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The Canadian Progressive: Green Party of Canada asks CRA to revoke Jewish National Fund’s charity status

The Green Party of Canada is calling on the Canada Revenue Agency to revoke the charity status of the Jewish National Fund on the grounds that the organization discriminates against Palestinians and non-Jews in Israel. Also, Israel’s “failure to comp… . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Green Party of Canada asks CRA to revoke Jewish National Fund’s charity status

Bill Longstaff: The inevitability of the BDS movement

The Palestinians need a Canadian champion, specifically a political champion. None of our three main political parties will stand up for them. It would normally be the responsibility of the NDP to demand justice for these beleaguered people—after a… . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: The inevitability of the BDS movement

Bill Longstaff: The inevitability of the BDS movement

The Palestinians need a Canadian champion, specifically a political champion. None of our three main political parties will stand up for them. It would normally be the responsibility of the NDP to demand justice for these beleaguered people—after a… . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: The inevitability of the BDS movement

Bill Longstaff: The Conservatives’ shameful motion

Late last week, the Conservatives made a motion in the House of Commons that was unworthy of the place. The motion was to "reject the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which promotes the demonization and delegitimization of the State of Israel, and call upon the government to condemn any and all attempts by Canadian organizations, groups or individuals to promote the BDS movement. . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: The Conservatives’ shameful motion

Bill Longstaff: The NDP stumbles over Palestinian political correctness

Morgan Wheeldon, NDP candidate for Kings-Hants, Nova Scotia, has been pressured into resigning over comments he made on Facebook. The comments, now deleted, included “One could argue that Israel’s intention was always to ethnically cleanse the region—there are direct quotations proving this to be the case. Guess we just sweep that under the rug. A . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: The NDP stumbles over Palestinian political correctness

LeDaro: Religion and politics

Major religion’s total followers in the world are:

Christian: 2.6 billion (with b.)Muslims: 1.6 billionJews : 13 million only.

6 million Jews live in Israel and rest of the 7 million are spread around the world especially in U.S, Canada and European countries.

Yet Israel/Jews control the foreign policies of U.S. Canada, Germany, Britain . . . → Read More: LeDaro: Religion and politics

Politics and its Discontents: Egg On His Car

… but not on his face. Yes, our peripatetic and staunch, uncritical supporter of all things Israeli, Foreign Minister John baird, was spared the ultimate humiliation during a visit to the West Bank city of Ramallah today to meet with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki.

The protesters, who were waiting as Baird left Malki’s . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Egg On His Car

drive-by planet: Atlanta billboard features Banksy’s mural of West Bank wall: ‘Christ at the Checkpoint’ conference

West Bank Wall and holy family in Atlanta Banksy billboard

This is a two-part post dealing with resistance to the Israeli occupation. The common thread is Christian-related… in one case billboard art with a controversial slant on the the nativity story and in another the growing evangelical resistance to Israeli occupation.

Thanks to ifAmericansknew.org, a billboard in Atlanta is host to the artwork of British mural artist Banksy. It shows Joseph and Mary enroute to Bethlehem, but in this nativity tale the path they are on leads directly to the West Bank wall. In a realistic touch, the rendering of the wall includes a watchtower and graffiti. The disturbing juxtaposition of the Christian nativity story with draconian Israeli security, is underscored by the ironic inscription “O little town of Bethlehem.”

Bethlehem today is a far cry from the biblical version revisited in Christmas pageants. The present day version is ringed with security, not unlike a barricaded fortress.

The motivation behind bringing issues such as the Israeli occupation to the attention of the American public is addressed on the website of ifAmericansknew.org: 

The mission of If Americans Knew is to inform and educate the American public on issues of major significance that are unreported, underreported, or misreported in the American media.

It is our belief that when Americans know the facts on a subject, they will, in the final analysis, act in accordance with morality, justice, and the best interests of their nation, and of the world. With insufficient information, or distorted information, they may do the precise opposite.

On ifAmericanslknew.org there is also this commentary about the brutal political and social realities underlying the Banksy mural.

Security structures, even Israeli ones, can’t suppress creativity. The West Bank wall features some impressive artwork. Along with spontaneous graffiti there are murals with themes of resistance… for example this mural of the famous Palestinian freedom fighter Leila Khalid.

Leila Khalid Palestinain resistance

The mural of Joseph and Mary beneath the West Bank wall is just one of a number of murals by Banksy that deal with Palestinian themes. During time spent in Palestine, he produced a number of murals including some on or near the West Bank wall. Beneath are a few examples of his work… view others here.

Banksy artwork on West Bank
Banksy mural of girl searching Israeli soldier

The Atlanta billboard graphically exposes the brutal reality of Israeli occupation. Although there is no publicly stated connection with evangelical activism, the Christian-themed billboard art appears at a time when many American evangelicals have been openly questioning the unconditional allegiance that their churches have traditionally given to Israel. A number of influential evangelical leaders have been looking more critically at the dehumanizing reality of Israeli occupation, with a number stepping up and expressing solidarity with the Palestinian people.

