• Understanding the UN resolution on Israeli settlements: What are the immediate ramifications? - Israel News - Haaretz.com


    In the long-term, what are the possible ramifications?

    In the medium-to-long-term the resolution may have serious ramifications for Israel in general and specifically for the settlement enterprise. The reason for this stems from the two main clauses of the resolution. The first clause states that the settlements have “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.” The International Criminal Court in The Hague is currently conducting a preliminary investigation concerning a suit filed against Israel by the Palestinians. One of the issues raised in the suit is the construction of settlements. International law takes form through different measures including Security Council resolutions. Thus, this decision, at this time, could influence the preliminary investigation and could provide cause for the ICC prosecutor to order a full investigation of Israel settlement construction.
    Another clause in the resolution calls on the nations of the world “to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.” This is a precedent in UNSC resolutions concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and actually calls on countries to cut ties direct and indirect with the settlements. This clause may create a path for countries, international organizations such as the EU, and corporations to impose sanctions on the settlements. The Foreign Ministry’s assessment is that the EU would have to pass a similar resolution in its institutions and base practical steps and legislation from it.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/554614 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • A Tweet from Trump and pressure on Egyptians : How Israel blocked UN vote on settlements

    - Israel News - Haaretz.com

    After a 15-hour political drama Thursday, Israel succeeded in deflecting, if only temporarily, a United Nations Security Council vote on a draft resolution against the settlements.
    Pressure from the Prime Minister’s Bureau on Cairo, which proposed the resolution, requests for assistance and coordination from President-elect Donald Trump and contacts at the UN and in several world capitals caused Egypt to retract its request for a snap vote.
    Nevertheless it was made clear to the participants in a meeting of the security-diplomatic cabinet last night that the crisis is ongoing and the possibility remains that a vote will still be held in the next few days.
    The saga began on Wednesday night, when the Egyptian delegation to the UN distributed copies of its draft resolution against the settlements to the members of the Security Council and requested that it be brought to the vote on Thursday at 10 P.M. Israel time.
    Israel had operated over the past few months on the assumption that a resolution on Israel-Palestine would be brought to the council before the end of President Barack Obama’s term on January 20 next year.
    Israel’s focus was on an Israel-Palestinian resolution and a resolution from New Zealand, but it was not expected to happen this week.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/554304 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Adjectives fail me. Best to let David Friedman speak for himself - Opinion - Israel News | Haaretz.com
    Qui est le nouvel ambassadeur américain en Israël?


    I’ve spent the better part of two days trying to craft a column about David M. Friedman, the man Donald Trump has just nominated to be America’s Ambassador to Israel. I can’t do it. Adjectives fail me. Better to let him speak for himself. What follows are selections from Friedman’s writings, with brief responses in italics. 
    August 20, 2015: “The Jew is convicted and sentenced in a show trial, although subsequent evidence emerges which results is his complete exoneration and pardon. That was the affair of Captain Alfred Dreyfus that captivated France from 1894 to 1906. But it sure sounds like Chuck Schumer in 2015… the blatant anti-Semitism emanating from our President and his sycophantic minions is palpable.”
    Dreyfus, a French Jewish officer wrongly convicted of treason by an anti-Semitic French military establishment, spent five years in prison on a remote island in French Guiana. Schumer, a Jewish Democratic Senator from New York, opposed President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, and will soon become, with Obama’s support, the Democratic Minority Leader in the Senate. The parallel escapes me.
    Oct 20, 2015: Palestinians in the West Bank “have freedom of speech, the right to free enterprise, the right to worship freely, the right to elect their leaders.”
    Palestinians in the West Bank live inside the state of Israel. The Israeli army—and the army of no other country—can enter any square inch of the West Bank any time it chooses and arrest anyone it wants, including officials of the Palestinian Authority. Thus, the real “leaders” of West Bank Palestinians are the leaders of Israel. But West Bank Palestinians cannot elect them because they cannot vote in Israeli elections. As non-citizens, West Bank Palestinians live under military law. This dramatically restricts their freedom of speech, worship and their right to pursue free enterprise. Under Military Order 101, for instance, West Bank Palestinians need Israeli military permission to hold a political gathering of more than ten people, even if it is occurring in a private home. West Bank Palestinians also require Israeli military permission to visit Jerusalem, the West Bank’s religious and commercial hub. How easy is it to obtain that permission? According to Daniel Seidemann, a lawyer specializing in Jerusalem residency issues, “Due to Israeli restrictions, today it is easier for a Palestinian Christian living just south of Jerusalem in Bethlehem to worship in Washington’s National Cathedral than to pray in Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Today a Muslim living in Turkey has a better chance of getting to Jerusalem to pray at the Old City’s al-Aqsa mosque than a Muslim living a few miles away in Ramallah.” (Although Seidemann wrote these words in 2010, he confirmed to me that they remain true today). 
    November 28, 2015: “When Russia defeats ISIS, it will have accomplished something that the United States hasn’t done since 1945 nor Israel since 1973: win a war.”

