Monthly Archives:
March 2017

Will assassination lead to war?

Ahmed Alnaouq on

On Friday night, Mazen Fuqaha, a senior leader of Hamas’ military wing, the al-Qassam Brigades was gunned down in the Tell al-Hama neighborhood. Gaza’s ministry of interior said in a statement the weapon was a pistol with a silencer, a sure sign of a professional hit and a first in Gaza since Israeli forces withdrew from the Strip. Ahmed Alnouq writes Palestinians in Gaza are wondering if another war is about to break out between Hamas and Israel after two months of an uptick in tensions. Salwa, a law student at Al-Azhar University said she fears war is indeed at Gaza’s door, “I wish I will die before it starts. During war, I psychologically die many times a day.”

The martyr’s daughter: a review of ‘Where Can I Find Someone Like You, Ali?’

Jamal Najjab on

In her one-woman show “Where Can I Find Someone Like You, Ali,” Raeda Taha recounts her life as the “daughter of a martyr.” On May 8, 1972, Taha’s father, Ali Taha, and three other armed Palestinians were killed during a botched airplane hijacking. Taha was 7 at the time. So began her life as the daughter of a Palestinian “shaheed” (“martyr” in English)—a term that signifies a special place in Palestinian society. Taha provided her audiences with a touching, at times heart-breaking but never sentimental, glimpse into the lives of Palestinians who have lost family members at the hands of the Israeli military.

‘Negation of the diaspora’ as Zionist antisemitism: The JCC bomb threats came from an Israeli Jew

David Shasha on

After many months of speculation, Michael Kaydar, a Jewish teenage resident of Ashkelon in Southern Israel, has been charged with carrying out the JCC bomb threats. One aspect of the story, and its connection to an Israeli, that has not been discussed is the intense loathing of the Jewish Diaspora in classical Zionist thought. Kaydar has opened a chasm in the relationship between Israelis and the Jewish Diaspora and reignited the most elementary questions about Jewish identity in the supercharged atmosphere of Trumpworld Fascism and its intense racism; a racism which is not limited to White Christians, but is also present in their Israeli Jewish counterparts.

History will make us pay for this

Liz Rose on

“It’s like sleeping with a corpse,” Ilan Pappe said of the two-state solution, at the Israel Lobby and American Policy Conference this past Friday. “We should all attend the funeral and we can put this past us already.” Pappe’s remarks–which reflected the theme threaded throughout the day of looking directly into the dark times we are in–were in response to John Kerry’s 2014 statement that Israel must adopt the two-state solution or risk becoming an apartheid state. “It’s already dead,” Pappe said at his keynote address, given at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Liz Rose writes, “For this former Zionist turned anti-Zionist, the day was a refreshing batch of unapologetic anti-Israel lobby and anti-occupation speakers.”

Clandestine network of Gaza hackers says Palestinian sentenced to 9 years for spying on Israeli drones didn’t do it

Sarah Algherbawi on

No one doubts that Majd Oweida, 23, is brilliant, but it is what he did with his brilliance that is a source of contention between his parents who are advocating for his release from an Israeli prison, and Israel’s security service who have accused him of hacking their drones for Islamic Jihad. Sarah Algherbawi searches for answers. She tracks down a hacker who may or may not be a part of an illicit espionage gang, and takes her investigation to Hamas and those tied to Islamic Jihad. None of them claimed Majd, a local hero of sorts, a Palestinian robot designer and talent scout of the popular program “Palestinians Got Talent.”

‘US is overwhelmingly partial to Israel,’ Pelosi admits at AIPAC

Philip Weiss on

US politicians swearing fealty to Israel at AIPAC know there are cracks in US support. “When people sometimes say to me, the United States is so overwhelmingly partial to Israel in this discussion, I say Yes of course. We have been friends for a long time,” Nancy Pelosi admits.

‘Scariest part’ of Trump’s draft peace plan promises he will be ‘personally involved’

Philip Weiss on

Donald Trump’s draft of a deal between the Israelis and Palestinians sets the peace process back 20 years by talking about a “provisional entity,” not a Palestinian state and by allowing settlement construction in Jerusalem, Khalil Jahshan of the Arab Center reports. It also assures the parties that Trump will be “personally involved in the process,” and that’s the “scariest part of the plan.”

Hamas shuts down Gaza crossing, blaming Israel for assassinating leader

Kate on

Ma’an News Agency reports, “The Hamas-run Ministry of Interior in Gaza closed the Palestinian side of the Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel on Sunday morning, denying residents of the besieged coastal enclave passage in both directions, as local sources described a ‘state of alert’ in Gaza with severe security measures being imposed across the small Palestinian territory.”

Broad coalition attends teach-in on Israel lobby ahead of AIPAC conference

Philip Weiss on

“Senator Hatfield said– and I will never forget these words as long as I live– ‘In this great distinguished institution of the United States Senate, when the Israel lobby says jump, 90 plus of my colleagues say how high. They never ask why.'” Khalil Jahshan at the annual Israel lobby conference in Washington, D.C.

Rasmea Odeh accepts plea deal, loses US citizenship in exchange for no jail time, will leave the US

Kate on

The Rasmea Defense Committee announced yesterday Palestinian activist Rasmea Odeh, “has made the difficult decision to accept a plea agreement. She will plead guilty to Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization, lose her U.S. citizenship, and be forced to leave the country, but will exit the U.S. without having to serve any more time in prison or ICE detention, a victory, considering that the government had earlier fought for a sentence of 5-7 years.”

