Posts Tagged ‘Gaza’

RAMALLAH, WEST BANK — Centuries of European colonialism have provided the world with certain basic lessons about subjugating colonized peoples: The longer any colonial occupation endures, the greater the settlers’ racism and extremism tends to grow. This is especially true if the occupiers encounter resistance; at that point, the occupied population becomes an obstacle that must either be forced to submit or removed through expulsion or murder.

Stolen Palestinian Lands

In the eyes of an occupying power, the humanity of those under its thumb depends on the degree of their submission to, or collaboration with, the occupation. If the occupied population chooses to stand in the way of the occupier’s goals, then they are demonized, which allows the occupier the supposed moral excuse of confronting them with all possible means, no matter how harsh.

The Israeli occupation of Palestine is one of the only remaining settler-colonial occupations in the world today.

And it is not limited to East Jerusalem and the West Bank: Although Israel withdrew its settlers and army from Gaza in 2005, it is still recognized by the United Nations as an occupying power, due to its complete control of Gaza’s airspace, sea access and of almost all of its land borders.

Over the years, Israel has used all forms of pressure to prevent the Palestinians from achieving their national rights and gaining independence. It hasn’t been enough for Israelis to believe their own claims about Palestinians; they have sought incessantly to impose this narrative on the world and to have it adopted by their Western allies.

Unsurprisingly, all of this has led to complete shamelessness in mainstream Israeli rhetoric about Palestinians. After all, if one is not held accountable, then one has the freedom to think — and do — what one wants. With no internal or external checks, one can act with impunity.

The Israeli left is a relic, all but extinct, and the extremist right is entrenched in the Israeli political establishment. Attacking the Palestinians has become officially sanctioned policy, embedded in Israeli public consciousness and politely ignored in Western political circles.

There is now an extremist, racist ideological current in Israel that not only justifies the recent onslaught on the Gaza Strip, but actually encourages the use of enormous and disproportionate violence against civilians, which has led to the extermination of entire families.

Moshe Feiglin, deputy speaker of the Knesset, recently called on the Israeli army to attack and occupy Gaza, paying no heed to anything but the safety of Israeli soldiers. He then demanded that Gaza be annexed to Israel, and asked the army to use all means at its disposal to “conquer” Gaza, by which he meant that obedient Palestinians would be allowed to stay, while the rest — the majority — should be exiled to the Sinai Peninsula. This cannot be understood as anything less than a call for ethnic cleansing.

Ayelet Shaked, a Knesset member for the Jewish Home Party, a member of the governing coalition, called on the Israeli army to destroy the homes of terrorist “snakes,” and to murder their mothers as well, so that they would not be able to bring “little snakes” into the world.

Ayelet Shaked

And Mordechai Kedar, a professor at Bar Ilan University, publicly suggested that raping the mothers and sisters of “terrorists” might deter further terrorism. The university did not take any measures against him.

“The only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped.” This assertion was made by Middle East scholar Dr. Mordechai Kedar of Bar-Ilan University about three weeks ago on an Israel Radio program. “It sounds very bad, but that’s the Middle East,” added Kedar, of Bar-Ilan’s Department of Arabic.

Such statements are no longer isolated incidents, but reflective of the general sentiment within a country where chants of “Kill the Arabs” are increasingly common. It is no longer an aberration to hear these opinions expressed in public, or by politicians and academics. What is unexpected — and unacceptable — is that such statements are not met with any sort of condemnation in official Western circles that claim to oppose racism and extremism.

The rise in Israeli racism and extremism against Palestinians would not have happened without the unconditional support that Israel receives from its allies, most significantly the United States.

Israel cannot continue to be the exception to the rule of international law and human rights. The international community must hold it accountable for its rhetoric and its actions, and begin to treat it like all other countries. It should not be allowed to continue to enjoy its state of exceptionalism and to use this to wreak destruction on the Palestinian people.

After 47 years of occupation, two decades of stalled peace talks and almost eight years of a strangulating siege of the Gaza Strip, the international community must demand that Israel clearly state what it intends to do with its occupation of the Palestinian people. Since the Palestinians are not the occupiers, but rather those living under occupation, this question cannot be asked of them.

If Israel wants to continue its occupation and hinder Palestinians’ path to freedom and independence, then it should be aware that the Palestinian people will continue to resist with all the means at their disposal. If Israel intends to end the occupation, then it will find that the Palestinians are more than ready for an agreement.

