#BDS to be extended to all states under Zionist occupation, including the USA

Tayseer Khaled Calls for Boycott of US Goods

IMEMC News & Agencies | December 7, 2017

IMEMC News & Agencies | December 7, 2017

Amid controversy over the US decision to move their embassy to Jerusalem, PLO Executive Committee member, Tayseer Khaled, published a press release calling for an international campaign in the Arab, Islamic and Friendly States to boycott US goods.

The press release stated the following, according to the PNN :

“Tayseer Khaled , the PLO Executive Committee member, Head of the Palestinian Expatriate Affairs Department called on the Political Organizations, Trade Unions, Youth and Women Organizations and other Civil Society Organizations in Arab, Islamic and friendly countries to launch an international campaign to boycott American goods in support for Jerusalem, a response to the American insulting against our people, and for every unwise political step taken by the American Administration aimed to change the Legal and political Status of East Jerusalem, as an integral part of the occupied Palestinian Territories in June 1967, whether through moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem or recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Israeli Occupation State.”

Khaled added that US President Trump’s administration acts viciously with the Arab and Islamic countries, and it neither gives attention to the Arab public opinion, nor to international law and the legitimacy resolutions related to the Palestinian – Israeli conflict.

Moreover, he said, it neglects the UN Security Council resolutions on Jerusalem, of which begins with resolution 215, issued on May 2nd, 1968, that denounces the Israeli Military Parade in Jerusalem, through resolution no. 476, issued on June 30th, 1980, which nullifies the Israeli measures to change the features of Jerusalem, then resolution no. 478 of Aug. 29th, 1980, which calls for non-recognition of the Israeli law on Jerusalem and the withdrawal of all the diplomatic missions from the city, as well as resolution no. 2334 on Dec. 23rd 2016, which affirms that the construction of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories since June 4th, 1967, including East Jerusalem, is illegal, and demands it to ban all settlement activities. Furthermore, he stated that Israel doesn’t respect the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Apartheid Wall or its painful consequences on the occupied West Bank, the status quo in Jerusalem and its surroundings, and opposes the Israeli claims and annexation laws issued by the Knesset, and announced that East Jerusalem is, in fact, an occupied city, adding that Israel is obliged by international humanitarian law and international law, in general, to ensure free access to the holy sites under its control.

At the Palestinian level, Khaled called for uniting efforts to encounter any American step aimed at undermining the legal and political status of Jerusalem, and to stop dealing with the US administration as a qualified mediator to achieve a political settlement to the Palestinian – Israeli conflict. He insisted the US administration be informed that Palestinians are free of such obligations or understandings with, which propose discriminatory rules of conduct to the Palestinians that are restricting their right to go to the UN international bodies and agencies to apply for their membership, as is the case with the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Labor Organization (ILO), and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and others, or to apply to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights under occupation, and to investigate war crimes and settlement crimes, which Article (8) of the Rome Statute regards as a war crime.

(photo: hadfnews.ps)

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#BDS: israel and US Hide Names of Companies Supporting Illegal israeli Settlements

Source

By Prof. Marjorie Cohn,

In December 2016 the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution reaffirming that Israel’s Jewish settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) are illegal and calling on Israel to stop settlement activities in the OPT. Resolution 2334 says the settlements have “no legal validity,” calls them “a flagrant violation under international law,” and demands Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities.”

Nine months earlier, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), in Resolution 31/36, had ordered the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights to “produce a database of all business enterprises” that “directly and indirectly, enabled, facilitated and profited from the construction and growth of the settlements.”

The database was scheduled for release in December 2017. Meanwhile, the Israeli and US governments have been trying to prevent that list — which reportedly includes at least 150 local and international companies — from becoming public.

“We will do everything we can to ensure that this list does not see the light of day,” Israel’s UN ambassador Danny Danon told The Associated Press.

US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said,

“We just view that type of blacklist as counterproductive.”

The UNHRC has reportedly delayed the release of the list until “early next year.”

“[Israeli] officials say they are taking the so-called ‘blacklist’ seriously, fearing its publication could have devastating consequences by driving companies away, deterring others from coming and prompting investors to dump shares of Israeli firms,” AP reported.

An Israeli official told The Washington Post that the companies include Israeli banks, security firms, supermarkets, restaurant chains, bus lines, and multinational corporations that provide services and equipment to build and maintain the settlements.

Resolution 31/36 also called on states to take “appropriate measures to help to ensure that businesses domiciled in their territory and/or under their jurisdiction, including those owned or controlled by them, refrain from committing or contributing to gross human rights abuses of Palestinians.”

Publication of the list of companies would make the UNHRC “the world’s biggest promoter of BDS,” Danon opined. In a statement, Danon said,

“The Human Rights Council has turned into an accomplice of the BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] movement and its conduct is both anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic.”

