An edited version of this article originally appeared at LobeLog.
A protester from Code Pink outside the National Leadership Assembly for Israel.
On Monday, I attended the National Leadership Assembly for Israel. The gathering was more than a little disquieting.
The names in attendance were big ones. National Security Adviser Susan Rice, House Speaker John Boehner, Former Chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, current Chairman Ed Royce, Senator Ben Cardin, Ambassador Dennis Stephens of Canada, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer as well as leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations (COPJ), AIPAC, the Jewish Council on Public Affairs and others all spoke. One of the most troubling aspects of it was that they mostly all had the same thing to say.
Some speakers went farther than others. Paul De Vries, the evangelical preacher and president of the New York Divinity School, called Hamas “evil” and said that ISIS was Hamas’ “twin.” While most statements were not that stark, every speaker placed full blame for all the casualties in Gaza on Hamas. Israel was defended completely uncritically, with not a hint from anyone that maybe, just maybe, the deaths of hundreds of Palestinian children might mean that Israel is not quite taking enough care to avoid harming civilians. Continue reading
Stephen Hawking unleashed a storm this week by pulling out of an Israeli conference. I explore the response to the boycott movement more broadly at Souciant this week.
My weekly column comes out today. It is, I do believe, by far the most personal piece I’ve ever written for public consumption. It’s got nothing to do with US foreign policy, the Middle East or anything like that. It is on Jason Collins, David Bowie, and my experience of years gone by. I hope you’ll check it out.
Some of my readers here, at least those of you gracious enough to have borne with me despite my lack of recent postings, will be aware that I have left B’Tselem and don’t really know where I’m going next.
In the meantime, I hope to be posting more in the coming days as I pursue some projects, including a book, and see where my work in pursuing peace in Israel-Palestine will take me. But I want to recommend a blog that is worth following. It is written by a pseudonymous author, Moshe Yaroni, and is very much along similar lines to what you will find here.
The blog is called Realistic Peace in Israel-Palestine and you can get there by clicking here. I hope you support it. Its circulation has been growing of late, but it could really use some more readers. Thanks.