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02 April 2007

Jewish Friends of Palestine website updated

Our Jewish Friends of Palestine website has been updated as of yesterday. New entries include:

In Memoriam: Professor Tanya Reinhardt, linguist, writer, activist.

"Linguist and left-wing activist Professor Tanya Reinhardt died in New York on Saturday at age 63. Reinhardt, one of the most outspoken representatives of the radical Israeli left, was a fierce critic of the 1993 Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, saying they represented a perpetuation of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. She was also a proponent of an academic boycott of Israeli universities to protest the occupation. - Ha'aretz

"Tanya's passing is a terrible loss, not only to her family and those fortunate enough to come to know her personally, and to those she defended and protected with such dedication and courage, but to everyone concerned with freedom, justice, and an honorable peace." - Noam Chomsky

Jewish Individuals:

  • In that this directory is only for living people, Professor Reinhardt was removed.

  • Rutie Adler: Lecturer and Coodinator of the Hebrew Program at UC Berkeley. She is a dialogue group participant and supporter of both the peace and divestment movements. She has played a prominent role supporting the divestment movement at Berkeley.

  • Gadi Algazi: Professor of medieval history at Tel Aviv University and co-founder of the Ta'ayush - Arab Jewish Partnership - activist group. He has been repeatedly arrested for participating in Ta'ayush actions in suport of the Palestinian people inside the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

  • Daniel J Amit: An Israeli physicist with Hebrew University and the University of Rome (Italy). He has been an outspoken critic of Israel's occupation of the OPTs and of the U.S. occupation of Iraq and created a significant stir by refusing to review material by American scientists because of their support for U.S. militarism. "After 36 years of occupation it should be totally clear that the Middle East needs a just peace, or there will be no peace. The combination of the people in power in Israel (my country) and the US have no such values to contribute. The requirement that cessation of violence must be a precondition for political progress is a sure formula for no progress."

  • Uri Bar-Joseph: Senior lecturer on international relations at Haifu University, author, and historian. He is frequently considered one of the "revisionist" historians because of his The Best of Enemies: Israel and Transjordan in the War of 1948 (London: Frank Cass, 1987) and other works.

  • Joel Beinin: Since 1983 he has taught Middle East history at Stanford University. His research and writing focuses on workers, peasants, and minorities in the modern Middle East and on Israel, Palestine, and the Arab-Israeli conflict. "Where, then, is the hope for a peaceful solution to the conflict? I believe that it lies in the young Palestinians, Jewish Israelis and internationals who have been fighting shoulder to shoulder in weekly battles against the Israeli security forces since late 2003 to halt the construction of the separation wall. ... Although their successes have so far been minor, these actions have demonstrated that trust is built through joint political action and that whether there will eventually be two states or one, coexistence, not separation, is the foundation for peace."

  • Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi: Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi received a PhD in clinical psychology from Michigan State University in 1970, and since then has held clinical, research, and teaching positions in academic institutions in the United States, Europe, and Israel. He is currently professor of psychology at the University of Haifa. He is the author, co-author, editor, or co-editor of 17 books and monographs and some 120 articles and book chapters on the psychology of religion, social identity and personality development. He has also written books that deal specifically with the history and politics of the state of Israel and Zionism from a critical perspective.

  • Allan C. Brownfeld: Allan C. Brownfeld is editor of Issues of The American Council For Judaism quarterly newsletter and of the Special Interest Report, both published by the American Council for Judaism, an organization of secular anti-Zionist American Jews. He also covers Israel and Judaism for the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. "Now, as celebrations commemorate Zionism's 100th anniversary, what has been largely forgotten is the fact that it was at its beginning a minority view among Jews and that at the present time it still remains a minority view. Most Jews believe that their Jewish identity rests on their religious faith, not any "national" identification. Jews in the United States, England, France, Canada, Australia, Italy and other countries do not view themselves as living in "exile," as Zionist philosophy holds. Instead, they believe that their religion and nationality are separate and distinct. The God they believe in is a universal one, not tied to a particular geographic site in the Middle East."

