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NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio latest progressive to decry BDS

Posted by Tip Staff - August 25, 2016


 
On Saturday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio denounced the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement as "ahistorical" and unprogressive, making him the latest Democrat to speak out against what is being deemed a counterproductive cause. Other notable Democrats have rejected BDS, calling it an obstacle to peace – and a two-state solution – including Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator Chuck Schumer, and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

“There are plenty of people who support BDS who have advanced degrees and who call themselves progressives. I look forward to challenging them, because it’s ahistorical,” said De Blasio. “[Supporting Israel] is a matter of being consistent with progressive values [and expresses] an understanding that we must always learn the painful lessons of history and do something about it.” His comments were backed by the left-leaning American Defamation League (ADL) which noted that BDS activities “have really put a damper on moderate and civil discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
It is also significant to note that even Palestinian leaders do not support the BDS movement themselves, fueling criticism that the campaign is out of touch with the vast majority of Palestinians—some of whom have lost their jobs over boycott efforts. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has plainly stated he does not support the movement, and his words were echoed by a senior PLO official in charge of relations with Israeli civil society. “As long as our strategy is a peaceful one aimed at negotiating a two-state solution, we have to convince important parts of the Israeli constituency that a two-state solution is in their favor,” said the official.

A group of African-American church leaders who represent some 9 million worshippers criticized the anti-Israel elements of the Movement for Black Lives’ (MBL) recently published policy platform as “laced with misinformation and anti-Semitism” in a statement issued on Monday. MBL is a coalition of over 50 groups affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement.
The leaders, which serve as advisers to the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, include Rev. Dr. Kenneth C. Ulmer, senior pastor-teacher of the Faithful Central Bible Church; Rev. Dr. Carroll Baltimore, senior pastor of the International Community Baptist Churches; Rev. Dr. Edward L. Branch, senior pastor of the Third New Hope Baptist Church; Rev. Dr. Deedee Coleman, pastor of the historic Russell Street Missionary Baptist Church; and Rev. Dr. Glenn Plummer, newly appointed Ambassador to Israel for the Church of God In Christ. While the group praised the overall MBL agenda, they rejected the parts of the platform that demonized Israel as an “apartheid state” and accused it of genocide.
“It was a vitriolic attack against Israel laced with misinformation and anti-Semitism and an agenda that is not embraced by the broader African-American community,” the Fellowship’s advisers said in their joint statement. “The anti-Semitism and misinformation found in this small segment is so misleading that it makes an experienced leader question the entire document and thus the intentions of the organization.”
The advisers rejected the platform’s criticism of the U.S.-Israel partnership, arguing that Israel is “a key U.S. ally in the Middle East.” They also rejected the libel that a genocide has been carried out against Palestinians, noting that “real genocide took place during the Holocaust, in Rwanda and now in Syria. Israel has sought peace via a two-state solution with the Palestinians, and there are complex reasons peace has not been realized.” They also refuted the charge that Israeli policies amount to apartheid, noting: “Israeli Arabs are full citizens who fill leadership roles including Knesset members and judges, while Israeli security measures are aimed at fighting terrorism.”
“We may not agree with everything that Israel has done, but let us not be dishonest regarding the motives. This is not about race, it is about security, a government’s most basic and fundamental responsibility to its people,” the advisers continued.
“We see the danger of passing along hysterical mistruths and sound bites even as we watch the current presidential election. It is not helpful,” the leaders said. “At its worst it can breed hatred and bigotry, which of all people, we should not condone against anyone – black, brown or white.”
“The Jewish community has been an ally of black America, most significantly during the civil rights movement and even today. Together these two communities have been the conscience of America leading the fight for human and civil rights for decades,” they concluded. “Jews have been our reliable friends, just like Israel.” (via TheTower.org)

 
An international team of scientists and astronomers has announced the discovery of a planet with a mass similar to that of Earth, orbiting Proxima Centauri — the closest star neighbor to our solar system. The collaboration of scientists from nine countries, known as the “Pale Red Dot” and led by Dr. Guillem Anglada-Escudé of the Queen Mary University of London, includes the Weizmann Institute of Science’s Dr. Aviv Ofir, who is in the group of Prof. Oded Aharonson of the Earth and Planetary Sciences Department. The rocky planet is named Proxima b. Researchers say that because it is within the habitable zone of its star, liquid water could potentially exist on its surface and it may be the closest possible home for life outside of our solar system. Ofir says that Proxima Centauri –a low-mass red dwarf star with a diameter about one seventh that of our Sun and far dimmer — has been studied for the past century, but only now have observations become sensitive enough to decisively detect the presence of this new small planet. (via Israel21c)

 


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