Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Gross Hypocrisy by the Boston Jewish Community Relations Council

How striking the hypocrisy in this statement by the JCRC in this morning's Boston Globe.

The statement, issued by the Jewish Community Relations Council on behalf of 17 organizations, said Jews have a religious obligation to help “the stranger,” beginning with their experience in ancient times as slaves in Egypt. “Why should you not hate the stranger? — asks the Torah,” the statement said, quoting Jonathan Sacks, the chief rabbi of Britain. “Because you once stood where the stranger stands now.”

Well, of course, the definition of “stranger” for the JCRC apparently does not include Palestinians or else the JCRC would not have filed the unconstitutional, undemocratic, un-American pro-apartheid anti-BDS bill that would punish anyone who supports a movement that DOES believe that a core value of Judaism is set forth in Exodus 22:20-21 “You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”

Be careful not to point this out to a lawyer supporter of the JCRC. He or she would likely say that the Palestinians are not strangers. We know them quite well and they are all terrorists..

More on the JCRC from my last Memorandum


I read the following statements of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) the organization responsible for pushing this proposed law:

November 4 “Our commitment to justice and equality in our nation remain steadfast”;

On the election of Donald Trump “We ..remain vigilant in promoting our nation’s commitment to civil liberties, equality under the law, and social justice, the mighty pillars on which our nation stands” and

Regarding the Trump nominee for Ambassador to Israel “Whether President-Elect Trump supports a two-state solution, or believes that an ambassador who does not share his commitment to same can still carry out U.S. policy, is a matter of vital concern.”

O, Hypocrisy, where is thy sting?

Have I shared with you some of the other violations of the core values of Judaism the JCRC condones when they file the unconstitutional, undemocratic, un-American pro-apartheid anti-BDS bill?

The Government of Israel, its military, its civil authority and Jewish squatters have, for close to half a century, regularly violated not only UN actions, international civil and human rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also many of the fundamental and core values of Judaism:

Israel has violated one of the 10 Commandments, You Shall Not Steal, by transferring Jewish Israelis into occupied territory, by stealing the land of Palestinians in the West Bank, and by taking a myriad of actions aimed at making life so miserable for Palestinians that they

Israel has violated Exodus 22:20-21 - You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” by demolishing Palestinian homes and structures and by the building of the wall.

Israel has violated Deuteronomy 20:19 “When you besiege a city … you shall not destroy its (fruit) trees .. for you may eat from them, and you shall not cut them down”.

Israel has violated Exodus 12:49 saying there shall be one law for the citizen and for the stranger who dwells among you by meting out justice unfairly and more harshly for Palestinians than for squatters, by  often arbitrarily restricting movement for Palestinians but not for squatters, by creating separate and unequal legal systems including apartheid roads in the West Bank, by grossly unequal distribution of water and also by killing those “suspected” but not charged with crimes by assassination when capital punishment is banned in Israel.

Israel has violated Micah.6:8 “He has told you, O man, Only to do justice and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God” by allowing the daily restrictions on movement and by allowing limited access to water and electricity provided amply to Jewish settlements.

Israel has violated Isaiah 1:17,27 “Learn to do well – seek justice, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow .. Zion shall be redeemed with justice, and they that return of her with righteousness” by arbitrarily arresting over the years thousands of Palestinians and holding them in administrative detention often for more than a year without being charged or brought to trial for any crime.

Israel has violated the basic definition of Judaism “What is hateful unto you, do not do unto your neighbor” through its 48 year brutal oppression and occupation of the West Bank and Gaza;

One might wonder what Jewish people who attend Yom Kippur services at Temples and Synagogues think when they read this Haftarah called Acharey Mos which includes the following from Ezekiel XXII, 3-8

“O city that sheddest blood in the midst of thee, that thy time may come and that makest idols unto thyself to defile thee. …therefore have I made thee a reproach unto the nations, and a mocking to all the countries.  Those that are near and those that are far from thee, shall mock thee, thou defiled of name and full of tumult. Behold the princes of Israel, every one according to his might, have been in thee to shed blood.  In  thee have they made light of father and mother; in the midst of thee have they dealt by oppression with the stranger; in thee have they wronged the fatherless and the widow… thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbors by oppression, and hast forgotten Me, saith the Lord God… And I will scatter thee among the nations, and disperse thee through the countries; and I will consume thy filthiness out of three. And thou shalt be profaned in thyself in the sight of the nations and thou shalt know that I am the Lord.”  

