This originally appeared at Jewschool
Currently, Israel is engaged in a Gaza-Southern Israel back and forth of rockets and airstrikes. A teen was killed in a Golan Heights explosion originating from Syria and Israeli Forces are responding with fire on pro-Assad fighters.
Israel still hasn't found the 3 teenagers who are presumed kidnapped since they went missing on June 12th (though they have found other young people). Neither has anyone presented any evidence that it was, in fact, Hamas as the government claims.
This article was originally published in +972 Magazine.
Both BDS supporters and detractors are touting the Presbyterian Church’s divestment vote as a BDS victory. But regardless, isn’t it a step in the direction every anti-occupation person ought to be rooting for?
The Presbyterian Church U.S.A. (PCUSA) narrowly (310 to 303) voted late last week to divest some $21 million from Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola for profiting by selling goods which are used in the administration of the occupation and the destruction of Palestinian homes and property.
The full text of the divestment resolution can be read here.
Strangely enough, or perhaps quite expectedly, both BDS activists and anti-BDS activists are touting this as a victory for the global boycott movement. The former are doing so with glee, saying that the Presbyterian divestment is a step in the right direction. The latter are shaking their fists with anger saying that people will see this as a BDS victory.
This article originally appeared in The Forward.
Since the kidnapping of three Israeli teens last Thursday, the Israeli media has been engaged in a full court press to fill in the blanks and tell a compelling story — whether or not it’s true.
Today, I came across a Facebook post from Mohammad AlQadi, a Palestinian student and activist living in Lyon, France. His picture had been posted (without permission) to an article in Walla, a major online news source for Israelis. The article reports on a campaign to support the kidnappers by holding up three fingers as if to gloat that three Israelis have been abducted.
According to AlQadi, the photo of him with three fingers up was taken last year. The three fingers that he was holding up were related to last year’s Arab Idol winner Mohammed Assaf, a Palestinian singer born in Gaza. The three-finger salute in that context refers to the campaign to vote for Assaf on the show by choosing option 3.
This piece originally appeared here.
It’s worth repeating that we should all be working and/or (at the very least) hoping for the safe return of three teenagers who were kidnapped days ago in the occupied territories. Now the question has been asked: Is it insensitive to talk about building a just peace based on self-determination for all peoples right now?
It is insensitive to all of the past, present, and future victims of aggression here to avoid talking about the context of this kidnapping as well as the ensuing rise in violence. It is insensitive to steer clear of the conversation on how to stop violence and end the occupation. It is insensitive at a time like this – while saying loud and clear that those three students must be returned safe, sound, and soon – to pretend that all of this is happening in a vacuum, because that is a game that leads to more hate and violence.
As some steer clear of talk about the broader context, crass politicians like the Prime Minister dictate the dominant discourse. His story is focused on blaming instead of searching, and that is somehow acceptable, while looking for real answers is not? As he works to deepen divides, criticism is aimed at those working toward critical understanding of the situation, and perhaps a just peace. It matters that there is an occupation and that in the West Bank one set of people are protected by democratic rights while another lives under martial law with barriers, checkpoints, and soldiers running their lives, and no, acknowledging that fact does not make you somehow care less about the safe return of those kidnapped teenagers.
Nothing justifies the kidnapping of these three teenagers - proponents of a just and peaceful future must actively condemn it and other acts of violence - and it takes a lot to feel pain here and now, while striving to look forward. I have no doubt that we (humans) have that capacity. As well, there is something important in the moment(s) of just feeling and certainly some need just that. However, we should be calling for an end to the occupation in the times when Israelis have forgotten that it exists and in the times when it is hard to hear. Here's the thing about calling for real and fundamental change: We have to be for it all the time. If we avoid the discussion about the roots of violence right now, we are being insensitive to the future victims of today’s violence.
This article is up at Jewschool.com
A group of young, Jewish, Toronto-based leaders who are active in building dynamic Jewish programming for young adults expected to get support from Moishe House for the work they do, but were surprised instead when they were turned down to be Toronto’s first Moishe House.
The Toronto folks are looking to inspire more people to speak out and convince Moishe House to help them organize for the Toronto community, which was home to nearly 200,000 Jews as of 2011.
Here’s their letter: