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Islam And Judaism Can Bring Peace To The Middle East OpEd – Eurasia Review

Posted By on October 1, 2022

On the Jewish new year holy day of Rosh HaShanah, September 26th and 27 this year, Jews throughout the world read the Torah chapters of Genesis 21 and 22; the narrations of Abraham, the Hebrews (Genesis 14:13) two first born sons: Ishmael, Abrahams first born son of Hagar the Egyptian; and Issac, Abrahams first born son of Sarah, the Hebrew.

In the Muslim account Abraham has two separate families. His Jewish descendants come from Abrahams marriage to his cousin-wife Sarah; and his Arab descendants come from Hagar, hisEgyptian concubine. Hagar had been given to Sarah as a gift from Pharaohs sister and, although Sarah had initially allowed her husband to sleep with Hagar, Sarah became jealous when she remained barren while Hagar became pregnant and gave birth to Ishmael.

On these special high holy days Jews read aboutProphets Ishmaelas well asIsaac. Reading about the patriarch of the Arab people is part of the Jewish tradition because these events are important to our identity as Jews and Chapter 21, the story of the birth and banishment of Ishmael, establishes our Jewish connection to Gods non-Jewish children.

Everybody knows that God tested Prophet Abraham by calling upon Abraham to sacrifice his two first born sons; and although the Quran does not name the son tested; both Muslims and Jews can believe that Ishmael, like his half-brother Isaac, was spared from this terrible fate.

The following narration was transmitted orally in both Arabic and Hebrew for many centuries, and was finally written down in several different versions in the early 19th century. It illustrates how the tests of these two brothers Ishmael and Isaac; at their two holy places of Mecca and Jerusalem, can be closely connected even though these two places are geographically separated by 765 physical miles.

Some say this happened in the age of Noah, and others say in the generation after Prophet Abraham was born.

Two brothers who inherited a valley to hilltop farm from their father divided the land in half so that each one could farm his own section. Over time, the older brother married and had four children, while the younger brother was still not married.

One year there was very little rain, and the crop was very small. This was at the beginning of a long-term drought that would turn the whole valley into an arid, treeless, desert where even grain did not grow, and all the springs dried up.

The younger brother lay awake one night praying and thought: My brother has a wife and four children to feed, and I have no children. He needs more grain than I do, especially now when grain is scarce.

So that night, the younger brother went to his barn, gathered a large sack of wheat, and left his wheat in his brothers barn. Then he returned home, feeling pleased with himself.

Earlier that very same night, the older brother was also lying awake praying for rain when he thought: In my old age, my wife and I will have our grown children to take care of us, as well as grandchildren to enjoy, while my brother may have no children. He should at least sell more grain from his fields now, to provide for himself in his old age.

So that night, the older brother also gathered a large sack of wheat, and left it in his brothers barn, and returned home, feeling pleased with himself.

The next morning, the younger brother, surprised to see that the amount of grain in his barn seemed unchanged, said I did not take as much wheat as I thought. Tonight Ill take more.

That same morning, the older brother, standing in his barn, was thinking the same thoughts.After night fell, each brother gathered a greater amount of wheat from his barn and in the dark, secretly delivered it to his brothers barn.

The next morning, the brothers were again puzzled and perplexed. How can I be mistaken? each one thought. Theres the same amount of grain here as there was before. This is impossible! Tonight Ill make no mistake. Ill take two large sacks.

The third night, more determined than ever, each brother gathered two large sacks of wheat from his barn, loaded them onto a cart, and slowly pulled his cart toward his brothers barn. In the moonlight, each brother noticed a figure in the distance.

When the two brothers got closer, each recognized the form of the other and the load he was pulling, and they both realized what had happened! Without a word, they dropped the ropes of their carts, ran to each other and embraced.

Only God can make anything holy, and God thought the brothers love and concern for each other made their descendants worthy to rebuild a primordial Holy House in this valley; and later to build a new Holy House on that hill. So God sent Messengers to their descendants to guide them to do this.

When all those, both near and far, who revere these sacred places as a standard, share it in love with everyone else who reveres it, then Abrahams request for Allah to Make this a land of peace, and provide its people with the produce of the land (Quran 2:126) will be extended throughout the world; and all the spiritual children of Prophet Abraham will live in Holiness, Kindness, Prosperity and Peace.

Christians and Jews believe the hill is Jerusalem. Muslims believe the valley is Mecca. I believe they are both right and God willing, someday everyone may see both cities and their sanctuaries as a pair of lungs that are central to our spiritual inspiration by a connection to the One God of Prophets Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac.

The Quran states: Believers, be steadfast in the cause of God and bear witness with justice. Do not let your enmity for others turn you away from justice. Deal justly; that is nearer to being God-fearing. [Quran 5:8]

And Prophet Isaiah states: In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt, and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together.In that day Israelwill joina three-partyalliance with Egyptand Assyria,a blessing uponthe heart.The LORD of Hosts will bless them saying, Blessed be Egypt My people, Assyria My handiwork, and Israel My inheritance.(Isaiah 19:23-5)

May Peace, Friendship and Brotherly Love overcome the voices of anger, revenge and hatred in our communities in our lifetime.

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Islam And Judaism Can Bring Peace To The Middle East OpEd - Eurasia Review

Opinion: The antisemitism was real in 1950s Milwaukee I was there and I remember – The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

Posted By on October 1, 2022

I read with interest the article by Alan Wolkenstein, Antisemitism remembered. This was a well written article bringing back many memories of my youth. Im sure that many long time Milwaukee residents recall stories from their parents or grandparents with similar experiences.

My parents faced the same housing discrimination when they searched for housing in the 1940s. I reflect back to the 1950s where my exposure to antisemitism was a bit deeper than rental issues. The north side of Milwaukee was predominantly inhabited by a population of German heritage. The 1950s were post World War II years and, with my father having served in the military, one would have expected more appreciation and respect than what our family received.

We were the only Jewish family in the immediate area of 20th Street and Capitol Drive. I attended all public schools and as I got older, I took city buses after school to an Orthodox Hebrew school on west Center Street. Here I was exposed to other Jewish students who were preparing for bar mitzvahs. Not growing up in a neighborhood with other Jewish kids made my meeting and establishing friendships a bit difficult, as I needed to get on a return bus right after Hebrew classes let out.

