October 23, 2012

From the Institute for Palestine Studies: "Before Their Diaspora is a visual journey into Palestine before 1948. Every important aspect of Palestinian society comes to life in the nearly 500 photographs, carefully selected from thousands available in private and public collections throughout the world. Descriptive, analytical texts, introduce each of the five historical periods into which the book is divided. Carefully researched, captions identify the time, place, personalities and context of each photograph. The first printing was in 1984." [continued] [H/t Electronic Intifada]

October 6, 2012

Personal perspective on Israel and Palestine

From New Hampshire Peace Action: “Local residents to offer a personal perspective on Israel and Palestine: Carolyn Cicciu and Will Thomas, retired teachers, will share their personal stories and experiences following their travels to one of the most conflicted areas in the Middle East—Israel and Palestine, including the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Both traveled to the Middle East as members of Interfaith Peace-Builders….” More info. October 15, 2012, 6:30 p.m. Manchester City Library auditorium.

Russell Tribunal on Palestine

September 7, 2012

Interfaith Conversation

"Interfaith Conversation aims to connect diverse people"
By Manasee Wagh, Intelligencer, September 6, 2012
It’s an understatement to say that finding peace among historically antagonistic nations in the Middle East is a tricky situation.
Nevertheless, many people sincerely want to take a step in that direction by celebrating each others’ faith, traditions and cultural differences, said Laurence Snider, president of Interfaith Community for Middle East Peace. The organization has been drawing Delaware Valley residents together to promote interfaith understanding since 2008.
At 3 p.m. on Sunday, the organization will host a conversation among Muslims, Christians, Jews and those of other faiths at the Yardley United Methodist Church. Any member of the public is invited to attend and have a positive conversation about peace in Israel and Palestine, said church Pastor Bob Coombe.
Seven earlier conversations hosted by the Interfaith Community gave people an opportunity to introduce their faiths to each other, Snider said, and this event will start building on that. It will be the first of several such conversations about Middle East peace to be held in the next few months, Snider said. . . .

April 16, 2012

9th Annual Philadelphia Interfaith Walk for Peace and Reconciliation, Sun., April 29, 2012, 2-6 p.m.

Details at http://www.interfaithpeacewalk.org/.

Philadelphia Premiere of Najla Saïd's "Palestine"

Written and performed by Najla Saïd
Rich, honest, and amusingly poignant, Palestine is a compassionate look at the Middle East from the unique perspective of Najla Saïd, a self-described politically agnostic Upper West Side Palestinian American princess (and the daughter of eminent scholar Edward Saïd), who traveled to the occupied territories to discover her deeper identity as an Arab American woman.
April 17, 18, and 19, 2012, at the InterAct Theatre, Philadelphia.

February 10, 2012

Israeli peace activist Gershon Baskin

"Israeli activist Gershon Baskin on release of Gilad Shalit, peace prospects," Radio Times, WHYY/NPR, February 10, 2012.
A few days after Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was abducted in 2005, Gershon Baskin got a phone call from a Palestinian professor and colleague asking for his help in negotiating the soldier's release. Gershon was put in touch with a spokesman for the Hamas government and for five years, as an intermediary between senior Hamas and Israeli officials, Baskin worked through back channels to broker a deal for Shalit's freedom in exchange for 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. Baskin is a member of Israeli's Green Movement Party, is the founder of the Israel Palestine Center for Research and Information and has been active in increasing understanding and promoting peaceful dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians. He has been involved in peace process as an outside advisor to Israeli Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Ehud Barak and writes a column for the Jerusalem Post.

January 30, 2012

"Aim to promote human rights of the Palestinians."

By Ali Abunimah, Philadelphia Inquirer, January 29, 2012.
I am coming to the University of Pennsylvania this week to incite violence against the State of Israel - pro-Israel groups and commentators have contended - and, along with hundreds of students and other speakers who will attend the 2012 National Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Conference, to engage in an "act of warfare."

Nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, we are coming together to push forward an inclusive movement that supports nonviolent action to promote the human rights of the Palestinian people, because only full respect for these rights can lead to peace. Today, millions of Palestinians live without basic rights under Israeli rule. This intolerable situation is at the root of problems that affect the whole world. . . . [continued]

December 27, 2011

"Muslim author carries a universal message"

Intelligencer editorial, December 27, 2011:
Muslim author carries a universal message

Lisa Abdelsalam was born in Lansdale, graduated from North Penn High School and became an author. She was scheduled to talk about her writing and publishing experiences to several classes at A.M. Kulp Elementary School in Hatfield earlier this month. She’s made such visits to other schools in the North Penn School District.

Her latest visit was canceled, however, when a few parents objected to her program and threatened to bring in an outside group to protest.

The principal at the school, Erik Huebner, told Abdelsalam she was welcome just the same. But in order to spare the young students from what might have been an unpleasant scene, the two of them decided it would be better if she didn’t come.

And perhaps prejudice claimed yet another victim.

October 14, 2011

Mosque invites public

"Lower Makefield: Mosque invites public to discussion of Islamic holy days"
By Joan Hellyer, Bucks County Courier Times, October 14, 2011
Members of the Zubaida Foundation are inviting people of all backgrounds to their mosque in Lower Makefield on Sunday afternoon to examine and discuss what is common between religious faiths, an organizer said.

Judaism, Christianity and Islam have the same roots in Abraham, said Brother Mohammed Husain, a foundation member and organizer of the free event, which includes a discussion and lunch.

The ties to Abraham will serve as a focal point, he said.

“If you want people to understand each other, you have to explore what is common between them,” Husain said. “We have to sit down at the same table to get to know each other and then maybe some of the stereotypes will go away. We will be in a little better condition and maybe we will be able to trust each other.”

