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
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
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.
Israeli journalist @DavidSheen tells the shocking story of how the fascist Kahanist extremists suspected of murdering
Palestinian American activist Alex Odeh in a terrorist bomb attack in California in 1985 are living openly in Israel
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.
Last week’s vote at the United Nations marked a watershed. For the first time, the UN’s principal judicial organ was asked to give an opinion on the legality of Israel’s 55-year occupation of Palestinian territory – namely East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.
The United Nations’ Special Political and Decolonization Committee approved a nine-page draft resolution on Israeli practices and settlement activities affecting the rights of the Palestinian people to request a second advisory opinion – comprised of two questions – from the International Court of Justice.
The first question queries the legal consequences arising from Israel’s ongoing violation of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, given its prolonged occupation, settlement and annexation of Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including measures aimed at altering the demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem.
The second question asks about the affect these policies have on the legal status of the occupation and the legal consequences that arise for all states and the UN from that status.
According to the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs: “In banning access to the Temple Mount, the chief rabbis were following Maimonides’ view that the Shechinah (Divine Presence) is still present at the spot of the Temple.
“Entry to it is forbidden and punishable with kareth (death by heavenly decree), given that Jews are in a state of ritual uncleanliness today in the absence of a red heifer, the ashes of which are required for the purifying process.”
The majority of Orthodox Jews have respected the Rabbinate’s ban and, though there have been numerous exceptions over the centuries, for the most part, Jewish prayer has been isolated to the Western Wall.
When did the current debate over Jewish worship begin?
In 1967, Israel seized the Old City of Jerusalem from Jordan, including the holy sites, and has occupied it ever since. The management of the Islamic sites was left in the hands of the