|CORVALLIS: Documentary film: The People and the Olive|
Friday May 31st 07:00PM - 09:00PM
|CORVALLIS: An Evening with Amani Inshasi, Palestinian food, auction|
Thursday June 6th 07:00PM - 09:30PM
|Kairos Palestine: A Moment of Truth, a Three Session Study|
Sunday June 9th 09:00AM - 10:00AM
MARCH 9, 2013, 7:30 PM
On Questioning the Jewish State
By JOSEPH LEVINE
I was raised in a religious Jewish environment, and though we were not strongly Zionist, I always took it to be self-evident that “Israel has a right to exist.” Now anyone who has debated the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will have encountered this phrase often. Defenders of Israeli policies routinely accuse Israel’s critics of denying her right to exist, while the critics (outside of a small group on the left, where I now find myself) bend over backward to insist that, despite their criticisms, of course they affirm it. The general mainstream consensus seems to be that to deny Israel’s right to exist is a clear indication of anti-Semitism (a charge Jews like myself are not immune to), and therefore not an option for people of conscience.
Over the years I came to question this consensus and to see that the general fealty to it has seriously constrained open debate on the issue, one of vital importance not just to the people directly involved — Israelis and Palestinians — but to the conduct of our own foreign policy and, more important, to the safety of the world at large. My view is that one really ought to question Israel’s right to exist and that doing so does not manifest anti-Semitism. The first step in questioning the principle, however, is to figure out what it means.One problem with talking about this question calmly and rationally is that the phrase “right to exist” sounds awfully close to “right to life,” so denying Israel its right to exist sounds awfully close to permitting the extermination of its people. In light of the history of Jewish persecution, and the fact that Israel was created immediately after and largely as a consequence of the Holocaust, it isn’t surprising that the phrase “Israel’s right to exist” should have this emotional impact. But as even those who insist on the principle will admit, they aren’t claiming merely the impermissibility of exterminating Israelis. So what is this “right” that many uphold as so basic that to question it reflects anti-Semitism and yet is one that I claim ought to be questioned? Read more: Can Israel be Jewish and democratic?
Read more: Hagel , AIPAC and S RES 65 or What it Means to Represent the US
The recent struggle over the nomination of Chuck Hagel for defense secretary is highly instructive and demands some attention from every responsible American citizen. Hagel is a Republican, but members of his own party, operating on the principle that they must oppose everything Obama does, savaged Hagel. Their excuse was primarily that Hagel has been “soft on supporting Israel.”
The fact is, he really never has—he has merely pointed out that he was elected to serve US interests, NOT Israeli interests. It is a distinction that is apparently lost on many of his GOP colleagues, especially those who vacuously preach that there should be “no daylight” between the US and Israel. Hagel might be a good pick at defense precisely because he can (and does) make that distinction. Of course he also said that AIPAC “intimidates” those it disagrees with. While they fiercely objected to this, they then showed their displeasure by a very public demonstration of intimidation. Ironic. It rather proves Hagels’s point.
Oddly (because he has been so idiotic over Susan Rice and the Benghazi affair), John McCain, while criticizing Hagel, made a distinction that is even more noteworthy—he said that the American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC) wasn’t a “Jewish lobby” but an “Israeli Lobby.” This is a rare grain of truth—and one with huge implications.
As a lobby for a foreign country, AIPAC would normally have to play by the strict rules that restrict lobbyists from foreign countries from gaining undue influence in the US. But by posing for years as a generic “Jewish Lobby” (representing American Jews) AIPAC has always been oddly exempted from that requirement. The result is something every American should worry about.
Israel’s Treatment of Palestinians parallels the treatment of Blacks in the Jim Crow South.
[This article was originally published without the maps in the Electronic Intifada]
The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham, Alabama does a good job of showing what blacks endured before the civil rights victories of the 1960s. I visited there last fall and was especially struck by one particular image - a 1926 map of the small and isolated patches of Birmingham where city zoning regulations allowed blacks to live (Fig. 1). What struck me was the similarity of this map to maps of the isolated patches of the West Bank and East Jerusalem where Palestinians are allowed to live (Fig. 2). The map then made me think about other similarities between the oppression of blacks in the Jim Crow South and Israel’s present-day oppression of Palestinians.
Read more: Israel’s Treatment of Palestinians parallels the treatment of Blacks in the Jim Crow South.
by Josh Ruebner, author, Why Obama failed to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace
The long-dreaded sequestration has arrived, bringing with it potentially catastrophic consequences for governmental programs designed to benefit those most in need. The NAACP estimates these across-the-board cuts will result in 100,000 fewer low-income children being prepared for school through Head Start, 17 million fewer “Meals-on-Wheels” delivered to seniors suffering from food insecurity, and 1.6 million fewer unemployed Americans served through job training, education, and employment services.
Yet, as thousands of “Israel-first” citizen lobbyists descend on Capitol Hill tomorrow as part of the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) — the largest and most influential of the many groups comprising the “Israel lobby” — concern for these millions of Americans will not be on its legislative agenda. Instead, AIPAC will be lobbying to avert the impact of sequestration on record-breaking levels of U.S. military aid to Israel. It will also be pushing for legislation to boost the U.S.-Israel “strategic alliance” and green light an Israeli attack on Iran, measures which will both inevitably entail demands for additional U.S. taxpayer-funded weapons to Israel.
Israel stands to lose approximately $250 million of its $3.1 billion military aid package from the United States under the terms of the sequestration. The Jewish Week calls AIPAC’s gambit to exempt these cuts a “very risky strategy at a time when millions of Americans will be feeling the bite of the sequestration debacle,” which “could easily backfire and damage Israel far more than any cuts in its very generous grant aid program.”
Read more: 'Israel lobby' to push for aid despite sequestration cuts
Young Palestinian father dies after Israeli interrogation in G4S-equipped prison
Submitted by Adri Nieuwhof on Sun, 02/24/2013
Arafat Jaradat died in Israel’s Megiddo prison yesterday after being interrogated by Israel’s internal security service Shin Bet, also known as the Shabak. After his arrest at midnight on 18 February, during which he was beaten, Jaradat was held at al-Jalame detention and interrogation center before being transferred to Megiddo prison.
Jaradat was arrested under the suspicion that he was involved in stone-throwing that had wounded an Israeli settler in the occupied West Bank, reported Ma’an News Agency, citing a Shin Bet statement.
Today, Jaradat’s father identified his son’s body.
The Palestinian minister in charge of prisoners’ affairs, Issa Qaraqe, called for “an international investigation into his death, that may have resulted from torture,” Ma’an reported.
Complaints of sharp pain
Al Jazeera English reports that an Israel Prisons Service spokesperson said that the death was probably caused by a cardiac arrest (an autopsy report contradicts the Israeli authorities’ findings — see the update below). During an interrogation session on Thursday, Jaradat was examined “numerous times” by a doctor and no health problems were found so the procedure continued, said the Shin Bet in a statement cited by Ma’an.
But the Shin Bet also stated that Jadarat suffered from health problems prior to his arrest, including back aches and injuries in his leg and stomach, sustained from a rubber bullet and a tear gas canister, according to Ma’an.
However Jaradat’s family told Ma’an that Arafat was in good health before his arrest and did not suffer from any diseases or health conditions.According to the International Middle East Media Cente, Jaradat’s attorney Kamil Sabbagh said that Jaradat had “complained to him of sharp pain in the back and other parts of his body due to ongoing and extensive interrogation.” Read more: Israeli torture killed Palestinian prisoner, autopsy indicates
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