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.”
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.
An all-female team of engineers in Gaza have invented an affordable new way to produce concrete, made from the leftover 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 by relying mostly on recycled materials.
Racism gets a platform at the New York Times. The paper runs a hideous op-ed by an Israeli settler suggesting Palestinians leave Greater Israel.
An American woman trying to pay respect to her grandmother at the Western Wall in Jerusalem is banned from the city for having pro-Palestinian literature. “Why do you want to free Gaza!” the officer screamed at her.
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.
A repentant David Friedman, Donald Trump’s nominee to be the next ambassador to Israel, got an easy ride at the Senate Foreign Relations committee this morning. The most exciting part of the hearing were the first few minutes, as Friedman’s opening statement was interrupted repeatedly by protesters.
“After 24 years the flag of Palestine has been lowered and taken down from the post, to be substituted by the flag of Israel,” Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett proclaims
“I’m looking at two-state and one-state, and.. I’m very happy with the one that both parties like. I could live with either one,” Donald Trump says, changing US policy.
Russia surely interfered in U.S. politics and may have affected last year’s election; and that scandal could bring Trump down. But Israel interferes in our politics all the time, with a negative effect; and it’s never a scandal.
Hundreds of Palestinians gathered at the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt over the weekend, waiting for their turn to be let through the checkpoint. The three-day opening allowed medical patients, students, and travelers with foreign passports to cross. With huge numbers of Palestinians desperate to leave Gaza, travelers typically pay an exorbitant amount of money to local brokers who coordinate their passage with Egyptian authorities. It’s been reported previously that Egyptian authorities ask for bribes of up to $10,000. Mondoweiss spoke with some hopeful travelers about their experience trying to get across the border from Gaza to Egypt while they waited in line.
Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett created ripples in the sports world when he publicly tweeted he was no longer going on a Post-Super Bowl trip to Israel. In a world where privileged football sports figures make vacuous and cowardly statements about politics, Bennett has been a voice of intelligence and compassion. His most recent public comments have cemented his unwavering commitment to understanding the roots of injustice — despite the attempts by Israeli organizations to gloss over the oppression of Palestinians.
Finally, after lying through their teeth that they have “defeated” or “buried” the BDS movement, Israel’s far-right government and its lobby groups in the west are now admitting that they have failed to stop the impressive growth of the BDS movement.
Israeli forces stormed Aida refugee camp on Wednesday, arresting Ali Jawarish, a 14-year-old disabled Palestinian boy, who as of today is still being held in Israeli detention. The arrest was caught on video by youth from the camp, and depicts Israeli forces tearing off the boy’s shirt, and violently throwing him into the back of a military jeep. Jawarish was supposed to have a court hearing on Friday, but Israeli authorities told his family that the hearing had been postponed to an unscheduled date. “It’s not right what happens here to children, there needs to be a way to stop these kinds of crimes committed by the occupation,” says Jawarish’s cousin, Rana Musafana. “They are only children — Ali is a child, he needs to have a childhood — all the children should be able to have a childhood.”
For years Donald Trump’s pick for U.S. ambassador to Israel had funneled millions of tax-exempt American dollars into a hardline West Bank settlement through a U.S. charity. Now newly uncovered documents show his money will continue to pay for settlements in the future.
As the blooming relationship between the Trump administration and Israeli politicians and apologists shows, the ethnocentric character of Israel shares many attributes with- and has been a source of inspiration for- American White nationalism, now embodied in Trump’s administration. In order to effectively fight this new administration and protect community members against the growing tide of anti-Semitism, American Jews need to recognize these parallels and fight against all ethnocentric, exclusivist forces, including fascism, White supremacy, and Zionism.
In practice there has never been a serious limit on theft of Palestinian land. But now, after passing the “Regularization Bill,” Israeli government support for the plunder will be explicit in law. It will be impossible to blame the outposts on “rogue” settlers, or claim that Israel is trying to safeguard Palestinian property rights.
The response to Donald Trump’s travel ban within the Arab community of east Dearborn, Michigan, has been one of urgent fear and confusion, as evidenced by the overwhelming turnout of town halls and community panels. Abed Ayoub, legal policy director at the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the largest grassroots Arab American advocacy organization, reported receiving over 1500 calls to the organization in 48 hours. “The impact it had on the community’s psyche was worse than 9/11,” the attorney said.
The new law legalizing theft of Palestinian land is very similar to earlier legislation the Israeli government passed after Partition in 1950 and after the occupation in 1967, giving legal title to Jews of land formerly owned by Palestinians, who had either fled, been expelled, or were gerrymandered out of Israeli bounds.
The Israeli Knesset on Monday passed a controversial new law that allows the Israeli government to expropriate private Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, making more than a dozen Israeli settlements legal under Israeli law. It is the first time in history that the Knesset has imposed Israeli civil law the occupied West Bank, which is under Israeli military and civilian rule. Xavier Abu Eid, a spokesperson for the PLO’s Negotiations Affairs Department said the law essentially “legalized theft of Palestinian land” adding that the legislation “negates peace and the possibility of the two-state solution.”
Benjamin Netanyahu claims Palestinians celebrate murderers and Israel does not, but grocery bag glorifying Elor Azarya proves he’s wrong. The medic who killed an incapacitated Palestinian on the ground last March is pictured with a rifle on bags given out for free at Rami Levy supermarket chain.