Is apartheid the inevitable outcome of Zionism?

HEBRON, ISRAEL - 10 OCT,  2014: Deserted street with watchtower in the jewish quarter near the center of Hebron Stock Photo - 36942208
Deserted street with watchtower in the Jewish quarter near the center of Hebron. (photo: Shutterstock)
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.

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This is how a U.S. president could hold Israel accountable — without Congress

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders speaking with attendees at the Presidential Gun Sense Forum, Des Moines, Iowa, August 10, 2019. (CC BY-SA 2.0/Gage Skidmore)
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders speaking with attendees at the Presidential Gun Sense Forum, Des Moines, Iowa, August 10, 2019. (photo: CC BY-SA 2.0/Gage Skidmore)
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.

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Report: Israel is arresting undocumented children

Students from several local high schools protested at the prison in Ramla where 13-year-old Gena Antigo was being held, October 31st, 2019. (photo: Daniel Levy)
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.”

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Time to break the silence on Palestine

‘We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak,’ the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. declared at Riverside Church in Manhattan in 1967. (photo: John C. Goodwin)
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.

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Invite: Learn about Bethlehem Center for Global Peacebuilding and Justice

Andrew Bush (photo: andrewfbush.com)
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.
Date: Sunday, February 2, 2020
Time: 12:15 – 2:00 pm
Location: Bellevue Presbyterian Church, 1717 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue WA (Room S-140)
Information: Event information here →
Tickets: Free
Event Details

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.

A light lunch will be served.

More information here →

 

Bishops call for the application of international law in the Holy Land to enable peace and political progress as situation worsens

(photo: Catholic Bishops’ Conference Of England And Wales)
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.

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Americans shouldn’t forfeit their freedom of speech so states can support Israel

A woman holds a 'Boycott Israel' flag during the annual pro-
A woman holds a ‘Boycott Israel’ flag during an Al-Quds Day demonstration in central London in June 2018. (photo: David Cliff / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images)
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.

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Event: Behind the scenes with NPR’s correspondent in Jerusalem

TALK | Behind The Scenes with NPR’s Correspondent in Jerusalem

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.
Date: Tuesday, Jan 28, 2020
Time: 7:30 – 9:00 pm
Location: University of Washington, Kane Hall 130, 4069 Spokane Lane, Seattle, WA 98105
Information: Event information here →
Tickets: Free, but must register
Event Details

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.

More information here →

With international law under siege, can the ICC bring justice to Palestinians?

 

Palestinian demonstrators and Fatah supporters stand before the images of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders during a rally in the West Bank city of Nablus on January 6, 2020. (Nasser Ishtayeh / Flash90)
Palestinian demonstrators and Fatah supporters stand before the images of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders during a rally in the West Bank city of Nablus on January 6, 2020. (photo: Nasser Ishtayeh / Flash90)
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.

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This is what it means to spend a life resisting Israeli injustice

ADVOCATE film
Lea Tsemel in Advocate, a film by Rachel Leah Jones and Philippe Bellaiche. (photo: via Film Movement)
An interview with Rachel Leah Jones, director of Advocate, the Oscar-shortlisted film about Jewish Israeli attorney Lea Tsemel who has made her work defending Palestinians.

By Mairav Zonszein | The Nation | Jan 10, 2020

She doesn’t just believe in the humanity of her clients and the people she advocates for, she sees the humanity of all her adversaries too—judges, prosecutors, interrogators, who by and large don’t share her worldview at all.
— Rachel Leah Jones, director of Advocate

“I’m an Israeli occupier no matter what I do. I enjoy the ‘fruits’ of the occupation, both bitter and sweet. And despite my moral obligation as an Israeli, I didn’t manage to change the regime and its policies. On what moral grounds should I judge the people who resist my occupation?”

So says Jewish Israeli attorney Lea Tsemel as she explains her life’s work defending Palestinian clients—many of whom most Israelis consider to be terrorists—in the documentary film Advocate.

Directed by Rachel Leah Jones and Philippe Bellaïche, both Israeli citizens, the film is one of 15 documentaries shortlisted for an Oscar nomination—quite an achievement for a film that humanizes Palestinians caught up in Israel’s criminal justice system for resisting Israeli occupation, both nonviolently and violently.

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