Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights

An Open Letter to Senator Jeff Merkley

Written by Gilbert Schramm   
Tuesday, 22 July 2014 12:07

An Open Letter to Senator Jeff Merkley

July 22, 2014

Senator Merkley,

As a former supporter of yours, I was angered and saddened to see your response to my concerns about the Gaza conflict. Your position is simply not good enough. It is cowardly and enables pointless Israeli violence. In view of the fact that you voted for S Res 498, I cannot view you as worthy of the distinguished leadership position that Oregonians have conferred on you. 

Like many progressives, I worked hard for your election. I will now suspend my work and contributions on your behalf—you clearly don’t have the good of our nation in focus.

Your statement decries the deaths on both sides, but the resolution you signed (S Res 498) is a one sided travesty that places a US seal of approval on the ongoing Israeli occupation and oppression of the Palestinian territories and the ongoing war crimes that are the direct result of that occupation.

The truth is that Israel is the guilty party here. This is a war of choice by Israel. Your statement misinforms your constituents by blurring that reality.
Read more: An Open Letter to Senator Jeff Merkley

 
 

Book Review: A Rabbi's Journey from liberal Zionism to anti-Zionism

Written by Rod Such   
Saturday, 22 June 2013 12:09

Book review: Outspoken rabbi urges American Jews to "look oppression in the face"

21 June 2013

 

If Adam Shatz was still collecting material for his valuable work Prophets Outcast: A Century of Dissident Jewish Writing about Zionism and Israel (2004), he would probably want to consider including an excerpt from the recently publishedWrestling in the Daylight: A Rabbi’s Path to Palestinian Solidarity by Brant Rosen.

Many of the contributors selected in Shatz’s work were Jews who opposed politicalZionism from its inception, with some offering an alternative vision of cultural Zionism in which Jews and Arabs would share a common homeland under a neutral state guaranteeing equal rights for all.

Unlike these writers, Rosen initially embraced a “liberal” form of political Zionism but then embarked on a political journey that led him to question and ultimately break with it, the turning point coming with Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s murderous assault on the people of Gaza in late 2008 and early 2009. Read more: Book Review: A Rabbi's Journey from liberal Zionism to anti-Zionism

 

Full Text of UN Committee on the Rights of the Child detailing Israeli torture of Palestinian children

Written by Webmaster   
Saturday, 22 June 2013 11:59

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child issued the following report on June 14, 2013, detailing Israeli human rights abuses of Palestinian children, including torture. The full text of the report can be found at this link:

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/crc/docs/co/CRC-C-ISR-CO-2-4.pdf

 
   

Find a Gaza Protest Near You!

 

Can Israel be Jewish and democratic?

Written by Joseph Levine   
Monday, 11 March 2013 11:22

 

MARCH 9, 2013, 7:30 PM

On Questioning the Jewish State

 

By JOSEPH LEVINE

I was raised in a religious Jewish environment, and though we were not strongly Zionist, I always took it to be self-evident that “Israel has a right to exist.” Now anyone who has debated the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will have encountered this phrase often. Defenders of Israeli policies routinely accuse Israel’s critics of denying her right to exist, while the critics (outside of a small group on the left, where I now find myself) bend over backward to insist that, despite their criticisms, of course they affirm it. The general mainstream consensus seems to be that to deny Israel’s right to exist is a clear indication of anti-Semitism (a charge Jews like myself are not immune to), and therefore not an option for people of conscience.

Over the years I came to question this consensus and to see that the general fealty to it has seriously constrained open debate on the issue, one of vital importance not just to the people directly involved — Israelis and Palestinians — but to the conduct of our own foreign policy and, more important, to the safety of the world at large. My view is that one really ought to question Israel’s right to exist and that doing so does not manifest anti-Semitism. The first step in questioning the principle, however, is to figure out what it means.

One problem with talking about this question calmly and rationally is that the phrase “right to exist” sounds awfully close to “right to life,” so denying Israel its right to exist sounds awfully close to permitting the extermination of its people. In light of the history of Jewish persecution, and the fact that Israel was created immediately after and largely as a consequence of the Holocaust, it isn’t surprising that the phrase “Israel’s right to exist” should have this emotional impact. But as even those who insist on the principle will admit, they aren’t claiming merely the impermissibility of exterminating Israelis. So what is this “right” that many uphold as so basic that to question it reflects anti-Semitism and yet is one that I claim ought to be questioned? Read more: Can Israel be Jewish and democratic?

 
   

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