What the Palestinians are enduring today in Gaza should be a clarion call for the entire world to end the bloodshed. But it will take more than a cease-fire. It will take peace. And peace cannot happen without an end to the occupation.

Ali Jarbawi is a political scientist at Birzeit University and a former minister of the Palestinian Authority. This article was translated by Ghenwa Hayek from the Arabic.

The Shame of Shuhada Street

In Hebron, Palestinians are subjected to daily indignities—large and small.
A Jewish settler walks past a Palestinian on Shuhada Street, in the West Bank city of Hebron. (Nayef Hashlamoun/Reuters)

HEBRON, West Bank—I first saw the boys through the rear view mirror of the car I was riding in, as they approached Shuhada Street. One of them was about the age of my daughter, who became a bat mitzvah last week. The other might have been 16 or so, like my older son. The boys hesitated at the top of the street and seemed to take a breath. Then they stepped into the void.

Shuhada Street, lined with small shops whose owners typically lived upstairs, was once among the busiest market streets in this ancient city. But in 1994, in response to a horrific massacre that left 29 people dead and 125 injured, the Israel Defense Forces began clamping down on Shuhada Street. They welded shut the street-facing doors of all the homes and shops, and by the time of the Second Intifada in 2000, had turned the bustling thoroughfare into a ghost street on which no one was permitted to set foot. No one, that is, who is Palestinian. Israeli Jews and foreign visitors are free to come and go along the road—to snap photos and make their way to Hebron’s three Jewish settler outposts, Beit Hadassah, Beit Romano, and Avraham Avinu. But there is nothing to buy, nothing to see, no reason to tarry. The stores are all closed. The few Palestinians who remain have been barred from the street where they live. If they want to enter their homes, they must do so through back doors, which in many cases involves clambering over rooftops.

One might be tempted to view Shuhada Street as just another casualty in an endless cycle of violent retribution. A Palestinian kills dozens of Hebron’s Jews, so Israel punishes the Palestinians of Hebron by closing Shuhada Street. But that is not, in fact, what happened. The victims of the massacre that impelled the Israeli government to shutter Shuhada were not Jews. They were Palestinians—unarmed Palestinians gunned down as they prayed at the nearby Cave of the Patriarchs by Baruch Goldstein, an American-born Jewish zealot with Israeli military training and a Galil assault rifle, who stopped firing only when he was overcome and killed by survivors of his attack. You can add Shuhada Street, and the vibrant urban life it once sustained and embodied, to the list of Goldstein’s victims.

My visit to Hebron had begun at Goldstein’s tomb, in a small park in the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba on the city’s outskirts. The grave has become a site of pilgrimage and ecstatic veneration for some religious Israelis and sympathetic foreigners despite the Israeli government’s prohibition on monuments to terrorists. The massive slab of marble is inscribed with the words, “He gave his life for the people of Israel, its Torah and land.” On the day I visited, the gravestone was littered with small stones, placed there in homage in accordance with Jewish tradition.

c8ae24e81

An ultra-Orthodox Jew prays at Baruch Goldstein’s gravesite, in 1998. (Reuters)

After puzzling over the epitaph (I was born in Jerusalem but my family emigrated to Canada before I learned to read), I brushed away the commemorative stones. A mass-murderer deserves no such honor. An Israeli army jeep rumbled alongside the park and I stepped back, nervous that I would be harassed for my action. The Israeli military presence in Hebron is intense—between 600 and 650 soldiers, military police, and commanders, or at least one for every settler—and its role is very clear: The security forces are there to protect the settlers, regardless of how brutal or inflammatory the latter’s actions may be, and regardless of the fact that, as Goldstein’s homicidal cowardice makes clear, it is the Palestinians who often need protection against settlers who, sure of support from the Netanyahu government, seek to make permanent their incursion into the city.

My companions and I then made our way to Shuhada Street, where an Israeli soldier checked our passports to ensure both that we were not Palestinian and that we understood the omnipotence of Israeli military authority. We passed the new Beit Hadassah museum, an exhibit of curated propaganda dedicated to legitimizing the presence of Jewish settlers in the city. Then we came to the end of the street, and I happened to glance in the rearview mirror, where I saw the two boys. I didn’t need to be the mother of children their age to fear for their lives and safety. I only needed to have been following the news.

Less than a week before, on Nakba Day, when Palestinians commemorate the displacement that preceded and followed Israel’s declaration of independence, there had been a protest in front of Ofer military prison in the West Bank town of Beitunia. After the protest was dispersed, two Palestinian teenagers had been shot and killed by the Israeli army. Video of the killings had surfaced on the Internet, and in my hotel room in Jerusalem I had watched as another Arab boy my son’s age, carrying the kind of backpack my son carries, doing nothing more than crossing a street—crumpled and pitched forward, motionless.

