Millions of American Christians are unaware of the plight of the city of Bethlehem and its Palestinian inhabitants in the West Bank of Palestine. The Israeli built separation wall snakes its way around Bethlehem, even cutting off Palestinians from their own land and nearby Jerusalem. This story is courageously told by Palestinian filmmaker, Leila Sansour in her Open, Bethlehem documentary that is part of a campaign to educate her fellow Christians and the world about the stranglehold by Israel that is slowly causing Palestinian Christians to leave the Holy Land because of the hardships imposed by the military occupation.
This is the 4 minute trailer for Open, Bethlehem:
Brandon Martinez January 3, 2017 Analysis, Commentary
Brandon Martinez / Non-Aligned Media
The “anti-globalist” John Birch Society (JBS) and its The New American online and print publication have been promoting a confused mishmash of nationalism, constitutionalism, anti-globalism, and kosher conservatism.
Champions of American sovereignty and an “Amexit” from internationalist bodies like the UN and NATO, the JBS writing staff are mostly good in what they advocate: a reversion back to constitutionalist principles, secure borders and a non-interventionist foreign policy. But the constitutionalist stalwarts of JBS exude an outdated Judeo-Christian bias in their publication. The JBS scribes severally miss the mark specifically when its comes to Israel and Jewish power, even if some of what they promote implicitly goes against that power structure.
The writings of Alex Newman, a frequent contributor at the New American, are particuarly pronounced in their partisanship for Jewish-Zionist interests. Newman lambasts the Obama and Bush administrations for launching wars in the Middle East on the basis that they were “unconstitutional,” but he, perhaps deliberately, avoids naming the true architects of said wars and their allegiance to Israel. The US invasion of Iraq, according to a growing number of academics and scholars, was conceived in Israel as a proxy war for that state’s hegemonic ambitions. The neocons that Newman sometimes maligns are, by and large, Zionist Jews with close ties to the Israeli government and political establishment. The most forceful advocates of and apologists for that war within the Bush administration were Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, David Wurmser, Paul Wolfowitz, David Frum, Abram Shulsky and Eliot Cohen – all Zionist Jews with notable links to Israel. Feith in particular, the man behind the “Office of Special Plans” under Bush, the Pentagon’s propaganda clearinghouse of WMD mythology, is so shamelessly committed to Zionism that he even has a portrait of Theodore Herzl, the founder of Zionism, hanging on the wall of his study.
Why does Newman refuse to address this important issue? A Christian-based bias for Israel is the likely answer.
In 2013 he favourably interviewed Moshe Feiglin, a radical Jewish supremacist and pro-settlement Israeli lawmaker who advocates “purifying” Israel by removing its Arab population. During the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas, Feiglin infamously agitated for the ‘conquest’ of Gaza and the ‘annihilation’ of all its residents who supported Hamas’ war effort. The rest of the Gaza population that would be spared from ‘extermination’ were to be herded into concentration camps before being expelled, Feiglin mused in a psychotic rant posted to Facebook.
Newman has written numerous articles with a pro-Israel slant, like this recent one calling for the US government to defund and pull-out from the UN because of its latest resolution condemning Israeli settlements. Newman bristles at the Obama administration for abstaining on that vote, which caused Netanyahu’s criminal regime serious grief. But Newman was content when Obama’s White House vetoed previous UN resolutions against Israel and recently signed a record-setting military aid package, showering Tel Aviv with $38 billion in military upgrades and funding over the next decade.
Alex Newman and Israeli politician Moshe Feiglin.
Alex Newman and Israeli politician Moshe Feiglin.
Newman’s pro-Israel editorial line is absurd and delusional. He pushes Hasbarite propaganda that Israel is a helpless, besieged underdog constantly being assailed by the UN “globalists,” when in reality Tel Aviv with the help of the West has achieved an overwhelming monopoly on nuclear, as well as conventional and unconventional, weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. Its US-based lobby, AIPAC, has been in the driver’s seat of US foreign policy for decades. He condemns US foreign policies that were tailor made to benefit Israel, stealthily leaving out the part about Israel. He scorns neocons, but doesn’t mention they are mostly pro-Israel Jews who were former communists. He criticizes the Iraq war, but refuses to name and shame its chief architect Benjamin Netanyahu who was spreading alarmist lies about Iraqi WMDs since the early 1990s.
Newman’s constitutionalist advocacy is admirable, and his well-written essays are often informative on other topics relating to globalism. But he is hopelessly blinded by a Christian Zionist bias for Israel as the homeland of the “chosen people,” breezing over their leading role behind the very same globalist agenda that he abhors. Newman, beholden to Old Testament myths about Jewish chosenness, is protecting the Jewish ring-leaders behind both globalism and Zionism, craftily diverting blame onto expendable “globalist” straw men and puppet politicians like Obama and Bush.
