Ezra Nawi in the New York Times
Posted by rabbibrian on June 29, 2009
In response to my post two weeks, Geraldine Brooks commented:
“The only thing that will be left here is hatred.” Ezra Nawi to the soldiers arresting him.
I urge everyone to watch the Youtube video of Ezra’s arrest. It’s three minutes and it tells you everything you need to know. This man should be given a medal by the State of Israel for defending Jewish values. Instead he’s facing jail.”
In the Times, Nawi is quoted as saying:
“I don’t have a solution to this dispute. I just know that what is going on here is wrong. This is not about ideology. It is about decency.”
The reason he is facing jail is because the Israeli government does all it can to prevent people of conscience from providing support to the Palestinians under Occupation. In my earlier post I pointed out that Nawi is in the same situation as internationals who support Palestinian human rights, as Rabbi Arik Ascherman of Rabbis for Human Rights and others from Israeli human rights organizations who are the eyes and ears of the Occupation. Rachel Corrie and other internationals have been killed, Rabbi Ascherman and others have been arrested and harassed.
Nawi is due to be sentenced on Wednesday. You can see the video that Geraldine Brooks referred to and also send a letter to your local Israeli consulate by clicking here on a page sponsored by A Jewish Voice for Peace.
I hope you do so.
On a related note: This morning’s Times also has an article about Israel’s latest effort to avoid a total freeze on the building in settlements. In a meeting between Ehud Barak and George Mitchell scheduled for tomorrow, Israel will propose a temporary freeze for three to six months in return for a Palestinian agreement to negotiate the end of the conflict and actions by Arab nations that will build confidence, like permitting Israeli airplanes in their airspace.
The Israeli response to Obama’s demand for a total freeze on settlements is a temporary freeze that will not include construction already underway, nor would it include East Jerusalem. It is cast as a concession that requires concessions by the Palestinians and the Arab states. Freezing settlements is not a concession, it would merely put an end to the flouting of international law and U.S. policy by the Israeli government. Freezing settlements is an essential first step to be followed by the dismantling of many, if not all, of the settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem. Without this, the two state solution is a fantasy. In any scenario the Palestinian state will be tiny broken up into different enclaves. While the New York Times presents this as an Israeli shift on a settlement freeze, the “shift” is way too small and is part of a long Israeli tradition to deflect demands to end the Occupation by agreeing to a series of Middle East Peace talks while it continues to create facts on the ground. I hope Mitchell holds firm on the demand for a complete freeze on settlements or at least pushes for a real shift in policy. This is also, as Nawi said, just about “decency.”