In September, the right-wing organization Im Tirzu will celebrate 10 years of its activity – and will do so in Beit Shmuel, a conference center owned by a progressive Jewish organization with links to the Reform movement.
Now back in the United States, Steven Salaita writes about his experience of being forced out the American University of Beirut, “I didn’t leave AUB; I was ousted, deprived by management of a permanent job for which I had been selected. For a long time after it happened, I was shocked that Zionist pressure could succeed in the Arab World. Having suffered that pressure in the United States, I knew the danger of aggravating pro-Israel groups, many of which make a living denying the same right to others. The affair made me rethink some of my assumptions about Zionism as a settler-colonial project. I realized that Zionism informs class loyalty as strongly as it does ideological devotion.”
Israel is making a big effort to strengthen its diplomatic ties in Africa. Netanyahu told his ambassadors to Africa, “The first interest is to dramatically change the situation regarding African votes at the UN and other international bodies from opposition to support.” But Tel Aviv’s history and its policies today mean it will fail in this effort.
Wolf Blitzer and Josh Marshall are strong voices against white nationalist violence. Yet Blitzer once wrote that the Deir Yassin massacre in Palestine was a “spurious myth.” And Josh Marshall named his son after an Israeli general who committed ethnic cleansing. Charlottesville is a moment of truth. If you’re going to stand up for liberal values here, you need to criticize Jewish nationalism there.
President Trump’s initial statement on Charlottesville, which blamed violence “on many sides,” has taken on a life of its own. All of this has made various Israeli leaders rather uncomfortable because while Israel is supposedly engaged in combatting anti-Semitism, it is more truly in an international ideological fight against the left. And Trump is making it difficult to make this argument without looking like a Nazi.
When Nakba of Palestinians is your muttered policy– when you realize you may have to carry out another ethnic cleansing, as the Israeli right believes– it’s silly to moan about Nazis somewhere else. After all, you’re holding a very similar policy, and they’re likely to be your only allies. Yossi Gurvitz explains Netanyahu’s silence about Charlottesville.
Politicians from Senators Marco Rubio and Orrin Hatch to Chuck Schumer and Ron Wyden have been outspoken in their condemnation of Saturday’s Unite the Right March in Charlottesville and the vicious acts of terror it spawned. Yet, the same senators are united by their ardent support for a racist regime that is no less inspired by racial supremacy.
In late July, dozens of Israeli settlers raided and occupied the Abu Rajab family home in the Old City of Hebron near the Ibrahimi Mosque. Since then they have slowly moved in under the constant protection of armed Israeli soldiers. Abu Rajab family members are now subjected to daily harassment from the settlers, while soldiers control the family’s every move in and out of the parts of the home where they have been able to remain.
While Palestinian protesters are generally armed with rocks and a few sporadic Molotov cocktails, Israeli forces are armed with some of the world’s leading crowd control weapons that they designate as “non-lethal.” But medical professionals say that considering tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets, sponge rounds and .22 caliber live bullets as non-lethal is misleading. Mondoweiss spoke with Doctor Nasser al-Jaberi, the Director of the Emergency Room Department at the West Bank’s Arab Society Hospital, to get a better idea of what these weapons are capable of.
A comparison of Donald Trump’s weak and vague statement on the Charlottesville white supremacist attack with his earlier failure to address a specific question on anti-Semitism. He doesn’t notice bigotry because he fosters it.
Oregon Senator Ron Wyden has turned himself into a knot on the Israel Anti Boycott Act. He wants to defend your right to picnic for BDS, but the ACLU says you could go to jail if you tweet support for a UN boycott, under the bill. Katie Miranda reports from senator’s latest town hall, in Tualatin, Oregon.
The Democratic groundswell against the Israel Anti Boycott bill continues to build, and progressive party leaders are falling into line. Senator Elizabeth Warren tells a town hall she does not support the Anti-Israel Boycott Act that is roiling the Democratic base.
On Sunday Israel’s minister of communication Ayoub Kara said he is banning Al Jazeera from broadcast, shutting its Jerusalem bureau, and revoking press credentials for reporters with the Doha-based network, citing the media outlet as a “tool for the Islamic State” and creating biased content when covering recent demonstrations regarding the al-Aqsa mosque. But, commentators have raised the point that Israel is unable to pass sweeping bans and the network and its journalists will likely continue to work in the country.
