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June 2016

Israel should be deeply disturbed by the Brexit vote

Jonathan Cook on

Israel should be deeply disturbed by the Brexit vote. he UK’s exit from the EU is further evidence of the unraveling of an old order from which Israel has long prospered. Distrust of the political class is growing by the day, and Israel is an issue on which US politicians are supremely vulnerable.

Brexit vote leaves progressives suspended between nativists and neoliberals

Philip Weiss on

The lesser-evil choice US progressives face between Trump’s nativist populism and Clinton’s elitist neoliberalism was played out in the British vote over Brexit. Was it a blow for the working class or a blow against immigrants? And can US progressives make a coalition with populists?

BDS campaign hopes to take Israeli goods off Palestinian dinner tables during Ramadan

Sheren Khalel on

The Boycott, Divest and Sanction campaign has made huge strides in the occupied West Bank over the past two years, but campaign organizers are no where near done. At the start of Ramadan, the campaign, partnered with several other local community and BDS initiatives across the occupied West Bank, set out with a mission: To get Israeli products off Ramadan dinner tables.

Israeli forces kill Palestinian teen by ‘mistake’

Kate on

Ma’an News: 15-year-old Mahmoud Rafat Badran and his family had been driving home from a swimming pool late Sunday night when Israeli forces showered their car with gunfire, killing Mahmoud, and seriously injuring his two brothers 16-year-old Amir and 17-year-old Hadi, as well as Daoud Abu Hassan, 16, and Majd Badran, 16.The Israeli army later admitted they “mistakenly” opened fire on the innocent bystanders after Palestinian youth were reportedly throwing stones at Israeli settler vehicles nearby. Israeli media initially reported that Mahmoud and his teenage companions were “terrorists.”

Emad Khalil’s story as a Gazan worker in Israel

Mohammed Saleem on

Gaza-based writer Mohammed Saleem writes, “Skin tanned and hands calloused from working forty-two years under the sun, Emad Khalil, a sixty-one year old retired laborer, sits in front of me. For thirty of those years, he worked in Israel. His story documents a tremendous change in attitude and policy towards Palestinian freedom of movement, employment opportunities, healthcare, and relations between Palestinians and Israelis.”

Democratic establishment wants to make Palestinians go poof in platform

Philip Weiss on

Clintonite Henry Waxman warns against including “contentious” language on Israel in the Democratic platform, as J Street suggests words about “settlements” entrenching the “occupation” will make both Clinton and Sanders forces happy. Nothing about Jerusalem, and nothing about BDS.

Letters to Hillary

Susie Day on

Susie Day imagines a series of satirical letters from Hillary Clinton’s most ardent admirer: “As Senator, you masterfully voted for the war in Iraq, and have for years expertly supported just about every U.S. military intervention – without losing an ounce of your femininity. As Secretary of State, you deftly orchestrated the bombing of Libya. And when Muammar Gaddafi died, sodomized with a bayonet blade, you wittily quipped on TV news: “We came, we saw, he died.” You even got the State Department to approve $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to 20 nations whose governments gave big bucks to the Clinton Foundation. Take THAT, sexism!”

Smile — it’s the Upper West Side

Rebecca Fadil on

After author Miko Peled criticized Israel at an April event at an Episcopal church on the Upper West Side in NY, the rector organized a session on how to talk about the conflict which featured a city councilman and rabbi opposing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. The Episcopal church is demonstrating moral cowardice by not supporting the non-violent movement to end atrocious Palestinian conditions.

Question for the Israeli left: Why do you discount the possibility of a second Nakba?

Rida Abu Rass on

Rida Abu Rass writes, “Some may argue that the Nakba is an ongoing process, or rather, that it never really ended. Yet, bearing in mind the frightening political processes that are unfolding within Israel, one should wonder whether we are heading towards another catastrophe. So let us ask: how likely is is it for an ethnic cleansing of Palestinians to occur once again, similar to (or worse than) 1948? Surprisingly, I find that the Israeli Left never seriously raises this as a possibility.”

Civil rights groups seek documents relating to Cuomo’s order blacklisting BDS supporters

Mondoweiss Editors on

Today, Center for Constitutional Rights, Palestine Legal and Jewish Voice for Peace filed a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request seeking documents relating to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent executive order that will blacklist institutions and companies that abide by Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns related to Israeli human rights abuses and violations of international law.

