Israel/Palestine

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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Gender & Sexuality

Boycotting Equality Forum’s Israeli Sponsorship

Palestinian gays and lesbians have urged the gay community in the United States to become more aware of how we have become an unwitting partner in Israel’s efforts to improve its much-criticized human rights record—especially with respect to the Palestinians. Through a policy that some have called “pinkwashing,” Israel has self-consciously sought to rebrand itself as less religious, less militaristic and less hostile, and in so doing wants to deflect attention from the International Court of Justice and UN Human Rights Council’s findings that many of Israel’s policies with respect to the Palestinians violate international law.
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War & Peace

Negotiations Between Iran and the West: An Opportunity for Compromise or Prelude to War?

It feels like war against Iran grows incrementally closer each day. Yet websites like Israel Loves Iran, Facebook pages like Israelis Against the War, and Twitter accounts are filled with a message sorely discomfiting Israel’s leaders. How does American presidential politics feature in the run-up to war?
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Israel/Palestine

The Makings of a Center-Left Alliance For Israeli Settlement Boycotts?

During a plenary session at last week’s third annual J Street conference, Raleb Majadele, a Palestinian Israeli member of the Knesset from the Labor party, may have broken an Israeli law. Responding to a question about whether he supports boycotts …
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Israel/Palestine

The Walls of the Reform Movement’s “Big Tent”

Why would the Union for Reform Judaism give a right-wing Jewish leader a prominent platform from which to make hurtful, dehumanizing, and simplistic comments about Palestinian “culture”? Does inviting such a speaker honor the Reform movement’s history of moral certitude against injustice and discrimination?
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Israel/Palestine

Obama, Palestine, and the United Nations

For those of us who hoped that President Barack Obama would usher in a new era supporting international law, the United Nations, and Israeli-Palestinian peace, 2011 proved to be a profoundly disappointing year. In order for his policies to change, he needs to be pressured.
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Israel’s Education Dilemma: Reflections from a Former IDF Soldier in Hebron

As an American, an Israeli, and a Jew, hearing about a new OECD report that ranks Israel as the second most educated country in the world is reason to celebrate, but the true picture is far more complex.
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