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By Grace Halsell
American Jews sympathetic to Israel dominate key positions in all areas of our government where decisions are made regarding the Middle East. This being the case, is there any hope of ever changing U.S. policy? American Presidents as well as most members of Congress support Israel — and they know why. U.S. Jews sympathetic to Israel donate lavishly to their campaign coffers.
The answer to achieving an even-handed Middle East policy might lie elsewhere — among those who support Israel but don’t really know why. This group is the vast majority of Americans. They are well-meaning, fair-minded Christians who feel bonded to Israel — and Zionism — often from atavistic feelings, in some cases dating from childhood.
I am one of those. I grew up listening to stories of a mystical, allegorical, spiritual Israel. This was before a modern political entity with the same name appeared on our maps. I attended Sunday School and watched an instructor draw down window- type shades to show maps of the Holy Land. I imbibed stories of a Good and Chosen people who fought against their Bad “unChosen” enemies.
In my early 20s, I began traveling the world, earning my living as a writer. I came to the subject of the Middle East rather late in my career. I was sadly lacking in knowledge regarding the area. About all I knew was what I had learned in Sunday School.
And typical of many U.S. Christians, I somehow considered a modern state created in 1948 as a homeland for Jews persecuted under the Nazis as a replica of the spiritual, mystical Israel I heard about as a child. When in 1979 I initially went to Jerusalem, I planned to write about the three great monotheistic religions and leave out politics. “Not write about politics?” scoffed one Palestinian, smoking a waterpipe in the Old Walled City. “We eat politics, morning, noon and night!”
As I would learn, the politics is about land, and the co-claimants to that land: the indigenous Palestinians who have lived there for 2,000 years and the Jews who started arriving in large numbers after the Second World War. By living among Israeli Jews as well as Palestinian Christians and Muslims, I saw, heard, smelled, experienced the police state tactics Israelis use against Palestinians.
My research led to a book entitled Journey to Jerusalem. My journey not only was enlightening to me as regards Israel, but also I came to a deeper, and sadder, understanding of my own country. I say sadder understanding because I began to see that, in Middle East politics, we the people are not making the decisions, but rather that supporters of Israel are doing so. And typical of most Americans, I tended to think the U.S. media was “free” to print news impartially.
‘It shouldn’t be published. It’s anti-Israel.’
In the late 1970s, when I first went to Jerusalem, I was unaware that editors could and would classify “news” depending on who was doing what to whom. On my initial visit to Israel-Palestine, I had interviewed dozens of young Palestinian men. About one in four related stories of torture.
Israeli police had come in the night, dragged them from their beds and placed hoods over their heads. Then in jails the Israelis had kept them in isolation, besieged them with loud, incessant noises, hung them upside down and had sadistically mutilated their genitals. I had not read such stories in the U.S. media. Wasn’t it news? Obviously, I naively thought, U.S. editors simply didn’t know it was happening.
On a trip to Washington, DC, I hand-delivered a letter to Frank Mankiewicz, then head of the public radio station WETA. I explained I had taped interviews with Palestinians who had been brutally tortured. And I’d make them available to him. I got no reply. I made several phone calls. Eventually I was put through to a public relations person, a Ms. Cohen, who said my letter had been lost. I wrote again. In time I began to realize what I hadn’t known: had it been Jews who were strung up and tortured, it would be news. But interviews with tortured Arabs were “lost” at WETA.
The process of getting my book Journey to Jerusalem published also was a learning experience. Bill Griffin, who signed a contract with me on behalf of MacMillan Publishing Company, was a former Roman Catholic priest. He assured me that no one other than himself would edit the book. As I researched the book, making several trips to Israel and Palestine, I met frequently with Griffin, showing him sample chapters. “Terrific,” he said of my material.
The day the book was scheduled to be published, I went to visit MacMillan’s. Checking in at a reception desk, I spotted Griffin across a room, cleaning out his desk. His secretary Margie came to greet me. In tears, she whispered for me to meet her in the ladies room. When we were alone, she confided, “He’s been fired.” She indicated it was because he had signed a contract for a book that was sympathetic to Palestinians. Griffin, she said, had no time to see me.
Later, I met with another MacMillan official, William Curry. “I was told to take your manuscript to the Israeli Embassy, to let them read it for mistakes,” he told me. “They were not pleased. They asked me, “You are not going to publish this book, are you?” I asked, “Were there mistakes?” “Not mistakes as such. But it shouldn’t be published. It’s anti-Israel.”
Somehow, despite obstacles to prevent it, the presses had started rolling. After its publication in 1980, I was invited to speak in a number of churches. Christians generally reacted with disbelief. Back then, there was little or no coverage of Israeli land confiscation, demolition of Palestinian homes, wan ton arrests and torture of Palestinian civilians.
