Tens of Thousands of Israelis Protest the New “nation state law” in Tel Aviv

Read the full story at : https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israeli-arabs-to-lead-tel-aviv-march-in-protest-against-nation-state-l-1.6365103

Tens of Thousands Gather in Tel Aviv for Nation-state Law Protest Led by Israeli Arabs
Protesters waving Palestinian and Israeli flags, chanting: ‘Nation-state is apartheid’ ■ Netanyahu: There is no better testimony for the necessity of the law’

Bar Peleg and

Jack Khoury 11.08.2018 22:07 Updated: 10:39 PM

 

Thousands of demonstrators protesting the nation-state law in Tel Aviv, August 11, 2018.Tomer Appelbaum Tens of thousands of demonstrators protesting the nation-state law gathered in Tel Aviv Saturday night in the wake of last week’s mass march, which drew tens of thousands of Israelis to protest in solidarity with the country’s Druze community.Demonstrators marched from Rabin Square to the plaza of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, which began at 8:00 P.M. Protesters gathered at Rabin Square. A rally under the name “Abolish Nation-state Law – Yes to Equality” took place after the march.Some protesters came waving Israeli and Palestinian flags, despite the organizers’ request not to bring flags in order to avoid conflict.

Israel’s March of Folly by Uri Avnery

[Editor’s Note: Uri Avnery is chair of Israel’s peace organization Gush Shalom and a frequent contributor to Tikkun’s website]

ONE CAN look at events in Gaza through the left or through the right eye. One can condemn them as inhuman, cruel and mistaken, or justify them as necessary and unavoidable. 

 

But there is one adjective that is beyond question: They are stupid. 

 

If the late Barbara Tuchman were still alive, she might be tempted to add another chapter to her groundbreaking opus “The March of Folly”: a chapter titled “Eyeless in Gaza”.  

THE LATEST episode in this epic started a few months ago, when independent activists in the Gaza Strip called for a march to the Israeli border, which Hamas supported. It was called “The Great March of Return”, a symbolic gesture for the more than a million Arab residents who fled or were evicted from their homes in the land that became the State of Israel.  

The Israeli authorities pretended to take this seriously.

When My Mother Wanted to Die

Ageism is so pervasive that we barely even stop to acknowledge it. This has drastic consequences when the limits of our compassion begin impacting healthcare policy.

Middle East Alliances. Old and New.

Tikkun note: Thanks to our media ally tomdispatch.com for sharing the article below by Rebecca Gordon. And first, a brief part of an introduction to her piece by their editor Tom Engelhardt. “Stabilization: Lessons From the U.S. Experience in Afghanistan” put out by the office of the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, or SIGAR, focused on 15 years of U.S. efforts to defeat the Taliban and “reconstruct” that country.  Issued in late May, it got a few cursory news reportsbefore disappearing into the maw of Trump addiction.  But don’t blame The Donald for that.  When was the last time — even before he entered the Oval Office — that any serious attention was paid here to the longest war in American history, our forever war or “generational struggle” or “infinite war”?  When was the last true policy debate on it? Presidents — even Donald Trump — just re-up on coming into office, surge more U.S. troops in, and watch as things devolve.  The generals fight; U.S. commanders come and go (the 17thof the Afghan war is just arriving); our European allies ever more wearily support the last superpower on the planet; and things only get worse while SIGAR issues its reports.  Even its latest one only ended up recommending yet more military and other efforts at greater cost to “stabilize” that country.  There’s a certain pathos to it, even as yet more Afghans die, more lives are ruined or uprooted, and yet more insurgent/terror groups form in that country (and neighboring Pakistan).  It has all the charm of watching mice on a treadmill. Recently, for instance, there was a new “insider attack” that took the life of an American serviceman and wounded two others, the first in perhaps a year; the Taliban seemed once again to be gaining ground as Afghan government security forces shrank; British Prime Minister Theresa May, preparing to be kicked in the teeth by President Trump, obsequiously came close to doubling her country’s force in Afghanistan; approximately 15,000 U.S. military personnel (not counting private contractors) continue to serve there; the U.S. air war has been ramped up; the latest Pentagon review of the American effort may soon be launched; and undoubtedly SIGAR has begun to clear the way for its next report.