July 19, 2011

Palestine and the Arab Spring

Philly Against War forum with Vijay Prashad
Saturday, July 23, 2:00-4:00 p.m.
Tabernacle Church, 3700 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104
FLYER (location subject to change)

Dr. Prashad will speak about Palestine and how it relates to the revolutions in North Africa and across the Arab world.
Dr. Vijay Prashad, Professor of International Studies at Trinity College, Hartford, CT; author most recently of The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World; regular featured guest on Democracy Now with Amy Goodman.

July 2, 2011

U.S. Boat to Gaza

April 6, 2011

Grieving Palestinians & Israelis work for peace

On Radio Times, WHYY/NPR, April 6, 2011:
The Parents Circle – Families Forum is an organization of bereaved families on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian struggle who are becoming a powerful force for peace there. Ali Abu Awwad is a Palestinian nonviolence activist who knows about loss: shot in the leg by an Israeli settler, he returned from a lengthy treatment to find that his brother Yusef had been killed by an Israeli soldier. So too has the life of Yuval Rahamim been touched by tragedy: His father was killed fighting for Israel in 1967’s Six Day War, and his desire for revenge led him up the ranks of the Israel Defense Forces, until his subsequent life and family convinced him that the tragedies, killings, and hate on both sides must stop and that he needed to play an active role in it. Together they are part of a group of 500 Israeli and Palestinian families who have lost close family members and who work together for reconciliation and a just resolution to the conflict. They spoke at Villanova yesterday on a Catholic Relief Services-sponsored tour, and they're our guests today in our studio.

March 4, 2011

I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey...

On Radio Times, WHYY/NPR, March 3, 2011:
Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish lost three of his daughters and his niece to a shell launched at his apartment in Gaza by Israeli Defense Forces in January 2009, while another daughter was critically injured. Moments later, Israeli TV viewers heard the desperate wails of Dr. Abuelaish live, as he called his TV correspondent friend for help finding an ambulance. Dr. Abuelaish had been providing frequent reports about the Gaza war for Israeli TV, as he was one of the few Hebrew speakers in Gaza. His Hebrew enabled him to work as an obstetrician and gynecologist specializing in infertility in Israeli hospitals, crossing checkpoints every day to go to work. And Dr. Abuelaish, despite his tragic loss, continues to cross barriers, overcoming grief to become an inspiring advocate for peace for people of many faiths. He created Daughters for Life in his daughters’ memory, a foundation dedicated to providing education and health services to women and girls throughout the Middle East. His new book is I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity.

January 7, 2011

A Child's View from Gaza

Local resident Susan Johnson collected the drawings for this video and traveling exhibit:

October 25, 2010

"Making Peace with Friendly Enemies"

By Larry Snider, opednews.com, October 23, 2010:
". . . It is true that if there is no security there will be no peace. It is equally true that if there is no peace there will be no security."

October 5, 2010

March and Rally to End the Wars!

Saturday, October 16, 12:00 Noon
Gather at City Hall, March to Independence Mall & Rally
U.S. Out of Afghanistan and Iraq! Bring the Troops Home Now!
Money for Jobs, Education and Health Care, Not for War!
No Bail-Outs for the Rich!
End All U.S. Aid to Israel! Lift the Siege of Gaza!
Say NO to Racism and Anti-Islamic Bigotry!
Hands off Iran!

United Antiwar Committee – Philadelphia, Philadelphia Against War, Brandywine Peace Community, United for Peace and Justice – Delaware Valley Network, Philadelphia Regional Antiwar Network (PRAWN), Coalition for Peace Action (Princeton), BuxMont Coalition for Peace Action, Philadelphia Progressive Democrats of America, International Action Center, Philadelphia ANSWER, Philadelphia Party for Socialism and Liberation, Philadelphia ISO Northwest Greens, Socialist Action,
Workers Power, Philadelphia Solidarity, Philadelphia SDS,
Up Against the Law
Contact: 267.994.9448, philly.march.mobe@gmail.com

September 25, 2010

"Making Peace Inevitable"

By Larry Snider, opednews.com, September 24, 2010:
"President Obama and his team of Middle East specialists have forcibly opened the door to inculcate direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians even as pundits on all sides are busily projecting the failure of this new round of talks. However, there are many steps that can be taken and built together to generate a momentum making peace inevitable. . . ." [continued]

September 10, 2010

Philly interfaith gathering on September 11, 2010

We Cannot Remain Silent
A peaceful gathering of people representing different faiths who will come together and read from the Quran, Torah, and the Gospels; prayers, reflections, and a time for meditation will be included

September 11, 2010, 12:30 p.m.
West Kensington Ministry at Norris Square
2136 North Hancock (corner of Hancock & Susquehanna)
Philadelphia, PA 19122

Rev. Adan A. Mairena
Interfaith Peace Walk
Faith and Secular Representatives

To promote unity and strength among people of different faiths as we listen to each others’ sacred texts and reflect on the messages of peace, tolerance, and compassion

September 6, 2010

Philly fundraiser for the next Gaza Freedom Flotilla

Help purchase and launch
The Audacity of Hope
a U.S. ship for the next
Gaza Freedom Flotilla
Ann Wright, a Gaza Freedom Flotilla survivor, also known for resigning from the State Department in protest of the 2003 invasion of Iraq; Colonel Wright has traveled to Gaza three times and spent time in jail as a result
Remi Kanazi, Palestinian-American poet and author, co-founder and primary writer for www.PoeticInjustice.net and the editor of Poets for Palestine
Chris Hedges, author of nine books, New York Times correspondent for 15 years and Mid-East Bureau Chief until he was reprimanded for denouncing the invasion of Iraq
plus buffet style dinner, other speakers and
musical accompaniment
Friday, September 10, 6:30-9:00 p.m.
Tabernacle Church
3700 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Tickets and more info at www.BreakSiegeofGaza.org

Local resident tries to enter Gaza

Local resident Susan Johnson is in Egypt, trying to return to Gaza to volunteer at a children's center. Follow her journey at http://seeingformyself.blogspot.com/. I met Susan when she gave a presentation in Doylestown in the summer of 2009 after her first trip to Gaza. Then she invited me to the Buckingham Friends' screening of Anna Baltzer's Life in Occupied Palestine: Eyewitness Stories & Photos. In November 2009 Anna Baltzer was among the speakers at a symposium on Mideast peace at Villanova. This blog is an outcome of these exposures to truths that are not readily apparent in this country.

