IDF

NOT FOR CHILDREN UNDER 18

Find the courage to watch the slow death of an unarmed demonstrator in Palestine. Shamai Leibowitz, veteran Israeli Jewish human rights activist in Pursuing Justice reflects on evidence of an Israel Defense Forces murder of an unarmed and un-threatening demonstrator in the Palestinian village of Bil’in. You be the judge.

Bil\’lin

Did you notice what a sunny, beautiful day it is in the film? Does it remind you of the day on the beach in Camus’ The Stranger?  The simplicity of killing, the natural beauty that can coexist with it and not be somehow implicated in a crime against humanity? Are you haunted by Biblical verses on oppressing strangers and God driving people out of  promised lands? Such warnings are a strange and timeless echo of history that screams back at the banality of murder that Camus depicts on the warm, sunny beach. Camus’ …

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See Rabbi Edward Feld’s agonized sermon on the state of ethics of Israel’s military chaplaincy that encouraged war crimes in Gaza. This is a reflective sermon that brings into sharp relief the choices of religious people between violent texts to justify their violence and nonviolent texts to articulate their deepest values, hopes and aspirations. The rabbis who have taken control of the Israel Defense Forces have made their choice, and other rabbis like Rabbi Feld have made theirs. Here is Rabbi Feld:

“When you have mercy on a cruel enemy you are thereby showing cruelty to innocent and honest soldiers. It is a terrible immorality……This is a war against murderers.”

The above excerpt is from Go Fight My War, a booklet published by the Jewish Awareness Department of the Chief Military Rabbinate in Israel, and distributed to soldiers in the fighting units before they entered Gaza as part of Operation …

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Dead Palestinian babies and bombed mosques – IDF fashion 2009

Testimonies on IDF misconduct in Gaza keep rolling in

‘Shooting and crying’

Israeli journalists are reporting on the stories out of Gaza becoming more and more horrible as Israeli troops confess more in the public. Of course what is amazing to the rest of the world is that what they saw with their own eyes through Al Jazeera and other news outlets, Israelis and Jewish reactionaries did not see on their Fox-exclusive television sets–nor believe. Furthermore, if anyone in the world had Palestinian friends and actually believed them then the revelations now come as no surprise. I and my friends were in mourning and shock as it was happening, because we have seen the deterioration in the Israeli psyche and feared the worst. And also some of us in this world actually have Palestinian friends. It is rare in the …

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Al Jazeera English interviewed me the other day on American intervention so far in Gaza. Here is the story:

The United States is set to pledge $900m for the Palestinians at a donors’ conference in Egypt, but only a third of that will go towards reconstruction in the Gaza Strip and none of the money will go to Hamas, who rule the territory.

Robert Wood, a spokesman for the US state department, said the US would pledge $300m at Monday’s conference on reconstructing Gaza, to meet “urgent” humanitarian needs in the territory after Israel’s military onslaught in December.

Wood said the $300m would be funnelled through the UN and other organisations.

“Hamas is not getting any of this money,” Wood told reporters in the Egyptian coastal resort of Sharm el-Sheik, where Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, arrived on Sunday on the first leg of a week-long trip to

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Read this important story about United States Representatives Keith Ellison and Dr. Brian Baird. In an American Congress that is utterly silenced about Palestinian needs and concerns, these two congressmen should be commended for going to Gaza. They will be punished by the Lobby and it is important for them to be supported. I hope that the Jewish alternative lobby, J Street , will do so. If there were a serious non-Jewish lobby for Palestine in Washington that really wanted to change things for Palestine it too would support every positive act coming out of Congress–with votes and cold hard cash. Alas, progressives don’t get it.

Here are excerpts written by veteran Post writer Tovah Lazaroff:

“When have lentil bombs been going off lately? Is someone going to kill you with a piece of macaroni?” asked Rep. Brian Baird (D-Washington).

He and Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) called on Israel to end

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Waltz with Bashir

by mgopin on February 3, 2009 · 7 comments

Here is a must read from an Israeli patriot who was devastated by the movie and his own depression over leadership and the endless cycle of war and revenge. Please read and react.  I have been devastated and cleansed by the movie for a week. While much of Burston’s analysis is powerful and convincing I do not think that ‘we live in post-moral world’. Israelis, and Palestinians, are indeed caught in a web of terrible leadership, with choices between corruption on the one side, and uncorrupted, clear unadulterated violence–and suicide–on the other. But this is not a post-moral world. It seems that way to those inside this insanity, but to those outside morality is alive and well, and the answers are not as complicated as leadership on all sides has made them out to be: Respect your enemy, never surround an enemy on all sides with no way out, be …

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Veteran journalist Orly Halpern writing an excellent piece in the Globe and Mail, deepens the story on the Gazan peacemaker/doctor whose three daughters were killed. The shocking reactions of some Israelis to his agony is an important clue to understanding the deterioration of the political/psychological atmosphere in Israel, and why the country, and its dwindling supporters, may be headed for a clash with the rest of the world.

“I prefer to believe the Israeli army, that a sniper shot from his house, and not [to believe] the doctor,” one Israeli posted on an Israeli news website.

“Is there such a thing as an Arab who is not Hamas?” asked another.

“How can anyone not believe this man?” a third wondered.

Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish grieves at a Tel Aviv hospital this month. The doctor, whose Gaza home was shelled, worked in Israeli hospitals for more than 20 years.

Ezzeldeen Abu

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At first I was shocked when I read the story of the Gazan peace doctor who has been working with Israelis for years, whose daughters were decapitated and cut to pieces in front of him, from an Israeli shell aimed without care or caution at Hamas.

But then I went through a second stage of reaction when I was warmed by how amazing a reception he received in Israel. His surviving wounded daughter was operated on to save her eye as he was surrounded by sobbing Israeli Jewish colleagues. Here are excerpts from the story:

“I dedicated my life really for peace, for medicine,” said Dr. Abuelaish, who does joint research projects with Israeli physicians and for years has worked as something of a one-man force to bring injured and ailing Gazans for treatment in Israel.

“The Israeli Defense Forces does not target innocents or civilians, and during the operation

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Blessed Are the Peacemakers is a new series in marcgopin.com that will feature writing by or about significant peacemakers who are confronting the conflicts facing humanity with courage, creativity, and passion.

The essay below is written by Hind Kabawat, the foremost peacemaker of Syria and my partner of five years in Middle Eastern peacemaking:

WHAT THE MIDDLE EAST NEEDS IS THE “AUDACITY OF HOPE”

For the last five years or so, I have been actively working with Jewish colleagues in the US and elsewhere to help broker a lasting reconciliation between Israel and its Arab neighbours. But in the wake of the carnage in Gaza, it is impossibly difficult to be optimistic about the future of the …

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Akiva Eldar writes brilliantly as usual. Here is an excerpt:

What shared values did the black American liberal observe over the last few days as he watched the broadcasts of sites bombed by Israel in the heart of the world’s most densely populated region? Is it possible to expect that the memory of the horrors of the Holocaust will influence Obama’s relationship with Israel? Last week, a Jewish member of Britain’s parliament said his grandmother was not murdered by the Nazis in order to provide a pretext for Israeli soldiers to murder Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza.

The spokesman for the Israeli consulate in New York boasted of the masses who attended a solidarity demonstration with the children of Sderot. He did not mention the masses of Jews who do not know where to hide their shame at the sight of pictures of Palestinian men weeping bitterly over the families who

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