Archive for the ‘Israel Apartheid’ Category

Tuesday July 4, 2017 – Israel Hayom


Israel Hayom
Tuesday July 4, 2017
Israel Hayom
MK Aida Touma-Sliman tells U.N. conference marking “50 years of occupation” that “there can be no social justice with the oppression of an entire people” MK Oren Hazan: If Israel were an apartheid state, Touma-Sliman would have been locked up long

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Tuesday July 4, 2017 – Israel Hayom

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Modi’s visit to Israel is an extension of his anti-Muslim politics – DailyO

On May 16, 2014, when the result of the Indian general election was announced, I was in Israel for a lecture tour. Narendra Modis victory prompted me to spend that day in Jaffa, the ancient port city in the southern part of Tel Aviv and famous for its oranges.

Jaffa, predominantly a Palestinian city, came under Israeli occupation after the 1948 war and thousands of Palestinians were forced to flee.

Now, one third of Jaffas population still comprises Palestinians. In Israel, Jaffa has been one of the few areas where Muslims and Jews have co-existed now for decades, but the influx of Israeli hardliners in this decade and with them the rigid Zionist ideology has made the situation quite volatile.

The citys Arab population is living in a terrible condition or gradually being forced to move out. The state supported Israelisation of Jaffa has made it a powder keg situated next to Israels capital.

Benjamin Netanyahu, the second longest serving Prime Minister in Israels history after David Ben-Gurion, is a right-wing hardliner, who has made his political career by portraying Palestinians as an existential threat to the Jewish state of Israel.

He has thrived on playing the politics of fear, vilifying Arabs and demonising Muslims. Thanks to his brand of politics, not only in Jaffa but a million of Arab Israelis in the whole country have been forced to the edge.

Like Netanyahu in Israel, Modi is pursuing his far-right politics in India while fanning anti-Muslim sentiment. Hindu nationalists in India revere Israel for the successful domination of its Muslim neighbourhood.

They not only envisage India following Israels apartheid model to deal with the minorities at home, but also always dream of turning India into an aggressive state like Israel in the region.

In the pursuit of that aggressive nationalist agenda, Modi has not only gone on a shopping binge of readymade military hardware, but is also promoting some of his industrialist cronies without previous experience in the arms production sector to collaborate with foreign arms manufacturers for joint production in the name of Make in India. 2017 has already become a record year of Israeli weapons sales to India.

Modi has no plan to travel to Ramallah for a customary meeting with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas as most world leaders visiting Israel do. Photo: Reuters

In April 2016, Israels Aerospace Industries (IAI) received its largest ever defense contract of $1.6 billion from the Indian Army forthe land-based version of the Barak 8 air defence system. A month later, IAI signed another defence contract of $630 million with Bharat Electronics (BEL) for its naval version for four vessels.

During his visit, Modi might sign a deal worth about $500 million to purchase 8000 Spike anti-tank missiles. There is also the possibility of India finalising a $1 billion Phalcon deal as well.

India getting weapons from Israel is not a new development. Israel has supplied arms to India in the past when India had fought wars with China in 1962, and with Pakistan in 1965 and 1971. At the time of the Kargil War, Israel had also provided surveillance drones and laser-guided missiles to India.

However, until Modi became the Prime Minister, most of these defence transactions were done quietly. But Modi has abandoned that cautious and time-tested approach. Moreover, he is moving India away from its established policy of not compromising in its support to the Palestinian struggle.

India and Israel have maintained more than cordial relations for many decades in spite of Indias open and firm support for the Palestinian cause. Though both countries have established a diplomatic relationship since 1992 and Israel has become the third-largest arms supplier for India, behind only Russia and the US, it is for the first time a sitting Prime Minister of India is visiting Israel.

While undertaking this high-profile visit, Modi has no plan to travel down to Ramallah for a customary meeting with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas as most world leaders visiting Israel do. Even President Pranab Mukherjee in 2015 had first gone to the West Bank before travelling to Israel.

Since independence, India has maintained support for Palestine. Even Albert Einsteins request had not budged Jawaharlal Nehru in 1947 to provide support for the creation of the state of Israel. That year, India voted against the 1947 UN partition plan for Palestine, and only in 1950 recognised Israel.

Indias support for Palestine has been continuing since Nehrus time. This policy is not only in line with the sentiments of Indias largest religious minorities, but also standing with universal principles of justice and fairness and confirming to majority global opinion.

However, the RSS refuses to forgive Nehru for not turning India into a Hindu Pakistan, and considers Indias support for Palestine as part of Congress so-called appeasement policy towards Indian Muslims.

Modi by undertaking this official visit to Israel as PM and not including a trip to Ramallah is pandering to his Hindutva support base. His majoritarian politics thrives on taking political and policy positioning going against the sentiments of Muslim minorities. While he is avoiding a trip to the West Bank, he has found time to schedule a meeting with Moshe Holtzberg, the Israeli child who lost his parents in Nariman House in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack. That is to exhibit a faade of a common bond between India and Israel against Islamic extremism.

As an opinion piece in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz points out, Modi can afford to ignore the Palestinians. Modis Hindutva politics not only encourages him to ignore Palestine, but also to build an open alliance with Zionist forces.

Common hatred towards Muslims fuels a Netanyahu and Modi bromance and their partnership is bound to cause further anxiety among Indias minority population. However, Modi by promoting Israels Jaffa model in India hopes to strengthen his majoritarian support base, but it will come at the cost of peace and stability in the country.

Also read:Ahead of Modi’s visit, India and Israel can learn a lot from each other

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Modi’s visit to Israel is an extension of his anti-Muslim politics – DailyO

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U.N. report: Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid …

A report commissioned by the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia accuses Israel of racial segregation against Palestinians, compares Israel to the South African apartheid regime. Israels ambassador to the U.N.: The attempts to discredit the only democracy in the Middle East are shameful and bizarre.

A U.N. agency published a report today (Wednesday) accusing Israel of inflicting an apartheid regime based on racial discrimination against the Palestinian people. This is the first time that an agency representing the U.N. has come forth with such harsh accusations against Israel.

The report was commissioned by the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), one of six UN organizations dealing with economics and society. The council is comprised of eighteen Arab countries from Western Asia and its headquarters are located in Beirut.

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The head of the agency, ESCWA Executive Secretary Rima Khalaf, who also serves as U.N. Under-Secretary General, said that the report “clearly and frankly concludes that Israel is a racist state that has established an apartheid system. She went on to explain that the reports conclusions were based on scholarly inquiry and overwhelming evidence but added that only a ruling by an international tribunal in that sense would make such an assessment truly authoritative.

Israels ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon called for the Secretary General of the U.N to renounce the report. The attempts to discredit the only democracy in the Middle East are shameful and bizarre, Danon said. It is not surprising that the committee that chose for its leader someone who calls for the boycott of Israel and who compares Israel to the most horrific regimes in mankinds history would publish a report such as this one.

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Ehud Olmert, former Israeli prime minister, released from prison – CBS News

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert walks out of the prison door as he is released from prison after a parole board decided to cut his sentence by a third, at Maasiyahu prison near Ramle, Israel, July 2, 2017.

Walla!news/Rubi Kastro via REUTERS

JERUSALEM –Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert left prison early Sunday days after a parole board granted him early release from his 27-month corruption sentence.

Prison Service spokesman Assaf Librati said Olmert, 71, was whisked away by security and driven home after serving 16 months. Olmert appeared gaunt and pale as he left the facility.

Librati said the terms of Olmert’s early release stipulate that for the next few months he must do volunteer work, appear before police twice a month and not give interviews to the media or leave the country. Olmert will reportedly volunteer at a food bank and for a group that provides medical aid to needy families. However, President Reuven Rivlin could relieve him of the parole restrictions.

“We are very happy, a great burden has been lifted and a great sorrow and pain has ended,” Eti Livni, a friend of Olmert, told Army Radio.

Olmert was convicted in 2014 in a wide-ranging case that accused him of accepting bribes to promote a real-estate project in Jerusalem and obstructing justice. The charges pertained to a period when he was mayor of Jerusalem and trade minister before he became premier in 2006.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert speaks to the media after a hearing at the Supreme Court in Jerusalem December 29, 2015.

REUTERS

His departure from office in 2009 ended the last major Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts and ushered in the era of Benjamin Netanyahu.

Olmert was a longtime fixture in Israel’s hawkish right wing when he began taking a dramatically more conciliatory line toward the Palestinians more than a decade ago. He played a leading role in Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005 and became prime minister in January 2006 after then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a debilitating stroke. He resigned amid a corruption scandal that clouded his administration.

A gifted orator, Olmert broke a series of taboos while in office — warning that Israel could become like apartheid South Africa if it continued its occupation of the Palestinians and expressing readiness to relinquish parts of Jerusalem under a peace deal.

He led his government to the Annapolis peace conference in November 2007 — launching more than a year of ambitious, but ultimately unsuccessful U.S.-brokered talks.

Olmert has said he made unprecedented concessions to the Palestinians — including a near-total withdrawal from the West Bank and an offer to place Jerusalem’s Old City under international control — and was close to reaching an agreement at the time of his resignation.

Olmert was rushed to hospital with chest pains last month, but doctors ruled out a heart attack. A few days before that, Israel’s Justice Ministry asked the police to investigate whether Olmert committed a “criminal offense” while behind bars.

