Observations of the real world.

 

The American Jewish community must value all life : Stltoday

letterstomycountry:

An Op-ed from St. Louis:

Earlier this month, after three Israeli teens and one Palestinian teen were murdered in the occupied West Bank, 500 members of the St. Louis Jewish community came together to mourn the loss of human life. Since those horrible events, more than 40 Palestinian children in Gaza have been killed by the Israeli army from airstrikes and now a ground invasion — and over 200 adults (at the time this was written). Four young Palestinian boys were killed while playing on a beach in Gaza, attempting to run away when an Israeli missile hit them. In the West Bank, in addition to the torturous murder of 15-year-old Mohammad Abu Khdair, who was kidnapped, beaten and burned alive by Jewish settlers, there have been 7 Palestinians killed, mostly youth, and over 320 arrested in the past few weeks.

As Jews, many of us were raised with values of social justice, standing up to oppression and for the “little guy,” and remembering anti-Semitism and pledging to stop it. That is why we are calling on the St. Louis Jewish community to join us and speak out against the Israeli government’s occupation and bombing of Gaza.

When an Israeli dies, the American Jewish community is quick to mourn, to condemn their death, to pray for peace. But where is the American Jewish community when the Israeli government mistreats, invades and kills Palestinian families on a daily basis? Where is the American Jewish community’s commitment to justice when Israel has illegally occupied the West Bank and Gaza for over 47 years?

Our social justice values compel us to speak out against violence against Palestinians just as we mourn violence against Israelis. Once we start to do that, we can see just how one-sided this “conflict” really is — how for decades Palestinians have lived with relentless violence from the ongoing occupation, how Palestinian families constantly face the threat of eviction from their homes, how thousands of Palestinian adults and children have been arrested and detained in the last decade, how a giant wall has ripped families apart and impeded freedom of movement for many going to work. This is not a “war” — it is an assault by a military power with infinite resources on a population held hostage.

The Israeli government’s actions happen far too often in the name of protecting Judaism, thereby conflating Zionism with Judaism. As Jews, we must not let the Israeli government use our heritage to excuse its morally unexcusable actions. Our Jewish values will not let us.

We call on our fellow Jewish leaders here in St. Louis — on Andrew Rehfeld and the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, on Phyllis Markus and Batya Abramson-Goldstein and the Jewish Community Relations Council, on Rabbi Susan Talve and the Central Reform Congregation, on Karen Aroesty and Anti-Defamation League — to join us in speaking out against the Israeli assault on Gaza and occupation of the West Bank. We as Jews can do better than allow oppression and violence to continue in our names.

Arielle Klagsbrun, Hedy Epstein and Maya Harris are members of St. Louis Jewish Voice for Peace.

Do you think Jews speak with one voice? That they are blind to the truth of right wing extremists? Think again.

Ban Ki-moon's shameful message in Israel's hour of need | JPost | Israel News

This is what the Jerusalem Post tells its readers about the world of haters that don’t understand Israel’s “hour of need”, while it’s soldiers continue the killing of women and children. Complaining how John Kerry and Barack Obama are enemies of Israel, all the while continuing to rake in military and technological aid from the U.S., as it has done for decades.

Questions About Tactics and Targets as Civilian Toll Climbs in Israeli Strikes - NYTimes.com

Amnesty International is petitioning for an halt to U.S. military aid to Israel and several E.U. Countries are counseling cessation of investment in Israel. Chili has been reported to have cut off trade to Israel in reaction to Israeli disregard for civilian casualties.

Israelis gather on hillsides to watch and cheer as military drops bombs on Gaza | World news | The Guardian

Palestinian human rights groups have also charged that Israeli troops are using “flechette” ammunition in at least some areas of Gaza. These are tank shells that explode in mid-air, showering small, dart shaped shards that cover a wide swath of the targeted area. Israel was found to be using white phosphorus as a weapon during the last incursion into Gaza. White phosphorus burns with extreme heat and cannot be put out with water.

Ayman Mohyeldin To Return to Gaza for NBC - TVNewser

Mohyeldin was pulled from Gaza when he reported on the scene he personally witnessed as 4 Palestinian boys, playing on the beach, were killed by Israeli shells. 15,000 people signed a petition asking NBC to reinstate him.

The FCC’s controversial plans for a new version of net neutrality are still open for public comment for a few more days, and Chairman Tom Wheeler — continuing to fight charges that he may be a dingo — says it’s already received over 647,000 comments so far. The 60 day period for public comment runs out on the 15th though, so if you want your voice to be heard then about fast lanes, Title II or anything else, then now is the time.

campaignmoney:

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) at last week’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on a constitutional amendment to give Congress the ability to regulate campaign spending and fundraising. 

campaignmoney:

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) at last week’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on a constitutional amendment to give Congress the ability to regulate campaign spending and fundraising. 

A central premise of US media coverage of the Israeli attack on Gaza - beyond the claim that Israel is justifiably “defending itself” - is that this is some endless conflict between two foreign entitles, and Americans can simply sit by helplessly and lament the tragedy of it all. The reality is precisely the opposite: Israeli aggression is possible only because of direct, affirmative, unstinting US diplomatic, financial and military support for Israel and everything it does. This self-flattering depiction of the US as uninvolved, neutral party is the worst media fiction since TV news personalities covered the Arab Spring by pretending that the US is and long has been on the side of the heroic democratic protesters, rather than the key force that spent decades propping up the tyrannies they were fighting.

nprfreshair:

Nadine Gordimer, a Nobel Prize-winning author known for her portrayals of South Africa under apartheid, passed away yesterday at the age of 90.
Gordimer spoke to Fresh Air in 1989. You can hear our tribute to her here. 

nprfreshair:

Nadine Gordimer, a Nobel Prize-winning author known for her portrayals of South Africa under apartheid, passed away yesterday at the age of 90.

Gordimer spoke to Fresh Air in 1989. You can hear our tribute to her here

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Legislature illegally drew the state’s congressional districts to primarily benefit the Republican Party, a judge has ruled, and has ordered them redrawn.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Legislature illegally drew the state’s congressional districts to primarily benefit the Republican Party, a judge has ruled, and has ordered them redrawn.