    https://seenthis.net/messages/554307 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Myriam Benraad : « La chute d’Alep, un revers immense pour les Occidentaux »

    Myriam Benraad revient avec nuance sur le conflit syrien qui a abouti à la chute d’Alep. Elle conclut à une fin du printemps arabe dans cette région, à un retour des grandes puissances et de la Realpolitik et à l’impuissance de la diplomatie française.


  • Egypt: Informants at American University of Cairo? | MadaMasr


    As an institution championing the American model of liberal arts education, the American University in Cairo (AUC) is known for allowing a margin of academic freedom which is largely absent in other Egyptian universities. This leniency appears particularly evident in regards to security intervention in student activities and academic freedom.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/554064 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Mort du philosophe syrien Sadik Jalal Al-Azm
    Obituaire rédigé par Franck Mermier

    Sadik Jalal Al-Azm, né en 1934 à Damas, est mort le 11 décembre, à l’âge de 82 ans, dans un hôpital de Berlin. Ce spécialiste de Kant, titulaire d’un doctorat de l’université de Yale aux Etats-Unis, fut le principal chef de file du courant rationaliste, matérialiste et laïc dans le monde arabe.

    Sadik Jalal Al-Azm appartenait à une grande famille de notables musulmans de Damas qui contrôla le pouvoir politique de la ville durant une longue période. Un de ses grands-pères paternels, Sadik Pacha Al-Mu’ayyad Al-Azm, était ambassadeur plénipotentiaire et l’aide de camp du Sultan Abdülhamid II (qui régna de 1876 à 1909). Son père, admirateur d’Atatürk, prit part à la bataille de Gallipoli (Dardanelles, avril 1915 à janvier 1916) avant de devenir chef du corps des sapeurs-pompiers à Damas après un intermède de quelques années passées à Paris.

    Le nom de Sadik Jalal Al-Azm a périodiquement défrayé la chronique de la censure dès ses deux premiers ouvrages qui l’ont rendu célèbre dans tout le monde arabe. Le premier, Autocritique de la défaite (1968), traite de la défaite de 1967 lors de la guerre des Six Jours opposant Israël à l’Egypte, la Jordanie et la Syrie dont il situe les causes dans l’état de sous-développement social, culturel, politique et économique des sociétés arabes.

    La parution, en 1969, du livre de Sadik Jalal Al-Azm, Critique de la pensée religieuse, résonna comme un autre coup de tonnerre dans le marécage du consensus social et politique en déplaçant le débat sur le terrain même de l’idéologie religieuse islamique. Il sera emprisonné dix jours à Beyrouth à la suite de la plainte d’associations islamiques libanaises, mais sera relâché après l’intervention de Kamal Joumblatt, ministre de l’intérieur, et à la mobilisation des forces de gauche.
    Des mesures vexatoires à son encontre

    En 1968, il fut licencié de son poste de professeur à l’Université américaine de Beyrouth pour avoir signé une pétition demandant le retrait des troupes américaines du Vietnam, mais aussi à la suite d’une controverse sur la religion qui l’avait opposé à l’intellectuel et diplomate libanais Charles Malek. La même année, fut publié son ouvrage sur l’amour platonique dans la poésie arabe (1968) qui attend toujours une traduction.

    Un temps membre du Front démocratique pour la révolution de la Palestine, il rejoignit, en 1970, le Centre de recherches palestiniennes de Beyrouth. Son ouvrage Etudes critiques de la pensée de la Résistance palestinienne, publié en 1973, sur le Septembre noir de 1970, qui vit la victoire de l’armée jordanienne sur l’Organisation de libération de la Palestine (OLP) suscita l’ire des dirigeants palestiniens. Après son retour en Syrie suite à l’invasion israélienne du Liban en 1982, il retourna à l’Université de Damas et fut nommé doyen du département de philosophie. Sa réserve vis-à-vis du Parti Baath et ses positions de gauche entraînèrent l’adoption de mesures vexatoires à son encontre et il fut relégué, un temps, à l’enseignement de l’anglais.