Taken together the illegal, immoral, demonizing, dehumanizing, racist, humiliating actions of the Government of Israel and those acting on its behalf can best be summarized as a gross violation of perhaps the most fundamental value of Judaism

Deuteronomy 16:20 “Justice, Justice shall you pursue, that thou may live and inherit the land which the Lord has given you.

Here are excerpts from the extensive footnoted material to this section in Pentateuch & Haftorahs, edited by J.H. Hertz, The Soncino Press, Second Edition, 1980:

Justice is not the only ethical quality in God and man, nor is it the highest quality; but it is the bases for all the others. Where there is no justice, no proper and practical appreciation of the human rights of every human being as sons of the one and only God of righteousness – there we have a negation of religion. The oppressor, the man who tramples on others, and especially on those like the orphan and the stranger who are too weak to defend themselves, is throughout Scripture held forth as the enemy of God and man.

Nor is justice limited to the relation between individuals.  It extends to the relation between group and group, and it asserts the claims of the poor upon the rich, of the helpless upon them who possess the means to help. And even as there is social justice, prescribing the duties of class to class, so there is international justice, which demands respect for the personality of each and every national group, and proclaims that no people can of right be robbed of its national life or territory, its language or spiritual heritage. The pure administration of justice is thus one of the conditions of Israel’s existence as a nation. Our teachers, from the first of them to the last, brand the perversion of the course of justice as the most alarming sign of national decay.

Monday, January 30, 2017

UN Resolutions VETOED by the United States 1972-2015

Resolutions vetoed
by the United States

Condemning Israel for the death of hundreds of people in Syria and Lebanon in air raids and the violation of the cease-fire of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

Condemning Israel for attacking Lebanese civilians.

Condemning Israel for building settlements in the occupied territories.

Calling for self-determination for the Palestinians

Affirming the rights of the Palestinians .

Condemning the Israeli human rights record in the occupied territories

Calling for the return of all inhabitants expelled by Israel

Demanding that Israel desists from human rights violations.

Providing assistance to the Palestinian  people.

Discussing sovereignty over national resources in the occupied Arab territories.

For the inclusion of Palestinian women in the United Nations conference on Women

Condemning Israeli human rights practices in the occupied territories.

Demanding that Israel cease excavations in areas of East Jerusalem considered by the UN to be part of the occupied territories

Condemning the Israeli policy on the living conditions of the Palestinian people.

In favour of establishing  nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East.

To clarify the status of Jerusalem

To discuss the issue of Palestinian refugees in the Gaza strip.

To grant the rights of displaced Palestinians to return home.

Regarding the revenues from the property of Palestinian refugees

Creating the University of Jerusalem for Palestinian refugees.

Regarding Israeli human rights violations in the occupied territories

Condemning the closure of Palestinian universities in the occupied territory.

Opposing the Israeli decision to build a canal linking the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

Discussing sovereignty over national resources in the occupied Palestinian and other Arab territories.

Affirming the non-applicability of  Israeli law on the Golan Heights

Condemning the Israeli invasion of Lebanon

Condemning the shooting of 11 Muslims at a shrine in Jerusalem by an Israeli soldier.

Calling on Israel to withdraw from the Golan Heights occupied in 1967.

Situation in the Middle East (Mayors of Nablus and Ramallah Dismissal.

Situation in the Middle East (Golan Heights).

International action to eliminate apartheid

Condemning the Israeli occupation and attack of the south of Lebanon.

Condemning the Israeli attack on Iraq's nuclear facilities

Affirming the rights of the Palestinian people.

For convening a peace conference in the Middle East.

With regards to the Israeli human rights violations in the occupied territories.

Condemning the assassination attempts against Palestinian mayors.

Condemning Israel for not putting its nuclear facilities under international safeguards.

On the prohibition of nuclear tests

Offering economic assistance to the Palestinian people.

Condemning the Israeli occupation of and attack on the south of Lebanon.

Condemning Israel for using excessive force in the occupied territories

Condemning Israel for its actions against Lebanese civilians.

Calling on Israel to respect Muslim hoy places

Urging Israel to stop deporting Palestinians

Condemning Israel for its actions in Lebanon.

Calling on Israel to withdraw its forces from Lebanon

Condemning Israeli practices against Palestinians in the occupied territories.]

