Israel/Palestine

US Politics

The Jewish Community’s Drift Toward the Right

In the absence of a visionary or even steadfastly progressive leadership, the Jewish community has become stuck in a vicious cycle of recriminations, while slowly shifting to the political right.
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Israel/Palestine

Debating Pinkwashing

An Inconvenient Truth: The Myths of Pinkwashing by Arthur Slepian Responses to Arthur Slepian: The Greater Context of the Pinkwashing Debate by Katherine Franke Revealing the Truth Behind the Rainbow: Seattle’s Anti-Pinkwashing Success by Wendy Elisheva Somerson Pinkwashing, Brainwashing, and …
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Israel/Palestine

A New Heroism in Israel and Palestine

Mejdi is a tour company founded in 2010 by Dr. Marc Gopin, an orthodox rabbi. The idea behind Mejdi is that Arabs and Jews doing peace and coexistence work through NGOs are notoriously under-funded; hundreds of them are literally poor. They also spend a disproportionate amount of time writing grants and fundraising rather than doing their critical on-the-ground work. It’s an unsustainable model, and the Mejdi co-founders felt they could create a business for peace-building that was also self-sustaining.
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Israel/Palestine

Poisoning Arafat

For me, there was no surprise. From the very first day, I was convinced that Yasser Arafat had been poisoned by Ariel Sharon. I even wrote about it several times.
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Israel/Palestine

Revealing the Truth Behind the Rainbow: Seattle’s Anti-Pinkwashing Success

As a queer anti-Occupation Jew living in Seattle, I was part of the coalition that worked to get the Seattle LGBT commission to cancel the pinkwashing event, “Rainbow Generations: Building New LGBTQ Pride & Inclusion in Israel,” sponsored by Arthur Slepian’s organization, A Wider Bridge. In response to Slepian’s article, “An Inconvenient Truth: The Myths of Pinkwashing,” I want to clarify why we worked to cancel the event and counter his misinformation about pinkwashing.
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Gender & Sexuality

Israeli Occupation and LGBT Rights: Inextricably Intertwined

Improving the lot of gays in Israel without addressing the suffering of Palestinians under Occupation is a palliative measure. The oppression facing Israeli minorities, whether they be LGBT or Israeli Palestinians derives from the same root: the original sin of racism and dispossession.
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Israel/Palestine

Pinkwashing, Brainwashing, and Queer-Palestinian solidarity

It is utterly impossible to truly be simultaneously queer and Zionist. The following has been said thousands of times, but it deserves to be repeated until it sinks in: a “Jewish and democratic state” is a horrific, racist contradiction in terms, especially considering upwards of twenty percent of Israel’s population who are not Jewish. By the same token, as long as the LGBT community in Israel struggles only for the rights of the LGBT community, showing near total disregard for other groups that are oppressed—arguably more oppressed than we—our struggle loses a great deal of its legitimacy.
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Gender & Sexuality

The Greater Context of the Pinkwashing Debate

While I can’t speak for all who charge Israel with pinkwashing, I think it’s fair to say that the aim of the pinkwashing critique is not LGBT Israelis, but rather Israeli state policy that uses members of our community and/or our interests to burnish its own international reputation. In this respect, the concern is how LGBT rights get taken up by the state as a marketing tool and are served up to an international audience as part of a national rebranding project that necessarily implicates geo-political, religious, and international relations that far exceed gay rights.
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Israel/Palestine

Statism and Anti-Statism: Reflections on Israel’s Legitimacy Crisis

In today’s Israeli political culture, opposition to the state takes a wide variety of forms, ranging from principled anti-statism to rejection of the state in its current form on diverse grounds. A review of some of the recent turbulence can serve to highlight the breadth of this phenomenon, which has recently given rise to high-profile manifestations across the Israeli religious and political spectrum.
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War & Peace

All We Have in Common: Youth Dialogue Offers a New Vision for Israel/Palestine

If we truly want peace, we must highlight and strengthen solutions to the conflict that instead seek to build thoughtful relationships between Palestinians and Israelis. Programs that bring together Jewish Israeli and Palestinian youth offer such a solution.
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Israel/Palestine

The War of Lies

Thirty years ago this week, the Israeli army crossed into Lebanon and started the most stupid war in Israel’s history. It lasted for 18 years. About 1500 Israeli soldiers and untold numbers of Lebanese and Palestinians were killed.
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Israel/Palestine

U.S. Gay Rights Activists: Stop Pinkwashing Palestinian Suffering!

Richard Silverstein looks at how Israel’s gay rights hasbara seeks to blind Americans to Israeli mistreatment of Palestinians.
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US Politics

Bipartisan Congressional Efforts to Prevent Israeli-Palestinian Peace

Last month, the Democratic Party aligned with the Republican Party to pass a dangerous piece of legislation that actually undermines the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. This legislation calls to dramatically expand U.S. military aid to Israel while keeping Israel dependent upon the United States. United States military aid to Israel already exceeds the monetary value of all foreign aid programs to sub-Saharan Africa combined, but Congress has voted to revamp it nonetheless.
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Israel/Palestine

Transfer in Israel: Who and to Where?

While the Israeli-Palestinian conflict seems in abeyance and “nothing happens,” it is really going on with full force in the only battlefield that matters: the settlement enterprise.
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Israel/Palestine

Building a Jewish and Democratic State: A Conversation with Peter Beinart

Rabbi Michael Lerner recently interviewed Peter Beinart, whose book– to its credit– has stirred considerable controversy within the American Jewish community.
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