    Au cours du « Printemps de Damas » après le décès de Hafez al-Assad, il signa le « Manifeste des 99 » en septembre 2000 qui réclamait un changement démocratique, la suppression de l’état d’urgence, la libération des prisonniers politiques et la restauration de toutes les libertés publiques, puis la « Déclaration des 1 000 » (février 2001), plus radicale que le texte précédent, et qui appelait à la création de comités de la société civile. En 2006, il signa la pétition « Beyrouth-Damas/Damas-Beyrouth » qui réclamait la reconnaissance pleine et entière par le régime syrien de la souveraineté libanaise.

    Sadik Jalal Al-Azm, qui prônait une libéralisation progressive du régime, prit fait et cause pour le soulèvement pacifique de mars 2011 en Syrie. De ce fait, lui et son épouse Eman Chaker durent quitter Beyrouth, où ils ne se trouvaient plus en sécurité, pour se réfugier en Allemagne. En exil, Sadik Jalal Al-Azm devint le premier président de la Ligue des écrivains syriens créée en 2012 pour faire pièce à l’Union des écrivains arabes de Syrie inféodée au régime d’Al-Assad.
    Deux ouvrages sur l’affaire Rushdie

    Sadik Jalal Al-Azm tenait ses positions de manière vigoureuse que ce soit pour défendre le point de vue matérialiste devant le prédicateur islamique égyptien Al-Qaradawi, mufti de Qatar, ou le dirigeant islamiste soudanais Tourabi sur la chaine Al-Jazira, ou pour critiquer les positions de l’intellectuel palestino-américain Edward Saïd sur l’orientalisme ou celles des tenants du « retour à l’authenticité », tel Adonis, au moment de la révolution iranienne. Sadik Jalal Al-Azm publia aussi deux ouvrages sur l’affaire Rushdie en défense des droits de la fiction, discutant de la validité religieuse de la fatwa de l’imam Khomeyni et proposant une analyse littéraire approfondie des Versets sataniques.

    Membre de l’Académie européenne des sciences et des arts, Sadik Jalal Al-Azm avait reçu de nombreuses distinctions, dont, en 2004, le prix Erasmus décerné par le Praemium Erasmianum sous le patronage du prince Bernhard des Pays-Bas et le prix Leopold-Lucas décerné par l’Université de Tübingen (Allemagne). En août 2015, il s’était rendu à Weimar pour recevoir la médaille Goethe qui est décernée chaque année à trois personnalités ayant rendu des « services exceptionnels aux relations culturelles internationales ».

    Si une partie de son œuvre a été traduite en anglais, on ne trouve en français qu’un seul recueil de ses principaux textes avec, outre un long entretien biographique, ses études majeures sur l’islamisme, l’orientalisme et Salman Rushdie : Ces interdits qui nous hantent. Islam, censure, orientalisme (Parenthèses Editions/MMSH/IFPO, 2008). Sadik Jalal Al-Azm laissera le souvenir d’une personne généreuse à l’intelligence pétillante et à l’humour éclatant, ainsi que l’image exemplaire d’un intellectuel engagé pour une Syrie libre et démocratique.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/553055 via rumor

  • The U.S. is finally out of the closet -
    Following the appointment of a settlement-loving envoy, the pretense is over: the United States will no longer be able to claim that it is an honest broker in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict | Opinion

    Gideon Levy 18.12.2016
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.759618

    President-elect Donald Trump has decided to appoint an anti-Israeli and racist lawyer as ambassador to Israel. That is, of course, his prerogative. With David Friedman’s appointment last Thursday, the United States has finally come out of the closet. From now on, it officially supports the establishment of an Israeli apartheid state between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.
    Friedman is not the first Jewish ambassador to Israel – a matter that has always sparked questions of dual loyalty – but he is the first declared friend of the settlements in this position. His predecessor, Dan Shapiro, was also a friend of the settlements, like all the ambassadors before him – representatives of governments that could have stopped the settlement project but did not raise a finger to do so, and even financed it.
    But now we have an ambassador who has also contributed to the dispossession from his own pocket.
    This innovation means an end to ridiculous statements of denunciation by the U.S. Department of State, at which Israel thumbed its nose. No more black diplomatic cars following the construction of every new balcony in the occupied territories. From now on, we have an ambassador who will feel the pain of the Amona outpost’s evacuation and take part in cornerstone-laying ceremonies in every new settlement.
    skip - Email Alerts
    Sign up below and receive every new Gideon Levy column directly in your inbox
    This means the United States will no longer be able to claim that it is an honest broker. It never was one, but now the mask is off. In those terms, Friedman’s appointment is right and good. The Palestinians, Europeans and the rest of the world should know: America is for the occupation. No more pretense.
    Friedman is anti-Israeli, like anyone else who urges Israel to deepen the occupation. Friedman is a racist, like anyone else who pushes for an apartheid state. He is also antidemocratic and McCarthyist (saying supporters of J Street are “far worse than kapos”) – and we have enough of those of our own. Friedman will spur them on, and in that, too, he is patently anti-Israeli.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/552751 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Khomeiny et les Frères musulmans, les élucubrations de François Fillon

