Jim Crow is alive and well in Israel

Long before Israel erected separate communities, the United States perfected the art of the artificial divide.

Stanley L Cohen is an attorney and human rights activist who has done extensive work in the Middle East and Africa.

For years, Israel has sold, and we in the United States have bought, the cheap peel-away sticker that it is the "lone democracy" in the Middle East.

It has a nice, assuring ring to it, sort of like "opportunity" or "peace", whatever these chants may, in practice, mean. But, like beauty, it remains very much in the eye of the beholder, and like reality, sooner or later the truth surfaces, no matter how well its fiction is packaged.

We in the US are damn good at packaging ourselves, and our charade of equality and justice is second to none. We sell stuff; lots of it. Much of it false. Very much like a willing stepchild, Israel has learned from us that if you say something long enough with vigour, power and money to back it, it begins to take on a surreal life of its own, no matter how much reality puts the lie to its embroidery. Indeed, we are quite accomplished at obfuscation. We know it all too well. We've hidden behind the fog of it for so long that, even today, those who remind us that the earth is, in fact, not flat, remain heretics to be scorned. Have we found the weapons of mass destruction yet?

Long before Israel erected separate communities divided by will of law to segregate its Jewish citizens from its almost two million Palestinian Arab ones, the US perfected the art of artificial divide.

With the accuracy of delusion, from coast to coast, could be heard the refrain that race-based segregation was lawful as long as the facilities provided to each race were equal.

For decades, the legal fiction of "separate but equal" was the mantra that state and local governments, throughout the US, held out to justify the artificial, indeed lawful, separation of tens of millions of Americans on the basis of race and nothing more.

Whether in services, facilities, public accommodations, transportation, medical care, employment, voting booths or in schools, black and white were segregated under the cheap shibboleth that artificial isolation of the races insured equality, as long as the conditions of their separation were legally equal.

These laws came to be known simply as Jim Crow.

Read more: Jim Crow is alive and well in Israel

Israel passes law barring entry for supporters of boycott of Jewish state


“The knesset [parliament] passed on its second and third readings the entry into Israel bill,” it said in a statement on Monday night.

“A visa will not be granted nor a residence permit of any kind to any person who is not an Israeli citizen or permanent resident if he, or the organisation or body in which he is active, has knowingly issued a public call to boycott the state of Israel or pledged to take part in such a boycott,” the statement said.

Israel has been faced with a boycott movement over its nearly 50-year occupation of the West Bank but it has lately intensified the diplomatic and legal fight against it. 

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement campaigns for a global boycott of Israel until, among other demands, the country withdraws from all occupied Palestinian territories. Israel sees the movement as a strategic threat and accuses it of antisemitism – a claim BDS denies.

Read more: Israel passes law barring entry for supporters of boycott of Jewish state

ACTION NEEDED: Defeat Trump Muslim Ban 2.0

Donald Trump just reinstated his Muslim ban, signing a new Executive Order that will once again bar nationals of Iran and five other countries from obtaining visas and visiting the U.S.

Trump’s actions are inhumane, unjust and un-American. We will stop him.

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Nationals of the six countries will be unable to obtain visas for 90 days, but beyond that Iranian visa-seekers will likely be banned from the U.S. indefinitely due to the lack of diplomatic relations and Iran’s designation as a “state sponsor of terror”, according to the Secretary of Homeland Security.

We cannot let that happen.

The administration made some small, completely insufficient adjustments to the ban to try minimize public controversy and avoid being blocked once again in court. They are exempting green card holders and persons who currently hold visas.

The adjustments may reduce some of the chaos at airports. But make no mistake: Iranian visa seekers will be barred from entering the U.S. indefinitely. The Administration has also not provided enough answers regarding non-U.S. dual nationals - the order says they are exempt but their FAQ suggests there may be complications in a dual national obtaining a visa. We are seeking full clarity that non-U.S. Iranian dual nationals will indeed be able to apply for a U.S. visa.

The bottom line is this: NIAC Action, and all of our allies in this battle, are fighting Trump’s new ban on two paths - the legal path and the Congressional path.

Read more: ACTION NEEDED: Defeat Trump Muslim Ban 2.0

Dr. Abuelaish Seeks Israel’s Accountability and Responsibility for Deaths of Daughters and Niece

The fight to hold Israel accountable for tragedies inflicted upon Palestinian families will be taken a step further on March 15, 2017, as the Abuelaish Trial for Accountability and Responsibility vs. Israel finally begins in Beer el-Sabe District Court.

Gaza obstetrician Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish’s civil lawsuit seeking an apology and compensation has been pending in Israeli courts since December 2010. On Jan. 16, 2009, during Operation Cast Lead, Israeli shells hit his family home, killing his three daughters and niece.

Israelis heard Dr. Abuelaish’s anguished cries for help as they were broadcast live on Shlomi Eldar’s TV program. Eldar helped get an ambulance to Abuelaish’s home in time to save a fourth daughter who was grievously wounded. The tragedy was rebroadcast around the world and shamed Israel into halting that year’s attacks on Gaza.

After his daughters Bessan (21), Mayar (15) and Aya (13) and niece Noor (17) were killed, Dr. Abuelaish began to seek an apology from the Israeli government for the grief and sorrow inflicted on his family. The Israeli government refused to take responsibility for the girls’ deaths, stating that they were killed in “an operation of war,” and that therefore it would not acknowledge any blame.

Read more: Dr. Abuelaish Seeks Israel’s Accountability and Responsibility for Deaths of Daughters and Niece


Come one and all to a protest at Senator Ron Wyden's Office on 
THIS Friday March 3 from 12 noon to 1PM
911 NE 11th Ave #630, Portland, OR 97232
(near Lloyd Center)
Senator Wyden has not yet announced how he will vote on the confirmation of David Friedman as US Ambassador to Israel. We need to keep up the pressure on him to oppose this right-wing extremist from being confirmed. 
We've delivered petitions and hand-written letters, we've called, emailed, tweeted.
NOW we protest. We will post on social media so Senator Wyden will know we are here. 
Let's keep our message to this one: Reject the Trump Agenda: Reject Friedman. 
There's lots more to talk to Sen. Wyden about on Palestine/Israel, but now we want to focus on defeating Friedman.
Attached are signs you can print up and use for this protest. If you just copy the sign and tape it to a stick, it becomes a nifty protest sign!!
Or, you can find the signs online here




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