Situation in the Occupied Arab Territories.

Calling for a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict based on previous UN resolutions

To send three observers of the UN Security Council to the Arab occupied territories.

Stating that land in East Jerusalem annexed by Israel is occupied territory.
Urging Israel to halt the construction of settlements in East Jerusalem and other occupied territories.
To send unarmed monitors to the West Bank and the Gaza strip
Condemning Israel for acts of terror against civilians in the occupied territories
Condemning the decision of the Israeli parliament to "eliminate" Palestinian President-elect Yasser Arafat.
Condemning the construction of a wall by Israel on Palestinian land.
Condemning the assassination of Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.
Condemning the Israeli incursion and assassinations in Gaza.
Calling for the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people. Other resolutions on the Palestinians and their rights.
Affirming the sovereignty of the Palestinians in the occupied territories and their resources.
Affirming the right of Palestinians to self-determination.
Urging Israel to pay the cost of cleaning up an oil slick on the coast of Lebanon caused by its bombing.
Resolutions on Palestine, its people, their property and Israeli practices in Palestine, including settlements.
Call for an end to the 22-day Israeli attack on Gaza.
Call for a stop to the Israeli settlements in the West Bank
Call on Israel to cease obstructing the movement and access of personnel, vehicles and assets of the Agency of the United Nations Relief and Works for Palestine Refugees.
To request the immediate and complete cessation of all Israeli settlement activities throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory including East Jerusalem and the the occupied Syrian Golan
It integrates the Palestinian Authority to the United Nations as an observer member.
Condemns Israel for its massive violations of international law in Gaza and the West Bank.

Titles of B'Tselem Reports from 2001 to 2014 Documenting Israel's Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Territories

B’TSELEM - The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories was established in February 1989 by a group of prominent academics, attorneys, journalists, and Knesset members to document human rights violations in the Occupied Territories, combat the phenomenon of denial prevalent among the Israeli public, and help create a human rights culture in Israel.

Land Grab: Israel’s Settlement Policy in the West Bank; May 2002; 140 pages
Jewish Settlements in the West Bank: Built-up Areas and Land Reserves; May 2002; Map
Hebron, Area H-2: Settlements Cause Mass Departure of Palestinians; August 2003; 45 pages
The Hidden Agenda: The Establishment and Expansion Plans of Ma’ale Adummim and their Human   Rights Ramifications; December 2009; 58 pages
By Hook and Crook: Israel Settlement Policy in the West Bank; July 2010; 69 pages

Dispossession and Exploitation: Israel’s Policy in the Jordan Valley and Northern Dead Sea; May 2011;  59 pages
Means of Expulsion: Violence, Harassment and Lawlessness against Palestinians in the Southern Hebron Hills; July 2005; 59 pages
Ghost Town: Israel’s Separation Policy and Forced Eviction of Palestinians from the Center of Hebron; May 2007; 107 pages

Forbidden Families: Family Unification and Child Registration in East Jerusalem; January 2004; 41 pages
Barred from Contact: Violation of the Right to Visit Palestinians Held in Israeli Prisons; September 2006; 49 pages
So Near and Yet So Far: Implications of Israel-Imposed Seclusion of Gaza Strip on Palestinians’ Right to Family Life; January 2014; 67 pages
Perpetual Limbo: Israel’s Freeze on Unification of Palestinian Families in the Occupied Territories; July 2006; 49 pages

Policy of Destruction: House Demolitions and Destruction of Agricultural Land in the Gaza Strip;  February 2002; 45 pages
Through No Fault of Their Own: Punitive House Demolitions during the al-Aqsa Intifada; November 2004; 66 pages

Standing Idly By: Non-Enforcement of the Law on Settlers – Hebron 26-28 July 2002; August 2002; 20 pages
Foreseen But Not Prevented: The Israeli Law Enforcement Authorities Handling of Settler Attacks on Olive Harvesters; November 2002; 32 pages
Void of Responsibility: Israel Military Policy Not to Investigate Killings of Palestinians by Soldiers;  October 2010;  53 pages

Caution Children Ahead: The Illegal Behavior of the Police Toward Minors in Silwan Suspected of Stone Throwing; December 2010; 32 pages
No Minor Matter:  Violation of the Rights of Palestinian Minors Arrested by Israel on Suspicion of Stone Throwing; July 2011; 79 pages