    Dans son livre « Vaincre le totalitarisme islamique » il écrit, répondant à ceux qui opposeraient l’Iran chiite aux mouvements sunnites : « Je rappellerai juste que l’ayatollah Khomeini fut l’un des dirigeants de la section iranienne des Frères musulmans avec lequel il s’attaqua, dès 1963, au régime du Shah »

    Sans commentaires (ou plutôt on aimerait quelques commentaires de la presse et des médias)

    https://seenthis.net/messages/552618 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Christians and churches in Egypt : Aggression from all sides | MadaMasr

    The past five decades have seen churches continually targeted by sectarian violence. Across the country, attacks on churches and churchgoers have manifested in numerous ways, carried out by different actors for different causes, with varying levels of violence. Yet the targets remain the same.

    We tracked four different sources of sectarian aggression against churches and Christians: communal violence, attacks by militant groups, the targeting of Christians as part of the military-Islamist conflict and state violence. All point to a sectarianism that is both socially and politically pronounced.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/552463 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Rouhani to Sunnis: Iran not seeking ’Shiite crescent’

    Mentioning the Islamic State and the massacres the group has committed, the Iranian president stated, “We are proud of the holy war [jihad], which is in accordance with the Quran, and we don’t recognize any holy war except [that which is] resisting oppression and defending the honor of Islam and Muslims. Since when has holy war become equivalent to murder and Muslim confrontation with [other] Muslims by the order of the major powers?”

    Indirectly referring to some regional states, Rouhani said, “Is there any catastrophe bigger than that some Muslims are holding a grudge against each other instead of the colonizers, looters of Islamic countries’ resources and also the [Israeli] regime, which is the biggest danger of the region and has made Muslims engage in dispute, war, conflict and aggression [with each other] for 70 years?”

    Rouhani then pointed the finger at “some Western powers who taught the terrorists the way of terror” and “bought their smuggled oil,” further charging that “some Islamic countries” have given “money and weapons to the terrorist groups.”

    In response to a question about the invitation of some groups, such as the Taliban, to the 30th International Islamic Unity Conference, Secretary General of the World Forum for Proximity of the Islamic Schools of Thought Ayatollah Mohsen Araki said in a press conference Dec. 13, “The Taliban itself has various currents [within it] that we can have contact with, and this year some of them will take part in the conference. We are attempting to have contact with anyone with whom dialogue is possible.”

    Of note, Iranian Ambassador to Afghanistan Mohammad Reza Bahrami said as recently as Dec. 10, “We have contacts with the Taliban, but we don’t have a relationship. Our contact is aimed at controlling [them] and having intelligence domination.” He added, “We are interested in and are trying to provide the grounds for holding negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban.”

    Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/12/iran-islamic-unity-conference-rouhani-shiite-crescent.html#ixzz4T1Us29rN

    https://seenthis.net/messages/552312 via assalam12

  • ’Claiming Israel is a racist endeavor’: Britain adopts new definition of anti-Semitism

    The move is seen by many as specifically highlighting anti-Zionist anti-Semitism. But the government could also be using it as a political tool against the left.

    Daniella Peled Dec 12, 2016
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/europe/.premium-1.758552

    Britain will adopt a new definition of anti-Semitism in a move widely interpreted as intended to target prejudice on the anti-Zionist far-left.
    The new wording was agreed in May at a Bucharest conference of the 31-member International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.
    “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews,” the IHRA definition read. “Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
    The Berlin-based body went on to provide further guidance, including “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor” and “applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.”
    Conservative lawmaker Eric Pickles, the U.K.’s envoy to the IHRA, told the BBC that the new definition “catches up with modern anti-Semitism.”
    "I think it’s important not to conflate Jewish people with Israel," he said. “That actually is the point in the definition.”

    https://seenthis.net/messages/550980 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Egypt The elephant in the room (part 1): The state and sectarian violence | MadaMasr


    President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi urged the swift pursuit of justice in holding the perpetrators of sectarian violence to account, regardless of who they are, in the aftermath of a sectarian incident in Karm Village, Minya in May.

