Jewish State, Not a Jewish State…

June 8, 2007

Former speaker of the Israeli Parliament seems to have gotten wise now that he is outside the mental and psychological bubble of the Israeli military/political establishment. He recently published a book reflecting on the Judaism, his life, and the modern history of the Jewish political movement. He seems to think that defining Israel as a Jewish state, is exactly what’s wrong with it, and asked his people to shed the apartheid-like ideology in favor of humanism and pluralism:

Avraham Burg, former Knesset speaker and former head of the Jewish Agency says “to define the State of Israel as a Jewish state is the key to its end. A Jewish state is explosive. It’s dynamite.” In an interview in Haaretz Weekend Magazine, he said that he is in favor of abrogating the Law of Return and calls on everyone who can to obtain a foreign passport.

Burg, who was interviewed on the occasion of the publication of his book “Defeating Hitler” said “the strategic mistake of Zionism was to annul the alternatives. Israeliness has only body; it doesn’t have soul.”

“Judaism always prepared alternatives,” says Burg, who three years after leaving Israeli politics is now a citizen of France and a successful businessman.

What, might you ask, the response of his former colleagues was? Well, Meretz chairman, Yossi Beilin, who is considered among the most “progressive” of mainstreamers in Israel, expressed sadness: “a man like Burg, who is salt of the earth, can say things like that. Obviously I don’t agree with him, if this country is not the Jewish State, and has no Jewish majority, it doesn’t interest me.”

But this Zionut actually wants him to be banned from burial in Israel, or at least its “national” cemetery. I’m sure Burg will be disappointed if not allowed to be buried among the military officers-later-turned-politicians who dedicated their lives to make Israel an ethno-religiously exclusive state.

Link
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Notice the amount of Israeli’s and Jews worldwide who recognise the illegitimacy of Israel… and yet you never hear a single voice from the Palestinian/Arab/Muslim camp who stands up and says anything even vaguely similar to “Israel should keep on keepin’ on.”

“There has been Anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They see but one thing: we have come and we have stolen their country. Why would they accept that?” — David Ben-Gurion quoted by Nahum Goldmann in Le Paraddoxe Juif (The Jewish Paradox), pp. 121-122.

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Tutu to tell Oprah to visit Both Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories

June 6, 2007

Archbishop
Desmond Tutu has decided to reach out to Oprah Winfrey on visiting both
the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel to ensure an evenhanded
approach, according to one advocacy group which wrote him a letter
advocating this idea after learning of Oprah Winfrey’s assumed
“solidarity” trip to Israel.

 

Oprah Winfrey is the most-influential day-time talk show host of the hugely popular and highly successful The Oprah Winfrey Show.  Not
only is she celebrated for her day-time job, but also for her
philanthropy and earning the only African American billionaire status
for three consecutive years.

 

She
has recently put herself in a predicament when she accepted an
invitation from Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel to visit Israel, first
reported by Ynetnews.com, Israel’s top-read news website.  Many feel that if Oprah visits the region, then she should also visit the Occupied Palestinian Territories.  The story was also covered on Arabisto.com.

 

Patricia Ann Abraham, a Friend of SABEEL, the Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center of Jerusalem, wrote a letter to The Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation this week, along with some Arab Americans, on this matter.  She
told me that they wrote out of concern, “that Ms. Winfrey might not be
shown the true nature of the human rights violations perpetrated upon
both the Palestinians living is Israel and those living.”


Link

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Actinomyces Israelii

June 6, 2007

The following is a guest posting by Emily et al. in Amman, Jordan… enjoy!

A
few weeks ago, a couple of truly dorky first-year medical student
friends of mine took the time to look up the subspecies of a bacteria
called Actinomyces, and they stumbled upon what had to be either a
truly fortunate coincidence, or a bacteria with a sense of humor, or
both.

You see, when biologists discover some new species or
protein, the one who describes it first gets to name it. Usually they
either name it after themselves, how it behaves, or what it looks like.
Sometimes they have a sense of humor about it: there is a protein
called Sonic Hedge Hog. People end up writing entire dissertations on
Sonic Hedge Hog. One dude who developed a DNA separation process was
named Southern, and the next person who developed the corresponding
process for RNA called it Northern to be cute, etc.

When the
diligent medical students curiously researched the types of Actinomyces
that have been isolated, they were surprised to discover in the
literature a species called Actinomyces israelii. What’s more, every
source to be found described the bacteria as being highly invasive
without respecting borders (here,
for example)! We’re talking borders in a body, usually human or bovine,
so the borders they refer to are the natural divisions between tissue
layers. Further research revealed that Actinomyces israelii not only
doesn’t respect borders, it also forms destructive colonies throughout
tissues, establishing itself in a solid matrix so that it cannot be
dismantled. Uncanny?

