A group of Jewish Americans committed to peace in the Middle East through a negotiated settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, an end of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands, and opposition to American militarism, imperialism, and exceptionalism.
LA Jews for Peace
We meet the third Monday of each month at 7:00 PM at the Levantine Cultural Center, 5998 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, 90035, phone 310-657-5511
For agenda, e-mail us at info@LAJewsforPeace.org .
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DEMONSTRATION TO END WAR IN GAZA
When: July 25, 11:30 AM – 2 PM
Where: Israel Consulate 11766 Wilshire (between Bundy and Barrington) Los Angeles, California

LA Jews for Peace Invites you to join us at a
PEACE DEMONSTRATION in front of the Israeli Consulate

Messages:
•    CEASE-FIRE & OPEN GAZA, NOW
•    PEACE, NOT WAR, GIVES SECURITY
•    ISRAEL BOMBING, NOT IN OUR NAMES
•    JEWS & ARABS ARE NOT ENEMIES

All peace-loving people are welcome

We request: dark clothing and no flags

Sponsors: LA Jews for Peace, Friends of Sabeel –LA, more

Information:
   email:    info@LAJewsforPeace.org
   web:    http://http://lajewsforpeace.org/
   Facebook:    https://www.facebook.com/groups/LAJews4Peace/
   phone:    Jeff at 213-405-1494

Gaza War and Presbyterian Divestment
ICUJP Reflection by Jeff Warner, July 18, 2014

Calls for an immediate cease-fire.

Explains how the Israeli government instigated the present military conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza by having its army rampage through the West Bank after the three Israeli teens were abducted and killed. Also explains how Hamas' fell into Israel's trap by responding to the instigation by shooting rockets deep into Israel. That lost the Palestinian's PR advantage and gave Israel an excuse to escalate its bombardment of Gaza.

Deconstructs the Presbyterian Divestment resolution and shows that it calls for divestment while at the same time calling for a Palestinian state alongside Israel. The Presbyterian's show the way to thread the needle between the one-state dreamers of BDS and two-state peace-makers

     Click here for full essay.

LA Jews for Peace Statement calling for a
Cease-Fire Now, July 12, 2014

LA Jews for Peace calls for an immediate end of hostilities between Israel and Hamas. The death toll is now over 124 – all Palestinians. We call on the U.S. government to facilitate a full cease-fire, now.

LA Jews for Peace calls on the Obama Administration to follow its public statements and quickly facilitate a cease-fire. The U.S. must release Jordan’s draft cease-fire resolution in the U.N. Security Council as is – the U.S. must not weaken the resolution with a press statement calling for de-escalation.

The United States should take notice that Israel is attacking Palestinians using American supplied weapons like F-16 jets and Apache helicopters. Israel has publically stated that its goal is to destroy Hamas – an operation that clearly violates the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act and the U.S. Arms Export Control Act, two laws that restrict American supplied weapons to self-defense and humanitarian purposes.

     Click here for full essay.

LA Jews for Peace Statement on the June 2014
Palestinian Unity Government

LA Jews for Peace welcomes the new unity Palestinian government sworn into office on June 2, 2014.

One of the reasons that negotiations between Israel and the PLO repeatedly fail is the unequal power of the two sides. Having a unity government partially reduces the power disparity between the sides, and it is a step to unify the Palestinian struggle for freedom, political and economic equality, and justice.

Both are good for the eventual resolution of the Israel-Palestine issue and therefore benefit both Palestinians and Israelis. Furthermore, it gives the United States government an opportunity to resume negotiations, especially if it continues to support the unified Palestinian government despite the objections of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

     LA Jews for Peace, June 9, 2014

Settlement Boycott Yes; BDS No: Does That Let The Perfect Kill The Good?
by Jeff Warner, an ICUJP Reflection, March 21, 2014

I economically boycott illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. But I cannot support the BDS movement. I believe I am acting on principled and pragmatic grounds. But I worry I am trapped in self-delusion. Am I allowing the perfect to kill the good? I solicit your feedback      Click here for full essay.

Omar Barghouti on BDS at UCLA

Jeff Warner's thoughts after Omar Barghouti's talk on BDS at UCLA, Jan. 15, 2014. Brief review of the talk and some thoughts that the talk brought to mind      Click here for full essay.

Letter to Swarthmore College Hillel

LA Jews for Peace sent a letter to the Swarthmore College Hillel on Dec. 11, 2013 to support their declaration of the Swarthmore Hillel as an "Open Hillel."

The issue is that International Hillel guidelines forbid individual Hillel chapters from hosting groups or speakers that among other things deny Israel’s right to exist or support boycott or divestment from Israel. This rule recently forced Harvard Hillel to cancel an appearance by former Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg because it was co-sponsored by a student group that supports BDS.

The Hillel guideline, contrary to free speech and the open speech environment expected at a university, has been faithfully followed by UCLA Hillel.      Click here for full text of letter.

The Roots of My Activism for Peace in Israel-Palestine
by Jeff Warner, an ICUJP Reflection, September 20, 2013

I am a Jewish critic of Israel’s treatment of Israel, West Bank, Gazan, and refugee Palestinians as sub-human, and all that follows from that assessment. Most Jewish Israelis, and many Jewish Americans, reject the humanity of Palestinians. How else to explain the ethnic cleansing, violent occupation, and cold-blooded murder of Palestinians by Israeli soldiers during the 2008-09 Gaza bombardment with no subsequent accountability. That said, we must recognize and admire the accomplishments of Israel since 1948; 65 years of building jobs, infrastructure, institutions, family, culture, science, and so forth.      Click here for full essay.

LA Jews for Peace Statement on Syria

LA Jews for Peace condemns the chemical weapons attack in Syria on August 21, 2013 that resulted in the death of over 1,000 civilians. That said, LA Jews for Peace opposes all direct and indirect military intervention in Syria, including supplying arms, demands that whoever is responsible for the massacre of over 1,000 civilians on August 21, 2013 be held accountable through prosecutions under international law, and urges Congress and the Obama administration to support diplomatic and humanitarian measures to protect civilians in the region, including refugees and displaced Syrians, and to end the Syrian civil war.      Click here for full statement.

Free Speech at Risk by Jeff Warner and Dick Platkin

Despite many assaults, past and present, the First Amendment of the United States constitution broadly guarantees freedom of speech. But it is threatened by a slanderous campaign to discredit or silence American critics of the Israeli government. The Israel Lobby, guided by the Israeli government, with the help of Israeli think tanks, is organizing this effort. In fact, Malcolm Hoenlein, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, has publicly announced this campaign for the 2013-4 school year.      Click here for full essay

Published by Mondoweiss under the title "The new anti-Semitism, and the campaign to silence American critics of Israel" here .

Campaign for Palestinian Citizenship in Israel

A provocative essay by Jeff Warner and Lilian Laskin. They look beyond the frozen two-state peace process and the abortive one-state movement to ask how the Palestinians attain human and civil rights. They urge for the Palestinians to demand that Israel annex the entire West Bank and that Israel grant Palestinians a path to citizenship. By converting their struggle from one of national sovereignty to one of civil and human rights, Palestinians can reverse the Western bias towards protecting Israel. After all, how can the Western democracies not support the Palestinian's drive for civil and human rights?      Click here for the complete essay.