Ground to a Halt: Denial of Palestinians’ Freedom of Movement in the West Bank;, August 2007; 118 pages
Access Denied: Israeli Measures to Deny Palestinians Access to Land Around Settlements; September 2008; 80 pages

Forbidden Roads: Israel’s Discriminatory Road Regime in the West Bank; August 2004; 55 pages

Behind the Barrier: Human rights Violations as a Result of Israel’s Separation Barrier; March 2003; 41 pages
Facing the Abyss: The Isolation of Sheikh Sa’ad Village Before and After the Separation Barrier; February 2004; 25 pages
Not All it Seems: Preventing Palestinians Access to Their Lands West of the Separation Barrier in the Tulkarm-QalQiliya Area; June 2004; 26 pages
Arrested Development: The Long Term Impact of Israel’s Separation Barrier in the West Bank; October 2012; 78 pages
 A Wall in Jerusalem: Obstacles to Human Rights in the Holy City; Summer 2006; 31 pages

Foul Play: Neglect of Wastewater Treatment in the West Bank; June 2009; 45 pages

Absolute Prohibition: The Torture and Ill-Treatment of Palestinian Detainees; May 2007; 104 pages
Without Trial: Administrative Detention of Palestinians by Israel and the Internment of Unlawful Combatants Law; October 2009; 74 pages
Kept in the Dark: Treatment of Palestinian Detainees in the Petah Tikva Interrogation Facility of the Israel Security Agency; October 2010; 67 pages

Excessive Force: Human Rights Violations during IDF Actions in Area A; December 2001; 82 pages
Wounded in the Field: Impeding Medical Treatment and Firing at Ambulances by IDF Soldiers in the Occupied Territories; March 2002; 31 pages
Trigger Happy: Unjustified Shooting and Violation of the Open-Fire Regulations during the al-Aqsa Intifada; March 2002; 53 pages
Lethal Curfew: The Use of Live Ammunition to Enforce Curfew; October 2002; 33 pages
Human Shield: Use of Palestinian Civilians as Human Shields in Violation of High Court of Justice Order; November 2002; 21 pages
Harm to Medical Personnel: The Delay, Abuse and Humiliation of Medical Personnel by Israeli Security Forces; December 2003; 30 pages
Take No Prisoners: The Fatal Shooting of Palestinians by Israeli Security Forces during “Arrest Operations”; May 2005; 48 pages

One Big Prison: Freedom of Movement to and From the Gaza Strip on the Eve of the Disengagement Plan; March 2005; 79 pages
Act of Vengeance: Israel’s Bombing of the Gaza Power Plant and its Effects; September 2006; 35 pages
Al-Mawasi, Gaza Strip, Intolerable Life in an Isolated Enclave; March 2003; 25 pages


Human rights in the Occupied Territories; 2011 Annual Report; 63 pages


1980 April 25, 1980 - Hon Arie Lova Eliav –  his belief that Palestinians also have a right to the land led him being a prominent member of the Labor party to leadership of the doves “It also is the basis for his opposition to the present policy of establishing Israeli settlements in the occupied territories.  This land, under his proposal is being held for the Palestinians subject to their agreement on demilitarization and other conditions.”

1991 -Michael Lerner on Linkage in Nov/Dec 1991 Tikkun Starting in early 1990 Shamir clearly announced his intention to use Soviet Jewish immigration to counter  …the threat of higher Palestinian birth rates … But to carry out Shamir’s strategy, Israel needs loan money to be used inside Israel; this would then free up the billions of dollars for settlements on the West Bank… So in a supreme act of chutzpah, Shamir turned to the U.S. and asked Bush to provide the funds to make a mockery of Bush’s own land-for-peace policy.

2002 Core Vision  and Founding Principles of the Tikkun Community  “… the greatest obstacle to the creation of a state living up to the values of an ethically and spiritually renewed Judaism are the Occupation, the settlements, and what is described in Michael Lerner’s book Jewish Renewal as the “Settler Judaism” mentality.