The Same Question
Speaking of these injustices, I invariably heard the same question, “How come I didn’t know this?” Or someone might ask, “But I haven’t read about that in my newspaper.” To these church audiences, I related my own learning experience, that of seeing hordes of U.S. correspondents covering a relatively tiny state. I pointed out that I had not seen so many reporters in world capitals such as Beijing, Moscow, London, Tokyo, Paris. Why, I asked, did a small state with a 1980 population of only four million warrant more reporters than China, with a billion people?
I also linked this query with my findings that The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post — and most of our nation’s print media – are owned and/or controlled by Jews supportive of Israel. It was for this reason, I deduced, that they sent so many reporters to cover Israel — and to do so largely from the Israeli point of view.
My learning experiences also included coming to realize how easily I could lose a Jewish friend if I criticized the Jewish state. I could with impunity criticize France, England, Russia, even the United States. And any aspect of life in America. But not the Jewish state. I lost more Jewish friends than one after the publication of Journey to Jerusalem — all sad losses for me and one, perhaps, saddest of all.
In the 1960s and 1970s, before going to the Middle East, I had written about the plight of blacks in a book entitled Soul Sister, and the plight of American Indians in a book entitled Bessie Yellowhair, and the problems endured by undocumented workers crossing from Mexico in The Illegals. These books had come to the attention of the “mother” of The New York Times, Mrs. Arthur Hays Sulzberger.
Her father had started the newspaper, then her husband ran it, and in the years that I knew her, her son was the publisher. She invited me to her fashionable apartment on Fifth Avenue for lunches and dinner parties. And, on many occasions, I was a weekend guest at her Greenwich, Conn., home.
She was liberal-minded and praised my efforts to speak for the underdog, even going so far in one letter to say, “You are the most remarkable woman I ever knew.” I had little concept that from being buoyed so high I could be dropped so suddenly when I discovered — from her point of view — the “wrong” underdog.
As it happened, I was a weekend guest in her spacious Connecticut home when she read bound galleys of Journey to Jerusalem. As I was leaving, she handed the galleys back with a saddened look: “My dear, have you forgotten the Holocaust?” She felt that what happened in Nazi Germany to Jews several decades earlier should silence any criticism of the Jewish state. She could focus on a holocaust of Jews while negating a modern day holocaust of Palestinians.
I realized, quite painfully, that our friendship was ending. Iphigene Sulzberger had not only invited me to her home to meet her famous friends but, also at her suggestion, The Times had requested articles. I wrote op-ed articles on various subjects including American blacks, American Indians as well as undocumented workers. Since Mrs. Sulzberger and other Jewish officials at the Times highly praised my efforts to help these groups of oppressed peoples, the dichotomy became apparent: most “liberal” U.S. Jews stand on the side of all poor and oppressed peoples save one — the Palestinians.
How handily these liberal Jewish opinion-molders tend to diminish the Palestinians, to make them invisible, or to categorize them all as “terrorists.”
Interestingly, Iphigene Sulzberger had talked to me a great deal about her father, Adolph S. Ochs. She told me that he was not one of the early Zionists. He had not favored the creation of a Jewish state.
Yet, increasingly, American Jews have fallen victim to Zionism, a nationalistic movement that passes for many as a religion. While the ethical instructions of all great religions — including the teachings of Moses, Muhammad and Christ — stress that all human beings are equal, militant Zionists take the position that the killing of a non-Jew does not count.
Over five decades now, Zionists have killed Palestinians with impunity. And in the 1996 shelling of a U.N. base in Qana, Lebanon, the Israelis killed more than 100 civilians sheltered there. As an Israeli journalist, Arieh Shavit, explains of the massacre, “We believe with absolute certitude that right now, with the White House in our hands, the Senate in our hands and The New York Times in our hands, the lives of others do not count the same way as our own.”
Israelis today, explains the anti-Zionist Jew Israel Shahak, “are not basing their religion on the ethics of justice. They do not accept the Old Testament as it is written. Rather, religious Jews turn to the Talmud. For them, the Talmudic Jewish laws become “the Bible.” And the Talmud teaches that a Jew can kill a non-Jew with impunity.
In the teachings of Christ, there was a break from such Talmudic teachings. He sought to heal the wounded, to comfort the downtrodden.
The danger, of course, for U.S. Christians is that having made an icon of Israel, we fall into a trap of condoning whatever Israel does — even wanton murder — as orchestrated by God.
Yet, I am not alone in suggesting that the churches in the United States represent the last major organized support for Palestinian rights. This imperative is due in part to our historic links to the Land of Christ and in part to the moral issues involved with having our tax dollars fund Israeli-government-approved violations of human rights.