In fact, the BDS movement is not anti-Israeli, as it targets the policies, not the people, of Israel. And actions against Israel’s policies, including BDS, do not equate to anti-Semitism, as I explain elsewhere.

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)

Representatives of Palestinian civil society launched the BDS movement in 2005. They called upon “international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era … [including] embargoes and sanctions against Israel.”

The call for BDS specified that “these non-violent punitive measures” should last until Israel fully complies with international law by (1) ending the occupation and colonization of all Arab territories and removing the barrier wall; (2) affirming the human rights of Israel’s Arab-Palestinian citizens to full equality; and (3) affirming the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their land as required by UN General Assembly Resolution 194.

Israel seeks to suppress the identities of the companies that support the settlements because it is feeling the pinch of the BDS movement. The United States thinks publication of the list would be “counterproductive” because it would fuel BDS, thereby negatively impacting Israel, the leading US client state and biggest recipient of US foreign aid.

BDS was a major factor behind the 46 percent decrease in foreign direct investment in Israel in 2014, according to a UN report. A World Bank report revealed that Palestinian imports from Israel dropped by 24 percent in the first quarter of 2015.

Several investors, including Bill Gates, George Soros, TIAA-CREF and the Dutch pension company PGGM, have divested from companies doing business in the illegal settlements. Venezuela and Brazil cut diplomatic ties with Israel. Companies that have pulled out of the settlements and the Israeli market include SodaStream, the French telecom Orange and the French multinational corporation Veolia. G4S — the London-based security company that assists with Israeli checkpoints, unlawful detention and torture of Palestinian prisoners — is selling its Israeli subsidiary due to millions of dollars in lost contracts as a result of the BDS campaign.

The European Union promulgated rules prohibiting funding of Israeli companies based in illegal Israeli settlements and has cautioned about the risks of doing business with illegal Israeli settlements.

Israel Maintains “Apartheid Regime”

In March 2017 a UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia report concluded that Israel maintains an “apartheid regime” and recommended that national governments support BDS activities to challenge Israel’s illegal system of oppression of the Palestinians. The report was co-authored by Richard Falk, an international law expert and former UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the OPT.

Mandla Mandela, grandson of Nelson Mandela, concurs. He said at a November 27 press conference in the West Bank,

“Palestinians are being subjected to the worst form of apartheid.” Mandela noted, “The settlements I saw here reminded me of what we had suffered in South Africa because we also were surrounded by many settlements and were not allowed to move from one place to another freely.”

“What we have experienced in South Africa is a fraction of what the Palestinians are experiencing,” Mandela told Royal News English. “We were oppressed in order to serve the white minority. The Palestinians are being eliminated off their land and brought out of their territories, and this is a total human rights violation. I think it is a total disgrace that the world is able to sit back while such atrocities are being carried out by apartheid Israel.”

Jewish Voice for Peace and other human rights organizations have called for “increasing grassroots pressure on Israel, through Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaigns, until full human rights of Palestinians are realized.”

Nabil Shaath, a senior Palestinian official, said the forthcoming UNHRC list of companies is an “important step” in the campaign against the illegal settlements.

Marjorie Cohn is professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, former president of the National Lawyers Guild, deputy secretary general of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, and a member of Jewish Voice for Peace. She is co-author (with Kathleen Gilberd) of Rules of Disengagement: The Politics and Honor of Military Dissent. The second, updated edition of her book, Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues, was published in November. Visit her website: MarjorieCohn.com. Follow her on Twitter: @MarjorieCohn.

Copyright, Truthout. Reprinted with permission.

Featured image is from The Hindu.

Where is Zionism Taking Us?

Where is Zionism Taking Us? 

By Lawrence Davidson

The Inevitable Apartheid Nation

November 26, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – We know where Zionism has taken Israel. The Balfour Declaration of 1917 led the way. In that imperial and colonial document, the British promised the World Zionist Organization a “Jewish National Home” in Palestine. They did so, as Edward Said put it, in “flat disregard of both the presence and wishes of the native majority residents in that territory.”

Right from the start the Zionists understood “national home” to mean an eventual Jewish state. Actualizing that assumption has had enormous implications not only for the Palestinians but also for the Jews. And, as it turns out, for the rest of us as well.

You cannot introduce one people, in this case a large number of Europeans who happen to be Jewish, into a territory populated by hundreds of thousands of non-Europeans, without negative consequences. And, if the incoming Europeans have the goal of creating a state exclusively for their group alone, those consequences are going to be dire indeed. Surrounded by “the other,” the only way you can achieve your exclusive state is through discriminatory practices and laws ultimately producing an apartheid nation. And that is what happened.

