Monthly Archives:
September 2014

Netanyahu at the United Nations: Hamas, Iran, ISIS and 100 cheering Israelis

Allison Deger on

With much anticipation Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took the stage at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Monday morning to lambast Hamas and refuting claims of his soldiers targeting civilians during Operation Protective Edge. He followed the Palestinian Authority President’s charges of “genocidal” Israeli army conduct in Gaza, but, like in years past, Netanyahu focused on Iran (and employed the use of a prop). As he spoke the galley of the GA assembly hall was stacked with members of the Israeli delegation, including casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who cheered at key moments while delegates from member countries refrained from applause.

NYT’s opening to a ‘fringe voice’ excites rage from Israeli army, journalism, business leaders

Philip Weiss on

The battle is taking place now inside the walls of elite institutions; many people are talking about American-Israeli writer Mairav Zonszein’s op-ed piece at the New York Times, saying that Israel is becoming intolerant of dissent because of its increasingly “exclusivist ethno-religious nationalism.” This has allowed the us-versus-them mentality to bleed into Israeli Jewish society. […]

The Greater Gaza Plan: Is Israel trying to force Palestinians into Sinai?

Jonathan Cook on

What is Israel’s endgame in Gaza? It is a question that has been puzzling analysts and observers for some time. But indications of the future Israel and Washington may have in mind for Gaza are emerging. Reports in the Arab and Israeli media – in part corroborated by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas – suggest that Egypt may be at the heart of plans to solve the problem on Israel’s behalf. This month the Israeli media reported claims, apparently leaked by Israeli officials, that Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, had offered the Palestinian leadership the chance to annex to Gaza an area of 1,600 sq km in Sinai. The donated territory would expand Gaza fivefold. The scheme is said to have received the blessing of the United States.

ISIS wants us to come in and bomb Arabs (Rouhani and Matthews agree)

Philip Weiss on

Last week the Iranian president Hassan Rouhani said at the U.N. that ISIS wants the U.S. back in Iraq: They also have a single goal: the destruction of civilization, giving rise to Islamophobia and creating a fertile ground for further intervention of foreign forces in our region. Last night Chris Matthews said the same thing: Is […]

‘Tip of the BDS iceberg’: Kuwait excludes Veolia from $750m contract

Palestinian BDS National Committee on
Anti-Veolia graffitti

The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) warmly welcomes the decision by the Kuwait City Municipality exclude the French company Veolia from a huge solid waste management contract, valued at $750 million, citing the BNC appeal to that affect. Basing its decision on Veolia’s complicity in Israeli projects that violate international law, the municipality also decided to exclude Veolia from “all future projects.”

Modi and Netanyahu’s NY bromance

Philip Weiss on

The Israeli and Indian prime ministers went out of their way to have a meeting in NY yesterday, reflecting an Indian shift from support for Palestinian aspirations to support for Israel. The third side of the triangle is the U.S., which forgives Narendra Modi his part in a Muslim massacre and never had a problem with Netanyahu’s recent massacre in Gaza.

‘Jews Against Genocide’ take the blood bucket challenge at Yad Vashem

Kelly Lynn on

Activists from Jews Against Genocide have released a video compilation depicting their version of the Blood Bucket Challenge, an extreme spin on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which flooded Facebook feeds for the last three months. Originally conceived by Ohio University student senate president Megan Marzec, who received a barrage of death and rape threats following the release of her video, activists poured buckets of fake blood over themselves after reciting “we remember…,” statements in memorial of the more than 2,100 Palestinians killed in the last Israeli assault on Gaza. The activists filmed themselves in front of Yad Vashem, the holocaust museum in West Jerusalem, the US embassy in Tel Aviv, the Israeli Supreme Court in Jerusalem, the Israeli military radio station in Tel Aviv, and the Knesset, Israel’s parliament building in Jerusalem.

‘Only a suicidal country doesn’t recognize the Bedouin problem’: Israeli minister seeks ways to lower Bedouin birthrate

Kate on

Haaretz reports: “Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir said during a visit to the south on Sunday that he was examining ways to lower the birthrate of the Bedouin community. Shamir heads the ministerial committee on Bedouin resettlement arrangements. “We have to take all the Bedouin and get them out of the desert a bit and bring them closer to a normal state from the perspective of legislation, life expectancy, education and livelihood,” Shamir said. “Perhaps we could even deal with the phenomenon of multiple wives to reduce the birthrate and raise the standard of living.”

