Hope Still Rises

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Please join Kairos Puget Sound Coalition’s holiday event to hear from Palestinian Christian Daoud Nassar who is the Owner and Director of the Tent of Nations educational and environmentally family farm located outside of Bethlehem.
Saturday, December 5, 2020
10:00 am – 12:00 pm Pacific Time
Live Zoom Event
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Free with required registration
Event Details

Daoud Nassar, a Palestinian Christian farmer, is Owner and Director of the Tent of Nations Project, an educational and environmentally conscious farm, that seeks to build bridges among people, and between people and the land. Daoud’s family has legally owned the farm since 1916, when Palestine was under Ottoman rule. The one-hundred-acre farm, located 6 kilometers from Bethlehem, is surrounded on three sides by Israeli settlements, and below by the Palestinian village of Nahalin. The family has been in Israeli courts since 1991, seeking formal recognition of their legal claim to this land. Daoud has traveled to the United States twice each year, since 2007, and spoken at nearly 350 venues in the U.S., under the sponsorship of Friends of Tent of Nations North America (FOTONNA.org). Daoud shares the story of his family’s commitment to living a life of non-violent resistance. At the entrance to Daoud’s farm, one is met with a large sign painted on a huge rock, stating “We Refuse to be Enemies”. The continuous – and numerous – obstacles they face in their daily life, mirror the experience of most Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.

In June 2013, Daoud was invited to preach at the well-known Riverside Baptist Church in New York City, which is where other more famous human rights leaders such as Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, and Bishop Tutu, have also preached. In July 2018, Daoud was invited to the Carter Center in Atlanta to be a participant in the Human Rights Defenders Forum. In October 2018, Tent of Nations and the Nassar Family received a Peace Award from the World Methodist Council. That same year Daoud was among 15 individuals to receive the Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law.

Daoud has a bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies from the Bethlehem Bible College, a bachelor’s degree in Business from Bethlehem University, and a degree in Tourism Management from Bielefeld University in Germany. He is married to Jihan Nassar, and they have three children. Daoud speaks and understands Arabic, Hebrew, German and English.

More information here →

From Palestine to Turtle Island: When all else fails oppressors blame the victim

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Israeli soldiers handcuff Palestinian protester Khairy Hannoun from Tulkarem, West Bank, during a peaceful protest.(Photo: via Twitter)
The core components of racism remain intact when the communities most impacted are marginalized.

By Benay Blend |  The Palestine Chronicle  |  Nov 9, 2020

‘The people who get the most blame have the least to do with how this whole process goes.’
— Onyesonwu Chatoyer, organizer for the All African People’s Revolutionary Party—New Mexico

Reflecting on the 2020 election, Onyesonwu Chatoyer wrote: “One thing I’ve been reflecting on today is how much election discourse is just poor and working-class people” blaming each other “for not participating in the right way.” An organizer for the All African People’s Revolutionary Party—New Mexico, Chatoyer understands that “the people who get the most blame have the least to do with how this whole process goes.”

While on the other hand, it is “the people who control it all—and who create the ideological, material, and political conditions that drive how poor people participate—” who get virtually no reproach at all.

Continue reading “From Palestine to Turtle Island: When all else fails oppressors blame the victim”

Church of Norway: Christian Zionism is ‘theologically unacceptable’

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Press conference. President Olav Fykse Tveit, Bishop Atle Sommerfeldt, Bishop Herborg Finnset, Bishop Stein Reinertsen. (photo: Secretariat of the Episcopal Conference)
The Bishops Conference of Norway makes a strong statement against Christian Zionism’s use of the Bible to legitimize oppression or human rights violations.

By Church of Norway Bishops Conference  | Church of Norway | Nov 2, 2020

‘The promises of the Old Testament concerning the Jewish people and the land, cannot be used to legitimize the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes or their rights,’
— The Church of Norway Bishops Conference

In a statement on Christian Zionism released on 30 October, the Church of Norway Bishops Conference said Christian Zionism is “theologically unacceptable and incompatible with human rights.”

A just and sustainable peace in Israel and Palestine must respect international law and safeguard the security and rights of both peoples, the statement notes.