Not all of our neighbors were antisemitic, but some experiences have left lifetime scars that never left my memory. Up until around third grade, I was given a ride to school by my dad on his way to work until I could get familiar with the streets leading to school. I was probably around 8-9 years old and walked to class at a school on 24th and Nash streets. As I walked south down my block, I was met by a group of teenagers on a porch throwing stones and rocks at me demanding that I get off of their property and get into the street you dirty Jew! From that day forward I often saw the same group on their porch waiting for me. Not wanting to get bullied, harassed or pummeled anymore, I would deliberately step into the street and cross to the other side to continue my walk to school (there were no school buses).

On the street where I lived, three houses to the north, was an older German family who would fly a swastika flag on flag days. If they saw me playing in the alley with neighbors, they made sure we didnt come anywhere near their garage or yard. Unfortunately, we had a party telephone line and this same family would pick up the phone and demand we get off you dirty (derogatory term for Jews)! I heard that term a number of other times after transferring to a newer high school where there was a Jewish population. I felt obliged to defend my heritage.

Upon transferring colleges in 1966 to University of Wisconsin Madison, I met many other Jewish students who were predominantly from Milwaukee North Shore suburbs, Chicago and the East Coast. As I got to know them and shared some of my youthful experiences, they looked at me with disbelief. Times and generations have changed, but the memories of these experiences has had a lasting effect on various interactions I have had and continue to have.

Ron Sager is a retired educator of more than 40 years, with his longest stint at a Milwaukee Public Schools high school for 23 years.

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Opinion: The antisemitism was real in 1950s Milwaukee I was there and I remember - The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

Assemblies of God (USA) Official Web Site | Jesus Made Me Kosher Conversations – AG News

Posted By on October 1, 2022

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Clearing up misinformation about Christianity among Americas estimated 7.6 million Jewish population is a crucial calling for Messianic ministries. Within this backdrop, 1.2 million, or 16%, of Jewish adults claim no religion.

Many Jews dont know that Yeshua, Jesus original Hebrew name, is actually Jewish, according to U.S. missionary Robert Specter, who serves with Intercultural Ministries. They also believe you are no longer Jewish if you believe in Jesus, he says.

Specter says his father, Hyman, a former Orthodox Jew, experienced a supernatural revelation of Jesus the Messiah at age 20. Hyman eventually served as an Assemblies of God world missionary in Haiti and West Africa for more than 20 years before founding Rock of Israel (ROI) ministries in 1971.

Robert Specter came to faith as a missionary kid living with his parents in West Africa. Robert, 65, now serves as president of Rock of Israel Ministries and lives in Fairfield, Ohio.

ROI completed an 18-day outreach in September at the Canadian National Exposition in Toronto, an event which drew more than one million visitors.

The ministry normally conducts up to nine similar-sized outreaches annually at U.S. state fairs. ROI rents a booth displaying and selling Judaica products made in Israel such as seder plates, Shabbat candles, Star of David jewelry, menorahs, and wood or metal mezuzah (doorpost) cases containing a small parchment inscribed with Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 11:13-21.

Specter and ROI teams, including volunteers from local Messianic congregations, engage hundreds of curious Jewish visitors. A prominent banner proclaiming Jesus Made Me Kosher ignites interesting conversations.

In a caring way, team members approach visitors with challenging questions: Do you believe in God, if so ask Him whether Yeshua is the Messiah? Have you ever heard of Messianic Jews? Have you read Isaiah, the first of the latter prophets in the Hebrew Bible, particularly chapter 53?

Most conversations end with the vendor offering a book of Jewish testimonies, a Jesus Made Me Kosher bookmark, invitations to local Messianic congregations, or information about ROI.

ROI exhibits also provoke opposition. Ultra-orthodox Jewish groups have lashed out in anger against Messianic Jews, seeing them as traitors and not real Jews. Rabbis have videotaped conversations with ROI triggering arguments. Jews for Judaism targets groups like ROI to stop evangelism activities.

Nevertheless, our state fair presence is a seed-planting ministry, Specter emphasizes. And we try to follow up those showing a serious interest in the gospel message.

Additional ministry programs include urban street outreaches, Messiah in the Passover interactive seder meals, online evangelism, Messianic presentations in churches, and exhibits at AG and denominational meetings and conventions.

However, regular church-attending evangelical Christians often are reluctant to share the good news with Jews, according to veteran U.S. missionary William Bill Bjoraker, founder of Operation Ezekiel in Pasadena, California in 1998.

Many Christians believe Jews have a built-in resistance to the gospel and fearing rejection, they sidestep witnessing, says the 70-year-old Bjoraker, who also is with Intercultural Ministries. Others even believe Jews dont need the gospel because they have their own path to God.

Some Christians avoid digging into the Old Testament and therefore are intimidated about explaining biblical prophecies about Christ, Bjoraker says.

Both Bjoraker and Specter are members of the National Jewish Fellowship (NJF) of the Assemblies of God. NJF is a Messianic Jewish outreach and one of the two dozen ethnic/language fellowship groups in the AG.

The NJF represents 70 AG credential holders and 13 Messianic congregations. Specter serves as NJF treasurer and Bjoraker teaches courses aimed at helping Christians share their faith with Jewish friends. Typical NJF online classes cover Messianic storytelling, contemporary Jewish thought, significance of Jewish holidays, Messianic prophecy, traditional Jewish life, and antisemitism.

Bjoraker is writing and developing seven books under the banner Engaging the Jewish World, which will be adopted for online NJF classes. He has finished the first book, The Biblical Era, which covers 2000 to 300 B.C. The remaining six books will focus on the Hellenistic, Rabbinic, Islamic, European, and modern eras, and finally return to Zion. Bible publisher Zondervan has engaged him to write the commentary for the book of Esther in the new Messianic Study Bible scheduled for release in 2025.

Persecution and violent acts against U.S. Jews are a growing threat that Christians need to be concerned about, Bjoraker says.

In 2021, antisemitic behavior increased 34% and attacks against synagogues and Jewish community centers hit an all-time high, rising by 61%. New versions of antisemitism are surfacing. Falsely claiming Israel an apartheid state, the BDS movement (boycotting, divesting, and sanctioning) is aimed at hurting Israeli and Jewish business interests globally, according to Bjoraker.

Replacement theology, dating back to the first century, has gained new credibility. It espouses that Jews are no longer Gods chosen people and the Church has totally replaced Israel in Gods plans. In addition, the theory claims prophecies in Scripture on the blessings and restoration of the Promised Land are no longer valid.

