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#IfNotNow

  • How to deal with modern anti-Semitism? The Jewish Left is leading the way

    For too long, the Right has claimed a monopoly on fighting antisemitism, especially when it relates to Israel. It's been a fraught year for the American Jewish Left. Anti-Semitism continues to be stoked by the president and his inner and outer circles; the institutional Jewish community is openly courting anti-Semites; and verbal and legislative assaults from the Israeli and American right on 'traitorous' Jewish anti-occupation and BDS advocates continue to rack up. Meanwhile, Congress recently hosted a debate about anti-Semitism on U.S. college campuses, largely geared toward making criticism of Israel a part of Title VI's definition of anti-Semitism. [tmwinpost] Moreover, a number…

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  • The Israeli Left can learn a thing or two from American Jews

    Where was the Israeli Left when the army tore down a joint Palestinian-Jewish protest camp, or when the police broke the arm of a Jewish American activist in Jerusalem? By Amitai Ben-Abba Freedom Camp in Sarura, South Hebron Hills. On May 29, large army and Border Police forces raided the little that was left in Sarura after the previous raid the week before. They confiscated mattresses, a generator cable, a car belonging to Fadel Aamer (one of the landowners), two tents, food, and water bottles. They also detained three Palestinian activists, one of them Aamer's son, confiscated their phones and destroyed their…

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  • Jewish activists arrested for protesting New York pro-Israel parade

    New York's annual, lavishly-funded Celebrate Israel parade was interrupted by scores of American Jewish activists, several of whom were arrested in the process. Seven Jewish protesters were arrested in New York on Sunday afternoon as over 100 activists disrupted the annual Celebrate Israel parade. The event, which sees thousands of participants march down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue accompanied by elected officials such as Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, has received nearly $800,000 in funding from the Israeli government over the last seven years. [tmwinpost] The counter-demonstrations were held by Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow, who blocked the progress of…

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  • U.S. Jewish activist to undergo surgery on arm broken by Israeli cops

    Sarah Brammer-Shlay, whose arm was broken by Israeli police as they forcibly removed her from a Jerusalem Day protest, will be undergoing a $25,000 operation on Thursday. An American-Jewish activist whose arm was broken by Israeli police as they forcefully dispersed a Jerusalem Day protest last week will need to undergo surgery. [tmwinpost] Sarah Brammer-Shlay, 25, was part of a group of American and Israeli Jews who staged a demonstration at Damascus Gate last Wednesday. The protesters, who sat in a row along the entrance to the Old City in order to try and have the annual March of the…

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  • Israeli cops assault American Jewish activists in Jerusalem Day protest

    Israeli police forcefully dispersed American Jewish anti-occupation activists, who had gathered in the Old City to protest Jerusalem Day and the March of the Flags. Israeli police broke the arm of an American Jewish activist and injured several other anti-occupation demonstrators while forcefully dispersing a Jerusalem Day protest in the Old City on Wednesday. [tmwinpost] The demonstration, held at Damascus Gate by American and Israeli Jewish activists with IfNotNow, Free Jerusalem and All That's Left, took place during the March of the Flags, an annual right-wing parade that habitually results in violence against Palestinians from both its participants and the Israeli police units…

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  • WATCH: Israeli forces dismantle West Bank protest camp

    Soldiers dismantle a protest camp built by Palestinians, Israelis, and diaspora Jews in the south Hebron Hills — less than 48 hours after it was built. Video by Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org Dozens of Israeli soldiers dismantled on Saturday night a protest camp in the West Bank village of Sarura, which was established by Palestinians, Israelis, and diaspora Jewish activists a day earlier. At the time of the dismantling, around 80 people were there, roughly 60 American Jews and 20 Palestinians. [tmwinpost] The camp, called "Sumud: Freedom Camp," was built in the south Hebron Hills on the former site of Sarura, whose residents were expelled…

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  • Palestinians, Israelis and diaspora Jews build West Bank protest camp