  • Elias Davidsson: "Elias Davidsson was born in Palestine in 1941. His parents were born in Germany but had to emigrate to Palestine due to the Nazi persecution of Jews. Elias lived his first years Baq'aa, a neighborhood of Jerusalem, where Jews, Christians and Muslims lived in peace side by side. These early years left a deep mark on him. ... In parallel to his professional occupations, Elias has for many years been involved in activism and research regarding social and global justice, peace, anti-racism and human rights. He is co-founder of the Association Iceland-Palestine and a supporter of a democratic State in the whole of historic Palestine for Muslims, Christians and Jews. He regards himself as an anti-Zionist and rejects the existence of a Jewish state as incompatible with human rights norms. His writings include articles on multinational corporations, the IMF and the World Bank, the Palestine question, Zionism, economic sanctions and international law. Elias Davidsson lives in Reykjavik, Iceland"

  • Shraga Elam: Shraga Elam is an Israeli journalist based in Zurich, Switzerland and winner of the Australian Gold Walkley Award for excellent journalism 2004 and noted anti-Zionist activist. he is author of a highly-praised book in German on the collaboration of the Zionist leadership with the Nazis: Hitlers Faelscher: wie juedische amerikanische und Schweizer Agenten der SS beim Falschgeldwaschen halfen [Hitler's Forgers: How Jewish, American and Swiss agents helped the SS with laundering faked money], is published by Uberreuter Verlag. He also originated the "Yellow stars of David against Israeli genocidal politics" campaign in 2002.

  • Neve Gordon: Neve Gordon teaches in the Department of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University in Israel. He is an activist in Ta'ayush, Arab-Jewish Partnership. His articles have appeared in several academic journals, including Political Studies, Democratization, Polity, and Jewish Social Studies. He is also a regular contributor to many progressive publications, including The Nation, In These Times, Counterpunch, Z Magazine, and others. Further he was a contributor to The Other Israel: Voices of Refusal and Dissent (New Press, 2002).

  • Tamar Gozansky: "Gozansky was born in the Israeli city of Petakh Tikva. From a Russian family, she studied in Russia, gaining an MSc in Economics from Leningrad State University. She later wrote two books on economics;Economic Independence - How? (1969) and The Development of Capitalism in Palestine (1988). Gozansky joined Maki (the Israeli Communist Party), the major part of the Hadash alliance. She entered the Knesset in July 1990 as a replacement for veteran Hadash MK Tawfik Toubi. She retained her seat in the 1992, 1996 and 1999 elections. However, she lost her place in the Knesset in the 2003 election when the party was reduced to two seats."

  • Lev Grinberg: Dr. Lev Grinberg is a political sociologist and Director of the Humphrey Institute for Social Research at Ben Gurion University. "Suicide bombs killing innocent citizens must be unequivocally condemned; they are immoral acts, and their perpetrators should be sent to jail. But they cannot be compared to State terrorism carried out by the Israeli Government. The former are individual acts of despair of a people that sees no future, vastly ignored by an unfair and distorted international public opinion. The latter are cold and "rational" decisions of a State and a military apparatus of occupation, well equipped, financed and backed by the only superpower in the world. Yet in the public debate, State terrorism and individual suicide bombs are not even considered as comparable cases of terrorism. The State terror and war crimes perpetrated by the Israeli Government are legitimized as "self-defense", while Arafat, even under siege, is demanded to arrest 'terrorists'."

  • Jeff Halper: "Jeff Halper is the Coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House demolitions (ICAHD) and a Professor of Anthropology at Ben Gurion University. He has lived in Israel since 1973. Jeff has researched and written extensively on Israeli society and is the author of the book Between Redemption and Revival: the Jewish Yishuv in Jerusalem in the nineteenth century (Westview, 1991). Jeff founded and directed IsraelÍs Committee to Save the Ethiopian Jews. He has been active in the Israeli peace movement for many years. As the Coordinator of ICAHD, he has forged a new mode of Israeli peace activity based on non-violent direct action and civil disobedience to the Israeli Occupation authorities and in close cooperation with Palestinian organizations."

  • Hans Lebrecht: An anti-fascist resistance fighter in World War II, today he is a noted Communist activist and supporter of Gush Shalom residing at Kibbutz Beit-Oren, Israel. "I am sorry and upset that now, as an active member of the CP and the progressive peace camp in Israel, I still have to fight fascism. I am currently a member of the leading bureau of the International Federation of Resistance Fighters. The fight against neofascism in Europe and throughout the capitalist world continues. This includes against the fascist hoodlums in Israel who attempt to torpedo the peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians."