Now, several days later, I watched these Shuhada Street boys risk death for the sake of a liberty so rudimentary and fundamental that my own children are not even aware of its existence, or its importance, or its simple human beauty: the right to walk down the street.

I should have gotten out of the car and joined them. I should have taken out my cell phone and started filming. But I just sat in the car and fretted. Thankfully, the Israeli soldiers on duty that day did nothing more than lift their weapons and motion the boys back to permitted ground, and the boys obeyed. It was one of many such interactions—petty indignities and tiny acts of courage. It was nothing as dramatic as an incident, viewable on YouTube, in which settler girls take advantage of a school holiday to lie in wait for Palestinian children on their way home from school, then curse the other children and throw rocks at them while Israeli soldiers look on, periodically urging the rock-throwers to stop but doing little to protect the victims of the violence. Nothing as dramatic as another encounter, also captured on video, in which a female settler, flanked by soldiers, lobs curses at a Palestinian woman who had the temerity to walk out the front gate of her own house. “Whore! Whore!” the settler hisses.

I ended my visit to Hebron at a small community center run by Palestinian peace activists, where we shared plates of hummus and fresh vegetables and tried to find inspiration in the tiny outpost of hope. But the bright murals painted by Palestinian activists had been disfigured by Jewish settlers with splashes of gray paint, and we ate under the stony gaze of soldiers assigned to guard settlers whose vandalism is among the least of their offenses.

The litany of Hebron’s many immiserations is long. I could write paragraphs about the racially differentiated access to water, and about how settlers sometimes spray the ground with their hoses, taunting Palestinians who have severely limited access to water for drinking or cooking or bathing. I could describe the ugly anti-Arab graffiti I saw, the bumper stickers plastered onto walls with messages like, “Arab! Don’t even dare to think about a Jewish woman!” I could describe the achingly torturous journey an elderly resident of Shuhada Street must make just to leave her house, with its front door welded shut, because one day in 1994 a hate-filled fanatic massacred her townspeople.

 

But out of respect for the people who escorted me down the tragic length of Shuhada Street, I will try to close on a note of hopefulness. My guides were a couple of Jewish Israelis, raised in religious homes, who had served as soldiers in the West Bank and who, as a result of what they saw and what they did, now devote their lives to raising awareness about the injustices of the Occupation. My guides described in painful detail the structural inequality of a land where one ethnic group lives under oppressive military rule, and another under democratic, civilian authority. They described receiving explicit instruction to make Palestinians feel as if they were constantly under surveillance, constantly pursued, constantly harassed. They said their role, as described by Moshe Ya’alon, the current defense minister and former army chief of staff, was to “sear the hearts and minds of the Palestinians.” My guides told me of instances in which they were involved in “Straw Widow” actions, where they invaded a Palestinian home, shut the family into a single room, and then made free use of the house. Ostensibly these home invasions were conducted for security reasons, but just as often they were simple training exercises. Sometimes the homes were chosen because they had a satellite dish, and an important soccer match was on TV. “What hope is there?” I asked them, in response. They replied that they named their organization Breaking the Silence because they fervently believe that once people know what is happening in Hebron and the rest of the Palestinian territories, change is inevitable.

I’m not sure that I share their faith in the power of knowledge to create justice, but I want to. And that’s why, as Bibi Netanyahu’s right-wing government broadcasts its contempt for the U.S. State Department’s commitment to working with the new Palestinian unity government, and announces the construction of 1,500 new settlement housing units in the West Bank, I, a Jewish American born in Israel, who believes in Israel’s right to exist within its own borders, am breaking my own silence.

 

The Atlantic

 

Do Israelis still think the world is stupid? Or is it their stupidity that makes them come up with equally stupid claims? The Syrians decided to send “missels” to Palestinians in Gaza… via Iran! Wow… what a route. I need not insult the reader in seeing the fallacy of such a claim. These damn juice.. will never stop with their low-budget type propaganda.

Scrapbook_1394068357490I

 

 

The so-called “Jewish” state, which is really a state of pagans and NaZionists does not think.  They simply think God created them and in His name proceed to kill everyone who stands in their way! But they are really commanded by the devil himself…

Holocaust against Palestininas

The Nazis were more merciful towards the Jews they massacred. Israelis are, in comparison, subhuman. Here are excerpts from “Jewish” leaders..