We are very much aware of and monitoring recent antisemitic actions and we try to inform our AG churches and encourage them to support the Jewish community against these attacks, says NJF secretary Carol Calise. Christians supporting Jews on this issue open new doors for sharing the good news of Yeshua.

Carol is co-leader of Beth Emanuel Messianic Synagogue with her husband, Michael, in Holbrook, New York. Michael is NJF president.

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Assemblies of God (USA) Official Web Site | Jesus Made Me Kosher Conversations - AG News

When is Yom Kippur 2022? What is the Jewish holiday? What to know – USA TODAY

Posted By on October 1, 2022

The history of Yom Kippur, explained

A brief explanation of the Jewish holiday Yom Kippurs history.

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Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year in Judaism, is approaching.

The name of the holiday translates from Hebrew to English as the Day of Atonement, and Jewish people may spend the day fasting, attendingsynagogue or observing the holiday in other ways. It follows Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

Spiritually, they say on Rosh Hashanah it is written, and on Yom Kippur it is sealed, the idea being that everything that's going to happen in the year to come, the stage is set during this time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Danielle Kranjec, associate vice president of Jewish education at Hillel International, told USA TODAY.

But what is Yom Kippur? When is it this year? Heres what you need to know.

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Yom Kippur, ortheDay of Atonement, iswhen Jews reflect on sins or wrongdoings fromthe previous year. Many Jews will attend services at synagogues or other congregations, reciting special prayers and singing special songs.

During the course of the year, people get off track, Steven T. Katz, the Slaterprofessor of Jewish and Holocaust studies at Boston University, told USA TODAY. They don't keep their obligations. They don't follow the law. They mistreat their neighbors. They are egotistical and self interested. So the object is to try to reassert a kind of camaraderie, reassert a harmonious and ethical relationship between human beings and also between the world above and the world below.

It represents the moment that is established for reorienting ourselves in the right direction. No other festival has quite the same spiritual power as the idea of Yom Kippur, he added.

Some Jewish people mayapologize to friends and loved ones too.

A deeply Jewish idea is that if youve harmed another person, only that person can forgive you, Kranjec said. Many people in the time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur try to take stock of their relationships and directly ask forgiveness for harm that theyve caused to another person.

Yom Kippur begins at sundown on Tuesday, Oct. 4, and ends in the evening on Wednesday, Oct. 5. It lasts one day, while Rosh Hashanah lasts two days.

One of the most common Yom Kippur traditions is to fast for 25 hours, not eating or drinking from the night Yom Kippur begins into the night it ends.

Kranjec explained that Many Jewish rituals and observances have to do with sensory experiences, whether that's enjoying delicious food that's then elevated with a blessing or another kind of moment of mindfulness.

Yom Kippur is really the one day on the Jewish calendar when Jewish people attempt to transcend the physical limitations of being in a human body, she added.

Some Jewish people also avoid other actions on Yom Kippur, such as bathing, applying makeup, wearing leather shoes or having sex.

These things have a kind of sense of limiting the ego. When you're fasting, you don't feel quite so powerful. You don't feel you're in charge. You don't feel that you're in control. When you don't wear leather shoes, it's a sign, again, of withdrawal, Katz said.

Many Jewish families and communities will gather before Yom Kippur begins and after it ends to have festive meals, to prepare to fast and then to break their fasts together.

Another important observance is the blowing of the shofar, or a curved rams horn. The shofar is soundedceremonially to conclude Yom Kippur, Kranjec said.

That is an important communal moment where the closing prayers of Yom Kippur are said together, and someone blows the ram's horn and everyone hears it together, and then the fast is broken together, she said.

No, saying happy Yom Kippur to your Jewish loved ones doesnt strike quite the right tone, since the holiday isnt typically a joyous one.

In English, you might say to friends or colleagues have a meaningful Yom Kippur, Kranjec said. Focusing on the meaning of the holiday and saying to people have a meaningful fast if you're fasting, or you could even say have a good Yom Kippur, but happy is probably not the right adjective.

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When is Yom Kippur 2022? What is the Jewish holiday? What to know - USA TODAY

Chabad of Northeast Portland celebrates High Holy Days and a new home – Here is Oregon

Posted By on October 1, 2022

Rabbi Chaim Wilhelm displays blowing of the shofar outside of the Chabad Hebrew School in Northeast Portland on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022. (Sean Meagher/The Oregonian)

Celebrations of the High Holy Days have new meaning this year for a Jewish organization that was, in effect, homeless because of the pandemic.

Chabad of Northeast Portland now owns a building on Northeast Ninth Avenue that allowed the community to hold in-person services earlier this week for Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year. Similar services are planned Tuesday for Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.

We never dreamed any of this was possible, said Rabbi Chaim Wilhelm, executive director of Chabad of Northeast Portland. I believe it was driven by a higher power. I am a rabbi and of course that sounds religious. But thats the reality.

Chabad, a worldwide organization, is not affiliated with a particular synagogue. Instead, leaders work to create a community that gives people the chance to engage with Judaism on their terms.

Wilhem, 36, grew up in Southwest Portland. His grandfather started a Chabad program in California, and his parents started one in Oregon. His wife, Mushka Wilhelm, 33, is a co-director of Chabad of Northeast Portland. Her grandfather started a Chabad in Vermont, where she was raised.

We are a bit of an anomaly, he said. This is part of our DNA.

After high school, Wilhelm attended and graduated from the rabbinical school at Yeshiva University, a private Orthodox Jewish university in New York City. He met his wife in Brooklyn. The couple married and then moved to Portland. They have six boys, ranging in age from 11 to 1. There are 10 Chabad sites in the Portland area, but the couple saw a need for one serving inner Northeast Portland.

Traditionally much of Jewish community has been in Southwest Portland, Chaim Wilhelm said. There are a lot of Jewish people and families in Northeast Portland, and theyre looking to connect where they live.

They started 10 years ago in a 1,400-square-foot building in the 2800 block of Northeast Sandy Boulevard. A variety of programs from toddlers to adults were offered. Then the pandemic hit.

We are all about gathering and that was impossible, said Wilhelm. In March of 2020 everything fell off the cliff.

The group gave up the Sandy Boulevard space and met outside, in backyards and under tents.

