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Friday 3 August 2018

Jews now have ‘a duty to oppose Israel,’ David Rothkopf

“For American Jews we have gone from a duty to support Israel to a duty to question Israel to a duty to oppose Israel. This law did that,” foreign policy maven David Rothkopf wrote yesterday, about the new law declaring Israel the “nation-state of the Jewish people.”

Tuesday 10 April 2018

passover - I have an order

passover - pass over from order to goodness -
asking what is good instead of blind obidience

"My original thought was to ask the question how many soldiers would refuse to carry out that order today, and what the Court would do. On the one hand, the soldiers who refused the order acted in the tradition of the Hebrew midwives who disobeyed Pharaoh.  The midwives are an essential part of the Exodus story and I mention the every year in my “Haggadah Inserts.”  On the other hand, I thought that it is not feasible for an army to be based on every soldier judging every order, and not fair to compare even some of the orders that I see as immoral with intentionally shooting and killing those who are not posing a danger to anybody.
However, things have changed since last Friday.  (Not that there have been other somewhat comparable situations during the ensuing years.) I don’t pretend to know what actually happened on the Gaza border.  As a long time human rights activist, I know that we too must be very careful about running to draw conclusions, and the proper thing to do at this point is to demand a transparent independent Israeli investigation.  I hope that such an investigation will not only look at what happened last Friday, but also ask whether alternatives such as ending the Gaza closure might have prevented last Friday from taking place at all.   I do know that our Defense Minister seems to be saying that the army’s live fire orders include shooting to kill an unarmed person approaching the security fence, and will not change.  Our fellow human rights organization “B’Tselem is publicly reminding soldiers that they must disobey illegal orders, while Defense Minister Lieberman is calling B’Tselem’s action “sedition.”
We might be better off looking at what happens on a daily basis, and not at such an extreme and extraordinary case.  Those of you who follow me on facebook know that for the past several weeks (actually much longer) we (Torat Tzedek and Ta’ayush) have been intensively dealing with how the power of the Jewish State manifests itself in control over the lives of Palestinian shepherds in the Jordan Valley.  These aren’t the worst human rights violation we deal with.  It isn’t shoot to kill orders.  This isn’t villages with an immediate threat of being wiped out, such as Susya, Umm Al Hiran or Al Araqib. Arguably there is a  greater threat to Israelis living in poverty, and in need of a roof over their heads.  However what is awful in the case of the Jordan Valley is the banal, thoughtless normality and regularity of settlers instructing the army to issue non-security related closure orders for the sole purpose of keeping Palestinians out of what they have decided is their territory. A gun and an order allows soldiers to unquestioningly embitter the lives of Palestinian shepherds, and make it harder for them to earn a living.


Recognizing that maintaining a state and an army would be impossible if we were all midwives and Nakhshons, I would at least like to see more of us following the seder tradition of asking questions.  One of my favorite buttons that I wore as a college student was “Question Authority,” and every year in our freedom seders with asylum seekers we sing Bob Marley’s Redemption Song, “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery.  None but ourselves can free our minds.” We also need to emancipate the goodness and decency that I know is deep inside my fellow Israelis, even if sometimes it is hidden.
For us to truly free our minds and navigate the changes we must go through with self awareness, we ought to remember that our sages never intended the four questions to be the only questions we ask on seder night.  They were merely examples.  We must certainly ask “Ma Nishtana – What has changed.”  We should also be asking “Maduah histanah-Why have we changed,” “Ha’Im ha’shinuim tovim-Have the changes been good,” “Eikh anakhnu rotzim lhishtanot-How do we wish to change,” and “Eikh ani torem/et l’shinui sh’anakhnu rotzim?-How do I contribute to the change we desire.”  Seder night has passed, but on the seventh day of Passover we jump into the water."

Saturday 7 April 2018

the great return march

the great return march:
killed for protesting for human right -
extensive information to know about
from jewish voice for peace.

Tuesday 26 December 2017

Jerusalem - by Faysal Mikdadi

On the 26th May 1967, using money borrowed from my stepmother after swearing her to secrecy because I lived in unjustified terror of a very kind Dad, I boarded a flight to Jerusalem. Being then administered by Jordan, I was able to enter the city using my Lebanese identity card.

I explained to my stepmother that I had two reasons for wishing to visit Jerusalem: Firstly, I wanted to see my First True Love who was studying at Beir Zeit University and to bring her back to safety in Beirut. Secondly, with the overwhelming sabre rattling on both sides, I was convinced that there was going to be a war with Israel. I was also absolutely certain that we were going to lose that war because we were disunited, chaotic, backward, leaderless and stupidly tribal. Israel was united, purposeful, technologically years ahead of us and, of course, it had the unconditional support of the most powerful ally in the world; the United States. We had the dubious support of a morally and economically bankrupt Soviet Union who had betrayed Marx’s ideology and who would happily trade off the whole Arab World for its backyard in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and others.

I walked the streets of Old Jerusalem trying to piece together the forthcoming catastrophe. I felt deeply distressed to have this defeatist attitude. I felt as if I were betraying my national homeland - Palestine. However, I was really being a pragmatist facing realities that I could clearly see around me.

Every moment of my two days walking the streets of Jerusalem is deeply etched in my memory. I can still see faces that then only passed me by. I can still see wide eyes staring into the coming abyss seemingly unaware of its destructive force. I can even see that Palestinian woman in her colourful national costume laughingly urging me to taste her neatly arranged red Palestinian tomatoes. “My boys watered them with their pouring sweat day in day out...” I remember laughing as my heart was fit to burst.
I wanted to shout out warnings of what was coming. Cassandra like I knew that I was right and that no one would believe me - some mythical god’s punishment that has haunted me all my life.

After the Six Day War, I left Beirut vowing to live in my British exile. For years I refused to speak Arabic. I mistakenly omitted to teach it to my children. I wrongly gave up on my heritage - even my family. It was as if all the wrongs done to Palestine were personal to me and I invoked a plague of all their houses: Israeli, Palestinian, Egyptian, Syrian, Lebanese and all things Arab. The quintessential and misguided self-hating Arab was born in 1967... I recently met a regular long time contributor to the New Yorker


please go on reading here:

Friday 31 March 2017

Ben Ferencz, Prosecutor at the Nuremberg Nazi Trials


Looking back, what does the last surviving prosecutor at the Nazi Nuremberg trials think they achieved? 98-year-old Ben Ferencz helped liberate the death camps in Europe when he was serving in the US military. Himself a Jew from central Europe, he speaks to Zeinab Badawi in Florida about what he has learnt in his long life

Saturday 25 March 2017

Israel ist ein Apartheidstaat

Ein historischer UN-Bericht verurteilte erstmals die verbrecherische Besatzung Palästinas und die von Rassismus durchsetzte Politik Israels als „Apartheid.“ Auch wenn der Bericht auf Druck der USA und Israels zurückgezogen wurde, entspricht die Einschätzung der Realität. Die Situation vor Ort zeichnet ein klares Bild: Israel ist ein Apartheidstaat.