While this has meant, and continues to mean, segregation, ethnic cleansing and Bantustans for the Palestinians, for the Jews it means that their religion is tied to a racist political ideology. There is no instance of Israeli prejudice exercised against the Palestinians, no act of violence committed against them, that does not simultaneously dishonor and debase the Jewish religion and people.

Worldwide Consequences

How about the rest of world? The consequences of Zionism are threatening both security and equality everywhere. Here is how this is happening:

As the Balfour Declaration indicates, Israel and its society are products of a colonial era. That is an era when the people of both Europe and the U.S. openly practiced racist policies and behavior toward non-Europeans. They regularly trampled of the rights of alleged inferiors. Israel continues to operate in this fashion into the present.

—Following World War II, it became understood that these behaviors and attitudes are morally indefensible and their consequences should be remedied. And so, the United Nations was established, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights issued, and a number of treaties embodying international laws designating crimes against humanity were signed. With this process the world entered a potentially more civilized, post-colonial age.

—When this happened the Zionist project instantly became an anachronism. In fact, Israel became a state that defied the modern norm the moment it was proclaimed.

—However, Israel does not want to be outside the norm. It wants to be accepted as a “normal” nation, particularly within the Western state system. There are only two ways this can happen: either (1) Israel must either give up the racist ideology of Zionism and embrace a form of democracy accessible to all its people regardless of religion or ethnicity, or (2) the world must revert back to an acceptance of at least some of the colonial practices of the Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries.

You would think that choosing the anti-racist option, and therefore seriously pressuring Israel – as the world had done with white-ruled South Africa – to fundamentally change, would be the obvious choice for today’s statesmen. But it seems not. Why is that?

There is now an ongoing effort, we might call it the updated Zionist project, to move the world backward so as to accept racist past practices as “normal.” It consists of (a) an attack on international law protecting human rights (despite the fact that much of this law was created as a reaction to the anti-Semitic crimes of World War II), (b) an attempt to undermine the International Criminal Court, and (c) an attack on the United Nations and its efforts to protect the human and political rights of Palestinians.

Enter BDS

It is clear that very few of the world’s governments are willing to confront Israel, even though it is an apartheid state existing in an era that claims to detest such racist regimes. This has a lot to do with the financial and special interest strength of Zionist supporters both Jewish and Christian, and the strategic use of such power to corrupt policymaking. This can be seen most plainly in the United States.

There are also Israel’s extensive high-tech and weapons-trading networks in Europe, Africa and South America that lead important political and economic institutions and individuals to support, or at least turn a blind eye to, the Zionist state. And then, of course, there are a growing number of states that themselves have plans to marginalize their own minorities.

Does this mean that there is no defense against the insidious effects of this reactionary regime – one which, according to its own past Prime Minister Ehud Barak, is “infected with fascism”? No, there are options to oppose Israel. However, at present they are to be found outside of the realm of government action and, at least for the moment, outside occupied Palestine as well.

The latter is so because inside Palestine, 70 years of Israeli colonial savagery has worn down much of the indigenous population. This does not mean that resistance from within the Occupied Territories does not continue. It does, but at relatively low levels and at a high cost.

Since the death of Yasser Arafat in 2004, too many of the Palestinian leaders have been co-opted into playing the role of modern-day Quislings. The Palestinians within Israeli-controlled territory are now fragmented into Bantustan-style enclaves, and their own “security forces” often work hand-in-hand with the Israeli oppressors.

As a consequence of these circumstances, right now the greatest pressure can be put on apartheid Israel through the activities of organized civil society. This pressure by itself may or may not be able to force fundamental change on Israel, but it can certainly raise the cost of its racist behavior and impact public opinion.

Here we are talking about the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement that urges both individuals and organizations (be they economic, cultural or intellectual) to avoid interacting with Israel and its state-sponsored institutions and projects. To date this has proved to be an effective weapon against Israeli racism and colonialism. For instance, if you go to the website of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, you can find a list of 200 recent victories falling within the Boycott and Divestment categories. State-based sanctions are still in the future.

Israeli Pressure

Success in this regard has, of course, generated a fierce reaction from the Zionists. According to a Huffington Post article, “The Israeli government has reportedly committed tens of millions of dollars, one government ministry and its military and security intelligence assets to the fight.

Israeli Minister of Transport, Intelligence and Atomic Energy, Yisrael Katz, recently called for “targeted civil eliminations” of BDS leaders. Actually, such a reaction reflects not only the fact that the cost of Israeli racism is on the rise, but also that the Zionists have lost the public (if not the governmental) debate when it comes to their behavior toward the Palestinians.

Put broadly, BDS is an effort to help save the positive potential inherent in modern post-colonial society: the civilizing potential to be found in international law, in human and civil rights, in a benevolent and egalitarian rule of law for all of us.