We did the best we could, he said. We eventually began looking for a new space we could use when things opened again. We wanted something bigger. You could say that COVID drove all of this. Looking back, it is amazing things happened the way they did.

Wilhelm said he learned about a building for sale at 4635 N.E. Ninth Ave. Once a church, it had been used as a preschool and then a daycare. It featured 9,000 square feet of space, all the room Chabad needed to grow and serve in coming years.

We had to raise money, $1.8 million, to buy it, he said. It was the first time wed held a capital campaign. I cant tell you if it was easy or hard, but we did it.

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The Chabad Hebrew School in Northeast Portland on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022. (Sean Meagher/The Oregonian)

A shofar and Machzor prayer book at Chabad Hebrew School in Northeast Portland on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022. (Sean Meagher/The Oregonian)

The deal closed Aug. 12 and by Labor Day, Chabad was up and running. He said the building will house a Hebrew School, as well as the only Jewish preschool and Jewish day care center in Northeast Portland. The building will also be a hub for clubs, activities and volunteer opportunities for families and people of all ages. Offerings include summer camps, studying the Torah, shabbat dinners and even a ski trip.

This is a great building, Wilhelm said. We have volunteers coming in at night painting it. We dont have membership. Thats not a prerequisite to engage what already belongs to people, and that is their Jewish heritage. If we reach out, they will come.

The first official event in the new building was a Rosh Hashana service.

Then, Monday evening, Wilhelm, focusing on community outreach, went to Wilshire Park on Northeast 33rd Avenue, to offer up Rosh Hashana prayers, chants called Hassidic melodies, before blowing the shofar, the horns plaintive sound filling the park.

More than 40 people attended, including Jonathan Potkin, 75.

Growing up on New York States Long Island, Potkin was raised in the Jewish faith. As a boy he said he found the traditional services interminable, and he eventually drifted away from the synagogue and organized religion.

He had no interest in attending any traditional High Holy Days services in local synagogues, but he said he found Mondays event in the park unexpectedly meaningful and emotional.

I saw young people and kids there, he said. The next generation. My mother, who passed 30 years ago, felt strongly that the Jewish tradition and culture was worth pursuing. She had an expression dont break the chain to remind me to not completely abandon my upbringing.

The random event in a park just a mile or so from his home, he said, turned out to be bit of a flame within his soul. While he has no plans to join a synagogue, he said Monday reminded him of a great truth in life.

I am touched by things greater than myself, he said. The universe pushed me into a Jewish home at birth. I am grateful for that.

When the low-key ceremony ended, Rabbi Wilhelm circulated through the crowd to greet all who attended. He shook Potkins hand and thanked him for being there.

No, said Potkin, thank you.

During the prayers, Wilhelm said Rosh Hashana is a time to look at the past, to reflect on emotion and love, and contemplate successes, struggles, disappointments and challenges.

And then, he said, it is important to focus on the future and the coming year in the Jewish faith. For Wilhelm, the past year and what he expects to happen in the coming New Year, have been profound.

Our trajectory has been crazy, he said. In so many ways where we are at this moment is because of the pandemic.

Sharon Benedict, 75 and living in Southeast Portland, by chance learned about Chabad of Northeast Portland years ago when she went to Des Moines, Iowa, to visit her mother.

My mother is Jewish, but she did not raise me in the faith, said Benedict. My father was Catholic. In those days, after the war, people wanted to blend in, and I never learned a thing about Judaism.

One day, Benedict craved a pastrami sandwich and found it in a Des Moines deli run by a rabbi affiliated with a Des Moines Chabad.

Id never heard of Chabad, she said. We talked and he filled me with such Jewish pride. I told him if there was a rabbi like him in Portland I would go to a Chabad. He told me there was a rabbi there who was better than he was.

It turned out to be Rabbi Wilhelm.

Benedict became involved at Chabad of Northeast Portland. She attends events, volunteers and learned how to make challah bread. Within the Jewish faith, she said, the bread is considered part of the mitzvah, or good deed, when it is offered to others.

I now make 32 loaves a week that we give away to people, she said, adding it is all part of the outreach mission to connect with the Jewish community.

She doesnt consider Chabad and the new building a house of worship, describing it as a learning center to reconnect her, through other people who are exploring their faith, to her past.

My faith was very flat for a long time, she said. This has put a spark back in my heart.

Tom Hallman Jr.

503-221-8224; thallman@oregonian.com; @thallmanjr

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Chabad of Northeast Portland celebrates High Holy Days and a new home - Here is Oregon

You are never alone – Bonner County Daily Bee

Posted By on October 1, 2022

Its the time of year where so many feel alone.

This beautiful season of fall holds so much promise when we look at it. The colors, the air changes to a breathable refreshing crisp, it's as though a soothing comfort has arrived for Gods creation. So in its beauty, why also is it the time where so many (myself included for a time) struggle with depression, anxiety and loneliness.

I want to offer some encouragement today as you read this. You are not alone. You can do this. You are stronger than you think you are. How do I know? Because for years I too struggled with depression and feeling alone. I know all too well the darkness that for some hides in the beauty of fall.

I know how much strength you have to muster up just to put on a smile for someone you care about so they won't worry. How simple tasks like showering and eating can be hard to accomplish. I know how loud the chaos in your thoughts are. How sometimes the numbness can be incapacitating. You're not alone.

God doesn't want this for you and he knows your pain. Isaiah 53:1-4 speaks of the coming Messiah. Jesus Christ was a man who knew sorrows and was well-acquainted with grief. What does Isaiah mean by sorrows? The Hebrew word means: being in mental pain and anguish. What did he mean by grief? The Hebrew word means: is a sickness or disease characterized by malady, anxiety and calamity. Sound familiar?

I am bringing this up for a hope-filled reason. You see, when I was drowning in my depression and loved ones wanted to help, it didn't no matter how much they loved me. They just couldn't relate. It wasn't until I was brave enough to get help and find those who understood that there was no rational logic to what I felt or thought. When I did thats when light entered my darkness.

Its comforting knowing someone understands. Lean on God he knows what you're going through. The things that make no sense make sense to him. Trust him and his guidance. Our strength will fail but he offers us his and says, I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 Meaning you don't have to provide the strength he will for you. Deep breath, you're not alone. You can do this. Your strong cause he is strong for you.

Lydia Rasor is an assistant pastor at New Fire Ministries. The church can be found at 210 Triangle Drive, Suite A, Ponderay; or online at newfireministriesinc.com.