Thank you, Susan, for helping to educate us. I hope you are able to complete your mission of good will and service in Gaza.

August 15, 2010

"His moment of truth"

By Jo Ciavaglia, Bucks County Courier Times, August 8, 2010:
Zak Ebrahim lost his father at age 7. Dad died of a heart attack, he told people.

A dead parent is easier to explain than one who is a Muslim extremist and a convicted murderer serving a life sentence in a super-max federal prison.

For most of his life, Ebrahim feared that people would find out about the father he barely knows.

Now, the Doylestown resident is telling the world who he is - and who he is not.

Who he is not, he said, is his father, El-Sayyid Nosair, who was convicted in 1995 as a co-conspirator in the first attack on the World Trade Center in New York City that killed six people.

Ebrahim, 27, recently has gone public with his twisted family ties, speaking out at events, such as today's Sunday celebration at the Pebble Hill Interfaith Church in Doylestown Township. He said his childhood experiences cemented a belief that hate and violence make things only worse.

His life story offers a rare glimpse into the life of an American family after one member is accused or convicted of terrorist acts - and, according to a national Muslim spokesman, the social ostracism they often encounter in the Muslim and Western communities. . . .

July 2, 2010

"Israel's Enemy Within"

Frontline, PBS, February 7, 2009, with link to Frontline's full report, "Israel's Next War?"

"The Two Sides of a Barbed-Wire Fence"

By Nicholas Kristof, New York Times, June 30, 2010: "The Israeli occupation of the West Bank is widely acknowledged to be unsustainable and costly to the country’s image. But one more blunt truth must be acknowledged: the occupation is morally repugnant. . . ." [continued]

June 26, 2010

"Resolving the Gaza Crisis"

By Larry Snider, opednews.com, June 26, 2010: "It is time to build a new policy between Israel, Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, the people of Gaza and the international community. First a brief history. . . ." [continued]

June 8, 2010

"Israel's separate reality"

By Paul Woodward, warincontext.org, June 7, 2010, quoting Ilan Pappé in Scotland's June 6 Herald, "What drives Israel? Probably the most bewildering aspect of the Gaza flotilla affair has been the righteous indignation expressed by the Israeli government and people. . . ." [continued]

June 4, 2010

Flotilla emergency protest in Philadelphia June 5

Saturday, June 5, 2010, 12:00-3:00 PM, Israeli Consulate, 19th and JFK, Philadelphia. Bill Perry's photos: "Our 2nd Zionist Consulate Rally in the last 5 days occurred shortly after the MV Rachel Corrie was captured by Israeli pirates, 6/5/10."

June 2, 2010

Bucks Countians join the Philly protest, June 1

"Phila. marchers protest Israeli attack on aid flotilla," by Kristen A. Graham, Philadelphia Inquirer, June 2, 2010. Bill Perry's photos: "1st Zionist Consulate Rally Facebook Album marked the massacre on the Mavi Marmara Flotilla, 5/31/10."

May 22, 2010

"The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment"

By Peter Beinart, New York Review of Books, June 10, 2010: "In 2003, several prominent Jewish philanthropists hired Republican pollster Frank Luntz to explain why American Jewish college students were not more vigorously rebutting campus criticism of Israel. In response, he unwittingly produced the most damning indictment of the organized American Jewish community that I have ever seen. . . ." [continued]

May 6, 2010

"Chomsky and other scientists condemn Boston museum’s Israeli celebration"

By Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss, May 4, 2010:
What follows is an open letter to the Boston Museum of Science by leading scholars objecting to the museum's sponsorship of an Israeli propaganda effort:

We, the undersigned group of scientists concerned with human dignity and equality, condemn the Museum of Science’s decision to co-sponsor and host “Israeli Innovation Weekend” (IIW) on May 2.

IIW is far from an innocent educational endeavor. It is part of a propaganda campaign by the State of Israel to present itself as a beacon of progress in a desert of backwardness and deflect attention from its atrocious human rights record and fundamentally discriminatory policies. . . . [continued]

May 2, 2010

"Are Israeli Policies Entrenching Anti-Semitism Worldwide?"

By Tony Klug, Tikkun, May/June 2010:
"Even posing the question is painful, for after all the suffering anti-Semitism has caused the Jewish people over the centuries, the last thing we need or deserve is to have it become a permanent state of affairs. Nonetheless, the proposition that the State of Israel, which was conceived as a way of normalizing relations between Jews and all other peoples, might instead be normalizing anti-Semitism is not one we can simply close our eyes to in the forlorn hope that it will go away of its own accord. . . ." [continued]

April 28, 2010

"A Middle East Peace That Could Happen (But Won't)"

By Noam Chomsky, HuffingtonPost, April 27, 2010:
The fact that the Israel-Palestine conflict grinds on without resolution might appear to be rather strange. For many of the world’s conflicts, it is difficult even to conjure up a feasible settlement. In this case, it is not only possible, but there is near universal agreement on its basic contours: a two-state settlement along the internationally recognized (pre-June 1967) borders -- with “minor and mutual modifications,” to adopt official U.S. terminology before Washington departed from the international community in the mid-1970s.

