Monthly Archives:
September 2016

Palestine, ‘safety’ and the UC Berkeley affair

Juliana Farha on

The decision for Berkeley to cancel the course ‘Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis’ was located within the transparently self-serving but now widespread claim that any discussion of Palestinian human rights or Israeli violations of international law constitutes a threat to the ‘safety’ of Jewish students. In reality, Juliana Farha writes, this shoddy affair and similar incidents make clear that for university administrators, legislators and others, it is Palestinian students and defenders of Palestinian rights that should have no expectation of safety.

Report: Israel has detained more than 1,000 Palestinian minors since beginning of 2016

Kate on

Ma’an reports: “More than 1,000 Palestinian minors have been detained by Israeli forces since the beginning of the year, the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs said on Saturday, in a reported increase from 2015. The Committee said that at least 1,000 Palestinian minors between the ages of 11 and 18 had been detained by Israel since January, including around 70 children from occupied East Jerusalem who were placed under house arrest.”

Netanyahu gets face time with Trump and Clinton ahead of first presidential debate

Wilson Dizard on

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton in New York, ahead of Monday’s first presidential debate. Trump promised to keep Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel and Clinton told the Israeli leader that she would oppose any outside agitators who try to impose peace, even agitators like the United Nations, and especially the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement. The meetings suggest that Netanyahu will have the full attention of whoever the American people choose to occupy the White House.

Shmuley Boteach seeks to blackmail Obama over his legacy

Philip Weiss on

“President Obama, as you leave office keep your friendship with Israel intact,” Rabbi Shmuley Boteach threatens to help destroy Obama’s legacy if he dares to try to create a Palestinian state.

In full page NYT ad, liberal Zionist group calls for ethnic segregation to retain Jewish majority within Israel

Wilson Dizard on

The Daniel S. Abraham Center for Peace, a prominent liberal Zionist lobbying group run by former Democratic Florida congressman Robert Wexler, purchased a full-page newspaper advertisement in Friday’s edition of the New York Times, calling for the immediate separation of Israelis and Palestinians into separate countries to keep Israel as a Jewish majority state. “It’s Time for Separation,” the advertisement explains. “Separation today means a Jewish majority, State of Israel now and for Generations ahead.” Or, as Alabama Gov. George Wallace put it: “Segregation now! Segregation tomorrow! Segregation forever!”

Abbas and Levy issue calls to end Nakba denial

Philip Weiss on

“Nakba denial beats denial of the Holocaust,” Gideon Levy says, while Mahmoud Abbas calls on the world to acknowledge the expulsion 68 years later. But American denial of the Nakba remains as strong as ever.

Rights group: Strip searches at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport are illegal

Allison Deger on

For Arab travelers through Israel’s Ben Gurion airport, it is common knowledge that lengthy questioning and strip searches come before boarding. As it turns out, forcing passengers into airport back rooms and requiring them to remove clothing is illegal under Israeli law, says legal rights group Adalah.

Palestinian fishermen struggle to survive next door to Netanyahu’s palatial suburb

Skylar Lindsay on

Skylar Lindsay reports from Jisr al-Zarqa, the only town on the coast of Israel today with an entirely Arab population. Despite being on the Mediterranean, Jisr al-Zarqa is trapped. Fourteen thousand residents occupy a little 1.5 square kilometer strip of coastline where 80 percent of families live below the poverty line. The town is pushed up against the sea by Highway 2 and squeezed from the north by a kibbutz and on the south by Caesarea, the luxurious suburb Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu calls home. “Have you seen Netanyahu’s house?” Palestinian fisherman Khalid Jurban asks, jokingly. “See? Here there are Palestinians and Israelis living right beside.”

The two-stroke solution

Philip Weiss on

“Obviously, I’m only going to be President for another few months,” President Obama said with Israeli PM Netanyahu yesterday, disappointing those who want him to take action to put pressure on Israel to allow a Palestinian state. But “I guarantee you I will visit Israel often,” the president said, and maybe play golf at the course next to Netanyahu’s house.

In a world of conflict, peace is celebrated only one day out of the year

Dakota Rakestraw on

Today, September 21st, is International Day of Peace. In a world of conflict, we have quarantined its solution to a single day, a day of peace. As Americans, peace is something we volunteer to achieve in our spare time, but for a Palestinian, peace is the only hope of a future life.

Trump praises Israeli policy of ethnic profiling following bombing in Manhattan

Wilson Dizard on

On Monday, Donald Trump and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio hailed counter-terrorism tactics that civil rights advocates found alarming, especially as Islamophobic attacks are on the rise amid rancorous campaign rhetoric. Their comments came after a Saturday night bombing in Manhattan injured 29 people. An Afghan-born suspect, Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, is now in police custody.

‘Beholden to AIPAC’ — progressive senators Warren, Murphy, Brown sign letter seeking to limit Obama’s actions

Philip Weiss on

Vermont Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Kentucky’s Rand Paul were among the dozen holdouts from a letter the Israel lobby group AIPAC circulated seeking to limit President Obama’s actions to oppose Israeli settlements in his last months in office. Still, many progressive US senators as well as vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine signed on to an Israel lobby letter designed to limit President Obama’s actions against the Israeli occupation, now nearly 50 years old.

UC Berkeley reinstates Palestine class, rejecting pressure from pro-Israel groups

Wilson Dizard on

After an abrupt suspension last Tuesday, a college course about the decolonization of Palestine has earned a reprieve from the University of California on Monday. The campaign against the class was lead by the AMCHA Initiative, a pro-Israel advocacy group which has a long history of attempting to stifle discussion of the Israeli occupation on University of California campuses.

In response to new aid deal, Israeli military firms to bid directly for defense contracts through US subsidiaries

Kate on

Ha’aretz reports: “The key to Israeli defense firms not losing business under the new U.S. military aid deal will be to follow Elbit Systems and set up subsidiaries in the United States to bid for defense orders, industry officials said over the weekend. They were speaking days after the United States and Israel signed a 10-year memorandum of understanding that will provide Israel with $3.8 billion in annual grants. In the deal, Israel will no longer be entitled to spend 26.3% of the money – equal to around $815 million annually in recent years – in Israel.”

US aid deal gives green light to Israel’s erasure of Palestine

Jonathan Cook on

The clearest message from Israel’s new $38 billion aid package is one delivered to the Palestinians: Washington sees no pressing strategic interest in ending the occupation. It stood up to Netanyahu over the Iran deal but will not risk a damaging clash with Israel and its loyalists in Congress over Palestinian statehood.

Powell emails expose depth of media self-censorship re Israeli nukes

Philip Weiss on

Colin Powell privately said that Israel’s 200 nukes are the strongest argument in favor of the Iran deal, but when he went on Meet the Press, he didn’t say a word about it. And neither did Obama or the MSM. This self-censorship reflects obeisance to the Israel lobby.

ADL throws Netanyahu under the bus to try to make new friends

Yakov Hirsch on

The new head of the ADL, Jonathan Greenblatt, seized the opportunity to throw Netanyahu under the bus for his “Ethnic cleansing” video, in an effort to reach out to young American progressives. It won’t work. Young progressives don’t like Israel, and the ADL does.