Tag Archives: Palestine

Israel Divides the Jews – An Analysis (19 November 2015)

by Lawrence Davidson, To the Point Analyses

Part I – Reform Judaism vs. Israel

Something significant recently happened in the ongoing political-ethical drama that grips Israel and, by extension, Jewish communities worldwide. As reported by the Jewish Daily Forward on on 6 November 2015, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the president of the Union for Reform Judaism (a position that makes him the leader of largest Jewish denomination in the United States), publicly broke with Israel’s political and religious leadership. In a major speech at the Union’s biennial conference he said, “Asking Jews around the world only to wave the flag of Israel and to support even the most misguided policies of its leaders drives a wedge between the Jewish soul and the Jewish state.” Going public in this fashion is significant and welcome. However, as we shall see, this aspect of his critique has a long history.

Jacobs then got more specific: “the treatment of Israel’s minorities” and the “way ultra-Orthodox views of Judaism are being enshrined in secular law” are indications that Israeli society is “broken” and that Reform Jews will not be quiet about this. Jacobs offers the concept of Tikkun olam or “good works that benefit the wider community” and the “power and wisdom of pluralism” as antidotes that can help “repair” Israel. This is potentially powerful stuff for the situation here in the U.S., if not in Israel itself….

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The Progressive’s Dilemma – An Analysis (11 November 2015)

by Lawrence Davidson, To the Point Analyses

Part I – Jill Stein and the Green Party

The presumptive presidential candidate for the U.S. Green Party, Dr. Jill Stein, has long held definite ideas of what the party’s position should be on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And, despite some past skepticism from Palestinian advocates, Stein’s position is, from the progressive point of view, as near perfect as one is likely to get from an American politician. She has stated in a position paper the following: 

“United States policy regarding Israel and Palestine must be revised to make international law, peace and human rights … the central priorities. … The United States has encouraged the worst tendencies of the Israeli government as it pursues policies of occupation, apartheid, assassination, illegal settlements, blockades, building nuclear bombs, indefinite detention, collective punishment, and defiance of international law. … We must reset U.S. policy regarding Israel and Palestine, as part of a broader revision of U.S. policy towards the Middle East.”

Stein has government actions in mind to make this policy change real, including the withholding of material support and the diplomatic and economic isolation of those who consistently violate human rights and international law. …

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Filed under 2016 election, Lawrence Davidson, Palestine & Israel, US President

Palestine at the International Criminal Court: Potential and Problems

An Analysis (25 February 2015) by Lawrence Davidson, To the Point Analyses

Part I – Going to the ICC

The International Criminal Court (ICC) was designed as a vehicle for the prosecution of the most heinous of crimes committed by individuals in positions of state authority – those military officers and politicians at the top of a national chain of command. Until recently ICC prosecutions have been limited to leaders of small and weak states. This is not because the leaders of powerful nations are not sometimes culpable, but rather because no member state of the ICC has yet brought a relevant complaint.

This situation is about to change. In November 2012 Palestine achieved official observer status within the United Nations and this position allowed it to join the ICC.

The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) hesitated to take this next step as long as “peace negotiations” with Israel were ongoing. But by the spring of 2014, the latest round of such talks had proved as fruitless as their many predecessors. And so the Palestinians went ahead and signed the treaty that would make them a member nation of the Court – a status that becomes official in April 2015. Palestine has already requested the Court to begin a preliminary investigation of Israel’s actions within Palestinian territory (the Occupied Territories) during the 2014 invasion of Gaza. It is looking for indictments of Israeli leaders on war crimes charges. …

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Stop settlement subsidies

AVAAZ, 3/4/15

It might be the worst tax break ever. Illegal Israeli ‘settlements’ or colonies on Palestinian land are driving mid-east conflict, have been judged a possible war crime by the UN, and are opposed by the US government. But over $200 million has been funneled from US donors to radical colonist groups – tax free!

It’s shocking, and it’s illegal. These tax breaks clearly violate IRS rules …

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