Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights

Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel

Written by Max Blumenthal   
Thursday, 31 October 2013 09:38

On October 1st, New York Times bestselling author and journalist Max Blumenthal released his latest book, Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel. To purchase the book, click here.


Goliath, according to Adam Hochschild, is "brash, gritty, personal and close to the ground...a report from an Israel and a Palestine we seldom see in the mainstream media." Blumenthal takes us on a journey through the badlands and high roads of Israel-Palestine, painting a startling portrait of Israeli society under the siege of increasingly authoritarian politics as the occupation of the Palestinians deepens. The book is already receiving significant attention and has been positively reviewed by Kirkus Reviews: "A rich, roiling examination of 'the State of Israel during a period of deepening political and societal crisis' ... Blumenthal is an enterprising reporter." 

In an article for Al-Monitor, Akiva Eldar — a former chief political columnist and editorial writer for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, where he worked for 35 years — writes,

Unlike most Jews — American or Israeli — Blumenthal chose to leave his comfort zone, go into disputed territory and examine the burning questions for himself. In fact, Blumenthal's greatest strength and interest is in events on the ground and the people who live there, far from the 'peace process' and diplomatic salons. 

Read more: Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel

 
 

Help the Augusta Victory Hospital in East Jerusalem!

Written by Arnie Voigt   
Thursday, 27 March 2014 08:59

To all our Sabeel-Colorado trip friends:
 
On most of our Sabeel-Colorado trips we have visited Augusta Victoria Hospital on the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem.  Usually Mark Brown, the Lutheran World Federation representative in Jerusalem, or his assistant -- has explained how an institution of mercy has to function under conditions of occupation. 
 
Caught under the grinding political realties, Augusta Victoria has not received payment for medical services she has performed.  Help is needed to restore this funding lest the services be curtailed and greater suffering ensue.
 
So, now I am asking you to write/phone your elected officials in Washington and ask them to make this request of USAID. The situation at Augusta Victoria is explained below.  Please google your senators and congresspersons to obtain the needed contact information.
 
The facts:

  • The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has run Augusta Victoria Hospital (AVH) for over 65 years. AVH provides life-saving care (specifically, providing oncology care not available elsewhere in Gaza or the West Bank). AVH is part of a consortium of East Jerusalem hospitals.
  • A large percentage of AVH patients are referred to AVH by the Palestinian Authority (PA). The PA has not paid their bills to AVH in 14 months. The debt is now 25 million USD for AVH and nearly 40 million USD in total for the East Jerusalem and some West Bank hospitals. The debt is increasing 1.5 million USD each month for AVH. AVH bears the largest burden of this debt because of the expensive nature of the care.
  • The PA has been unable to pay because some of the funding they receive from the Oslo agreement has been withheld to pressure them in the current peace negotiations.
  • 200 million USD already has been appropriated by Congress to the PA and is now available for disbursement by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). We wish to request that 40-50 million USD of that amount be designated for humanitarian health care in East Jerusalem. This would help to cover the 25 million USD debt that AVH is now bearing.
  • Our request is that elected officials make phone calls to USAID urging them to designate a portion of the 200 million USD for bills the PA has already incurred related to health care.
  • In addition to the life-saving care provided by AVH, it also plays an important role in building Palestinian institutions and capacity for health care. The Hospital’s life-saving work also can help maintain a favorable atmosphere amongst Palestinians for a final status agreement between them and the Israelis.


Your follow up to what we experienced on our Sabeel trips is deeply appreciated.
 
Thank you, and blessings,
 
Arnie Voigt, arnievoigt  AT  msn   DOT  com

For more see: http://www.lutheranworld.org/news/critical-financial-situation-augusta-victoria-hospital-east-jerusalem

 

‘Poof’ — Kerry blames Israel for breakdown of talks (Updated)

Written by Philip Weiss   
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 22:34

This is all over the wires, and it might be historic. John Kerry, Secretary of State, blamed the Israelis for the breakdown of peace talks during a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday. Israel failed to release prisoners on time according to a deal it had with Palestinians, then announced 700 settlement units– “poof!”– causing the latest breakdown in the talks, Kerry said.

The Times had the story hours ago: ”Israeli Settlement Plan Derails Peace Talks, Kerry Says.”

The State Department has already sought to cover for Kerry, saying he meant that both sides are to blame.

Read more: ‘Poof’ — Kerry blames Israel for breakdown of talks (Updated)

 
   

Shattered Hopes: Obama's Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace

Written by Josh Ruebner   
Thursday, 31 October 2013 09:32


Hard-hitting critique of the Obama administration's failure in the Middle East, by a leading DC-based advocate
President Barack Obama's first trip abroad in his second term took him to Israel and the Palestinian West Bank, where he despondently admitted to those waiting for words of encouragement, “It is a hard slog to work through all of these issues.” Contrast this gloomy assessment with Obama’s optimism on the second day of his first term, when he appointed former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell as his special envoy for Middle East peace, boldly asserting that his administration would “actively and aggressively seek a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians.” How is it that Obama’s active and aggressive search for progress has become mired in the status quo? Writer and political analyst Josh Ruebner charts Obama’s journey from optimism to frustration in the first hard-hitting investigation into why the president failed to make any progress on this critical issue, and how his unwillingness to challenge the Israel lobby has shattered hopes for peace.

Written in a clear and accessible style by the advocacy director of a national peace organization and former Middle East analyst for the Congressional Research Service, Shattered Hopes offers an informed history of the Obama administration’s policies and maps out a true path forward for the United States to help achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace.


 

Appeals Court Upholds Olympia Food Co-op's Boycott of Israeli Goods

Written by Center for Constituional Rights   
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 22:42

Appeals Court Upholds Olympia Food Co-op's Boycott of Israeli Goods
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April 7, 2014, Seattle – Today, the Washington State Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by five members of the Olympia Food Co-op against current and former members of the Co-op’s Board of Directors for their decision to boycott Israeli goods. The court held that the lawsuit was a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, or SLAPP, and that participation in the boycott is protected by the First Amendment. The court also affirmed $160,000 in statutory damages, as well as attorneys’ fees and costs for the board members, and awarded attorneys’ fees for the appeal. The lawsuit is part of a broader pattern of targeting pro-Palestinian activists in the United States, particularly in legislatures and across college campuses.

“Those who would try to intimidate concerned citizens speaking out on behalf of Palestinian human rights should take note,” said CCR Senior Staff Attorney Maria LaHood. “The law and history are on the side of peaceful boycotts for social change, and today’s ruling reaffirms that this time-honored tradition is protected by the First Amendment. Instead of trying to suppress speech calling for Palestinian human rights, opponents should address such speech on the merits.”   
  Read more: Appeals Court Upholds Olympia Food Co-op's Boycott of Israeli Goods

 
   

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