Monthly Archives: December 2016
Language matters because it impacts how we think of reality. Nada Elia’s New Year’s Resolution, which she hopes millions of others will also make, is to stop substituting “the occupation” for “Zionism.” She writes, “The era of discussing the occupation as the presumed greater Israeli evil is over, and should be tossed into the trash heap of history. As we celebrate the discursive change around Palestine, we must be cautious no longer to speak or write about “the occupation” except as one of the many varied facets of Zionism. Palestinians cannot afford any more erasures, as these are extremely detrimental to our cause, to justice. And just as we realize that the two-state “solution” was never a viable option, we must also inscribe into our new discourse that the occupation was never the problem. Zionism is.”
Muckraking journalist George Seldes said it best: “The truth is not in the commercial media because the truth is a dagger pointed at its heart, which is its pocketbook.” Today is the last time this year that we will ask for your donations to maintain and grow Mondoweiss’s independence and leadership in defining, documenting and strategizing resistance to injustice. (If you have already donated, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts!) Today we also follow the Mondoweiss tradition of ending each year by listing the year’s posts that received the most views. We present the top stories of the 1500+ published in 2016—a very diverse group. And this year our look back goes beyond a quantitative list to highlight the pieces that make us particularly proud.
Question for John Kerry — You say the US has provided Israel the ‘protection of legitimacy’. Why does it need so much protection? Is it because the world hates it? Or is it because it actually enacts illegitimate policy?
Jihan Muhammad Hashimeh, 35, of occupied Issawiya, Jerusalem, was injured after being shot by Israeli soldiers at the Qalandiya checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem in the central occupied West Bank, for allegedly attempting to stab Israeli soldiers Friday morning.
In the NY Times lead story on the Kerry speech, writer David Sanger says Obama has distanced himself from Middle East peace negotiations, which he “doubted would succeed.” This is false and a jab at Kerry. The policy was Obama’s, and set in place with the Cairo speech of 2009.
Scholar-activist Nada Elia writes: “I believe that BDS will play as important a role in restoring Palestinian rights as the global boycott of South Africa did in ending apartheid there. The BDS movement will achieve its full potential impact through mass information—by more and more people learning how they can advance the movement, and by corporations and governments understanding the breadth of BDS support. This is where Mondoweiss plays a pivotal role. In recent years, the growth in our movement’s success has been enabled by constant reporting and opinion pieces published in Mondoweiss, where they reach hundreds of thousands of readers regularly. I urge you to join me in supporting Mondoweiss as a key movement tool. By connecting those of us building power, Mondoweiss makes a difference that is essential for any hope of justice in our lifetime.”
Activist Felice Gelman writes: “What’s allowed Palestinians to endure under a hostile and oppressive rule for seventy years? I’ve been involved with the Palestinian struggle in many ways and I know that one of its most important elements is culture. Culture is where the heart speaks. I’m writing today to highlight the essential work of Mondoweiss in covering art and culture in Palestine, and to ask you to join me in supporting that work.”
John Kerry’s speech on Israel/Palestine today was a eulogy for the two state solution, some commenters said; while others said he laid down new criticisms of Israel with statement about “separate but not equal” residents of West Bank and saying “The settler agenda” is defining Israel’s future.
“Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!” Donald Trump tweeted today in anticipation of Secretary of State John Kerry’s much-ballyhooed speech on Middle East peace this morning. But Steny Hoyer joins forces with Trump in telling the Obama administration to leave Israel alone.
Nadya Raja Tannous writes, “On my trip to Standing Rock, I saw a kind of overarching control, surveillance and government force that is horrifyingly similar to life in occupied Palestine. Because of Mondoweiss, what I saw on the ground in Standing Rock reached communities who could not witness it themselves. Please join me in donating to Mondoweiss to support their commitment to covering real news on pertinent issues that mainstream news outlets don’t cover.”
2016 has been deadliest year of the past decade for West Bank children, according to Defense for Children International–Palestine. In the past year Israeli forces have killed 31 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program director at DCIP, says, “Intentional lethal force now appears to be routinely used by Israeli forces, even in unjustified situations, with no accountability, putting more and more children at risk.”
President Obama’s decision to allow passage of a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements as illegal has done more to change the shape of the conflict than any other action in the last ten years, even than Israel’s massacres in Gaza. Israel supporters always said that the country would not move toward peace if the U.S. was tough on it. But the UN Security Council resolution against settlements shows the opposite to be true: a little distance is already causing huge positive developments, isolating the country in world opinion and licensing criticism of PM Netanyahu. Obama has nudged Israel, and the media, toward recognition of the country’s new status, as a rogue state.