2002 - Michael Lerner – June 24, 2002 - If the US wants peace, George Bush is going to have to summon the courage that allowed his father to stand up to the American friends of Israel’s Right wing.   In 1991 that meant demanding a settlement freeze, but in 2002 that will mean support for an international intervention to separate and protect the two sides from each other and to impose a settlement which minimally requires an end to the Occupation and the settlements, reparations for the Palestinian refugees

2002 Jan Hayden the settlements are currently an obstacle to peace - I want to get the US to move from the “obstacle to peace” language … downgraded from “illegal” over the years, back to stating that the US considers the settlements to be illegal, and therefore Israel must abandon them.

2002 - April 14 - Rabbi Ben-Zion Gold at Harvard Hillel – Building of Israeli settlements in parts of the West Bank has frustrated their (Palestinians) hopes. At this point three generations of Palestinians have lived for thirty-five years under Israeli occupation and the persistent building of settlements on their land has led to violent conflict.  When Sharon was elected  . . his commitment to the preservation of the settlements precluded the possibility of a peaceful resolution of the conflict.  . the conflict can not be solved by power alone. Then by what? By removing the basis for the conflict. The Jewish settlements on the West Bank are a grave and dangerous mistake that have done much harm to Israel.  Micah. “He has told you, O man, Only to do justice and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God.” By all means, Humbly.

2002 Brit Tzedek V’Shalom  - Founding Principles – 6) The evacuation of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories. These settlements are a major obstacle to peace, a tremendous
financial burden to Israel and do little, in anything, to enhance Israel’s security.  There settlements constantly endanger the settlers themselves and the Israeli soldiers sent to defend them, and they bring grave harm to the Palestinians living under Occupation.  We call for bringing safely home to Israel the settlers from all settlements except those included as part of a negotiated and mutually agreed upon exchange of territories between Israel and Palestine in determining the final borders of both states.

2002 Archbishop Desmond Tutu  statement  – In a region where repressive governments and unjust policies are the norm, Israel is certainly more democratic that most of its neighbors.  This does not make dismantling the settlements any less of a priority.  .  Over 35 new settlements have been constructed this year.  Each one is a step away from the safety deserved by the Israelis and two steps away from the justice owed to the Palestinians.  If apartheid ended, so can the occupation, but the moral force and international pressure will have to be just as determined.”

2002 Jimmy Carter – “Arial Sharon … rejection of all peace agreements that included Israeli withdrawal from Arab lands, his invasion of Lebanon … have all been orchestrated to accomplish his ultimate goals; to establish Israeli settlements as widely as possible throughout occupied territories and to deny Palestinians a cohesive political existence.”

2002 National Lawyers Guild – April 15, 2002 – More than 200,000 Israeli settlers now live in the West Bank in some 190 settlements linked by special highways (from which Palestinians vehicles are excluded) that have effectively cut the West Bank in isolated enclaves surrounded by Israeli military forces and checkpoints.  In numerous resolutions, the UN Security Council and General Assembly have condemned these settlements as illegal under Article 49(b) of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits an Occupying Power from transferring parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.  In May 20, 2001, the Mitchell Report urged that Israeli government completely freeze building more settlements.  Nonetheless,  Peace Now, reported in March 2002 that an aerial survey of the West Bank shower thirty-four new settlement sites build in the last year.  The recent military offensive continues the same process that the settlements reflect, and in so doing is an attempt by Israel to effectively continue the occupation indefinitely or drive the Palestinian population from the West Bank.

2002 Rabbi Arthur Waskow  - Periodically in Israeli public life, the question is raised about bringing settlers safely home from the Gaza settlement of Netzarim, where fifty families of Israeli settlers have required the presence of thousands of Israeli troops and the deaths of more than a dozen in order to protect them.   Asked in an interview with Ha'aretz in April 2001, .. "Would you be ready to evacuate settlements as part of a non-belligerency agreement?", Sharon answered bluntly: "No. Absolutely not."  "Not even isolated settlements like Netzarim in the Gaza Strip?", the interviewer followed up:  "No. Not at any price," Sharon answered. "Why do we have to evacuate Netzarim? For what?" Later Prime Minister Sharon said that to him, this settlement is as precious as Tel Aviv.  

2002 – July 27 - Yitzhak Frankenthal – My beloved son Arik, my own flesh and blood, was murdered by Palestinians. The Palestinians … have been ready to make peace with us; it is we who are unwilling to make peace with them .. as an occupation force it is we who trample over human dignity, it is we who crush the liberty of Palestinians and it is we who push an entire nation to crazy acts of despair.  Finally, I call on my brothers and sisters in the settlements – see what we have come to.