  • Alfred M. Lilienthal: As an American of Jewish faith, he first became interested in the Middle East while in the U.S. military and stationed in Egypt during World War II. He later served with the Department of State and as a consultant to the American delegation at the organizing meeting of the United Nations in San Francisco. In 1949, his article, "Israel's Flag Is Not Mine," published in the Reader's Digest, caused great controversy because of its anti-Zionist position. Despite condemnation from many influential quarters, Lilienthal has remained in the forefront of the struggle for a balanced U.S. policy not dictated by favoritism toward Israel. He traveled over 25 times to the Middle East for firsthand investigation of events and authored several books including The Zionist Connection that was described by Foreign Affairs journal as "his culminating masterwork." He continues today, after over a half century of effort, to defend the Palestinian people and to call repeatedly for an independent State of Palestine."

  • Gabriel Piterberg: "Gabi Piterberg was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and grew up in Israel. He graduated at Tel Aviv University, where he majored in Middle East history and political science (BA), and Middle East and European history (MA). His D.Phil. in the history of the Ottoman Empire is from the University of Oxford. He taught at the University of Durham, England, and Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. Piterberg has three main fields of interest: the cultural and intellectual history of the Ottoman Empire and its Mediterranean environment in the early modern period; the critique of Orientalism, nationalism, and Zionism; the theoretical literature on what history is."

  • Eyal Weizman: "Eyal Weizman is an Architect based in London. He is the director of the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Weizman works with a variety of NGOs and Human right groups in Israel/Palestine. He co-curated the exhibition A Civilian Occupation, The Politics of Israeli Architecture, and co-edited the publication of the same title. These projects were based on his human-rights research, and were banned by the Israeli Association of Architects. They were later shown in the exhibition Terriories in New York, Berlin, Rotterdam, San Francisco, Malmoe, Tel Aviv and Ramallah. His books include Hollow Land (forthcoming with Verso Books), A Civilian Occupation (Verso Books, 2003), the series Territories 1, 2 and 3, Yellow Rhythms and many articles in journals, magazines and edited books. Weizman is a regular contributors to many journals and magazines and is an editor at large for Cabinet Magazine (New York). Weizman is the recipient of the James Stirling Memorial Lecture Prize for 2006-2007"

  • Tim Wise: One of the leading anti-racist activists in the United States, he has taught at Smith College, the Poyter Institute, and the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (Patrick Air Force base). He gained international recognition for his efforts against South African Apartheid and also gained attention for his efforts against David Duke in Louisiana. "Although one can argue with the claim made by some that Zionism and racism are synonymous -- especially given the amorphous definition of "race" which makes such a position forever and always a matter of semantics -- it is difficult to deny that Zionism, in practice if not theory, amounts to ethnic chauvinism, colonial ethnocentrism, and national oppression."

  • Nurit Peled-Elhanan: "Nurit Peled-Elhanan is an Israeli peace activist. She is a lecturer in language and education at Hebrew University. Her daughter was killed in a suicide bombing on 4 September 1997. She is the daughter of the late Maj. Gen. Mattityahu ("Matti") Peled, a military commander and politician who quit the Israel Defense Forces two years after the 1967 Six-Day War because he felt the conflict should have been used to start a peace process. In the 1970s, he was one of the first to advocate making peace with the Palestinians by giving them a state alongside Israel. Lecturer in Language Education at the Hebrew University, Tel-Aviv University and the David Yellin Teachers College Laureate of the Sakharov prize (2001) for Human Rights and the Freedon of Speech, awarded by the European Parliament. Member of the Parents-Circle, the Israeli-Palestinians forum of Bereaved Parents for peace."

    Jewish Websites:

  • Muzzlewatch: "MuzzleWatch is a project of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP). Founded in 1996, Jewish Voice for Peace is a national grassroots peace organization dedicated to promoting a US foreign policy in the Middle East based on peace, democracy, human rights and respect for international law. With over 20,000 supporters and members, JVP’s board of Jewish American and Israeli advisors includes Pulitzer and Tony award winner Tony Kushner, actor Ed Asner, poet Adrienne Rich as well as other respected rabbis, artists, scholars and activists. MuzzleWatch is dedicated to creating an open atmosphere for debate about US-Israeli foreign policy by: a) shining a light on incidents that involve pressure, intimidation, and outright censorship of critics of US- Israeli policy; b) showing that there is a real environment of intimidation that keeps people from speaking honestly and openly making groups that use silencing tactics accountable; c) While the site encourages people from across the political spectrum to debate freely and vigorously, personal or excessively abusive attacks will not be tolerated. Repeat offenders may be banned from the board."