This is a development that hasn’t gone unnoticed by Christian Zionist organizations such as Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Its executive director, David Borg, recently made a statement that acknowledges a profound change in the position taken by increasing numbers of evangelicals on the subject of Israel.

Borg: “With every passing month, more evidence is emerging that these anti-Israel Christians are succeeding in reaching beyond the evangelical left and are influencing the mainstream. In particular, they are penetrating the evangelical world at its soft underbelly: the millennial generation. These young believers (roughly ages 18 to 30) are rebelling against what they perceive as the excessive biblical literalism and political conservatism of their parents. As they strive with a renewed vigor to imitate Jesus’ stand with the oppressed and downtrodden, they want to decide for themselves which party is being oppressed in the Arab-Israeli conflict.”

The term “anti-Israel” used by Borg might be considered misleading. Activists I read and likely those also of Christian evangelical persuasion are challenging the system of occupation and systematized oppression that has evolved from a great historical injustice. This is quite different from an anti-Israel position that for example calls for the destruction of the state.

In March of this year a ‘Christ at the Checkpoint’ conference was held by the Bethlehem Bible College. It was a 5-day event and as Electronic Intifada reported: “… attracted major speakers both from within the Palestinian Christian community as well as international evangelicals, including Tony Campolo, Gary Burge, Stephen Sizer, John Ortberg and Shane Claiborne. Messianic Jewish speakers were also invited.”

More about the goals of the conference here. There is also this in-depth article about the conference posted on the Israeli news website 972 Mag.

The Bethlehem conference raised considerable alarm in Israeli media and government circles. The prospect of one of Israel’s most supportive constituencies – evangelical Christians –  showing signs of identifying with the Palestinians has sparked some vitriolic criticism. A number of Israeli media outlets accused the Bethlehem conference of being ‘anti-Semitic.’ An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said: “The attempt to use religious motifs in order to mobilize political propaganda and agitate the feelings of the faithful through the manipulation of religion and politics is an unacceptable and shameful act. Using religion for the purpose of incitement in the service of political interests stains the person who does it with a stain of indelible infamy.”

The increasingly reactionary, racist and militaristic Israeli state presents a moral dilemma – and not only for evangelical Christians. Religious Jews, particularly of the Orthodox persuasion, understand that tying their identity to Israel involves compromise… a compromise many aren’t prepared to make.

The impact of Zionism on Jewish identity is powerfully addressed by Yakov M. Rabkin – Professor of History at the University of Montreal – in his book Threat Within: A Century of Jewish Opposition to Zionism.

In this passage Rabkin describes the impact of Zionism on pure Torah-based Judaism:

Worse than the toll of suffering, exploitation, death, and desecration of the Torah, has been the inner rot that Zionism has injected into the Jewish soul. It has dug deep into the essence of being a Jew … It has wreaked havoc among Jews both in Israel and America, by casting us in the role of Goliath-like oppressors. It has made cruelty and corruption the norm for its followers.

. . . → Read More: drive-by planet: Atlanta billboard features Banksy’s mural of West Bank wall: ‘Christ at the Checkpoint’ conference

drive-by planet: Atlanta billboard features Banksy’s mural of West Bank wall: ‘Christ at the Checkpoint’ conference

This is a two-part post dealing with resistance to the Israeli occupation. The first part covers news of a controversial Israel-related Banksy mural in the Atlanta area. The second stays with the Christian theme to discuss the growing numbers of American evangelicals who are openly critical of Israel and expressing increased solidarity with the . . . → Read More: drive-by planet: Atlanta billboard features Banksy’s mural of West Bank wall: ‘Christ at the Checkpoint’ conference

The Canadian Progressive: Israeli spy veterans refuse to “harm innocent Palestinians”

34 Israeli intelligence veterans who have served in Unit 8200 write to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explaining why they refuse to serve and “harm innocent Palestinians.”

The post Israeli spy veterans refuse to “harm innocent Palestinians” appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Israel committed war crimes in Gaza: Human Rights Watch

Human rights groups says Israel committed war crimes during Gaza conflict, urges the International Criminal Court to facilitate the “prosecution of serious international crimes by both sides.”

The post Israel committed war crimes in Gaza: Human Rights Watch appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Bill Longstaff: Hamas popularity surges

Whatever damage Israel did to Hamas during the recent war, it didn’t harm the group’s standing among the Palestinian people. Quite the contrary. According to a survey by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research, the popularity of Hamas has surged in both Gaza and the West Bank to the point that if elections . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Hamas popularity surges

drive-by planet: Chomsky on Israel’s Gaza assault – ‘hideous atrocity, sadistic, murderous’: video interview

In this edited Democracy Now interview Noam Chomsky graphically describes the vicious cycle of violence Israel visits time and again on Gaza… with particular reference to the most recent Israeli military assault dubbed Operation Protective Edge.

