| Congratulations to our American truth-telling comrades!

Congratulations to our American truth-telling comrades ~ Redress Information & Analysis.

 

It’s one of the highest accolades truth-telling fighters against racism and bigotry could hope for. The Zio-cons of the ironically named “Anti-Defamation League” (ADL) have published a list of what the ADL considers to be the 10 “most influential and active anti-Israel groups” operating in the United States, the Times of Israel reports.

The winning truth-tellers, announced on 21 October, are:

The commendation in support of this much-coveted award include being “fixated with delegitimizing Israel” and promoting a truthful “narrative about Israel”. The winners were also commended for being in the forefront of the United States’s anti-Israel establishment.

In a heartening testimonial – which could only generate envy among those left off the list – the ADL said the leaders of the winning groups “speak regularly on college campuses, endeavouring to convince the leaders of tomorrow that Israel is the worst violator of international human rights and should be treated as a pariah”.

According to the ADL, Codepink, a feminist anti-war organization, aims “to reduce US support for Israel and end US-led wars and military campaigns in the Middle East and elsewhere”. It contended that “four of the 12 ‘issues’ listed on its website are about Israel, including a call for BDS [boycott, divestment and sanctions] against Israel and advocacy on ending US aid to Israel”. Well done Codepink!

Friends of Sabeel-North America, a Christian pro-Palestinian group, was commended for advocating a one-state solution and the right of return for all Palestinians, and for “accusing Israel of racism, oppression, and human rights violations while simultaneously promoting BDS campaigns against Israel as punishment for what they allege to be Israel’s apartheid-like policies”. Keep up the good work, Sabeel!

If Americans Knew/Council for the National Interest, two advocacy groups run by Alison Weir, was commended for working “to convince Americans that US policies that are friendly to Israel are damaging to the US from a foreign policy standpoint”. Alison: you are the pride of America!

The Jewish Voice for Peace, in its turn, earned the accolade of being “the largest and most influential Jewish anti-Zionist group in the United States” which uses “Jewish culture and rituals to reassure its own supporters that opposition to Israel not only does not contradict, but is actually consistent with, Jewish values”. We bow in awe of you. Keep it up.

Neturei Karta, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish group opposed to the existence of the state of Israel on religious grounds, was awarded for being “regularly aligned with international anti-Semites, Islamic extremists and groups that advocate violence against Israel,” the ADL said. Neturei Karta, you are the bravest of the brave.

Students for Justice in Palestine, on the other hand, “is almost singularly responsible for on-campus anti-Israel programming,” including Apartheid Week programmes at American educational establishments, the ADL said in its testimonial. The group “paint[s] Israel as an ‘apartheid’ state reminiscent of the regime in South Africa”, it added. We know what you’re up against. Don’t be daunted.

According to the ADL, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation was awarded for its “pressure [on] Congress to stop sending foreign aid to Israel and adopt policies that are less friendly to Israel”. The ADL singled out one of the group’s leaders as saying that by providing Israel with military aid, “US taxpayers are thereby made complicit in Israel’s systematic violation of Palestinian human rights, its military occupation and illegal colonization of Palestinian land, and its apartheid policies toward Palestinians which deny them freedom and self-determination”. Congress is the vipers’ nest. What you’re doing is paramount.

Our heartfelt congratulations to the winners: you are the pride of the United States and the whole world.

At the same time, we cannot hide our disappointment at being left off the list. Our only consolation is that the winners were all US based.

Perhaps Britain’s leading Israel stooges – the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Zionist Federation, the Office of the Chief Rabbi or even that jaded old rag, the Jewish Chronicle – could get together and offer a similar award for UK-based groups. If so, please spare a thought for Redress Information & Analysis – we’ve been trying for more than 13 years.

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| Rabbi Brant Rosen: “The Israeli Boycott Movement Is Not Anti-Semitic!”

Q&A: “The Israeli Boycott Movement Is Not Anti-Semitic”Mitchell Plitnick, IPS.

Mitchell Plitnick interviews RABBI BRANT ROSEN of the Rabbinical Council of Jewish Voice for Peace:

Photo courtesy of Rabbi Brant Rosen.Photo courtesy of Rabbi Brant Rosen.

WASHINGTON, Dec 6 2012 (IPS) – Rabbi Brant Rosen leads a congregation in Evanston, Illinois and is author of the new book, Wrestling in the Daylight: A Rabbi’s Path to Palestinian Solidarity.