TThe Bride and the Dowry: Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinians in the Aftermath of the June 1967 War by Avi Raz (2012)

The massive conquests by Israel in the June 1967 war provided Israel with an opportunity to trade land for peace and cement its position in the region. But Israel turned away from peace in a quest to keep all the land. This book examines the first year and a half after the war to explain how Israel’s policy developed.

The title, a phrase Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol used many times, and sums up the main story. As soon as the 1967 war ended Israel had to decide what to do with the land it captured – the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Golan Heights. Basically the Israelis wanted to keep the land (“a beautiful dowry”), but without its Arab inhabitants (an “unwanted bride”).

Summary of book by Jeff Warner.      Click here for full essay.

Joseph Massad says that Zionism is anti-Semitic

Al Jazeera English published and then apparently pulled an essay by Joseph Massad, Columbia University Professor of Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History. In the article, Massad argues that European anti-Semites and Zionists shared the same ideology that Jews are a distinct, non-European, racial/ethnic group, whose differences with Europeans meant they could not be assimilated and would always be subjected to prejudice. He argues they both agreed to the solution of getting the Jews out of Europe, although Nazism and political zionism obviously parted ways later on.

Massad then argues that in the 1960s there was a discontinuity and Europeans and Jews decided that Jews were white European and transferred their anti-Semiticism to Arabs. Israel became a tool of white Europeans to subjugate Arabs.      Click here for full article.

Norman Finkelstein on Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Norman Finkelstein argued that there is a “possibility” of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the next few years, and presented a methodology for arriving at a solution to the conflict, and enunciated that solution.      Click here for Jeff Warner's summary of Finklelstein's talk.

Norman spoke at the Westwood Hills Congegrational Church on Thursday, April 25, in a talk organized by LA Jews for Peace and the Levantine Cultural Center.

The Gazan state– and the West Bank Bantustans by Jeff Warner

Warner analyzes the situation in the wake of the 2012 Gaza war and the Palestinian vote in the U.N. making Palestine a non-member observer state. Warner dismisses the importance of the U.N. vote and the prospects of Palestinian unification. Instead he sees Gaza becoming more and more of an independent state leaving Israel free to annex Area C, thus confining most West Bank Palestinians into Bantustans.      Click here for full essay.

Examining Islamophobia by Jeff Warner and Dick Platkin

Review and discussion of "Islamophobia, An Interfaith Dialogue." This recent Progressive Conversations in the Middle East event was held on Sunday, November 11, 2012, at the Culver-Palms United Methodist Church in Culver City, California. Over 100 people heard Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak, Shakeel Syed, and Reverend James Lawson discuss the current wave of hatred directed against Muslims spreading across American society.      Click here for full essay.

LA Jews for Peace Statement on Islamophobia
Islamophobia, the New Anti-Semitism

As Jews who suffered discrimination and persecution for centuries in the name of Anti-Semitism, we are particularly sensitive to the evils of Islamophobia. We recognize Islamophobia as the new Anti-Semitism. Muslims today are identified as “the other,” just as Jews were so identified for a millennium. Fear of “the other,” be it Judaism and Jews or Islam and Muslims, is irrational.      Click here for full essay.

LA Jews for Peace Statement on a Possible War with Iran
Iran is a Political Challenge, But Not a Military Threat

  • Serious diplomacy is the only way to resolve tensions between Iran and the United States.
  • We oppose a United States and/or Israeli pre-emptive military strike against Iran.
  • We oppose crippling sanctions, sabotage, and assassinations against Iran.
  • All nations must join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) including Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea.
  • We support a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East. .      Click here for full essay.

  • "One or two states? The status quo is Israel’s rational choice" by Noam Sheizaf

    Sheizaf argues that the rational choice for Israelis and Israeli leaders is not withdrawal from the West bank for a two-state solution (2SS) because of unknown risks a Palestinian state may impose, nor is it annexing the West Bank for a one-state solution (1SS), because Israelis want a Jewish and democratic state in which to express their national identity. Since each option has potential negative consequences, Israelis have opted for a third option of maintaining the status quo (military occupation under which a privileged Jewish population lives alongside a Palestinian majority with no civil rights). Sheizaf says this explains why Israelis say they want a 2SS while in practice they are creating a 1SS.      Click here for full essay.

    J Street 2012 Convention

    Videos (from 4 to 120 minutes) of 12 sessions at the March 24-26 J Street Conference in Washington, DC.      Click here .      There are many highlights. Some particularly recommended include:

    • Video 11 (10-17 minutes): Gershom Gorenberg examines the impossibility of a OSS.
    • Video 11 (27-29 minutes): Menachem Klein predicts that if a TSS agreement is reached, settlers will violently resist.
    • Send your favorate highlighs and I will post it.
    “J Street Looking less and less like a Potential Game-Changer,” by Mitchell Plitnik gives a pessimistic but clear-eyed view of J Street's potential to change the Israeli-Palestine discussion in Washington, DC.     Click here for full essay.

    Jewish Establishment Intellectuals Move the Conversation Forward

    Peter Beinart: in his March 19 Op-Ed in the NY Times, "To Save Israel, Boycott the Settlements," Peter Beinart takes an outstanding step forward in the Israel-Palestine conversation by calling for boycott of settelments with clear and defined boundaries.      Click here for full essay.

    Adam Horowitz shows how big a step this is by quoting a Beinart interview with Jeffrey Goldberg in 2010 and a Beinart piece in from March 2012 in the Daily Beast      Click here.

    Rebuttal by Adam Horowitz on Mondoweiss.net "The flaw of Beinart’s conception of Israel’s ‘flawed but genuine democracy’"      Click here.

    David Remnick: in a talk of the Town piece in the March 12, 2012 New Yorker, on Becoming Democratic David Remnick contrasts Anerica's long struggle to expand democracy, with Israel's flight from democracy      Click here for full essay.

    Bernard Avashai

    xxx      Click here for full essay.

    "The Real Existential Threat to Israel: Itself" by John Tirman

    Ends with "When Palestinian statehood prospects are a shambles and a Greater Israel is a fact on the ground, the global community -- minus Washington, of course -- will insist that Palestinians be given citizenship in Israel. Thus a one-state solution is indeed unfolding before our eyes, a creation ... [of] the State of Israel itself."      Click here for full essay.

    JLWarner responded that Tirman may be correct, but that one-state will likely maintain the existing economic inequalities, would likely be arranged to maintain Jewish political power, and may not honor easily the right of return. See coments at end of article for full comment.

    Mitchell Plitnik Deconstructs the Drive for War with Iran

    Plitnik uses Netanyahu's gift to Obama of the biblical Book of Esther to deconstruct the present drive to war with Iran. He extensively quotes Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini, the real power in Iran, that nuclear weapons are a sin, and Iran is not building one. Analyzes the relationship between Obama and Netanyahu.      Click here for full essay.

    Obama and Netanyahu at 2012 AIPAC Conference

    President Obama's speech to AIPAC, March 4, 2012,      Video from CSPAN.org - click here .
                     Transcript from Whitehouse.gov- click here .    

    Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech to AIPAC, March 5, 2012,      Video from CSPAN.org (from 1:29 ro 1:58) - click here .    

    Analysis of Obama - Netanyahu confrontation:
                 Obama won:     MJ Rosenberg in Jewish Journal - click here .    
                 Obama won:     Justin Frank on Time.com - click here .    
                 Obama sold us out:     Rabbi Lerner on TikkunDaily - click here .    

    One State Conference at Harvard, March 3-4, 2012

    Conference website with program and list of speakers, Click here .    

