Angela Keaton Interviews Sydney Levy

Angela Keaton, July 15, 2010

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Sydney Levy, Director of Campaigns for Jewish Voice for Peace, discusses his organization’s fight for Palestinian equality rather than a specific state solution, the very simple problem at the core of the Israel/Palestine conflict: land theft, how MuzzleWatch.com brings attention to silenced critics of Israel, the campaign to pressure mutual funds into divesting from Israeli companies and why Israel’s oft-noted status as the sole Middle East democracy is in question.

MP3 here. (18:47)

Sydney Levy is Director of Campaigns for Jewish Voice for Peace. He has worked for over 15 years in nonprofits advocating for LGBT human rights organizing for media justice, and assisting in the preparation of death row appeals. He is the son of Egyptian Jews who immigrated to Venezuela, where he was born. Sydney lived in Jerusalem for seven years, where he received his Masters degree in Jewish History from the Hebrew University. Sydney has been working with JVP–first as a volunteer, then as a staff member–since 2000.

22 Responses to “Sydney Levy”

  1. There can be no peace without a two state solution.
    2S.Solutions both Wins. All violence stop from BOTH sides.
    The World communities will breeze a sigh of relief.
    I S solution(Binational) Israel loose, Pals. WIN 20years time.
    Freedom fighting carry on for many years.
    Military Solutions?? For how long.
    day by day there is a decline of "show of force"as the WORLD watching intensely.
    Negociating PEACE is the BEST.

  2. My compliments to Sydney Levy. He embodies the best of Judaism–tolerance, peace, and the like. Clearly, this man’s no NuttyYahoo-like rabid Zionist!

    It’s important that Americans see Israel for what it is–a dangerous Zionist regime, propped up by mindless American support.

  3. A true two-state solution that actually respects the rights of the aggrieved Palestinians is no more likely than a one-state solution in which everyone's rights are respected. So why not work for the better alternative, which is the latter?

  4. This is the issue on which people most often throw up their hands in despair and say 'Well, they're all religious fanatics anyway, so what can we do?'. But the truth is that in the end it is that very religion which will solve this conflict. Our politicians are too terrified of being labeled 'anti-semitic' to take any actions. These movements to awaken the muffled Jewish conscience in regard to the Palestinian people are probably the only thing that will be able to confront the cruelty and the tyranny of the situation and denounce the anti-semitic bugbear. Rachel Corrie isn't dead. Her spirit lives on.

  5. Fortunately since 1776, many other countries have followed the United States’ (US) lead and have embraced constitutional republics as the way to organize them. It is time now to unite with them just like the American colonies united to combat their common enemies.

    The United Nations (UN) can be improved by temporarily removing those “countries” that are less than republics. If this is not workable, a UN2 is advisable with the US again taking the lead. We can finance it with contract insurance, which would safeguard international trade. And elections would be guaranteed with international observer groups.

    The UN or UN2 constitution must embrace the Libertarian principle of not forcing anyone to do anything, which recognizes the revolutionary advances in politics over the years. We would present a united front against those who want to hurt others and who fortunately have been reduced to wandering gangs around the world.

  6. I'm interested to know why the one state solution is considered as likely as the two state. I can imagine getting the Israel electorate to go for a peaceful two state solution where they still hold the reins of their own country, but I'm having trouble seeing them allowing the Palestinians to have the majority in a single state. It's not because their Jewish or Zionists, it's just that people have a tendency to want to hold onto their advantages and the Israelis would be giving up a lot more than most would be willing too. This isn't at all like South Africa where the whites were outnumbered by a huge majority already in the same country. I too wish and hope the one state is the final outcome, but at the moment it seems very far from realistic.

  7. I think what you meant to say is the "revolutionary advances in 'political rhetoric' over the years." I don't think politics has changed all that much. And who the hell would want the US in charge of anything? Certainly not someone who truly wants bombs to stop dropping.

  8. Perhaps this "toned down" version of my reply will be acceptable to the censors; here goes:

    Think again. You wrote: "If this is not workable, a UN2 is advisable with the US again taking the lead." The u.s., which is now, and will remain, under the control of israel, "taking the lead" is precisely the problem the world is currently facing. Forming another UN for the u.s. to exploit and make a mockery of on behalf of israel will not solve anything. With the u.s. essentially representing israel at the UN, as it does now, israel is making fools out of every UN member state. Think about it; israel is not bound by anything that comes from the UN – america sees to that detail. Yet, israel can get any UN resolution it wants simply be sending its 'special friend', the u.s., to demand it at the UN.

    Turkey is a UN member state. What was that membership worth to them when israel pirated Turkish vessels and murdered Turkish citizens? NOTHING, because america (completely subservient to israel, but a bully to everyone else, especially at the UN), spends more time, effort, and money looking out for israeli interests than it on its own interests.

    It is well-known that israel is completely free to violate anything that comes from the UN. If israel was, in any way, actually bound by, or even chose to voluntarily comply with UN directives etc., it would have clearly defined borders – as agreed upon many times in the past. I use this example for the benefit of people who refuse to accept the fact that israel is a rogue state based on its incessant human rights violations, invasions of its neighbors, operating the largest concentration camp in the world, piracy, murder, etc. Even these people can open a Google earth page and see that israel has disrupted its borders with its neighbours – by invading them. The 'state' of israel and it's victims / neighbours have the only 'disputed' borders in the entire Middle East. UN peace-keepers have died at the hands of israel's army during israeli invasions of Lebanon, but israel is never held to account. The u.s., working on behalf of israel at the UN and elsewhere, is complicit in this unjust and regrettable circumstance.

