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Monthly Archives: April 2018
A second Palestinian journalist has died after being shot by Israeli forces while covering the Gaza protests. Ahmad abu Hussein, 24, succumbed yesterday in an Israeli hospital, 12 days after he was shot in the stomach while wearing a Press flak jacket on April 13. By one report, Abu Hussein was shot by an expanding bullet, from hundreds of meters away. International journalists are expressing outrage.
Israel is alienating liberal Zionist support by killing unarmed protesters, by its more overt annexation of the West Bank, by its domestic racism, and its gleeful embrace of Donald Trump. Marilyn Garson says that Netanyahu is ripping open a space of liberal doubt and a campaign for Palestinian rights can fill that vacancy.
Palestinian Christian Advocates for Justice and the Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace: “The Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, as well as the rest of the West Bank, Gaza, and the Syrian Golan Heights, is now in its fifty-first year, the longest military occupation since the end of the nineteenth century. Palestinian Christians and Muslims are calling on the church to use its influence to end the occupation.”
The Israeli border police officer who shot and killed Palestinian teenager Nadim Nuwara in 2014 was sentenced on Wednesday by an Israeli court to nine months in prison and a $13,940 (50,000 NIS) fine for negligent homicide. Nuwara’s father Saim said the sentence “does not even come close to justice.”
Just when Emmanuel Macron arrives in Washington to try and save the Iran deal, another county heard from! Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s defense minister, and commander of the Gaza snipers, flew to the U.S. to meet with John Bolton, the national security adviser and ardent supporter of Israel, to counter the European push for peace with Iran.
Natalie Portman’s decision to boycott an awards ceremony in Israel is putting pressure on other liberal Zionists to take real action to try and end the occupation, and scaring other liberal Zionists who fear that she is fostering the BDS campaign.
Israeli government officials are justifying the killing of four children in Gaza protests in the last 2 weeks. Education Minister Naftali Bennett says a 14-year-old boy killed Friday should have been in school, not at protests; while an Israeli government ministry posts a photo of a child in diapers holding a rock at the protests and says Palestinian children should be given books not rocks.
Israeli soldiers are caught on camera cheering on the shooting of Palestinian protesters in the West Bank: “We don’t need live fire. It’s not good for the video.”
Over the weekend two Palestinians succumbed to injuries sustained during the “Great March of Return” protest, bringing the total number of Palestinian protesters killed by Israeli forces since demonstrations began on March 30, 2018 to 41.
Israeli human rights activists submitted a Freedom of Information request concerning the international network of anti-BDS activity by Israeli ministries – and were surprised to find that the Justice Ministry was directly involved.
For Rabbi Eli Sadan of a religious military academy on the West Bank, “the grand arc of the nation” commands from Jews “a heroism, determination, and commitment to sacrifice that is beyond words.” This militant mysticism is for Jews only and inevitably leads to moral corruption, Rabbi Michael Davis explains.
After Norman Finkelstein and Sana Kassem posted a video on April 22 hailing the Gaza protesters with images of Yaser Murtaja, the journalist slain by an Israeli sniper, Youtube removed it within a day, saying it violates poicy against “sensational” and “shocking” incitement to “violence” or “dangerous activities.”
“We speak out as health workers concerned about this ongoing impunity of the Israeli military to use lethal and harmful force.”
Natalie Portman’s recent decision not to attend the Israeli Genesis Prize ceremony has pushed liberal Zionist organizations to endorse boycotts aimed at the Israeli government. Jonathan Ofir says her action shattered a huge taboo, even if she didn’t intend it.
On Friday, April 20, Israeli soldiers invaded the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, home to the Tamimi family. The Israeli forces instigated clashes with Palestinian youth which lasted several hours, during which the soldiers shot scores of tear gas, fired rubber-coated metal bullets and live ammunition that wounded two of the protesters. “What’s happening now is what is happening every week, sometimes everyday, since nearly nine years”, explained Belal Tamimi. “The soldiers try to surround the village, they don’t want anyone to be near the spring area that the settlers occupied nine years ago. Every Friday, the situation is horrible.”
Like the recent Barnard BDS vote, Natalie Portman’s refusal to attend the Genesis Prize award presentation shows how deep the cracks in Zionism are running for a growing number of Jews who today find it “increasingly tricky” to reconcile one’s familiar love for Israel and one’s decency, and eventually opt towards dissociating themselves from Zionism.
In refusing to attend a prize ceremony in Israel, Natalie Portman says the problem with Israel is Netanyahu. But the problem is Zionism, Robert Cohen writes to Portman. “If you continue to see Zionism as essentially liberal and progressive you will never understand why it creates in your own words: ‘violence, corruption, inequality, and abuse of power’. The current Israeli government is not an aberration. When Netanyahu falls, Zionism with all of its violence, corruption and inequality will stay put.”
Roger Cohen argues in the New York Times that the right of return is code for pushing Jews into the sea. Joseph Levine issues a challenge to Cohen and other liberal Zionists: “It’s time to stop the scare tactics, stop using loaded language about “destruction” and “throwing into the sea” and face the consequences: either defend liberal democracy consistently or admit that one is willing to sacrifice it for ethnic nationalism.”
Natalie Portman’s refusal to attend the Israeli Genesis Prize ceremony is a blow to Israeli pride. But her statements of support for Israel reflect liberal Zionist convictions. Will she go further with her critique?
Israeli-American actress Natalie Portman’s refusal to accept an award at a ceremony in Israel because of “extremely distressing” recent events is causing a huge headache for Israel advocates. The correct response comes from Benjamin Netanyahu, Bret Stephens and Avi Mayer: avoid the topic.
For the fourth week yesterday, on a peaceful and unilateral battlefield, thousands of angry young Palestinian men went close to the border fence separating Gaza and Israel to protest, facing dozens of Israeli soldiers who lay positioned behind sandy hills. Four Palestinians were killed by live ammunition, and another 152 injured.
MSF [Medecins sans Frontieres] surgeons in Gaza report devastating gunshot wounds among hundreds of people injured during the protests over recent weeks. The huge majority of patients – mainly young men, but also some women and children – have unusually severe wounds to the lower extremities. MSF medical teams note the injuries include an extreme level of destruction to bones and soft tissue, and large exit wounds that can be the size of a fist.
Leanne Gale, a Yale law student, came out of the heart of the Jewish community to all-but support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) at the J Street conference. She said BDS is the most important nonviolent Palestinian movement in the world, that anti-Zionism is a living tradition in the Jewish community as a response to anti-Semitism, and that Jews should not seek to marginalize or suppress or seek an alternative to BDS, but should engage it in an effort to make Israel a liberal democracy.
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