Monthly Archives: November 2016
American Jewish spaces have refused to hear Palestinians calling for one democratic state in Israel and Palestine. Last night Temple Israel in New Rochelle broke that taboo with the appearance of Jonathan Kuttab, a human rights lawyer who challenged a respectful audience of 80 and members of the temple’s Israel action committee to end the persecution of Palestinians by granting everyone between the river and the sea equal rights.
From the International Solidarity Movement: This weekend in al-Khalil brought thousands of extremist Jews and settlers from all over Israel and abroad to celebrate the week’s Torah study on Chayei Sara (Life of Sarah), where Abraham purchases the cave of Machpelah (which they think is in al-Khalil) in order to bury his wife Sarah. On Friday evening, a group of settlers coming from the illegal settlement Kiryat Arba attacked one of the two remaining Palestinian shops on their way to the Ibrahim Mosque in Hebron. The Israeli soldiers present did not prevent them from committing this crime.
Under a quarter of American Jews voted for Donald Trump, yet the Republican candidate received 49% of the Israeli-American vote. On Tuesday, November 22, Mondoweiss reporters asked Israelis in West Jerusalem’s Zion Square what they thought about the election of Donald Trump and found overwhelming support for the incoming U.S. president. “In this difficult time all over the world, it’s time for strong leaders,” says one Trump admirer.
Trump’s upset victory recalls another rightwing demagogue’s, Netanyahu in 2015, and it’s no surprise that Trump transition team members praise Netanyahu. The two political cultures seem connected; and the right won’t be defeated by lukewarm centrists.
Months after the British gov’t produced an inquiry on the Iraq war revealing Tony Blair’s assurance to George Bush that it would “free up the region,” an American organization is at last holding an Iraq War tribunal. Not the government, not the media, but the antiwar group Code Pink, this Thursday and Friday in D.C.
Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared his support this month for the so-called “muezzin bill”, claiming it was urgently needed to stop the dawn call to prayer from mosques ruining the Israeli public’s sleep. But the one in five of Israel’s population who are Palestinian, most of them Muslim, and a further 300,000 living under occupation in East Jerusalem, say the legislation is grossly discriminatory. Haneen Zoabi says legislation is not about “the noise in [Israeli Jews’] ears but the noise in their minds”. Their colonial fears, she said, were evoked by the Palestinians’ continuing vibrant presence in Israel – a presence that was supposed to have been extinguished in 1948 with the Nakba, the creation of a Jewish state on the ruins of the Palestinians’ homeland.
Israeli security forces shot and killed Mohammad Zeidan, a Palestinian boy said to be 14 or 16, near Shu’fat checkpoint in Jerusalem Friday after he allegedly approached guards with a knife. He is the 241st Palestinian killed in the last 14 months of unrest characterized by lone knife attacks.
We have long been told that boycotts against the state of Israel are divisive and illegal. But there’s been a boom of boycott activity in the wake of Donald Trump’s victory. Nada Elia writes, “Boycotts are legal, they are protected by our First Amendment right to free speech and freedom of expression, and they can be targeted at department stores with liberal policies, as well as at companies that profit from the violation of human rights and the desecration of indigenous lands, from Standing Rock to Palestine. We cannot allow Zionists, be they Democrats or Republicans, to abrogate our constitutional rights, so as to further shield Israel from accountability.”
Happy holidays from Mondoweiss.
On Monday, Israeli security guards at Qalandiya checkpoint shot and killed Jihad Muhammad Said Khalil, 48, after he allegedly drew a knife and then engaged in a fistfight with a guard. He is the 240th Palestinian killed in the last 14 months in the series of lone-rebellions.
Only Israel: Leading Jewish groups, including the American Jewish Committee, AIPAC, and the Jewish Federations, have not criticized Trump’s appointments of men who have promoted bigotry, because they do not want to alienate the president-elect on the only issue they really care about: supporting Israel. Though some Zionist groups have stood up for human rights in America.