Event Reminder: Kids4Peace Jet City to Jerusalem

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Please join our brothers and sisters at Kids4Peace Seattle for their 4th Annual Spring Celebration and Fundraiser.

Date: Thursday, May 18, 2017
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Location: Temple De Hirsch Sinai
1441 16th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122
Information: Facebook event
Event website
Tickets: $50

Event Details

Join Kids4Peace Seattle supporters, volunteers, youth, families, and staff for our fourth annual spring celebration! Help us recognize the many successes of the past year as we also look forward with excitement to this summer’s programs. Hear directly from youth involved in the program and also get updates on our work in Jerusalem and the US.

Tickets are $50 per person; there will be an opportunity to make an additional pledge of support at the event. The ticket price is fully tax-deductible, and all donations go directly to support the work of Kids4Peace as we heal divided societies in both the United States and Jerusalem.

Registration and reception from 7:00 – 7:30
Program and dessert buffet from 7:30 – 8:30

Wine and coffee will be served, along with a delicious dessert buffet.

For more information, please contact Jordan Goldwarg, Kids4Peace Northwest Regional Director, at jordan@k4p.org or 617-335-7603. Can’t attend but would still like to support our work? Donate online anytime.

Is Trump Visiting Israel to Praise Bibi — Or To Bury Him?

Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem
(photo: PBS)

Trump has much to gain and little to lose; the reverse is true of Netanyahu.

By J. J. Goldberg / Forward
May 2, 2017


Israelis with ties to the Trump administration are reporting, according to political correspondent Tal Shalev of the widely read Walla news site, that the president wants to convene a “regional summit” of Middle East leaders this summer in Washington. Participants would include Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, along with Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The agenda would be based on the Saudi-led Arab Peace Initiative.


When Donald Trump visits Israel later this month, as he reportedly will do, he faces much to potentially gain and little to lose. The reverse is true of his host, Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

For Trump, it’s an opportunity to show some statesmanship and gravitas — qualities he’s not widely associated with — in a friendly environment. It’s an opportunity to solidify his shaky relationship with the ardently pro-Israel Republicans in Congress, who’ve been repeatedly undermined or plain flummoxed by Trump’s unpredictable antics. And — who knows? — he just might make some progress where so many have failed: getting the Israeli-Palestinian deadlock unstuck. Strange things happen when Trump’s around.

Besides, if he tries and fails, it will simply end up being another implausible promise he’s made and then airily dismissed. We’re used to it.

Continue reading “Is Trump Visiting Israel to Praise Bibi — Or To Bury Him?”

Pence: Israel Embassy Move Under “Serious Consideration”

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The United States Embassy in Tel Aviv, where all other countries have their embassies. (photo: Jack Guez / Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)

By The Associated Press / The New York Times
May 2, 2017


“The president of the United States, as we speak, is giving serious consideration into moving the American embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. . . . To be clear, the president has also personally committed to resolving the Israeli and Palestinian conflict.”
— Vice President Mike Pence


President Donald Trump is giving “serious consideration” to moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday, the day before a scheduled White House visit by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Trump is also “personally committed” to becoming the U.S. president who finally ends the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Pence said.

Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem is a politically charged act that would anger Palestinians who want east Jerusalem, which was captured in 1967, as a future capital and part of their sovereign territory. Such a move would also distance the U.S. from most of the international community, including its closest allies in Western Europe and the Arab world.

[Editor’s note: There are 82 foreign embassies in Israel, none of which are in Jerusalem.]

Continue reading “Pence: Israel Embassy Move Under “Serious Consideration””

In Palestinian Power Struggle, Hamas Moderates Talk on Israel

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Members of the Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, in the Gaza Strip last year. (photo; Said Khatib / AFP / Getty Images)

Hamas presents new charter accepting a Palestine based on 1967 borders.

By Ian Fisher / The New York Times
May 1, 2017


“Whether it’s a coincidence or it’s connected, I have one thing to say: The Palestinian leadership is afraid of this Hamas moderation. Because the [Palestinian Authority] and Fatah are afraid that by this moderation, Hamas presents itself as the true representation of the Palestinian people.”
— Mkhaimar Abusada, political scientist at Al-Azhar University-Gaza

Hamas, the militant group built around violent resistance to Israel, sought on Monday to present a more moderate public face, taking its next shot in an intensifying struggle for leadership of the Palestinian cause and international recognition.

