Palestinian Authority (PA) Tortures Dissenters

It’s sad but true that people who have been brutalized often end up being brutalizers of others. It happens in the U.S., it has happened to many Israelis, and it happens throughout the world, including the Arab and Muslim worlds.  While we support the right of the Palestinians to their own national self-determination and the right of Jews to their own national self-determination, we’ve never romanticized the Palestinian people or the Israeli people (or for that matter, any other national entity including the U.S., U.K. etc.). https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/23/palestinian-authority-hamas-torture-peaceful-critics-rights-group-says?fbclid=IwAR3beQ2rb6udS-EyZxMhooZsh0Sy-qOFbwWmVujj3eSkayR9HaptWlUXHew

https://www.timesofisrael.com/report-details-torture-by-pa-and-hamas-in-their-parallel-police-states/?utm_source=The+Daily+Edition&utm_campaign=daily-edition-2018-10-23&utm_medium=email&fbclid=IwAR2fxubZZ_yX4NLpur7_yyBUAJ4lbbaG-cqe9W1VIHjOd-k8-axy240rVrg

Rabbi Michael Lerner   rabbilerner.tikkun@gmail.com

The “Good Faith” of the Usurpers –pre Rosh Hashanah reflections by Aryeh Cohen

 

This past week the Jerusalem District Court decided that the Mitzpeh Kramim settlement—which no one denies was built on private Palestinian land, and no one contests that that land was taken from the original Palestinian owners by extra-legal means—can remain in the hands of the current settler residents. The reason the court gave was that the deal that was made between the settlers and the World Zionist Organization, who had been given ownership over the land by the army, was executed in “good faith”—tom lev in Hebrew, pure or whole heart. “Good faith” as we shall see, is nothing more than a legal term of art rather than a phrase which describes the actual intentions of any of the parties between the initial Palestinian owners and the current Jewish settler owners. It being the week before Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, the idea of good faith or pure heart is in the front of peoples’ minds. Maimonides in his Laws of Repentance writes: “Anyone who confesses verbally but does not commit in their heart to abandon [their previous actions], behold this is like one who ritually immerses [in a mikveh for purification purposes] and is holding vermin [which is radically impure] in their hand, and the immersion is not effective until they throw the vermin away.” This powerful illustration sets in stark relief the type of “good faith” that the court was satisfied with.

Palestinians Facing the Normalization Dilemma by Yoav Peck

THE NORMALIZATION DILEMMA

by Yoav Peck

With the death of Uri Avneri, we have lost one of our bravest and clearest voices. I knew Uri and liked him, we met several times in the last few years. In one of his last written statements, Uri writes: “We must decide who we are, what we want, where we belong. Otherwise we will be condemned to a permanent state of impermanence.” In this neighborhood, impermanence is a pretty permanent state of affairs.

Palestinians Fearing “Normalization” of the Occupation–A critical perspective by Yoav Peck of the Sulha Peace Project

For 18 years, the Sulha Peace Project has brought together Palestinians from across the territories with Israelis from around the country, in order to hold people-to-people dialogue and solidarity-building. Of late, many of our Palestinian activists have endured harsh anti-normalization criticism from their friends and relatives, and some have been dragged into long, humiliating interrogations at the hands of Palestinian security. The director of a site where we held a recent gathering was harassed by the Palestinian Authority for renting us space. As we rumble into the 62nd year of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, it may be useful to revisit the contention, strident in various sectors of the Palestinian public, that cooperation with Israelis represents “normalization” (tatbiyah) and is thus forbidden. How is normalization defined?

Uri Avnery, leader of the Israeli peace movement Gush Shalom, 1923-2018

Tikkun grieves and mourns the passing of the founder and leader of Israel’s peace movement, Gush Shalom, Uri Avnery. Until the last moment he continued on the way he had traveled all his life. On Saturday, two weeks ago, he collapsed in his home when he was about to leave for the Rabin Square and attend a demonstration against the “Nation State Law”, a few hours after he wrote a sharp article against that law. For several decades, Avnery was a columnist for Tikkun magazine, sharing his wisdom and insights with our Tikkun readers. When I met with him in Tel Aviv I found him to be a wise and passionate and sensitive human being, capable to seeing the humanity of the people who criticized him and capable of seeing the faults of his allies in both Israel and Palestine. Avnery devoted himself entirely to the struggle to achieve peace between the state of Israel and the Palestinian people in their independent state, as well as between Israel and the Arab and Muslim World.

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. Demonstrators held signs emblazoned with statements such as “Nation-state is apartheid.” “There is a law here and a government that wrote a fascist, discriminatory law… Netanyahu thinks he will succeed in discriminating, but we have made progress,” an marcher from the southern, Bedouin-majority city of Rahat told Haaretz.