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You are never alone - Bonner County Daily Bee

The Power of With | Hebrew College Wendy Linden – Patheos

Posted By on October 1, 2022

Parashat Vayelech (Deuteronomy 31:1-31:30)

Let me set the scene for you.

On a well-worn, hand-me-down couch in the basement of a church youth room in Alabama sits a 17-year-old girl, eating donuts amongst lifelong friends (a Sunday ritual), on the precipice of the biggest change of her life thus far: college.

Raised in the heart of the Bible Belt, a sheltered but curious PK (pastors kid), she was certain about her devotion to her faith once she left home; and, even though she had no idea what life would present her with, she was certain that God was real, that her faith was of utmost importance, even as she expected the new season to be a test of faithfulness.

Going to college would be the first new land she would enter all on her own, without the companionship and guidance of her mom, dad, brothers, and other spiritual mentors. Having committed to a high-achievement, liberal arts school that prioritized critical and Socratic thought, she anticipated being exposed to many new ideas; she wondered which of her thoughts and beliefs she would hold onto and which shed let go.

However, it seemed like there was little room for mistakes; little freedom for roaming, wrestling, and the like if she expected to stay grounded in God, as they say in the Evangelical South. Having heard stories of exploration from others who had already launched into this season of individuation, a curiosity stirred inside her about what life might look like without God and her strict moral compass. But, with anxiety about what newness lay ahead, she decided she needed God more than ever, and so fastened her heart on all she had known, trusted, believed, experienced, and received from her spiritual elders and community.

Leaving home and going to college would require strength and courage. So, on that well-worn couch in the youth room, when her Sunday School teacher instructed her to choose a scripture from the Bible to be her theme verse for this exciting and scary new season, she reached into the deep pocket of stories and words passed down to her and chose Deuteronomy 31:6.

Be strong and courageous! Neither fear, nor be dismayed, for the Lord, your God is the One Who goes with you. God will neither fail you, nor forsake you.

God will fulfill Gods promises. God will be with you! Having chosen this theme verse, her community joined her in encouragement by inscribing this message in many forms for her to post around her dorm room as a reminder of Gods faithfulness.

What encouragement it gave her to know that God would never leave or forsake her! What a comforting image that God went before the Israelite people and that she, too, could expect God to go before and with her into this next chapter of life.

That 17-year-old girl was me. And now, twenty years later, that girl and the life and faith she had experienced looks very different than the one held by that girl in a Sunday School room two decades before. Nonetheless, my faith continues to be of utmost importance.

In all honesty, much of God and Gods holy texts elicit confusion for me. Even though the sentiments and promises inscribed on my graduation gifts are echoed throughout Parashat Vayelech, (see Deuteronomy 31:7, 31:8 and 31:23), I have questioned a God who promises not to forsake us and who has created us to live in a world that is seemingly characterized by brokenness of every kindboth within and outside of ourselves.

I can easily locate compassion and empathy for the confusing emotions that Moses, Joshua, and the Israelite people might have experienced at this tender juncture, and the wandering, doubt, and vulnerability God foreshadows in Deuteronomy.

Little did I know that the world I was being launched into was far more complex than anyone ever told me. No one ever said, Yes, God will be with you, and sometimes youll feel completely abandoned, alone, unsure about everything you used to know or believe. Yes, God is with you, and you will experience great loss and trials and sometimes wonder if youre being punished for a lack of faith. Yes, God is with you, and sometimes youll be so deeply afraid of the uncertainty in this life that youll go looking for just an ounce of control, stability, and identity far outside the arms, love, and faithfulness of God.

Little did I know that over time, my relationship with and image of God would slowly evolve through erosion to one simple and powerful Truth: God is with us.

These inner reflections of my own seem to mirror a central reality of the human experience for all people: we are vulnerable. In the interreligious high school program I direct, the Dignity Project Fellowship, youth from different backgrounds find commonality in their very humanness; in both the beautiful and painful experiences of the world. We seek to acknowledge the complexity of our own stories and learn to engage one anothers complexity with curiosity and hope.

In more recent years, my disorientation, deconstruction, and confusion have mostly evolved to an acceptance and celebration of mystery. It is the with-ness and mystery of God on which I have come to center my faith. After the experience of cascading personal and collective loss and uncertainty over the past twenty yearsrevealing the deep vulnerability of our human experiencemy hope about who God is and how God is active in this world continually finds solace in the truth of the word with.

Even when we dont feel it, even when trust is broken, and maybe even when God is angryGod is still with us. This is what makes God, God.

Shelton Oakley Hersey is Program Director of the Dignity Project of the Miller Center for Interreligious Learning & Leadership at Hebrew College. With her husband Scott and two young children, she enjoys living life in Jamaica Plain and loves playing with her family, sharing a slow meal with community, expressing herself through visual art, and reading poetry.

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CUNY Union President Blames White Christian Nationalism for Anti …

Posted By on October 1, 2022

During a June 30 NYC Council meeting regarding anti-Semitism at the City University of New York (CUNY), Professor James Davis attributed the issue to White Christian nationalism.

The Council meeting came as a response to a number of anti-Semitic incidents at CUNY that Campus Reform has previously reported on, including a resolution passed in Dec. 2021 by the CUNY Law Student Government Association demanding that the university cut all ties with Israel and endorse the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

In a video of the hearing posted to Twitter on Aug. 21 by SAFE CUNY, Professor Davis, who is also the president of a faculty union that previously condemned Israel, downplayed the impact of anti-Semitism from the Left, claiming instead that a rise in white Christian nationalism is to blame for the growing issue.

{snip}

Campus Reform has reported on multiple instances of anti-Semitism on CUNY campuses this year.

In May, for example, anti-Israel activist Nerdeen Kiswani was invited to the CUNY School of Law to deliver a commencement speech, in which she voiced support for the anti-Israel BDS resolution passed in December.

Similarly, the Anti-Zionist Jewish Coalition at CUNY published a letter in August claiming that Israel commits genocide, funds Nazi militia groups, and is a settler colonial regime.

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CUNY Union President Blames White Christian Nationalism for Anti ...

Anselm Franke on the Future of documenta: Were witnessing old structures not wanting to die – Notes – E-Flux

Posted By on October 1, 2022

This interview was originally published in German by Monopol Ed.