So successful has BDS been to date, and so much potential does it have to help force Israel down the same road as white-ruled South Africa, that Israel and its surrogates in the U.S. and Europe are willing to undermine the very laws and rights that help uphold what freedoms there are within the public realm. For instance, in the U.S., the very right to engage in such a boycott is under Zionist attack, and by extension, so is the constitutional protection to free speech. American Zionists seem willing to subvert their own constitutional protections in order to support a racist foreign state.

Zionism can be seen as a strange twist on the Spanish philosopher George Santayana’s warning that “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The Zionists certainly remember the persecutions suffered by European Jews. But they forget that this mistreatment was most often organized by racist states that sought to ethnically cleanse the Jews.

Having forgotten about this state-based aspect of their own past, the Zionist state now commits this same offense against the Palestinians. It also needs the rest of us to forget the sins of past racism if it is to carry on its effort to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians. Our response should be to embrace the motto, “Never Again!” It is time to direct this demand to the shameful behavior of Israel and the Zionists.

Lawrence Davidson is a retired professor of history from West Chester University in West Chester PA. His academic research focused on the history of American foreign relations with the Middle East. He taught courses in Middle East history, the history of science and modern European intellectual history. http://www.tothepointanalyses.com

 

#BDS India Scraps $500M Military Deal With israel

India Scraps $500M Military Deal With Israel Amid Rising Popular Concern About India’s Complicity in Israeli Crimes

BDS | November 21, 2017

In anticipation of this deal to produce missile systems, Israeli arms manufacturer Rafael Advanced Defense Systems had entered into a joint venture with its in Indian partner. (Representative Image: Reuters)

Yesterday, media reported that the Indian Ministry of Defense scrapped the $500M deal with Israeli arms manufacturer Rafael Advanced Defense Systems for its missile systems. Years in the making, the deal had been celebrated in international media and was finalized after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel in July. In August, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and its Indian partner Kalyani Strategic Systems opened a facility in Hyderabad to manufacture the missile systems.

The deal was cancelled after India’s state-run Defense Research Development Organisation asserted that India should not import this Israeli technology.

Jamal Juma’, coordinator of the Palestinian Stop the Wall Campaign and BNC secretariat member said:

India’s decision to scrap this massive arms deal with Israel is a huge blow to the Israeli weapons industry. This $500 million deal would have fueled Israel’s military industry, which is deeply implicated in war crimes against the Palestinian people.

It is also a major setback for Israel’s propaganda hubris that its technology is indispensable for India’s development and modernization. As many Indians are recognizing, Israel is marketing military and agricultural technologies in India and trying to cement Indian dependence on Israel.

Israel seeks a flow of Indian cash for it’s own profit and to help finance its criminal wars and apartheid regime.

India is by far the globe’s biggest importer of Israeli weapons, and Israel is enjoying almost unparalleled influence in the Indian military system. Israel is equipping the Indian army with Israeli guns, the Indian airforce and navy with Israeli airplanes and missiles, and is also providing communication systems and technology in all levels of the Indian military.

Over the last two decades, Indo-Israeli military relations have continuously increased despite various corruption scandals and technical failures.

Similar patterns have started to surface in other sectors as well. India’s 16 million-strong farmer’s union AIKS has endorsed the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) “in order to stand for the rights of the Palestinian people and to resist the corporate takeover of Indian agriculture sector by Israeli companies.”

Members of Telengana’s state assembly last week denounced state-sponsored trips of Indian farmers to Israel as “a wastage of money.”

Omar Barghouti, co-founder of  the BNC said:

We hope this is the beginning of the end of Indian complicity in Israel’s egregious violation of international law and Palestinian human rights. As Palestinians we ask the Indian people to maintain their proud legacy of commitment to independence,  to growing local knowledge and to respecting other people’s struggles for self-determination.

Israel’s regime of oppression can never be a model for the great Indian nation that once led the non-aligned movement and upheld the right of all nations to self determination and freedom. Israel exports to India what it knows best — technology that represses, militarizes and dispossesses people of their land and water rights. India is better off without that.

Last week it was announced that Indian Oil and Natural Gas Corporations are bidding for drilling rights in gas fields claimed by Israel, despite the many controversies linked to territorial disputes in such fields.  In August, India’s Adventz group signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop Israel’s Jerusalem Light Rail, which serves Israel’s settlements in and around occupied East Jerusalem in violation of international law.

Omar Barghouti said:

As large multinationals increasingly abandon their illegal projects in Israel due to effective BDS pressure, Israel has started dragging India into deals fraught with legal and political problems. Indian companies would be well advised to avoid getting sucked into Israel’s human rights violations as more and more international corporations refuse to get involved in such complicity.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) is the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society. It leads and supports the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement for Palestinian rights. 

