Thursday, March 31, 2011

You "support Israel" - Answer me three simple questions

There is a column in today's Washington Post about a Knesset (Israeli Parliament) Committee investigation of the US Group J Street. J Street is a US Jewish Political Action Committee, which is pro-Israeli and--wait for it--also pro-Peace.

This means among other things that J Street opposes the pursuit of settlements by Israel.

Because of this, a Committee of the Knesset is investigating whether J Street should be called "pro-Israel".

The author of the column, Harold Meyerson, looks at this through the lens of McCarthyism. A fair critique.

I want to look at this through another lens and ask Israel-First people, including the Christian Zionists of America and 90% of the US Congress, a simple set of questions.
  1. If the Israeli government (or a part of it) questions whether you can be pro-Israeli and against settlements, can you infer that the Israeli government (or part of it) is pro-settlements and consider settlements a step forward toward the greater Zionist ideal, Eretz Israel?
    [Hint: the answer is "Yes".]

  2. Is there any scenario possible whereby settlements don't lead to land confiscation, conflict, more deaths and ultimately the deportation, encampment or death of Palestinians?
    [Hint: the answer is "No".]

  3. Can a government which pursues or even simply allows such policies be credible in peace negotiations? Can you, at the same time, be conquering the land and lives of your enemy and negotiating a peace in good faith?
    [Hint: the answer is "No".]
See, I don't think there is a debate to be had about the answer to these three questions, but I'm sure you will find a way if you ever get to read them.

To be a 21st Century Zionist (I don't mean being pro-Israel, its safety and right to exist, but for its expansion and domination of its neighbors, which is what it means more and more), you need to be able to dance around these simple questions. You need to be able to distort the facts, the identity of Palestinians, the history and geography of the place, even the humanity of your neighbors.

Many conquerors have done well with creating their own facts and truths in the pursuit of their ideology. You may win many battles.

But if you're Jewish or Christian... then you have to accommodate your professed faith and ethos with embracing The Lie.

I have only one word for you: "Haram!"

If you don't know what it means, look it up.
Shalom - Salaam - Pax.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Read Oxfam's Call As Violence is Raised a Notch

I always have to remind people that when violence "is not raised", it mostly means that it's unilateral and there's marginally less death -- but just as much violence against the Palestinian population. Still recent trends are not helping anyone.
Reposting the call from Oxfam --

As tensions rise, aid agency calls for calm
25 March 2011

With violence escalating over the past week, now is the time for both Palestinians and Israelis to show immediate restraint, says humanitarian aid agency Oxfam. Oxfam says that all sides must do everything they can in order to protect innocent civilians. With tensions running high across the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel, the stakes are too high to wait for the conflict to take a turn for the worse, warned Oxfam.

“At a time of great uncertainty in the Middle East, we cannot afford to let senseless casualties mount. The protection of civilians on both sides of the conflict must be prioritized and the international community must call upon the government of Israel and all other parties to the conflict to abide by international law as a first step towards a just peace in the region,” said Oxfam International Executive Director Jeremy Hobbs.

Ten consecutive days of violence between the Israeli army and Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip have caused injuries to 24 Palestinians, claiming the lives of 6 civilians, including 4 children. A strike on a Gaza suburb two days ago left 4 civilians dead, including 3 children. Three Israeli civilians have also been injured in the crossfire. A bomb planted at a Jerusalem bus station Thursday claimed the life of a woman tourist and caused injuries to over 30 people. To date, no one has claimed responsibility for the bombing.

“For over two years, Palestinians in Gaza have been struggling to rebuild their lives shattered from the military operation Cast Lead. As the ongoing Israeli blockade continues to block reconstruction and recovery, escalating violence will only move people away from peace and towards hopelessness and despair,” said Oxfam International Executive Director Jeremy Hobbs.

***For media inquiries please contact: Willow Heske, Oxfam Media Lead in Jerusalem
+972 (0) 59 7133646 or +972 (0) 54 6395002 or