Tag Archive | "Palestine"

Palestine and Israel

A friend, who is strongly progressive, was born in Israel. Her parents moved to the US when she was twelve. Some years ago I asked her about Palestine. She said, “I was twelve. All I knew was they were Palestinians and they were trying to kill us.”

Another friend is Palestinian and was born in Israel. Because she was born in Israel and not the occupied areas, she can travel freely when she goes to Israel. Her relatives who were born in the occupied areas now live in prisons like Gaza. Some have been in the camps for years. She can visit them only with great difficulty, if at all.

Two good people. Both progressives. They’d probably like each other if they met. But if they were back in Israel they would almost certainly be on warring sides.

In my view, hardliner zealots like Hamas and Netanyahu don’t want peace. They benefit from war and are well-protected from its carnage. They aren’t the ones getting maimed.

However, there can not and will not be peace in the Middle East until Palestinians have a place to call home. And Israel’s reaction is, as always, massive and brutal overkill. But did Hamas think Israel would not respond in such a manner when the rockets reached Tel Aviv?

Posted in News

Extreme Zionist bus ad in New York – before and after


It should be noted that the Jewish Community Relations Council, the American Jewish Committee, and the Anti-Defamation League issued statements condemning the ads

Posted in News

Water apartheid in Palestine

Podcast from Aquanomics

You should listen to it if you want to know more about the “water apartheid” that Israel is practicing in the occupied territories, and the institutional, logistical and “capacity” constraints that the Palestinians have in taking care of their own water.*

Bottom Line: Palestine has enough problems with development, but Israel is not helping.

Posted in News

Ahhhummm… Newt

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, a stupid person’s idea of what a smart guy sounds like, said this week that Palestinians are an “invented” people, a position that could be seen as putting him at odds with the U.S. push for a two-state solution in the Middle East.

“Remember, there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire,” Gingrich told the Jewish Channel, which posted portions of the interview online on Friday. “And I think that we’ve have invented the Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs and are historically part of the Arab community, and they had the chance to go many places.”

Newt, a college professor of history, missed this (Justin Rivero):

Specific references to “Palestine” date back nearly five hundred years before “the time of Jesus.” In the 5th Century BCE, Herodotus, the first historian in Western civilization, referenced “Palestine” numerous times in chronicle of the ancient world, The Histories, including the following passage describing “Syrians of Palestine”:

“…they live in the coastal parts of Syria; and that region of Syria and all that lies between it and Egypt is called Palestine.” (VII.89) The above translation by Harry Carter is featured in the 1958 Heritage Press edition of Herodotus’ famous work. Both older and newer versions corroborate the accuracy of the reference. A. D. Godley’s 1920 translation of the crucial line states, “This part of Syria as far as Egypt is all called Palestine”, while Robin Waterfield’s 1998 updated Oxford translationrenders the passage this way: “This part of Syria, all the way to the border with Egypt, is known as Palestine.”

A hundred years later, in the mid-4th Century BCE, Aristotle made reference to the Dead Sea in his Meteorology.

Read the rest…

Posted in Imperialism

Lawsuit against Jimmy Carter’s book is assault on Freedom of Speech


A class action lawsuit has just been filed in New York against former U.S. President Jimmy Carter for his 2006 book, “Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid.” The suit, captioned Unterberg et al. v. Jimmy Carter et al., is the latest salvo from the right-wing activist Israel Law Center, which claims to be an “Israeli based civil right organization”.

According to the five individuals named in the complaint, Carter’s book is, “in fact demonstrably false, misleading, and deceptive,” and because they felt they were “sold” on Carter’s book being truthful, well, they felt they’ve been harmed, and in as much, have now sued the publisher Simon & Schuster, and the author, Jimmy Carter for $5 million dollars.

The fantastical nature of this lawsuit reminds me of the “birther” lawsuits, claiming President Obama wasn’t born in America and therefore disqualified to serve as her President.

This case, attempting to gag a Nobel Peace Prize winning former President, is just as absurd—however, the litigants do graciously offer an alternative where there wouldn’t be cause—if President Carter and Simon & Schuster only had promoted and sold the book as “the anti-Israel screed that it is.”

This misplaced pro-Israeli patriotism is a ridiculous waste of the court’s time and probably qualifies as a harassment lawsuit, which may result in the overly zealous parties having to pay Carter’s and Simon & Schuster’s legal fees. You cannot justify use of a state consumer protection statute to attack the US Constitution’s First Amendment protections for the mere publishing and sale of a book. That’s like trying to say a tugboat’s as big as an Aircraft Carrier. You can say it, but it isn’t.