The basic principles have been accepted by virtually the entire world, including the Arab states (who go on to call for full normalization of relations), the Organization of Islamic States (including Iran), and relevant non-state actors (including Hamas). A settlement along these lines was first proposed at the U.N. Security Council in January 1976 by the major Arab states. Israel refused to attend the session. The U.S. vetoed the resolution, and did so again in 1980. The record at the General Assembly since is similar.

There was one important and revealing break in U.S.-Israeli rejectionism. After the failed Camp David agreements in 2000, President Clinton recognized that the terms he and Israel had proposed were unacceptable to any Palestinians. That December, he proposed his “parameters”: imprecise, but more forthcoming. He then stated that both sides had accepted the parameters, while expressing reservations.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met in Taba, Egypt, in January 2001 to resolve the differences and were making considerable progress. In their final press conference, they reported that, with a little more time, they could probably have reached full agreement. Israel called off the negotiations prematurely, however, and official progress then terminated, though informal discussions at a high level continued leading to the Geneva Accord, rejected by Israel and ignored by the U.S.

A good deal has happened since, but a settlement along those lines is still not out of reach -- if, of course, Washington is once again willing to accept it. Unfortunately, there is little sign of that.

Substantial mythology has been created about the entire record, but the basic facts are clear enough and quite well documented.

The U.S. and Israel have been acting in tandem to extend and deepen the occupation. . . . [continued]

April 25, 2010

Presentation on Palestine at Doylestown Presbyterian Church, May 2, 9:45 AM

Doylestown resident Susan Johnson, author of the blog "Palestine: Seeing for Myself" at seeingformyself.blogspot.com, will give a presentation on what she witnessed in her travels to Palestine at the Doylestown Presbyterian Church, Celtic Cross Room, May 2, 9:45 a.m., as part of the "Know Your Neighbor" series.

April 20, 2010

"For Jerusalem, a response to Elie Wiesel"

By Yossi Sarid, Haaretz, April 18, 2010: "For Jerusalem's sake I, like you, will not rest. . . ." [continued]

April 19, 2010

Novel chronicles Palestinian refugee family

Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa, reviewed by Maureen Corrigan, Philadelphia Inquirer, April 18, 2010:
Its "off-road" publishing history alone signals that Mornings in Jenin is a debut novel that generates fierce responses.

Susan Abulhawa's tale of four generations of a Palestinian family exiled to the Jenin refugee camp originally was printed in hardcover in 2002 under a more inflammatory title: The Scar of David. The book's small-press publisher went out of business shortly thereafter, but it was rescued from pulping by Bloomsbury Press, which has recently brought out the retitled novel as a paperback original. . . . [continued]

April 13, 2010

"Budrus" premiere in US April 25

http://www.budrusthemovie.com courtesy of http://www.justvision.org

"Finding Palestine's Ghandi in Budrus," by Fadi Elsalameen, HuffingtonPost, June 18, 2010.

March 29, 2010

Tony Judt on NPR's "Fresh Air"

Interviewed by Terry Gross, March 29, 2010:
Gross: . . . we were talking about how he lived in Israel in kibbutzim and was Zionist when he was a young man. But he later rethought many of his views about Israel.

In the past few years [technical difficulty] think that Israel should actually be one state with the Palestinian territories and that in one state everybody should have an equal vote which really outraged a lot of your readers...

Mr. Judt: Right.

Gross: ...because it would mean Israel would cease to be a Jewish state and the majority voting population would be Palestinian. So what was it like for you to alienate so many of your readers to outrage? So many of your readers.

Mr. Judt: Well, my wife, who is not Jewish, was amazed. She said that why can't people see how reasonable your essay was? I said look, what I did was break outside of a very big circle - the circle of Jews who believe in Israel and speaking as a Jew, stood outside it and said the emperor has no clothes. And that is not calculated to please people. But I would say, by the way, that although I made a lot of enemies, some of whom probably still see themselves as my enemy, they were nearly all in the United States.

My essay was republished all over the world. The essay on what was called "The Alternative to the Present Situation," in Israel it aroused a lot of political commentary but also a lot of approving commentary. . . .

March 25, 2010

Dr. Hanan Ashrawi on WHYY

Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane, March 25, 2010: "Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, on the prospects for Palestinian-Israeli peace: The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has entered a new phase of angry accusations, stalled negotiations and bitter disputes over Israeli settlements in parts of past and perhaps future Palestinian lands. Which is to say that nothing much is new at all. Still, the world hopes for a restart of peace negotiations. Here to discuss the past, present and possible future of those talks is Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, also known as the PLO. Dr. Ashrawi was the official spokeswoman for the Palestinian delegation to the Middle East peace process during the 1991 Madrid peace conference, and has won several major peace-making awards. She's in town giving a lecture at LaSalle University later today as part of its Diplomat in Residence program, and she’s our guest on today's Radio Times."

March 23, 2010

Code Pink rips AIPAC

March 15, 2010

"U.S.-Israel rift undermining some long-standing taboos"

By Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com, March 15, 2010: "The rather extraordinary dust-up between the U.S. and Israel has, among other benefits, shined a light on two of the most taboo yet self-evidently true propositions: (1) our joined-at-the-hip relationship with Israel is a significant cause of anti-American sentiment in the Muslim world, fuels attacks on Americans, and entails a very high price for the U.S. on multiple levels; and (2) many American neoconservatives have their political beliefs shaped by allegiance to Israel. . . ." (continued)

March 11, 2010

Palestinian and Israeli women visit Yardley, March 11, 2010

Three young women from Israel and the West Bank will be coming to Yardley on Thursday, March 11. They tell an amazing story. The women are peacemakers, and have been participants since 2005 with the nonprofit Creativity for Peace.