Continue reading “Church of Norway: Christian Zionism is ‘theologically unacceptable’”

Israeli Weapons Fuel Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict and Grease Palms of Corrupt Elite

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An LAR-160 series Israeli-made rocket fired by Azerbaijan on the Nagorno-Karabakh capital.  (photo: Human Rights Watch)
Israeli drone and arms manufacturers weapons are likely being used against Armenians.

By Richard Silverstein  |  Tikun Olam  |  Oct 28, 2020

Israel has been selling advanced weapons systems to the Azeris for years. And the deals haven’t stopped at weapons systems.

It’s common knowledge that Israel is one of the world’s largest arms exporters. As I reported in Jacobin Magazine, it exports to the most genocidal regimes on the planet, and fuels ethnic conflicts from South Sudan to the Phillipines.

Less known is the role Israel is playing the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. In fact, the latter’s largest cargo planes are landing several times a week at an Israeli military air base, loading up on Israeli weapons and ferrying them back to Azerbaijan, sometimes with stops along the way in Turkey, another Azeri military ally. Nor is this a recent development. Israel has been selling advanced weapons systems to the Azeris for years. And the deals haven’t stopped at weapons systems. Because of Azerbaijan strategic location sharing a long border with Iran, it becomes a major intelligence asset for Israel as it seeks ways to surveil its arch-enemy Iran and understand its military capabilities.

Continue reading “Israeli Weapons Fuel Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict and Grease Palms of Corrupt Elite”

Israel’s Repressive Diplomacy

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A man holds a poster in Arabic that reads, “we will not give up, we will not sell out, we will not agree on normalization,” at a protest in Khartoum, Sudan, over the Sudanese President of the Sovereignty Council Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman al-Burhan’s decision to meet Israel’s prime minister in a move toward normalizing relations, February 7th, 2020. (photo: Marwan Ali / AP)
Israel’s diplomatic normalization efforts with Arab countries has accompanied growing authoritarianism and there might be more to come.

By Peter Beinart | Jewish Currents | Oct 26, 2020

To implement normalization agreements, therefore, Netanyahu and Trump need their Arab partners to quash domestic dissent.

On October 23rd, Donald Trump announced that Sudan would begin the process of normalizing relations with Israel. The declaration, which was part of a deal to remove Sudan from the US list of state sponsors of terror, follows last month’s pledges by the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to recognize the Jewish state. Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu have claimed that those peace deals—dubbed “The Abraham Accords”—will promote “human dignity and freedom” in the Middle East.

Twelve days after the Abraham Accords were signed, a poet named Dhabiya Khamis tried to exercise her freedom to leave the UAE. Her government barred her from boarding the plane. “The ban is probably because of my announced opinion against Zionism and normalization,” Khamis declared. “I fear for my freedom and life from being threatened and arrested.” Those fears were well-founded. According to a report in Middle East Monitor, “scores of Emiratis, Palestinians and Jordanians living in the UAE” had already been jailed “for opposing Abu-Dhabi’s peace deal with Israel.”

Continue reading “Israel’s Repressive Diplomacy”

Israel is getting ever more concerned about the result of the US election

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This combination of pictures created on June 11, 2019 shows US President Donald Trump (L) as he departs the White House, in Washington, DC, on June 2, 2019, and former US vice president Joe Biden during the kick off his presidential election campaign in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 18, 2019. [Photo: Jim Watson Dominick Reuter / AFP via Getty Images) 
Ahead of the US election there is speculation about what the outcome will mean for Israel.

By Dr Adnan Abu Amer | Middle East Monitor | Nov 2, 2020

A President Biden will, it is believed, reopen the Palestinian Embassy in Washington — the Office of the Palestine Liberation Organization to be precise — which Trump closed in 2018

Israel is getting ever more concerned about the result of the US election tomorrow. It fears a win for Democrat candidate Joe Biden and the loss of its ally Donald Trump. In preparation for a Democrat victory, it is seeking closer cooperation with regional countries, greater influence within the Democratic Party, and positive contacts with Biden’s campaign team to negate the possibility of an anti-Israel foreign policy in Washington and an end to the US-Israel honeymoon.

Among the Israeli concerns about a President Biden in the White House is that he may take the US back into the Iran nuclear deal from which Trump withdrew in 2018. The Israelis also expect the issue of its settlements across the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem to be back on the agenda with a Democratic administration, which is likely to view them once again as an obstacle to peace. The UN will also probably be emboldened to criticise the illegal settlements. Israel’s relationship with the White House will, most Israelis believe, be less than cordial.

