians is the long term solution to true democracy.
By Peter Beinart | Forward | Sept 26, 2019
The deeper malady is that Palestinians — even Palestinians who live inside the green line and can thus vote in Israeli elections — aren’t considered equal citizens.
Last week, Bret Stephens penned a New York Times column entitled, “Israel’s democracy is doing just fine.” With their “rebuke” of Benjamin Netanyahu at the polls, Stephens declared, “Israelis showed that demagogy doesn’t work.”
This week, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin gave Netanyahu the opportunity to form Israel’s next government. Netanyahu could fail to do so, in which case his center-right rival, Benny Gantz, would likely get the chance. But there’s a real possibility that Netanyahu — a man so racist that Facebook shut down one of his chatbots for violating its hate speech rules this month, and so authoritarian that the president of Israel’s supreme court this spring compared his attacks on judicial independence to the Nazi era — will remain Israel’s leader well into the future.
The Joint List’s recommendation of Gantz as prime minister dramatically alters the traditional political stance of Arabs in Israel
By Orly Noy | Middle East Eye | Sept 24, 2019
The degree of chaos in the Israeli political landscape today is indicated by the status of Yisrael Beiteinu, headed by Avigdor Lieberman, who has proposed among other things the “transfer” of Arab citizens out of Israel entirely.
Many people were hoping that the mid-September election in Israel would resolve the political mess that followed the previous election in April when neither of the two leading candidates for prime minister – Benny Gantz of the Blue and White alliance and Benjamin Netanyahu of Likud – garnered enough votes to form a government.
But that hope was quickly dashed within a few days when the votes were counted. The political blocs headed by both candidates fell short of securing the 61 seats required for a parliamentary majority.
Strategizing for solidarity and effectiveness within the universal human rights/justice movements.
By Alice Rothchild | American Friends Service Committee | Sept 13, 2019
We need a collective liberation, which also means, by the way, no POOPS (Progressive Only On Palestine).
The American Friends Service Committee conference in DC, September 7-8, Preparing for 2020: Advocating for Rights, Justice, and Freedom, was an excellent antidote to the stormy and frightening times in which we live. It is a measure of our failure to be more outraged than we already are that Netanyahu’s pledge to annex much of the West Bank to Israel (as if there was not already one apartheid state) barely caused a flutter of protest. Between Trump and Netanyahu we are all suffering from shock fatigue and a good dose of gloom about the future of the planet. I lie awake at night wondering, will it be forest fires, drought, floods, and wars over water, or maybe an old fashioned nuclear war that will finish us off. For folks with children and grandchildren, this is not a theoretical concern.