Inspired Palestinian and Israeli women bring teenagers--Muslims, Jews, Christians, and others--from Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank to summer camp in New Mexico. They train the girls in group dialogue and healing of trauma and the girls express themselves in art. After their return home, they meet regularly to continue building their relationships.

“Our group of religious leaders met with Creativity’s Israeli director and a couple of girls who had recently completed the program when we visited the Holy Land,” relates the Rev. Al Krass of Levittown. He was one of the members of the Interfaith Community for Middle East Peace (ICMEP)—local Jewish, Christian, and Muslim leaders who went to the Holy Land in 2008 to do Compassionate Listening.

“We were deeply moved by their testimonies, by their commitment. When we learned that three of their young adult leaders were coming to the area, we booked them right away. They have a story that will touch the hearts of people here and awaken new hope for peace.”

March 11, 7:00 PM, Yardley United Methodist Church, 300 Yardley-Newtown Rd., Yardley, PA. More info: 215.547.2656, or Yardley United Methodist Church, 215.493.3345.

Rachel Corrie trial in Israel, March 10-24, 2010

Call to action, including March 16, the seven-year anniversary of Rachel’s death.

"Biden Condemns Israel's Approval of Plan to Build New Settlements in East Jerusalem"

HuffingtonPost/AP, March 9, 2010.

J Street Joins VP Biden in Condemning New East Jerusalem Construction.

"Arabs and Jews refuse to be enemies"

By Noam Shelef, Americans for Peace Now, March 7, 2010.

"5,000 Protest in Sheikh Jarrah," by Rabbi Brian Walt, opednews.com, March 7, 2010.

"Israel and apartheid: A fair comparison?"

By Edward C. Corrigan, opednews.com, March 7, 2010: "There is a controversy raging in North America over Israeli Apartheid Week. . . ." (continued)

The Shalom Center's trove of articles

Philadelphia's Shalom Center website has articles on the "Israeli-Palestinian collision" dating back to 2001.

Mamilla Cemetery campaign

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and other groups have filed a petition on behalf of the Palestinian descendants of those buried in an ancient Muslim cemetery, the Mamilla Cemetery, in Jerusalem. The petition, which was filed with several international bodies, urges Israel to: halt construction of the museum; investigate human rights violations; rebury human remains; and declare the Mamilla Cemetery a protected antiquities site.

For additional information, please visit the Mamilla Campaign website at www.mamillacampaign.org.

Democracy Now! February 10, 2010: "Palestinian Families Appeal to UN over Israeli Construction of 'Museum of Tolerance' on Jerusalem’s Historic Mamilla Cemetery."

"Obama Asked Why US Doesn't Condemn Israeli Human Rights Abuses"

By Nicholas Graham, HuffingtonPost.com, January 28, 2010.

"The price of our Middle East policy"

By Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com, January 24, 2010.

March 10, 2010

Naomi Klein re BDS

View at youtube.com.

John Pilger re BDS

"For Israel, a reckoning," JohnPilger.com, January 14, 2010:
In his latest column for the New Statesman, John Pilger describes the growing boycott, disinvestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine. Based on the anti-apartheid campaign that helped bring down the racist regime in South Africa, BDS is becoming a catch-cry for freedom in countries whose governments continue to ignore the Palestinians' struggle against another form of apartheid and which Nelson Mandela has described as "the greatest moral issue of our time." . . . (continued)

Cairo Declaration, January 1, 2010

Full text at http://cairodeclaration.org/lang/en-us/.

March 9, 2010

"Israel's 10 worst errors of the decade"

By Bradley Burston, Haaretz, January 1, 2010:
1 through 10 = the siege of Gaza

Bill Moyers, one year earlier

January 9, 2009, transcript of Moyers' essay re the Gaza assault, in which he references Aaron David Miller's Newsweek piece "If Obama is serious: He should get tough with Israel" and recommends his book The Much Too Promised Land.

"A Second Look at the Timing and Motivation of the Detroit al Qaeda Attack"

By Casual Observer, Firedoglake, December 30, 2009: ". . . The bomber was not radicalized, or recruited, by attacks in Yemen that had not yet occurred. Based on the information currently available, he was motivated by what he perceived to be Palestinian suffering and injustice. This is an obvious fact that US leadership seems unable to grasp, to the world’s detriment."

March 7, 2010

"Gaza One Year Later"

By Stephen Lendman, opednews.com, December 29, 2009:
A December 2009 report prepared by Oxfam International, Amnesty International UK, United Civilians for Peace, Christian Aid, and a dozen other international NGOs (called NGOs below) titled, "Failing Gaza: No rebuilding, no recovery, no more excuses" is hard-hitting and to the point.

It says a year after Operation Cast Lead, extensive damage hasn't been repaired and thousands "are being prevented from rebuilding their shattered society." It's not from a lack of commitment or enough resources with over $4 billion in pledged aid. It's because Israel blocks goods and equipment from entering Gaza. The world community and Arab world do nothing to stop them, so much of the Strip still lies in ruins. . . . (continued)

Gathering for Gaza in Doylestown, Dec. 27, 2009

Isaac Luria of JStreet.org, a mainstream pro-Israel lobby, writes:
Gaza is in crisis, and without addressing the urgent humanitarian needs there, the prospects for long-term peace and real security for Israel will grow dimmer. We must act.

A year following Israel's military action in Gaza, rockets and mortars continue to land in southern Israel and residents still do not yet have true security. Israel's international standing continues to sink as a result of fallout from the war. Hamas's grip on the Strip remains strong.

A blockade on Gaza meant to weaken Hamas continues to deepen civilian suffering and anger there by preventing basic necessities and building materials from reaching the population. . . .

Tell Your Rep: Improve the Desperate Situation in Gaza

We must address the urgent humanitarian situation in Gaza to enhance the prospects for real peace and security in the region. . . .