Continue reading “Israel is getting ever more concerned about the result of the US election”

In pre-election rush, Trump OKs U.S. funding of science projects in illegal Israeli settlements

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David Friedman and Benjamin Netanyahu sign new accords allowing American funds to support science research in illegal Israeli settlements. (photo: Israeli Government Press Office Oct 27, 2020)
The new amendments will allow US taxpayer money to be spent in Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law.

By Yumna Patel  |  Mondoweiss  | Oct 28, 2020

“Extending US funding to the occupied West Bank, including illegal Israeli settlements, is a clear recognition of Israel´s annexation of Palestinian territory…this upgrades the Trump administration’s involvement in Israeli war crimes to active and willful participation.’
— Hanan Ashrawi, PLO Executive Committee member 

In a move that has further legitimized Israel’s illegal settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory, the US and Israel have expanded a number of existing scientific cooperation agreements to now include Israeli institutions in the occupied West Bank and the Golan Heights.

The new agreement, signed on Wednesday between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, amended three existing scientific cooperation agreements between the two countries.

Continue reading “In pre-election rush, Trump OKs U.S. funding of science projects in illegal Israeli settlements”

Video: Christian Zionism and Settler Colonialism

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Rev. Don Wagner
A recent presentation with Rev. Don Wagner who looks at Christian Zionism and how settler colonialism have influenced attitudes about Middle East policy in the United States.

By Rev. Don Wagner | Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  |  Sept 17, 2020

Christian Zionism’s political profile has been elevated to new heights during the Trump-Netanyahu alliance. But who is really setting the agenda? And at what cost?

Rev. Donald E. Wagner, is the author of “Zionism and the Quest for Justice in the Holy Land.” Until recently, historical and political accounts of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have ignored or understated the influence of Christian Zionism in British and U.S. policy in the Middle East. Reverend Wagner examines Christian Zionism in relation to Britain’s 1917 Balfour Declaration during the British Empire and how “Manifest Destiny” and settler colonialism have influenced attitudes about Middle East policy in the United States.

Continue reading “Video: Christian Zionism and Settler Colonialism”

U.S. weighs labeling leading human rights groups ‘anti-Semitic’

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Amnesty International USA’s interim executive director said any allegations of anti-Semitism were “baseless.”. (photo: Dan Kitwood / Getty Images)
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is pushing for the declaration, according to a congressional aide with contacts inside the State Department.

By Nahal Toosi  |  Politico  |  Oct 21, 2020

“Criticizing government policy is not the same as attacking a specific group of people. For example, our critiques of U.S. government policy do not make us anti-American.“
—  Eric Goldstein, Human Rights Watch 

The Trump administration is considering declaring that several prominent international NGOs — including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Oxfam — are anti-Semitic and that governments should not support them, two people familiar with the issue said.

The proposed declaration could come from the State Department as soon as this week. If the declaration happens, it is likely to cause an uproar among civil society groups and might spur litigation. Critics of the possible move also worry it could lead other governments to further crack down on such groups. The groups named, meanwhile, deny any allegations that they are anti-Semitic.

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Israel arrests Palestinian journalist in West Bank

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Abdelrahman al-Thaher, 38, is Palestinian journalist and filmmaker from Nablus (photo: Screengrab)
Filmmaker Abdelrahman al-Thaher is one of more than 20 Palestinian journalists reportedly currently detained by Israel.

By Middle East Eye staff | Middle East Eye |  Oct 27, 2020

‘We condemn the arrest of journalists, we affirm the freedom of journalists to do their work and we call on the (Israeli) occupying forces to immediately release Abdelrahman and all fellow journalists,’
— The Palestine International Forum for Information and Communication

Israeli forces on Tuesday arrested Palestinian journalist and filmmaker Abdelrahman al-Thaher at his home in the city of Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank.

Rasha al-Sayeh, Thaher’s wife, told Middle East Eye that the family woke up to the sounds of military jeeps and then heavy knocks on the doors of nearby houses at 2am, before soldiers arrived at their house and Thaher opened the door.

“The Israeli officer asked [Thaher] if he was ‘the famous journalist’,” Sayeh said. “He then requested to search the study and his personal belongings.”

Continue reading “Israel arrests Palestinian journalist in West Bank”