    Hundreds of activists, organized by a coalition of Palestinian, Israeli and American Jewish groups, built an encampment in Surara, from where Palestinians had been expelled in the 1990s. By +972 Magazine staff Around 300 Palestinians, Israelis and diaspora Jewish activists staged a direct action in the village of Sarura in the south Hebron hills of the West Bank on Friday, building a protest camp on land from which Palestinians were evicted in the 1990s. The event was also intended to mark 50 years of occupation. The event was organized by a coalition of groups, including the Center for Jewish Nonviolence,…

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  • An important lesson on privilege, courtesy of Peter Beinart

    In a recent article comparing Jewish anti-occupation activists IfNotNow with Black Lives Matter, the prominent Jewish American columnist creates divisions precisely where alliances are needed. By Tom Pessah The word privilege gets thrown around a lot in activist circles. People tend to interpret its use as an accusation, which it sometimes is. But reflection about privilege can also be a crucial tool for building social justice movements across different groups that enjoy unequal resources. [tmwinpost] Those of us carrying privilege around need not apologize for it, — you can’t blame yourself your social location. However, by taking responsibility for it…

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  • AIPAC protests showed American-Jewish activism at a crossroads

    Recent American Jewish protests marked an important step in interconnected, cross-border resistance to occupation and oppression. But in order to grow, the organizers must reach out to Palestinians — and to their elders. By Samuel Molnar On the last Sunday of March, 1,000 Jews, led by Jewish-American anti-occupation group IfNotNow, marched to the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) to sing, chant, pray and blockade its doorways. This moment represented an unmistakable opening in the battle to disassemble the machine of Israel’s occupation. It was a win. IfNotNow presented a united front of Zionists and non-Zionists…

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  • WATCH: Jewish Defense League activists beat Palestinian-American at AIPAC

    Wearing shirts and carrying flags bearing insignia of the JDL, once declared a terrorist organization, the violent men and women also attacked left-wing Jewish activists. At least one was arrested. Members of the Jewish Defense League severely beat a 55-year old Palestinian American man and assaulted several American Jewish activists with IfNotNow outside the AIPAC Conference in Washington, D.C. Sunday, new video footage provided to +972 Magazine shows. Kamal Nayfeh, a father of four and an instructor at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC, was reportedly visiting his daughter Danya, a student at Georgetown University in Washington at the time. He…

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  • The AIPAC protests from a Palestinian perspective

    My mother’s generation might have internalized the notion that AIPAC was all-powerful. But if the protests this week were a sign of anything, it is that America’s Israel lobby is not omnipotent. Watching the scenes from this week's AIPAC protests, I was reminded of another, more amiable stand-off — this one with my Palestinian mother. I have tended to cite her more often since the last American election, not least because she is now on Facebook and has developed a habit of sending me short chat lines, like scribbled notes, reminding me to "please tell your children about the Lap…

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  • American Jews, which side are you on?

    Rather than sit uncomfortably within the tired anti- or pro-Israel paradigm, we are building a reality in which American Jews who disagree with the occupation can take comfort in their Jewish identity. By Shira Yudkin Tiffany Rows of police demarcated the sides outside the annual AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington D.C. Two human chains of protestors in matching t-shirts bound themselves together to the doorways to the Washington Convention Center. Beyond them were barricades and a sea of mostly young, largely unaffiliated Jews, cheering on the action in Hebrew. [tmwinpost] These were not your average AIPAC protesters. While the Jewish community has been puzzling over the…

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  • American Jews must resist Trump and the occupation at the same time

    Can American Jews’ relationship to Israel accommodate the truth that Palestinians deserve the same freedom and dignity that we want for ourselves as Jews and for our Muslim, immigrant, black and brown neighbors here in the United States? By Emily Mayer There is currently a surge of activism churning through the American Jewish community. Since Trump’s election in November, American Jews have been taking action against a president who received only 24 percent of their votes, the second-smallest proportion of any religious or racial demographic in the country, after African Americans. [tmwinpost] Last month, 20 rabbis were arrested protesting the…

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