    Op-Ed in Washington Post by Ahmed Moor, one of the student organizers of the conference, describing why there is a need for the conference. His argument is "informed by the uncontroversial view that all people are created equal." Click here for full text .    

    Keynote addresses. Audio of Ali Abunimah's Saturday keynote address, and video of Ilan Pappé's Sunday keynote address (Pappé's talk similar to his Feb. 24 talk at UCLA - see following entry). Click here to link to Electronic Intifada website .    

    "Reflections After the Harvard One State Conference," essay by Jeff Warner describing need for regime change in Israel for any progress toward peace, regardless of solution, exploring types of possible liberal, democratic one-states, and thoughts on a path from here to there. Click here for full text .    

    "Why I’m presenting at Harvard’s one-state conference," Mondoweiss.net essay by Rabbi Brant Rosen in which he notes the death of the two-state solution, and asks "is it unreasonable that people of good will might desire to open conversations and suggest fresh, creative approaches that might ensure a better future for Israelis and Palestinians?" Click here for full text .    

    JTA article describing conference. Click here for full text .    

    Open letter to president and dean of Harvard to counter pressure for Harvard to cancel the concference, Click here for full text .    

    JLWs speaker-by-speaker summary, Click here for full text .    

    Ilan Pappé's CSUN and UCLA Lectures, Feb. 20 & 24, 2012

    "Ilan Pappé Returns to Lecture in Southern California," essay by Tony Litwinko.
    In two talks in the Los Angeles area on February 20 and 24, 2012, Israeli revisionist historian Ilan Pappé, now Professor of History and Director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies at Exeter University, called for a "new paradigm" for approaching the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The old paradigm—that of a "peace process" between equals, beginning in June 1967, after Israel occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip—has been shown to be a total failure, and is no longer useful in talking about the long-standing historical situation.      For full text of Litwinko's essay on the Levantine Cultural Center website, click here.

    2-hour audio stream of Pappé's lecture at UCLA, including talk and the full Q&A. Click here     

    50-minute video of Pappé's lecture at the One State Conference (almost the same as his UCLA talk), Click here (from the Tuffs Students for Justice in Palestine)     

    Norman Finkelstein on the Palestinian Solidarity Movement, BDS, and Why the Two-State Solution is the Only Possible Resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

    In a 30 minute video interview with Norman Finkelstein conducted on Feb. 9, 2012 (video (loads slowly) from HuffPostMonitor), Finkelstein explains how and why he differs from the Palestinian Solidarity Movement (PSM) and BDS, and in doing so is quite blunt about fatal flaws in both PSM and BDS as now formulated.

    Finkelstein argues that the only asset Palestinians have is the people, and the PSM/BDS are wisely using that asset. He says that to effect any change the PSM/BDS will have to get support from the general population in the face of Israel defending itself. He then asserts that the way to get public support is to follow International Law, and International law calls for Israel to exist. He then notes that a subtext in the PSM/BDS essentially includes the elimination of Israel, and until PSM/BDS acknowledges the existence of Israel, they will be marginal movements.

    Finkelstein says that many people and many nations are "fed up" with Israel, so now is the moment for the PSM/BDS to get in line with International Law by acknowledging Israel and to win an end to the conflict.

    As expected, there has been a lot of negative reaction to the Finkelstein interview. Much of the criticism focused on Finkelstein's comments on BDS, but that was not Finkelstein's main point. Among other comments, Finkelstein called BDS a "cult." That was a misuse of the word. What Finkelstein means is that BDS is a fringe minority movement that, instead of practical politics understandable by the public, BDS indulges in harboring a utopian goal - e.g. the one-state solution.

    Mondoweiss.net highlighted three of the critiques Click here Finkelstein responded to the third, but it was taken down from the website. He made a distinction to what he personally believes or prefers, to what he advocates because it is supported by International Law or is likely to be accepted by the community of nations.

    Another interesting critique is by Ali Abunimah published in Al Jazeera Feb. 28. Click here Abunimah makes an analogy between Israel-Palestine and Northern Ireland and imagines an Israel with equal rights for all, and a Palestinian state also with equal rights for all. He asks if Finkelstein and Zionists would accept such a configeration, and notes that it would be compatible with the BDS call for equal rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel. Likely Finkelstein would.

    Palestinians should focus on the real enemy, Zionists, not Finkelstein who supports the Palestinian struggle for freedom but suggests a difference in tactics.

    "A New Language for Peace: Why Words Matter in the Middle East"
    by JOHN V. WHITBECK; Feb. 7, 2012, CounterPunch.

    Whitbeck cites examples where the pervasive use of Israeli framing has distorted how people and leaders understand the Israeli-Palestinian issue. He says it is high time Israeli-Palestinian issue for all involved to recognize and speak clearly about fundamental realities. This clarity of thought is necessary to achieve either a decent two-state solution or a democratic one-state solution would be greatly enhanced by clarity of language, by taking care to use terminology which both reflects reality and facilitates, rather than hinders, the achievement of both peace and some measure of justice.

    John V. Whitbeck is an international lawyer who has advised the Palestinian negotiating team in negotiations with Israel.      Click here for full essay.

    "Greater Israel – or Peace?" A Nov. 2011 Discussion between Norman Finkelstein and John Mersheimer, Moderated by Scott McConnell

    Finkelstein is a medium-term optimist. He sees public opinion constraining Israeli actions and slowly moving American policy and Israel will respond by allowing a Palestinian state – a two-state solution. Mearsheimer is a medium-term pessimist, but a long-term optimist. He sees a greater Israel which is an apartheid one-state solution, that evolves into a democratic one-state solution.

    Some great quotes

    "The reason that people continue to talk about a two state solution even though I think it’s no longer realizable is that many Palestinians don’t see a viable alternative; they don’t think that a one state solution will work. And in the case of many Israelis and their American supporters, they’re basically sticking their heads in the sand because they don’t want to talk about a one state solution, because they understand that a one state solution is basically an apartheid state." (Mearsheimer)

    "Once there is a real mass action and summoning of will, you may see things shift in Israel. It’s just not been tried. All that’s been tried is this thing called a “peace process.” Nothing happens because there was no pressure on them; the Israelis treat the whole thing like a joke." (Finkelstein)

    "I think sometimes we underestimate just how vulnerable Israel is on the public-relations front. That’s why they spend so much money on propaganda. And that’s why they panic every time they feel like they’re losing the propaganda war. Because they realize just how vulnerable they are and how big the constraints on them are." (Finkelstein)      Click here for full discussion.

    "The Mideast Peace Process in 2011: Hopes and Disillusionment"
    by Henry Siegman

    As long as the peace process was based on the illusion that Israel was always ready to return the Occupied Territories in exchange for Palestinian and Arab recognition, and that America would use its leverage to bring Israel into line if it failed to do so, there was no chance that the peace process could lead to a two-state solution. Now that Netanyahu and Obama have put an end to these two illusions, international sanctions fairly applied to both parties for illegal and predatory behavior are no longer inconceivable. If such intervention were now pursued by an international community no longer willing to accept an American Middle East peace policy that is hostage to its Israel lobby, a Palestinian state living in peace alongside an Israel reconciled to its internationally recognized borders may yet be achievable.      Click here for article.

