GEORGE ARIDA, Madison.com, Dec 9, 2005
Despite appearances to the contrary, Ariel Sharon is one of the true constants of Israeli politics.
Although he remains uncompromising in his ideology and consistent in his methods, he periodically redefines his political identity to serve his underlying agenda.
This week the mainstream Western media carried characteristically misleading headlines of his latest bold initiative: “Sharon Bolts Likud to Form Centrist Party” and “Israel’s Sharon unleashes political earthquake.”
As absurd as it seems at first to see the word “centrist” to describe Sharon or his new party, on reflection it may be an accurate term after all, given the spectrum of Israeli mainstream politics.
The sad truth is that “mainstream” Israeli politics occupies a narrow space, and Sharon’s new identity as a “centrist” is a reflection of the disturbing state of the Israeli body politic rather than any sign of change in Sharon’s stripes.
The left-to-right spectrum in Israel ranges from a kinder and gentler vision of “separate and unequal” (Labor, Meretz and the mainstream “left”) to a “banish-or-kill-em-all” vision of ethnic and religious superiority disturbingly reminiscent of some of Europe’s and America’s darker moments (elements of Likud, National Union, the National Religious Party, Kach, etc.)
Sharon’s heart is in the latter camp. In a global sense, he sits in a place of prominence among heads of government in terms of his open bigotry, enthusiastic use of overwhelming violence and enforcement of a brutal form of apartheid against an entire society, not to mention his personal record of atrocities.
Kathy Walsh, Madison-Rafah Sister City Project, December 5, 2005
Regarding Robert Ablove’s letter about the Isthmus article on Camp Shalom (“Ain’t Gonna Study War No More,” 9/2/05):
My daughter and I visited Israel/Palestine last winter. While we were there, there were no suicide/homicide bombings by Palestinians. But while we were there a 10 year old girl was shot and killed, and a 7 year old girl was injured. They were Palestinian schoolchildren in the yard of their UN school. The shots came from an Israeli sniper tower and were presumably fired by an Israeli soldier. These are hardly isolated incidents.
I will refer to statistics posted by Remember These Children. Since September of 2000, 123 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinians. During this time 704 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis, most by Israeli soldiers. For 2005 the numbers are 7 Israeli children versus 57 Palestinian children killed. Since the publication of the article on Camp Shalom one Israeli child and 11 Palestinian children have been killed. I ask Robert Ablove who are the more succesful terrorists? Whose parents should be more afraid?
Aaron Nathans,The Capital Times, November 11, 2005
Protesters packed a hearing Thursday on the University of Wisconsin’s investment portfolio, encouraging the Board of Regents to divest from Israel.
Many held Palestinian flags, as speaker after speaker called for the university to divest from companies that do business with the Israeli military. They argued, for example, that Caterpillar makes bulldozers that are used to knock down houses of families of suspected Palestinian terrorists. And Lockheed Martin supplies the Israeli Air Force.
“As a mother, my heart goes out to the mothers of Palestine,” said Rae Vogeler, the Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate. She brought along her 8-year-old son. “Do we want to be investing in machines that kill?”
But local supporters of Israel said the effort had nothing to do with changing its military, and was instead part of a sustained campaign on American campuses to delegitimize the Jewish state.
The UW Board of Regents’ Business and Finance Committee held its annual forum on trust funds at Grainger Hall, with committee members, as usual, sitting quietly at a table in front while members of the public said their piece. The event, usually a tepid and sparsely attended affair, is designed to allow people to comment on the university’s investment choices. About 70 attended on Thursday.
Occasionally, the Board of Regents has taken action, such as two years ago, when it briefly divested in Tyson Foods bonds to show solidarity with striking workers at the plant in Jefferson.
Mohammed Abed of the University of Wisconsin Divest From Israel Campaign said Israel should be the board’s next target. He said the Jewish peoples’ history of suffering does not justify keeping the Palestinian people down.
Kathy Walsh, Madison-Rafah Sister City Project, November 11, 2005
In the Capital Times article on the divestment debate at UW you quote Professor Ken Goldstein:
“When a Palestinian woman loves her child, and does not encourage 14-, 15-, and 16-year olds to strap bombs onto their body and blow up Israeli 3-, 4- and 5-, year olds at a pizzeria, then we’ll have a two-state solution.”
