Monthly Archives: March 2017
Kamal Nayfeh, 55, was an out-of-towner waiting to hug goodbye his daughter who lives in Washington DC, in the moments before he was beaten by members of the Jewish Defense League (JDL), outside of a policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Nayfeh and his daughter, who witnessed the attack, talk to Mondoweiss’s Allison Deger about the event and its aftermath. “I’ve been seeing a trend towards violence and all of those violent group are re-emerging. The country is so divided, and all of those groups that never had a voice are popping out and showing their hate,” Nayfeh says.
Amid the quiet of Gaza’s white sand dunes that cover the grounds of Israeli settlements evacuated more than a decade ago, Palestinian actors playing ultra-orthodox Israelis get in a fight. They are shooting the dramatic series “Heaven’s Gate” on the Hamas-owned Al Aqsa TV network, which will premiere this summer during Ramadan. The show is filming in Gaza, but the show is set in Jerusalem, and the city has been recreated inside of the besieged strip. This is as close to visiting the holy city as any of the actors have come.
A 55-year old Palestinian-American instructor at a community college in North Carolina was brutally beaten by members of the Jewish Defense League (JDL) while walking by the AIPAC conference in Washington DC on Sunday, according to a video and statement released by the Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU). The man was identified as Kamal Nayfeh. The JDL affiliates “punched and kicked him and hit him in the face with flag poles, leaving him with cuts and bruises all over his face and body,” said the IMEU statement. Photos were taken of Nayfeh after the and beatings show his face bloodied and bruised.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
VP Mike Pence was introduced at AIPAC as an enemy of BDS and told the group that Trump is seriously considering moving embassy to Jerusalem. Meanwhile,, young Jewish protesters outside call the occupation a moral crisis in the Jewish community.
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.”
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.”
Israeli forces shot up a car filled with Palestinian teenagers last Thursday night outside the illegal settlement of Beit El, killing one of the young men. Israeli government says the youths were throwing Molotov cocktails. Evidence at the scene contradicts the claim.
Yesterday the Senate confirmed the president of a settler financing group, who called left-wing Jews ‘kapos’ and accused Barack Obama of “blatant ani-Semitism” (on more than one occasion), as the next U.S. ambassador to Israel.
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.”
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.
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.