Now, the people suing “wish to be clear” that they’re not suing to challenge President Carter’s right to publish a book, nor his right to “forward his virulently anti-Israeli bias”, but rather, they’re suing because he wrote a non-fiction book and claimed it to be so.

The suit was announced as, “…the first time a former President and a publishing house have been sued for violating consumer protection laws by knowingly publishing inaccurate information while promoting a book as factual.” That puts them out on a limb, for sure.

Continue reading on Examiner.com.

Posted in News

Healing collective trauma will lead to peace in the Holy Land

The author and Brit Olam founder, Ofer Lifschitz, visiting Western Wall in Jerusalem in 2004. Photo: (DeLear/Lifschitz)

There’s a common misperception that the constant state of warfare and conflict that besets the Holy Land, Eretz Israel, or in Arabic, Bilad Ash’ Sham, is a result of some cultural or racial flaw—“oh, they’ve been fighting for two thousand years, they’ll never stop.”

Even the most cursory examination of human history reveals skirmishes, battles, and wars, interwoven throughout our timeline, have been perpetrated by all religions, races, and cultures. People are people. And a kinder gentler human civilization can be had, but it has to be taught, and then walked.

As I observed in a report on the Holy Land in 2009—contrary to popular belief—history’s wars and military campaigns have been launched largely due to political agendas, power struggles, or naked resource/land grabs—and although often cloaked in religious trappings—religion has primarily been used as a war-making tool; to mobilize foot soldiers, and rally public opinion when necessary.

Humans are pack animals (viz. “leader of the pack”, not “backpack”), and in modern civilization, we have been arranged into herds within herds; overlapping groupings and interchangeable associations, class, race, religion. But in order to change the perpetual dynamic of two warring peoples, polarized, locked in conflict—efforts must be taken to bring the poles together. This can be accomplished through education by blurring ethnocentric distinctions, emphasizing the universality of what it means to be human—our basic needs, hopes, and dreams. A facet of this ‘coming together’ process involves a sincere effort to understand the life experiences and background of the different societies at play—to be aware—and especially—to empathize with individual and/or group trauma.

While working with an inspiring new organization called the Euphrates Institute, founder Janessa Gans relayed a profound concept from Palestinian nonviolence activist Sami Awad with the Holy Land Trust

“It is up to the Palestinians to do what the international community has failed to do for the Jewish people: to heal the trauma they have experienced.”

Read the whole article

Posted in News

Tom Friedman to Israel. You’re driving drunk

Message from America to the Israeli government: Friends don’t let friends drive drunk. And right now, you’re driving drunk. You think you can embarrass your only true ally in the world, to satisfy some domestic political need, with no consequences? You have lost total contact with reality. Call us when you’re serious. We need to focus on building our country.

Haaretz echoes the sentiment.

Netanyahu is trading Israeli security for right-wing ideology

There is one reason for the crisis: Netanyahu’s persistence in continuing construction in East Jerusalem, in placing Jews in Arab neighborhoods and evicting Palestinians from their homes in the city

Clinton made clear to Netanyahu that it was impossible to expand Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem and also enjoy America’s friendship. Netanyahu’s flip-flopping games have come to an end. Even at the price of risks involving domestic party politics, he should opt for what is in the national interest and act to strengthen American support for Israel.

Israel needs to realize without the economic and military support of the US that it would be smoking rubble. Then act accordingly. And the US needs to put rights of Palestinians equal with those of Israelis. Palestinian had their land was stolen from them. They need a place to call home. There will not be peace until they do.

Both quotes via Andrew Sullivan.

Posted in News

Heart of Jenin. Palestinian father of son killed by Israeli troops donated his organs to Israeli children

Ismael Khatib

Andy Carling tells about the documentary film, Heart of Jenin.

One year later, [the father, Ismael Khatib] toured round Israel in the company of German film maker, Marcus Vetter, and visited five of the children who had received transplants. Asked why, Khatib said, “It’s not about politics, about Jews or Arabs, it’s about human beings. I see my son in these children.” The resulting film, Heart of Jenin, is neither mawkish or sentimental, but uncomfortable viewing, dealing with the divides between peoples and the complexities of individual responses to the conflict.

Both Israeli and Palestinian film festivals initially refused to show it then relented.

Posted in News

Jimmy Carter: Palestinians treated ‘like animals’

“The starving of 1.5 million human beings of the necessities of life — never before in history has a large community like this been savaged by bombs and missiles and then denied the means to repair itself,” Carter said at a UN school graduation ceremony in Gaza City.

Posted in News

Israeli troops describe shooting Gaza civilians

From The Guardian, citing Israeli newspaper reports

Striking testimony has emerged from Israeli soldiers involved in the recent Gaza war, in which they describe shooting unarmed civilians, sometimes under orders from their officers.

Posted in News

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