We could have sworn collectively that the
bacteria was discovered and named by either a Palestinian or Israeli
biologist with a sense of humor. Usually it’s the biologists that endow
their discoveries with unfortunate namesakes. However, Actinomycosis,
the disease caused by the infection of these bacteria, was first
described by a dude (I’m assuming it’s a dude, since I can’t find his
or her first name) named J. Israel in 1878, 70 years before the
establishment of the modern state of Israel. It appears that the
bacteria themselves evolved the funny bone.

Further information taken from UpToDate ,
the respected medical literature review maintained by physicians, has
led the future doctors to their diagnosis, which reads as follows:

We now seek to promote good oral hygiene as a first step to ending the invasion,
occupation, and destruction of Palestinian land and life across fascial
planes. We remind you that flossing (with old school waxy floss or a water
pick) can prevent the dense colonization of Actinomyces israelii and subclinical
periodontal infection- now known to be an important precipitating event for more
extensive disease. Though A. israelii can mimic very aggressive cancers in
its militancy, er, malignancy, we assure that it is definitely a bacterium-
therefore it can still be contained by good old-fashioned penicillin G and other
common bread molds.

Link

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‘Oprah’ supports racism in solidarity with Zionism?

May 25, 2007

via Sabbah

According to the Israeli press, Oprah is going to Israel for a “solidarity” visit.
Coming from someone like Oprah, she should be sympathizing with the
oppressed and above all, not showing solidarity with a racist state.
Most surprising is that the word “apartheid” has no meaning for her or
“ethnic cleansing.”

Wiesel called on Winfrey to visit Israel, where “the major war against terror is currently taking place.”

in her speech, Winfrey said she sympathized with the suffering of
the people of Israel, and that she intended to accept Wiesel’s
invitation and come with him to Israel.

Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Gillerman, who attended the event, said
that a visit of a figure with such influence on the international media
could help bring an end to the indifference towards the terror threat
faced by Israelis. (Source: YNet)

It is sad to believe that Oprah believed these Zionist lies about
fighting terror. Someone needs to tell her that Israel is the terrorist
state which kills the Palestinian children everyday and commit war
crimes every sunrise and that Palestinians are not terrorists but
freedom fighter struggling for decades to return their stolen lands and
live in peace.

Action:

Please write to her and send whatever information you can including reports from human rights organizations (Example: Yesterday’s Amnesty report)
and/or articles. Even recommendations for books that might educate her.
I’m sure she will change her mind if she knows more about the racist
state she intend to visit.

This is a page where you can write your thoughts:
http://www2.oprah.com/email/reach/email_reach_fromu.jhtml

Also, you can send your ideas in for a future show, which might be
about the suffering of the Palestinians, and their Nakba. This is a
page where there are a few email addresses:
http://www2.oprah.com/email/email_landing.jhtml

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I always knew some underhanded shit was up with that pseudo-humanitarian Eli Wiesel.  Since I saw him on Oprah once with a show covering the holocaust and his campaign to end the suffering of the people of Darfur, I was wondering… why the hell can’t he see through the blatant oppression happening in Israel.  Blatant Segregation and Inequality and yet he’s supporting the state wholeheartedly while shifting focus to other lands, which I think is a deliberate attampt to change the media agenda away from Palestinian suffering, not that other conflicts are any less deserving of coverage.  But this media and PR war is getting sickening.

I don’t like Oprah much, but many people follow her show religiously… for someone like her not to see the disconnect here is very disturbing.  I seriously think that her allegiance is to her show and her making a good appearance rather than to any true moral values.  So if you like the Oprah show, please write to her and let her know that this is just wrong and she should think about it seriously.

Peace,

M.

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Jewish-Christian Fundamentalists in Israel

May 23, 2007

An Israeli TV report features the growing communities of Messianic Jews in Israel.
They are self-identified Jews who worship Jesus, and follow the Bible’s
teachings, including the practice of male genital mutilation. They do
not consider themselves Christians because they celebrate Jewish
holidays.

Despite Jesus’ famously pacifist leanings, they are
proud kill Arabs as members of the Israeli military. They are very
patriotic, despite experiencing some discrimination (like one-millionth
of what Palestinians experience).

This news report claims there are 15K such religious hybrids.

I wonder how many are from the Russian immigrants who passed off as Jews officially but were of Christian background.