    “It is very inappropriate that this happened in Egypt yet again. Anyone who makes a mistake, whoever he is, will be held accountable. The law should take its course and be applied on anyone, including the president himself,” Sisi said.

    But what if it is the law itself that is the problem and not the solution?

    Along the same lines as the President’s remarks were comments by Coptic Pope Tawadros and Bishop Makarios, who was assigned by the Pope to follow up on the incident. They reiterated the necessity of implementing the rule of law, and only resorting to customary reconciliation committees afterwards. Similarly, statements by most representatives of official Islamic institutions and those among the legal and political elite demanded the law be applied without discrimination.

    But what if it is the law itself that is the problem and not the solution? What if the main trigger for incidents of sectarian violence in Egypt, since the beginning of the 1980s until after January 2011, is the legislative framework that governs the relationship between state and society, religion and personal affairs?

    Recent sectarian incidents indicate the state’s function has shifted from one that supports social cohesion to one that threatens it. What is needed then is a move away from calls for implementing the rule of law to the restructuring of the relationship between state and society based on foundations that are different to those of a century and a half ago.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/550576 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Coalition whip prefers Israel’s Arab citizens not vote
    Doubling down on Netanyahu’s Election Day race-baiting, David Bitan says: ’I’d rather the Arabs won’t go to the polls in droves, and won’t come to the polls at all.’ Arab lawmakers respond: ’Bitan says what Netanyahu thinks.’

    Haaretz Dec 10, 2016 6
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.758120

    The whip of the ruling coalition said Saturday that he prefers Israel’s Arab citizens not vote in the national election.
    “Ninety-five percent of them vote for the Joint List that doesn’t represent Israeli Arabs, but Palestinian interests,” Knesset member David Bitan told the audience at a public event in Mevaseret Zion, near Jerusalem, referring to Israel’s predominantly Arab party.
    >> Be the first to get updated: Download our App, sign up to Breaking News Alerts, and Subscribe
    Bitan was asked for his opinion on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s use of social media, including his Election Day video in which he called on his supporters to vote, warning that the “the Arabs are going to the polls in droves.” Bitan, who is considered close to Netanyahu, said: “I’d rather the Arabs won’t go to the polls in droves, and won’t come to the polls at all.” 
    skip - Original bibi droves

    Netanyahu’s Election Day remarks.
    Netanyahu has been under fire for his Election Day comment. Eighteen months later, he posted a new video on Facebook apologizing to Arab citizens for any offensive comments and urges them to join in Israeli society “en masse.”
    The head of the Joint List, MK Ayman Odeh, called Bitan “Netanyahu’s mouthpiece” and said he “continues to prove that all this leadership has to offer is explicit racism and cheap populism.” 

    “His pathetic daily comment expresses the prime minister’s fear of our growing political power,” he added.
    Isaac Herzog, the chairman of the Zionist Union and the head of the opposition, accused Bitan of calling to take away voting rights from minorities, “just like the top anti-Semites in Europe did in the past to the Jewish people.”
    "The disease of racism has metastasized in the heart of Israeli society, and is embarrassing both right and left-wing voters," he added.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/550293 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • American Jewish establishment stifles free speech to silence Zionism’s critics
    According to the Senate’s new Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, Henrietta Szold, Hannah Arendt and Martin Buber could also be defined as Jew-haters.

    Peter Beinart Dec 07, 2016
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.757284

    With every passing year, the American Jewish establishment poses a greater threat to free speech in the United States.
    The reason is simple. With every passing year, Israeli control of the West Bank grows more permanent. And so, with every passing year, more American progressives question Zionism.
    After all, if Jewish statehood permanently condemns millions of West Bank Palestinians to live as non-citizens, under military law, without free movement or the right to vote for the government that controls their lives, it’s hardly surprising that Americans who loathe discrimination and cherish equality would grow uncomfortable with the concept.
    And the more those Americans voice this discomfort, the more establishment American Jewish organizations work to classify anti-Zionism as anti-Semitism, punishable by law.
    The latest example is The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, which the Senate passed unanimously on December 2. The Act – pushed by AIPAC, the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Federations of America – instructs the Department of Education’s Civil Rights office to follow “the definition of anti-Semitism set forth by the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat anti-Semitism of the Department of State in the Fact Sheet issued on June 8, 2010.”

    https://seenthis.net/messages/549711 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Un film documentaire de Viviane Candas — L’aube de l’#Algérie indépendante, par Pierre Daum (Les blogs du Diplo, 6 décembre 2016)
    http://blog.mondediplo.net/2016-12-06-L-aube-de-l-Algerie-independante #st

    Au-delà de la vie d’Yves Mathieu, toute passionnante soit-elle, L’Algérie du possible permet d’approcher une des plus belles utopies portées par Ben Bella et ses conseillers : les domaines agricoles autogérés.

