Ron Brummer from Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Hasbara, recently confirmed that there is no separate economic system for Israel inside the occupation and outside it. “If you want to divest from the West Bank… you have to divest from Israel.” This is clarifying. Liberal Zionists who have supported settlement boycotts only need to choose sides. Are they for freedom or apartheid?
Monthly Archives: November 2017
American politicians are responsible for are crimes against humanity, but those are never seen as scandals, except maybe a century later. At most we just treat war crimes as policy disputes. Nobody expects a bipartisan investigation into our ties with the Saudis. So a domestic political competition– Russiagate– takes up all the media’s attention, while civilians killed by US bombs are like ants on the sidewalk.
The signature moments of the Clinton scandals involve threats against people who were going to talk about his sex life. When Lindsey Graham asked in the House, Is this Peyton Place or Watergate? we said, Watergate. It wasn’t just about a blowjob.
Israel is in charge of giving foreign spouses in the West Bank visas, a power these spouses say has been increasingly abused. They described being issued ever-shorter visas ranging from two weeks to six months instead of the usual one-year visa, dragging them into a near-constant process of visa renewals. “I think the entire policy is to empty Palestine of its brains, of its capacities, in a voluntary manner,” says Sam Bahour, of Right to Enter.
Israel states that it will move military checkpoint between Bethlehem and Jerusalem deeper into West Bank, annexing 296 acres of al-Walajah village land, including a historic spring. Some say Israel intends to make the land part of a national park in Israel in an effort to fight local resistance to the landgrab.
Israeli leaders were not only contemplating ethnic cleansing, but also Genocide, according to declassified governmental minutes from 1967. Labor politicians were obsessed with the fear that the 1.4 million Palestinians in the territories they had seized would overwhelm the state’s Jewish majority one day. And these liberal Zionists encouraged the settlements, too.
Speaking to a conference on settler population growth in the West Bank titled “On the Way to a Million,” Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin dismissed the idea of a Palestinian state, “Halas [‘enough’ in Arabic] with the story of two states. There is no other option but the state of Israel, certainly between the Jordan [River] to the [Mediterranean] sea there will be one state.”
Over half of the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank has been declared an active military “firing zone” by the Israeli army. The Israeli military conducts military exercises in these areas, even if Palestinian villages still exist there. Ibziq is one such village. Uday Nawaja’a was recently killed there while tending to a flock of goats after stumbling upon an unexploded ordnance left behind by the Israeli army. “I was tending to the flock, as Uday was wandering underneath a tree, about 30 meters away,” Nawaja’a’s uncle told Mondoweiss. “Suddenly, I heard an explosion. I ran over to Uday to see what happened. But a few seconds later, he was dead.”
New York Times columnist Bret Stephens says that Jewish Voice for Peace is as anti-Semitic as white nationalists like Richard Spencer because it undermines “Israel’s right to exist.” This is a clever feat of propaganda for Israel: Stephens is saying that Israel has a right to discriminate against Palestinians. People need to call it out as racist claptrap.
Amirah Abu Lughod writes, “According to most people’s definition, Yaffa is a beautiful city – sea side views, a bustling shopping scene, an artist’s village, restaurants everywhere you turn. I found myself struggling to see the beauty. I knew what I was seeing was nothing like the Yaffa my grandparents called home and what did resemble their existence there felt like a restoration of mockery. It looks nothing like what my ancestors called home because my ancestors were those people who lived on ‘the land with no people for a people with no land.'”
The tag team of Benjamin Netanyahu and former US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro springs into action on Iranian earthquake. “Our humanity is greater than their hatred,” Netanyahu says of Iran. And Shapiro echoes, “Sadly, Iran hates Israel more than it wants to find earthquake victims.”
Salwa Salem-Copty hopes to someday return to live in her family’s village in the north of Israel, but at 70 years old, she thinks it is unlikely. Instead she has one request — she would like to be allowed to visit the grave of her father, who was killed when a bus full of workers traveling to Haifa was attacked in April 1948. Salwa was never allowed to visit her father’s grave. Today, now a grandmother, she is still fighting for that right.