Which way forward for documentanot just for the fifteenth edition of the global art exhibition, but also in the future? The curator Anselm Franke was a member of documentas advisory team and was supposed to moderate a panel in the now-canceled series We Need to Talk. He speaks to Monopol about the misunderstandings that arise when the conversation turns to the German culture of remembrance, anti-Semitism, and decolonial endeavors, and explains that all of it also has to do with documenta, the German obsession with being world champion, and a gradual profound change in the art world.

Philipp Hindahl: Lets start with the documenta. Sabine Schormann recently resigned from the managing directors post; you were on the team of advisors. Whats left for you to do?

Anselm Franke: We havent had a substantive role for a long time. The assignment of the team around the writer and curator Emily Dische-Becker was to provide the media consulting that became necessary, also at the request of the artists and curators. We helped plan the conversation forum We Need to Talk. But that was canceled, and amid the crisis in which the show has been embroiled ever since, there have been only informal consultations.

PH: A media release stated that the series was suspended until further notice. Is it going to resume?

AF: Our contracts ran out in mid-June. It was initially unclear whether the conversation forum would still take place because the officials wanted to see what the reactions to the show would be. When there was actual anti-Semitic iconography, it was obviously a whole different situation, and one that was extremely difficult for everyone who had tried to defend the exhibition against unwarranted accusations and who found their trust betrayed.

PH: Youre saying that the accusations that were raised before the opening were unwarranted, but other people would say that the anti-Semitic images were a disaster waiting to happen: the Central Council of Jews in Germany had expressed concerns over several participants proximity to BDS as early as January. What do you make of that?

AF: People lump too many things together and ignore finer but important distinctions; some are politically motivated, others just dont know enough or dont make an effort to think clearly. As I see it, the anti-Semitic imagery that was discovered in the Taring Padi banner doesnt justify a blanket suspicion. If you look more closely, it was an isolated incident, and other suspicions have not been borne out or have been contested with good arguments. The dynamic of the media reporting had become completely untethered to the documenta itself and followed its own logic. That includes the conflation of anti-Semitism, postcolonialism, and the curatorial teams approach. ruangrupa was accused of practicing a premodern collectivism. And we have to counter conflations of this sort, because they have disastrous effects on institutions, the German arts landscape, and the broader public discourse. Now some people believe theyve detected a whole number of additional instances of anti-Semitism at the documenta, which has led to false news reports even as these suspicions proved unsupported by the facts. ruangrupa responded the right way, pointing out that the pictures in the 1988 brochure Prsence des femmes, for instance, arent anti-Semitic. But critics stick to their premature categorizations and come up with new accusations. The mission of the team of experts would now be to exercise genuine diligence and publicly explain the revisions at which they arrive. What we need are historically accurate interpretations and iconographic analyses, before people just accept the publicized assessments of this documenta before its even over and the exhibition is definitively buried.

PH: But doesnt it remain hard to explain how these motifs were given room at the documenta and no one was bothered? Which mechanisms must have failed for that to happen?

AF: The failure to recognize the anti-Semitic iconography in Taring Padis banner Peoples Justice early on was certainly scandalous. It manifested a collision of different sensibilities, so the episode also called for a learning process. Nor is it news that theres anti-Semitism in anti-imperialist movements broadly conceived, as in almost any personifying critique of abstract capitalist structures. On the other hand, Germans cant wash their hands of their own history of anti-Semitism by projecting it onto others, like the Palestinian documenta participants. That was what happened in January, when the first accusations surfaced. When people who have lived under military rule in the Israeli-occupied territories for decades and who are deprived of fundamental rights call for a boycott, their motives just arent the same as the Nazis were, the essential difference being that the paranoid and delusional projections of the old European and vlkisch anti-Semitism are divorced from reality. That contrasts with a violent political reality. When people fail to draw that distinction, they open the floodgates to flagrant denials of reality.

PH: Hold on, which reality are you referring to?

AF: When the mere act of invoking international law and pointing out the facts of an occupation is labeled anti-Semitic, thats a license to deny the reality on the ground. Imagine for a moment that seventy years of military occupation in the Israeli-occupied territories never happened, but theres still a BDS movement. Then I think we would have good reason to call that movement anti-Semitic. As Emily Dische-Becker observed to Dirk Peitz of the weekly Die Zeit, its increasingly becoming impossible in Germany to advocate for the two-state solution, which is the official position of the German government, or take the positions of the United Nations. But can it be German raison dtat to share, in the name of the past, the positions of the radical right or the Israeli settler movement?

PH: The criticism during the run-up to the documenta was sparked by connections to the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement, whose demands, though somewhat vagueamong them are a cultural boycott against Israel and Israeli institutions and sometimes also the exclusion of Israeli artistsmay ultimately amount to the end of the state of Israel.

AF: I myself am not a supporter of BDS, but I think the sweeping condemnations of the movement as anti-Semitic are highly problematic, especially in light of the fact that there are Jews and Israelis among its participants and sympathizers, who surely dont call into question Israels right to exist. Thats a German defensive attitude, a face-saving pretext for a perpetrator nation. The question of Palestinians right of return, in any case, is not something we in Germany can resolve by excluding artists who have signed one or another open letter. People keep arguing that the right of return for Palestinians would endanger the existence of the Jewish state of Israel. But the consequence cant be that any form of forced displacement and expropriation, then and now, is justified and that merely mentioning these things is anti-Israel. Those are German conflations that even Israeli intellectuals often observe with incredulity and bafflement.

PH: You were involved in the GG 5.3 Weltoffenheit Initiative, which rejected the Federal Governments resolution condemning BDS as anti-Semitic. The initiatives statement mentions the challenges that cultural institutions face in communicating the memory of the Shoah to international partners. In the documenta debate, too, critics of anti-Semitism have often been disparaged as parochial. Is the German culture of remembrance incompatible with decolonial thinking?

AF: I would wish that more room would open up for nuanced analyses. I think that frontline is a construction, because theres no longer a defensible scholarly basis for it. Historians have documented the connections between the Nazi genocide and colonial history, and far from simply negating the singularity of the Shoah, their scholarship has helped throw its contours into sharper relief. The Nazis redemptory anti-Semitism was one thing; imperial and racist genocide on the edges of colonies, as in Namibia, was something else. But redemptory anti-Semitism was importantly also an imperialist and racist genocide in the age of the European colonial powers. To characterize what makes the Shoah singular, we need to embed it in colonial history while also recognizing the unique features of the strategy that served to justify anti-Semitism, which is to say, the way anti-Semitism was cast in the vlkisch discourse as part and parcel of a history of salvation.