When did Hitler Decide to Murder all Jews?

Adolf and Amin by Uri Avneri

28/07/18

BINYAMIN NETANYAHU is a perfect diplomat, a clever politician, a talented leader of the army. Lately, another jewel has been added to his crown: he is also a gifted story-teller. He has provided an answer to a question that has perplexed historians for a long time: When and how did Adolf Hitler decide to exterminate the Jews? There was no agreed-upon answer. There were those who thought that it happened already in his youth in Vienna, others guessed that it happened after World War I in Munich, or when he wrote his book Mein Kampf in Landsberg prison in 1924.

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.

Intimate Violence and the Violence of Intimacy: Reflections on the Israeli TV Show Fauda

by Aryeh Cohen

The Israeli show Fauda has become a celebrated example of a veritable renaissance in Israeli television. After much anticipation following its critically acclaimed inaugural season, the second season dropped at Netflix on May 24. This hit show follows an elite unit of the Israeli secret service known as mistarvim [undercover soldiers disguised as Arabs] as they hunt terrorists in the West Bank. The New York Times gushed: ״The grittiest, tightest, most lived-in thrillers come from Israel, and ‘Fauda … is the current standard-bearer. … and while the outcome is predictable, the story ventures into the lives and minds of characters on all sides of the conflict.” Lior Raz and Avi Issachoroff have claimed that the show’s authenticity has brought it fans from all sides of the Israel/Palestine conflict.

Uri Avnery reflects on Yitzhak Rabin, the assassinated prime minister of Israel

Editor’s note: Uri Avnery is the leader of the Israeli peace movement organization Gush Shalom.–rabbilerner.tikkun@gmail.com

 

The Siamese Twins

16/06/18

 

After commenting on most of the episodes on the first Israeli Prime Ministers in Raviv Drucker’s TV series “The Captains”, I must come back to the one whose episode I have not yet covered: Yitzhak Rabin. Let me state right from the beginning: I liked the man. He was a man after my own heart: honest, logical, straightforward, to the point. No nonsense, no small talk. You entered his room, he poured you a straight whisky (seemed to me he detested water), got you seated, and asked a question that compelled you to come straight to the point.

Israeli Mental Health Professionals on Recent Events in Gaza

 Editor’s Note:  Many Americans and American  Jews rejoice in encountering the psychologists in Israel who are retaining sanity in the midst of so much brutality and craziness.–Rabbi Michael Lerner    rabbilerner.tikkun@gmail.com

Israeli mental health professionals’ statement regarding the recent events in Gaza

22.05.18

We invite mental health professionals around the world to sign, by filling the form below, the following statement, which was initiated by the members of the Israeli group Psychoactive – Mental Health Professionals for Human Rights.As members of Psychoactive – Mental Health Professionals for Human Rights, we wish to join our colleagues from the Arab Psychological Association in condemning the Israeli military activity within the Gaza Strip and the massive sniper fire that was directed at unarmed protesters during the Great Return March in Gaza. We express our deep sorrow for the hurt inflicted on Palestinian protesters and are gravely concerned about the disastrous physical and psychological consequences of the massive use of arms against unarmed people. The events in Gaza have taken place in the context of a continuous siege that has severely limited the residents’ freedom of movement and their political rights, in addition to reducing their access to drinkable water, electricity and medical treatment. On the backdrop of the grave suffering caused by these conditions, and the lack of prospects for a better future, many Gazan Palestinians feel the need to resist even if that means risking their lives. In situations of continuous oppression, witnessing and validation of the traumatic experiences are of great importance.

Interview with Ehud Barak (former Prime Minister of Israel) and Steve Zunes’ response

Editor’s note: this interview took place before the killings of over 100 Palestinians and the wounding of several thousand at the fence separating Israel from Gaza in late April and May ( sorry that it took this long to get it transcribed and edited)  so this interview focused on the book by Ehud Barak which was about to be released in the US in May with its representative presentation of how many in the Labor Party in Israel continue to think. I did not press Barak on many points because I had  been told by many who know how he operates (as a former Commander in Chief of the IDF used to giving orders and not being challenged) that doing so would likely have ended the interview at that point and in any event would not have convinced him of the Tikkun perspective. I had been led to believe that Barak had become more moderate in his political worldview since the time he held power, so I was deeply disappointed to hear him saying nothing more than the hasbara (Israeli government and its allies propaganda) without any acknowledgment of Israel’s part in creating the conflict and keeping it going. At first I thought to just forget about posting this but since Barak is on a book tour to promote his new book, I thought you might want to have this and share it with others. I’ve inivted Professor Stephen Zunes to respond to this interview (you’ll find his response below the interview with Barak).

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.