It said a book Olmert is writing touches on “sensitive security issues” and that his lawyer was caught leaving the prison with a chapter on “secret operations” not approved by the censor for publication. Police searched the publishing house of the Yediot Ahronot newspaper, but not the paper itself, over the incident.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked welcomed Olmert’s release, telling Army Radio he deserved to have his sentence reduced and that “all in all his behavior in prison was very good.”

A few hours after his release, a somber-looking Olmert was seen walking around a shopping mall in Tel Aviv. A public relations company representing the mall released photos of the former premier in a clothing store. It said people had greeted him and wished him well.

2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Ehud Olmert, former Israeli prime minister, released from prison – CBS News

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Israel’s ex-PM Ehud Olmert released from prison – USA TODAY

Ian Deitch, Associated Press Published 7:11 a.m. ET July 2, 2017 | Updated 7:46 a.m. ET July 2, 2017

In this Dec. 29, 2015 file photo, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert leaves the courtroom of the Supreme Court after the court ruled on his appeal in the Holyland corruption case in Jerusalem.(Photo: Debbie Hill, AP)

JERUSALEM – Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was released from prison early Sunday days after a parole board granted him early release from his 27-month corruption sentence.

Prison Service spokesman Assaf Librati said Olmert, 71, was whisked away by Israels security service after his release and driven home after serving 16 months.

He said the terms of Olmerts early release stipulate that for the next few months the former prime minister has to do volunteer work, must appear before police twice a month and cannot give interviews to the media or leave the country.

He added that President Reuven Rivlin could relieve him of the parole restrictions.

Olmert was convicted in 2014 in a wide-ranging case that accused him of accepting bribes to promote a real-estate project in Jerusalem and obstructing justice. The charges pertained to a period when he was mayor of Jerusalem and trade minister before he became premier in 2006.

His departure from office in 2009 ended the last major Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts and ushered in the era of Benjamin Netanyahu.

Olmert was a longtime fixture in Israels hawkish right wing when he began taking a dramatically more conciliatory line toward the Palestinians more than a decade ago. He played a leading role in Israels withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005 and became prime minister in January 2006 after then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a debilitating stroke. He resigned amid a corruption scandal that clouded his administration.

A gifted orator, Olmert broke a series of taboos while in office warning that Israel could become like apartheid South Africa if it continued its occupation of the Palestinians and expressing readiness to relinquish parts of Jerusalem under a peace deal.

He led his government to the Annapolis peace conference in November 2007 launching more than a year of ambitious, but ultimately unsuccessful U.S.-brokered talks.

Olmert has said he made unprecedented concessions to the Palestinians including a near-total withdrawal from the West Bank and an offer to place Jerusalems Old City under international control and was close to reaching an agreement at the time of his resignation.

Olmert was rushed to hospital with chest pains last month, but doctors ruled out a heart attack. A few days before that, Israels Justice Ministry asked the police to investigate whether Olmert committed a criminal offense while behind bars.

It said a book Olmert is writing touches on sensitive security issues and that his lawyer was caught leaving the prison with a chapter on secret operations not approved by the censor for publication. Police searched the publishing house of the Yediot Ahronot newspaper, but not the paper itself, over the incident.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked welcomed Olmerts release, telling Army Radio he deserved to have his sentence reduced and that all in all his behavior in prison was very good.

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Israel’s ex-PM Ehud Olmert released from prison – USA TODAY

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No One Does Anti-Israel Bias Quite Like the UN – National Review

In the early days of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Princeton professor Richard Falk was one of Ayatollah Khomeinis useful idiots. After meeting the future Iranian tyrant in Paris, Falk penned a New York Times op-ed praising him as an example for the rest of the third world to follow. Now, in 2017, Professor Falk has returned to praising the Ayatollah. I believe one of the lasting legacies of Imam Khomeini was to give authoritative priority to the Palestinian struggle, he told the Iranian state news agency Tasmin News last week, before going on to stress the importance of showing that people of conscience believe that the Palestinian struggle is worth waging and can be won.

What was Falk doing in the intervening years? Astonishingly, this Iranian sycophant, open supporter of the Palestinian struggle, and 9/11 truther was for six years the United Nations Human Rights Councils (UNHRC) lead investigator of Israeli human-rights abuses in the Palestinian territories. (Israel is the only nation, of course, which has a permanent U.N. Special Rapporteur dedicated to investigating it.)

Falk was back in the news in March, after authoring a U.N. report accusing Israel of apartheid. Pressure from U.S. ambassador Nikki Haley caused the report to be withdrawn, in what amounted to a major embarrassment for the U.N. But what did the leaders of the worlds foremost intergovernmental organization expect? In assigning Falk and people like him to adjudicate Israels actions, they showed that the U.N. has stopped even trying to hide its anti-Israel bias. Falk is, after all, who he is: the type of academic anti-imperialist who cannot help but believe the best about third-world revolutionaries and the worst about advanced democracies.

Falk sports an almost unblemished record of such hysteria. In 1979, he could not see that Ayatollah Khomeini was a dangerous theocrat. The depiction of him as fanatical, reactionary and the bearer of crude prejudices seems certainly and happily false, he wrote. The news media have defamed him. Gullible to the end, Falk mistook his dream for reality, explaining Iran may yet provide us with a desperately-needed model of humane governance for a third world country. And what if the Ayatollah was lying to him about all this, from his perch in Paris? Perish the thought. To suppose that Ayatollah Khomeini is dissembling seems almost beyond belief, Falk wrote.

By the end of 1979, Khomeini had made himself Supreme Leader and begun killing and arresting political opponents. Moreover, he had given crucial support to the students who raided the American embassy in Tehran, holding American hostages for 444 days.

Yet it is America that has long been the target of professor Falks ire. In 1973, he defended violent resisters of the Vietnam War, citing the Nuremberg trials as precedent. He claimed that Americans had a right and perhaps a duty to oppose the war by any means possible. He would again cite the trials of Nazi war criminals during the Iraq War, comparing the American war of aggression to a Crime against Peace of the sort for which surviving German leaders were indicted, prosecuted and punished at the Nuremburg trials conducted shortly after the Second World War.

Falks view of his own nation is so twisted that he believes America to have been involved in the 9/11 attacks. Between signing statements written by the group 9/11 Truth to writing the preface to one 9/11-conspiracist book and a whole chapter in another, Falk surely outed himself as a kook. In 2011, while working as the U.N. Special Rapporteur, he criticized the eerie silence of the mainstream media, unwilling to acknowledge the well-evidenced doubts about the official version of events: an al Qaeda operation with no foreknowledge by government officials. He subsequently insinuated that the neoconservatives, had been behind the attacks, explaining, It is possibly true that especially the neoconservatives thought there was a situation in the country and in the world where something had to happen to wake up the American people. Whether they are innocent about the contention that they made that something happen or not, I dont think we can answer definitively at this point.

Unsurprisingly, Falk is equally fixated on the supposed crimes of the Jews. In a blog post about the Boston Marathon bombings he seizes every opportunity he can get he repeated the old canard that Israelis control American foreign policy and insist on war. The war drums are beating at this moment in relation to both North Korea and Iran, he wrote, and as long as Tel Aviv has the compliant ear of the American political establishment, those who wish for peace and justice in the world should not rest easy.

For those who refuse to see the meaning or history behind portraying a global power as compliant to the Jewish state, Falk goes further. He has vulgarly compared the Israeli government to the Nazis: Is it an irresponsible overstatement to associate the treatment of Palestinians with this criminalized Nazi record of collective atrocity? I think not. And he once wrote an article entitled: Slouching toward a Palestinian Holocaust.

You read that right: The man who for six years investigated Israel on behalf of the international community sees the Jews as the Nazis and the Palestinians as the Jews of Germany. The realization that Falk was probably appointed to investigate Israel not in spite of these views but because of them helps explain why the U.N. treats Israel the way it does.

Back in 2011, when he was still the sitting U.N. special rapporteur, Falk chose to write a blurb in praise of the anti-Semitic book The Wandering Who, by (ethnically Jewish) holocaust denier Gilad Atzmon. Atzmon writes in the book that The history of Jewish persecution is a myth, and if there was any persecution the Jews brought it on themselves. The book calls the credit crunch the Zio-punch and blames the media, which failed to warn the American people of the enemy within. Falks blurb, placed on the books front cover, calls the work a transformative story told with unflinching integrity that all [especially Jews] who care about peace, as well as their own identity, should not only read, but reflect upon and discuss widely.

With U.N. officials like that, the Israeli apartheid, and ethnic cleansing reports almost seem to write themselves.

Elliot Kaufman is an editorial intern at National Review.

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No One Does Anti-Israel Bias Quite Like the UN – National Review

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Radical Ignorance – Harvard Crimson

In recent years, activists, students, and authors have framed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a simple one. The mantra of a cruel Israeli state oppressing the Palestinians is ubiquitous in many intellectual circles.

Most recently, such arguments were heard in these pages when an author called the Palestinian cause, the least radical cause in the world. In recounting his Harvard-organized trip to the West Bank, he depicts Palestinians going about their days scurrying from business meetings to social gatherings and lounging in posh cafes. All that is missing from this picturesque description are cute, wide-eyed children playing soccer and eating candy. His few placid days in Ramallah, we are to believe, make the Palestinian cause entirely just and the Israeli policies entirely unjust.