  • Anti-Semitic? Disqualifying? Keith Ellison’s views on Israel are the same as most U.S. Jews - Opinion

    It would be tragic if a smear campaign espoused by the Jewish community kept Keith Ellison from the leadership position Democrats desperately need him to fill.

    Rebecca Zimmerman Hornstein Dec 06, 2016
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.757266

    When my grandmother, a Polish Holocaust survivor, passed away in 1998, my family set up an annual memorial lecture in her honor at her Cincinnati synagogue. When I was twelve years old, my father’s close friend and then-colleague in the Minnesota House of Representatives, Keith Ellison, flew from Minnesota to Ohio to support our family and attend the lecture.
    After listening to the story of my grandmother’s life and hearing from groups fighting hate speech in the United States, my dad, Keith and I took a trip to the newly opened National Underground Railroad Freedom Museum on the other side of town.
    I remember Keith telling me of his ancestors’ history from slavery to the Civil Rights movement. He spoke about how his connection to his family’s history of survival and resistance motivated him to dedicate his life to fighting for justice for all people.
    Our generational histories of trauma are very different, but our trip to Cincinnati has stayed with me as I participate in the fight for social justice, grounded in my own Jewish community and history.
    In the fourteen years since, Congressman Keith Ellison has remained a close friend to my family, and a supportive mentor and role model to me. As a rabbinic student, I have therefore been baffled and deeply disturbed that claims of Congressman Ellison’s anti-Semitism have gained traction within the Jewish community and beyond.
    The Anti-Defamation League’s accusation that Congressman Ellison made anti-Semitic statements (based on out of context quotes), coupled with Haim Saban’s recent claims that he is “clearly an anti-Semite and anti-Israel person” could not be farther from my own experiences with Congressman Ellison over the past decade and half.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/549088 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Le congrès du Fatah : une belle occasion manquée... | Chronique de Palestine
    par Abdel Bari Atwan – 4 décembre 2016 – Raï al-Yaoum – Traduction : Chronique de Palestine – Lotfallah

    Le 7ème Congrès du Fatah montre jusqu’à quel point le mouvement a sombré, réduit comme il l’est à choisir entre deux options tout aussi désastreuses l’une que l’autre : Abbas ou Dahlan.

    Le « président » palestinien, Mahmoud Abbas avait une excellente occasion d’impulser quelques changements nécessaires lors du tout récent 7e Congrès du Fatah, le groupe politique palestinien dominant et pilier de l’OLP. Mais – à en juger par les résultats du congrès, la liste des délégués et les critères sur lesquels ils ont été choisis, ainsi que les discussions tenues à ses côtés ou à huis clos – cela a été une occasion manquée.(...)

    https://seenthis.net/messages/548878 via Loutre

  • Unpacking four years of frustration, Kerry leaves door open for Obama UN bid on Israeli-Palestinian conflict

    Nearly all of Obama’s advisers support U.S. action at the Security Council. Whether Obama decides to accept or reject their advice will have a significant impact on his legacy.

    Barak Ravid (Washington) Dec 05, 2016
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.756992

    WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sat on the stage at the Saban Forum in Washington on Sunday and painted an exceedingly gloomy picture of the state of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Kerry, talking without notes, spoke from the heart like someone who truly fears for Israel’s future, as he expressed frustrations over four years of repeatedly trying to revive the two-state solution, the prospects for which seem to be expiring.
    Kerry’s criticism of the Israeli government’s settlement policy and its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was unprecedented in its intensity. Fifty days before he leaves his post, Kerry finally publicly acknowledged the reality, admitting that the Israeli government was not really interested in a two-state solution. He made it clear that anyone who wants to know the Israeli policy should take heed of the words and actions of Habayit Hayehudi chairman Naftali Bennett rather than Netanyahu.
    The U.S. secretary of state described a situation where a small group within the Israeli government is exploiting the disinterest of the majority of the Israeli public to what goes on in the West Bank to work quietly behind the scenes and create facts on the ground that will make it impossible to establish a Palestinian state. The bill to legalize unauthorized outposts in the West Bank, the strengthening of illegal outposts, the massive demolitions of Palestinian homes in Area C and more and more Jews moving into settlements outside the established blocs and east of the separation barrier are just some of the issues Kerry mentioned.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/548392 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Israeli-born BDS supporter vies to head Britain’s Jewish student union -
    Born in Tel Aviv, pro-Palestinian activist Eran Cohen, 27, is challenging the accepted norms of British Jewry.
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/europe/.premium-1.756883