    "The Occupation Movement and U.S. Militarism"
    by Dick Platkin

    PowerPoint set that Dick Platkin used at his talk on U.S. Militarism and the future of the Occupy Movement. Platkin and Marcy Winograd spoke at the Levantine Cultural Center on Dec. 11, 2011.      Click here (note: this is a 2.6 MB pdf file that will take 30 seconds or so to load).

    Nurit Peled-Elhanan on Racism in Israeli Text Books

    Thirty minute video interview with Israeli academic Nurit Peled-Elhanan, author of the forthcoming book “Palestine in Israeli School Books: Ideology and Propaganda in Education.” Describes distorted image of Palestinians in Israeli text books.      Click here for interview.

    John Kleinheksel Sr on "The Myth of "Resuming Negotiations"

    "The current strategy to get both sides to the negotiating table (in the present cultural environment) won’t work. And here’s why. The Israeli/Jewish state doesn’t believe in negotiations. They are wedded to the belief that all of the land belongs to Jews and must not be shared with the “Other”. Hard as it may be, it is this cultural constant that has to be changed."

    Kleinheksel presents a Christian Theology analysis of what must be done.      click for full article.

    Tony Klug on "The two-state solution: where next?"

    Nov. 6, 2011 article in Open Democracy

    "Is a two-state framework still feasible and, if not, is the so-called 'one-state solution' the default alternative? Is that what’s next? Proponents of a unitary state would certainly claim that it is. However, in my view, there is a fundamental flaw at the heart of their proposal, for it is predicated on the notion that what, at root, is a historical clash of two national movements can, hey presto, be turned into a struggle for civil rights."      click for full article.

    Dick Platkin and Marcy Winograd on
    "The Occupy Movement and U.S. Foreign Policy"

    WHEN:      Sunday, December 11, 1 PM
    WHERE:      Levantine Cultural Center: Bridging Cultures Since 2001; 5998 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles 310.657.5511 (between Fairfax and La Cienega; park on the street or under the CVS pharmacy across Pico).

    $10 donation at door; no one turned away

    The crackdown on many of the Occupy encampments throughout the United States, including Los Angeles, indicates that this protest movement is at a crossroads. Will it grow by improving its analysis and expanding its reach beyond the encampments, or will it stagnate in response to attacks?

    Some of the critical questions are:

    • How does the high price of US militarism and wars result in domestic cutbacks and inequality?
    • How can a sharp critique of US foreign policy, especially in the Middle East, be integrated with Occupy's focus on domestic inequality in wealth and income?
    • What specific actions, such as calls for public employee pension funds to engage in socially responsible investment, can better link domestic and foreign policy issues?     

      Flyer: click here; distribute freely.

    Russell Tribunal on Palestine Rules on Israeli Apartheid

    The 3rd International session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine meet in Cape Town on 5-7 November to examine whether Israel’s practices against the Palestinians is in breach of the prohibition on Apartheid under International Law. It's summary dated Nov. 7      click here for full text      has four sections:

    1. APARTHEID: "The Tribunal finds that Israel subjects the Palestinian people to an institutionalised regime of domination amounting to apartheid as defined under international law."
    2. Persecution as a Crime against Humanity: The summary enumerates which Israeli actions consist such crimes.
    3. Legal consequences: What the crimes entail in terms of Israeli responsibility, and in terms of international obligations.
    4. Recommendations.

    The press kit describes the Tribunal, and its jourors, members, and witnesses      click here.

    Norman Finkelstein and John Mearsheimer Discuss Israel's Future

    Interview with Scott McConnell in The American Conservative, October, 2011      click here for full text

    Rebutals to Richard Goldstone's Op-Ed
    "Israel and the Apartheid Slander"
    NY Times Op-Ed by Ronald Krebs "Israel's Occupational Burdens"

    The vast majority of Israelis seem to believe that they can live indefinitely with the status quo. They cannot. The ongoing occupation has fueled an aggressive ethnoreligious nationalism that is destroying Israel’s liberal democracy. A centrist governing coalition could still halt Israel’s slide toward illiberalism, but Israel must first pull out of the West Bank and resolve the conflict with the Palestinians.     click here for full text

    Samir Twair on "Syrian Spring: Factors and Forces"

    WHEN:      Sunday, November 6, 3 PM
    WHERE:      Levantine Cultural Center: Bridging Cultures Since 2001; 5998 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles 310.657.5511 (between Fairfax and La Cienega; park on the street or under the CVS pharmacy across Pico).

    $10 donation at door; no one turned away

    Samir Twair is a member of the Syrian Emergency Task Force, past president of the Arab American Press Guild, and, in partnership with Pat Twair, is the Southern California correspondent for Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. His most recent article on the Syrian situation was a September 15 Op-Ed in the Orange County Register titled "Syria’s Arab Spring Must Not Fail"     

    Flyer: click here; distribute freely.

    Noam Chomsky on
    Israel-Palestine

    Last four minutes of this 12 minute video focuses on Israel-Palestine. Chomsky says that Its up to the people in the advanced industrial countries to assure that Israel and the U.S. go along with the world in allowing a Palestinian state.     

    Speeches at the U.N. General Assembly, September 2011
    And Palestine's Application for Membership

    Video: President Barack Obama      Obama's 2010 U.N. speech also posted at this url.
    Transcript: President Barack Obama

    Video: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
    Transcript: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

    Video: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
    Transcript: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

    Click for Palestine application for U.N. membership. Package contains five document:

  • A note from the President of the Security Council transmitting the application to other members;
  • A cover letter from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the President of the Security Council conveying the Palestinian application;
  • A “Declaration of the State of Palestine” signed by Mahmoud Abbas;
  • A cover letter for the application to the Secretary-General signed by Mahmoud Abbas;
  • The application itself - a two-page document again signed by Abbas.

  • Videos of Diana Buttu's Speech Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011

        
    Culver-Palms United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall

    Buttu is a Palestinian-Canadian lawyer and former spokesperson for the Palestine Liberation Organization. She was a legal adviser and negotiator on peace negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian organizations
    flyer here

    Videos - coming soon

    Support the Palestinian Bid for U.N. membership

            

    Dick Platkin's Review of Jeremy Ben-Ami's New Book A New Voice for Israel – Fighting for the Survival of the Jewish Nation

    Jeremy Ben-Ami, the founder and president of J Street, presents a personal and organizational testament. This book serves at least two purposes. First, it is a detailed portrait of Ben Ami’s background, including his family’s involvement in Zionist politics from the 19th century to the present. Second, the book presents a detailed description of J Street, the Washington, DC lobbying organization he founded in 2008 and now leads.

    This review contains an analysis of Ben-Ami's "balancing act" in attempting to balance a liberal Zionism with liberalism.      full text here.

    Eyewitness Report of 2011 Gaza Flotilla with Yonatan Shapira and Mary Hughes-Thompson

    Video of event on Sunday, August 7, 2011, part of the "Progressive Conversations on Israel/Palestine and US Foreign Policy in the Middle East" series co-sponsored by LA Jews for Pece, Jewish Voice for Peace - Los Angeles, Friends of Sabeel - Los Angeles, and Levanrine Cultural Center. Jeff Warner is moderator.

    Thanks to Billy Norris (billy@daymakers.com) who supplied the video.
         part 1: Moderator introduction and first part of Yonatan (14:53) .
         part 2: Remainder of Yonatan (13:36) .
         part 3: First part of Mary (9:36) .
         part 4: Remainder of Mary (9:43) .