PH: In the planned discussion event series to accompany the documenta, you were supposed to moderate a panel about German and international conceptions of anti-Semitism and racism. How do the debates here differ from those elsewhere?

AF: Thats a complex issue thats reflected quite clearly in the history of documenta. There have always been artists who delved into the history of National Socialism, doing research and uncovering continuities. Meanwhile, from the start documenta itself was part of a history of the rehabilitation of Germany as a cultural nation: How does the ostensible inversion of degenerate art transform the perpetrator nation into a leading art nation? Of course, that kind of recoding is a much more complex process, but in the Cold War, the autonomy of art was seized on as a way to exorcize the specters of the past. The generation of 68 then thoroughly scrambled this constellation before embracing the autonomy of art with unprecedented fervor. The result was a depoliticization thats now coming back to haunt us. The exhibition Parapolitics at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in 2017, which I cocurated, studied this shift. Right now, art institutions are under enormous pressure because the narratives from which they draw their legitimacy are eroding and being challenged by protests and social justice movements. Theyre compelled to think hard about what they do and about their foundations. For an example in Germany, just look at the debate around the Humboldt Forum.

PH: So in which ways do institutions need to change?

AF: Theres a been movement within the art world to recognize and critique its own Eurocentric basic premises. Think, for example, of the exhibition Primitivism in 20th Century Art at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1984, or of Magiciens de la terre at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, in 1990. In a certain sense, the current documenta is a culmination of that movement. Whats simplistically called postcolonialism is the attempt to mount a structural critique of a much longer history of modernityand when that critique looks at what happened after 1945, it doesnt see a simple deliverance from racism and anti-Semitism.

PH: What might the next documenta look like?

AF: I believe a plural society must be capable of living with dissensus. Thats also the position the interim director is defending with great elegance. Whether documenta can retain its global significance is a good question. An essay by the French art historian Catherine Dossin has raised the question of the German century.

PH: Did she mean the century of documenta?

AF: Documenta is representative of the obsession with being world championworld champion in coming to terms with the past, world champion in exhibition-making. Athletic achievements were one form of compensation for the global conquest that eluded Germany, and the artistic conquests also always had an air of athletic competition. Dossin places that in the context of the question of the symbolic transfer that took place between the US and Germany. Avant-gardists who, before the Second World War, participated in a predominantly anti-bourgeois, revolutionary practice became poster children after the war, agents of a re-civilization under the aegis of the bourgeoisie. Those days are now gonethe geopolitical premises and the conceptions of subjectivity behind it have become untenable.

PH: And after the German century, will there still be a documenta?

AF: What were witnessing, especially in conservative cultural criticism, is old structures and privileges not wanting to die. But perhaps were going to need another documenta to make clear that the art world in its present-day form, between the market and the institutions, has no future. In the art worldbut not in the one that ruangrupa invitedthe market, which derives value from speculation, and the art world supported by public funding are drifting apart. The gulf has grown too wide for any one star curator to bridge by power of their charisma. When it comes to questions of how to frame something in the context of global history, also beyond the narrow confines of contemporary art, well need new symbioses. Those symbioses are emerging in the interactions between activism, local art institutions, and the reassessment of colonial historyand no longer primarily in art.

Translated from the German by Gerrit Jackson

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Anselm Franke on the Future of documenta: Were witnessing old structures not wanting to die - Notes - E-Flux

Hill TV Segment on Rashida Tlaib and Israel Is Censored – The Intercept

Posted By on October 1, 2022

The decision of whether to post the segment was kicked from Rising producers to The Hills Editor-in-Chief Bob Cusack. In a call with Halper on Wednesday, he framed Halpers segment as similar to an op-ed submission, telling her that The Hill accepts some submissions and rejects other submissions, and that this right extends to Hill TV journalism as well.

Producers told Halper that perhaps a standard segment would work, but when Halper proposed to a Nexstar executive that she use her next appearance for such a segment, she was told her services would no longer be needed.

We wanted to let you know that we will not be needing you to appear on Rising tomorrow am, a Nexstar executive told Halper Wednesday in an email she provided to The Intercept, asking for the executives name to be kept private. Please feel free to submit any unpaid invoices for your work on Rising. We wish you all the best.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib has been condemned by some over comments she made about Israel. Heres CNNs Jake Tapper reporting on what the Michigan Democrat said and the response it prompted.

Im not a Jewish colleague of Tlaib, but I am a Jew and I am outraged. Not by Tlaib, but by the attacks on Tlaib. Rashida Tlaib is saying that Israel is an apartheid state and that people who claim to have progressive values cannot support an apartheid state. No matter how loose a definition of progressive we use, it certainly excludes supporting a racist apartheid system.

Whats outrageous is that Tlaib would be pilloried over her comments. Whats outrageous is that the Anti-Defamation Leagues Jonathan Greenblatt would claim that Israel is not an apartheid government. Whats outrageous is that Jake Tapper would accept Greenblatts judgment as the truth and not propaganda that needed to be pushed back against.

I understand that Greenblatt and perhaps Tapper feel like Israel is not an apartheid state but unfortunately for them, apartheid isnt about your feelings. Its about facts.

So lets look at the facts on the ground.

First of all, what is apartheid?

Apartheid is an Afrikaans word that means apartness. It was the official policy in South Africa from 1948 and 1994, allowing white South Africans, in the minority, to rule over and discriminate against the vast majority of Black South Africans.

But apartheid doesnt just apply to South Africa. In 1973, the U.N. defined the crime of apartheid as including similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination as practiced in Southern Africa, as well as any inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them. In 1998, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court defined apartheid as inhumane acts of a character that are committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.

These inhuman acts include, among others infliction upon the members of a racial group or groups of serious bodily or mental harm, by the infringement of their freedom or dignity, or by subjecting them to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; By arbitrary arrest and illegal imprisonment of the members of a racial group or groups. Any legislative measures and other measures calculated to prevent a racial group or groups from participation in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the country and the deliberate creation of conditions preventing the full development of such a group or groups, in particular by denying to members of a racial group or groups basic human rights and freedoms, including the right to leave and to return to their country, the right to a nationality, the right to freedom of movement and residence, the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. Any measures including legislative measures, designed to divide the population along racial lines by the creation of separate reserves and ghettos for the members of a racial group or groups, the prohibition of mixed marriages among members of various racial groups, the expropriation of landed property belonging to a racial group or groups or to members thereof.