We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too.

There should be no electricity in Gaza, no gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing. Then they’d really call for a ceasefire.

Were this to happen, the images from Gaza might be unpleasant – but victory would be swift, and the lives of our soldiers and civilians spared.

– Gilad Sharon, the son of former prime minister and notorious war criminal Ariel Sharon, has called for the Israeli army to “flatten” Gaza as the US flattened the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945 with an atomic bomb. November 2012

Meanwhile in a message to soldiers, Knesset member Michael Ben-Ari of the National Union party exhorted soldiers to kill without thought or mercy.

“Brothers! Beloved soldiers and commanders – preserve your lives! Don’t give a hoot about Goldstone! There are no innocents in Gaza, don’t let any diplomats who want to look good in the world endanger your lives[;] at any tiniest concern for your lives – Mow them!,” Ben-Ari was quoted as saying by the website HaKol HaYehudi.

Ben-Ari was referring to the UN-commissioned Goldstone report that documented war crimes and crimes against humanity during Israel’s 2008-2009 invasion of Gaza which left more than 1,400 Palestinians, mostly civilians, dead.

Ben-Ari is also notorious for his incitement against Africans and for his hatred of Christians. In July he tore up a New Testament, calling it “abominable” and threw it in the trash.

 

A video posted on YouTube shows an Israeli mob rampaging in Jerusalem on 24 February with multiple voices heard shouting the racist slogan, “A Jew is a soul [i.e human], an Arab is a son of a whore.”

And such is Israeli love for peace and democracy! And the sheep of the world believe these heathens.

 

And in the U.S.A..

Israeli professor working in US calls Palestinian student a “cockroach”

 

The first incident occurred on Monday, 4 March, when the Claremont group of Students for Justice in Palestine launched its series of events marking Israeli Apartheid Week with street theater actions simulating mock Israeli military checkpoints at three of the colleges throughout the day. Israeli Apartheid Week is marked at campuses nationwide and internationally to educate the wider public about Israel’s occupation and supremacist rule in Palestine.

At one point that evening, a man who was later identified as a faculty member at Claremont McKenna College aggressively approached the Students for Justice in Palestine members staffing a mock checkpoint which was set up outside an entrance of the Collins Dining Hall on the campus.

The professor, Yaron Raviv, who is an Israeli citizen and teaches economics at Claremont McKenna College, demanded that the dining hall staff, the dean of students and campus security remove the Students for Justice in Palestine members from the

area.

yraviv

 

But since Students for Justice in Palestine had acquired official permission for its event and had its paperwork in order, neither the school officials nor the dining staff agreed to remove the students. They did request, however, that the students not block the doorway.

The student activists complied with this request, according to a Claremont McKenna College Campus Safety and Security officer’s incident report.

A Palestinian member of Students for Justice in Palestine, Najib Hamideh, then walked up to the professor and politely asked his reason for being there, requesting that the man identify himself. In an exchange verified and quoted in the officer’s report, the professor then responded, “Fuck off, you cockroach.”

According to Hamideh, Raviv next referred to all the Students for Justice in Palestine members as cockroaches, and then asked him which of the Claremont colleges Hamideh belonged to. When Hamideh replied that he attends Pitzer College, Raviv then responded that “all Pitzer kids are cockroaches,” Hamideh says.

 

I ask again.. how does Israel (or Israelis) think? They don’t.. they’re savages. They’re subhuman.. and Hell awaits them!

The General’s son sheds light on the truth and what the truth really is.. For those morons who are still drinking cool aid, I dare you to respond.

عشرون كلب صهيوني ضد طفل فلسطيني واحد‎

Tous ces sionistes assassins contre un enfant Palestinian

All these Jewish invaders torturing this little Palestinian kid !!
Twenty thugs against One

And you want me to believe that such thugs have the right to exist? 

20 Jewish Thugs torturing a Palestinian kid!

 British report details Israeli abuse of Palestinian kids

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A new report funded and supported by the British government accuses Israel of violating international law with its treatment of Palestinian child detainees, Electronic Intifada said on June 28.

It was was launched in London by a high-profile group of human rights lawyers on June 26.

The report says Israel is in violation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on at least six counts and of the Fourth Geneva Convention on at least two, Electronic Intifada said.

The article said it laid “bare the system of legal apartheid Israel maintains in Palestine”, but noted there was “pessimism in some quarters that the report’s recommendations will be implemented. The document has been criticized as ‘toothless’ by a prominent Palestinian human rights activist.”