[Suggested message:]

Subject: Please sign the McDermott-Ellison and Moran-Inglis Gaza letters

Your Letter: I believe it is in the interests of the United States, Israel and the Palestinian people for the U.S. to take action to improve the lives of the people of Gaza.

Please sign two letters – first, the McDermott-Ellison letter to President Obama urging him to press for immediate relief for the citizens of Gaza and, second, the Moran-Inglis letter to Secretary of State Clinton, urging her to press the Israeli government to end the ban on student travel from Gaza to the West Bank.

Bucks County peace activist/Vietnam vet Bill Perry traveled to Egypt to join the Gaza Freedom March and had this to say about it. Here are Bill's photos from Egypt.
Locally, we . . .
December 27, 2009, 3-4 p.m.
Bucks County Courthouse
55 E. Court Street
Doylestown, PA 18901
Support freedom and justice for Gaza
Commemorate the anniversary of the invasion and bombardment
inflicted on Gaza from December 27, 2008, to January 17, 2009
Support the Gaza Freedom March
Signs: Be positive, e.g., Freedom for Gaza!
Palestinian flags welcome!
Parking: Lot/garage directly across No. Main St. from Courthouse
Information: seeing.for.myself@gmail.com or 215-340-9747

The gathering's organizer, longtime Doylestown resident Susan Johnson, visited Gaza in May 2009. Her blog, "Palestine: Seeing for Myself," chronicles her trip. She has also given public presentations, as reported in the Intelligencer.

March 5, 2010

Gaza Freedom March

Visit http://www.gazafreedommarch.org/.
Local peace activist/Vietnam vet Bill Perry traveled to Egypt to join the march and had this to say about it. Here are Bill's photos from Egypt.

"Christmas in Cairo: The Grassroots Comes to Gaza's Aid"

By Medea Benjamin, opednews.com, December 26, 2009:
One year ago, the brutal Israeli 22-day invasion of the Gaza Strip shocked the world, leaving some 1,400 people dead, thousands more wounded, as well as hospitals, schools, prisons, UN facilities, factories, agricultural processing plants and some 20,000 homes damaged or destroyed.

As we mark the one-year anniversary of the invasion, the plight of the 
people of Gaza continues unabated. . . ." (continued)

Noam Chomsky: "Gaza: One Year Later"

Democracy Now! December 24, 2009.

February 24, 2010

Symposium on Mideast peace at Villanova

Israel and Palestine
A Symposium on the Obstacles to Peace
November 18, 2009
Villanova University
Connelly Center Cinema

Welcome: Bishop Allen Bartlett, Episcopal Church

Life in Occupied Palestine: Eyewitness Stories & Photos

Anna Baltzer, author of Witness in Palestine: Journal of a Jewish-American Woman in the Occupied Territories

Panel 1: Settlements, Violence and Security
Dr. Sayed Omran, moderator
Geoffrey Aronson, editor of the Settlement Report for the Foundation for Middle East Peace
Daoud Nassar, Palestinian farmer from the Tent of Nations

Panel 2: Jerusalem and Refugees
Dr. Hasan Shahpari, moderator
Lawrence Davidson, professor, Middle East history, West Chester University
Susan Abulhawa, scientist, founder of Playgrounds for Palestine, and author of the novel Mornings in Jenin

Experiencing Palestine: You are welcome!
Rev. Sunny Hallanan and son Payne present their summer experience in Palestine.
Naziha Mustafa, Palestinian activist and Temple graduate student, talks about her family's life in the West Bank.

What can churches do for Middle East peace?
Ambassador Warren Clark, director of Churches for Middle East Peace; Foreign Service career in Africa and the Middle East

Sponsors: Ecumenical Working Group for Middle East Peace, Villanova Center for Arab and Islamic Studies, Justice and Peace Office for the Province of St. Thomas of Villanova, Villanova Center for Peace and Justice Education, and Catholic Peace Fellowship.

February 22, 2010

Stephen M. Walt at Foreign Policy

"Department of Meaningless Gestures," November 10, 2009:
Two eminent mainstream journalists -- Tom Friedman and Joe Klein -- recently called for United States to disengage from the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, on the grounds that Palestinians were too divided to make a deal and the Israelis were not interested in one. Friedman couldn't bring himself to draw the logical conclusion -- if the United States truly going to "disengage," that also means cutting off its economic and military assistance -- but Klein did.

I have a certain sympathy for this position (and even wrote similar things myself before I wised up), but there are two problems with this specific idea. . . . (continued)

Rep. Keith Ellison: "Read Goldstone's Report on Gaza"

HuffingtonPost.com, November 3, 2009.
The Goldstone Report.

February 14, 2010

"Local resident offers the view from Palestine"

PhillyBurbs.com: "Local resident offers the view from Palestine," Kaitlyn Willcoxon, Intelligencer, July 9, 2009:
Despite "looks" from neighbors and her family's fears, Susan Johnson, "a little grandmother from Doylestown," traveled to the West Bank in 2004 and this May visited the Gaza Strip.

For Johnson, a local resident for 50 years, travel to the West Bank and Gaza follows a career of passionate activism, having protested the Iraq War both in Doylestown and Washington.

Tonight at a coffee house in Doylestown, she plans to speak about what she saw in the Middle East.

From very early, Johnson argued fervently in favor of Israel's right to exist, but the Israeli construction of the separation wall in 2002 angered her. Then through "divine intervention" at a protest of the Iraq War, a woman approached Johnson and asked if she would consider going to the West Bank with a group called Women of a Certain Age.

After meeting the group of 13 "bright, funny, articulate, women +10 of them were Jewish, which was a big awakening to me," Johnson decided to go to the West Bank. She calls it "a life-changing experience."