  • Jewish Left-Wing Community Website: "This website and group is not made up of one single political idea but instead it is created by individuals with a variety of Left-Wing beliefs (Marxist, Anarchist, Social Democratic, Animal Rights, and Environmentalist) working together to support exiting Jewish and Non-Jewish Political Organisations. ... Our website works in general for five different goals: 1) To support and build support for the Peace movement in Israel; 2) To campaign against the Neo-Con and Free-Market policies of all governments; 3) To raise support for Left-Wing politics within the Diaspora Jewish Communities; 4) To defend Jewish Communities from Anti-Semitism and to defend Muslim, Gypsy and other groups against racism; 5) To inform the Jewish Communities (whom are largely unaware of what has been occurring) about the brutality of the Occupation against the Palestinians."

  • Online One State Bibliography in English: "In the case of Israel/Palestine, the simple truth is that it has been a de facto one state since 1967. Today, the only realistic path forward is to come to grips with this reality and begin working toward peace by making this de facto reality a de jure one. Israel, having an absolute monopoly on power since 1967, has made this inevitable today. Even if some sort of “two-state” Bantustan or ghetto scheme were to be implemented today, it will not result in peace but be little more than a temporary stalling tactic as the demographic balance continues to shift in favor of the Palestinians. The one state idea is an idea whose time has come."

  • The links to the Israeli "Anarchists Against the Wall" organization were updated to their new URL: http://www.awalls.org/

  • The Bundist Voice: "Zionism has, strangely enough, both combined and separated the two notions of Judaism as a nationality and Judaism as a religion. It has also befuddled the boundaries between national-self identification and nationalism. In response to these notions, some Israeli Leftists have been examining an alternative. At a gathering this month in Bund House in Tel Aviv, they tried to sort out the mess of the concepts of Leftism, Jewishness, Israeliness and socialism. The Bund was a socialist labourers’ (actually workers’) movement that was active in pre-revolutionary Poland and Russia. Yitzhak Luden, who together with a few of his comrades has been keeping the flame burning, spoke at the gathering and simply but clearly sketched out the combined message of the Bund’s banner: A socialist Jewish movement. When workers are being discriminated against, he said, the Bund struggles alongside them. If Jews are in danger in any country, the Bund joins their struggle. Herein lies the fundamental difference between Zionism and Bundism: not all Jews are expected to pack their belongings and make Aliya to Israel. On the contrary, says Luden: A Jew’s homeland is his or her country of residence."

  • Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends: "Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends have organized weekly vigils on Saturday morning at Beth Israel Congregation, a Conservative synagogue in Ann Arbor, since September, 2003. ... The organized Jewish community has declared war on the vigils. City Council passed a resolution against the vigils, ... This follows public threats against council by a member of Beth Israel, who posted an "open letter" on the so-called AASPURN web site, which seeks to raise money for Israel against the vigilers. The Councilmember who drafted the resolution claims absurdly that the vigils violate a state law against disrupting religious services (among other falsehoods in the resolution) and decries the "enormous pain" caused by the vigils, and the impotence of the people targeted---including the local movers and shakers of organized Jewry, who raise funds and organize events and dominate opinion on Israel's behalf."

    Other Links:

  • Insanehedrin: "The “New” Sanhedrin was conceived and is being used by heretics, Jewish and Gentile, who want to overthrow HaShem's Torah (given to bring peace in the world) and turn it into a fanatic's torah to bring anarchy into the world. There are kooks behind this who want to create "warrior Noahides." The innocent and the ignorant are doing the grass-roots work for the heretics by drooling over these sugar-coated articles that they are feeding to the media! The Halachic authorities of this generation including Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, the leading haredi Ashkenazi spiritual leader, and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, who are premier Sephardi halachic leaders, have refused repeated requests to offer their support." Simply, the leading Rabbis of the generation have REFUSED to support it. The Orthodox Rabbinate in America thinks the “New” Sanhedrin is a joke. There is NO support for this "Sanhedrin" from the Rabbis that actually count, who the kooks in the “New” Sanhedrin have labeled as traitors for not joining them or giving their support."

  • Independent Jewish Voices (UK): "We are a group of Jews in Britain from diverse backgrounds, occupations and affiliations who have in common a strong commitment to social justice and universal human rights. We come together in the belief that the broad spectrum of opinion among the Jewish population of this country is not reflected by those institutions which claim authority to represent the Jewish community as a whole. We further believe that individuals and groups within all communities should feel free to express their views on any issue of public concern without incurring accusations of disloyalty. We have therefore resolved to promote the expression of alternative Jewish voices, particularly in respect of the grave situation in the Middle East, which threatens the future of both Israelis and Palestinians as well as the stability of the whole region."