The report details the military law Israel applies to all Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, including children, and how it differs from the civilian law applied to Israeli settlers who live in the same territory.

Electronic Intifada said: “Israel currently applies two separate and unequal systems of laws in the West Bank. Palestinians are subject to a harsh military regime in which Israeli army officers and police, arrest, interrogate, judge and sentence, while Israeli settlers colonizing the West Bank are subject to Israeli civilian law.

“These systematic inequalities include: the minimum age for Palestinian children to receive a custodial sentence is 12, but for Israelis it is 14; Palestinian children have no right to have a parent present during interrogation, while Israeli children generally do …

“Palestinian children could have to wait up to eight days before being brought before a judge, while Israeli children have a right to see one within 24 hours; Palestinian children can be detained without charge for 188 days, while for Israelis the limit is 40 …

“As many as 94 percent of Palestinian children arrested in the West Bank are denied bail, according to nongovernmental organizations. Some 97-98 percent of such cases end with a plea bargain, meaning they go to jail without even reaching the trial stage …”

The article said that, speaking at the report’s launch, Sir Stephen Sedley, a former senior appeal judge, noted there had been a 40% rise in child detainees since the report’s authors visited the West Bank last September.

 Related articles

An appalling shallowness has descended over Mainline Protestantism.

by James M Wall

Episcopalians, United Methodists and Presbyterians are actually debating how they should deal with the Israeli Occupation

Martin Luther King, sitting in that Birmingham city jail, would most certainly inform these prelates that there is no debating evil. A brutal military occupation is not open to debate.

It is a disturbing spectacle. The collective ignorance displayed by many of the men and women—though, thank God, not all—who govern these denominations, boggles the mind.

The issue, my dear Christian friends, is justice, pure and simple. And yet, there they are, these robed religiosos, dripping with interfaith piety, proclaiming that the simple act of divestment of church funds is too harsh a tactic to use against Israel’s settlement obsessed, right-wing government.

What do they teach in seminary these days? Have those Old Testament professors who lead their Israeli-sanctioned “study groups” to the Holy Land removed the prophets from their syllabi?

Here is the Episcopal News Service report on the current presiding Episcopal bishop explaining why she, and the church that elevated her to denominational leadership, oppose the simple, non-violent tactic of targeting divestment of church funds from US corporations that profit from Israel’s military occupation:

Boycott Israel-poster

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori urged Episcopalians to “invest in legitimate development in Palestine’s West Bank and in Gaza” rather than focusing on divestment or boycotts of Israel, during a March 25 “Middle East Peacemakers” luncheon in Los Angeles.

“The Episcopal Church does not endorse divestment or boycott,” the presiding bishop told more than 200 people gathered at the California Club in downtown Los Angeles. “It’s not going to be helpful to endorse divestment or boycotts of Israel. It will only end in punishing Palestinians economically.”

She also called for “a two-state solution with a dignified home for Palestinians and for Israelis” and for “deeper engagement, people of different traditions eating together, listening to each other’s stories,” she said, adding that the interreligious, multi-ethnic gathering hosted by Bishop J. Jon Bruno of the Diocese of Los Angeles was an example of what is possible.

Punishing Palestinians economically?

That statement is an incredible display of ignorance of the political realities of a brutal military occupation.

Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori wants investment in Palestine, not divestment from Israel’s occupation.

Who proposed that approach?

Sounds very much like the warden of the world’s largest outdoor prison inviting church members to come inside the prison and do their good works.

Cottage industries in cell block six?

Starting April 24, delegates to the United Methodist Church General Conference will debate the issue of using targeted divestment as a legislative tactic against injustice.

The United Methodist and the Presbyterian national churches have labored for many years to develop resolutions that focus tightly on US corporations that profit from the Occupation.

One of these corporations, Caterpillar, produces heavy equipment that Israel uses to build its apartheid wall, a wall that has nothing to do with security and everything to do with stealing even more Palestinian land.

Caterpillar also produces those monstrous bulldozers that tear down Palestinian homes, another “security” measure that is really designed to tighten the Occupation noose.

An Israeli soldier drove one of those American-built bulldozers over an American citizen, peace activist Rachel Corrie, on March 16, 2003, as she tried to stop an attack on a Palestinian home. In death, this young woman has become a symbol of non-violent courage to Palestinians.

Not so in the US, where neither action nor formal government protest was taken against the army that killed her.

