Saturday, February 1, 2014

New Mexico To Promote Zionism?

I received an email "local alert" today from one of the more prominent groups that fight for Palestinian rights, Jewish Voice For Peace. I think it's the first such local alert I've received.

It concerns a resolution introduced into the current session of the New Mexico legislature by Republican Yvette Herrell of Alamogordo titled "A RESOLUTION COMMENDING THE NATION OF ISRAEL FOR ITS CORDIAL AND MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UNITED STATES AND WITH THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO."

It's written in staunchly Zionist language and asserts Israel's right not only to the original land stolen from Palestinians in 1948, but to all of the West Bank, which has been occupied by Israel since the 1967 war, and which the resolution, as do Zionists generally, refers to by the Old Testament or Talmud names of Judea and Samaria.

The resolution states that Israel has a "God given" right to the West Bank, which Israel has relentlessly gobbled up since 1967 by building illegal "settlements" on, after forcing the resident Palestinians from their homes, villages, fields and orchards.

Herrell, who entered politics in the 2010 Tea party wave, has gained notoriety for saying background checks for gun purchases are "stupid" and for introducing legislation seeking to transfer federally owned lands to state hands, one of several like minded bills being pushed by Southwestern state Republicans whose purpose is to make it easier to turn the lands over to oil companies. About half of New Mexico is federally owned land.

Herrell, who supported Albuquerque Mayor Marion Berry's referendum that would have outlawed many abortions, which was soundly defeated, often laces her language with references to God, as do many in the so-called "Christian Zionist" movement.

Her Zionist resolution is currently before the NM House Judiciary Committee, whose members and contact information were included in the alert and which I copy below.

Jewish Voice For Peace,  by the way, in many ways represents a divide among Jewish people when it comes to Israel. The divide was discussed in a Jewish Daily Forward article about a recent poll of Jews. While a 48 percent plurality of Jews are opposed to the occupation of the West Bank, fewer than that will voice their opposition to it.

On one side of the divide are Israeli advocacy groups like AIPAC and the Abe Foxman's Anti Defamation League. On the other are groups like Jewish Voice For Peace and the K Street Lobby, whose members tend to be, but are not all, younger and more secular than Israel's traditional Jewish supporters.

New Mexico House Judiciary Committee:

Rep. Gail Chasey, Chair (D-ABQ)

Rep. Georgene Louis, Vice-Chair (D-ABQ)

Rep. Eliseo Lee Alcon (D-Milan)

Rep. Cathrynn Brown (R-Carlsbad)

Rep. Zach Cook (R-Ruidoso)

Rep. Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe)

Rep. Kelly Fajardo (R-Belen)

Rep. Miguel Garcia

Rep. Nate Gentry (R-ABQ)

Rep. Emily Kane (D-ABQ)

Rep. Moe Maestas (D-ABQ)

Rep. Terry McMillan (R-Las Cruces)

Rep. Paul Pacheco (R-ABQ)

Rep. Bill Rehm (R-ABQ)

Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero (D-ABQ)

Rep. Mimi Stewart (D-ABQ)

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