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Utahns for a Just Peace in the Holy Land

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Welcome to Utahns for a Just Peace in the Holy Land

Next meeting: Sat, March 21, 2015, 10:00 am and the Salt lake City Public Library (200 E 400 S) meeting room D in the basement. All are welcome!

Upcoming Events

Peace Advocacy Coalition (PAC) Lecture Series for 2015: Facing  Up to Settler Colonialism - from Bear River, Idaho, to Palestine" 


Guest lecturer, Walter Hixon to speak six times in March! 


Thursday, March 26, 7:00 pm, Meeting Rm A, Salt Lake City Library, 210 E 400 S, Salt Lake City: 

Settler-Colonialism in Palestine: Zionism and U.S. Society


Friday, March 27, 11:00 am, Rm 120, UVU Library, 800 University Parkway, Orem: 

Zionist Settler-Colonialism in Palestine

For more information about other lectures or about PAC visit:


Netanyahu Threatens War In Speech to Congress

By Phyllis BennisCommon Dreams, March 3, 2015 

This was a speech threatening war. Realizing he has insufficient clout to stop the negotiations, Netanyahu demanded a back-up position: If not "no" deal, then we can have a better deal. His vision of a "better" deal, however, is grounded in Iranian surrender. And since that is not going to happen, demanding it means abandoning diplomacy in favor of—yes, war.

Netanyahu threatened just such a war against Iran, in his statement "even if Israel stands alone, the Jewish people will not remain passive." The threat to nuclear non-proliferation in the Middle East was issued long ago—not by Iran, but by Israel’s own internationally known but carefully denied nuclear arsenal. It is Israel, not Iran, whose hundreds of nuclear weapons threaten a potential nuclear arms race in the region, threaten its neighbors, and threaten the world. Any other nuclear weapon in the region, whether from Iran or any other country in some distant future, would not threaten Israel’s existence, it would threaten only Israel’s nuclear weapons monopoly.

And by ignoring any reference to Israel’s decades of occupation of Palestinian land and dispossession of Palestinian people, by keeping the U.S. focus on false claims of Israel being endangered, Netanyahu kept the focus of Congress and the U.S. media squarely where he wanted it—on Iran, away from Palestine, settlements, assaults on Gaza, violations of international law. 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

Phyllis Bennis directs the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies.  Her books include Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer,Understanding the U.S.-Iran Crisis: A PrimerEnding the Iraq War: A Primer, and most recently Ending the Us War in Afghanistan: A Primer. If you want to receive her talking points and articles on a regular basis, click here and choose "New Internationalism."

You can find her on Facebook here:


Netanyahu Still Swaying U.S. Congress

By Stephen ZunesThe Progressive, March 4, 2015

Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu’s speech before a joint session of Congress on March 3 was unprecedented in many ways.

·        It constituted a major breach of protocol, in that it was the first time the Speaker of the House has extended such an invitation without consulting the Administration or the opposition party.

·       It took place just two weeks prior to national elections in the foreign leader’s home country, thereby giving the impression of an endorsement of his campaign by what Netanyahu noted was “the most important legislative body in the world.” 

·        An invitation to speak before a joint session of Congress is a rare honor. Indeed, the only other foreign leader besides Netanyahu to appear before such a joint session of Congress on three occasions was Winston Churchill. Underscoring the high regard Congress has for the right-wing Israeli leader, Speaker of the House John Boehner presented him with a bust of the late British prime minister.

·       Most strikingly, Netanyahu is the only foreign leader to have been invited to address a joint session of Congress with the express purpose of undermining U.S. foreign policy: in this case, the negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program, currently entering their sensitive final stages.

continued,


Netanyahu, ‘Censored Voices,’ and the False Narrative of Self-Defense

By Marjorie CohnGlobal Research, March 06, 2015


On March 3rd, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued an impassioned plea to the US Congress to protect Israel by opposing diplomacy with Iran. Referring to “the remarkable alliance between Israel and the United States” which includes “generous military assistance and missile defense,” Netanyahu failed to mention that Israel has an arsenal of 100 or 200 nuclear weapons.  


The Six-Day War 

The day before he delivered that controversial address, Netanyahu expressed similar sentiments to AIPAC, Israel’s powerful U.S. lobby. He reiterated the claim that Israel acted in the 1967 Six-Day War “to defend itself.” The narrative that Israel attacked Egypt, Syria, and Jordan in self-defense, seizing the Palestinian territories in the West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, and the Sinai Peninsula in 1967, has remained largely unquestioned in the public discourse. Israel relies on that narrative to continue occupying those Palestinian lands. And the powerful film “Censored Voices,” which premiered at Sundance in February, does not challenge that narrative.


But declassified high-level documents from Britain, France, Russia and the United States reveal that Egypt, Syria, and Jordan were not going to attack Israel and Israel knew it. In fact, they did not attack Israel. Instead, Israel mounted the first attack in order to decimate the Egyptian army and take the West Bank. 


Censored voices uncensored 

For two weeks following the Six Day War, Amos Oz and Avrahim Shapira visited Israeli kibbutzim and recorded interviews with several Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers who had just returned from that war. Largely censored by the Israeli government for many years, those reels have finally been made public. “Censored Voices” features the taped voices of young IDF soldiers, as the aging, former soldiers sit silently beside the tape recorder, listening to their own voices.


The testimonies documented in the tapes reveal evidence of targeting civilians and summarily executing prisoners, which constitute war crimes. A soldier asks himself, “They’re civilians – should I kill them or not?” He replies, “I didn’t even think about it. Just kill! Kill everyone you see.” Likewise, one voice notes, “Several times we captured guys, positioned them and just killed them.” Another reveals, “In the war, we all became murderers.” Still another says, “Not only did this war not solve the state’s problems, but it complicated them in a way that’ll be very hard to solve.” One soldier likens evacuating Arab villages to what the Nazis did to Jews in Europe. As a soldier watched an Arab man being taken from his home, the soldier states, “I had an abysmal feeling that I was evil.”


In what proved to be a prescient question, one soldier asks, “Are we doomed to bomb villages every decade for defensive purposes?” Indeed, Israel justifies all of its assaults on Gaza as self-defense, even though Israel invariably attacks first, and kills overwhelming numbers of Palestinians – mostly civilians.  Each time, many fewer Israelis are killed by Palestinian rockets.

continued,


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Last Updated ( Saturday, 07 March 2015 )

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