Unfortunately, conclusions about and solutions to centuries-old conflicts cannot be reached in such a short time.

The vast majority of Palestinians, like the vast majority of Israelis, want to lead normal lives of business meetings, afternoons in cafes, and soccer games. But it is unhelpful and disingenuous to be intentionally simplistic to push a political agenda. It is not just the author who falls into this trap, or walks into it intentionally, but the entire Boycott, Divest, and Sanction movement which calls for economic and social isolation of the Jewish state.

I too went on a Harvard-affiliated trip to the Holy Land. We left Logan Airport as 50 strangers and returned from Tel Avivs Ben Gurion united both in friendship and in the conviction that the most dangerous conclusions to draw about the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians are those that lack nuance.

I knew going into the trip that my pro-Israel sentiments were sure to be challenged. They were. We met with Jewish settlers in the West Bank who reveled in establishing their communities on the land of a future Palestinian state. We listened as an ultra-right Orthodox Jewish leader defended the second-class role many women in his community are relegated to. We heard Netanyahu ally and mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, tell us inside the City Council Chambers that his was a city without walls or divisions. We could all think of one glaring, concrete exception.

This is the paradox the BDS movement attempts to set up for us: a benign, oppressed Palestinian populace held back from their potential and their human rights by the cold, oppressive Israelis. Therefore, they say, Harvard should divest from this apartheid state. The problem, however, is that they purposefully ignore some of the most important components: the ones that dont fit their ideology.

They deplore the situation in Gaza, yet they ignore that Israel pulled out of Gaza more than a decade ago. They ignore that the Israeli military forcibly removed those Jewish settlers from Gaza who would not leave voluntarily. This same move, to be repeated in the West Bank if the divestment advocates had their way, led to the takeover of the Gaza government by the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Instead of a vibrant Palestinian state in Gaza, it is a terrorist haven in which the people are repressed by their fundamentalist rulers. Hamas does not spend the billions it receives in foreign aid on schools or hospitals, but rather on tunnels through which terrorists can attack Israel and cash stipends to incentivize suicide bombers, children included. Why should Israel repeat the mistake in the West Bank?

Maybe it wouldnt matter. Israel is already surrounded by millions of people who, inspired by their leaders and a perverted version of Islam, hate them. As an Israeli mother told me on our trip, If the Jews had our way, there would be a Jewish state and a Palestinian state in which we could guarantee our ability to survive. If the Palestinian leaders had their way, there wouldnt be any Jews left, much less a Jewish state.

Such fear is understandable. Just listen to the leaders of the country my own family comes from, Iran, who have called Israel a cancer to be wiped off the map and annihilated. They might know thats already been tried, but they question the reality of the Holocaust, so fat chance.

There is undoubtedly progress to be made in Israel. In Nazareth, we heard mothers bemoan the inadequate funding given to Arab-Israeli schools compared to Jewish-Israeli schools. There are other such complaints of discrimination. However, unlike Black South Africans, the Palestinians and Arab-Israelis have considerable representation in Israeli institutions. Take for example, Salim Joubran, the Arab-Israeli serving as Vice President of the Israeli Supreme Court. This isnt just token representation. The Court regularly rules in favor of these minority groups and against the Israeli government. Maybe the BDS movement could remind us how many Black South Africans sat on the Apartheid-era South African Supreme Court?

If the BDS movement is keen on boycotting apartheid states, they should start with Iran or Saudi Arabia. There are oppressed women and LGBTQ+ people who would love to explain what a real apartheid state looks like. Sadly theyre unavailable at the moment, as they are currently imprisoned by their apartheid states.

Despite all of this, the extreme lengths to which Israel has gone to defend itself from perennial rocket fire, exploding school busses, and terrorist massacres may cause Americans to recoil at the limitations placed on the civil liberties of Palestinians and Arab-Israelis. We can still side with liberty over security, as I do, but lets not pretend these security measures are in place to intentionally hold back the vast majority of peaceful Palestinians. They are to hold back those who would drive the Jews into the sea, given the chance.

Many BDS activists have gone to the Holy Land and returned sages with a simple solution: Israel is the racist, apartheid state. I went to the region and returned with more questions than answers, more assured of the humanity of people on both sides. The only thing of which I am sure on this issue is that so many on the left drastically oversimplify the conflict by lionizing the Palestinians and demonizing Israel.

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Posters Were Vicious Propaganda

To the Editors of The Crimson: In the days since the recent postering by the Committee on Palestine, much discussion

Fifty Years of Alan Dershowitz

I dont believe in retirement, I believe in changing careers, former Harvard Law School professor Alan M. Dershowitz tells me over the phone on his way to Logan Airport, where he will board a plane to Paris. He officially retired from the Law School this December, but he intends his retired life to be far from relaxing. My retirement from Harvard reflects the fact that Ive been doing this for 50 consecutive years and at age 75, I wanted to try something different, he says. My plans are to be even more active than Ive ever been before.

Letter to the Editors

Unfair public pressure seems to be placed on Israel regarding the peace process. The Palestinian Authority routinely glorifies terrorists, recently lost a major U.S. court case for supporting terrorism, and formed a unity government with the terrorist organization Hamas.

Professors Support Resolution To Boycott Israeli Institutions

Twenty-one Harvard faculty and graduate students have voted or signed a petition to place a resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions on the American Anthropological Associations spring ballot.

The Least Radical Cause in the World

I used to find the word apartheid radical, but after visiting the West Bank and seeing the reality with my own eyes, it seems like a more than fair description for a half-century of occupation under these conditions.

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Radical Ignorance – Harvard Crimson

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Terror-Tied Qatari Think Tank Has Anti-Israel, Pro-BDS Stance … – Algemeiner

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Doha, Qatar. Photo: StellarD via Wikimedia Commons.

Earlier this month, major Arab nations led by Saudi Arabia severeddiplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing the countryof financing and sheltering terrorists and maintaining cordial relations with Iran. Yet Dohas pro-terror policies have notjustmade the Middle East more unstable;theyalso directly threaten Israels security.

For the past decade, Qatar has provided financial and diplomatic support to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, byhostingits leaders andpledgingmillions of dollars to the Hamas-run Gaza Strip. Qatar has alsosponsored the global boycott, divestmentand sanctions (BDS)movement, which is aimed at economically isolating Israel to end its alleged oppression of the Palestinians.

A new Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) investigation has found that senior academics tied to a Doha-based think tank believed to be financed by the Qatari government and its Washington, DC, affiliate routinely engage in anti-Israel rhetoric and are strong BDS supporters.

June 28, 2017 10:32 am

Osama Abu-Irshaid, anon-resident scholarat the Doha-basedArab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS)was afeatured speakerat a three-day internationalconferencein Tunis in August, which was hosted by ACRPSto discussusing boycottsto combat Israeli occupation.

The conference, which was titled Boycott as a Strategy against Israeli Occupation and Apartheid: Present-day Realities and Aspirations,describedBDS as an indispensable method in the struggle against Israeli oppression and sought to better understand its importance and the best means by which it can be bolstered.

The BDS movementtoutsitself as a Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice, and equality that uses a strategy of boycotts, divestment and sanctions to challenge international support for Israeli apartheid and settler-colonialism. But that strategy appears to bebackfiring,as the movementsunintended victims are Palestinian workers and the Palestinian economy.

Abu-Irshaid is also thenational policy directorof the pro-Hamas and anti-Israel organizationAmerican Muslims for Palestine (AMP). Alawsuit filedin a Chicago Federal court in May alleged that AMP and several of its activists are alter egos and/or successors of a Hamas-support network that was held liable for the death of an American teen by Hamas terrorists in 1996.

A 2015 IPT investigationfirst detailedthe connections between AMP leaders, including Abu-Irshaid, and a former pro-Hamas network in the UScalled thePalestine Committee.Foundation for Defense of Democracies Vice President Jonathan Schanzerbuilt on those connectionsin his Congressional testimony last year.

Abu-Irshaid has also defended Hamas leaders and openly supports the terrorist group insocial media posts.

After the USState DepartmentdesignatedHamas activist Ahmed Ghandour as a terrorist in April, Abu-Irshaidblasted the moveas an extension of the old/new US policy against Hamas, adopted [by President Bill Clinton, then] by former President George W. Bush, followed by Barack Obama and Donald Trump today. But the fact that the Trump administration is adding specific names from Hamas is a clear display of good intentions toward Israel. This shows a contradiction between US policy and European [policy] toward Hamas, especially since some European parties, such as the European Court of Justice (ECJ), have [recommended] taking Hamas off [the European Unions] terror blacklist since 2003.

Khalil Jahshan, a Palestinian American who isexecutive directorof ACRPS USaffiliate, theArab Center Washington DC (ACW),alsospokeat the Doha institutes Tunis conference. He called for a reassessment of boycott tactics in response to the Israeli governments pushback as vital to ensuring the sustainability and continued effectiveness of boycott campaigns across the world.

It wont be enough to repeatedly shout that Israel is incapable of defeating the worldwide BDS movement. [The campaign] needs to capitalize on its efforts, Jahshan said.

At a March conference on the The Israel Lobby and American Policy, which was sponsored by the virulentlyanti-IsraelWashington Report on Middle East Affairs (WRMEA), Jahshanclaimedthat BDS is beginning to have an impact, adding that today it is not accidental that the prime minister of Israel and most of its national security leaders view the BDS as the number one national security threat to the state of Israel, because its exposing it worldwide, in no uncertain terms, to the fact that occupation has got to end, occupation cannot be tolerated. The more clarity there is associated with that, I think, the more effective the campaign would be and the more attractive it would become, particularly here in the US.