While Israel and its dedicated U.S. Jewish supporters know they have the president and most of Congress in their hands, they worry about grassroots America — the well-meaning Christians who care for justice. Thus far, most Christians were unaware of what it was they didn’t know about Israel. They were indoctrinated by U.S. supporters of Israel in their own country and when they traveled to the Land of Christ most all did so under Israeli sponsorship. That being the case, it was unlikely a Christian ever met a Palestinian or learned what caused the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
This is gradually changing, however. And this change disturbs the Israelis. As an example, delegates attending a Christian Sabeel conference in Bethlehem earlier this year said they were harassed by Israeli security at the Tel Aviv airport.
“They asked us,” said one delegate, “Why did you use a Palestinian travel agency? Why didn’t you use an Israeli agency?” The interrogation was so extensive and hostile that Sabeel leaders called a special session to brief the delegates on how to handle the harassment. Obviously, said one delegate, “The Israelis have a policy to discourage us from visiting the Holy Land except under their sponsorship. They don’t want Christians to start learning all they have never known about Israel.”
About the Author
Grace Halsell (1923-2000) was a distinguished American journalist, war correspondent, author and columnist. She was the author of 13 books, including Journey to Jerusalem and Prophecy and Politics.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2016 Source here
When I think I have heard it all, then I read about Israel’s national stench policy. I am referring to Israel’s use since 2008 of “skunk juice” as a weapon to keep Palestinians under control.
Victims have no idea of its chemical make-up but if they are sprayed with it, it takes days of scrubbing to get rid of the stench. In a land where water is scarce, smelling like the sewer is a disheartening experience.
According to Ben Ehrenreich, Skunk trucks could show up at any time, especially during celebrations, such as weddings, birthday parties, funerals or times of worship. Someone yells “skunk,” and everyone runs.
There was that truck, the white one idling behind the jeeps, a clear liquid dripping from the cannon on its roof. The liquid it so violently emitted was called skunk water. No one knew what chemicals it contained or what effect exposure to it might bring, but everyone knew what it smelled like. It smelled like dead dogs in a dumpster in August. Mainly, it smelled like shit. And no matter how many times you scrubbed your hair and your clothes, the scent would linger for days, even weeks.
Run home, lock your doors. You still can’t hide from it. Skunk trucks drive down neighborhoods and business districts spraying its putrid smell on everything within a hundred yards. Its odor may linger in clothing for five years.
Skunk is powerful stuff. A reporter described its effect:
Imagine taking a chunk of rotting corpse from a stagnant sewer, placing it in a blender and spraying the filthy liquid in your face. Your gag reflex goes off the chart and you can’t escape, because the nauseating stench persist for days.
Palestinians living under Israeli occupation do not have to imagine. They know:
The truck blasted Mohammad’s house next, the jet of fluid smashed the first-floor windows and knocked him from his feet. He had just come home, triumphant from his close escape. Shattered glass cut his face and chest. Skunk water saturated the carpets and couches.
Forty percent of Palestinian males have spent time in Israeli jails. Said Tamimi was one of them. After serving twenty years, he came home to find his house saturated with skunk juice. Once this happens, carpets, upholstery and clothes never get rid of the stench and wind up being thrown away. Even at that, he was lucky. Others have been hospitalized, either from the effects of the skunk itself or having been injured in the stampede running away from it.
Israel needs a new flag, one to represent Israel today. It would be brown. The Star of David, the symbol of a proud and praiseworthy Jewish heritage is far, far above skunk juice.
September 20, 2016
 Read Ben Enrenreich, The Way to the Spring, (Penguin Press, New York, 2016) p. 30. Even better; Google: Israeli Skunk Trucks and watch any of the numerous videos of Israel in action.
 Wikipedia.org/wiki/Skunk_(weapon) Skunk has been condemned by Physicians for Human Rights, the International Network of Civil Liberties Organization, the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International, B’Selem and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel..
 Ben Enrenreich, The Way to the Spring, (Penguin Press, New York, 2016) p. 76.
Article first appeared here at The Washington Post on December 14, 2015
JERUSALEM — Lynne Hybels is revered for her work helping the impoverished around the world, but some people view her as dangerous.
Hybels, cofounder with her husband of one of the nation’s largest churches, has been called a heretic and an anti-Semite for her efforts to build bridges between Palestinians and Israelis in the Middle East.
Hybels is among a small number of influential evangelicals who are challenging a decades-long stance of blanket evangelical support for Israel’s government. They are taking trips to the Middle East, not only to visit biblical sites but to engage with modern-day Palestinians and Israelis in conversations centered more around modern politics than ancient texts. They are organizing conferences and writing publicly in an attempt to discern a new role for Christians in bringing an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Gradually, their ideas are taking hold, especially with young evangelicals.
READ MORE HERE.