Category: Progressive Except Palestine

Democratic bigwigs create group to promote Israel to progressives

Alison Weir’s in depth investigation of the new “Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI),” created to counter growing support among Democrats for Palestinian rights (only 19 % of progressive Democrats now support Israel over Palestinians). DMFI plans to use its substantial financial resources & powerful connections to bring Democrats back into the pro-Israel fold and to target Democrats such as Betty McCollum who support Palestinian human rights…

‘Does Israel Have A Right To Exist’ Is A Trick Question.

The question “Does Israel have the right to exist?” is intellectually dishonest and intended, almost always, to silence critics and criticism of Israeli policies. Anyone who does not answer with a resounding Yes is guaranteed the label “anti-Semite.”
This was Tamika Mallory’s recent predicament – but she went in full speed and declared that “all people have the right to exist.”
The proper question is, “Is the way in which Israel exists right?”

The Pro-Israel Push to Purge US Campus Critics

Katherine Franke writes in the New York Review of Books that while Palestinian rights are getting more attention than ever, advocates of justice still face accusations of “anti-Semitism,” harassment, and most of all, censorship on college campuses….

Activist and scholar Angela Davis is articulate and compelling as she speaks with Amy Goodman about injustice in Palestine and the injustice of those groups trying to shut down dialogue. She is gratified that the outcome of her controversial loss of the Shuttlesworth Award includes a robust conversation about justice for Palestinians; she also notes the fact that many groups, including some Jewish groups, support her.  

Angela Davis on the retraction of her civil rights award: “An attack against the spirit of the indivisibility of justice”

Angela Davis, activist and scholar, was set to receive the prestigious Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award next month from the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. After the event was abruptly cancelled and the award rescinded, it came to light that the “Jewish community” had been the primary impetus for the change, pressuring the BCRI board to reverse their decision because of Davis’ advocacy for Palestine and Palestinians. 

Davis remains firmly on the side of justice in spite of her disappointment, and calls for an honest, robust dialogue instead of this shutdown.

Opinion: Birthrighters can handle the truth. Show them the occupation.

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.

Texas: she didn’t sign the “Israel Oath,” so she got fired

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’s “anti-Semitism” is a distraction

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 Tells It Like It Is: “In U.S. Media, Israel Is Untouchable”

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?