When Johnson received a letter from the organization UN Relief, forwarded by one of the women from Women of a Certain Age, with an application to travel to Gaza, she considered the opportunity for several days. She applied and the UN accepted her to join a delegation of 13 other people and departed in May.

"I really wanted to see for myself," says Johnson, who after her trip believes that media coverage of Israel and Palestine is unbalanced.

One example Johnson gives is the coverage of Hamas.

"Hamas is described as terrorists + Hamas and others shoot rockets over into Israel. I also saw that Hamas supplies or facilitates aid to the people in Gaza that they wouldn't get otherwise," Johnson said. "Suppose your house was demolished, then they come and give your family money."

Hamas does "not brainwash all of the kids or people, or it wouldn't be safe to walk around in Gaza," she said. Johnson felt safe the entire time she was in Gaza City and Rafa.

With the delegation, Johnson also visited the Qattan Center for Children and Culture, which "could be a children's center built in Doylestown for all the suburban kids and their parents would be thrilled."

The center provides a library, computer rooms, English classes, arts and crafts, music, and dance classes. Most importantly, the center provides one of the only places, according to Johnson, that the children feel safe enough to have fun and act like children.

Though it would mean leaving behind her grandchildren, Johnson is considering volunteering at the Qattan Center to care for "the world's grandchildren," because, " I want my grandchildren to respect me and know that I've done what I could to make the world a better place. + I think it's why we're here on earth + that may sound high or lofty, but I believe that with all my heart."

Now back in Doylestown, Johnson wants to ensure that as many people learn about both her experience and the plight of Palestinians. Despite "challenges" with the computer, Johnson started a blog, "Palestine: Seeing for Myself" at seeingformyself.blogspot.com. . . .

Many of the photos Johnson showed at Saxby's can be viewed at www.vivagaza.org/. She also recommended the blog of another member of the delegation, Philip Weiss: Mondoweiss. Several Israeli peace advocates were named, including Uri Avnery, who wrote this about the Gaza war.

Amnesty International issued a report on July 2, 2009: Israel/Gaza: Operation "Cast Lead": 22 Days of Death and Destruction. Amnesty also called on Israel to co-operate fully with the independent Gaza fact-finding mission set up by the UN Human Rights Council and headed by Justice Richard Goldstone. Read Rep. Keith Ellison re Goldstone and his report, submitted in September 2009.

"Obstruction of Justice" for Dr. Al-Arian

By Chris Hedges, truthdig.com, March 30, 2009:
. . . The trial of Al-Arian is a cause célèbre in the Muslim world. A documentary film was made about the case in Europe. He has become the poster child for judicial abuse and persecution of Muslims in the United States by the Bush administration. The facts surrounding the trial and imprisonment of the former university professor have severely tarnished the integrity of the American judicial system and made the government’s vaunted campaign against terrorism look capricious, inept and overtly racist. . . .

A jury, on Dec. 6, 2005, acquitted Dr. Al-Arian on eight of the counts in the superseding indictment after a six-month trial in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. On the 94 charges made against the four defendants, there were no convictions. Of the 17 charges against Al-Arian—including “conspiracy to murder and maim persons abroad”—the jury acquitted him of eight and was hung on the rest. The jurors, who voted 10 to 2 to acquit on the remaining charges, could not reach a unanimous decision calling for his full acquittal. Two others in the case, Ghassan Ballut and Sameeh Hammoudeh, were acquitted of all charges. . . . (continued)

February 13, 2010

Uri Avnery on Israel's new government

"The Ruse of Israel's New Government," by Uri Avnery, Tikkun Magazine, March 28, 2009:
. . . All of them agree on the need to prevent the establishment of a real Palestinian state. All of them agree not to talk with Hamas. All of them support the settlement enterprise. During Barak’s stint as Prime Minister, the settlements grew even faster than during Netanyahu’s tenure. Liberman is himself a settler, Hershkovitz’s party represents the settlers. All of them believe that there is no need for peace, that peace is bad for us. (After all, it was Barak, not Netanyahu or Liberman, who coined the phrase “We Have No Partner for Peace”.)

So what will be the real platform of this government?

In four words: Deception for the fatherland.

On this government’s chosen path there lies a huge rock: the United States of America. . . .

If there is one thing that unites practically all Israelis, from right to left, it is the conviction that the relationship between Israel and the US is critical for the security of the state. Netanyahu’s main concern is, therefore, to prevent a serious break between the two countries. . . .

The clash seems inevitable. Obama wants to create a new order in the Middle East. He knows that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict poisons the atmosphere against America in the Arab, and indeed in the entire Muslim world. He wants a solution to the conflict – exactly what Netanyahu and his partners want to prevent at any price, except the price of a breach with the US.

How to do this? . . . Now the task is to present to the world, and especially the US and Europe, a false picture, pretending that our new government is yearning for peace, acting for peace, indeed turning every stone in search of peace - while doing the exact opposite. . . .

Is Obama ready to play, like most of his predecessors, the role of the deceived lover?

The Biberman/Bibarak/Bibiyahu government believes that the answer is a resounding yes. I hope that it will be a resounding No.

"This round to AIPAC?"

"A Freeman Post Mortem: This round to AIPAC?" by Scott Horton, Harper's, March 11, 2009: ". . . Andrew [Sullivan] is clearly right in noting that the absence of critical voices inside the Obama team will make meaningful change much more difficult. And that was likely the principal objective of those who led the attacks on Freeman. . . ." (continued)

Avraham Burg: "The Holocaust Is Over"

Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! February 12, 2009:

. . . We’re joined now by a former Israeli politician who has emerged as one of his government’s biggest critics. Avraham Burg is a former speaker of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset. He’s former chair of the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization. His new book, though, is called The Holocaust Is Over: We Must Rise from Its Ashes. . . .

