My report for Inter Press Service on the letter from 15 church leaders calling for a review of whether Israel has used US arms in violation of US law and policy.
Posts Tagged ‘Presbyterian Church USA’
Posted in Christians, tagged ADL, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Elliott Abrams, human rights, international law, IPMN, Israel, Israel Lobby, J Street, JCPA, Jewish State, Jewish Voice for Peace, Justice, Kadima, Methodists, Middle east, Occupation, Palestine, Palestinians, Peace Groups, Presbyterian Church USA, pro-Israel, rule of law, Two-state solution, UCC, United Church of Christ, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, West Bank on October 23, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
Posted in BDS, Christians, tagged AIPAC, Americans for Peace Now, BDS, Divestment, J Street, Jewish Voice for Peace, Jews, MJ Rosenberg, Peace Now, Presbyterian Church USA, the New York Times on July 16, 2012 | 1 Comment »
Posted in BDS, tagged AIPAC, Americans for Peace Now, Barack Obama, Camp David, CUFI, Frederick Douglass, Israel Lobby, J Street, Jerusalem, Mitt Romney, MJ Rosenberg, Presbyterian Church USA, Right of Return, Settlements, settlers, water, West Bank on July 12, 2012 | 3 Comments »
I wrote a piece last week criticizing Americans for Peace Now for their stance on the Presbyterian divestment motion. But my criticism was as nothing compared to MJ Rosenberg’s, and he has now written a few piecesexploring this topic.
One difference between myself and MJ is that I spend little time worrying about the stance of J Street on this issue. I’m glad J Street is there; it’s a useful organization and I support it for what it does. But that’s not very much.
J Street is unalterably opposed to any sort of pressure on Israel. They are under the mistaken belief that if they prove they represent the majority of American Jews (compared to AIPAC, they do, but that majority is largely apathetic or lukewarm at best on Israel, while AIPAC’s backers, and those farther right, are zealously passionate and have a LOT more money devoted to their cause), this will convince Israel to change its policies. That’s well-intentioned, but naïve doesn’t begin to describe that view, one which is also completely insulated against political realities and, yes, pragmatism.
APN has a more nuanced approach, but as I pointed out, they still resist any real pressure on Israel, and ultimately, this is a strategy that has no hope to make the slightest dent in either US or Israeli policy regarding the Palestinians.
I must point out here that APN issued a clarification of their statement on the Presbyterian vote. I still think they have it wrong, but it does at least acknowledge that APN recognizes that the Presbyterians were trying to carefully target the occupation and not Israel as a whole.
I have no doubt that MJ is right in saying that keeping their donors from sending their dollars elsewhere is a big factor for APN. But I think there’s more here. I think there is truly a dedication to the notion that by publicizing the spread of Israeli settlements and of their impact; and by raising a Jewish, and Zionist, voice against them that they can get Israel to change its behavior.
To me, this stems from a basic misunderstanding of the words of Frederick Douglass, who said: “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”
There are important truths in Douglass’ statement, but also some misleading wording.
By using the word “tyrant,” Douglass allows his American, and later Israeli, listeners to believe he is talking about some other people, not our own Liberal, democratic governments whom we love. He also equates “words” and “blows,” a grave error for inspiring social change, implying that words alone might be sufficient to make “power concede.” Doesn’t happen that way, I’m afraid. (more…)
Posted in BDS, tagged Gaza, West Bank, J Street, Occupation, Americans for Peace Now, BDS, Divestment, Jewish Voice for Peace, Presbyterian Church USA, TIAA-CREF, Caterpillar, Simon Wiesenthal Center, MSCI on July 6, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
Posted in BDS, tagged Americans for Peace Now, Anti-Semitism, B'Tselem, Caterpillar, Christianity, Divestment, Gaza Strip, Ha'aretz, Hebron, Israel, Israel Defense Forces, Jerusalem, Jewish Voice for Peace, Lara Friedman, MJ Rosenberg, Palestine, Presbyterian Church USA, Qalqilya, Tel Aviv, West Bank on July 6, 2012 | Leave a Comment »