Speaking with Mitchell Plitnick, Rosen, co-chair of the Rabbinical Council of Jewish Voice for Peace, stressed that the views both in his book and in this interview are his own and do not represent his congregation. Excerpts follow.

Q: How has your personal view of Israel changed in the past four years?

A: I had seen the conflict as two peoples having two legitimate claims to the land of Israel-Palestine and the only way out of the morass is two states for two peoples. I had identified with Israel as a Jew; that was my narrative growing up. I have deep familial relationships there, visited Israel many times, and even considered moving there.

The shift in my views was a gradual thing, but the breaking point was Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009 (this was the name Israel gave to its assault on the Gaza Strip at that time). I came to realise this was not a conflict between two equal parties but an essential injustice that began with the birth of the state of Israel and has continued since that time. It is a situation of one very powerful party bending the other to its will.

Once I spoke out about Israel’s outrages in Cast Lead, the dominoes really started to fall for me. As a congregational rabbi I was in a difficult place and people looked to me for guidance. About a year after that, I reassessed my relationship as a Jew to Israel, to the entire issue, not just Gaza, but about Zionism in general.

I become more involved in Palestine Solidarity work, reaching out to Palestinians, some of whom were friends and others who were activists in this area. So many of them reached out to me when I spoke out on Gaza, and I wanted to learn from them what their experience of this issue was.

Today, I know where I stand, very much a rabbi in the Jewish community, still serving my congregation, still motivated by Jewish values, but also someone who stands in solidarity with Palestinians in their struggle for human rights, equal rights and dignity in the land they either live in or seek to return to.

Q: Jewish Voice for Peace is one of the leading groups involved in targeted divestment from Israel’s occupation, a part of the Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions (BDS) movement that seeks to bring public economic and political pressure on Israel. How do you see the future of this movement?

A: I think the movement is growing by leaps and bounds, attracting more and more people. When the U.N. vote on Palestine’s non-member status hit, it drowned out another story I thought was actually more important: Stevie Wonder backed out of a fundraising concert for a U.S. group called the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces.

He is the latest celebrity to express his support for the Palestinian cause by cancelling such concerts following a long list of artists and entertainers who have cancelled shows in Israel. Whether they did it because of public pressure or because they believed it to be right, it shows the power of the boycott movement.

To create political change, leveraging people power is the best method; historically, this has consistently been the case. The fact that Israel reacts so harshly against it shows its potential. When Hillary Clinton says 3,000 new settlement units are “not helpful”, that doesn’t get Israel’s attention.

On the other hand, when Jewish Voice for Peace, Students for Justice in Palestine and a wide range of church groups succeed in getting a large holding company to divest from the occupation, that’s front page news in Israel. That is a sign that this has a great impact, when used in a smart and concerted way.

Contrary to the frequent accusations, BDS is not anti-Semitic. I think the argument that it unfairly singles out Israel from other human rights abusers is disingenuous… The question is not whether Israel is legitimate; it exists and is part of the international community. But if Israel acts in an illegitimate way, citizens around the world have the right and responsibility to leverage what power they can to get them to cease.

Q: Do you think the recent call by 15 mainstream Protestant leaders of many different denominations for an inquiry into whether U.S. aid to Israel is in compliance with existing U.S. law is a significant new development?

A: Yes. I think the most important thing is that the leaders are standing firm and are not backing down despite being excoriated and being called everything up to and including anti-Semites. That is important because up until now the covenant on religious relations has been that you can talk about anything BUT Israel, and this time they’ve broken with that.

They have until now been bullied by the Jewish establishment. This can usher in a new relationship where we can talk about anything, not only the things we have in common, but also these issues, like Israeli policy, where we don’t always agree. I’m proud that JVP stood behind the statement.

Jewish leaders said they would walk out of a planned interfaith summit, and demanded a separate summit to discuss these issues. I thought this was very damaging, this is not something resembling dialogue.

The Church leaders have issued a second statement saying they would be happy to meet with Jewish leaders about this, that we’re happy to talk, but we are not going back on what we said. This is very healthy; this is real dialogue, which occurs when you focus on the painful issues you don’t agree on.

It’s very important that Christians see that many Jews do stand with them when they make statements like this. The Jewish establishment does not represent the Jewish community. The Jewish community is much larger and more complex than these unaccountable representatives whose names most Jews don’t even know.

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