    In summary, anyone willing to view the situation honestly will conclude that the u.s. is israel's protector and enabler. Because of this, the u.s. is precisely the wrong outfit to lead anything on the scale you suggest. In fact, because of its unwavering support for and complicity in israeli crimes, including the ongoing genocide taking place in Gaza, the u.s. should be thrown out of the current UN. We all know this will never happen. Therefore, we can conclude that forming yet another UN type organisation, especially one headed by the u.s., would only result in even more injustice and death.

    Even a Libertarian administration would make absolutely no meaningful difference if its foreign policy with respect to israel remains the same as what america has now. Think hard; are there any Libertarian candidates with the courage to change america's foreign policy in this area?

  9. The No 1 problem the world faces is the Pentagon aiming at achieving a disarming and unanswerable first-strike capability. Moreover, it seems that the late Brigadier Harbottle is right even today (he stated that they are bloody fools in the Pentagon because they think they can avoid nuclear winter or don´t think a nuclear winter will occur) because earth-penetrating warheads and MX´ warhead now on Minuteman-3 are designed to minimize nuclear winter effects. Former Trident chief missile engineer Bob Aldridge -www.plrc.org-commented on the missiles to be deployed on ships in the Black Sea in Bulgaria and on land in Poland and Romania: "Whether they are on ships or land, they are still a necessary component for an unanswerable first strike". The US Navy can track and destroy all enemy submarines simultaneously (see Robert C. Aldridge: Nuclear Empire, ch. 9). Minuteman-3 and Trident-2 D5 obtain an accuracy of 30 meters or less, enough to destroy any hard target. Bob Aldridge resigned because the Pentagon aims to achieve a disarming and unanswerable first-strike capability. Inevitably, this leads to Launch On Warning and it may happen by mistake.

  10. The missiles in Poland and Romania and on ships in the Black Sea in Bulgaria will be complete by 2015. They are to shoot down the few surviving Russian missiles after a First Strike. As Professor Anderson says, "Nuclear war fighting means First Strike". In the sense of the word as in Robert C. Aldridge: First Strike! The Pentagon´s Strategy for Nuclear War. That´s his main work. His books The Counterforce Syndrome and Nuclear Empire should be studied too.

  11. The missiles in Poland, Romania and Bulgaria are a real danger because the bloody fools in the Pentagon may think they´ve gotten their dreaned of Unanswerable First-Strike Capability. And they ignore -or seem to- that the Russian answer can only be Launch On Warning. We´re on a suicide course. Keir Lieber and Daryl Press wrote about it in Foreign Affairs, Professor Anderson wrote about first-strike capability in Bulletin of Atomic Scientists and Bob Aldridge wrote First Strike! The Pentagon´s Strategy for Nuclear War (available in English, German, French and Danish).

  12. Paul, the old parties take turns acting like vigilantes and sadly drop bombs to deal with their frustration of not getting what they want. If governors of states have disagreements with others, they take them to court–no violence. This brilliant solution created by those who started our nation is what I hope for all people in the world who want to participate.

  13. Me

  14. It looks to me like the plan is to give up on Gaza and take the entire West Bank, in hopes the Arabs there just leave. That is where this is going to you might as well accept it.

  15. What if the United States has been protecting the Arab States surrounding Israel ? maybe Israel could have depopulated all of them when they all attacked Israel ? But Israel choose to let their brothers live . I'am not sure if the Aarb States had won the last war , that Israel would still exist .

  16. A unanswerable first strike capablity , And coupled with a first strike policy . means the United States rules the world right now . why isnt evreybody more obedient ? Is it becuase Osama bin Laden our enemy says he loves death ? I recall when Ollie North worked for our government at the sametime Osama bin Laden did , Ollie got into somekind of finacial trouble . Ollie had spent incrediable amounts of money for security equipment on his own house . Ollie's excuse was he was really afraid of Bin Laden , a fellow employee . I'am still laughing about this . When United States went to Afganhistan to capture or kill Bin Laden the news Media inerviewed a 12 yr old little boy from Afganhistan . The boy said Osama Bin Laden is not a bad man , I think he is a very good man . They never asked the boy what he thought about president Bush .

  17. Eric, the beauty of a republic is that all representatives argue out an issue and then act as one (for good or ill). Now with every nation not being legally bound by any agreement, we are experiencing mostly ill.

  18. Hilarious that antiwar posts an article with a title, "Jewish Voice for Peace", that cannot be used in a comment without getting censored by Intense Debate pending administrator approval.

  19. "Eric, the beauty of a republic is that all representatives argue out an issue and then act as one (for good or ill). Now with every nation not being legally bound by any agreement, we are experiencing mostly ill".

    You poor sad market utopian fool.

    The only thing such representatives argue about is the wages paid by their purchasers among the Finance Capitalist elite.

  20. There are no comments pending, from you or anyone else.

  21. Read what was written closely.

  22. ever tried typing "jew" into Google? do it and read the first entry:

    Offensive Search Results http://www.google.com/explanation We're disturbed about these results as well. Please read our note here.

    ps. my point is that discussion of anything related to Israel is pretty hard when political incorrectness and threats of being no.1 bad guy Hitler hovers over us!

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