    "The Bully is a Coward" by Andrew Levine in CounterPunch

    So two – not three! -- cheers for the two state solution J-Street and its co-thinkers want the United States to make happen. A genuinely democratic state in all of Palestine would be better of course. But in the world as it is and as it is likely to remain for generations, there is, unfortunately, no way from here to there. This is why, important as it is to expose the two state solution's philosophical and political shortcomings, care must be taken not to let the best become the enemy of the better. Palestinians have suffered enough.      full text here.

    The route to Palestinian statehood

    4 million Palestinians living under Israeli occupation are seeking the freedom to govern themselves. For them, independence means more than a seat at the United Nations General Aassembly (UNGA). It means being able to decide where in their country they will live, work, and worship. It means knowing that their government is able to keep them safe. And it means having a say in how their country's resources are used and distributed. But how can these aims be realized?

    A legal analysis by Omar Dajani    click here for a plan.

    A similar lergal analysis (long) by David Horovitz of the Jerusalem Post    click here.

    Mitchell Plitnik deconstructs a letter from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs to the U.N. Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon. The letter purports to prove that the Palestinian effort to gain recognition of statehood is illegal under international law. Plitnik demonstrates that the Israeli argument is quite weak.    click here.

    Ha'aretz" article describing a Palestinian political - tactical plan    click here.

    U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation has a FAQ page analyzing possible U.N. actions and what will be a proper role for the U.S.    click here.

    President Obama's Speech on the Middle East,
    Netanyahu's reaction, Obama at AIPAC,
    and Netanyahu at AIPAC and Congress

    President Obama's May 19, 2011 speech: click here for full transcript or the complete video

    Here is a selection of comments from across the peace camp.

    --- Democracy Now discussion with Jeremy Ben-Ami, Norman Finkelstein, and Noura Erakat; click here

    --- J Street is sees progress; click here

    --- Americans for Peace Now does also; click here
         additional analysis from APN pointing out omissions from the speech click here

    --- Roger Cohen of the NY Times says the speech hit exactly the right mark; click here

    --- Joshua Holland of AlterNet sees the speech as neutral; click here

    --- Adam Keller, writing for Gush Shalom, says Natanyahu's extreme reaction puts Obama in a trap; click here

    --- Mitchell Plitnik thinks the speech was a disservice to Palestinian; click here

    --- Gideon Levy of Ha'aretz does also; click here

    --- Jewish Voice for Peace was dissappointed; click here

    --- The Israeli Left thinks it was worse; click here

    --- Seham on Mondoweiss.net says Obama was disingenous; click here

    --- Nahida Halaby Gordon says Obama is a racist sectarian; click here

    --- Henry Siegman in The Nation says Obama was setting out red lines; click here

    --- President Obaba called on the Palestinians to explain why a unity government that includes Hamas is helpful for peace. Here is his answer, written by Mustafa Barghouthi and published before the President's speech; click here

    Netanyahu's reaction: click here for the complete video of news conference

    --- Mitchell Plitnik thinks the Netanyahu killed any hope to restart of the peace process; click here

    --- Mitchell Plitnik thinks deeper click here

    --- Gideon Levy of Ha'aretz says Netanyahu does not want peace; click here

    --- ML Rosenberg thinks Obama is too condesending towards Netanyahu and his supporters; click here

    --- Bernard Avishai of TPM pokes holes in Netanyahu's objection to the 1967 borders as the basis for negotiations; click here

    President Obama's May 22 speech to AIPAC: click here for the complete video

    --- NY Times report says Obama Doubled-down; click here

    --- MJ Rosenberg of TPM Cafe says Obama did a great job; click here

    --- Philip Weiss of Mondoweiss.net says Obama was angry, but he was great; click here

    --- Bernard Avishai of TPM tells us the back story behind Obama's words; click here

    Netanyahu's May 23 speech to AIPAC: click here for full transcript

    ---

    Netanyahu's May 24 speech to Congress:

    --- NY Times report says Netanyahu gave no ground; click here

    --- JTAs report says no compromise on Jerusalem, refugees or Jordan River presence; click here

    --- MJ Rosenberg of TPM Cafe Netanyahu told Congress that all Palestinians are terrorists who haven't earned a state, and probably never will; click here

    --- Gideon Levy of Ha'aretz "Netanyahu's 'speech of his life' was the speech of the death of peace;" click here

    --- Uri Avnery equates Congress to Stalin’s Supreme Soviet for cheering "the most outrageous lies and distortions of Binyamin Netanyahu;" click here

    --- Jerome Slater explains why the Democrats cheered; click here

    --- Ha'aretz editorial says Netanyahu is leading Israel and the Palestinians into a new round of violence; click here

    --- Stephen Walt on Foreign Policy says Congress is cheered for apartheid ; click here

    --- Paul Pillar on National Interest says Netanyahu's speechs confirms his position is to oppose creation of a Palestinian state in any part of the West Bank; click here

    --- APN, in mild and measured words, says Netanyahu is against peace; click here

    --- Mustafa Bargouthi on Democracy Now; click here

    --- Fareed Zakaria on CNN says Palestinians should wait for citizenship; click here

    --- Ira Chernus says American failure is due to buying into the Israeli myths;" click here

    ---

    Support Peace Between Israelis and Palestinians
    Protest the Israeli anti-Nakba law

    Join LA Jews for Peace, Jewish Voice for Peace, Friends of Sabeel, CodePink, and others
    Sunday afternoon, May 15, 2-4 PM, at the Museum of Tolerance
    (Pico Blvd between Robertson and Overland)

    Second demonstration on al-Nakba law organized by al-Awda, also May 15, noon - 2 PM; Israel Consulate (6380 Wilshire Blvd.)

    There can never be peace as long as Jews and Arabs don’t recognize the other’s narrative. But Israel has just made a central part of the Palestinian narrative illegal.

    A core issue for the Palestinians is Al-Nakba, Arabic for the catastrophe, the Palestinian name for the 1948 events in which over 80% of Palestinians lost their homes and farms. Some left under threat and some were expelled by the Jewish Israeli army. However they became refugees, for 63 years the Israeli army has refused to allow any of them to return to their homes and land.

    This winter the Israeli Knesset passed a law making it illegal to commemorate Al-Nakba, and any village or institution that does will lose government funding for education and infrastructure.

    In the interest of peace, the Israeli anti-Nakba law must be withdrawn.

    Information: info@LAJewsforPeace.org

    Charles Freeman at The Palestine Center

    In a May 4, 2011 speech, Ambassador Chas Freeman discusses the impact of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the region, and what it means in a revolutionary Arab World.    click here for full video.

    What’s In It for Us, Mr. Obama? by Philip Giralda

    "How Israel treats its own minority citizens, Gazans, and residents of the West Bank, and its neighbors might be significant from a humanitarian point of view, but it is not a vital interest of the United States. That Washington has become a victim of the internal politics of the Middle East is largely due to manipulation by Israel and its lobby, which has turned all Americans into enablers of Israeli policies, no matter how short-sighted or ill-conceived. It is the US national interest that has been sacrificed in the process. "

       click here for full article on AntiWar.com, April 28, 2011.

    Letter to President Obama

    LA Jews for Peace, along with millions of peace loving Americans and world citizens, are horrified at the American veto in the United Nations Security Council February 23, 2011. Why are we continually supporting the Israeli apartheid regime in the face of current Middle East democratic revolutions? Our democratic principles are becoming false rhetoric. LA Jews for Peace is ashamed of Israel's actions in our Jewish name. A million peace promoting Jews are rising up against the hardliners that Congress thinks is the "Jewish voice." That the U.S. backs Israel carte blanche is atrocious!

