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.
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.
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.
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 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 social media campaign on Friday to call out the company in public with the hashtag #PayPal4Palestine.
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.
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.