    As outsider candidates take the lead in elections around the world, the trend of radical populism may be coming to Jewish student politics in the United Kingdom.
    The surprise contender in this year’s elections for president of the Union of Jewish Students is Eran Cohen, a veteran pro-Palestinian activist and outspoken supporter of the Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions movement.
    The 27-year-old’s candidacy marks something of a departure for a body that has long been a bastion of communal politics, committed to fighting campus boycotts and strengthening students’ ties to Israel.
    A senior UJS role has long been a traditional stepping-stone for students considering a future in Anglo-Jewish leadership or mainstream politics.
    Cohen, a member of the U.K.’s Jewish anarchist collective Jewdas and a committed diasporist, comes from a very different place, as he makes clear in his three-and-a-half minute campaign video.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/548404 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Bezalel Smotrich: The face of Israel’s far right wants to ’abort’ Palestinian hope
    And he thinks Netanyahu is a coward. Meet Knesset Member Bezalel Smotrich, who envisions a Greater Israel where the Palestinian Authority doesn’t exist and who believes Reform Jews and LGBT people are living a lie.
    By Ravit Hecht Dec 01, 2016
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.756382

    Bezalel Smotrich, a first-time Knesset member from the Bayit Hayehudi party, already has earned himself a reputation as one of the most brilliant and influential members of the house. He is proud to be the Knesset’s right-wing bellwether, and is perceived as radical even within the national-religious milieu from which he emerged – the settlement movement. In the brief year and a half since he was sworn in, Smotrich has succeeded in guiding the direction of his party (through his leadership of the struggle to prevent the dismantling of the Amona outpost in the West Bank, and to pass the so-called formalization bill), and even that of the government.
    Smotrich has become the powerhouse behind a wave of proposed legislation to advance the cause of the settlements and of judicial reform. As opposed to many politicians who have emerged from the margins, Smotrich doesn’t hanker for legitimacy from the political mainstream. Rather, he views himself as being situated in the heart of the system and the establishment. “I don’t feel like a fifth wheel, or like a guest in the state,” says Smotrich, “and therefore it is completely legitimate for me to try to influence and mold it according to my belief system.”
    Just about the only stipulation Smotrich and his media adviser laid down for the interview we conducted, one of a series of conversations and encounters I had with him during the past month, was that we not talk about the “community” (the LGBT community, that is). That surprised me, because, even though I myself am a “member of the community” – that was the last thing that interested me about the legislator from Habayit Hayehudi.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/547543 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • #Angela_Davis : « Les #Etats-Unis sont en train de vivre une contre-révolution »

    À l’occasion de son passage à Paris, Mediapart s’est entretenu avec la féministe, antiraciste et anticapitaliste Angela Davis. Le « choc » de l’élection américaine, la tension entre l’universel et les minorités, la laïcité en France, la justice climatique... « Le défi est de créer des mouvements capables de ramener à gauche les électeurs de Trump et les abstentionnistes », affirme-t-elle.

    #International #Anticolonialisme #antiracisme #Donald_Trump #féminisme #intersectionnalité

  • Today could have been Palestine’s 65th birthday
    The State of Palestine could have been 65 years old today if the UN partition plan of 1947 had been accepted by the Arab world. A just and lasting peace between two sovereign states is still prejudiced by the false narrative that Palestinians were the only refugees created in 1947.

    Irwin Cotler Nov 29, 2012
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/today-could-have-been-palestine-s-65th-birthday.premium-1.481326

