A former Birthright trip coordinator and leader’s bold opinion: young Jews on Birthright trips are aware of world events, and shouldn’t have to feel like they’re engaging with a sanitized and whitewashed version of Israel. When tour organizers don’t show them realities like the occupation, they are painting an incomplete and dishonest picture of what’s happening on the ground. Showing and telling the truth will make birthrighters more likely to engage and take action.
Category: Progressive Except Palestine
A children’s speech pathologist refuses to sign a will-not-boycott-Israel oath: she loses her job, an unknown number of children lose her advocacy. She notes how outlandish it is that she is not required to uphold the interests of the United States, or Texas, or children, but a foreign country.
As The Intercept has repeatedly documented, the most frequent victims of official campus censorship are not conservative polemicists but pro-Palestinian activists, and the greatest and most severe threat posed to free speech throughout the west is aimed at Israel critics.
Marc Lamont Hill, in Nazareth 2014. screenshot from Vimeo video. As is often the case with proponents of justice for Palestinians, Marc Lamont Hill was watched closely by Israel partisans as he spoke before the UN last week. They took a phrase – one phrase – from the speech and threw the rest aside, hoping…
Gideon Levy calls out US media’s cowardice. He highlights the double standard in which Palestinians can only be villainized, but Israel can only be defended, and the misuse of the term “anti-Semitism.” How is it that an Israeli newspaper can publish this, but in the US, CNN is required to fire Marc Lamont Hill?
In an aggressive campaign against a billboard company and its staff, Israel supporters threatened boycott and used the label “anti-Semitism” as a weapon to shut down a positive ad celebrating first responders in Gaza. The ad did not mention Israel. No dialogue, no explanation, just suppression of free speech.
018 midterm elections are a mixed bag when it comes to the Palestine/Israel issue: 6 Jewish people are expected to chair important congressional committees; 122 J-Street endorsees were elected (J-Street is pro-2 state solution); some of the many pro-Israel congress people lost their seats, while 3 new pro-Palestine women were elected; it is becoming more commonplace for even Israel supporters to speak critically of Israel.
Bottom line: the US midterm elections have ushered a new dawn in American politics that is defying the unflinching influence held for many years by pro-Israel lobbies and interest groups.
At the November 1st “Friends of the IDF” Hollywood gala, $60 million was raised in one night for Israel’s army. This is on top of $10 million a day in US military aid to Israel. Palestinians are outraged that American artists are supporting a regime that kills innocents and colonizes land.
The good news: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib are Israel-criticizing congressional newcomers. The bad news: other Dem midterm winners join the army of Israel supporters – having vowed to keep America’s commitment to Israel “as fixed and as permanent as the sky” and “make sure that we are supporting Israel into the next generation.” In addition, some key leadership positions will be filled by pro-Israel Jews. Norman Finkelstein sees this as a sign of “a growing divide between US Jews and Israeli Jews.”
If IAK’s new Congressional Scoreboards piqued your interest, but you shied away due to less-than-remarkable computer skills, this is just for you. In a few minutes, you’ll be ready to take on Capitol Hill…
NY State Senator Jeff Klein seems torn between two viewpoints: one says “all people are created equal, with certain unalienable rights – life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” The other, incompatible with the first: “Israel, right or wrong.”