Released by Hamas just days before its chief rival, the Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, was to meet President Trump, a new document of principles for the group calls for closer ties to Egypt, waters down the anti-Semitic language from its charter, and accepts at least a provisional Palestinian state — though it still does not formally recognize Israel.

With its statement, Hamas is trying to offer a more mainstream-friendly version of its vision for the Palestinian cause, and to gain ground against Mr. Abbas, whose influence is growing more tenuous.

Continue reading “In Palestinian Power Struggle, Hamas Moderates Talk on Israel”

German Foreign Minister Calls Netanyahu’s Bluff

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German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel (left) with Israeli president, Reuven Rivlin, in Jerusalem on April 25, 2017. (photo: Sebastian Scheiner / AP)

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel will learn far more from his meetings with B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence than from meeting with Netanyahu.

By Dahlia Scheindlin / +972 Magazine
April 25, 2017


“You never get the full picture of any state in the world if you just meet with figures in government ministries.”


Given an ultimatum of meeting with Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem or meeting Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel very simply made the right choice to forego Netanyahu. And not in order to “defy” Netanyahu, as per a breathless Bloomberg headline, or to give any message at all.

He was right simply because what would he have actually learned from Netanyahu? Those organizations will give Gabriel concrete information: B’Tselem will update him on developments regarding the 50-year-old occupation and its most current manifestations, in the form of data, documentation and analysis. Breaking the Silence will give him human experiences of occupation, and tell the truth about growing attempts to intimidate and suppress the group for daring to oppose Israeli policies. Continue reading “German Foreign Minister Calls Netanyahu’s Bluff”

The Longest-Serving Palestinian Prisoner in Israel

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Nael Barghouti as a prisoner in 1993 (right) and as a long-haired youth in 1978. (photo: Alex Levac / Haaretz)

He was released in a prisoner swap after serving 33 years, then sent back in on a technicality.

By Gideon Levy / Haaretz
April 29, 2017


[After being returned to prison,] Nael was sentenced to 30 months in prison for violating the conditions of his release. But when that term ended, he was not set free. Then, two months ago came the astounding news that he would have to complete his life-plus-18-years sentence, originally meted out in 1978.


The three photographs on the chest of drawers at the entrance to the living room tell the whole unbelievable story. The first shot, from 1978, shows a long-haired youth. The second, taken 15 years later, is a portrait of a prisoner between his two aged parents, both of whom lean on canes. It was taken the last time they met. The third is of an elderly man, at the time of his release from prison.

Thirty-nine years separate the first and third images, and Nael Barghouti, the man in all of the photos, spent most of that time incarcerated in an Israeli prison for murdering Mordechai Yakoel, a bus driver, in 1978. There is no longer-serving prisoner than Barghouti, and no crueler arbitrary treatment by the authorities than that demonstrated in his case. Continue reading “The Longest-Serving Palestinian Prisoner in Israel”

Event Reminder: Kids4Peace Jet City to Jerusalem

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Please join our brothers and sisters at Kids4Peace Seattle for their 4th Annual Spring Celebration and Fundraiser.

Date: Thursday, May 18, 2017
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Location: Temple De Hirsch Sinai
1441 16th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122
Information: Facebook event
Event website
Tickets: $50

Event Details

Join Kids4Peace Seattle supporters, volunteers, youth, families, and staff for our fourth annual spring celebration! Help us recognize the many successes of the past year as we also look forward with excitement to this summer’s programs. Hear directly from youth involved in the program and also get updates on our work in Jerusalem and the US.

Tickets are $50 per person; there will be an opportunity to make an additional pledge of support at the event. The ticket price is fully tax-deductible, and all donations go directly to support the work of Kids4Peace as we heal divided societies in both the United States and Jerusalem.

Registration and reception from 7:00 – 7:30
Program and dessert buffet from 7:30 – 8:30

Wine and coffee will be served, along with a delicious dessert buffet.

For more information, please contact Jordan Goldwarg, Kids4Peace Northwest Regional Director, at jordan@k4p.org or 617-335-7603. Can’t attend but would still like to support our work? Donate online anytime.

Between The Dome of The Rock and a Hard Place

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The Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem. (photo: Getty Images)

By J. J. Goldberg / The Forward
April 13, 2017


Permitting Jewish presence on the mount is actually a controversial question among Israel’s Orthodox rabbinical authorities. The traditionalist Haredi rabbinate still upholds the centuries-old rabbinic ban on Jews even entering the Temple compound, for fear that they will tread on the long-forgotten spot where the forbidden Holy of Holies once stood. Traditionalists believe the Temple cannot be rebuilt until the Messiah comes and restores the ancient Jewish kingdom.

