Launched this month, Avigdor Lieberman’s plan for the Palestinians – retooling Israel’s occupation – received less attention than it should. It includes, the defense ministry producing a map of the West Bank marking in green and red the areas where, respectively, “good” and “bad” Palestinians live. Collective punishment will be stepped up in towns and villages in red areas, while green areas will reap economic rewards.
Monthly Archives: August 2016
Incumbent Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz defeated challenger Tim Canova, a law professor, in a primary election this Tuesday, disappointing some Berniecrat-boosting voters who want to see the Vermont senator’s policies on Capitol Hill. Despite Canova’s outsider status, the race showed how Israel/Palestine is sacred political territory for all Democrats.
Nada Elia says that for those who strive to rise above nationalism, activism for justice in Palestine is rooted in a belief in justice and equal rights for everyone, everywhere. Yet, many of these same activists celebrated with millions around the world when Celtic FC fans flew the Palestinian flag at a game in Glasgow against Israel’s Hapoel Be’er Sheva. She explains that even though activists were waving the Palestinian flag, those events were not about nationalism: “The Palestinian flag has come to symbolize defiance to censorship, a rejection of the Zionist narrative that would have people believe Israel is “defending itself” rather than brutally maintaining its occupation and apartheid policies, and grassroots opposition to state violence, to colonialism, to brutal military oppression.”
Palestinian Authority security officers opened fire and shot tear gas canisters at the funeral of the leader of Fatah’s military wing, who was beaten to death in detention earlier this week by Palestinian security officers.
The answer to a failed intervention is, more intervention. And to justify such a policy, the interventionist media cite low civilian casualty figures in the Iraq war, and now appears to be grossly undercounting civilian deaths caused by rebels in Syria.
Disabled from a young age, Bara Abudheir was finally on his way to pursue his dream in computer animation in a master’s program in the United Kingdom. However, his parents were shocked to learn he was arrested as he crossed the Allenby Bridge into Jordan and charged with being a member of Hamas. Steven Davidson talks with Bara’s father, Farid Abudheir, who is doing everything he can to save his son’s future, “I have for a long time believed that Bara will achieve his goals and make his dreams real. I have not lost that hope.”
Two dioceses of the Lutheran Church of Sweden sponsored a Kairos Palestine summer camp to consider ramping up the pressure on Israel by increasing support of the BDS movement. “We have waited 41 years” as the situation has gotten worse and worse in Israel and the Occupied Territories, said Rev. Anna Karin Hammar. “We are cowards.”
Huma Abedin, a top Hillary Clinton aide, announced Monday that she is divorcing her husband, Queens-native Weiner, a disgraced former New York Congressman whose sexting of pictures of his engorged genitals to his fellow Americans cost him his political career in 2011. Her decision comes in the wake of yet another report of his digital infidelity. Before gaining international infamy for his online philandering, Weiner had distinguished himself as one of Israel’s most ardent apologists in Congress, apologizing for Israeli militarism, denying the existence of a military occupation in the West Bank and scolding critics of Israeli policies, even condemning the New York Times for its lack of Zionist cred.
Guantanamo defense lawyer Todd Pierce was an army computer technician when he witnessed the U.S. implant itself in Saudi Arabia in 1990, and an Army lawyer when he saw the hysteria following 9/11. He says Americans have no idea why Arabs and Muslims hate us, and meantime we are losing our historic legitimacy by conducting drone warfare on civilians and sacrificing our tradition of civil rights.
A Washington Post article about occupied Susiya, which Israel wants to bulldoze, all but eliminates the word occupation, treating the West Bank as Israeli land. And it calls the Palestinian hamlet “miserable” “pitiful” and “squalid.”
The London Visual Activist Collective (LVAC) created “Empty Spaces”, a unique paper doll chain remembering all of the children that were killed by Israel during the 2014 massacre in Gaza. Measuring over 160 metres in length and made by people from the UK, it contains over 550+ cut outs of kids, signifying the empty spaces left in the world because those children were killed.
The New York Times August 3, 2016 article “Students and the Middle East Conflict” misrepresented student activism and served as an implicit endorsement of a right-wing “dialogue” effort. Following the article, the Times published a strategic compilation of letters to the editor that constructs the future of Israel/Palestine as an internal Jewish conversation largely concerned with dialogue. In response, Tufts SJP alumni gathered letters by students and their allies critiquing the article and dialogue efforts that take attention away from ending the Israeli occupation. The Times refused to publish any of the letters, but you can read them here.