Ron Brummer of the Israeli Ministry for Strategic Affairs says there’s no point in just boycotting the settlements because there’s only one economy between the river and the sea. “If you want to divest from the West Bank, Judea and Samaria, you have to divest from Israel, which means you boycott Israel completely.”
Steven Salaita visits Hawaii to learn more about Kanaka Maoli resistance and to converse with local activists and intellectuals about Palestine. He writes, “Enough commonalities exist among the two nations for a shared political project: both suffer military occupation, land theft, foreign settlement, and structural racism. In fact, they contest the same colonial apparatus. This point may seem counterintuitive, but these days the United States and Israel differ only according to technicalities of nomenclature and color scheme. Collusion between the US and Israel is by now axiomatic. People needn’t be identical to know that it is foolish to oppose one of those powers while ignoring the other.”
Brisbane musicians rework Nick Cave’s classic ballad “The Ship Song” to call on him to cancel his upcoming shows in Israel and respect the Palestinian picket line. #BDS
The leader of the Israeli “left” opposition faction Zionist Union, Avi Gabbay, says, “The left has forgotten what it means to be Jewish,” a virtual carbon copy of Benjamin Netanyahu’s comment from 20 years ago. The parallel shows the collapse of any real opposition to the hard right in Israeli politics.
United States Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) introduced on Tuesday a bill to the U.S. House of Representatives that seeks to bar U.S. government aid and funding from supporting Israeli military detentions of Palestinian children and their prosecution under Israel’s military court system. The legislation is said to be the first time a bill on Palestinian human rights has ever been introduced to U.S. Congress.
On November 7, the House Judiciary Committee held hearings over the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, a bill that would broaden the definition of antisemitism to include criticism of Israel. Dr. Barry Trachtenberg, the Chair of Jewish History at Wake Forest University, argued that the act’s definition of antisemitism was deeply flawed because it defines all accusations of American Jewish dual-loyalty as inherently antisemitic. Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center accused Trachtenberg of providing ”cannon fodder for antisemites”. In many ways, the exchange between Cooper and Trachtenberg mirrored the debate the American Jewish community has been having about dual loyalty since the establishment of Israel.
Israel backed al-Qaeda and the Islamic State in Syria in an effort to weaken Bashar al-Assad and Iran. The effort has failed and now Israel and Saudi Arabia are turning their attention to Lebanon where two mysterious events over the past week indicate that Hezbollah may be in Israel’s sights.
David Brooks does a limited confession of his mistake in supporting the Iraq war. He was naive. “People like me used to advocate for spreading democracy around the world. Sometimes we were naive. And Iraq was Iraq and it didn’t work out. But at least it was a belief in essential progress.”
No individual had as large a role in Israel’s shift from an embattled settler state to a regional power as James Angleton, the head of counterintelligence at the CIA in the 50s-70s, who relied on Israeli intelligence in his battle against communism. Angleton overlooked Israel’s acquisition of nukes, Jefferson Morley relates in his new biography of Angleton, The Ghost.
In 2014 when nine activists climbed onto the roof of the Elbit UK drone factory to protest the Israeli war on Gaza, Nick Cave’s support helped spread the news of their protest. Now, those same nine activists write Cave to ask him to support the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions and to cancel his upcoming show in Israel.
“F]or Palestinians in marriages in which one partner comes from the West Bank and the other from territory Israel had declared to be part of the Israeli state, the slum is a haven where they can live legally together,”–Reuters reports.
Thirty years ago, Prince Charles said that U.S. support for Israel is a cause of terrorism and that the “Jewish lobby” tied an American president’s ability to address the issue. He wrote in a 1986 letter: “I know there are so many complex issues, but how can there ever be an end to terrorism unless the causes are eliminated? Surely some US president has to have the courage to stand up and take on the Jewish lobby in US? I must be naive, I suppose!”
Israeli settlers celebrating the life of Sarah in the Torah turned threatening toward Palestinians in Hebron last week. Badia Dwaik of Human Rights Defenders says, “Israel is the only state in which there are two armies, namely the organized official army and the army of settlers armed with weapons. Where Jewish settler festivals have become a hell for Palestinian families.”