Post Orlando, a Muslim’s comment on homophobia within the Muslim community

Katie Miranda on

Following the massacre carried out by Omar Mateen in Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, the subject of homosexuality in the lives of American Muslims has been brought front and center. Katie Miranda discusses her own conversion to Islam and her challenges with homophobia in the Muslim community: “People are free to believe what they want to believe about homosexuality. The problem is the homophobic rhetoric in the Muslim community which is as vile as the Islamophobic rhetoric coming from Pam, Donald and the mainstream media. Let’s not keep our heads in the sand about this anymore.”

Israel’s ‘mistaken identity’ embarrassments

Jonathan Ofir on

A man who had a heart attack at the wheel and crashed into a Tel Aviv restaurant and then was beaten to death while unconscious was thought by his assailants to be “not a good person.” I.e., a Palestinian terrorist. This is not the first mistaken lynching in Israel, and it disturbs the Israeli narrative, we’re the victims.

Front-page article in ‘NYT’ exposes the lie that wall is a security barrier

James North and Philip Weiss on

A frontpage article in the New York Times says that 30-60,000 Palestinians a year go illegally across the “security barrier” to work in Israel, along with 55,000 legal workers; thus making clear that the wall hasn’t stopped attacks on Israelis, Palestinians have chosen not to use violence by and large.

Marching in the spirit of Nakba

Dan Cohen and David Sheen on

On June 19 an article appeared in the Times of Israel criticizing Dan Cohen and David Sheen’s recent video ‘Worship God By Nakba’: Jerusalem march celebrates Israeli occupation with messianic fervor. The article claims that the moment in the film that the title is taken from, when a marcher yells “Worship God By Nakba” was mistranslated to include the word “Nakba.” In the article below, Cohen and Sheen respond to the criticism and the ensuing controversy, including why they have decided to remove the word “Nakba” from the video.

PEN American Center is unwilling to fulfill its mission when it comes to defending Palestinian writers –Updated

Patrick Connors on

PEN American Center released a statement last Friday expressing concern over Israel’s arrest of Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour, a Palestinian citizen of Israel who was arrested in October 2015 over a poem and two Facebook posts. The PEN American Center statement is welcome because it uses the organization’s credibility to draw attention to the injustice of Tatour’s detention, yet it denies Tatour’s very self-identification as a Palestinian, denies the existence of Israeli military occupation, and fails to call for Tatour’s release.

Netanyahu agonistes

Yakov Hirsch on

Netanyahu is alone. He has lost every world leader and his own security establishment and is reduced to the support of Jeffrey Goldberg, the lobby and neocon hacks in the US. The Israeli establishment will be able to remove Netanyahu politically in the next year or so and it will try and get a peace deal with the Palestinians. And you’d never know any of this from reading the New York Times.

American basketball coach devotes his time to disabled in Gaza

Isra Saleh El-Namy on

In the aftermath of successive Israeli onslaught waged on the Gaza Strip, the number of Palestinians with physical disabilities drastically increased. Gaza journalist Isra El-Namy covers American coach Jess Markt’s visit to Khan Younis as he trains disabled Palestinians to play basketball and train for future tournaments.

Facebook hires longtime Netanyahu adviser

Dorgham Abusalim on

Jordana Cutler, who is currently the Chief of Staff at the Israeli embassy in Washington DC, and a longtime advisor to Netanyahu, has been named as head of policy and communications at Facebook’s Israel office. The appointment comes as the Israeli government has put pressure on the social network to monitor “incitement” and material critical of the country. Cutler’s position as a diplomatic government official suggests that her role will be to bring Facebook and the Israeli government closer together.

Palestinians in North America: Our rent to pay

Nada Elia on

Last month, Palestinians everywhere commemorated Al Nakba, and Nada Elia says that Palestine solidarity circles are right to celebrate the discursive change that has finally shattered the Zionist stranglehold on the mainstream narrative around the question of Palestine. But, she writes, solidarity must be reciprocal, “Diaspora Palestinians living in the US must also seek to redress the consequences of the catastrophe that befell the indigenous people of the land we now inhabit. Many of us do recognize this injustice, and frequently begin our talks and lectures with an acknowledgement that we are speaking on stolen Indigenous land. But we can and should do more.”