In town hall at a Portland high school, Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden is put on the defensive by questions and heckling over his support for Anti-Israel Boycott Act, and says law is necessary because boycott movement has “grown” and the law could apply to boycotts recommended by the United Nations. The pushback is further evidence of decreasing support for Israel inside the Democratic Party base.
The West Bank village of Al-Walaja is stuck in the “seam zone” between by Israel’s separation wall to the east and the Green Line to the west. The only one road in or out of the village is shared by the illegal Israeli settlement of Gilo and looks more like a prison compound that a residential community. There are currently 28 homes in al-Walaja with Israeli demolition orders issued, but local activists are working to find a way to help protect the homes under threat. “We are a small village yes, but if they think that means they can kick us out and empty Palestinians from this land in order to connect their settlements, then they are wrong,” Khader al-Araj, head of the Al Walaja village council, tells Mondoweiss. “We will fight this, we aren’t going anywhere.”
The movement for Israel Palestine should be built around a very simple program. Equal rights. A principle Jews honor in the west. If you say that Zionism is a “noble and integral part of Judaism”, then, I can’t work with you. If you can’t acknowledge that Israel/Palestine is an asymmetrical conflict in which one side has power, and a state apparatus, and a standing army, and is maintaining an illegal occupation with the backing of the world’s super power, you’re in denial.
Israel supporters such as Caroline Glick are demanding that Trump fire national security adviser H.R. McMaster because he has fired pro-Israel analysts and supports the Iran deal and considers Israel an occupying power. But realists are still the adults in the Trump administration.
A poll by the Israeli Democracy Institute shows that 2 out of 3 Jewish Israelis support the death sentence for Palestinian attackers, considered “terrorists,” even if they attack armed occupation soldiers. Israel has not officially used the death penalty since Adolf Eichmann was executed in 1962. Jonathan Ofir writes, “The potential enactment of the death penalty, especially in the case of Palestinian attackers, would be a grave matter, in view of the Israeli definitions of ‘terror’.”
Victoria Coates is the latest Trump hire to join the team tasked with solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Coates worked under Ted Cruz when he introduced legislation to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. And her social media footprint endorses a plan for “Expelling Palestinians from lands controlled by Israel.”
The Israeli Supreme Court backed the state in only permitting Gazan music students to take part in the Jordanian part of a workshop and concerts – not the part in Ramallah. And it piously intoned, “[M]usical development…is not necessarily bound by location”.
Bari Weiss, an opinion editor at the New York Times and longtime pro-Israel advocate, smears Linda Sarsour as a purveyor of “hate” because she is anti-Zionist. Weiss is in a rich tradition of pro-Zionist advocacy at America’s leading newspaper, but Sarsour’s prominence is endangering that entitlement.
In John Lyons’s new memoir, Balcony Over Jerusalem, ex-New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren tells Lyons that Israel’s treatment of Palestinians looks “a lot like apartheid.” The book describes the aggressive attacks Lyons and others suffered at the hands of the Israel lobby, and the Rudoren interview raises the obvious question: why are we learning about Rudoren’s surprising views about Israel and apartheid in an interview with Lyons rather than prominently in the pages of the New York Times, the world’s most influential newspaper? The answer indicates that the lobby’s strategy has been paying handsome dividends.
There are two claims one hears from people opposed to any serious action taken in favor of Palestinian rights. Anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. And BDS unfairly singles out Israel and therefore (you guessed it) is anti-Semitic. Here are the short answers those claims deserve.
Tithi Bhattacharya and Bill V. Mullen write, “a watershed that has created both a set of tactics, and as importantly a confidence, among reactionary forces in the U.S., that U.S. university faculty, including tenured faculty, can be harassed, trolled, smeared and bullied—even out of a job— for daring to act as public advocates for social justice. We may call this trend the ‘Salaitification’ of higher education in reference to Steven Salaita. It takes the special form of a new, emboldened ‘alt-right’ who have taken to emulating tactics first deployed by Zionists and defenders of Israel to stalk and attempt to destroy the careers of American academic dissidents”
Netanyahu has reportedly adopted Lieberman’s ugly idea of stripping Palestinians in Israel of citizenship and transferring them to Palestinian sovereignty under a peace deal. American Jews have been outraged by this ethnic-religious citizenship proposal in the past. Will they speak up now?