June 7 – October 18, 2008
Peregrine Forum 2008 "NAKBA" Series

PALESTINE HISTORY CLASS
March thru October at Escape Java Joint, 916 Williamson St., Madison

In commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the 1948 Palestine War and subsequent events, based largely on the book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine by Ilan Pappe (One World Publications 2007), 313pp., $14.95 pbk, which can be ordered though Rainbow Books. The series began on March 22, but you can join anytime. Dates and topics follow; for more specific information contact dvdwilliams51 at yahoo.com • 608-442-8399

SAT. JUNE 7 • 2 – 5 pm “The Two ‘Nakbas’, 1948 and 1967: Parallel Conquests and Parallell Mythologies.” Screening and analysis of the 2007 WGBH Boston Public TV documentary “Six Days in June.”

Standard Israeli and American accounts of the 1948 War repeat a story of “David” versus “Goliath”: “Little Israel” threatened on all sides by overwhelming Arab forces bent on destruction of the Jews. In 2007 WGBH Boston presented “Six Days in June” on the 40th anniversary of the 1967 War, recycling the standard portrayals. It was screened on PBS affiliates across the U.S. without any rebuttal or countervailing points-of-view. Peregrine Forum will screen the film with critical commentary on inaccuracies and distortions.

SAT. JUNE 14 • 2- 4 pm “The ‘Arab-Israeli War’ of June-September 1948.” Reading from Pappe.

SAT. OCT. 4 • 2 – 4 pm “Completion of the Conquest: October 1948-January 1949, and Other Illegal Acquisitions.” Reading from Pappe.

SAT. OCT. 18 • 2 – 4 pm “1948 Palestine War and Its Legacies: Occupation, ‘Memoricide’, and the ‘Peace Process’. ” Reading from Pappe.

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Remembering The Nakba On Israel's 60th Anniversary

JUDITH LAITMAN and TSELA BARR, Wisconsin State Journal, May 16, 2008

This month, Jews around the world are celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel.

These celebrations reflect the understandable joy of Jews who view Israel as the symbol of 60 years of freedom from centuries of persecution, culminating in the Holocaust. Nevertheless, we are Jews who will not be celebrating. While Israel provided a safe haven for many Jews, the terrible fact is that more than 700,000 Palestinians were made into refugees to make room for the future state of Israel. Sixty years later, that number has swelled to an estimated 7 million.

Many live in 58 registered refugee camps dispersed throughout the Middle East, and some 4 million Palestinians in the Occupied Territories continue to endure reprehensible collective punishment to this day.

That is why the creation of the state of Israel is known as the Nakba, or the Catastrophe to Palestinians.

Any peaceful future depends on recognizing both the Palestinian and the Israeli narrative. And yet, just as the names of more than 400 pre-1948 Palestinian towns and cities have been deliberately erased from maps, the history of the Palestinian Nakba itself has been all but erased from consciousness.

Surely it is now time to acknowledge the narrative of the other, the price paid by another people for European anti-Semitism and Hitler’s genocide.

Today, because much of the world has forgotten, we remember that: In April, 1948, the same month as the infamous massacre at Deir Yassin, Plan Dalet was put into operation. It authorized the destruction of Palestinian villages and the expulsion of the indigenous population outside the borders of the state.

On May 22, 1948, Jewish soldiers from the Alexandroni Brigade entered the house of Tantura residents killing between 110-230 Palestinian men.

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May 8, 2008
“No Time to Celebrate” demonstration at UW-Madison

Jewish Voice for Peace – Madison, May 15, 2008

JVP’s Madison Chapter held a very successful “No Time to Celebrate” demonstration in partnership with several other area groups on May 8 on the University of Wisconsin – Madison’s Library Mall.

The demonstration was a counter to an Israeli Independence Day birthday celebration put on by Hillel students also being held on the Library Mall. Their event featured birthday cake, free food, and a “moon bounce.” We actually outnumbered them during a three-hour time frame. We had from 45-50 people on our side with a very visually impactful presence including black balloons, a “puppet” figure dressed as a Palestinian refugee, Palestinian flags, banners, and signs. We also passed out a lot of leaflets putting the Israeli celebration in perspective and listing the 418 Palestinian Communities Destroyed in Al-Nakba. Our chapter reprinted the UK statement to pass out with our contact info.

Endless War


Mivtza Nikayon — Operation Cleaning


Arab refugees in northern Israel on the road to Lebanon, November 1948. (Associated Press)

DAVID MARGOLICK, The New York Times, May 4, 2008

1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War
By Benny Morris
Illustrated. 524 pp. Yale University Press. $32.50.

It was not one of the celebrated moments of what the Israelis call the War of Independence and the Palestinians call Al Nakba, the Catastrophe. But it is one of the more arresting ones.

In late August 1948, during a United Nations-sanctioned truce, Israeli soldiers conducting what they called Mivtza Nikayon — Operation Cleaning — encountered some Palestinian refugees just north of the Egyptian lines. The Palestinians had returned to their village, now in Israeli hands, because their animals were there, and because there were crops to harvest and because they were hungry. But to the Israelis, they were potential fighters, or fifth columnists in the brand new Jewish state. The Israelis killed them, then burned their homes.