Netanyahu heads to New York to ‘refute all the lies’ and praise ‘the most moral army in the world’

Allison Deger on

Although some friends will receive him at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knows tomorrow he will be in hot water. When he left for New York this morning for his speech on Monday, he gave a bitter farewell: “In my address to the UN General Assembly,” he said on the tarmac, “I will refute all of the lies being directed at us and I will tell the truth about our state and about the heroic soldiers of the IDF, the most moral army in the world.”

When Rouhani says blaming ISIS on Islam is Islamophobic, is anyone listening?

Philip Weiss on

There’s been a lot of attention to the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe. But what about the rise of Islamophobia, which is being fostered by ISIS’s violent actions, which Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s president and a cleric, says have nothing to do with Islam but are the fruit of western colonialism?

The name games

Hatim Kanaaneh on

Israeli Population, Immigration and Border Authority announced the winning first name for Israelis: Youssef. But the statistics were for Jews only. Mahmoud, Muhammad and Ahmad, all variants on the prophet’s name, are hugely popular among the Palestinian population and easily outpace Yossi, says Hatim Kanaaneh

A catalog of impunity

Philip Weiss on

Omar Robert Hamilton compiled a list of Israel’s actions since the Gaza ceasefire at the LRB blog two weeks ago. The catalog has obviously gotten much longer in the interim, but this list is a poetic reminder of the power imbalance in a conflict that is treated so often in the U.S. as mutual. I excerpt […]

The summer of small Jewish thinking

Robert Cohen on

Samar al-Hallaq, 29, who worked in a tapestry history project in Gaza, was killed July 20 when the house she fled to for safety was struck by an Israeli missile. Samar’s two sons, 6 and 4, and five other members of her family were also killed. Samar was eight months pregnant. Her husband, Hussan, who recently completed a Master degree of Science in eBusiness, survived. Robert Cohen rewondered what the rest of Hussan’s life would be like.

Why is the United Nations doing business with G4S, notorious prison supplier?

Kali Rubaii for Friends of Sabeel—North America on

In early September, I accompanied an Iraqi friend to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees office in Amman, Jordan to help register him officially as a refugee. There was a G4S logo on the gate attendant’s shirt. And G4S all over the compound. Why is the British company that serves Israeli prisons a UN contractor?

Champaign-Urbana holds Rosh Hashanah service for Professor Salaita

Samantha Brotman on

CHAMPAIGN – A group of students, faculty and community members from Champaign-Urbana gathered Thursday to observe the Jewish ritual of Tashlich. Tashlich takes place during Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and involves a symbolic casting off of sins through the tossing of pebbles or bread crumbs into a natural body of water. In this […]

When does ‘Unsustainable’ become ‘Unconscionable’?

Marc H. Ellis on

The deaths of hundreds of Palestinians in the sea fleeing Gaza ought to be acknowledged around the world as evidence that Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands is not just “unsustainable” — Obama’s mantra — but “unconscionable.”

Burke and Lincoln would have hated the special relationship

Philip Weiss on

Glenn Greenwald’s latest revelation, that three former Treasury officials are involved in a neoconservative Zionist lobbying outfit, combined with David Brooks’s apparent belief that he’s an Israeli parent, shows how commingled the Israel interest is in our political culture, the type of sinister influence Lincoln and Burke both warned their democracies against

J’lem settlers amok: 10-year-old Palestinian is run over, 11-year-old is nearly abducted

Kate on

Violence / Raids / Clashes / Dispersal of protests / Illegal arrests — Jerusalem / West Bank 10-year-old injured in settler hit-and-run; forces kidnap 3 in West Bank IMEMC/Agencies 25 Sept — An Israeli settler deliberately ran over a Palestinian child in the occupied east Jerusalem town of Silwan on Thursday, according to Wadi Hilweh […]

Schumer is obnoxious

Philip Weiss on

From the New York Times August 19th, just brought to my attention, an article on declining bipartisanship even inside the Senate dining room. Reported by Ashley Parker. Nice work Ashley, getting the word bellow in there. This was about the time Israel was slaughtering civilians in Gaza: One morning last month [July], Senator Mitch McConnell, […]

Anti-Zionist train makes stop at Washington Post

Philip Weiss on

It’s one country between the river and the sea and Israel’s religious state idea is out of step with the rest of the world, Patricia Marks Greenfield says in the Washington Post, echoing an argument put forward by Ali Abunimah and Tony Judt a long time ago