Tag Archives: Israel

Syria – The Future of Proxy Wars?

The situation in Syria has been a proxy war almost from the very beginning. Conflicts in the past have been characterized as proxy wars if the conflict is between foreign powers but takes place on third party soil using third party civilians to fight. The situation in Syria fits this definition similar to the proxy wars waged by the US and USSR that we witnessed during the Cold War. But now the foreign powers that have a stake in the war are not limited to two entities. The US, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia, Turkey, Israel, Qatar, Jordan, the UAE, Bahrain, and Lebanon all are involved in Syria in some way. In addition, there are not only “foreign powers” involved but also non-state actors like al-Nusra and ISIS who have their own part to play.

We are not in the Cold War era anymore.

What Do the Presidential Candidates Really Believe About the Israel-Palestine Conflict?

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Have you ever wonder where did the presidential candidates accumulated their views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Well today you will be reading about Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump previous relation with Israel and Palestine and their views about the Israel-Palestine conflict. Not surprisingly there are changes from their previous to their present views. Particularly, there has been a transformation in the views of Hillary Clinton over time. Even though Hillary Clinton has wrapped up the Democratic nomination, there will be a party platform fight between Clinton selected and Sanders selected representatives on this issue at the Democratic convention. At a time when many young Americans are shifting to be more sympathetic to the Palestinians, for two of the leading candidates the move has been to more pro-Israel support.

Boeing Faces Increased Opposition on Weapons Sales to Israel

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By Bill Chambers

For the fourth year in a row, anti-war activists protested outside the annual Boeing shareholders meeting in Chicago yesterday. For the first time this year, Boeing shareholders who oppose weapons sales to Israel have presented a resolution calling for the corporation to prepare a report detailing these arms sales. Boeing fought to have the resolution disallowed from the meeting. But they not only lost that fight, but with over 5% of the shareholders voting for the resolution, it will be brought up again next year to likely even greater support.

Snapchat Highlights Tel Aviv on Gaza Attack Anniversary

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After Israel recently electing a government that has been described by Al Jazeera News as “the most extremist in the country’s history,” the Israeli attack on Gaza last summer, killing 2,139 Palestinians, reached its first year anniversary on July 8th.  The current elected government of Israel includes members that want “a full- scale invasion and reoccupation of Gaza to wipe out the Palestinian factions”.

Al-Quds Day Commemorated in Chicago

Photo by Bill Chambers

By Bill Chambers

On Friday in Chicago, a diverse crowd of 250 people commemorated Al-Quds Day that takes place annually in multiple cities around the world. This year’s event was held on the one-year anniversary of the Israeli attack on Gaza. Speakers focused on the continuing siege of Gaza, the campaign to end the mistreatment of Palestinian children, and called for the U.S. to end military aid to Israel.

Nationalism, Factionalism, and Identity Politics: The 2015 Israeli Election’s Lasting Impact

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By Michal Kranz

As the March 17th election results rolled in, the Likud Party and their leader Benjamin Netanyahu celebrated a resounding electoral victory over a left-wing coalition that had only a few days prior been neck-in-neck with his party. The Israeli Right’s place at the top of the political hierarchy had been reconfirmed. This conservative moment of triumph did not last long.  In May Netanyahu was barely able to form a majority government, and the one that came out of months of negotiations seemed about as stable as a house of cards. The elections and subsequent coalition-building process have implications that go far beyond routine party politics. The process illustrated the dominance of identity politics in modern Israel; the instability and splintered nature of the electoral system; and the desperation of the Israeli political sphere in the face of difficult challenges to its hegemony.

Op-Ed: Myth of Monolithic Jewish Support for the Israeli State

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The full-page ad that I saw in The New York Times the other day was just one more reminder that we need to keep hammering away at the differences and intersections between the state of Israel; the ideology of Zionism; and the religion of Judaism. In reporting on recent votes by Lutheran synods on U.S. financial aid to the state of Israel, I said: Members of Protestant denominations are deeply concerned about what our Jewish brothers and sisters think. We are learning that “Jewish” is not equivalent to “pro-Israel.”

Illinois Lawmakers Vote To Divest from Companies that Support Palestinian Human Rights

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By Bill Chambers

Activists in Illinois and nationally are part of a growing movement to divest from companies that support human rights violations by Israel. Meanwhile Illinois lawmakers are busy voting to force state pension fund administrators to blacklist companies that boycott Israel or businesses that operate in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The target of these bills is the international Boycott Divestment Sanction (BDS) movement directed at the Israeli government for its repeated violations of Palestinian human rights and international law. Two virtually identical bills, HB 4011 and SB 1761, are making their way through the House and Senate. These bills are burdening the beleaguered pension system with politically motivated investigations. This is being done at a time when Illinois has the lowest credit rating and worst-funded pension system among the 50 states. Servicing of pension debt is a major financial crisis. SB 1761 passed unanimously out of the Senate last week and HB 4011 is still being considered by the House.

Palestine Advocacy Group Billboards Remind Americans Taxes Fund Occupation

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By Bill Chambers

Three weeks before the April 15 deadline to file federal tax returns, the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), a national education and advocacy organization based in Palos Hills, IL, has placed electronic billboards asking the question: “Have you declared Israel a dependent on your tax returns?” The ad, which ran last year in Washington DC, says Americans are “sweating April 15 so Israelis don’t have to,” and calls for an end to U.S. aid to the Israeli occupation. In Chicago, the ads can be seen on digital billboards at I-294 and 95th Street and I-294 and Southwest Highway through April 19.

Chicago Inter-Faith Group Campaigns Against Detention of Palestinian Children

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By Newland Smith

The Chicago Faith Coalition launched the “Israeli Military Detention: No Way to Treat a Child” campaign on October 16, 2014 at Grace Episcopal Church in Oak Park. Gerard Horton of Military Court Watch, an organization that monitors treatment of children in Israeli military detention, described the harsh treatment of Palestinian children detained by Israeli military authorities including middle of the night arrests, long interrogations, and harsh sentences in prisons far from their families. Salwa Duaibis of the Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling spoke of the negative psychological impact of night raids and detention of children on those arrested and their families. Both indicated that 8,000 Palestinian children have been victims of these policies since 2000.