I was in Rafah (a city in the Gaza strip) when a 10-year-old girl was killed by Israeli sniper fire while standing in line outside her school. I saw the mother. She was beyond herself in grief. Her child may be considered a martyr, but her mother was NOT celebrating her martyrdom, but grieving it, as I know Jewish mothers and Christian mothers and even atheist mothers like myself would do. And I don’t think it was because her daughter was killed before she had a chance to be a bomb. The child’s name was Norhan, from “no’or” which means light in Arabic. She was a light extinguished for no reason.
I believe this mother loved her child as much as I love my daughter who was traveling with me, as much as Rae Vogeler loves her son, and presumably as much as Professor Goldstein loves his daughter. I know I would give my life to protect either of my daughters.
I want to ask who encouraged the soldier to pull the trigger and open fire on a schoolyard. I also must comment that many Israeli soldiers refuse to participate in such carnage and many Jews are horrified by such acts.
I want to encourage everyone to look up the statistics on who is killing whom. They can be found at Remember These Children, B’Tselem, or even the Israeli Defense Force websites. As of November 9, 2005 the totals for Israeli children killed by Palestinians since the outbreak of the Second Intifada in September 2000 is 123. In this same time period, Israelis have killed 704 Palestinian children.
Two children have been killed since November first, both Palestinians. They are Mohammad Hamdi Abu Salha, 15, of Nablus, and Ahmed Ismail Khatib, 12, of Jenin. Both were shot by Israeli soldiers. Ahmed’s father donated his organs to several Israeli children and one Israeli woman. That is just one example of the hatred that Palestinians teach their children. I want to ask Professor Goldstein how he teaches his daughter to love, or hate.
If we reversed the nationalities in Professor Goldstein’s statements, they would be seen for what they are, a veil of language, very racist language, used to obscure the truth. Yet in our society it is those who claim that Palestinians are full members of the human race, deserving of the same basic human rights as all other humans, who are usually labeled “racists.”
We are excited to announce that on Thursday November 3 the world-renowned Ibdaa Children’s Dance Troupe will perform for the first time in Madison at 7:30 pm in the UW Union Theater.
This group of 10 boys and 10 girls between the ages of 10 and 13 is touring major cities in the U.S. under the sponsorship of the San Francisco-based Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA). The dancers combine traditional “debke” dance and brilliant costumes with a modern narrative about their experiences as Palestinian refugees growing up and living in the Dheisheh refugee camp near Bethlehem. The Ibdaa children’s troupes have performed all over the world to great acclaim.
The Madison performance will be free and open to the public. It is sponsored by MRSCP, the Arab Student Association, and Al-Awda Wisconsin. For more information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Albuquerque, NM, Amherst, MA, Austin, TX, Boston, MA, Chicago, IL, Dallas, TX, Detroit, MI, Houston, TX, Keene, NH, Los Angeles, CA, Minneapolis, MN, Sacramento, CA, , Santa Fe, NM, Seattle, WA
For venues, and information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Samara Kalk Derby, The Capital Times, October 10, 2005
To get to work each day, Tawfiq Nasser needs a green card, known as a “dirty ID.” He also needs what is called a magnetic card to show that he is not a terrorist or security threat.
On top of that, he must carry two permits, both of which have to be renewed every few months.
Nasser is one of the lucky ones. As director and CEO of Augusta Victoria Hospital in Jerusalem, the Palestinian doctor moves about the city and the rest of Israel with some aggravation and complication.
“This is a privilege, a real privilege,” he told an audience of about 40 Sunday afternoon at Memorial United Church of Christ in Fitchburg.
Nasser, who has studied and worked in the U.S., was in Madison to give a presentation, “A View From Jerusalem: Challenges for Palestinian Health Care.” He also spoke at St. Stephens Lutheran Church in Monona. His appearances were co-sponsored by the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project.
“I am not angry,” said Nasser, 40, noting that he makes a good living and has a driver to help navigate the checkpoints.
But with its 52 permanent and 60 “flying” or mobile checkpoints, and now its security fence almost half complete, the Israeli government punishes the whole Palestinian population for the crimes of a few, creating “more anger, polarization and radicalization,” he said.