Avraham Burg: When I look at some of the AIPAC’s, OK, activities, I have a feeling that sometimes we’re having three political entities: the United States of America, the sovereign state of Israel, and the independent state of AIPAC, which has its own policy, whatever it is, not working for the best interests of Israel, according to the way I understand it and Yitzhak Rabin understood it, and not according to the best interests of the United States of America. . . . And I would like to see the alternative American Jewry, which is expressed through the liberalism and humanism and civil rights and a total commitment toward peace. . . .

Amy Goodman: What about the US government and what’s happening now? The US House and Senate passed resolutions in support of the Israeli attack on Gaza.

Avraham Burg: A mistake.

Amy Goodman: What is your thought on that?

Avraham Burg: A mistake.

Amy Goodman: Why?

Avraham Burg: Because this is still the energy of the ocean liner of George W. Bush, that “Never mind what Israel is doing. Never mind what my beloved child is doing. I’ll never say no.” Now, it is wrong for the world, it is wrong for American interests, and it’s wrong for Israel. . . . By the end of the day, everybody knows what will be the bottom line. The bottom line will be ’67 lines, and whatever cannot be resolved according to the exact geographic line will be land swap.

Amy Goodman: Should Israel pull out entirely from the West Bank and Gaza?

Avraham Burg: Tomorrow morning. No, actually, yesterday, yesterday evening. No doubt about it.

Amy Goodman: Pull out all the settlements.

Avraham Burg: Yeah, it pollutes our morality, and it contaminates our policy. . . . (continued)

Jimmy Carter on Mideast peace, 26 Jan. 2009

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Uri Avnery on Gaza

"The Boss Has Gone Mad," by Uri Avnery, January 19, 2009:
. . . In this war, politicians and generals have repeatedly quoted the words: “The boss has gone mad!” originally shouted by vegetable vendors in the market, in the sense of “The boss has gone crazy and is selling the tomatoes at a loss!” But in the course of time the jest has turned into a deadly doctrine that often appears in Israeli public discourse: in order to deter our enemies, we must behave like madmen, go on the rampage, kill and destroy mercilessly. . . . (continued)

Chomsky on Gaza, January 13, 2009

About the Lecture
While he admits to no surprise about events in Gaza, Noam Chomsky does consider “the latest U.S.-Israeli attack on helpless Palestinians” a step beyond terrorism and aggression. He says “some new term is needed for the sadistic and cowardly torture of people caged with no possibility of escape, being pounded daily by the most sophisticated products of U.S. military technology.” (continued)

"Israel’s 'Crime Against Humanity'"

By Chris Hedges, truthdig.com, December 15, 2008: "Israel’s siege of Gaza, largely unseen by the outside world because of Jerusalem’s refusal to allow humanitarian aid workers, reporters and photographers access to Gaza, rivals the most egregious crimes carried out at the height of apartheid by the South African regime. It comes close to the horrors visited on Sarajevo by the Bosnian Serbs. It has disturbing echoes of the Nazi ghettos of Lodz and Warsaw. . . ." (continued)

"Interfaith push for M. E. peace"

By Larry Snider, Special to the Trenton Times, September 7, 2008, posted by Rabbi Arthur Waskow, The Shalom Center:
On March 24, twenty people from the Philadelphia area flew together from Newark to Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, Israel. These twenty, actually nineteen, were local Muslim, Christian and Jewish clergy and lay leaders whom I brought together to form the Delaware Valley Interfaith Delegation to Israel/Palestine. The twentieth member of our group, my Rabbi, Sandy Roth of Kehilat HaNahar (kehilathanahar.org), in New Hope, Pa., already was in Israel and would be meeting us at the airport along with Leah Green, director of the Compassionate Listening Project (compassionatelistening.org), and Maha El-Taji, her associate.

In less than a year, I put together an interfaith journey, got my rabbi and the Rev. Al Krass to agree to take part and help me, and got Leah to alter the format of her 21 previous delegations (made up of people from across the United States and Canada) to accommodate a local interfaith delegation. I had been a member of her delegation in 2001. We built a delegation that agreed to meet regularly, raise the money together, study Compassionate Listening together, make the trip and return to work together to tell the stories we heard to educate the public about the Middle East, and encourage individuals to become involved in peacemaking. . . . (continued)

"On the Ground in Israel/Palestine"

By Ray McGovern, consortiumnews.com, October 19, 2007.
"I saw nothing that surprised me — but plenty that shocked me. Let me explain. . . ." (continued)

Anti-Defamation League on Stephen Walt on NPR

"Fresh Air from WHYY, September 4, 2007 • In The Deadliest Lies, Anti-Defamation League national director Abraham Foxman responds to The Israel Lobby, arguing that Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer's work 'serves merely as an attractive new package for disseminating a series of familiar but false beliefs' about Jews and Israel."

Stephen Walt on "The Israel Lobby" on NPR

"Fresh Air from WHYY, September 4, 2007 • In The Israel Lobby, which grew out of a controversial 2006 article in the London Review of Books, Stephen Walt and co-author John Mearsheimer examine the impact of the Israel lobby on U.S. foreign policy. They argue that American support for Israel cannot be fully explained on either strategic or moral grounds.

"Walt teaches international affairs at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government."

December 21, 2009

"The World Said No to Israeli Occupation"

By Larry Snider, opednews.com, June 12, 2007.
The two-day mobilization was covered by Democracy Now! To view video or listen to show click HERE.

Sunday began with an early morning drive into Philadelphia to catch the bus from 4722 Baltimore Avenue to DC and take part in a rally and march to end the 40-year occupation of Palestine. The program was developed by a coalition of organizations under the banner US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation in coordination with a second coalition coming together with the heading United for Peace and Justice. . . . (continued)