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Justice in the Middle East

UUCM works with UUJME, a national “affiliated organization” of the UUA.  The local chapter describes its mission as follows: “through education and dialogue to raise the consciousness of the UU community in Massachusetts so that we can contribute to a just resolution of the Israel/Palestine situation”.

 

To that end, in 2017, we showed the film “Occupation of the American Mind”, which addressed the unbalanced media coverage of the Israel/Palestine conflict, and the effort by the Israeli government to portray Israel in a good light, whatever its actions. The producers described the propaganda effort to portray Israel as a victim of Palestinian terrorists, denying any legitimate protests by Palestinians about their loss of land, homes, water, etc.  There was a large outcry by pro-Zionist groups in the area who publicly demanded we cancel the planned showing of the film and called us Anti Semites. 200+ people attended the film, despite picketers, and many participated in a dialogue with the producer facilitated by our minister.

 

Those of us who are concerned about this issue, continue to work for a more balanced approach to our policy toward Israel/Palestine in collaboration with UUs For Justice in the Middle East, ACLU, Mass Peace Action, Jewish Voice for Peace and If Not Now. We lobby our local legislators to resist efforts to silence those who criticize Israel’s policies toward Palestinians and falsely define any criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism.  We also continue to lobby our Representatives and Senators in Washington to make our support for the US massive contributions to Israel’s military budget contingent on following international law with respect to its illegal occupation of the West Bank and mistreatment of minor children.

 

We periodically sell olive oil produced by West Bank farmers and made available thru Equal Exchange.

 

Recommended Readings:

The Lemon Tree:  Sandy Toland

Steadfast Hope The Israel/Palestine Mission Network

The Israel Lobby: And US Foreign Policy Mearscheimer and Stephen Walt 

 

 

 

The UUCM Social Action Committee invites the congregation to movie nights.

The first movie will be “Occupation 101” on Tuesday, January 23rd at 7:00. This celebrated film provides Palestinian background to the present conflict in the Middle East. There will be a brief discussion afterwards.

The film is a 2006 documentary, Occupation 101: Voice of the Silenced Majority, which explores the impacts of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. It delves into Israeli history, from the origins and trajectory of Zionism to the second Intifada and Israel's 2005 unilateral disengagement plan when about 9,000 Jews were evicted from Gaza and Israeli troops withdrew from the Gaza Strip to the Green Line, a boundary between Israel and neighboring Arab territory.

The film focuses on scores of interviews primarily with U.S. Israeli scholars, religious leaders, humanitarian workers and NGO reps—more than half Jewish—who question Israeli human rights abuses and Israeli-American relations, especially U.S. monetary involvement.

 

The film has won numerous awards from film festivals for “the best documentary.”
 


 

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