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June 2014

Missing Israeli teens found dead near Hebron; Netanyahu: ‘Hamas is responsible and Hamas will pay’

Adam Horowitz on

The bodies of three missing Israeli teens – Gil-Ad Shaer,16, Naftali Fraenkel, 16, and Eyal Yifrah, 19 – were found today in a West Bank field near the village of Halhul, not far from where they went missing on June 12. The Israeli government is meeting in an emergency cabinet session tonight to discuss an official response. Even though initial reports indicate the killing was not an official operation ordered by Hamas leadership, Israeli politicians have already increased calls to use the teens death as justification for “war” on the Palestinian political party.

Hewlett-Packard’s complicity in occupation makes headlines

Annie Robbins on

The lead article in Sunday’s business section of the San Francisco Chronicle warns HP’s role in Israel could lead to political pressure. Although never mentioning the Boycott Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement directly, the Chronicle informs its readers Hewlett-Packard, a local Bay Area company, is the target of “an international campaign” that has “emerged to pressure Israel by persuading investors to dump shares of companies that do business with the government or operate in the disputed territories.”

The case for a BDS coalition

Jeremiah Haber on

Jerry Haber makes the case for a coalition between the BDS movement and progressive Zionists who support boycotting Israeli settlements.

In ‘NYT’ tale of two mothers, the occupation is a human-relations problem

Philip Weiss on

Jodi Rudoren steps out of her comfort zone, and good for her, to portray a Palestinian mother of a boy killed by Israeli soldiers. But her article will leave readers thinking, Why can’t Palestinians and Israelis just get along? It all-but-ignores the occupation, and restrictions on Palestinian freedom.

Can a neocon change his spots (and come back as a liberal interventionist for Hillary Clinton)?

Philip Weiss on

The neoconservatives are on the run. The latest upheaval in Iraq has further discredited them for destabilizing the country in the first place; and they are being called out in the mainstream media. But the neoconservatives’ partners in crime have gone largely blameless: American liberal interventionists and the Israeli right. When will they come in for criticism? Until they do, it seems that the neoconservative agenda is alive and well.

The cost of fear: a night on the West Bank

Alice Rothchild on

Alice Rothchild spends a tense night in a beautiful village in the West Bank as Israeli soldiers raid it in response to the disappearance of the three Israeli teens. She meditates on the question, Who is the terrorist?

Glib, simplistic, and extreme — the world according to Richard Landes

Roland Nikles on

Here’s why they hate us and why we can’t possibly lift our boot off their necks– Richard Landes, an associate professor of history at Boston University, rationalizes the Israeli occupation with woolgathering fantastic exploration of Arab honor-culture and the traditional “dhimmi” status of Jews in the Middle East. But really, who’s dhimmi now?

What’s your politically-correct World Cup bracket?

Philip Weiss on

The surprises will end in the World Cup as of today, predicts Mondo soccer non-expert Phil Weiss. Brazil will get past Chile and France to go to the Finals. And the Netherlands is too strong for Mexico, Argentina and the U.S. But a politically-correct bracket sees Chile, Mexico, and Algeria advancing. And guess who wins between Algeria and France?

‘J Street has to change or die’: Divestment battle exposes tactical rift among liberal Zionists

Alex Kane on

The Presbyterian Church’s decision to divest from three corporations linked to the Israeli military has highlighted a growing rift between two-state solution advocates who see divestment as a legitimate tool and J Street, the leading liberal Zionist group who lobbied against the church measure. The divestment resolution comes at a time of growing frustration among those who believe in a two-state solution. Increasingly, those desperate to end the occupation are looking to the tactics BDS is pushing for salvation. And those same people, J Street’s natural constituency, are starting to voice criticism of the group for its ardent opposition to BDS.

‘I was a Zionist till I was 64. I want to hit myself’

Philip Weiss on

‘I was a Zionist till 2008. Can you believe it? I hate myself’ Tzvia Thier, who helped organize a demonstration against Israel’s “rampage” through the West Bank, explains how Zionism indoctrinates even leftwing Jews like herself. Jews must meet Palestinians, to understand how wrong their beliefs are.

Now it is time for action: A young Jewish activist reflects on the Presbyterian General Assembly

Becca Hanna on

Becca Hanna reflects on her time at the Presbyterian (USA) General Assembly where she advocated the church divest from companies profiting from the Israeli occupation: “During my time in Detroit, I was fortunate enough to participate in many prayer services with Presbyterians and other allies. The morning before the vote on divestment, a young Presby seminarian led us in a song. “We are waiting,” it ended, “oh, we are waiting.” The people of Palestine have waited long enough. Justice has waited long enough. The photographs and firsthand accounts from the ground are proof. They are waiting. And the time to act is now.”

Israeli officials threaten return to Intifada-era policy of demolishing suspects’ homes

Alex Kane on

The Israeli government reportedly wants to return to its 2nd Intifada-era policy of destroying the homes of alleged militants involved in attacks against Israeli soldiers or civilians. News outlets report that Israeli authorities want a court to approve their desire to destroy the family homes of two Palestinians convicted of killing police officer Baruch Mizrahi near Hebron in April.

Hundreds of Israeli soldiers raid Hebron as West Bank crackdown enters second week

Allison Deger on

As the largest West Bank military operation in a decade enters its second week, Israel raided H2, the area of Hebron under Israeli security control, for the first time since the second Intifada. Overnight 200 soldiers were deployed to arrest eight Palestinians, including five from one family. Palestinian activist Badia Dwaik attempted to film the assault until he was attacked by Israeli soldiers.

The Ramallah bubble just popped: Reflections on a city under siege

Corey Peruca on

Corey Peruca writes about the recent Israeli incursions into Ramallah which at one point seemed immune to the ravages of the occupation: “Just a few days ago I reassured a colleague living in Jerusalem not to worry, because Ramallah is safe. “Is that what you tell yourselves?” she asked. I knew, of course, that anything could happen here, but had wrongly assumed that Ramallah was to some extent off-limits, even amidst all that’s been happening around us.”

Violence in paradise: Jo Roberts probes Israeli memory and myth

Brandon Davis on

Canadian journalist Jo Roberts brings an anthropological eye to the collective memories of Palestinians and Israelis in her new book, Contested Land, Contested Memory, showing how myths impact geography, law, and education. A review by Brandon Davis, at Mondo.

What Comes Next: Five Palestine futures

Richard Falk on

Richard Falk writes, “Peace through bilateral negotiations presided over by the United States has long seemed moribund to many close observers, but after the recent collapse of the talks this top down diplomatic approach seems discredited even among governments and at the UN, at least for now. Yet it is impossible for most of the world to accept the finality of such a stalemate that favors Israel, in effect, ratifying land grabs and apartheid structures, while consigning the Palestinians to regimes of misery of for the indefinite future, which translates into the rigors of permanent denial of rights, oppression, refugee camps, and involuntary exile. This bleak assessment raises the question ‘What Now?’” This post is part of “What Comes Next?: A forum on the end of the two-state paradigm.”

‘Washington Post’ conflates anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism

Matthew Taylor on

In a story on anti-Semitism in France, the Washington Post features a video from performer Dieudonne M’bala in which Dieudonne puts himself int he shoes of a Palestinian suicide bomber. Dieudonne expresses passionate anti-Zionism; there is nothing in his sketch against Jews. Such confusion muddies the water on an important question.