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New York Jews Blast De Blasio Over AIPAC Speech


The Third Way

A group of prominent Jewish leaders in New York have sent a letter to the city’s new mayor, Bill De Blasio sharply criticizing him for the fawning and kowtowing speech he secretly made to AIPAC. It’s short and to the point–AIPAC doesn’t speak for these Jews and, I’ll add, AIPAC doesn’t speak for most Jews or Israelis. It’s high time these people, who are not only causing immense harm to Palestinians but are also determined to lead Israelis over a cliff and US Jews to the end of the era of our history most free of anti-Semitism were confronted in no uncertain terms. They have money and hate, and nothing else. They represent no one but themselves.

Here is the letter:

View original post 302 more words

Some Things to Consider: Sam Harris, the New Atheists, and anti-Muslim animus


Freedom From Religion Foundation

Freedom From Religion Foundation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Of course one can legitimately criticize Islam without being bigoted or racist. That’s self-evident, and nobody is contesting it. And of course there are some Muslim individuals who do heinous things in the name of their religion – just like there are extremists in all religions who do awful and violent things in the name of that religion, yet receive far less attention than the bad acts of Muslims (in the following article are recent examples). Yes, “honor killings” and the suppression of women by some Muslims are heinous, just as the collaboration of US and Ugandan Christians to enact laws to execute homosexuals is heinous, and just as the religious-driven, violent occupation of Palestine, attacks on gays, and suppression of women by some Israeli Jews in the name of Judaism is heinous”.

via Sam Harris, the New Atheists, and anti-Muslim animus | Glenn Greenwald | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk.

What do you think?

Oxfam project in chaos after secret meeting | The Jewish Chronicle


Protesters at a Freedom for Palestine March

Protesters at a Freedom for Palestine March (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We have visited OXFAM in Israel/Palestine. Christians and Muslims work there.

Sadly, it seems, Israel is intent on shutting every possible “door”, even aid to the poor, rather than deal with its own internal issues.

Oxfam project in chaos after secret meeting | The Jewish Chronicle.

Guilt By Association?


English: Israel criticism not allowed

English: Israel criticism not allowed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is a lot of talk these days about Anti-Semitism. The following article in The Atlantic,  by Robert Wright, addresses the use of this term to prevent any and all criticism of Israel.

Anti-Semitism exists. Neo-Nazis and some Muslims do want to push Israel into the sea. But, to claim that discussion of an entire nation’s politics is immune from criticism is ridiculous.

I’m just now reading Peter Beinart‘s book, The Crisis of Zionism, which discusses the growing awareness of this generation’s Jewish young people who are viewing Israel’s activities with an eye towards justice.  Perhaps there is hope for the Palestinian/Israeli conflict when these young adults come into power.

Neo-McCarthyism – Robert Wright – The Atlantic.

Israel’s Sticky Passport Situation


Some countries in the world will not allow you to enter if you have an Israeli stamp in your passport. If you are Jewish, you are not welcome. The reverse is also true, you may be turned away from Israel if you are a Muslim, have a Muslim sounding
An Israeli foreigner's entry stamp in a passport

Image via Wikipedia

name or hold a passport from a Muslim country.

The last time I visited Israel/Palestine, I learned of the option to opt out of having my passport stamped. This is an option that many people, such as aid workers or journalists who travel broadly ask for, that passport officials stamp a separate piece of paper to be carried in the passport.

I just got my brand new passport.

In March, we plan to travel to Israel/Palestine and I was curious which countries would not allow me to enter with an Israeli stamp. These countries are listed below in the Wikipedia site.

Israeli passport – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

In the past, it wasn’t a problem for us to enter Israel, having traveled through various Muslim countries like Indonesia and Malaysia and even Tunisia…though we understandably received extensive questioning on entry.  One interesting question, “What is the origin of the name, “Perry?”

The real interrogation began on exiting Israel, when our baggage was checked and we were asked detailed questions about places we stayed and who we visited. Intrusive, yes, but I understand their reasoning. They are in the business of preventing terror.

So, I’m wondering if I should get an Israeli stamp in my fresh new passport.  I plan to travel in the future, and certainly to Malaysia and Indonesia now that our daughter and son-in-law are moving to South East Asia.

It might seem like a weighty decision, but I’m thrilled that I have the opportunity to travel and face this dilemma!