    Today, the Palestinian Authority is seeking Observer Status at the UN General Assembly with a view to securing a UN General Assembly vote later in the day. The November 29 is no random date – it marks the 65th anniversary of the UN Partition Resolution of 1947. It is sometimes forgotten – and often not even known – that this was the first-ever blueprint for an Israeli-Palestinian “two states for two peoples” solution. Regrettably, while Jewish leaders accepted the resolution, Arab and Palestinian leaders did not – which they had a right to do if they felt it did not comport with their objectives or interests.
    However, what they did not have a right to do was to launch a war of aggression against the nascent Jewish state. Nor did they have a right to launch a war against their own Jewish nationals – a documented pattern of state-sanctioned repression and persecution – disenfranchising them, dispossessing them of their – detaining, murdering and expelling them. This double aggression resulted in two sets of refugees: Palestinian refugees resulting from the Arab war against the Jewish State, and Jewish refugees resulting from the Arab war against their own Jewish nationals.
    Yet the false Middle East narrative – prejudicial to authentic reconciliation and peace between peoples as well as between states – continues to hold that there was only one victim population, Palestinian refugees; that Israel was responsible for the Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe) of 1947-8; and that, as Prof. Rami Khouri of the American University of Beirut recently wrote – during the Israel-Hamas hostilities – “As long as the crime of dispossession and refugeehood that was committed against the Palestinian people in 1947-48 is not redressed through a peaceful and just negotiation that satisfies the legitimate rights of both sides, we will continue to see enhancements in both the determination and the capabilities of Palestinian fighters.” In his words, “Only stupid or ideologically maniacal Zionists fail to come to terms with this fact”.
    But his revisionist view of history ignores the fundamental fact that had the UN Partition Resolution been accepted, there would have been no 1948 Arab- Israeli war, no refugees, and none of the pain and suffering of these past 65 years. Indeed, another event falling on today’s date - the annual UN-organized International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People – could this year have been a day commemorating the 65th anniversary of the establishment of both the State of Israel and the State of Palestine.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/546753 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Turkey entered Syria to end al-Assad’s rule : President Erdoğan - MIDEAST

    The Turkish military launched its operations in Syria to end the rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Nov. 29.

    “In my estimation, nearly 1 million people have died in Syria. These deaths are still continuing without exception for children, women and men. Where is the United Nations? What is it doing? Is it in Iraq? No. We preached patience but could not endure in the end and had to enter Syria together with the Free Syrian Army [FSA],” Erdoğan said at the first Inter-Parliamentary Jerusalem Platform Symposium in Istanbul.

    “Why did we enter? We do not have an eye on Syrian soil. The issue is to provide lands to their real owners. That is to say we are there for the establishment of justice. We entered there to end the rule of the tyrant al-Assad who terrorizes with state terror. [We didn’t enter] for any other reason,” the president said.

    On Aug. 24, the Turkish Armed Forces launched an operation in Syria, the Euphrates Shield operation, with FSA fighters to ostensibly clear the country’s southern border of both the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) forces, which Ankara considers as a terrorist group linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

    Last week, a total of six Turkish troops, of them four in a suspected Syrian government attack, and two in ISIL attacks, were killed in three separate attacks from Nov. 24 to 26.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/546756 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • The first to identify terror by arson
    Education Minister Naftali Bennett uses thefts and arson to promote a racist ideology with national and territorial implications, by raising the question of whom this country belongs to.

    Ravit Hecht Nov 25, 2016 1:31 AM
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.755191

    “Only someone who doesn’t own this land could set it on fire,” tweeted Education Minister Naftali Bennett the other day, as the wave of fires took on the proportions of a national disaster, long before the source of the fires was clear. The post has received 616 “likes” and 80 “shares” so far, a number likely to increase. This is six-fold higher than the responses to his usual tweets.
    Some people compared this to Benjamin Netanyahu’s tweet following the arrest of two Palestinians on suspicion of raping a mentally defective girl. (“This is a heinous crime that demands wall-to-wall condemnation, but for some reason this has not been heard, not in the media and not across the political spectrum. One could only imagine what would have happened if it were the other way around.”) When the suspects were released Netanyahu offered a partial apology.
    Despite the similarities between these statements – referring to a crime while blatantly hinting at the nationality of the perpetrators who are still only suspects – this latest tweet is actually more like an earlier statement that Bennett made during the last elections campaign, in front of high school graduates about to vote for the first time.
    Bennett said that “anyone who has tried to tour the Negev in recent years knows that one can’t leave a car anywhere since it’s bound to be broken into and stolen. Tractors are stolen in Petah Tikva and the Galilee and one can’t go to the Mount of Olives or Mount Scopus anymore. One can’t enter Arab towns or villages, and this hurts the Arabs most of all, since Israel has decided that the rule of law may apply to Tel Aviv, Haifa and Ra’anana, but not to these places.”
    One should note Bennett’s semantics – he never uses the word “Arab” in proximity to the word “steal” or “thief” (the chairman of Habayit Hayehudi actually filed a libel suit against journalist David Feuer who tweeted that Bennett called all Arabs car thieves. He later retracted the suit.) The word “Arab” doesn’t appear in the new tweet at all. Nevertheless, everyone understands what his tweet means.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/545198 via Nouvelles d’Orient