Archbishop says desecration of Jerusalem cemetery a ‘hate crime’

Jerusalem’s Anglican Archbishop Hosam Naoum has called the desecration of a Protestant cemetery in Jerusalem a “clear hate crime,” days after Israel swore in the most far-right government in the country’s history. Two unidentified men broke into Jerusalem’s Protestant Mount Zion Cemetery and desecrated more than 30 graves on Sunday, local media reported. Security footage circulated on social media shows one man of Orthodox Jewish appearance entering the graveyard, pushing over a cross-shaped tombstone and smashing it with rocks with the help of a second man. The graveyard, founded in 1848 and maintained by local communities, contains the graves of 73 men of the Palestine police service who were killed during the second world war. It is also the burial place of many senior Christian leaders including Samuel Gobat, the former bishop of Jerusalem.

— source Jews For Justice For Palestinians | Jan 5, 2023

Nullius in verba


Lost and Found

It used to be said that I had a steel trap memory. But, much to my frustration and grief, it once failed me. In response to a question after a talk I gave on the Israel-Palestine conflict, I noted that the notion of “tough Jews” was pervasive in Zionist discourse, citing Professor Paul Breines’ book Tough Jews: Political Fantasies and the Moral Dilemma of American Jewry. I then went on to note that the character named Ari Ben Canaan in Leon Uris’ novel Exodus gestured to this appeal of Aryan physical types. I was immediately assailed on this point by Alan Dershowitz, who ran with it in order to discredit my academic bona fides. For example, during my tenure case at DePaul University, Dershowitz sent every member of DePaul’s faculty and administration a sixty (60) page dossier (half of it single-spaced, half double-spaced) in order to persuade DePaul that I was a crackpot. Among the allegations was this item, which I am quoting in full:

— source | Norman Finkelstein | Feb 2, 2023

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Israel’s Fraudulent Notion of ‘Jewish Democracy’ Has Been Exposed

The word “lessons” is ominous. It implies that something went wrong, yet at the same time harbors the hope that we may be able to correct the fault, if we can only understand it. Still, what are the lessons of last November’s election in Israel?

Before turning to the issue at hand, I will address one question, the response to which can help us understand what lessons are to be gleaned from the political earthquake that is rocking Israel: Were the election results an “accident” caused by the negligence, amateurishness and arrogance of the political leaders of the “camp of change” during their brief period in power, or do they reflect an intractable tendency that would, sooner or later, have overtaken Israeli politics?

My answer to this question is that, were it not for the inept leadership of what is now the opposition, in setting up its reelection bid this past fall, it might have been possible to delay the rise of the extreme right. At the same time, the election results stem from two causes: first, the long-term strategy of the extreme right, which has been acting vigorously for years to radically transform, and undermine the democratic character of, Israeli society; and, second, demographic trends that appear, for now at least, to be irreversible (though we must always be leery of demographic forecasts and projections, which are far more complex and volatile than they may appear). What, then, are the lessons that can be gleaned from the election?

Lesson 1: Like many other examples of settler nationalism, the history of Zionism is a chronicle of force that is required to overcome an indigenous population. The history of

— source Jews For Justice For Palestinians | Eva Illouz | Feb 5, 2023

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Why Is AIPAC Spending Millions to Beat Democratic Socialist Summer Lee

Today is the final full day of campaigning before the midterm elections that will determine which party will control the House and Senate.

In Texas, the former labor organizer and Austin City Councilmember Greg Casar is running in a district that stretches from San Antonio to Austin.

In Illinois, Democrat Delia Ramirez is running in the newly redrawn 3rd District. She’s a progressive state representative, the daughter of Guatemalan immigrants.

And in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, state Representative Summer Lee, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, is running on the Democratic ticket to replace the retiring longtime congressman, Democrat Mike Doyle. The race has confused many voters, because Lee’s Republican opponent has the same name as the Democratic lawmaker who is retiring: Mike Doyle. And his latest ad doesn’t say he’s a Republican, but says “a name you can trust.” AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, has spent millions of dollars trying to defeat Summer Lee. The group’s political action committee, the United Democracy Project, spent close to $3 million during the primary against Lee, has now spent over $680,000

— source | Nov 07, 2022

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Learning the wrong lessons from the Holocaust

Anti-Judaism is ancient, while the term “antisemitism” is relatively new. It was coined in the last third of the 19th century and was first used to great political and cultural effect by the German radical writer and activist Wilhelm Marr in 1879. It signaled a turning point in the history of Jew-hatred, marking a division — though never firmed up, and always commingling and overlapping — between the classical, Christian hatred of Jews and modern, politically-rooted racist attitudes.

The term emerged and gained popularity as a reaction to the newly-won equality of Jews in Germany and other European countries. Antisemitism was a rallying cry against the rights of Jews, who were a defenseless minority, much as the movement against antisemitism was a movement for minority rights. With all the complexity of the term — as it manifested in politics, society, and culture — there was broad agreement among Jews and Jew-haters about its meaning: antisemitism meant the denial of Jews’ rights as a minority — whether their legal rights or even their right to live at all. There was, in other words, a consensus about what the term antisemitism meant — especially after the Holocaust.

How, then, has “antisemitism” evolved into such a contested term over the last generation, particularly among Jews? Indeed, there is perhaps no term whose definition so divides Jews these days. At the same time, among some European and American non-Jews there has

— source | Alon Confino | Feb 2, 2023

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Norwegian Refugee Council Warns Israel

Israel is holding its fifth national election today in less than four years. The election could result in former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returning to power, even though he’s currently on trial for corruption.

The election comes at a time of an increasingly deadly Israeli crackdown on the occupied West Bank, where the Israeli military has been carrying out near-nightly raids. At least 125 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank so far this year, including dozens of children. Meanwhile, Amnesty International is calling on the International Criminal Court to investigate Israel for committing possible war crimes in Gaza during its deadly assault in August.

I’ve been back now to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, where I have traveled for 45 years. And I must say it’s one of the bleakest visits I’ve had, in part because there is no peace process at all, there is no reconciliation between the two neighbors, and there is more settler violence against Palestinian civilians. There are more house demolitions of Palestinian homes, and there are more of our aid programs, aid projects, aid structures that are being demolished by the occupying power.

— source | Nov 01, 2022

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Free Speech Issue in US

The ACLU has just asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn an Arkansas law that requires all state contractors to sign a pledge declaring they will not boycott Israel. Arkansas is one of 35 U.S. states that have passed legislation to criminalize or discourage BDS. That’s the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which seeks to boycott Israel and Israeli goods to protest violations of Palestinian rights. The ACLU originally sued Arkansas on behalf of Alan Leveritt, the publisher of the Arkansas Times. He appears in the new documentary Boycott.

For us, it’s just basically a free speech issue. The state of Arkansas is requiring us to take a political position in return for advertising. We’re taxpayers here in Arkansas. We have as much right as anyone else to do business, to earn that business on our merits. And we’re being told that, “No, you have to also take a political position. You have to pass a political litmus test in order to do business.” And so, when we refused to sign and the state started shutting down our advertising, our state advertising, we sued. So, for us, it’s just — we’re not boycotting anyone; for us, it’s purely a First Amendment issue. This is still America.

— source | Oct 24, 2022

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