ACRPS senior leadership also has ties to terrorist groups, including Al Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah. Qatari national Abdel Rahmanal-Nuaimi, who wasappointedthe centers president in 2002, wasdesignatedas a terror-sponsor by the US Treasury Department in 2013. A Treasury press release announcing the designation called him a terrorist financier and facilitator who has provided money and material support and conveyed communications to al-Qaida and its affiliates in Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Yemen for more than a decade. That action includes ordering the transfer of nearly $600,000 to al-Qaida.

The center has featured top-ranking Hamas activists at its conferences. Former Hamas leader Khalid Meshaalspokethere in 2012, in an event titled,The Islamist Movement and the Path to Governance in Complex Circumstances: Lessons Learned from the Hamas Experience. Another noted Islamist leaderinvitedto speak at the event wasSheikh Rachid Ghannouchi, the head of the Tunisian Ennahda Party. At the ARCPSsecond annual conferencethe following year, Hamas head of international relations,Osama Hamdan,spokeon Resistance: the Options and the Future.

ARCPS isreportedlyfunded by the Qatari government, and its events oftenfeaturethe Qatari leadership.

Azmi Bishara, a former Arab member of Israels parliament,currently servesas ACRPS general director. Bishara reportedlyaidedthe Iranian proxy group Hezbollah during the 2006 Lebanon War by warning about a prospective Israeli attack on its leader Hassan Nasrallah, and by advising on how to engage in psychological warfare against the Israelis.

Bishara gave thekeynote speechvia video at an October 2016 conference on democracy in the Arab world at ACW, the ACRPSDC affiliate.

In February 2014, ACWboard memberMohammed Abu-Nimer, participated ina panelwithRamah Kudaimi from theUS Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation(now known as the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights) to advance the false narrative of Israeli apartheid and the BDScampaign. The event at American University was sponsored by the American University Students for Justice in Palestine, aradical student organizationthat has chapters on several campuses across the US,andcampaigns for divestmentfrom Israel, which it falsely smears as anapartheid state.

Kudaimi has advocated for terrorism, calling it resistance, and has defended a convicted terrorist bomber. [T]he real resistance is in the streets of #Palestine fighting Zionist regime, he wrote in an October 2015Twitter posting. [T]he fake resistance is killing Syrians doing their own intifada. In a March op-ed, KudaimiarguedthatconvictedPalestinian terroristRasmea Odeh who participated in a 1969 Jerusalem grocery store bombing that killed two Israeli college students should be honored, not imprisoned.

Yousef Munayyer, anon-resident Middle East analystat ACW, alsoservesas the executive director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights. In anAmerican Prospectarticle in support of BDS, Munayyerwrote: full BDS can grow and create a reality of political, economic, and cultural isolation that will show the Israeli public their leaders have misled them. Additionally, while the boycott of settlement goods has an impact and should be encouraged, it is marginal on its own when compared to the amount of pressure that will likely be necessary to change Israeli behavior.

Nadim Rouhana, who is onACWs board of directors, is thefounding directorof Mada al-Carmel-Arab Center for Applied Social Research, an anti-Israel organization thatroutinely hostsconferences and other events on topics related to Zionism and Settler Colonialism.

Arab states at odds with Qatar are unhappy with its support for the Muslim Brotherhood, which they see as a terrorist threat, and for Qatars destabilizing influence in the region. But its support for BDS is equally immoral and unfavorable to Middle East peace efforts. By providing a platform to anti-Israel and pro-BDS propaganda, Qatar propagates a slanted and one-sided Palestinian narrative that perpetuates Israeli stereotypes and pins the blame for the current impasse in negotiations entirely on the Jewish state.

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Terror-Tied Qatari Think Tank Has Anti-Israel, Pro-BDS Stance … – Algemeiner

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LGBT Jews say it’s increasingly difficult to be pro-Israel, queer – The Jerusalem Post

NEW YORK – For years, Laurie Grauer had waved a rainbow flag emblazoned with a Jewish star at the Chicago Dyke March, sometimes marching near activists waving Palestinian flags. It had never been a problem.

But this year, Grauer was confronted by the LGBT parades organizers, questioned about her support for Israel and asked to leave because she was carrying the flag. She was one of three women with Jewish flags kicked out of Sundays parade.

Grauer says she was used to Israel being a sensitive issue in queer spaces. But she did not expect to be condemned for displaying her Jewish identity.

To say that you can only identify one way is very dangerous, said Grauer, the Midwest manager for A Wider Bridge, a pro-Israel LGBT group. Here you have this march that is supposed to be something for people that feel oppressed, invisible, marginalized, [where] they can be who they are. I wasnt pushing my views on people and was told the way youre expressing yourself is unacceptable.

The incident at the Dyke March was just the latest in a series of clashes over Israel at activist events for the Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender, or LGBT, community. Being pro-Israel at LGBT events has become difficult, LGBT Jewish leaders say, and at times the opposition to Israel has spilled over into making Jews feel uncomfortable about displaying their identity.

Similar tensions arose earlier in June at the Celebrate Israel Parade in New York City, where activists from the far-left Jewish Voice for Peace infiltrated the parade delegation of Jewish Queer Youth, an LGBT group, and held anti-Israel banners. One of the protesters said he was there to counter Israels pinkwashing that is, to stop the pro-Israel LGBT group from using Israels relatively progressive attitudes to distract from the Palestinian issue.

Last year, an event featuring an Israeli group at an LGBT conference in Chicago was canceled, then reinstated, and took place amid vocal protest.

Nor are these debates new. In 2011, New York Citys LGBT Community Center agreed to lease space to Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, leading gay adult film star and pro-Israel activist Michael Lucas to call for a boycott of the center. The center relented, opting not to host any groups connected to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Weve seen that in a number of different settings, these kinds of incidents have absolutely been increasing in frequency, said Idit Klein, executive director of Keshet, an LGBT Jewish organization.

The LGBT community is more likely to be sensitive to and have empathy with others who experience oppression and discrimination. People see injustices being perpetrated against Palestinians by the Israeli government, she said. Many dont necessarily understand the complexity of the history.

Several Jewish groups have called on the Dyke March to apologize for expelling the activists, but march organizers are standing by their decision. In a statement Sunday, they said the women were expelled because they were pro-Israel activists and the march is anti-Zionist.

The statement noted that Grauer was a member of A Wider Bridge, which the Dyke March called an organization with connections to the Israeli state and right-wing pro-Israel interest groups. It also accused Israel of pinkwashing.

This decision was made after they repeatedly expressed support for Zionism during conversations with Chicago Dyke March Collective members, the statement read. The Chicago Dyke March Collective is explicitly not anti-Semitic, we are anti-Zionist. The Chicago Dyke March Collective supports the liberation of Palestine and all oppressed people everywhere.

Not all Jews have condemned the march for excluding the Jewish women. Jewish Voice for Peace, the group that infiltrated the Celebrate Israel Parade and a backer of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, tweeted its support of the expulsion.

Klein said the tensions over Israel in the broader LGBT community also exist within the LGBT Jewish community. Conversations over Israel in that context become increasingly touchy because people connect their stances on Israel with their overlapping identities.

Theres an extra layer of identification as a group that experiences injustice, so that adds a layer of intensity, the Keshet leader said. It makes it a struggle to enable people to be in one space together. I havent figured it out and nor has anyone else.

Other LGBT Jewish activists linked the tensions over Israel to a general decline in civil discourse. Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, a New York City LGBT synagogue, said acrimony on social media has spilled over into on-the-ground events.

Its become less respectful, more with a tremendous character assassination, and that deeply saddens me, Kleinbaum said. The larger political world has become that way. Social media has created a platform for people who dont care about nuance. Three years ago Kleinbaums synagogue, which regularly joins the Celebrate Israel Parade, faced criticism from some of its pro-Israel members for its sympathy to the Palestinians and criticism of Israeli policy.

And if it is not just the Left, its not just Israel either, said Mordechai Levovitz, executive director of Jewish Queer Youth. Hes seen people berated or excluded from activist circles because they are politically conservative or too openly religious. Israel is doubly complicated, he added, because it connects both to a political issue and ethnic identity.

This is rooted in an approach thats all about shutting other people down instead of hearing people who disagree with your point of view, Levovitz said. Israel is a very complex issue for Jews because it doesnt have to do with a states policy, it has to do with your identity. How can you say you can have pride in one aspect of your identity but not the other?

Jewish LGBT leaders hope they can stem these trends through dialogue and explanation, distinguishing Israels politics from the nations right to exist, and Israel from Judaism. Kleinbaum will attend a roundtable of LGBT leaders across communities Wednesday where she will share her personal experience regarding Israel.

People are behaving in an anti-Semitic way without knowing thats what theyre doing, said Lilli Kornblum, past president of Or Chadash, a former LGBT synagogue in Chicago. They may be more open to understanding the nuances of the community. My goal between now and next years Dyke March is weve got a year to sit down and talk about this. Im much more likely now to go to the march next year.

In the meantime, the women who were kicked out of the march have said they feel anguished. But Grauer said that although she was pained by the incident, she has been supported by activists from across the wider LGBT community.