Israels own laws certainly fit this definition of apartheid.

Look at the Law of Return of 1950 and tell me its not apartheid. The law allows any Jew, which means anyone with one Jewish grandparent, the right to move to Israel and automatically become citizens of Israel. It gives their spouses that right too, even if theyre not Jewish. Palestinians, of course, lack that right.

Lest you had any doubts about that, the Israeli Citizenship Law of 1952 deprived Palestinian refugees and their descendants of legal status, the right to return and all other rights in their homeland. It also defined Palestinians present in Israel as Israeli citizens without a nationality and group rights.

These laws together obviously fit into the International Criminal Courts apartheid criteria: The Israeli laws prohibit members of a racial group the right to leave and to return to their country, the right to a nationality, the right to freedom of movement and residence.

The Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law of 2003, which was reauthorized in March of this year, makes people who live in the West Bank and Gaza Strip ineligible for the automatic granting of Israeli citizenship and residency permits that are usually available through marriage to an Israeli citizen. Not only can non-Israeli Jews not get Israeli citizenship through their Israeli spouses, but in some cases they cant live with them in Israel.

More recently, the controversial Nation State Law established that The fulfillment of the right of national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people. It also stipulated,The state views Jewish settlement as a national value and will labor to encourage and promote its establishment and development. It cancels the status of Arabic as an official language, and omits all mention of Israel as a democracy, the equality of its citizens, and the existence of the Palestinian population.

This legal obliteration of Palestinians clearly fulfills the U.N.s definition of apartheid, dividing the population along racial lines by the creation of separate reserves and ghettos for the members of a racial group or groups.

These are just some of the reasons that human rights organizations havedeclared Israel an apartheid state. Of course it should come as no surprise that Palestinian human rights organizations have been calling Israels government an apartheid one for decades. Al Haq, Al Mezans Center for Human Rights, Adalah: the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, and Addameer: Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association have documented Israeli apartheid.

More recently, organizations like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have also conceded that Israel enacts apartheid policies.

Israels own human rights organization BTselem has declared, The Israeli regime enacts an apartheid regime. BTselem reached the conclusion that the bar for defining the Israeli regime as an apartheid regime has been met after considering the accumulation of policies and laws that Israel devised to entrench its control over Palestinians. BTselem divides the way Israeli apartheid works into four areas:

Land Israel works to Judaize the entire area, treating land as a resource chiefly meant to benefit the Jewish population. Since 1948, Israel has taken over 90% of the land within the Green Line and built hundreds of communities for the Jewish population. Since 1967, Israel has also enacted this policy in the West Bank, building more than 280 settlements for some 600,000 Jewish Israeli citizens. Israel has not built a single community for the Palestinian population in the entire area stretching from the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River (with the exception of several communities built to concentrate the Bedouin population after dispossessing them of most of their property rights).

Citizenship Jews living anywhere in the world, their children and grandchildren and their spouses are entitled to Israeli citizenship. In contrast, Palestinians cannot immigrate to Israeli-controlled areas, even if they, their parents or their grandparents were born and lived there. Israel makes it difficult for Palestinians who live in one of the units it controls to obtain status in another, and has enacted legislation that prohibits granting Palestinians who marry Israelis status within the Green Line.

Freedom of movement Israeli citizens enjoy freedom of movement in the entire area controlled by Israel (with the exception of the Gaza Strip) and may enter and leave the country freely. Palestinian subjects, on the other hand, require a special Israeli-issued permit to travel between the units (and sometimes inside them), and exit abroad also requires Israeli approval.

Political participation Palestinian citizens of Israel may vote and run for office, but leading politicians consistently undermine the legitimacy of Palestinian political representatives. The roughly five million Palestinians who live in the Occupied Territories, including East Jerusalem, cannot participate in the political system that governs their lives and determines their future. They are denied other political rights as well, including freedom of speech and association.

Israeli officials and politicians, too, have described their own country as an apartheid state.

Former attorney general Michael Ben-Yair wrote in 2002, we established an apartheid regime in the occupied territories immediately following their capture. That oppressive regime exists to this day.

Zehava Galon, former chair of Israels Meretz party, said in 2006, Israel was relegated to the level of an apartheid state.

In 2007, Israels former education minister Shulamit Aloni wrote, the state of Israel practices its own, quite violent, form of apartheid with the native Palestinian population.

In 2008, former environment minister Yossi Sarid said, what acts like apartheid, is run like apartheid and harasses like apartheid, is not a duck it is apartheid.

Even Israels prime ministers have used the A word. In a recently published 1976 interview, assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin said,if we dont want to get to apartheid I dont think its possible to contain over the long term, a million and a half [more] Arabs inside a Jewish state.

In 2007 yet another prime minister, Ehud Olmert,warned, If the day comes when the two-state solution collapses, and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights, then, as soon as that happens, the State of Israel is finished. Well, Israel isnt finished, but they do face a South African-style struggle.

Prime Minister Ehud Baraksaid in 2010, As long as in this territory west of the Jordan river there is only one political entity called Israel it is going to be either non-Jewish, or non-democratic. If this bloc of millions of Palestinians cannot vote, that will be an apartheid state.

Surely South African leaders who suffered, struggled, and finally destroyed apartheid in their nation understood what apartheid is. And the great South African leaders Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu saw Israel policies as apartheid. In 1997 Mandela said, The U.N. took a strong stand against apartheid; and over the years, an international consensus was built, which helped to bring an end to this iniquitous system. But we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.

In 2013, Desmond Tutu recalled being struck by the similarities between what he experienced in apartheid South Africa and what he observed in Israel.

To my friends in the Democratic Party who want to support Israeland who who want be progressives, it is important to listen to what international law, Israeli politicians and South Africans leaders and apartheid survivors say about the apartheid system in Israel. But we would all do well to look at what South Africa did with its apartheid system. Simply put, it left apartheid behind.

So the question we should be asking ourselves as progressives and Americans and some of us as Jews is not how to excoriate Rashida Tlaib for pointing out the obvious, or how to turn all criticisms of Israel as challenges to Israels right to exist or as expressions of anti-Semitism. Rather, the question to ask is how an apartheid-free Israel would look.

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