Religious Zionists maintain that the survival of the Jewish state against all odds proves that the messianic era is already underway and that Jews today should be working to restore the Temple.


Passover came early to Jerusalem this year when a group of Jewish religious nationalists gathered in the Old City of Jerusalem April 6 for a live reenactment of the original, biblical holiday ritual: sacrificing a lamb.

Hundreds gathered in the Jewish Quarter to watch barefoot, white-robed priests slaughter, skin and roast a lamb on a makeshift altar and hear speeches by rabbis and a Likud Knesset member. It was held in a public square outside the Hurva Synagogue, a stone’s throw from the Temple Mount where priests conducted daily sacrifices in ancient times

The event was an awkward reminder of the tight spot Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is in as it tries to balance the competing religious claims over arguably the world’s most volatile shrine. The government and its defenders have long been trying to debunk Palestinian accusations — deliberate lies, Israel argues — that Israel intends to build a third Jewish Temple on the site where Al Aqsa mosque and the iconic Dome of the Rock now stand. Unfortunately, events like the Passover reenactment illustrate the growing influence within the government itself of Jewish activists who aim to do just what some Palestinians accuse them of. Continue reading “Between The Dome of The Rock and a Hard Place”

Event Reminder: Turning the “Other” into a Brother (Town Hall tomorrow!)

Please join our brothers and sisters at the Euphrates Institute for an evening with Janessa Gans Wilder speaking on “Turning the ‘Other’ into a Brother.”

Date: Friday, April  14, 2017
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Town Hall Seattle (Downstairs)
1119 Eighth Ave
Seattle, WA  98101
(enter on Seneca St)
Information: Facebook event
Event website
Tickets: $10 suggested donation at the door

Event Details

Janessa Gans Wilder, founder and CEO of Euphrates Institute, has a powerful and refreshing perspective as a nonprofit executive and former CIA officer turned peace builder. She will share her journey of transformation from seeing Iraqis as the “other” to seeing them as brothers during the Iraq war. In 2006, Janessa founded Euphrates, a nonprofit organization that builds peace and understanding about critical Middle East issues. Euphrates informs people about Middle Eastern issues, inspires them with examples of solutions, and invites them to become effective global citizens. Janessa speaks frequently in interfaith, community, government, international, and educational settings. She has been published by CBS, CNN, The Christian Science Monitor, Democracy Now, and the Los Angeles Times.

Event Reminder: Disturbing the Peace (film screening tomorrow!)

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Please join our brothers and sisters at the Euphrates Institute for a screening of the award-winning film “Disturbing the Peace.”

Date: Thursday, April  13, 2017
Time: 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Location: AMC Southcenter 16
3600 Southcenter Mall
Tukwila, WA  98188
Information: Facebook event
Film website
Tickets: Ticket website

Event Details

“Disturbing the Peace” follows former enemy combatants — Israeli soldiers and Palestinian fighters — who have joined together to challenge the status quo. The film reveals their transformational journeys from soldiers to nonviolent peace activists, leading to the creation of Combatants for Peace. The film is incredibly inspiring, and is rated 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and 9.0 on IMDB. Following the film there will be a short Q&A session with Euphrates Founder, Janessa Gans Wilder, and an exchange student from Gaza, Amjad al-Shaer.

“Disturbing the Peace” is a story of the human potential unleashed when we stop participating in a story that no longer serves us and, with the power of our convictions, take action to create new possibilities. “Disturbing the Peace” follows former enemy combatants — Israeli soldiers from elite units and Palestinian fighters, many of whom served years in prison — who have joined together to challenge the status quo and say “enough.” the film reveals their transformational journeys from soldiers committed to armed battle to nonviolent peace activists, leading to the creation of Combatants for Peace. While based in the Middle East, “Disturbing the Peace” evokes universal themes relevant to us all and inspires us to become active participants in the creation of our world.

Please purchase your tickets online at http://gathr.us/screening/19346. Gathr is like Kickstarter for independent movie screenings, so we need at least 60 people to reserve tickets by March 30th in order for the screening to take place. You can also help us spreading the word with our Facebook event.