20 European Officials Denied Entry to israel for Boycott Support #BDS

20 European Officials Denied Entry to Israel for Boycott Support

14 Nov  9:22 AM

Israel announced, on Monday, that it plans to deny entry to a European delegation, using the recently approved legislation which bars visits by anti-Israel boycott activists.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz said that the 20-member delegation, which was set to arrive in Israel next week, was to include European parliament members and French mayors.

According to Interior Minister Arye Dery and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, the purpose of their visit was to meet with Marwan Barghouti at Hadarim Prison “as part of their support for Barghouti and Palestinian prisoners.”

Erdan added that these are “senior politicians who consistently support the boycott against Israel and promote it.” He added that “we will not permit entry to those who actively call to harm the state of Israel, especially in light of their request to meet and offer support to the arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti.”

According to Dery, the delegation consists of senior Europeans who are coming to act against Israel.

Over the past year, at the instruction of Dery and Erdan, Israel has blocked entry to a number people known to support the BDS movement.

Search IMEMC: “boycott”

11/12/17 Israel Mobilizing to Stop European Aid to Palestine

“The enemy within” Dual citizens driving US laws against Palestinians, #BDS, etc

Dual citizens driving US laws against Palestinians, BDS, etc

Dual citizens driving US laws against Palestinians, BDS, etc

Israeli American Council’s “Celebrate Israel Festival” in Miami, Florida. Such festivals were organized across the U.S.

The Israeli American Council is a ten-year-old organization of dual US-Israeli citizens. A year ago it launched a lobbying arm, the Israeli American Coalition for Action, which has been the driving force and partial architect of anti-BDS laws passed in Nevada, California and Texas and is currently advancing similar legislation in Massachusetts.  It also helped promote the “Taylor Force Act” and other bills for Israel.

New York Jewish Week and Moment magazine describe the actions of the Israeli-American Council  (IAC) and its new lobbying arm, Israeli-American Coalition for Action (IAC for Action).

A recent article in New York Jewish Week by Orly Santo reports that ten years ago “in a feat of organizational prowess (and hubris?) — and fueled with tens of millions of dollars from megadonors — the Israeli-American Council (IAC) shaped the scattering of 500,000-to-700,000 Israeli expats into a coherent entity.”

The goal of the organization is to “strengthen Israeli-Americans, American Jews and Israel.” It now claims 250,000 participants with an annual budget of $17.5 million. The group gets the bullk of its money from Las Vegas casino billionaire and major Republican donor Sheldon Adelson. 

In February 2016 IAC launched a 501(c)(4) lobbying arm called the “Israeli American Coalition for Action” (IAC For Action). The excerpt below from Jewish Week describes how IAC Action has helped to craft legislation against boycotting Israel, against alleged “antisemitism,” and against Palestinians.

Below that article is a report from Moment magazine that describes the specifics of how IAC obtained legislation against BDS. (Photos and videos of IAC have been added to the articles.)

US Senator Chuck Schumer (who says he is a “guardian for Israel”) and others speak at the IAC conference.

Excerpted from “Israeli-Americans Now Have A Voice — Are They All On Key?”

by Orly Santo, New York Jewish Week

In the 21 months of its existence, the Israeli American Coalition for Action has weighed in on a range of state and federal issues, with varying degrees of success. It has advanced mom-and-apple-pie resolutions, such as pushing a House resolution honoring Israeli-American heritage and an initiative to teach Hebrew in public schools.

But it has also tackled trickier legislation. For instance, IAC for Action was the driving force and partial architect of the anti-BDS laws passed in Nevada, California and Texas. It’s currently advancing similar legislation in Massachusetts, and working alongside these state governments on creating watchdog organizations that would help enforce anti-BDS laws. (Some of the anti-BDS laws around the country are now being challenged on free speech grounds.)

The group has advocated for a House bill that would combat European anti-Semitism [for information on this go here] and supports the Israeli Anti-Boycott Act, legislation that recently lost its bipartisan support in the House and Senate after the ACLU denounced it as a First Amendment infringement.

Taylor Force Act

Arguably, IAC for Action’s most significant legislative push has been on the high-profile Taylor Force Act bill, named for the 28-year-old American who was killed by a Palestinian terrorist in Jaffa in March 2016; it was among the first pro-Israel lobbies to aggressively campaign for the legislation.

Considered one of the most important pro-Israel initiatives of the early Trump administration, the bill would condition the majority of U.S. financial aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) on the PA shutting down its “Martyr’s Fund,” a program that pays stipends to convicted terrorists [sic] and their families. Introduced by Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Dan Coates of Indiana and Roy Blount of Missouri, the bill initially lacked necessary bipartisan credentials; some Democrats believed the bill was drawn too broadly and that other kinds of American aid to the PA, such as money for humanitarian programs, would be cut off as a result. Out of concern for Israel’s security or out of partisan concerns, AIPAC and the major Jewish advocacy groups steered clear [initially].

