Since May 2013, there has been intense debate about the Palestine Economic Initiative, John Kerry’s economic plan for the occupied Palestinian territories which aims to develop the economy of the occupied territories over the next three years as a prerequisite for a political settlement to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Alaa Tartir unpacks what we know of the plan and warns that the focus on economic development takes attention away from confronting the occupation. Tartir says Palestinians need to change not merely the rules of the game, but the game itself.
Monthly Archives: January 2014
Hirsh Goodman, an Israeli-South African analyst and the husband of Isabel Kershner, pens a column in the New York Times on how the BDS movement is winning the narrative war in the West. The column by is noteworthy for two reasons: the Times doesn’t see fit to disclose that his wife reports for the paper on Israel/Palestine; and he reflects growing Israeli panic over the BDS movement.
Why isn’t Americans for Peace Now objecting to racist language about Iranians as manipulative “bazaaris” from Malcolm Hoenlein, leader of the Conference of Presidents, an organization APN is part of? Meantime, Iran sanctions legislation seems to have lost, with three Dem senators abandoning the bill they co-sponsored.
IMEMC Thursday evening 30 Jan by Chris Carlson — The Israeli army demolished, on Thursday, at least 50 structures, including residences, displacing 13 families in the northern Jordan Valley, as a result, according to a local official.
Battle over SodaStream anticipates a battle over whether John Kerry’s peace framework could result in a viable Palestinian state on what chunks of land the Palestinians get in the West Bank
Hundreds of Palestinians announced today the launching of “Melh Al-Ard” (Salt of the Earth) campaign by reviving the village of Ein Hijleh in the Jordan Valley on land belonging to the Orthodox Church and St. Gerassimos monastery. The campaign is launched in refusal of Israeli policies aimed at Judaizing and annexing the Jordan Valley.
Over forty cartoonists and illustrators from a dozen countries around the world released an open letter today to Franck Bondoux, director of the International Festival of Comics at Angoulême, asking the festival to drop its relationship with the Israeli drink manufacturer SodaStream.
The Palestinians of Gaza fear another Israeli military offensive is imminent. Israel is flexing its military muscle and Egypt has joined the band, beating the drums of war.
There was an amusing exchange today at the State Departments’ Daily Press Briefing the sums up the confused and contradictory U.S. policy towards Israeli settlements.
Last week, noted African asylum seeker organizer Mutasim Ali, 27, was given a summons to report to prison. Since mid-December testimonies have surfaced that African asylum seekers are being summoned to report to a desert detention facility, and now this leader has been ordered to give up his life in Tel Aviv and turn himself in. Mondoweiss publishes copy of a new prison summons used to order African asylum seekers to report to a desert detention facility.
The Institute for Middle East Understanding sent out the following reactions to the news that Scarlett Johansson is leaving her role with Oxfam in order to maintain her sponsorship with SodaStream.
A network of Palestinians living near the SodaStream factory in the illegal settlement of Ma’ale Adumim in Occupied Palestine, as well as Israeli and international grassroots activists who work with them, have issued a press release today calling on Scarlett Johansson to step down as SodaStream spokesperson.
Before she quit Oxfam, I’m sure Johansson thought about the issue deeply – with her publicist. No doubt Oxfam did as well – with its publicists. –Marc Ellis is cynical about the relationship between the celebrity and her (former) cause.
Michael Grimm got into Congress with the help of the rightwing Israel lobby. Now he seems to be doing everything he can to get out of there!
Pete Seeger gets a fire going in the woodstove at the Beacon Sloop Club and works on a song: “The faster you grow, the sooner you die” And says the Twin Towers fell because they were a sign of man’s pride
In quitting her role as an Oxfam global ambassador Scarlett Johansson cited “fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement” between herself and the organization. With this statement, Johansson and her public relations team not only extricate her from a vulnerable position, but does so cynically and opportunistically by throwing Oxfam under the bus implying that she was being forced by Oxfam to honor the Palestinian BDS call.
Late Wednesday the Associated Press broke the news that Scarlett Johansson is ending her relationship with Oxfam and staying on as a “global brand ambassador” with SodaStream. A statement released by a Johansson spokesperson cited “a fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement” between the actress and the international humanitarian organization.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee voted unanimously for a bill that designates Israel as a “major strategic partner” and waives visa requirements for Israelis who visit the U.S. While the House version of the legislation does not include much criticized exemptions for Israel’s participation in the visa waiver program, activists for Palestinian rights see other pro-Israel provisions of the bill as deeply problematic.
The Spartans were a cultured people with a commitment to constitutional government but out of a belief that they would be “eaten raw” they conducted an endless series of lawless killings. That spirit lives on, in Israel and in the U.S.
The backlash against New York mayor Bill de Blasio’s secret AIPAC speech continues. A politically diverse group of high-profile New York Jews have issued an open letter to the mayor taking him to task for the speech saying, “AIPAC speaks for Israel’s hard-line government and its right-wing supporters, and for them alone; it does not speak for us.”
Michael Smith, an author of the new collection, Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA, says that more and more Americans are interested in socialist ideas because capitalism has failed to deliver democracy or a decent standard of living. Even Fox Radio wants to have him back
Kerry’s fanatical pursuit for two states is likely to fail and the only power in the conflict, Israel, will face global isolation or must design a framework for one state for two peoples, Tom Friedman says
In a meeting at Oxfam America’s Boston headquarters Tuesday afternoon, local human rights advocates urged representatives of the international aid agency Oxfam to be true to the organization’s principles and cut ties with their Global Ambassador Scarlett Johansson if she remains the Global Brand Ambassador for SodaStream, a company that operates a factory in an illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank. In Los Angeles and New York, human rights groups delivered a petition with more than 10,000 signatures to Johansson’s representatives at Creative Artists Agency. The petition calls on the Hollywood actress to end her relationship with SodaStream.
An American immigrates to Israel and then builds Jewish only housing in Jaffa. The Israeli dream.
Despite an explicit ban by the league on using the map of historic Palestine on their uniforms, the Club Deportivo Palestino soccer team defied the league ruling when they debuted their new uniform on Friday.