U.S. Role

U.S. Role

Since the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, the United States has played an important role in the Arab-Israeli dispute. For the last forty years, that role has been as Israel’s closest ally and supporter, providing it with enormous amounts of military and economic aid, as well as diplomatic cover, while at the same time presenting itself as a third-party “honest broker” in peace negotiations between Israelis and the Palestinians.

Natalie Portman Decides Against Israel Honor in Apparent Protest  News Roundup
Katie Kilkenny, Patrick Shanley, Hollywood Reporter

Natalie Portman Decides Against Israel Honor in Apparent Protest 

Natalie Portman has decided against receiving an honor in Israel and canceled her trip to accept the prize, according to the organization honoring the actress. The Genesis Prize, which honors notable individuals "who inspire others through their dedication to the Jewish community and Jewish values," has canceled its annual ceremony in Israel in June following the actress' apparent decision to not take part in the event.

about 5 days ago
‘Tibi, Not Bibi’: The Palestinian Who Stood up to Pence on Why He Could Be the Region’s Next Leader News Roundup
Jack Moore, Newsweek

‘Tibi, Not Bibi’: The Palestinian Who Stood up to Pence on Why He Could Be the Region’s Next Leader

Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics revealed a figure on Monday that will concern the country's nationalistic right wing: As many Muslims (6.5 million) now live alongside Jews (6.44 million) between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea. But for one man in the midst of the Israeli-Palestinian quagmire, that number is full of encouragement.

on March 28, 2018
Sarah Silverman Got Slammed for Supporting a Palestinian Teen — and She Stayed Strong News Roundup
Sarah Harvard, Upworthy

Sarah Silverman Got Slammed for Supporting a Palestinian Teen — and She Stayed Strong

Sarah Silverman has never exactly shied away from the outrageous, whether in her comedy or on Twitter. But when she stood up for a teen activist last week, the backlash was intense, even for her. On Feb. 15, Silverman tweeted out a link to an Amnesty International petition to free 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi accompanied with the following message: "Jews have to stand up EVEN when — ESPECIALLY when — the wrongdoing is BY Jews/the Israeli government."

on February 23, 2018
Vic Mensa, Tom Morello, And More Call For The Release Of Palestinian Activist Ahed Tamimi News Roundup
Michael Rancic, Uproxx

Vic Mensa, Tom Morello, And More Call For The Release Of Palestinian Activist Ahed Tamimi

A letter posted today by the organization Dream Defenders calls for the release of a detained teenage Palestinian activist, Ahed Tamimi, who was arrested by Israeli forces this past December for slapping an Israeli soldier in a video that went viral. “In the US, we know all too well what it’s like to be oppressed simply because you exist, because you refuse to give up your fight for freedom,” the letter signed by artists and activists including Vic Mensa, Tom Morello, Angela Davis, Jesse Williams, and Cornel West reads.

on February 12, 2018
In Major Free Speech Victory, Federal Court Strikes Down Law that Punishes Supporters of… Op-Eds & Analysis
Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept

In Major Free Speech Victory, Federal Court Strikes Down Law that Punishes Supporters of…

A federal judge on Tuesday ruled that a Kansas law designed to punish people who boycott Israel is an unconstitutional denial of free speech. The ruling is a significant victory for free speech rights because the global campaign to criminalize, or otherwise legally outlaw, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement has been spreading rapidly in numerous political and academic centers in the U.S.

on January 31, 2018
Ruling: Kansas Law Targeting Israel Boycotts Chills Speech Op-Eds & Analysis
Roxana Hegeman, Associated Press

Ruling: Kansas Law Targeting Israel Boycotts Chills Speech

A federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked a Kansas law barring state contractors from participating in boycotts against Israel, saying the state law violates their free speech rights. U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree wrote in his decision that the U.S. Supreme Court has held that the "First Amendment protects the right to participate in a boycott like the one punished by the Kansas law."

on January 30, 2018
I Am American, Jewish and Banned from Israel for My Activism Op-Eds & Analysis
Medea Benjamin, The Guardian

I Am American, Jewish and Banned from Israel for My Activism

This month, the Israeli government announced that activists affiliated with 20 organizations, including my organization Codepink, would be banned from entering Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories because of our support for the nonviolent boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights. As a Jew, this causes me tremendous sadness because I have a lifetime attachment to Israel and Palestine.

on January 15, 2018
Lorde’s Artistic Right to Cancel Gig in Tel Aviv Op-Eds & Analysis
The Guardian

Lorde’s Artistic Right to Cancel Gig in Tel Aviv

We write in support of Lorde, who made public her decision not to perform in Israel and has now been branded a bigot in a full page advertisement in the Washington Post. Shmuley Boteach, the author and promoter of the advert, supports Israel’s illegal settlements and wrote last month on Breitbart to thank Donald Trump for “electrifying the world” with his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in defiance of international law.

on January 5, 2018
Where Politics Meets Pastry in Oakland News Roundup
Andy Meek, Food & Wine

Where Politics Meets Pastry in Oakland

Sometimes the way to really figure out who you are, what you’re supposed to be, where you go next, is to drop everything and find your way back home. With apologies to Mr. Wolfe: You can and should go home again—back to the beginning, to the place that made you and set you on your course. If you’re lucky, like Bay Area chef Reem Assil, it’s a journey that might even touch a place inside you that you couldn’t have reached on your own.

on January 2, 2018