    For full letter, click here.

    Thoughts on Goldstone's Op-Ed

    Richard Goldstone wrote an Op-Ed in the Washington Post Friday, April 1 (April Fools Day). "Reconsidering the Goldstone Report on Israel and war crimes" click here. Goldstone says "civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy" by the Israeli army during the 2008-09 Gaza Bombardment. He also praised Israel for investigating war crimes aleged in the Goldstone Report, and dissed Hamas for not doing any investigations.

    There has been a flurry of articles responding to Goldstone's Op-Ed. Israel and its supporters claim Goldstone's Op-Ed means the Goldstone Report is wrong and should be recinded by the U.N. Here is a typical report.
    -- Ron Kampeas, The Forward click here.

    Goldstone Report supporters point out that Goldstone's Op-Ed means no such thing. They say the report's accusation that Israel intentionally killed civilians was never supported by data, that the Israeli investigatuions are not up to standards and look like a white-wash, that the Goldstone Report had seven major accusations against Israel, and they remain standing, etc. There is also quite a bit of speculation as to what new information Goldstoen actually has to write his Op-Ed, and why he did it. Here are our favorate essays.
    -- Uri Avnery, "The Gold and the Stone" click here.
    -- Roger Cohen, "The Goldstone Chronicles,"NY Times click here.
    -- Jonathan Cook, "Goldstone's Rethink," CounterPunch click here.
    -- John Dugard, "Where now for the Goldstone report," NewStatesman click here.
    -- Akiva Eldar, "What exactly did Goldstone 'retract' from his report on Gaza?," Ha'aretz click here.
    -- Laila El-Haddada "Palestinians betrayed by Judge Goldstone," Baltimore Sun click here.
    -- Richard Falk "Goldstone breathes new life into Gaza report," Al-Jazeera click here.
    -- Norman Finkelstein interviewed by Philip Weiss "Finkelstein says Goldstone restored Israel’s only faculty (aggression) based on a claimed drone image it has never produced," Mondopweiss.net click here.
    -- Adam Horowitz, "Goldstone op-ed praises Israeli investigation of Gaza war crimes, but UN committee paints a different picture," Mondopweiss.net click here.
    -- LA Times editorial "What's behind Goldstone's flip-flop?," click here.
    -- Gideon Levy, "Goldstone Has Paved the WPath for a Second Gaza War," Ha'aretz click here.
    -- Jessica Montell (head B'Tselem), "Op-Ed Doesn't Close the Book on Cast Lead," The Forward click here.
    -- Ilan Pappe, "Goldstone's shameful U-turn," Electronic Intifada click here.
    -- Jerome Slater, "The Goldstone Retraction," click here.

    "Who is afraid of Julian Schnabel?" -- Jordan Elgrably on Miral

    Jews who embrace narratives other than those sanctioned by the pro-Israel community often inflame others.

    Miral, currently in theatres, portrays the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from an entirely Palestinian perspective. It is nothing earth-shattering, except that it was made by a Jewish filmmaker.

    For full essay in Al Jezeera, click here.

    Jordan Elgrably Responds to David Suissa

    Jordan Elgrably has an opinion piece, "We are not the enemy" on the Jewish Journal website here. He concludes "If Israel wants to preach peace, it should walk the walk. Apologize for its wartime mistakes and missteps; compensate its victims; and reform its military and occupation policies—as well as laws in Israel that discriminate against non-Jews. In other words, let’s help Israel get on the same page as Americans who could never live under the kind of oppression Palestinians experience on a daily basis."

    Elgrably wrote in response to a David Suissa column, "A King's Speech" here.

    Jeff Halper's Los Angeles Speaking Tour
    Saturday, Feb. 5 through Wednesday, Feb. 9

    Jeff Halper is Director of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), an Israeli-Palestinian NGO that works on the ground to resist the Israeli occupation of the West Bank including East Jerusalem. ICAHD rebuilds some of the 24,000 Palestinian homes that have been destroyed by the Israeli occupation authorities. The American Friends Service Committee nominated Halper, along with Palestinian activist Ghassan Andoni, for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. For a more complete Jeff Halper biography, Click here.

  • Link to all Jeff Halper's presentations in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Click here.

    Links to audio of Jeff Halper radio interviews.

    • Feb. 6, 2011 interview with Don Bustany on Middle East in Focus Click here.

    • Feb. 7, 2011 interview with Lila Garrett on Connect the Dots Click here.

    • Feb. 7, 2011 interview with Sonali Kolhatkar on Uprising Click here.

    Links to Jeff Halper speaking events Sunday-Wednesday, Feb. 6-9, and Wednesday, Feb. 9 donor dinner.

    • Flyer for Feb. 7 talk at UCLA Law School "Looking Up from the Occupation: Israel and the Global Pacification Industry" Click here.

    • Flyer for Feb. 7 talk at Ismanic Center of Hawthorne "Looking Up from the Occupation: Israel and the Global Pacification Industry" Click here.

    • Flyer for Feb. 9 talk at Cal State University Long Beach "Israel-Palestine: Towards Peace, Apartheid, or Warehousing?" Click here (slow to load).

    • Flyer for Feb. 9 donor dinner at Marriott adjacent to Cal State Fullerton Click here.

    • Flyer for Feb. 9 talk at Cal State Fullerton Click here.

    Links to Saturday, Feb. 5 discussion between Jeff Halper and Richard Falk "What's Next for Israel-Palestine: Peace, War, or More Occupation?" and following donor dinner. Both at Iman Center, 3376 Motor Ave., Los Angeles

  • Link to synopsis of Jeff Halper forthcoming book "Looking Up from the Occupation." Click here.
  • US “Incentive Package” Demeans and Insults Palestinians

    This Oct. 10, 2010 essay in Wallwritings is one of the more insightful pieces analyzing the proposals made by Obama to get an extra month of the "settlement freeze." The package includes military hardware, support for a long-term Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley, help with enforcing a ban on the smuggling of weapons through a Palestinian state, a promise to veto Security Council resolutions critical of Israel during the talks and a pledge to forge a regional security agreement for the Middle East.

    This gives away the store in a deal that cheats the original store owner. more

    The Arc: Rand's Proposal for Palestinian Economic Development

    Nine-minute video outlines Rand's proposal for a utility corridor connecting all major Palestinian cities from Rafah in Gaza in the south to Jenin in the northern West Bank. Facilities will include transportation, freight road, water, tellacommunications, and a strip-like national park.