Support the NAACP opposition to Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee

Tikkun and the NSP encourage you to speak out to your elected representatives and ask them to speak to U.S. Senators about the importance of blocking any Trump nominee till the new Congress to be elected in November takes office in Januarny 2019–the same procedure that the Republicans insisted upon when blocking Obama’s nominee for this same office. And we fully agree with the position of the NAACP on this particular nominee. And we’d add that this nominee is likely to vote to overturn Roe v. Wade and many other important past liberal, civil liberties and human rights decisions of the Court in the past 100 years. –Rabbi Michael Lerner

 

BALTIMORE (July 9, 2018)—NAACP, the nation’s foremost civil rights organization, issued the following statement regarding the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be Associate Justice of the Supreme Court:

Today, our nation celebrates the 150th anniversary of ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. The Fourteenth Amendment transformed our democracy by guaranteeing to all persons the right to equal protection under the law.

Celebrating July 4th in the Trump Years

Celebrating July 4th in the Trump Years: Make it Inter-Dependence Day to Challenge the Ideology of Right Wing Ultra-Nationalism 

by Rabbi Michael Lerner  editor Tikkun magazine

 

A July 4th  “ Seder” 

In past years, faced with July 4th celebrations that are focused on militarism, ultra-nationalism, and “bombs bursting in air,” many American families who do not share those values turned July 4th into another summer holiday focused on picnics, sports and fireworks while doing their best to avoid the dominant rhetoric and bombast. For the millions of us who have been outraged at the pulliing of children from the arms of their parents, and sent to places where it will be very hard to determine who their parents are, there will be an even stronger tendency to either forget about celebrating this holiday or to use it just to mourn the horrific developments that unfold week after week in this sectond year of the Trumpites. But I think we would be making a mistake to not use this moment to not only mourn, but also organize in a new way. During the Trump years I believe all of us have a unique opportunity as well as a moral obligation to  use this holiday to connect with our fellow Americans and challenge the “America First” ultra-nationalist worldview that Trump and Right-wing activists are trying to popularize. They are shifting the mainstream dialogue from its previous center-right blandly pro-capitalist worldview to an extremist right-wing nationalism, already mobilized against immigrants, those seeking humanitarian refugee status,  and environmental protections.

Families Torn Apart …. and the continuing cruelties and a way to activist compassion

 

[Editor’s note:  Rabbis Arthur Waskow and Phyllis Berman present below an important perspective on the ongoing atrocities of the Trump Administration’s treatment of immigrants. We must continue to object to its cruel and inhumane incarceration of people desperately seeking asylum. But we also need to answer the question about a long-term strategy. And that is precisely what we at Tikkun have developed by proposing a Global Marshall Plan that aims to change conditions in the from which people are fleeing, often fleeing as a result of economic hardships that evoke domestic cruelty and the need for flight. That level of economic hardship was caused by U.S. trade policies that essentially wiped out small farmers in Central and South America, forced many into cities where they could barely survive, and created havoc from which some have sought refuge here.  Please read www.tikkun.org/gmp and then get your local city council and elected representatives to state and federal government to endorse this plan, or to pass resolutions endorsing Congressman Keith Ellison’s H.Res.

Trump’s War on Children is an Act of State Terrorism

State terrorism comes in many forms, but one of its most cruel and revolting expressions is when it is aimed at children. Even though U.S. President Donald Trump backed down in the face of a scathing political and public outcry and ended his administration’s policy of separating migrant children from their parents, make no mistake: His actions were indeed a form of terrorism. That he was defiant until his back was against the wall points not only to a society that has lost its moral compass, but has also descended into such darkness that it demands both the loudest forms of moral outrage and a collective resistance aimed at eliminating the narratives, power relations and values that support it. State violence against children has a long, dark history among authoritarian regimes. Josef Stalin’s police took children from the parents he labelled as “enemies of the people.” Adolf Hitler, Francisco Franco and Augusto Pinochet all separated children from their families on a large scale as a way to punish political dissidents and those parents considered disposable.

