Democracy Now’s Yemen Report


Just Foreign Policy, July 19, 2018

This morning, Democracy Now had a hard-hitting report on the U.S.-Saudi war in Yemen. They combined highlights of the PBS Newshour series with an interview with Jane Ferguson, the PBS Newshour journalist who “smuggled” herself into Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen to report on conditions there.

You can watch [and share] the Democracy Now segment here:
PBS Report from Yemen: As Millions Face Starvation, American-Made Bombs Are Killing Civilians

What’s crucial about the Democracy Now report, compared to most other [far too infrequent] reports in the U.S. media, is that it squarely places responsibility for the war on the government of the United States, and highlights the need for political action in the U.S. to end the war now. The report makes clear that the war is perceived correctly in Yemen as a U.S. war, that the war would not be possible without the participation of the United States, and that the U.S. government can end the war anytime it wants, by cutting off U.S. participation and by pressuring its “allies” Saudi Arabia and the UAE to end the war and agree to a political resolution. The report also makes clear that if the war is not ended this year, millions more human beings will be pushed to the brink of starvation.

This last fact, what will happen to civilians in Yemen if the war doesn’t end this year, is crucial. There’s a lack of urgency in Washington right now about pressing for action to end the war, even though the fate of millions of human beings hangs in the balance. There are many causes for this lack of urgency, but one key cause is the political season in Washington. With mid-term elections approaching in four months, the foremost concern for many people in Washington about any issue now is: how will this issue affect mobilization for our team in the mid-term elections? If it’s not obvious how raising an issue would help the Democratic team or the Republican team mobilize for the mid-term elections, it’s hard to generate interest for it in Washington right now.

But millions of human beings in Yemen can’t wait until after the mid-term elections for action to end the war. They need action to end the war now.

Maybe the report by Democracy Now, which is watched by peace activists across the country, can help shake Washington from its complacency.

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July 24, 2018
Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb on “Hope in the Shadow of the Wall”

Tuesday, July 24 at 7 PM – 9 PM
First Unitarian Society of Madison
900 University Bay Dr, Madison, Wisconsin

Join us for a special presentation by Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb, “Hope in the Shadow of the Wall” at First Unitarian Society of Madison. July 24, 7pm. Free and open to the public.

Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb
Rev. Dr. Raheb is President of Bright Stars of Bethlehem and founding President of Dar al-Kalima University of Arts and Culture in Bethlehem. Former Senior Pastor of Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem and the most widely published Palestinian theologian to date, Dr. Raheb is the author of 17 books most recently including, The Cross in Contexts: Suffering and Redemption in Palestine, and Faith in the Face of Empire: The Bible through Palestinian Eyes. A civic leader and social entrepreneur, Dr. Raheb has founded numerous organizations and serves on many regional and international boards.

A sought-after speaker, Dr. Raheb has been widely featured on international media outlets including CBS, CNN, ABC, BBC, PBS, The Economist, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Newsweek, and 60 minutes. Dr. Raheb holds a Doctorate in Theology from Philipps University of Marburg, Germany.

SPONSORED BY: First Unitarian Society, Shaarei Shamayim Jewish Synagogue, Lake Edge Lutheran Church, Christ the Solid Rock Baptist Church, and Bright Stars of Bethlehem Madison Area Representatives.

July 25, 2018
Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb and Pastor Everett Mitchell

Wednesday, July 25 at 7 PM – 9 PM
Christ The Solid Rock Baptist Church
1502 Parkside Dr, Madison, Wisconsin

Pastor Mitchell of Christ the Solid Rock Baptist Church will present with Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb on “The Black Church and Palestinian Theologies: Intersections of Faith in the Face of Empire”.

Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb
Rev. Dr. Raheb is President of Bright Stars of Bethlehem and founding President of Dar al-Kalima University of Arts and Culture in Bethlehem. Former Senior Pastor of Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem and the most widely published Palestinian theologian to date, Dr. Raheb is the author of 17 books most recently including, The Cross in Contexts: Suffering and Redemption in Palestine, and Faith in the Face of Empire: The Bible through Palestinian Eyes. A civic leader and social entrepreneur, Dr. Raheb has founded numerous organizations and serves on many regional and international boards.

A sought-after speaker, Dr. Raheb has been widely featured on international media outlets including CBS, CNN, ABC, BBC, PBS, The Economist, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Newsweek, and 60 minutes. Dr. Raheb holds a Doctorate in Theology from Philipps University of Marburg, Germany.