Link

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Open Letter to Rolling Stones against Playing in Israel

May 21, 2007

I got this from Sabbah and Jews sans Frontieres

Please circulate and forward widely

Boycott IsraelThe following letter is addressed to the Rolling Stones who are planning a concert in Israel. At this point we are soliciting endorsements from artists, cultural figures, intellectuals and cultural organizations, and others who wish to lend their support.

Please send endorsements to info@boycottisrael.ps , with your name/name of organization, city and country.

Boycott Israel – Don’t Play another “Sun City”!

An open letter to the Rolling Stones regarding their planned gig in Israel

18 May 2007

Dear Rolling Stones,

The Palestinian arts community received in disbelief media reports of your upcoming performance in Israel, at a time when Israel continues unabated with its colonial and apartheid designs to further dispossess, oppress, and ultimately ethnically cleanse Palestinians from their homeland. If the news is accurate, we strongly urge you to cancel your plans to perform in Israel until the time comes when it ends its illegal occupation of Palestinian territory and respects fundamental human rights as well as the relevant precepts of international law concerning Palestinian rights to freedom, self-determination and equality.

Performing in Israel at this time is morally equivalent to performing in South Africa during the apartheid era. We all remember how leading Rolling Stones musicians played a prominent role in enforcing a cultural boycott of apartheid South Africa in the 1980’s, and participated in recording the timeless song, Sun City, which had a singular influence on raising public awareness about apartheid and its injustices. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights Prof. John Dugard, and South African government minister Ronnie Kasrils have repeatedly declared, Israel has created a worse system of apartheid than anything that ever existed in South Africa.

Indeed, Israel’s policies throughout its illegal military occupation of Palestinian territory, which have surpassed their South African counterparts, include house demolitions; Jews-only colonies and roads; uprooting hundreds of thousands of trees; indiscriminate killings of civilians, particularly children; incessant theft of land and water resources; denying freedom of movement to millions under occupation, cutting up the occupied Palestinian territory into Bantustans, some entirely caged by walls, fences and hundreds of roadblocks. Sixty years since the Nakba, Israel’s planned campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people, and 40 years into its military occupation of Palestinian and other Arab territory, Israel has consistently and relentlessly violated basic human rights and relevant precepts of international law with utter impunity. Moreover, Israel’s war of aggression against Lebanon last year caused more than one thousand civilian deaths, not to mention massive destruction to infrastructure and decimation of entire residential neighbourhoods.

The resounding failure of the international community to date in ending Israel’s occupation, collective punishment, and other forms of oppression was what prompted Palestinians to appeal to international civil society to bear its moral responsibility to put an end to injustice, just as it did against apartheid South Africa. To this end, Palestinian civil society has almost unanimously called for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it fully complies with international law and recognizes the fundamental human rights of the people of Palestine. A specific call for cultural boycott of Israel was issued last year, garnering wide support. Among the many groups and institutions that have heeded the Palestinian boycott calls and started to consider or apply diverse forms of effective pressure on Israel are the Church of England; the US Presbyterian Church; a group of top British architects; the British National Union of Journalists in the UK; the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU); the South African Council of Churches; the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) in Ontario; Aosdana, the Irish state-sponsored academy of artists; celebrated authors, artists and intellectuals led by John Berger; and Palme d’Or winner director Ken Loach. Is it too much, then, to expect conscientious artists like the Rolling Stones to similarly uphold the values of freedom, equality and justice for all by supporting the growing boycott against Israel?

We appeal to your moral principles and your record of standing up for human rights and human dignity. We sincerely hope that you shall cancel this ill-conceived and particularly harmful concert in Israel.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned:

————————————————————————

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
www.pacbi.org
info@boycottisrael.ps

This is especially important.  The Rolling Stones are known for their stance against racism and oppression in past years and this would seem like a very big misstep on their part.  The Occupation and Repression of the Palestinians is the most ghastly hate crime and it’s unfathomable that it is allowed to continue in our modern times of Democracy and advocacy for Peace.

Although, I would like to see them playing “Street Fighting Man” in Nablus, Gaza and the West Bank 🙂

Word.

M.

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Brilliant Media Activism at Harvard.

May 15, 2007

What a Brilliant Piece of Media Activism and Culture Jamming done at Harvard… I got this from Laila @ Raising Yousuf

In response, the newly formed Harvard-based Alliance for Justice in the
Middle East (AJME) is launching a weeklong search for Halutz,
distributing “WANTED” posters, making inquiries, and soliciting the
help of the campus community. Activists and community members will
converge at Harvard Business School, where he was last spotted, to
begin their search.

From their site: “The manhunt will also employ MISSING PERSONS milk cartons, helium balloons, and the Internet.”

Halutz will be declared a “fugitive from justice” if he is still missing after two days.

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