[Read the specifics of the Taylor Force Act and of its context here.]

According to Shawn Evenhaim, IAC for Action’s chairman, Graham’s office approached the group for help in breaking the gridlock; in response, the lobby pulled together IAC’s two original megadonors — Adelson and billionaire businessman and Democrat Haim Saban — to campaign for the bill. (Saban eventually broke with IAC, reportedly due to sensitivities surrounding the U.S. presidential election, in which Saban supported Hillary Clinton and Adelson backed Donald Trump.)

(L-R): Republican billionaire donor Sheldon Adelson, IAC National Chairman Shawn Evenhaim, and Democratic billionaire donorHaim Saban at the Israeli American Council in Washington DC. Nov. 10, 2014.

It’s unclear how effective the campaign was; Graham’s office did not respond to multiple requests for comment, and Noah Pollak, a political consultant considered one of the bill’s primary drivers, told The Jewish Week he was unaware of IAC’s role. Still, in reference to their campaign, Nicolet asserted that “we were critical to getting the bipartisan conversation [on the bill] going. … There is a chasm within the Jewish-American community (regarding Israel). That’s exactly where Israeli-Americans can step in and become a living bridge.”

Eventually, the bill was amended to take into consideration the aid questions that had been raised earlier, and the Taylor Force Act now seems poised for passage next month in the full Senate.

“We have the ability to speak for Israel as Americans, but from an Israeli point of view,” Evenhaim said. “This is something new that we are bringing to the pro-Israel camp, something that has always been missing.”

Anti-BDS legislation

California State Assemblyman Richard Bloom, Anat Berko, and Dillon Hosier discuss anti-BDS legislation at the Israeli American Council’s 2016 conference.

That unique perspective is IAC’s ace in the hole, particularly when it comes to combating BDS, its officials say. “[The BDS movement’s] biggest success is in dehumanizing Israelis,” Dillon Hosier, IAC for Action’s national director of state and local government affairs, told The Jewish Week. Bringing in Israeli-Americans, fellow state residents who are directly impacted by BDS, “restored the human face to that community. … Adding that Israeli-American element was really what turned the tide.”

California’s recently passed anti-BDS law, AB2844, is a case study in IAC for Action’s efforts. The law prohibits the state from contracting with firms that boycott or comply with boycotting Israeli companies, asserting that that would constitute an act of discrimination against Jews and Californians of Israeli descent and their businesses.

According to the bill’s author, Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), the Israeli-American voice was key to its passing. “Dillon and the IAC worked very closely with me and my legislative team to assure passage and the governor’s signature on AB2844 … [rallying] IAC members to email, call and provide other advocacy on behalf of the Israeli-American community,” Bloom told The Jewish Week in an email. “Frankly, and quite logically, many legislators do not understand BDS and why it is such an important issue for Israel and Israel’s supporters. The IAC … was singular in its ability to bridge that gap.”

Read full article


Getting Political: The Third Israeli-American Council Conference

By George E. Johnson, Moment, Oct 10, 2016

Facebook image of 2016 IAC national conference.

Reporting from last year’s Israeli-American Council conference, I noted that the Israeli-American Council defied the conventional wisdom that young Jewish adults are not joining Jewish organizations. The more than 1,000 Israeli-Americans at last year’s conference suggested that the in-your face, raw, brash energy of Israelis was being brought into the American Jewish organizational mainstream for the first time. With a mission of better integrating the now more than 500,000 Israeli-Americans into the American Jewish community, the IAC presented itself as a kind of communal “self-help” organization. It focused, for example, on how to keep the children of Israeli-Americans—many of whom are secular—Jewish. With the power and wealth of billionaire Las Vegas mogul Sheldon Adelson solidly behind it, it became clear that the IAC was also trying to act as a human bridge between Israel and American Jews—a kind of “reverse Birthright” mission—strengthening the state of Israel in the process.

But something new was on display this year: the rapidly maturing face of a new grassroots, AIPAC-like, Israeli-American Coalition for Action, an activist IAC political arm that parlays Israeli technological and political savvy into support of pro-Israel politics at the state and local levels. While still addressing the integration of Israeli-Americans into American Jewish life and deepening American Jews’ connection with Israel, this year’s conference, held in Washington, DC on September 24-26, and attended by over 2,000, gave center stage to the Coalition for Action’s step-by-step construction of alliances with local political and religious groups and use of social media to build support for pro-Israel actions—with a particular focus on opposing the growing boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

IAC brought in Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren to moderate a panel of former Israeli ambassadors to the U.S.