Pastor Everett Mitchell
Reverend Mitchell is the Senior Pastor of Christ the Solid Rock Baptist Church in Madison, WI. He is also currently the Director of Community Relations for the University of Wisconsin Madison. He was formerly an Assistant District Attorney in Dane County Wisconsin. In the past, he served as the Associate Director of Madison-area Urban Ministry. Rev. Mitchell’s theological focus has been examining the relationship of the church to social issues, such as poverty, war, incarceration and immigration. He holds both a Masters of Divinity (M.Div.) in Christian Ethics and a Masters of Theology (Th.M.) in Social Ethics from Princeton Theological Seminary.

SPONSORED BY: First Unitarian Society, Shaarei Shamayim Jewish Synagogue, Lake Edge Lutheran Church, Christ the Solid Rock Baptist Church, and Bright Stars of Bethlehem Madison Area Representatives.

Gay Liberation Network declares ‘We Stand With Palestine’ during Chicago’s Gay Pride Parade

(Photo: Gay Liberation Network)

Mondoweiss, June 24, 2018

Confounding many people’s expectations, our “We Stand With Palestine” contingent in the Chicago Gay Pride Parade Sunday, June 24th – with its huge 160 sq foot banner, “Israel: STOP killing Palestinians!” – was met with almost universal approval by the approximately 1 million people who lined the four-mile parade route.

(Photo: Gay Liberation Network)

With the recent killings of over 100 unarmed protesters by Israeli sharpshooters, including children and clearly identified medics and journalists, and the wounding of over 11,000 others, people in this country are waking up to Israel’s systematic deprivation of Palestinians’ rights.

This list of course does not include Democratic Party politicians like Barack Obama or Dick Durbin, who have opportunistically bewailed the Trump administration’s tearing apart migrant families at the US/Mexico border, but who took no notice of the killing of Palestinian children at the border fence of the Gaza open air prison.

LGBT people in the United States have a particular responsibility to respond to these atrocities. Not only is Israel by far the biggest recipient of U.S. arms exports in the world, but it’s a central theme of Israeli propaganda, aimed at diverting attention from its brutality against Palestinians, that Israel is alleged to be a gay paradise.

(Photo: Gay Liberation Network)

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The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act Is Back: Free Speech Is at Risk

Dr. James Zogby, Arab American Institute (AAI), June 09, 2018

Back in 2016, without debate or an actual vote, the US Senate stealthily passed a disturbing and dangerous piece of legislation called “The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2016” (AAA). The bill would have required the Department of Education (ED) to apply a State Department (DOS) working definition of anti-Semitism in evaluating complaints of discrimination on US campuses. Because some conservative Members of Congress had concerns that the legislation would violate free speech, AAA didn’t pass the House and died.

Last week, the bill was reintroduced with minor changes. As I wrote back in 2016, the AAA was (and still is) “dumb and dangerous”. Far from being designed to combat anti-Semitism, it is a thinly veiled effort to inhibit pro-Palestinian activism on college campuses – something that the pro-Israel organizations who helped write the bill have acknowledged.

Here’s why the AAA is “dumb and dangerous”:

The working definition of anti-Semitism advanced by the legislation was designed to help officials monitor anti-Semitism abroad. It was not intended to be applied to police speech on college campuses here in the US.

In developing the definition and guidance, the DOS adopted language used by the European Union Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC),

“Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious institutions.”

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Israeli Forces Kill 2 Palestinian Civilians and Wound 23 Others in Gaza

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Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), July 14, 2018

In a new war crime, on Saturday, 14 July 2018, Israeli forces killed 2 Palestinian civilians and wounded 23 others, including 2 children, in a series of airstrikes targeting an uninhabited al-Katiba building, which is located next to a public park in a densely populated area and government and civil institutions in the center of Gaza City. The bombing caused severe damage to the central building of the Ministry of Health’s ambulance, al-Katiba Mosque and al-Katiba Central Prison.

The Israeli airstrike came in light of a wide Israeli escalation since today’s dawn during which the Israeli warplanes launched dozens of missiles at agricultural lands and sites belonging to Palestinian armed groups in various parts of the Gaza Strip coinciding with artillery shelling east of the Gaza Strip. The airstrike resulted at severe damage to the lands and many houses in addition to causing fear for civilians, particularly children and women.

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PCHR indicates that these airstrikes came in light official Israeli threats as the Israeli forces’ spokesperson Avichai Adrei stated that the Israeli army will conduct more raids in the Gaza Strip as long as it is needed. He also displayed photos of the 2014 Israeli Offensive on the Gaza Strip, pointing out for the possibility of repeating their scenario.

The Israeli forces’ spokesperson send a message through his page early today to the Gaza Strip population to “stay away from any building, infrastructure that serves the terrorist parties, any person known as terrorist and every area where terrorist organizations operate. Save your lives and you were warned.” This indicates an Israeli intention to escalate the situation, although the majority of the victims who fall as a result of this offensive are Palestinian civilians.

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