  • Common Ground: "In this booklet we attempt to find a way out of this mutual cycle of lawlessness, calling for a return to uncompro-mising respect of the international law in all issues. The majority of Arab politicians outside of Palestine have already found their way out of the darkest age of lawless-ness (with a few glaring exceptions). It is only a matter of time when the leaders of the Arab League will convert also Palestinian politicians to the path of peace and justice. But will the western world be able to convert Israeli politicians, or will Israeli politicians be able to convert the western world to permanently cancel the right of Palestinians to their legal private lands?"

  • Plataforma de Madrid para la Paz en el Conflicto Palestino-Israelí: "A pesar de que los obstáculos son muchos y complejos, pensamos que la solución del Conflicto Palestino-Israelí es posible, basándonos en las últimas encuestas realizadas tanto en Palestina como en Israel, en que el 75% de ambos pueblos desean LA PAZ aceptando como solución la creación de dos Estados. Siete años sin negociaciones directas, miles de muertos y heridos, deterioro de la vida económica y social en Palestina, Gaza continua sitiada, siguen cayendo cohetes Qassam en Sderot y en el Neguev, y en Cisjordania la ocupación sangrienta, asfixiante y brutal continúa determinando la vida de todos los palestinos. Mientras tanto, los diversos intentos de negociación para alcanzar la Paz no fructifican y se incrementa el temor por una Guerra Civil en el Líbano."

    New Articles:

  • 21 March 2007: "AIPAC Hijack: With Friends Like These", Realistic Dove, by Gidon D. Remba
  • 20 March 2007: "Can American Jews unplug the Israel lobby?", Salon, by Gary Kamiya
  • 18 March 2007: "Talking About Israel", New York Times, by Nicholas D. Kristof
  • 15 March 2007: "AIPAC Successfully Lobbies to Neuter Congressional War Making Power", Jewschool, by "Mobius"
  • 9 March 2007: "German Jews Feud Over Criticizing Israel", The Forward, by Ben Weinthal
  • 1 March 2007: "Don't do it. Don't Attack Iran: Statement of a Group of Colorado Jews", Rocky Mountain News, by a group of Jewish activists in Colorado
  • 13 February 2007: "Journey of a ('Self-Hating') Jew", Dissident Voice, by David Rovics
  • 11 February 2007: "The new Jewish question", The Observer, by Gaby Wood
  • 10 February 2007: "Let a thousand flowers bloom: The Jewish establishment never spoke for us, nor allowed us to speak for ourselves.", The Guardian, by Arthur Neslen
  • 9 February 2007: "Left-wing Critics of Israel Launch Blog To Combat Alleged Intimidation", The Forward, by Rebecca Spence
  • 1 March 2007: "Dissidents set for Australia-wide media campaign", Australian Jewish News, by Jason Frankel
  • 4 January 2007: "Hurricane Carter", The Nation, by Henry Siegman

    Personal Jewish Websites:

  • Tikun Olam: Richard Silverstein: "Unlike some religious traditions, Judaism comprehends evil as something inherently human. In the Zohar, it is this evil or impurity which causes the sacred keylim ("vessels") to break. Performance of mitzvot ("commandments") are the means to repair the vessels and so transmute evil into good. A Kabbalist would have no problem understanding that hatred and violence between Israels and Palestinians are evils that pollute the world. Likewise, I'd like to think such a Kabbalist might look favorably on efforts like this blog to repair this battered region with acts of gemilut chesed. ... I have been interested in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since I was a teenager in 1967 and have worked all my adult life to promote dialogue and mutual recognition."

  • David Rovics: songs of social significance: "David Rovics has been called the musical voice of the progressive movement in the US. Amy Goodman has called him "the musical version of Democracy Now!" Since the mid-90's Rovics has spent most of his time on the road, playing hundreds of shows every year throughout North America, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. He and his songs have been featured on national radio programs in the US, Canada, Britain, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Denmark and elsewhere. He has shared the stage regularly with leading intellectuals (Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn), activists (Medea Benjamin, Ralph Nader), politicians (Dennis Kucinich, George Galloway), musicians (Billy Bragg, the Indigo Girls), and celebrities (Martin Sheen, Susan Sarandon). He has performed at dozens of massive rallies throughout North America and Europe and at thousands of conferences, college campuses and folk clubs throughout the world."

  • Comments:
    Since your post, students have asked me if I had contact information for Lenni Brenner. They want him to speak at an event with other speakers which include Hatem Bizian of UC Berkeley and Norman Finklestein.

    If you can email me at affadshaikh@gmail.com or my friend at mohammad.harake@gmail.com with information that will be great.
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