    Interview with Gideon levy

    In this long interview Gideon Levy describes how Isarelis have been taught from childhood that:

  • Israelis are the ultimate and only victims.
  • That the Palestinians are born to kill, and their hatred is irrational.
  • That the Palestinians are not human beings like Israelis.
    Levy says that is why Israeli society has no moral doubts or any questions marks, with hardly public debate, about how they treat Palestinians. There are many more insights. more

  • Statement Supporting CAIR

    LA Jews for Peace condemns the recent smear campaign against Muslims and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) by the Republican Jewish Committee (RJC). CAIR is an American civil rights and advocacy institution that works to defeat religious discrimination in the U.S. and to uphold the U.S. Constitution. To those ends, LA Jews for Peace has worked in partnership with CAIR over the years, and we have jointly sponsored lectures and other civil rights events. more

    Loyalty and the State by Neve Gordon

    "As Israeli citizens, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman want us to prove our loyalty to the flag by supporting a policy of oppression and humiliation. We must champion the separation barrier in Bi’lin and in other places throughout the West Bank. We have to defend the brutal destruction of unrecognized Bedouin villages, and the ongoing land grab both inside Israel and in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. We must support the checkpoints and the silent transfer in East Jerusalem. We are also expected to bow our heads and remain silent every time government ministers, Knesset members and public officials make racist statements against Arab citizens. We must support the neo-liberal policies that continuously oppress Israel’s poor, and we are obliged to give our blessing to the imprisonment of Gaza Strip’s 1.5 million residents." more

    Cordoba House Statements by LA Jews for Pece and Keith Olbermann

    LA Jews for Peace supports the Cordoba Initiative in their project to build an Islamic Center in downtown Manhattan. The Cordoba Initiative is dedicated to bridging gaps between Muslims and the West, and has received legal permission to build on the site in question.

    We agree with President Obama who said on Friday, August 13, 2010: "As a citizen and as President I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country." more

    Chris Hedges Interviews Richard Falk

    Falk, UN special rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territories and former Princeton Univ. professor of international law, will issue a report to the United Nations this fall in which he will assert that the Israeli process of colonialism and apartheid has accelerated over the past three years. He will call in the report for the U.N. to consider unilaterally declaring Palestine an independent state, as it did with Kosovo. more

    Essays on BDS

    LA Jews for Peace is discussing how we should take part in the BDS movement. Here are two essays by members addressing the issue:

  • Jeff Warner worries that BDS is aimed at Israel but the real target should be United States foreign policy. He argues that a retail boycott of Motorola can help to change U.S. policy. , click here.

  • Dick Platkin argues that BDS won't work, and even if it did it would not bring economic equality to the people of the region , click here.

  • Videos of Interest

  • Israel-Palestine - the Flotilla & Future Prospects with Richard Falk , click here,
    53-minute interview with Richard Falk, Special UN Rapporteur on Palestine. Discusses the attack of Israel on the humanitarian flotilla bound for Gaza at the end of May and future prospects for the Middle East, the U.S., Israel and Palestine. Video by Cindy Piester of Pulse TV in Montecito, CA on July 9, 2010.

  • L.A. Jews demonstrate in support of Gaza-bound flotilla , click here,
    The first 11 minutes of this 30 minute video is the Cultures of Resistance video of the start of the attack on the Freedom Flotilla. The remaining 20 minutes are interviews of attendees at the LA Jews for Peace demonstration at the Westwood Federal Building on June 6, 2010.

    Videos from Maverick Media on Vimeo.

  • Protest at Israel Dance Concert

    Jews for a Just Peace - North Carolina and friends set-up a simulated demolished house at an Israel Rebranding Dance recital in Durham. 3 minutes.

    Eyewitness Report on Israeli Attack of the Freedom Flotilla

    "Witness to State Terror: Abord the Mavi Marmara" is a 10-minute video with an eyewitness account by Fatima Mohammadi, a passenger abord the Mavi Marmara when it was attacked by the Israeli nave in the pre-dawn hours of May 31, 2010. This is one of the best eyewitness reports. Includes raw video footage smuggeled off the Mavi Marmara by Iara Lee and Cultures Of Resistance.

    Demonstration to Protest Israeli Piracy of Freedom Flotilla
    Wednesday, June 2, 5 - 7 PM; Westwood Federal Building (Wilshire at the 405-freeway)
    LA Jews for Peace is organizing a demonstration to protest the Israeli piracy of the Freedom Flotilla.
    Bring signs calling attention to US complicity in incident (due to its support of Israel) and calls for Obama to condemn the attack and/or take other action.
    Wednesday, June 2, 5 - 7 PM; Westwood Federal Building (Wilshire at the 405-freeway)

    LA Jews for Peace Statement on United States Complicity in the Freedom Flotilla Priacy

    June 2, 2010:       LA Jews for Peace condemns Israel's piracy of the Freedom Flotilla in international waters, a clear violation of International Law, and the killing civilian members of the Flotilla who were bringing humanitarian supplies to the 1.5 million people living in the besieged Gaza Strip.       complete statement

    Norman Finkelstein Visit to Los Angeles, March 2010

    Norman Finkelstein visited Los Angeles in mid March 2010 to deliver a lecture to the Students for Justice in Palestine at USC on his new book "This Time We Went Too Far" about lastr winter's Gaza bombardment, and do a Q&A after a screening of "American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein." Finkelstein's comments during the Q&A were elaborated during a private meeting with LA Jews for Peace. Summary of Finkelstein's visit is divided into four parts: (1) Finkelstein's chief points about the Gaza Bombardment, (2) Finkelstein's take on the present political situation in Israel-Palestine, and how to fight for justice and peace, (3) Rick Chertoff's optimistic viewpoint based on Finkelstein's comments, (4) Duncan MacKay's detailed summary of Finkelstein's talk about the Gaza Bombardment, and (5) Dick Platkin's critique of Finkelstein's comments.         click here

    Jeff Halper Interview

    Feb. 2010 interview titled "The Global Pacification Industry," including the key role that Israel plays and its relation to Americandomestic security. 56 minutes.

    Videos Illustrating Goldstone Findings

    Series of videos illustrating findings of the Goldstone Report by www.GoldstoneFacts.org. The first installment is on Chapter 11 - "Deliberate Attacks against the Civilian Population," is 20 minutes long. Future videos on other chapters will be         here

    Link to "Breaking the Vessels"
    by Jeff Halper (ICAHD), Wednesday, November 19, 2009
    click here

    Halper argues that the Palestinians plan to declare a Palestinian state alongside Israel with the pre-1967 borders, and ask the U.S. to recognize that state, is perhaps the best option for the Palestinians. Halper says that given the occupation and Israel's unwillingness to negotiate seriously, "something must be done, and given the failure of the international community to either protect the Palestinians or rein in Israel, I [Halper], for one, am at a loss to suggest alternatives that address the urgency of a way out of Israel's growingly genocidal occupation."

    Click to sign petition
    Sign the petition to End Demolitions Now!
    Al-Jazeera video (3 minutes) showing Israeli settlers evicting a Palestinian family in East Jerusalem.
    Jeff Halper (ICAHD) and Misha Kurz (Breaking the Silence) discuss Goldstone reporton
    on Democracy Now, Nov. 3, 2009
    Link to "A progressive Jewish American is Ambivalent to BDS"
    Jeff Warner, November 11, 2009
    click here

    Warner argues that BDS does not work in changing government policy, although BDS may educate Israelis that their treatment of Palestinians is not normal, and Americans that their government is working to preserve the status quo.

    Link to "NO PARTNER FOR PEACE: OUR AMERICAN PROBLEM"
    by Jeff Halper (ICAHD), Wednesday, November 04, 2009
    click here

    Halper argues that recent United States foreign policy related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict around settlements and the Goldstone report have the effect of "deminishing American Credibility."

    J Street Convention - Analysis

    A positive summary by Byron DeLear

    Analysis by Jeff Warner, LA Jews for Peace

    Analysis by Adam Horowitz, Mondoweiss.net

    Analysis by Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss.net

    Link to "THE CASE FOR A MIDDLE EAST UNION TO ADDRESS THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT," by Dick Platkin, ICUJP, July 30, 2009
    click here

    Regional approaches -- sometimes called the no-state solution -- to address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are not new. For example, in the mid-1950s the Eisenhower Administration proposed a regional water management union to address the water issues of Israel and Jordan, although Syria and Egypt were also involved in his administration’s failed initiative.