As much as in any other scene in this meticulous, disturbing and frustrating book, the ineffable tragedy of Israelis and Palestinians resides in that brutal, heartbreaking image. On the one hand, the Jews were fighting for a safe haven three years after six million of them had been murdered. Undoubtedly some of those soldiers on patrol that day were survivors themselves, who’d lost their entire families in Europe and been handed rifles after washing ashore in Haifa or Tel Aviv.

And then there were the Palestinians, who had watched in horror over the past 75 years as these aliens first trickled, then poured, into their homeland. Were he an Arab leader, David Ben-Gurion once confessed to the Zionist official Nahum Goldmann, he, too, would wage perpetual war with Israel. “Sure, God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them?” he asked. “There has been anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: We have come here and stolen their country.”

The history of the 1948 war desperately needs to be told, since it’s so barely understood or remembered and since so many of the issues that plague us today had their roots in that struggle. Much of that history is military: how the dramatically outnumbered Jews managed to defeat first the Arabs of Palestine, then the combined armies of Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Syria, along with a smattering of Sudanese, Yemenites, Moroccans, Saudis, Lebanese and others. But arguably even more important than the soldiers are the civilians, specifically the 700,000 Palestinians who fled as the war raged. To understand the Palestinians who now fire rockets from Gaza or become suicide bombers from Nablus, it helps to know how their fathers and grandfathers wound up in Gaza or Nablus in the first place.

No one is better suited to the task than Benny Morris, the Israeli historian who, in previous works, has cast an original and skeptical eye on his country’s founding myths. Whatever controversy he has stirred in the past, Morris relates the story of his new book soberly and somberly, evenhandedly and exhaustively. Definitely exhaustively, for “1948” can feel like 1948: that is, hard slogging. Some books can be both very important and very hard to read.

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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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April 6-27, 2008
O-LIVE! O-LIVE! Events to benefit Augusta Victoria Hospital, Jerusalem

O-LIVE! O-LIVE! Silent art auction and other events to benefit Augusta Victoria Hospital, Jerusalem.

Location: St. Stephens Lutheran Church, 5700 Pleasant Hill Rd., Monona, WI. For info call: Church office: 608-222-1241 or
Robin: 608-221-0809

Sunday, April 6, 7 pm: Movie The Iron Wall by Mohammad Alatar.
Refreshments and open discussion to follow. Donations accepted for the hospital benefit. For a review of the movie see: palestineonlinestore.com.

Sunday, April 13
6:30 pm: Live music and gathering
7 pm: Movie Occupation 101

Refreshments and open discussion will follow the movie. Donations toward Augusta Victoria Hospital will be accepted. For a review of the film see: palestineonlinestore.com.

Sunday, April 20
5:30 – 6 pm Monthly Prayer Vigil for Peace in the Middle East
6 – 7:30 pm Soup for schools dinner and lecture.

Dr. Jim Bailey professor emeritus Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa will give a talk entitled: “Barriers to peace in the Middle East.” Soup and salad provided, donations accepted.

Sunday, April 27 6–8 pm: O-Live! O-Live! Closing reception
Live music, great treats, and great coffee!Join us for the final viewing of the silent art auction benefiting Augusta Victoria Hospital (AVH). Reception begins at 6 pm and at 8 pm bidding will end and high bidders can pay and leave with their new art
work. If not in attendance, winning bidders will be notified and can pay and pick up their artwork from the church during regular church hours. 100% of proceeds from the auction benefit AVH.

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April 16-19, 2008
Scott Ritter Events in Madison II

“The Reality of Arms Control: From the Trenches”
Madison Committee on Foreign Relations
Wednesday, April 16, 5:30-7:30 pm
Edgewater Hotel, Rigadoon Room, 666 Wisconsin Ave, Madison

Registration and a fee required — for more information see wage.wisc.edu.

Sponsors: Madison Committee on Foreign Relations; UW-Madison Center for World Affairs and the Global Economy (WAGE) and Middle East Studies Program.

“Intelligence Failure: Why Did So Many People Think There Were Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq?”
Thursday, April 17, 12-1:30 pm
Grainger Hall Room 4151, 975 University Avenue, UW-Madison

Free and open to the public.

Sponsors: UW-Madison Center for World Affairs and the Global Economy (WAGE), Middle East Studies Program, and Global Studies; Madison Committee on Foreign Relations, and The Madison Institute.

“Overt and Covert Wars: From Iraq to Iran in U.S. Foreign Policy, 1990-2008”
UW-Madison Forum
Thursday, April 17, 7:30 pm
Wisconsin State Historical Society auditorium, 816 State Street Mall, UW-Madison

Free and open to the public.

Sponsors: UW-Madison Middle East Studies Program, Center for World Affairs and the Global Economy (WAGE), and Global Studies; the Madison Committee on Foreign Relations and The Madison Institute.

“Waging Peace: Citizenship in a Time of Unjust War”
The Madison Institute Forum
Saturday, April 19, 9 am – 12 pm
Wisconsin State Historical Society auditorium, 816 State Street Mall, UW-Madison

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