It’s a hideous atrocity, sadistic, vicious, murderous – totally without any credible pretext. It’s another one of the periodic . . . → Read More: drive-by planet: Chomsky on Israel’s Gaza assault – ‘hideous atrocity, sadistic, murderous’: video interview

drive-by planet: Global Day of Rage calls for sanctions against Israel – photos: Barnaby Raine speech – "Jewish Bloc Against Zionism"

August 9 saw Day of Rage demos around the world protesting Israeli actions in Gaza and calling for sanctions. Behind the fold I’ve posted a selection of photos.

I’ve also posted a video from the London Day of Rage featuring a speech by a nineteen-year-old British activist named Barnaby Raine who has been involved . . . → Read More: drive-by planet: Global Day of Rage calls for sanctions against Israel – photos: Barnaby Raine speech – "Jewish Bloc Against Zionism"

LeDaro: John Baird thinks that it is Palestinians’ fault that they are being butchered by Israel

John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs, blames Palestinians that they are being butchered by Israel. He is a bigger jackass than his boss Stephen Harper who holds similar views.

Tories Release Pro-Israel Ad Amid War In Gaza, But They Don’t Want Everyone To See It

Other parties don’t have much different views including Justin . . . → Read More: LeDaro: John Baird thinks that it is Palestinians’ fault that they are being butchered by Israel

The Canadian Progressive: Gaza conflict: NDP urged to stop apologizing for war crimes, human rights abuses

Various concerned Canadian citizens and residents urge the NDP to stop apologizing for Israel’s alleged war crimes and breaches of human rights in the ongoing Gaza conflict.

The post Gaza conflict: NDP urged to stop apologizing for war crimes, human rights abuses appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: “Clear evidence” of war crimes committed by Israel

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki has informed the International Criminal Court that there was “clear evidence” of war crimes committed by Israel during the Gaza conflict.

The post “Clear evidence” of war crimes committed by Israel appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

drive-by planet: Knesset deputy speaker Moshe Feiglin calls for concentration camps… conquest of ‘entire Gaza strip’

Moshe Feiglin – deputy speaker of the Knesset and a member of Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party – published a statement on his Facebook page on August 1 calling for the “conquest of the entire Gaza Strip, and annihilation of all fighting forces and their supporters.” He has also proposed what amounts to concentration camps . . . → Read More: drive-by planet: Knesset deputy speaker Moshe Feiglin calls for concentration camps… conquest of ‘entire Gaza strip’

The Canadian Progressive: On Twitter, Stephen Harper Doesn’t Follow Benjamin Netanyahu

Stephen Harper is Israel’s most unequivocal cheerleader. And yet, he doesn’t follow Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Twitter.

The post On Twitter, Stephen Harper Doesn’t Follow Benjamin Netanyahu appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Democracy Now!: Gaza Ceasefire Collapses, Israel Kills 40 Palestinians (VIDEO)

Israel kills 40 Palestinians immediately following the collapse of the ceasefire in Gaza, and the capture of an Israeli soldier, reports Democracy Now!

The post Democracy Now!: Gaza Ceasefire Collapses, Israel Kills 40 Palestinians (VIDEO) appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Gaza Massacres “Impossible To Justify”: Oscar Winner Javier Bardem

“It’s disgraceful that western countries are permitting such genocide,” Oscar-winning Spanish actor Javier Bardem says of Israel’s ongoing massacres in Gaza.

The post Gaza Massacres “Impossible To Justify”: Oscar Winner Javier Bardem appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: American Jewish Leader Henry Siegman on Gaza: “A Slaughter of Innocents” (VIDEO)

“A slaughter of innocents,” Henry Siegman, an American Jewish leader and leading Voice of U.S. Jewry, says of Israel’s ongoing war crimes in Gaza.

The post American Jewish Leader Henry Siegman on Gaza: “A Slaughter of Innocents” (VIDEO) appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

drive-by planet: NDP Gaza cop out: Mulcair refuses to denounce ‘murderous assault’ by Israel

A recent post on World Socialist Web Site (WSWS) draws attention to the failure of Canada’s New Democratic Party (NDP) to “denounce the murderous assault being carried out by the Israeli government” in Gaza:

Over the past two weeks, Thomas Mulcair, the head of the NDP and the leader of the Official Opposition in . . . → Read More: drive-by planet: NDP Gaza cop out: Mulcair refuses to denounce ‘murderous assault’ by Israel

The Canadian Progressive: Politicians Betray Canadian Values in Israel-Gaza Conflict

Rights group says Canadian party leaders’ unequivocal support of Israel a betrayal of Canadian values, demonstrates “no nuance of understanding of the broader situation between Israel, Gaza and the Palestinians.”

The post Politicians Betray Canadian Values in Israel-Gaza Conflict appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

drive-by planet: Israeli war crimes in Gaza – Beit Hanoun attack: US shields Israel from accountability

 Images following the shelling of UN-run school in Beit Hanoun

War crimes committed by Israel in the course of its attack on Gaza are a consequence of an overall strategy rather than isolated incidents due to alleged mistaken targeting or other “accidents.”

The recent Israeli shelling of a UN-run school in Beit Hanoun . . . → Read More: drive-by planet: Israeli war crimes in Gaza – Beit Hanoun attack: US shields Israel from accountability