And yet, here is an Episcopal bishop, standing before 200 of her fellow Episcopalians actually calling for Palestinians and Israelis to “eat together and listen to one another’s stories”.

This is blatant Israeli propaganda. These words were not uttered in the spirit of Amos; they sound more like an American politician scrambling for Israel Lobby money than they do of a Christian leader who must at some point in her career reflected upon, and perhaps even preached on, the call from Amos 5:4 to “let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never failing stream!” (NIV).

The saddest thing about this failure of a church leader to grasp the reality of injustice is that she offers palliative words that sound more like a Southern bishop of the 1950s begging the segregated and segregator to live together peacefully.

Bless you bishop, but there are people in Palestine on protest hunger strikes. Others are dying under the boot of a brutal occupying army. This is not a problem that will be addressed by our “eating together and talking to one another”.

For an example of the pepper spray at work, see the Ammar Awad Reuters photo above of Israeli soldiers spraying a Palestinian protestor.  This took place on Land Day, when Palestinians remember their land losses.

Richard Silverstein, who writes the Tikun Olam web site, posted this photo from the New York Times and adds:

The Times headline for the slideshow presentation of Land Day images that includes this one was: Protesters Scuffle With Forces.

I don’t see protesters scuffling with Israeli forces.  I see Israeli border police mauling unarmed Palestinian demonstrators.  I see them pepper-spraying one at point-blank range.

That headline confirms once again that the New York Times is not just biased on this issue on behalf of Israel. It is simply an Israeli hometown paper. Its perspective is always that of the home team, that is, Israel.

Silverstein is Jewish, one of many Jews who knows the damage that the Occupation does to Israelis as well as to Palestinians. Fortunately, Silverstein is also a blogger with a large following.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori knows better than to speak of the Palestinian issue in the language she used.   One of my sources who follows this issue with diligence, wrote to say:

It was she who, perhaps three years ago, visited Gaza, was duly appalled, and vowed to press with all of her and her church’s authority, to end the sadistic blockade and occupation of all of Palestine.

It mystifies me that she can ignore the precedent of, and successful use of BDS, in the closest parallel, South Africa. Schori has succumbed to expedience or the copout of “interfaith” wishy-washiness-cum-cowardice.

How can one have any hope for justice and a viable existence for the Palestinians in the face of such cavalier disregard for the well-known and often courageously expressed recitations of the “facts on the ground” created by the Zionist enterprise?.

Well stated, and true. Trips by church leaders, who finally see first -hand the ugliness of Occupation, are the best way to break through Israeli propaganda.

But, based on Bishop Schori’s public display of hasbara (propaganda) in Los Angeles, the power of the Israel Lobby trumps the truth.

All is not lost. Another source, who attended the bishop’s presentation, did not find the audience very receptive to her call for kum ba yah.

Two denominations will debate divestment resolutions over the next few months, first, the United Methodists and then, the Presbyterians.

The United Methodist supporters of targeted divestments are encouraged at the feedback they are hearing from the grassroots.

Blocking their way to the passage of a divestment resolution is the denomination’s General Board of Pensions, which objects to non-financial types interfering in their decisions to maximize pension profits.

This body has determined over the years that it will not invest in corporations that profit from, for example, South African apartheid, and that old reliable United Methodist staple, alcohol.

Faced with requests that it extend its no-no list  to include three companies supporting the Occupation,  the General Board of Pensions has adopted the Episcopal mantra of “eating together and sharing stories”.

Of course, the General Conference has the final say in this matter. Starting April 24, in their Tampa, Florida, meeting, the Methodists will have their chance to remember that its founding parent,  John Wesley was not a “get along” guy; he was a justice guy.

This is the same denomination, by the way, that moved its 2012 meeting from Richmond, Virginia, to Tampa, Florida, because Richmond has a baseball team named, “The Braves”, a no-no among United Methodists who have agreed not to patronize locations with sports teams the Methodists believe denigrate Native Americans.

Good for them. Now let us see what can be done about the denigration of Palestinians.

 James M. Wall is currently a Contributing Editor of The Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, Illinois.  From 1972 through 1999, he was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine.  He has made more than 20 trips to that region as a journalist, during which he covered such events as Anwar Sadat’s 1977 trip to Jerusalem, and the 2006 Palestinian legislative election. He has interviewed, and written about, journalists, religious leaders, political leaders and private citizens in the region.  Jim served for two years on active duty in the US Air Force, and three additional years in the USAF (inactive) reserve. Jim launched his new personal blog Wallwritings, on April 24, 2008.