Wednesday, April 11, 2018

A Taste of Truth about Israel/Palestine

A Taste of Truth about Israel/Palestine
Gaza is experiencing yet another assault by the Israeli military against unarmed protesters. Israeli spin doctors are out in force, trying to characterize the latest massacre as a case of legitimate defense of Israel’s borders against violent terrorists, but more and more, people in this country have access to the truth.

Although I have been prevented from visiting Gaza by the illegal Israeli blockade, I have traveled five times to the Occupied West Bank and seen for myself the real source of violence, most recently last year, with a delegation of U.S. military veterans organized by Tarak Kauff of Veterans For Peace. We participated in nonviolent demonstrations with Palestinians, and were met with violence from the Israeli military and Jewish residents of illegal settlements in the West Bank. Israeli soldiers shot tear gas cannisters directly at us in Hebron, and we were attacked by armed settlers in the village of Nabi Saleh.

Woodstock residents can get a taste of our experiences on Saturday, April 14, when we will show the latest installment of Veterans For Palestine, a documentary series about our trip. Afterwards, Tarak and I will lead a discussion and show some dramatic still photography from the delegation. Please join us at 7 pm at Mountain View Studio, 20 Mountain View Ave. Woodstock, NY

Ellen Davidson, 28 Arnold Drive, Woodstock, NY 12498

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Open their hearts and minds

A recognition of commonality where there exists a clash of beliefs: this year's Passover Seder with my family.  We read the story of the liberation of the Jewish people from Pharaoh’s Egypt and we honor the freeing of all peoples from oppression.  The Zionists in our family see the present Palestinian Land Day commemoration as a violent demonstration led by Hamas to overtake Israel.  The Jewish Voice for Peace activists in our family see the Land Day commemoration as a peoples’ struggle to free themselves from oppression by Israel.  There are explosions of words.  We are truly eating the ‘bitter herbs.’  We participate together in the Seder, we read together the Haggadah as our parents and grandparents did before us,  We partake of the festive meal.  We go on like this, generation upon generation.  The evening ends in song. We are gathered together even though we are not in harmony.  

An upcoming film brings two distinct groups together: Afro-Americans and Palestinians.  ”Al Helm: Martin Luther King in Palestine" will be shown to the public this Friday April 6, 7 pm at Holy Cross Santa Cruz Episcopal Church, Kingston. The film documents these two groups working together on a Palestinian play about racism, Both know oppression and have a dream (Al Helm) of something better. Both know non-violent resistance.  By recognizing their common struggle, they are renewed. At the film's end, members of the New Progressive Baptist Church Choir will lend their voices to the evening. 

My Jewish family have always supported the Afro-American struggle for freedom. My father led our Jewish community to Washington D.C. when Martin Luther King Jr, gave his inspirational speech:“I Have a Dream.” I believe that those in my family rooted in Zionism will move from ‘the narrow place’ as they open their hearts and minds to the Palestinian non-violent struggle for justice.

Jane Toby
Catskill NY
(518) 291 6808