Bearing witness: a review of Alice Rothchild’s book ‘Condition Critical’

Hatim Kanaaneh on

In her book, “Condition Critical: Life and Death in Israel/Palestine” Dr. Alice Rothchild emotes courage and sincerity to a degree that begs analysis: Who is she addressing and to what end? The book’s title answers the latter of the two interrelated questions: All those who are genuinely concerned with Israel/Palestine should better rush to resuscitate their critically ill charge before it is too late because “the Israeli government is on a suicide mission.” All through her book Dr. Rothchild bears witness to how critical and unjust the condition is.

Actor Richard Gere in Hebron: ‘it’s exactly like what the what the Old South was in America’

Allison Deger on

While Richard Gere was in Israel and the occupied West Bank promoting his film “Norman,” he was recorded in an unguarded moment wandering the desolate streets of Hebron’s Old City. A dumbfounded Gere is near at a loss for words in the clip, which aired on Israel’s Channel 2 network. “I mean it’s like…it’s exactly like what the what the Old South was in America. Blacks knew where they could go, they could drink from that fountain, they couldn’t go over there, they couldn’t eat in that place. It was well understood. You didn’t cross it or you’d get your head beat in or lynched,” Gere said.

The dispossessed

Howard Cohen on

Howard Cohen relates the story of one of his students at an engineering college in the Negev struggling to keep up with his studies after Israeli police killed his father, demolished his home: “He had used the word killed, it was me who had used the word murder, but the words were irrelevant at this moment. He wasn’t interested in making a political statement to me, he was making an existential one. That was clear enough. ‘You see it’s so difficult for me,’ he went on, wiping away the tears that had welled up at the corner of his eyes and which threatened to stream down his face. ‘Everything was under the rubble. I even had a workbook for the class but that too was under the rubble together with my ID card and all our other belongings. They didn’t give us any time to leave. They bulldozed the house with all of our possessions in it. I’m trying to return to my studies. It’s important for me to continue, in spite of everything. But it’s so difficult for me. My head just isn’t there. And it’s going to be difficult for me to attend all the classes and prepare for the presentation.'”

Video: Israeli forces force crying 8-year-old boy barefoot through gravel looking for stone-throwers

Sheren Khalel on

Palestinian activists on Sunday filmed Israeli forces dragging 8-year-old Sufian Abu Hitah through the al-Harika neighborhood of Hebron in the occupied West Bank for more than hour. The video, received and edited by Israeli rights group B’Tselem, shows the boy crying and barefoot, being pulled by his arm by Israeli forces as they tried to get the boy to identify other children who soldiers suspected of throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba earlier that day.

Towards Better Ally-ship for Palestine: A letter to the US activist community

Eman Ghanayem on

Eman Ghanayem writes, “In light of the rapid growth in the Palestine activism community that is led, administered and predominated by non-Palestinians, the following is a letter of affirmations and requests made to address that community. This letter represents a Palestinian plea and critique that can henceforth improve the language used to address Palestine and Palestinian liberation movements and create better relationships between Palestinians and their allies.”

Robert Silvers was a lion on Vietnam and Iraq, and a pussycat on Israel

Philip Weiss on

Robert Silvers, the late editor of the New York Review of Books, ran Tony Judt’s great piece imagining a one-state democracy in Israel and Palestine in 2003, and then he ran away from it. Silvers could take on the establishment over Vietnam, Iraq, and Freud; but he couldn’t really go after Israel.

BDS co-founder: Israel’s arrest and interrogation of Omar Barghouti next step in ‘war against BDS movement’

Sheren Khalel on

Palestinian society has condemned Israel’s arrest and interrogation of Omar Barghouti, a co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as the next step in Israel’s fight against BDS. On Sunday, Israel arrested Barghouti on charges of tax evasion, raided his family home in Acre, Israel, held him for 16 hours and released him — however the BDS co-founder has been subjected to daily interrogations with Israeli authorities since then. Fellow BDS movement co-founder Adnan Ramadan says this is just another step in Israel’s strategy against the BDS movement: “It’s part of their war against the campaign, but it won’t work. They can arrest whoever they want, they can do more than that, but that won’t prevent people from continuing to use BDS as a tool in the struggle for Palestinian freedom.”

Palestinians say much of the money from PLO fund deemed a terrorist organization by Liberman goes to Israel

Sheren Khalel on

Palestinians are both scared and skeptical of the prospect of Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman going through with his threat to seize money from the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Palestinian National Fund (PNF), which delivers money to the families of Palestinian prisoners and those killed or injured by Israel under political circumstances. According to Liberman, the funds provide “massive support” to terrorism against Israel. Palestinians find the statement ironic, because on average families estimated that around three-fourths of the money sent to them is given to their loved ones in prison, who spend the money on commissary items within Israeli government prisons, essentially meaning the money is funneled into the Israeli government.

Open Letter to Theresa May: On 100th anniversary of Balfour Declaration recognize an independent Palestinian state

Rev. Alex Awad on

Rev. Alex Awad, who served as Dean of Students at Bethlehem Bible College, writes British Prime Minister Theresa May: “Britain was among the first in creating this tragic conflict but shouldn’t be the last in taking positive steps to resolve it. Let 2017 be the year that Britain conducts its policy for Israel and Palestine independently of the influence and dictates of the United States. A first step would be for Britain to recognize an independent Palestinian State in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip.”