Act to Help Reunite Refugee Children and Their Parents

At this very moment, hundreds of mothers and children are being separated from one another by a truly unconscionable decision of the Trump administration to separate children from their parents when coming to this country fleeing violence and seeking asylum. These children, some as young as 53 weeks old, do not know if they will ever see their mothers or fathers again and are being warehoused in cages with metallic blankets. I have struggled with how to best respond to this horror and am in conversation with other organizations. In the meantime, I have decided to see if there might be a way to reach Ivanka Trump. She is in a unique position to influence her father, and as a mother and self-identified feminist, perhaps if we speak to her with compassion she just might open her heart and be moved enough to try to convince her father to change his policy. Here is the letter I tweeted to her in an effort to encourage her to act.

Hamas’ bombing of an Israeli kindergarten is also outrageous!

Those of us who are critical of Israeli treatment of Palestinians must from time to time remind our communities that the dictators of Gaza, the Hamas group of Islamic extremists including the group Islamic Jihad, are as distorted and immoral in their way as Israel has been toward the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza. There is no ethical excuse for Hamas bombing a school yard, thankfully a short while before the kindergarten children and staff arrived, as they did on Wednesday May 30. It is no excuse to say that Israel has done far worse toward Gaza. Yes, it has–but that doesn’t provide an argument for why Hamas should target civilians. Israel’s evil deeds in killing unarmed demonstrators last week at the Gaza fence does not make Hamas’ activity legitimate.

Uri Avnery (Israel’s peace movement Gush Shalom) on Israel’s Days of Shame

Editor’s note: From Tel Aviv,  Uri Avnery, leader of the Israeli peace movement Gush Shalom, has been a voice of sanity for many decades. Uri Avnery

May 19, 2018

 

The Day of Shame

 

ON BLOODY MONDAY this past week, when the number of Palestinian killed and wounded was rising by the hour, I asked myself: what would I have done if I had been a youngster of 15 in the Gaza Strip?  

My answer was, without hesitation: I would have stood near the border fence and demonstrated, risking my life and limbs every minute.  

How am I so sure? 

 

Simple: I did the same when I was 15.  

I was a member of the National Military Organization (the “Irgun”), an armed underground group labeled “terrorist”.

Walking on Eggshells: Talking about Israel and Palestine

I.          After January’s Martin Luther King Day celebration at Detroit’s Central Methodist Church, a couple of friends, my wife, and I joined the march going further into downtown in order to show our support for continuing action against racial inequality and especially for Black Lives Matters’ mobilization against police violence against African Americans. Within a few minutes we four, politically “progressive” Jews, found ourselves in the midst of a loud and energetic chant: “From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will Be Free.”  I suppose some of those chanting, certainly the leaders, knew that their words were calling for the destruction of the state of Israel. But perhaps some weren’t even aware of that, and wouldn’t have understood why the four of us dropped out. Later that day I happened to go the J Street website for some advice on how to think about the differences and possible links between anti-\Zionism and antisemitism and I was instantly confronted by the words on their banner: “The Political Home for Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace Americans.” Know it or not, those chanting earlier were certainly “anti-Israel,” but it was J Street’s language that stopped me in my tracks. “Pro-Israel” was no doubt a way of rebutting those who had called J Street “Anti-Israel” for opposing some current Israeli government policies, notably the West Bank settlements and the occupation (a word that J Street seems shy about using).

Israel Independence Day–3 different approaches plus our Tikkunish thoughts

 

Below are three different takes, from 3 organizations each of which we at Tikkun support for their important work (Hazon in developing Jewish environmental consciousness, Torat Tzedeck for Rabbi Ascherman’s courageous work in defense of refugees, Palestinians, and Bedouin in Israel/Palestine, and T’ruah for its voice for progressive rabbis guided by Jill Jacobs). We present their statements on how to think about Israel on its 70th anniversary. I’m proud to be a member and supporter of each of these.  

In the statements below each  of them makes important points. Yet, none of them adequately capture the legitimate outrage of those Israelis who as Jews feel that Israel is desecrating that which is most sacred in the Jewish tradition, nor the pain of Arab Israelis who continue to experience the daily humiliations and pain of being a second-class citizen in a society that publicizes itself as an enlightened democracy, nor the pain of those millions of Palestinians living under Israeli Occupation in the West Bank and Gaza.  

I particularly like Jill Jacobs, statement on behalf of T’ruah.  She makes a very persuasive case for a balanced approach that in tone is very different from some on the Left who can see nothing of value in Israel.