Most American Jews believe their faith is cultural, including dedication to social justice. But the fundamentalist Liel Leibovitz in a sneering, nasty article says these Jews ignore “the historical and doctrinal truth” that they became Jews by accepting the “burden of becoming God’s chosen children.”
PayPal refuses to do business with Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but allows Israelis and Israeli settlers to use their digital payment service. After PayPal ignored their requests for a meeting, Palestinian activists launched a Twitter campaign on Friday to call out the company in public with the hashtag #PayPal4Palestine.
Hillary Clinton has become a zealot against BDS in the last year, evidently in part because many large donors to the Clinton Foundation oppose BDS. These supporters suggest the new lineaments of the Israel lobby under Clinton, in which liberal Zionists and rightwing Zionists are merged.
Hundreds of Palestinians turned out for the funeral of Iyad Hamad, 38, a father of three, in the occupied village of Silwad, after Israel forces guarding a settlement shot and killed him for allegedly charging their checkpoint, unarmed. Israeli forces suppressed a demonstration at the funeral with sponge and rubber bullets.
The world might be deaf to Palestine but it is not blind. And recent videos clearly documenting grotesque use of force by Israelis against Palestinians have the power to do more to end Israeli impunity and Netanyahu’s campaign of dehumanization of Palestinians than any other form of information.
Last November Israeli author Amos Oz said he won’t participate in Israeli Foreign Ministry events because the government was too right wing. Well he’s scheduled to appear at a literary festival in Paris sponsored by the Ministry in September.
Bernie Sanders on Wednesday delivered a speech from Burlington, Vermont to his die-hard fans nationwide, calling on them to continue to support progressive politicians to achieve goals like campaign finance reform, universal healthcare and fixing an unfair criminal justice through the new Sanders-backed non-profit, Our Revolution. Absent from his address was any mention of Israel/Palestine or American foreign policy in the Middle East. “I think it shows a lack of courage,” said Robert Akleh, co-founder of Arabs for Bernie, a Brooklyn-based grassroots group.
Hanna is a “17-year-old American girl” who grew up in a small town in Massachusetts. Because her father is a U.S. citizen born in Morocco, and she was traveling with a notebook that had one page of Arabic writing in it, she was subjected to an interrogation and strip search when leaving Israel’s Ben Gurion airport.
Israel’s military has cleared soldiers of criminal wrongdoing in alleged human rights violations committed during the 2014 summer war in Gaza. According to a report published yesterday, Israel closed investigations into the killing of three Palestinian families and other civilians, and the shelling of a medical clinic, Gaza’s main power plant, and a United Nations shelter, among other offenses. “We did not expect anything less than Israel’s justification of war crimes,” chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said after the publication of the military report, and urged the International Criminal Court to investigate the offenses.
The Anti-Defamation League brought a delegation of American police officers to an Israeli prison, occupied Hebron and a settler winery in the Golan Heights as part of their 2016 counter-terrorism seminar in Israel, according to an itinerary of the trip obtained by Mondoweiss. Trips like these have come under withering controversy from Palestine solidarity activists and Black Lives Matter protesters. In an age of police militarization and a growing movement to combat police brutality, critics see these trips as potentially fueling harmful police tactics.
As long as we accept the blithe use of terms like “terrorist” to refer to Palestinians fighting for basic dignity or accept the matter-of-fact description of Israel as a “democracy”, we lose the game. Those terms have been carefully designed to leave no room for a true dialogue of ideas. We need to stop expending our energies on arguments within their parameters of thinkable thought.
French police on Tuesday forced a woman to take off her clothes on a beach in Nice because she was wearing a “burkini,” a bathing suit recently criminalized in 15 French cities. Apparently, telling women what to wear – or in this case, what not to wear – is now considered good nationalism and good feminism among a large proportion of French society. These incidents should be shocking to all of us.
On Wednesday the Israeli military closed its investigation into four cases of mass killings of Palestinian civilians during the 2014 Gaza war. The military report found that in the four cases, which included the deaths of 49 people, the Israeli strikes were legal due to either mistakes, Hamas being responsible or an attack not happening at all.