I was really hurt and betrayed in that safe environment, Grauer said of the Dyke March. I cant say Im being betrayed by the queer community as a whole. When you have people like that who also speak up, I can never say I was betrayed.

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LGBT Jews say it’s increasingly difficult to be pro-Israel, queer – The Jerusalem Post

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Tuesday July 4, 2017 – Israel Hayom

Israel Hayom Tuesday July 4, 2017 Israel Hayom MK Aida Touma-Sliman tells U.N. conference marking “50 years of occupation” that “there can be no social justice with the oppression of an entire people” MK Oren Hazan: If Israel were an apartheid state, Touma-Sliman would have been locked up long …

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Modi’s visit to Israel is an extension of his anti-Muslim politics – DailyO

On May 16, 2014, when the result of the Indian general election was announced, I was in Israel for a lecture tour. Narendra Modis victory prompted me to spend that day in Jaffa, the ancient port city in the southern part of Tel Aviv and famous for its oranges. Jaffa, predominantly a Palestinian city, came under Israeli occupation after the 1948 war and thousands of Palestinians were forced to flee. Now, one third of Jaffas population still comprises Palestinians. In Israel, Jaffa has been one of the few areas where Muslims and Jews have co-existed now for decades, but the influx of Israeli hardliners in this decade and with them the rigid Zionist ideology has made the situation quite volatile. The citys Arab population is living in a terrible condition or gradually being forced to move out. The state supported Israelisation of Jaffa has made it a powder keg situated next to Israels capital. Benjamin Netanyahu, the second longest serving Prime Minister in Israels history after David Ben-Gurion, is a right-wing hardliner, who has made his political career by portraying Palestinians as an existential threat to the Jewish state of Israel. He has thrived on playing the politics of fear, vilifying Arabs and demonising Muslims. Thanks to his brand of politics, not only in Jaffa but a million of Arab Israelis in the whole country have been forced to the edge. Like Netanyahu in Israel, Modi is pursuing his far-right politics in India while fanning anti-Muslim sentiment. Hindu nationalists in India revere Israel for the successful domination of its Muslim neighbourhood. They not only envisage India following Israels apartheid model to deal with the minorities at home, but also always dream of turning India into an aggressive state like Israel in the region. In the pursuit of that aggressive nationalist agenda, Modi has not only gone on a shopping binge of readymade military hardware, but is also promoting some of his industrialist cronies without previous experience in the arms production sector to collaborate with foreign arms manufacturers for joint production in the name of Make in India. 2017 has already become a record year of Israeli weapons sales to India. Modi has no plan to travel to Ramallah for a customary meeting with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas as most world leaders visiting Israel do. Photo: Reuters In April 2016, Israels Aerospace Industries (IAI) received its largest ever defense contract of $1.6 billion from the Indian Army forthe land-based version of the Barak 8 air defence system. A month later, IAI signed another defence contract of $630 million with Bharat Electronics (BEL) for its naval version for four vessels. During his visit, Modi might sign a deal worth about $500 million to purchase 8000 Spike anti-tank missiles. There is also the possibility of India finalising a $1 billion Phalcon deal as well. India getting weapons from Israel is not a new development. Israel has supplied arms to India in the past when India had fought wars with China in 1962, and with Pakistan in 1965 and 1971. At the time of the Kargil War, Israel had also provided surveillance drones and laser-guided missiles to India. However, until Modi became the Prime Minister, most of these defence transactions were done quietly. But Modi has abandoned that cautious and time-tested approach. Moreover, he is moving India away from its established policy of not compromising in its support to the Palestinian struggle. India and Israel have maintained more than cordial relations for many decades in spite of Indias open and firm support for the Palestinian cause. Though both countries have established a diplomatic relationship since 1992 and Israel has become the third-largest arms supplier for India, behind only Russia and the US, it is for the first time a sitting Prime Minister of India is visiting Israel. While undertaking this high-profile visit, Modi has no plan to travel down to Ramallah for a customary meeting with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas as most world leaders visiting Israel do. Even President Pranab Mukherjee in 2015 had first gone to the West Bank before travelling to Israel. Since independence, India has maintained support for Palestine. Even Albert Einsteins request had not budged Jawaharlal Nehru in 1947 to provide support for the creation of the state of Israel. That year, India voted against the 1947 UN partition plan for Palestine, and only in 1950 recognised Israel. Indias support for Palestine has been continuing since Nehrus time. This policy is not only in line with the sentiments of Indias largest religious minorities, but also standing with universal principles of justice and fairness and confirming to majority global opinion. However, the RSS refuses to forgive Nehru for not turning India into a Hindu Pakistan, and considers Indias support for Palestine as part of Congress so-called appeasement policy towards Indian Muslims. Modi by undertaking this official visit to Israel as PM and not including a trip to Ramallah is pandering to his Hindutva support base. His majoritarian politics thrives on taking political and policy positioning going against the sentiments of Muslim minorities. While he is avoiding a trip to the West Bank, he has found time to schedule a meeting with Moshe Holtzberg, the Israeli child who lost his parents in Nariman House in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack. That is to exhibit a faade of a common bond between India and Israel against Islamic extremism. As an opinion piece in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz points out, Modi can afford to ignore the Palestinians. Modis Hindutva politics not only encourages him to ignore Palestine, but also to build an open alliance with Zionist forces. Common hatred towards Muslims fuels a Netanyahu and Modi bromance and their partnership is bound to cause further anxiety among Indias minority population. However, Modi by promoting Israels Jaffa model in India hopes to strengthen his majoritarian support base, but it will come at the cost of peace and stability in the country. Also read:Ahead of Modi’s visit, India and Israel can learn a lot from each other

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U.N. report: Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid …

A report commissioned by the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia accuses Israel of racial segregation against Palestinians, compares Israel to the South African apartheid regime. Israels ambassador to the U.N.: The attempts to discredit the only democracy in the Middle East are shameful and bizarre. A U.N. agency published a report today (Wednesday) accusing Israel of inflicting an apartheid regime based on racial discrimination against the Palestinian people. This is the first time that an agency representing the U.N. has come forth with such harsh accusations against Israel. The report was commissioned by the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), one of six UN organizations dealing with economics and society. The council is comprised of eighteen Arab countries from Western Asia and its headquarters are located in Beirut. Follow JerusalemOnline Twitter page and stay up to date with the latest news The head of the agency, ESCWA Executive Secretary Rima Khalaf, who also serves as U.N. Under-Secretary General, said that the report “clearly and frankly concludes that Israel is a racist state that has established an apartheid system. She went on to explain that the reports conclusions were based on scholarly inquiry and overwhelming evidence but added that only a ruling by an international tribunal in that sense would make such an assessment truly authoritative. Israels ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon called for the Secretary General of the U.N to renounce the report. The attempts to discredit the only democracy in the Middle East are shameful and bizarre, Danon said. It is not surprising that the committee that chose for its leader someone who calls for the boycott of Israel and who compares Israel to the most horrific regimes in mankinds history would publish a report such as this one. Signup to receive the most important news events of the day Found mistakes in this report? – Click Here

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Ehud Olmert, former Israeli prime minister, released from prison – CBS News

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert walks out of the prison door as he is released from prison after a parole board decided to cut his sentence by a third, at Maasiyahu prison near Ramle, Israel, July 2, 2017. Walla!news/Rubi Kastro via REUTERS JERUSALEM –Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert left prison early Sunday days after a parole board granted him early release from his 27-month corruption sentence. Prison Service spokesman Assaf Librati said Olmert, 71, was whisked away by security and driven home after serving 16 months. Olmert appeared gaunt and pale as he left the facility. Librati said the terms of Olmert’s early release stipulate that for the next few months he must do volunteer work, appear before police twice a month and not give interviews to the media or leave the country. Olmert will reportedly volunteer at a food bank and for a group that provides medical aid to needy families. However, President Reuven Rivlin could relieve him of the parole restrictions. “We are very happy, a great burden has been lifted and a great sorrow and pain has ended,” Eti Livni, a friend of Olmert, told Army Radio. Olmert was convicted in 2014 in a wide-ranging case that accused him of accepting bribes to promote a real-estate project in Jerusalem and obstructing justice. The charges pertained to a period when he was mayor of Jerusalem and trade minister before he became premier in 2006. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert speaks to the media after a hearing at the Supreme Court in Jerusalem December 29, 2015. REUTERS His departure from office in 2009 ended the last major Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts and ushered in the era of Benjamin Netanyahu. Olmert was a longtime fixture in Israel’s hawkish right wing when he began taking a dramatically more conciliatory line toward the Palestinians more than a decade ago. He played a leading role in Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005 and became prime minister in January 2006 after then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a debilitating stroke. He resigned amid a corruption scandal that clouded his administration. A gifted orator, Olmert broke a series of taboos while in office — warning that Israel could become like apartheid South Africa if it continued its occupation of the Palestinians and expressing readiness to relinquish parts of Jerusalem under a peace deal. He led his government to the Annapolis peace conference in November 2007 — launching more than a year of ambitious, but ultimately unsuccessful U.S.-brokered talks. Olmert has said he made unprecedented concessions to the Palestinians — including a near-total withdrawal from the West Bank and an offer to place Jerusalem’s Old City under international control — and was close to reaching an agreement at the time of his resignation. Olmert was rushed to hospital with chest pains last month, but doctors ruled out a heart attack. A few days before that, Israel’s Justice Ministry asked the police to investigate whether Olmert committed a “criminal offense” while behind bars. It said a book Olmert is writing touches on “sensitive security issues” and that his lawyer was caught leaving the prison with a chapter on “secret operations” not approved by the censor for publication. Police searched the publishing house of the Yediot Ahronot newspaper, but not the paper itself, over the incident. Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked welcomed Olmert’s release, telling Army Radio he deserved to have his sentence reduced and that “all in all his behavior in prison was very good.” A few hours after his release, a somber-looking Olmert was seen walking around a shopping mall in Tel Aviv. A public relations company representing the mall released photos of the former premier in a clothing store. It said people had greeted him and wished him well. 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Israel’s ex-PM Ehud Olmert released from prison – USA TODAY

