Israeli rabbi remarks on Palestinians deeply offensive: US

Agence France Presse, 29 Aug 2010

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States on Sunday condemned as deeply offensive remarks by an influential Israeli rabbi who said he hoped Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas would vanish from our world.

We regret and condemn the inflammatory statements by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said in a statement.

These remarks are not only deeply offensive, but incitement such as this hurts the cause of peace.
Ovadia, who heads a religious party in Israel’s ruling coalition, expressed hope in his weekly sermon Saturday that all the nasty people who hate Israel, like Abu Mazen (Abbas), vanish from our world.
“May God strike them down with the plague along with all the nasty Palestinians who persecute Israel”, he said.

Crowley pointed out that the remarks did not reflect the view of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is due in Washington this week for direct peace talks with Abbas.

The talks will be the first face-to-face discussions since December 2008, when the Palestinians broke off negotiations over a deadly Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip.

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February 23, 2010
Bridging the Divide: Kobi and Aziz

Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2010
7 pm, Room B1B
Lowell Center, UW Madison [Map]

Aziz Abu-Sarah is a former Fatah Youth Member and now a veteran Palestinian peacebuilder. Kobi Skolnick is an ex-Kahana settler turned Israeli peacemaker. Together they talk about their path-breaking peace work across enemy lines.

National tour sponsored by The Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution (CRDC) at George Mason University. Local sponsor Kavanah UW student group.

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United Methodist Divestment Efforts

Your help is urgently needed. In the face of many false attacks, United Methodist volunteers have put up a web site to explain the concept of divestment from companies that sustain the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. This site contains information on Israeli apartheid, and explanations of proposals that will be before the United Methodist General Conference (our policy-making body) later this month.

This web site has been prepared by clergy and lay volunteers from the United Methodist New England Conference, Baltimore Washington Conference, New York Annual Conference, Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference, and Rocky Mountain Conference. It answers questions about divestment proposals before the 2008 General Conference and responds to the many misrepresentations that have been made about these proposals. We hope you will find it helpful. If you have additional questions, please contact us at UMDivestment at aol.com.

Time is short, and we need to get the word out. There have been many false reports about these proposals and about Methodists who support them. It is urgent that we respond. The site is www.unitedmethodistdivestment.com.

If you have a web site of your own, please place a temporary link to our site on yours, and be sure to click on it to visit our site. Linking our site to others is the surest way to move it up in the Google listings. Having many visits to the site will also help. Please also share the information in our site with others.

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Simon Wiesenthal Center Says United Church of Christ’s Resolution Is Immoral

ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–July 4, 2005–A United Church of Christ (UCC) resolution demanding that Israel dismantle its anti-terrorism fence “is functionally antisemitic, which devalues the lives of the citizens of the Jewish state,” charged Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, of Los Angeles.

“This immoral resolution, which cloaks itself in the language of reconciliation, demands that Israel leave her six million citizens exposed to a renewed spate of suicide terrorism, which over the past five years has murdered and maimed thousands of innocent Israeli Jews and Arabs.

“We are deeply shocked that nowhere is there an explicit call to the Palestinians to desist from further violence and to tear down the infrastructure of terrorist groups, like Hamas and Islamic Jihad. We note that the Theological rationale of this onerous resolution is based on Reconciliation and Love. Cooper added, “While we agree that Reconciliation is a holy goal, woe to those who would reconcile to the evil of terrorist violence. In the post-9/11 world, people of Faith have the obligation to denounce Terrorism and to build the strongest barriers available to protect the innocent from more mass murder.

“The Simon Wiesenthal Center beseeches members of the UCC Synod to cast a vote against terrorism and for true reconciliation by voting down the Tear Down the Wall Resolution on Tuesday,” said Cooper.

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April 30, 2005
Madison Community Seder

St. Mark’s Lutheran Chapel
605 Spruce St., Madison
7:00 PM

This season of Passover is observed with the Seder ceremony, which celebrates the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery. This year we will have the opportunity to participate in a Seder celebration that is open to people of all beliefs and supports two excellent causes.

The Seder service will be held on Saturday, April 30, at St. Mark’s Lutheran Chapel, 605 Spruce St., Madison, beginning at 7 PM and followed by socializing and refreshments. Because our Seder falls during Passover, all food will be Kosher for Passover so that everyone will be able to take part.

The Seder is rooted in the Jewish tradition of celebrating liberation. During a Seder stories are told to teach about the universal meaning of past experiences, and to inspire us in contemporary struggles for freedom from human suffering.

Rabbi Laurie Zimmerman will lead this Seder event, co-sponsored by the Madison-Arcatao Sister City Project, the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project, Shaarei Shamayim (Madison’s Jewish Reconstructionist and Renewal Community), and the Wisconsin Coordinating Council on Nicaragua.

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April 10-11, 2005
"Three Women, Three Faiths, One Shared Vision"

A Partners for Peace presentation

Sunday, April 10, 2005 — 4 pm
Memorial United Church of Christ
5705 West Lacy Rd.
Fitchburg

Monday, April 11, 2005 — 7 pm
First Unitarian Society Meeting House
900 University Bay Dr.
Madison

Sponsored by the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project (MRSCP) , The Peace and Justice Committee of the First Unitarian Society, and Memorial United Church of Christ.

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THE DEMOGRAPHICS OF AMERICAN JEWS

“My People are American. My Time is Today.”

Lenni Brenner, CounterPunch, October 24, 2003

A friend once got a bit of a reputation by pointing out that “you don’t need the weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing.” But you do need a demographer to know which way the Jews are going.

Some readers will recall the journalistic hockey brawl in the NY Times over the National Jewish Population Survey 2000/2001, partially released in October 2002. Now the full survey is out, but the sticks are still flying, and the penalty box is full.

J. J. Goldberg, editor of Forward, the leading ‘Jewish community’ weekly, contributed an op-ed to the 9/17 Times, denouncing “flawed figures.” James Tisch, chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, replied in the 9/22 issue, defending their numbers against “critics” who “try in vain to ascribe to us ulterior motives.”

If gentile readers were confused about the furor, they will be comforted in knowing that most Jews likewise don’t grasp the underlying issues. But valid stats are crucial to a scientific understanding of the evolution of American Jewry. And with the US military all over the Middle East, and Palestine-Israel certain to be a priority concern in the forthcoming presidential election, universal misunderstanding of the status of Jewry in modern America can have fatal consequences for Palestinians, Israelis and Americans.

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