Top Holocaust scholar blasts ‘Holocaust-abuse’ by U.S., Israeli politicians – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News


holocaust memorial in kibbutz mishmar- haemek,...

Holocaust Memorial, Kibbutz Mishmar, Hemek, Israel

Holocaust-abuse”,  finally, a term, coined by someone who cannot be accused of being “anti-semitic”. Deborah Lipstadt, of all people, is not denying the Holocaust in her criticism.

We can’t know anyone’s heart but our own, but “anti-semitic” is a term often applied to anyone who criticizes Israeli policies, and this is one of the kinder terms.

I’m grateful that this invisible shield protecting Israel from criticism is breaking down.  I don’t harbor anti-Semitism in my heart, nor am I anti-Jewish.  As a Christian, I treasure the Holy Books of Judaism as part of my Biblical DNA.

All sane people know that the Holocaust did happen and was a horrible crime against humanity.

Israel claims to be the only Democracy in the Middle East.  The inevitability of freedom of speech and protest is a sign of a maturing Democracy. Movement towards reconciliation with the rest of the world requires breaking the pattern of fear that has haunted Israel for decades.

That our politicians would “pander” to the worst fears of the Israeli people is shameful.

Top Holocaust scholar blasts ‘Holocaust-abuse’ by U.S., Israeli politicians – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News.

Supress Education, Eliminate Discussion, Who Says Israel is a Democracy?


taken by משתמש:Hmbr

Image via Wikipedia

I read with concern the headline below, in HAARETZ.COM, the liberal leaning Jewish online news journal.
It seems tragic that Israel wants to restrict its students’ ability to learn about and discuss its public policies, though it claims to be a democracy.
Read the article below:
  • Published 01:19 05.09.10
  • Latest update 01:19 05.09.10

Education Ministry cuts schools’ civics budget for focus on Jewish studies

The Education Ministry has cut most of its budget for the intensive civics classes for 11th and 12th grades, and the regular civics classes for 10th grade, and will invest the sum in the teaching of Jewish studies.

The budget cut was carried out on the order of Zvi Zameret, chair of the ministry’s Pedagogic Secretariat, who was appointed to the post early this year by Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar.

In most cases, civics is taught in 9th grade and then in the 11th and 12th grades as part of matriculation requirements. Most students take two credits of civics in their high school careers. However, in recent years the Education Ministry has expanded the program and civics are taught also in some 10th grade classes, and the subject is offered for five credits in some of the schools that selected this option.

Funding for the program is taken from the budget of the ministry’s Kremnitzer-Shenhar Unit, which is responsible for the advancement of civics and Jewish studies in the education system.

The Education Ministry refused to provide precise details on the extent of the cuts, but Haaretz has learned that only a third of the 60 schools which met the criteria for the funding will receive it. This is contrary to previous years in which funding for civics classes was significantly higher.

The implication of the cuts will be that in many schools principals who rely on the funding to bolster civics programs will now be forced to shut down the program. “We have reached an absurd situation in which students and teachers want to focus on the subject but the Education Ministry is preventing them,” a veteran civics teacher said.

Haaretz has learned that the budget cut has allowed greater allocations of funds for Jewish studies. Support for this area of studies is one of Sa’ar’s declared goals.

The teacher said that “we have nothing against Jewish studies, but bolstering them should not come at the expense of civics.”

The decision about the cuts was relayed to schools only days ago, and has stirred significant opposition among teachers and principals. “What is more important than being a good citizen and knowing the realities in a more serious way? The decision signals a blatant message that the subject of civics is not important, and this is an obvious contradiction to earlier years,” one school principal said over the weekend.

“It is not possible to sweep under the carpet the rifts in Israeli society,” a teacher of civics in northern Israel said. “The Education Ministry’s solution is to just cease funding for these subjects.”

Civics classes offered to 10th graders concentrate on issues that pertain to the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. “In our class we talk about social differences, the tension between personal rights and equality, and also about Arabs and Druze,” says a teacher in the north. “We discuss their rights but also ways in which they are incorporated into broader society. These are matters of utmost importance which are hardly taught under any other program. My pupils say that suddenly they understand the reality that surrounds them.”

A teacher in the south said that “there are raucous discussions in class, but they are genuine because they touch on issues that are among the most painful in society. This is how I was taught education should be. The Education Ministry decision to cut the support says that the subject of civics is too risky for the pupils, that there should be no challenge to accepted views.”

http://www.benwhite.org.uk/blog/?p=4075