    This article sets out the case for a regional solution to end the conflict.

    Link to "Healing and Reality in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict," by Rafael Reuvenyi, published in Tikkun, June 6, 2009.          click here

    While many will be dissatisfied with the author’s implicit ‘legitimatization’ of Israel, there is much to his analysis that would go toward explaining why it is that the “Walt & Mearsheimer” wing of the US foreign policy establishment are apparently succeeding in the Obama White House, as evidenced by the Cairo speech and the incipient confrontation over settlement expansion between Obama & the Israeli government.

    We don't need to prognosticate the exact direction of this new turn of policy to notice an immediate degree of ‘change’- if not necessarily one we can “believe in”. But equating the suffering of the Palestinians to the Holocaust in a major address, and publicly contradicting the PM of Israel in their DC press conference signals a new direction of some kind. This is the first display (alas!) of the much advertized “audacity” along with the equally touted “hope” we heard so much about, and we can’t ignore it. This does not imply that a viable Palestinian state is immediately in the offing, but with a suicidal US policy in Afghanistan, maybe Obama needs a modus vivendi with Iran, and is willing to tamp down the Israeli land grab lunacy in the Palestinian territories as a token.

    Jeff Warner's report on the
    VIVA PALESTINA USA Humanitarian Convoy to break the Israeli siege of Gaza

    click here


    Link to a review of Patrick Taylor's book A World of Trouble, The White House and the Middle East - From the Cold War to the War on Terror, by Bernard Avishai, published in The Nation, June 6, 2009.

    click here


    LA Jews for Peace statement on the May 18, 2009 White House meeting
    between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu

    click here


    LA Jews for Peace statement on the Gaza situation

    click here


    LA Jews for Peace Action Plan to promote Middle East peace

    click here


    LA Jews for Peace Mission Statement

    click here



    Resources on the 2008-09 Gaza War

    click here



    Review of Michael Klare's
    Rising Powers - Shrinking Planet: The New Geopolitics of Energy
    By Dick Platkin, LA Jews for Peace

    In his new movie W, a biopic about outgoing president George W. Bush, Oliver Stone presents a mad scientist scene in which Vice President Dick Cheney, played by actor Richard Dreyfuss, narrates a series of massive slides demonstrating how the countries adjacent to the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea contain most of this world’s proven oil and gas reserves. As the Cheney-Dreyfuss presentation unfolds, we see the locations where the U.S. government has constructed dozens upon dozens of Middle East military installations since the first Gulf. We are also told that the country which controls these Middle Eastern oil and gas reserves will control the Eurasian continent. This, in turn, will become key for the U.S. to maintain its dominant position in the global economy.

    Much of Cheney’s program for the United States to retain its imperial role as the hegemonic world power can be understood in detail from Michael Klare's most recent book, Rising Powers Shrinking Planet: The New Geopolitics of Energy, (Metropolitan Books, 2008) albeit with a context left out of the movie. For those not familiar with Klare, he is The Nation’s Defense Editor and also a professor of Peace and World Security Studies at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. click for complete essay



    A Plea from Israel, Come, Obama, Change My Life

    an essay by Edna Canetti, Counterpunch, November 6, 2008

    Obama my dear, they tell me that you are going to change the world. Do me a favor, come and change my life personally.

    Come to Israel, grab its stupid leadership by the throat and take its foot off the neck of another people. Come and force us to do what is clear, and written, and fitting, and necessary, come and get us out of the Territories, if necessary do it with a smile that reveals million-dollar teeth. If necessary bare your teeth and force us to do it. -- click for complete essay

    The Case for Putting a Mideast Peace Agreement First
    Barack Obama should address the need for an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement sooner rather than later.

    an essay by Gershom Gorenberg, The American Prospect, November 14, 2008

    Time's up. Despite the bluster at George W. Bush's Potemkin peace conference in Annapolis one year ago, Israel and the Palestinians will not reach a peace agreement by the end of 2008. Please folks, don't all faint at once from surprise.

    Barack Obama will inherit this mess, along with all the others. Very soon, he must decide how quickly to throw his weight behind Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, what to aim for, and how to succeed where so many others have failed.

    The answer: Move fast, very fast. Ignore all advice from old diplomatic hands ... -- click for complete essay



    Free Gaza Movement Breaks Siege of Gaza

    "A Bone in America's Throat,"
    an essay by Jeff Halper, Monday, November 10, 2008

    Even before the voting began, Israeli politicians and pundits were asking: Will an Obama Administration be good for Israel? “Be good for Israel” is our code for “Will the US allow us to keep our settlements and continue to support our efforts to prevent negotiations with the Palestinians from ever bearing fruit?” For Americans the question should be: Will the Obama Administration understand that without addressing Palestinian needs it will not be able to disentangle itself from its broader Middle Eastern imbroglios, rejoin the community of nations and rescue its economy? -- click for complete essay



    Free Gaza Movement Breaks Siege of Gaza

    The Free Gaza Movement continues to break new ground. In late August they sailed two boats, the SS Liberty and the SS Free Gaza, from Cyprus to Gaza City's small port, thereby breaking the Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip.

    Building on its initial success, and buoyed by a wave of contributions, the Free Gaza Movement purchased a newer and better boat, the SS Dignity. They successfully sailed from Cyprus to Gaza City in late October, and again in early November. Each trip carried humanitarian supplies and international dignitaries.

    Get more details and see videos at: www.freegaza.org, see a Democracy Now interview with first trip poassengers Huwaida Arraf, Lauren Booth, and Jeff Halper from the boatswhile in transit www.democracynow.org/2008/8/22/free_gaza_boats_set_sail_from, and read essays by Jeff Halper and Ed Gaffney.

    You can still make a tax-deductable contribution. Make checks out to: “The Free Gaza Movement," and mail to

    The Free Gaza Movement, 405 Vista Heights Road. El Cerrito, CA 94530.



    The Palestinians: Warehousing a "surplus people" by Jeff Halper

    Jeff Halper’s latest piece titled, The Palestinians: Warehousing a "surplus people." Jeff argues that the situation the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza endure is “worse then South African apartheid. Halper then quotes from Naomi Klein’s book The Shock Doctrine to suggest that the real goal of the Israelis, apparently supported by western democracies, is to “warehouse the Palestinians because they are a “surplus population,” meaning they have no place and function in the global economy. Finally Halper suggests that Israel’s goal is to end the political process with the Palestinians by forcing them into a rump, but temporary state that will last for a “very long time.” Halper concludes with,

    "The term "warehousing," then, is meant as a warning. We must continue our efforts to end the Israeli Occupation, even if this is meant in a wider sense, of creating a genuine Palestine/Israel, or a wider regional confederation, rather than an apartheid-cum-two-state solution or outright warehousing."

    Read the Halper's essay The Palestinians: Warehousing a "surplus people" at www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/18750.



    Special collection of critiques and discussions about:

  • The Israel Lobby by Mearsheimer and Walt; click here.
  • 2008 presidential elections; click here.



    Sabeel Conference "From Occupation to Liberation"

    LA Jews for Peace was a co-sponsor of this conference to mark the 60th anniversy of the Nakba.
    Read LA Jews report on the conference; click here.




    Trapped in Gaza         Refusnik Watch