During the past year, there have been numerous reports that Adelson was assembling a task force to mobilize against the BDS movement. The fruits of that mobilization were clearly on display last week. At the opening of the conference, it was announced that California governor Jerry Brown had just signed AB-2844 into law, prohibiting the state of California from doing business with agencies or businesses that participate in BDS activities.

Back story of California’s anti-BDS legislation

California Governor Jerry Brown with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Brown signed Assembly anti-BDS Bill 2844 in September 2016. The State Senate approved the bill by a vote of 34 to 1 , and the State Assembly passed it by 69 to 1 on August 30.

However, the backstory of how the IAC was able to make this happen was told not in the plenary, but in two revealing panel discussions on coalition building and innovative use of social media. In one session, attended by the author of the California bill, Santa Monica Assemblyman Richard Bloom, as well as Adelson himself, panelists, including two city mayors, explained how meeting with strategically important legislators, planning Israel trips that highlight the multicultural aspects of Israeli life, supporting the interests of politically important groups, and building “common ground” with, for example, the LGBT community in West Hollywood, could pay off in political allies and support for anti-BDS initiatives.

The second panel focused on methods and messages for countering BDS activism on college campuses, as well as in government and local communities. Here the focus was on the power of social media. One panelist showed an animation showing members of Students for Justice for Palestine disrupting a lecture at the University of Minnesota by pulling the microphone cord. Another, the founder of the startup Phone2Action, showed members of the audience how to text their home state legislators in real time to support anti-BDS legislation just by texting “Israel” and a number on their iPhones.

A separate session, which I did not attend, focused on coalition building with other ethnic groups. Rabbi Marc Schneier, head of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, discussed the release of an open letter, signed by 10 prominent American Muslim political and religious leaders, including the two Muslim members of Congress, which calls on Hamas to release the remains of two Israeli soldiers killed in 2014 in Gaza.

The IAC is still a start-up, opening chapters around the country, with a base one-tenth of AIPAC, and this was only its third national conference. But it has money, a strategy and strong leadership that are helping it to punch far beyond its weight. One has the feeling that the Jewish world has yet to digest the potential impact on American Jewish life and American politics of this young and largely unstudied group.

IAC workshop on how to defeat BDS:

 

In big anniversary year for israel, Christian Zionists see signs of the Messiah

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ED-NOTE – The abomination of Christian Zionism would have never seen the light of day if there had been no Reformation. There would have been no Reformation if the most celebrated early Church Fathers had done their homework and not incorporated the Jewish Torah, that book written by the lying pens of scribes, into the Christian scriptures. And the world would have been a much different and better place had the early Christians followed Tertullian’s insight.

We no longer have any of his books but we know of them because all the following Christian ‘thinkers’ spent their lives trying to refute his thesis, namely that the God of Jesus Christ (PBUH) was not, could never have been the same ‘God’ described in the Torah; Jesus Christ could never the son of such ‘God’; Jesus Christ could never have been part of a Trinity that included the Jewish ‘God’.

His conclusions are not extravagant at all. In fact, they coincide with what the Jews themselves have been telling us for the past 5000 years: THE DEITY THEY WORSHIP IS THEIRS AND THEIRS ALONE; THEIR ‘GOD’ IS NOT OUR GOD. And they coincide with what Jesus (PBUH) told us in the most unambiguous way: the’God’ of the Jews was not his/ours. He rejected such deity and even named it for us in black and white: Satan.

And yet, despite all of that, we refuse to hear and understand and that is something that should fill all of us with wonder and horror at the same time.

Tertullian alone heard and understood what the Jews and what Jesus said and ‘his  Scriptures’, what he considered holy, did not include the Jewish Torah. He rejected it, the whole of it, and rightly so, as a true follower of Christ.

The Jews commit all their crimes, the Jews have declared war against the Children of Adam in the name of their satanic scriptures and, yet, it is the Muslims and the Christians who are always first up in arms to defend them and their book. Why?

It is time for Christians and Muslims alike to finally listen to what our enemies have been telling us all along and go for the jugular: the ONLY source of the problem, as Tertullian had identified so early on, is Judaism (FYI: there was still no Talmud nor were there any Khazar during his time).

So when will the Christlamic world wake up and realize that the sinfulness of the Prophets should be enough reason to finally, finally, finally de-legitimize the jewish Torah? And what will it take for the Christlamic world to understand,  at last, that there is no greater nor viler blaspheme against their own religion than Judaism and the Jewish Torah? 

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TIMES OF ISRAEL – Fifty years since the Six-Day War, 100 years since the Balfour Declaration, 150 years since Mark Twain first visited Palestine. This has been a year of big Israel-related anniversaries. To the Jewish state’s most diehard Christian supporters, the barrage of milestones is not mere coincidence but rather a harbinger of prophecies being fulfilled.