Ian Deitch, Associated Press Published 7:11 a.m. ET July 2, 2017 | Updated 7:46 a.m. ET July 2, 2017 In this Dec. 29, 2015 file photo, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert leaves the courtroom of the Supreme Court after the court ruled on his appeal in the Holyland corruption case in Jerusalem.(Photo: Debbie Hill, AP) JERUSALEM – Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was released from prison early Sunday days after a parole board granted him early release from his 27-month corruption sentence. Prison Service spokesman Assaf Librati said Olmert, 71, was whisked away by Israels security service after his release and driven home after serving 16 months. He said the terms of Olmerts early release stipulate that for the next few months the former prime minister has to do volunteer work, must appear before police twice a month and cannot give interviews to the media or leave the country. He added that President Reuven Rivlin could relieve him of the parole restrictions. Olmert was convicted in 2014 in a wide-ranging case that accused him of accepting bribes to promote a real-estate project in Jerusalem and obstructing justice. The charges pertained to a period when he was mayor of Jerusalem and trade minister before he became premier in 2006. His departure from office in 2009 ended the last major Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts and ushered in the era of Benjamin Netanyahu. Olmert was a longtime fixture in Israels hawkish right wing when he began taking a dramatically more conciliatory line toward the Palestinians more than a decade ago. He played a leading role in Israels withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005 and became prime minister in January 2006 after then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a debilitating stroke. He resigned amid a corruption scandal that clouded his administration. A gifted orator, Olmert broke a series of taboos while in office warning that Israel could become like apartheid South Africa if it continued its occupation of the Palestinians and expressing readiness to relinquish parts of Jerusalem under a peace deal. He led his government to the Annapolis peace conference in November 2007 launching more than a year of ambitious, but ultimately unsuccessful U.S.-brokered talks. Olmert has said he made unprecedented concessions to the Palestinians including a near-total withdrawal from the West Bank and an offer to place Jerusalems Old City under international control and was close to reaching an agreement at the time of his resignation. Olmert was rushed to hospital with chest pains last month, but doctors ruled out a heart attack. A few days before that, Israels Justice Ministry asked the police to investigate whether Olmert committed a criminal offense while behind bars. It said a book Olmert is writing touches on sensitive security issues and that his lawyer was caught leaving the prison with a chapter on secret operations not approved by the censor for publication. Police searched the publishing house of the Yediot Ahronot newspaper, but not the paper itself, over the incident. Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked welcomed Olmerts release, telling Army Radio he deserved to have his sentence reduced and that all in all his behavior in prison was very good. Read or Share this story: https://usat.ly/2udA4VW

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No One Does Anti-Israel Bias Quite Like the UN – National Review

In the early days of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Princeton professor Richard Falk was one of Ayatollah Khomeinis useful idiots. After meeting the future Iranian tyrant in Paris, Falk penned a New York Times op-ed praising him as an example for the rest of the third world to follow. Now, in 2017, Professor Falk has returned to praising the Ayatollah. I believe one of the lasting legacies of Imam Khomeini was to give authoritative priority to the Palestinian struggle, he told the Iranian state news agency Tasmin News last week, before going on to stress the importance of showing that people of conscience believe that the Palestinian struggle is worth waging and can be won. What was Falk doing in the intervening years? Astonishingly, this Iranian sycophant, open supporter of the Palestinian struggle, and 9/11 truther was for six years the United Nations Human Rights Councils (UNHRC) lead investigator of Israeli human-rights abuses in the Palestinian territories. (Israel is the only nation, of course, which has a permanent U.N. Special Rapporteur dedicated to investigating it.) Falk was back in the news in March, after authoring a U.N. report accusing Israel of apartheid. Pressure from U.S. ambassador Nikki Haley caused the report to be withdrawn, in what amounted to a major embarrassment for the U.N. But what did the leaders of the worlds foremost intergovernmental organization expect? In assigning Falk and people like him to adjudicate Israels actions, they showed that the U.N. has stopped even trying to hide its anti-Israel bias. Falk is, after all, who he is: the type of academic anti-imperialist who cannot help but believe the best about third-world revolutionaries and the worst about advanced democracies. Falk sports an almost unblemished record of such hysteria. In 1979, he could not see that Ayatollah Khomeini was a dangerous theocrat. The depiction of him as fanatical, reactionary and the bearer of crude prejudices seems certainly and happily false, he wrote. The news media have defamed him. Gullible to the end, Falk mistook his dream for reality, explaining Iran may yet provide us with a desperately-needed model of humane governance for a third world country. And what if the Ayatollah was lying to him about all this, from his perch in Paris? Perish the thought. To suppose that Ayatollah Khomeini is dissembling seems almost beyond belief, Falk wrote. By the end of 1979, Khomeini had made himself Supreme Leader and begun killing and arresting political opponents. Moreover, he had given crucial support to the students who raided the American embassy in Tehran, holding American hostages for 444 days. Yet it is America that has long been the target of professor Falks ire. In 1973, he defended violent resisters of the Vietnam War, citing the Nuremberg trials as precedent. He claimed that Americans had a right and perhaps a duty to oppose the war by any means possible. He would again cite the trials of Nazi war criminals during the Iraq War, comparing the American war of aggression to a Crime against Peace of the sort for which surviving German leaders were indicted, prosecuted and punished at the Nuremburg trials conducted shortly after the Second World War. Falks view of his own nation is so twisted that he believes America to have been involved in the 9/11 attacks. Between signing statements written by the group 9/11 Truth to writing the preface to one 9/11-conspiracist book and a whole chapter in another, Falk surely outed himself as a kook. In 2011, while working as the U.N. Special Rapporteur, he criticized the eerie silence of the mainstream media, unwilling to acknowledge the well-evidenced doubts about the official version of events: an al Qaeda operation with no foreknowledge by government officials. He subsequently insinuated that the neoconservatives, had been behind the attacks, explaining, It is possibly true that especially the neoconservatives thought there was a situation in the country and in the world where something had to happen to wake up the American people. Whether they are innocent about the contention that they made that something happen or not, I dont think we can answer definitively at this point. Unsurprisingly, Falk is equally fixated on the supposed crimes of the Jews. In a blog post about the Boston Marathon bombings he seizes every opportunity he can get he repeated the old canard that Israelis control American foreign policy and insist on war. The war drums are beating at this moment in relation to both North Korea and Iran, he wrote, and as long as Tel Aviv has the compliant ear of the American political establishment, those who wish for peace and justice in the world should not rest easy. For those who refuse to see the meaning or history behind portraying a global power as compliant to the Jewish state, Falk goes further. He has vulgarly compared the Israeli government to the Nazis: Is it an irresponsible overstatement to associate the treatment of Palestinians with this criminalized Nazi record of collective atrocity? I think not. And he once wrote an article entitled: Slouching toward a Palestinian Holocaust. You read that right: The man who for six years investigated Israel on behalf of the international community sees the Jews as the Nazis and the Palestinians as the Jews of Germany. The realization that Falk was probably appointed to investigate Israel not in spite of these views but because of them helps explain why the U.N. treats Israel the way it does. Back in 2011, when he was still the sitting U.N. special rapporteur, Falk chose to write a blurb in praise of the anti-Semitic book The Wandering Who, by (ethnically Jewish) holocaust denier Gilad Atzmon. Atzmon writes in the book that The history of Jewish persecution is a myth, and if there was any persecution the Jews brought it on themselves. The book calls the credit crunch the Zio-punch and blames the media, which failed to warn the American people of the enemy within. Falks blurb, placed on the books front cover, calls the work a transformative story told with unflinching integrity that all [especially Jews] who care about peace, as well as their own identity, should not only read, but reflect upon and discuss widely. With U.N. officials like that, the Israeli apartheid, and ethnic cleansing reports almost seem to write themselves. Elliot Kaufman is an editorial intern at National Review.

