As is typical in election years, a huge amount of nonsense dominates the airwaves and internet. From Trump’s latest Muslim baiting or immigrant bashing, to the GOP’s continued efforts to make big issues out of Benghazi and Hillary’s e-mail foul-ups, most of this is truly irrelevant. Among the issues almost never given the truly serious, sustained and coherent attention it deserves is our country’s Middle East policy.
If you pay attention to the odd corners of the media, you will see more and more articles about how the Democratic Party is abandoning its decades of kneejerk, unconditional support for Israel. In most places, this development is decried. In reality, it is the best thing that could happen to both Israel and the US.
The Zionist/AIPAC driven side of the argument desperately wants to spin this development as a result of week-kneed, misguided liberals reneging on a historic friendship—that is pure and rather ugly propaganda. The real issue for progressives, and hopefully for average Americans, is not whether to stand with Israel, but what kind of Israel to stand for. Those Zionists pleading for unconditional support are merely helping drive their country further into the grip of its rising fascist elements.
It appears that this issue may result in a serious platform fight in the Democratic Party this summer. If that is so, it is just another thank you that the party owes to Bernie Sanders. A levelheaded reassessment of our alliance with Israel is long overdue.
Hedy Epstein, 91, died at her home in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, on May 26, 2016. An internationally renowned, respected and admired advocate for human and civil rights, Hedy was encircled by friends who lovingly cared for her at home.
Born August 15, 1924, in the Bavarian region of Germany, her lifelong commitment to human rights was formed by the horrific experiences she and her family endured under the repressive Nazi regime.
Read more: Hedy Epstein 1924-2016
Annual US report on human rights says nearly half of Palestinians killed by Israel were not carrying out attacks, and many times did not pose a threat to life
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration accused Israel of using excessive force against Palestinians during a wave of deadly violence, in an annual report that pointed to a global decline in human rights.
The annual report by the State Department into human rights abuses around the world accused Israeli forces of “excessive use of force” in the Palestinian territories, and “arbitrary arrest and associated torture and abuse, often with impunity,” by the IDF, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.
According to numbers cited in the report, 149 Palestinians were killed in 2015 by Israeli security forces, but only 77 were in the course of attacking Israelis.
“There were numerous reports of the ISF (Israel security forces) killing Palestinians during riots, demonstrations, at checkpoints, and during routine operations; in some cases they did not pose a threat to life,” the report read.
The Israeli authorities must end their long-standing attacks on Palestinian human rights defenders (HRDs) and halt the climate of intimidation of HRDs in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), Amnesty International said today. Israeli authorities must take immediate steps to provide protection necessary for HRDs in Israel/OPT to carry out their work freely and without fear of attacks and harassment. Attacks and threats against HRDs must be investigated and those responsible must be held to account.
Read Amnesty International's report here!
We applaud the recent decision of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) to divest from several companies complicit in violations of Palestinian human rights, including Hewlett Packard Enterprise, HP Inc., Motorola Solutions, and Caterpillar. The adoption of the UUA's Human Rights in Conflict Zones investment screen sends a powerful message promoting human rights to companies operating throughout the world. The implementation of the screen also provides an inspiring model for other faith-based communities in the United States. Not only do we thank you for this critical effort, we strongly support the passing of the Proposed Business Resolution: Divestment from Corporations Complicit in the Violation of Palestinian Rights at the Unitarian Universalists 2016 General Assembly
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