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February 2017

Only international protest will save Bedouin villagers from being evicted

Martin Linton on

Villagers in Umm al-Hiran say only international protests can stop the Israelis from demolishing the village. This village is in Israel, not the Palestinian territories. Its residents are full citizens of Israel. Yet they are treated as though they had no rights, no importance.

‘All the houses received [demolition] orders’: Israel to destroy entire Bedouin village in the West Bank

Kate on

Haaretz reports: The IDF’s Civil Administration in the West Bank on Sunday distributed some 40 demolition orders in a Bedouin village in Area C, which is under full Israeli civil and military control. Residents say the issuing of dozens of demolition orders is unprecedented in the area. “All the houses received [demolition] orders,” A’id Khamis Jahalin, a local resident, told Haaretz. “I’m scared. This time is different. Then they gave one [demolition order] or two, but such a blow, it’s something. They gave 42 orders. They gave for everything, there are no structures here in all the area that didn’t receive an order. I spoke with our lawyer, they gave us up to five days [to object], that’s a short time,” said Jahalin. Israeli authorities confirmed that such a widespread issuance of demolition orders was unprecedented in the area, and this is a declaration of intention in advance of an attempt to evacuate the entire village.

Trump has reminded Palestinians that it was always about one state

Jonathan Cook on

Donald Trump’s ambivalence over the one-state or two-state solution is a supremely clarifying moment. Both Israelis and Palestinians must now define what it really wants to fight for: a fortress for their tribe alone, or a shared homeland ensuring rights and dignity for all.

The challenges of being Palestinian in East Jerusalem

Aline Batarseh on

Aline Batarseh writes, “Despite Israel’s efforts to “unify” the city, Jerusalem remains divided. No one understands this reality better than the people who live in this contested city. Despite the fact that Israelis and Palestinians live in close proximity to one another, there is little communication between them. I personally have never socially interacted with an Israeli in my life. We live separate—and unequal—lives.”

Tom Friedman begs Trump to ‘save the Jews’ from themselves

Jonathan Ofir on

In a recent column Tom Friedman begged Donald Trump to “save the Jews.” But from what? From themselves, it seems. Friedman fears the end of the two-state solution, not because of what this would mean for Palestinians, but because of what it will do to the Jewish community: “That debate will tear apart virtually every synagogue, Jewish organization and Jewish group on every campus in America, and around the world. Israel will divide world Jewry.”

Palestinian who filmed shooting says Azaria sentence ‘is a joke, not justice’

Sheren Khalel on

An Israeli court on Tuesday sentenced Elor Azaria to 18 months in prison, one-year probation and a demotion of his military rank, a month after the Israeli soldier was found guilty of manslaughter. Azaria shot and killed Abd al-Fattah al-Sharif in March after al-Sharif had already been shot and injured following an alleged attempted stabbing attack in Hebron. The main evidence in the case was footage caught on camera by Imad Abu Shamsiya, a Palestinian resident of Hebron who tells Mondoweiss, “There is no justice for the family. They lost a member of their family in a very brutal way, this 18-month sentence is not justice for the family, for the Palestinian people or our nation — no one got justice from this.”

BDS activists score a first victory in Ecuador

Palestinian BDS National Committee on

A Quito-based research institute — the International Center for Advanced Studies in Communications for Latin America (CIESPAL) — decided against renewing its contract with the British security company G4S after meeting with BDS activists who informed it about G4S’s complicity with Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights.

On rewards against terror and for justice

Marc H. Ellis on

The Council on Islamic Affairs (CAIR) has offered a $5,000 award for anyone with knowledge of those threatening Jewish community centers in the United States. Violence has to be condemned unequivocally. If the center of American democracy is to hold under Trump’s assault, all hands against violence must be on deck. But the level of incitement against Muslims and the undocumented, now extending to Jewish institutions, isn’t simply a Trump phenomena. Jews aren’t only victims in this cycle. These same Jewish institutions now under threat contribute to the cycle of violence they are now threatened with.

Trump is putting the crunch on liberal Zionism

Philip Weiss on

Liberal Zionism has never been under so much pressure as it is in the Trump era. For two reasons: Trump has rendered the death of the two-state solution a naked reality that is no longer deniable. And liberals who are vocally resisting Trump must affirm values that are inconsistent with Israel as it has turned out. Liberal Zionists and anti-Zionists must form a new coalition for progress, and liberal Zionists will have to give up their illusion of a Jewish, democratic state.

Engineers in Gaza convert the rubble of war into concrete for rebuilding

Ahmad Kabariti on

An all-female team of engineers in Gaza have invented an affordable way to produce concrete from the rubble of homes destroyed during the last war in Gaza. The women aspire to create a needed alternative to the expensive and time-consuming process of importing construction materials into Gaza through the Israeli blockade.

Jews in Iran: a travelogue

Yakov Rabkin on

Yakov Rabkin travels to Iran where he meets with local Jews. He writes, “One should not idealize the life of Jews in Iran who have had their share of challenges. But their life stands in contrast to a well-oiled campaign to besmirch the history of Jewish-Muslim relations in order to suit a political agenda, the agenda of those who argue that there is no safe place for Jews except Israel.”

The emergence of the Just Jew

Yoav Litvin on

When Netanyahu embraced Trump, he exemplified the collusion between Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism. In fact, it is now clear that the Israeli government cannot protect- and does not represent liberal Jews who wish to live in peace within diverse communities around the world, or within Israel itself.

Open Letter to Progressive Jews: The ADL and AJC are not our allies

Mondoweiss Editors on

In an open letter to progressive Jews, Jewish activists says this moment calls for a strong, broad, united front against the Trump administration’s agenda but there are groups within the Jewish community that progressives should not stand beside: “Specifically, we refer to the February 12 rallies in support of refugees in which Jewish social justice groups cosponsored the action with, among others, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the American Jewish Committee (AJC), two organizations that have toxic anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian policies.”

Fordham retaliates against student for protesting SJP ban

Palestine Legal on

Fordham University has issued a disciplinary charge against a student trying to start a Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) group on campus, demanding a closed-door hearing with the dean who denied the group club status. The student, senior Sapphira Lurie, was charged with violating the school’s “Demonstration Policy” for organizing a January 23rd rally protesting Fordham’s decision to ban SJP from the school. Her hearing is scheduled for February 22nd.

Trump’s dim view of Palestine-Israel

Luke Peterson on

Donald Trump’s seismic departure from decades of stated U.S. intentions in Palestine and Israel naturally begs the question: if not a two-state solution, then what kind of solution does he envision?

‘Settlers are free to take what they want’: Palestinian landowners fear for the worst as land-grab law is passed

Sheren Khalel on

Fathy Shebana’s family has lived in Sinjil, a rural village between Ramallah and Nablus for as long as any of them can remember. Today, much of their land is gone, annexed by Israel for illegal settlements. Since Israel passed a new law retroactively legalizing at least a dozen settlement outposts built on private Palestinian land, Fathy and his community fear even more for the future of their land and livelihoods.