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Radical Ignorance – Harvard Crimson

In recent years, activists, students, and authors have framed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a simple one. The mantra of a cruel Israeli state oppressing the Palestinians is ubiquitous in many intellectual circles. Most recently, such arguments were heard in these pages when an author called the Palestinian cause, the least radical cause in the world. In recounting his Harvard-organized trip to the West Bank, he depicts Palestinians going about their days scurrying from business meetings to social gatherings and lounging in posh cafes. All that is missing from this picturesque description are cute, wide-eyed children playing soccer and eating candy. His few placid days in Ramallah, we are to believe, make the Palestinian cause entirely just and the Israeli policies entirely unjust. Unfortunately, conclusions about and solutions to centuries-old conflicts cannot be reached in such a short time. The vast majority of Palestinians, like the vast majority of Israelis, want to lead normal lives of business meetings, afternoons in cafes, and soccer games. But it is unhelpful and disingenuous to be intentionally simplistic to push a political agenda. It is not just the author who falls into this trap, or walks into it intentionally, but the entire Boycott, Divest, and Sanction movement which calls for economic and social isolation of the Jewish state. I too went on a Harvard-affiliated trip to the Holy Land. We left Logan Airport as 50 strangers and returned from Tel Avivs Ben Gurion united both in friendship and in the conviction that the most dangerous conclusions to draw about the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians are those that lack nuance. I knew going into the trip that my pro-Israel sentiments were sure to be challenged. They were. We met with Jewish settlers in the West Bank who reveled in establishing their communities on the land of a future Palestinian state. We listened as an ultra-right Orthodox Jewish leader defended the second-class role many women in his community are relegated to. We heard Netanyahu ally and mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, tell us inside the City Council Chambers that his was a city without walls or divisions. We could all think of one glaring, concrete exception. This is the paradox the BDS movement attempts to set up for us: a benign, oppressed Palestinian populace held back from their potential and their human rights by the cold, oppressive Israelis. Therefore, they say, Harvard should divest from this apartheid state. The problem, however, is that they purposefully ignore some of the most important components: the ones that dont fit their ideology. They deplore the situation in Gaza, yet they ignore that Israel pulled out of Gaza more than a decade ago. They ignore that the Israeli military forcibly removed those Jewish settlers from Gaza who would not leave voluntarily. This same move, to be repeated in the West Bank if the divestment advocates had their way, led to the takeover of the Gaza government by the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Instead of a vibrant Palestinian state in Gaza, it is a terrorist haven in which the people are repressed by their fundamentalist rulers. Hamas does not spend the billions it receives in foreign aid on schools or hospitals, but rather on tunnels through which terrorists can attack Israel and cash stipends to incentivize suicide bombers, children included. Why should Israel repeat the mistake in the West Bank? Maybe it wouldnt matter. Israel is already surrounded by millions of people who, inspired by their leaders and a perverted version of Islam, hate them. As an Israeli mother told me on our trip, If the Jews had our way, there would be a Jewish state and a Palestinian state in which we could guarantee our ability to survive. If the Palestinian leaders had their way, there wouldnt be any Jews left, much less a Jewish state. Such fear is understandable. Just listen to the leaders of the country my own family comes from, Iran, who have called Israel a cancer to be wiped off the map and annihilated. They might know thats already been tried, but they question the reality of the Holocaust, so fat chance. There is undoubtedly progress to be made in Israel. In Nazareth, we heard mothers bemoan the inadequate funding given to Arab-Israeli schools compared to Jewish-Israeli schools. There are other such complaints of discrimination. However, unlike Black South Africans, the Palestinians and Arab-Israelis have considerable representation in Israeli institutions. Take for example, Salim Joubran, the Arab-Israeli serving as Vice President of the Israeli Supreme Court. This isnt just token representation. The Court regularly rules in favor of these minority groups and against the Israeli government. Maybe the BDS movement could remind us how many Black South Africans sat on the Apartheid-era South African Supreme Court? If the BDS movement is keen on boycotting apartheid states, they should start with Iran or Saudi Arabia. There are oppressed women and LGBTQ+ people who would love to explain what a real apartheid state looks like. Sadly theyre unavailable at the moment, as they are currently imprisoned by their apartheid states. Despite all of this, the extreme lengths to which Israel has gone to defend itself from perennial rocket fire, exploding school busses, and terrorist massacres may cause Americans to recoil at the limitations placed on the civil liberties of Palestinians and Arab-Israelis. We can still side with liberty over security, as I do, but lets not pretend these security measures are in place to intentionally hold back the vast majority of peaceful Palestinians. They are to hold back those who would drive the Jews into the sea, given the chance. Many BDS activists have gone to the Holy Land and returned sages with a simple solution: Israel is the racist, apartheid state. I went to the region and returned with more questions than answers, more assured of the humanity of people on both sides. The only thing of which I am sure on this issue is that so many on the left drastically oversimplify the conflict by lionizing the Palestinians and demonizing Israel. Read more in Opinion Posters Were Vicious Propaganda To the Editors of The Crimson: In the days since the recent postering by the Committee on Palestine, much discussion Fifty Years of Alan Dershowitz I dont believe in retirement, I believe in changing careers, former Harvard Law School professor Alan M. Dershowitz tells me over the phone on his way to Logan Airport, where he will board a plane to Paris. He officially retired from the Law School this December, but he intends his retired life to be far from relaxing. My retirement from Harvard reflects the fact that Ive been doing this for 50 consecutive years and at age 75, I wanted to try something different, he says. My plans are to be even more active than Ive ever been before. Letter to the Editors Unfair public pressure seems to be placed on Israel regarding the peace process. The Palestinian Authority routinely glorifies terrorists, recently lost a major U.S. court case for supporting terrorism, and formed a unity government with the terrorist organization Hamas. Professors Support Resolution To Boycott Israeli Institutions Twenty-one Harvard faculty and graduate students have voted or signed a petition to place a resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions on the American Anthropological Associations spring ballot. The Least Radical Cause in the World I used to find the word apartheid radical, but after visiting the West Bank and seeing the reality with my own eyes, it seems like a more than fair description for a half-century of occupation under these conditions.

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Terror-Tied Qatari Think Tank Has Anti-Israel, Pro-BDS Stance … – Algemeiner

Email a copy of “Terror-Tied Qatari Think Tank Has Anti-Israel, Pro-BDS Stance” to a friend Doha, Qatar. Photo: StellarD via Wikimedia Commons. Earlier this month, major Arab nations led by Saudi Arabia severeddiplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing the countryof financing and sheltering terrorists and maintaining cordial relations with Iran. Yet Dohas pro-terror policies have notjustmade the Middle East more unstable;theyalso directly threaten Israels security. For the past decade, Qatar has provided financial and diplomatic support to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, byhostingits leaders andpledgingmillions of dollars to the Hamas-run Gaza Strip. Qatar has alsosponsored the global boycott, divestmentand sanctions (BDS)movement, which is aimed at economically isolating Israel to end its alleged oppression of the Palestinians. A new Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) investigation has found that senior academics tied to a Doha-based think tank believed to be financed by the Qatari government and its Washington, DC, affiliate routinely engage in anti-Israel rhetoric and are strong BDS supporters. June 28, 2017 10:32 am Osama Abu-Irshaid, anon-resident scholarat the Doha-basedArab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS)was afeatured speakerat a three-day internationalconferencein Tunis in August, which was hosted by ACRPSto discussusing boycottsto combat Israeli occupation. The conference, which was titled Boycott as a Strategy against Israeli Occupation and Apartheid: Present-day Realities and Aspirations,describedBDS as an indispensable method in the struggle against Israeli oppression and sought to better understand its importance and the best means by which it can be bolstered. The BDS movementtoutsitself as a Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice, and equality that uses a strategy of boycotts, divestment and sanctions to challenge international support for Israeli apartheid and settler-colonialism. But that strategy appears to bebackfiring,as the movementsunintended victims are Palestinian workers and the Palestinian economy. Abu-Irshaid is also thenational policy directorof the pro-Hamas and anti-Israel organizationAmerican Muslims for Palestine (AMP). Alawsuit filedin a Chicago Federal court in May alleged that AMP and several of its activists are alter egos and/or successors of a Hamas-support network that was held liable for the death of an American teen by Hamas terrorists in 1996. A 2015 IPT investigationfirst detailedthe connections between AMP leaders, including Abu-Irshaid, and a former pro-Hamas network in the UScalled thePalestine Committee.Foundation for Defense of Democracies Vice President Jonathan Schanzerbuilt on those connectionsin his Congressional testimony last year. Abu-Irshaid has also defended Hamas leaders and openly supports the terrorist group insocial media posts. After the USState DepartmentdesignatedHamas activist Ahmed Ghandour as a terrorist in April, Abu-Irshaidblasted the moveas an extension of the old/new US policy against Hamas, adopted [by President Bill Clinton, then] by former President George W. Bush, followed by Barack Obama and Donald Trump today. But the fact that the Trump administration is adding specific names from Hamas is a clear display of good intentions toward Israel. This shows a contradiction between US policy and European [policy] toward Hamas, especially since some European parties, such as the European Court of Justice (ECJ), have [recommended] taking Hamas off [the European Unions] terror blacklist since 2003. Khalil Jahshan, a Palestinian American who isexecutive directorof ACRPS USaffiliate, theArab Center Washington DC (ACW),alsospokeat the Doha institutes Tunis conference. He called for a reassessment of boycott tactics in response to the Israeli governments pushback as vital to ensuring the sustainability and continued effectiveness of boycott campaigns across the world. It wont be enough to repeatedly shout that Israel is incapable of defeating the worldwide BDS movement. [The campaign] needs to capitalize on its efforts, Jahshan said. At a March conference on the The Israel Lobby and American Policy, which was sponsored by the virulentlyanti-IsraelWashington Report on Middle East Affairs (WRMEA), Jahshanclaimedthat BDS is beginning to have an impact, adding that today it is not accidental that the prime minister of Israel and most of its national security leaders view the BDS as the number one national security threat to the state of Israel, because its exposing it worldwide, in no uncertain terms, to the fact that occupation has got to end, occupation cannot be tolerated. The more clarity there is associated with that, I think, the more effective the campaign would be and the more attractive it would become, particularly here in the US. ACRPS senior leadership also has ties to terrorist groups, including Al Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah. Qatari national Abdel Rahmanal-Nuaimi, who wasappointedthe centers president in 2002, wasdesignatedas a terror-sponsor by the US Treasury Department in 2013. A Treasury press release announcing the designation called him a terrorist financier and facilitator who has provided money and material support and conveyed communications to al-Qaida and its affiliates in Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Yemen for more than a decade. That action includes ordering the transfer of nearly $600,000 to al-Qaida. The center has featured top-ranking Hamas activists at its conferences. Former Hamas leader Khalid Meshaalspokethere in 2012, in an event titled,The Islamist Movement and the Path to Governance in Complex Circumstances: Lessons Learned from the Hamas Experience. Another noted Islamist leaderinvitedto speak at the event wasSheikh Rachid Ghannouchi, the head of the Tunisian Ennahda Party. At the ARCPSsecond annual conferencethe following year, Hamas head of international relations,Osama Hamdan,spokeon Resistance: the Options and the Future. ARCPS isreportedlyfunded by the Qatari government, and its events oftenfeaturethe Qatari leadership. Azmi Bishara, a former Arab member of Israels parliament,currently servesas ACRPS general director. Bishara reportedlyaidedthe Iranian proxy group Hezbollah during the 2006 Lebanon War by warning about a prospective Israeli attack on its leader Hassan Nasrallah, and by advising on how to engage in psychological warfare against the Israelis. Bishara gave thekeynote speechvia video at an October 2016 conference on democracy in the Arab world at ACW, the ACRPSDC affiliate. In February 2014, ACWboard memberMohammed Abu-Nimer, participated ina panelwithRamah Kudaimi from theUS Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation(now known as the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights) to advance the false narrative of Israeli apartheid and the BDScampaign. The event at American University was sponsored by the American University Students for Justice in Palestine, aradical student organizationthat has chapters on several campuses across the US,andcampaigns for divestmentfrom Israel, which it falsely smears as anapartheid state. Kudaimi has advocated for terrorism, calling it resistance, and has defended a convicted terrorist bomber. [T]he real resistance is in the streets of #Palestine fighting Zionist regime, he wrote in an October 2015Twitter posting. [T]he fake resistance is killing Syrians doing their own intifada. In a March op-ed, KudaimiarguedthatconvictedPalestinian terroristRasmea Odeh who participated in a 1969 Jerusalem grocery store bombing that killed two Israeli college students should be honored, not imprisoned. Yousef Munayyer, anon-resident Middle East analystat ACW, alsoservesas the executive director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights. In anAmerican Prospectarticle in support of BDS, Munayyerwrote: full BDS can grow and create a reality of political, economic, and cultural isolation that will show the Israeli public their leaders have misled them. Additionally, while the boycott of settlement goods has an impact and should be encouraged, it is marginal on its own when compared to the amount of pressure that will likely be necessary to change Israeli behavior. Nadim Rouhana, who is onACWs board of directors, is thefounding directorof Mada al-Carmel-Arab Center for Applied Social Research, an anti-Israel organization thatroutinely hostsconferences and other events on topics related to Zionism and Settler Colonialism. Arab states at odds with Qatar are unhappy with its support for the Muslim Brotherhood, which they see as a terrorist threat, and for Qatars destabilizing influence in the region. But its support for BDS is equally immoral and unfavorable to Middle East peace efforts. By providing a platform to anti-Israel and pro-BDS propaganda, Qatar propagates a slanted and one-sided Palestinian narrative that perpetuates Israeli stereotypes and pins the blame for the current impasse in negotiations entirely on the Jewish state.