Every half century, many Christian Zionists believe, history makes a concerted push toward its endpoint: the return of the Messiah to Jerusalem. According to this pattern, something momentous should happen to Israel before the end of 2017.

“Reading Israel’s modern history, there seems to be something unusual in 50-year cycles,” said David Parsons, the vice president of the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem. “It means we should expect something incredible to happen this year to further propel Jerusalem and Israel into its prophetic destiny.”

Christian Zionists, most of whom are part of the world’s 700 million-strong evangelical community, view themselves as the Jews’ partners in God’s plan. Like many Orthodox Jews, they believe that after a world war, the Messiah will take the throne of a Jewish kingdom in Jerusalem and lead the world to peace and prosperity.

As Christians, they of course expect the Messiah to be Jesus, whereas Jews are still looking for their redeemer. But Christian Zionists like to joke, “Let’s bring the Messiah, and then maybe somebody can ask him whether this is his first or second visit.”

When Israel captured eastern Jerusalem and its holy sites from Jordan in the 1967 Six-Day War, some Christians saw proof that the messianic era was nigh. They began scouring history for signs they may have missed.

Many such signs were identified, from “blood moons” to stock market crashes. What most inspired Christian Zionists were the half-century cycles that seemed to lead up to the Six-Day War. The proponents of this theory — including Jonathan Cahn, who discussed it in “The Harbinger,” his best-selling Christian novel from 2012 — tied it to the biblical “jubilee year,” which involves the reversion of land to its original owners.

So what happened 50 years before 1967?

In 1917, the British defeated the Ottoman Empire and took control of Palestine. On Nov. 2, they issued the Balfour Declaration pledging to support the establishment of a Jewish “national home” in the territory. Zionists eventually drove the British out of Palestine and, in 1948, founded the State of Israel.

A half century earlier, in 1867, two visitors to Ottoman Palestine separately contributed to the narrative that Palestine had gone to pot since the Jews left. British archaeologist Charles Warren conducted the first major excavations of the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem and found what he thought were relics of the biblical city of King David. And the American writer Twain visited the Holy Land and recorded his observations in a hugely popular travel memoir titled “The Innocents Abroad, or The New Pilgrims’ Progress.”

Twain capped many pages of unflattering observations with this line: “Of all the lands there are for dismal scenery, I think Palestine must be the prince.”

Looking back even further, Christian Zionists singled out 1517, the year the Ottomans conquered Jerusalem. It is also when Martin Luther is said to have posted his protest manifesto against the Catholic Church, launching the Protestant Reformation.

Although Christian Zionists are apologetic about Luther’s anti-Semitism, they believe that by popularizing individual Bible study as the means of relating to God, he made it possible for Christians to see the falsehood of replacement theology. According to this doctrine, which was long a core tenant of the Catholic Church and remains influential, God took the title of the chosen people from the Jews and gave it to the Christians.

Christian Zionists have had decades to speculate about what historic change would happen in 2017, a half century after the Six-Day War. At a conference for Christian Zionists in Jerusalem on Thursday titled “Balfour to Nikki Haley: A Century of Christian Zionist Diplomacy,” a popular guess among the 100 or so evangelical and Jewish participants was that President Donald Trump would fulfill his campaign promise to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. But with a only two months left in the year, time is running out.

Bob O’Dell, an American speaker at the conference and the co-founder of Root Source, a platform that allows Israeli Jews to teach Bible online to Christians, argued that the big event of 2017 may already be happening in the hearts of his fellow evangelicals. He said he has seen a surge interest in the community’s interest in Israel.

“Everyone has a theory, but my view is that what’s happening at this jubilee is a growing realization that Christians are leading the nations in their support of Israel,” he said. “I think this is going to be the most important change of them all.”

Donna Jollay, the director of Christian relations for Israel 365, a fast-growing Jewish-run media company that targets evangelicals with biblically themed news and content, listed dozens of signs that Christians were shepherding Israel toward the messianic era, along with relevant Bible passages.

She pointed to Trump’s Jewish grandchildren, America’s withdrawal from UNESCO over alleged anti-Israel bias (U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley is a convert to Christianity) and growing Christian investment in the Jewish state. Evangelicals from the United States alone bring about $500 million a year into Israeli tourism and charity, and support its current right-wing government.

“It’s pretty much everything,” she said.

American Jews, especially the majority who are non-Orthodox and politically liberal, have traditionally been wary of evangelical support for Israel. But Josh Reinstein, the founder of the 19-member Christian Allies Caucus, which seeks to promote Christian advocacy on behalf of Israel, said he has also seen a growing willingness among Jews to accept Christian help.

“We’ve seen the results,” he said, citing the anti-BDS laws in the United States and increased cooperation between Israel and African and Asian countries. “We know these are people who stand with Israel based on faith, and they’ll stick around in the long run, regardless of political or economic considerations.”

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