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June 28, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed

LGBT Jews say it’s increasingly difficult to be pro-Israel, queer – The Jerusalem Post

NEW YORK – For years, Laurie Grauer had waved a rainbow flag emblazoned with a Jewish star at the Chicago Dyke March, sometimes marching near activists waving Palestinian flags. It had never been a problem. But this year, Grauer was confronted by the LGBT parades organizers, questioned about her support for Israel and asked to leave because she was carrying the flag. She was one of three women with Jewish flags kicked out of Sundays parade. Grauer says she was used to Israel being a sensitive issue in queer spaces. But she did not expect to be condemned for displaying her Jewish identity. To say that you can only identify one way is very dangerous, said Grauer, the Midwest manager for A Wider Bridge, a pro-Israel LGBT group. Here you have this march that is supposed to be something for people that feel oppressed, invisible, marginalized, [where] they can be who they are. I wasnt pushing my views on people and was told the way youre expressing yourself is unacceptable. The incident at the Dyke March was just the latest in a series of clashes over Israel at activist events for the Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender, or LGBT, community. Being pro-Israel at LGBT events has become difficult, LGBT Jewish leaders say, and at times the opposition to Israel has spilled over into making Jews feel uncomfortable about displaying their identity. Similar tensions arose earlier in June at the Celebrate Israel Parade in New York City, where activists from the far-left Jewish Voice for Peace infiltrated the parade delegation of Jewish Queer Youth, an LGBT group, and held anti-Israel banners. One of the protesters said he was there to counter Israels pinkwashing that is, to stop the pro-Israel LGBT group from using Israels relatively progressive attitudes to distract from the Palestinian issue. Last year, an event featuring an Israeli group at an LGBT conference in Chicago was canceled, then reinstated, and took place amid vocal protest. Nor are these debates new. In 2011, New York Citys LGBT Community Center agreed to lease space to Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, leading gay adult film star and pro-Israel activist Michael Lucas to call for a boycott of the center. The center relented, opting not to host any groups connected to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Weve seen that in a number of different settings, these kinds of incidents have absolutely been increasing in frequency, said Idit Klein, executive director of Keshet, an LGBT Jewish organization. The LGBT community is more likely to be sensitive to and have empathy with others who experience oppression and discrimination. People see injustices being perpetrated against Palestinians by the Israeli government, she said. Many dont necessarily understand the complexity of the history. Several Jewish groups have called on the Dyke March to apologize for expelling the activists, but march organizers are standing by their decision. In a statement Sunday, they said the women were expelled because they were pro-Israel activists and the march is anti-Zionist. The statement noted that Grauer was a member of A Wider Bridge, which the Dyke March called an organization with connections to the Israeli state and right-wing pro-Israel interest groups. It also accused Israel of pinkwashing. This decision was made after they repeatedly expressed support for Zionism during conversations with Chicago Dyke March Collective members, the statement read. The Chicago Dyke March Collective is explicitly not anti-Semitic, we are anti-Zionist. The Chicago Dyke March Collective supports the liberation of Palestine and all oppressed people everywhere. Not all Jews have condemned the march for excluding the Jewish women. Jewish Voice for Peace, the group that infiltrated the Celebrate Israel Parade and a backer of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, tweeted its support of the expulsion. Klein said the tensions over Israel in the broader LGBT community also exist within the LGBT Jewish community. Conversations over Israel in that context become increasingly touchy because people connect their stances on Israel with their overlapping identities. Theres an extra layer of identification as a group that experiences injustice, so that adds a layer of intensity, the Keshet leader said. It makes it a struggle to enable people to be in one space together. I havent figured it out and nor has anyone else. Other LGBT Jewish activists linked the tensions over Israel to a general decline in civil discourse. Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, a New York City LGBT synagogue, said acrimony on social media has spilled over into on-the-ground events. Its become less respectful, more with a tremendous character assassination, and that deeply saddens me, Kleinbaum said. The larger political world has become that way. Social media has created a platform for people who dont care about nuance. Three years ago Kleinbaums synagogue, which regularly joins the Celebrate Israel Parade, faced criticism from some of its pro-Israel members for its sympathy to the Palestinians and criticism of Israeli policy. And if it is not just the Left, its not just Israel either, said Mordechai Levovitz, executive director of Jewish Queer Youth. Hes seen people berated or excluded from activist circles because they are politically conservative or too openly religious. Israel is doubly complicated, he added, because it connects both to a political issue and ethnic identity. This is rooted in an approach thats all about shutting other people down instead of hearing people who disagree with your point of view, Levovitz said. Israel is a very complex issue for Jews because it doesnt have to do with a states policy, it has to do with your identity. How can you say you can have pride in one aspect of your identity but not the other? Jewish LGBT leaders hope they can stem these trends through dialogue and explanation, distinguishing Israels politics from the nations right to exist, and Israel from Judaism. Kleinbaum will attend a roundtable of LGBT leaders across communities Wednesday where she will share her personal experience regarding Israel. People are behaving in an anti-Semitic way without knowing thats what theyre doing, said Lilli Kornblum, past president of Or Chadash, a former LGBT synagogue in Chicago. They may be more open to understanding the nuances of the community. My goal between now and next years Dyke March is weve got a year to sit down and talk about this. Im much more likely now to go to the march next year. In the meantime, the women who were kicked out of the march have said they feel anguished. But Grauer said that although she was pained by the incident, she has been supported by activists from across the wider LGBT community. I was really hurt and betrayed in that safe environment, Grauer said of the Dyke March. I cant say Im being betrayed by the queer community as a whole. When you have people like that who also speak up, I can never say I was betrayed. Share on facebook

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June 28, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed


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