The eldest son of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has found himself an unlikely poster boy for David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader, and the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer. The affinity between Netanyahu’s Israel and the west’s far-right is understandable. Both detest a human rights discourse they have yet to crush. Both mobilise their supporters with dog-whistle Islamophobia. Both prefer militarised, fear-based societies. Guided by this cynical convergence of interests, Jewish and white supremacists are counting on a revival of anti-semitism that will benefit them both.
Wadi Qana was once a lush valley filled with diverse crops and livestock where dozens of Palestinian families farmed and thrived off the land. Now after years of Israeli settlements dumping their wastewater in the area, there is little life left in the valley.
A young operative from the heart of the pro-Israel community, Richard Goldberg, is pushing “regime instability” in Iran in a document circulating at the White House and in the Republican Congress. Goldberg has has worked with Stand With Us and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. The document calls on the president to threaten a “global economic embargo” of Iran so as to undermine the regime.
The ADL’s forays into a security relationship with Israel, and backing an anti-boycott law circulating through Congress caught has caught the ire of Jewish community groups and activists who see the organization as favoring pro-Israel advocacy over monitoring anti-Jewish hate groups.
Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy has opined that Israeli Justice Minister Shaked’s words about Zionism being in opposition to individual rights, are true. His colleague Rogel Alpher opines she is a fascist comparable to Mussolini. The combined logic of these two assertions is, Zionism is a fascist ideology.
Kim Jensen reports on a town hall meeting with Maryland Senator Ben Cardin that was taken over by protesters opposed to his support for the Israel Anti-Boycott Act — under which businesses, organizations, and even individuals who join in the international movement to boycott and divest from the state of Israel can potentially face astronomical fines and even jail time. Jensen writes, “Senator Cardin has a clear choice before him. He can continue to dance and dodge his way down the unethical and undemocratic path of representing the interests of AIPAC and the pro-Israel lobby, or he can listen to his constituents and the respected lawyers of the ACLU,and kill this bill. He can’t have it both ways.”
An unidentified group has launched a shadowy website identifying New Yorkers believed to support the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights—placing their photos, social media links and email addresses on a “blacklist” located at OutlawBDS.com. The list features ninety-seven individuals divided into the categories Campuses, Public & NPOs and Private Sector Activists. Project OutlawBDS claims it was established by a group who “consider themselves to be analytical in their approach to the BDS movement,” whose stated intention is to “provide support for New York State Senate Bill S2492,” the latest attempt to pass anti-BDS legislation in the state.
This is an incredible story about the power of the Israel lobby inside Democratic Party politics, and in Chicago. Daniel Biss, a progressive state senator contending for the Democratic nomination to be governor of Illinois, has dropped his running mate, Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, over Israel issues — two days after Illinois congressman Brad Schneider revoked his endorsement of Biss, because Ramirez-Rosa had supported Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel.
A professor visits two of her Palestinian students in Ramallah and together they sneak into Jerusalem for a joyride to Jaffa: “Our car never stopped but took a pause, then zoomed forth. Malak announced, ‘I would like to notify you that we’re in Jerusalem right now.’ The two of them suddenly yelled with sheer elation, ‘We made it! We’re going to Yaffa!.’ I had seen Malak on celebratory highs before, having seen him accomplish truly amazing things as an undergrad. But I had never witnessed the degree of outpouring of elation I was seeing from him now. I knew what Yaffa meant to him, as he had written about it and spoken about it on more than one occasion. He loved the sea, and he loved Yafa. It had been taken from him. It was his home, his family’s home. At 22 years old, he had only seen the sea from Yaffa a handful of times – he had never swum there.”
“Eid is special”– “and we will tell you why,” say 20-year old bloggers and twin sisters from Gaza City, Asmaa and Saja Khaldi, otherwise known as the “Khaldi twins.” The pair posted a video greeting on Sunday of how they and other Palestinians celebrate the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha which occurred over the weekend.
Almost one month after Israeli forces shot him seven times during a night raid in Deheisha refugee camp, 22-year-old Raed al-Salhi succumbed to his wounds on Sunday in Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital. Israeli forces had warned Raed al-Salhi in late July that they were coming for him. “They called him and told him ‘we will shoot you in front of your mother’,” Khaled, 24, one of Raed’s four older brothers told Mondoweiss. Two weeks after the call, on August 9, 2017, Israeli forces shot Raed in the courtyard behind his home at 4 a.m, as his mother sat inside the family’s living room just feet away.
An Israeli military order granting official administrative status to Jewish settlers in Hebron violates the 20-year-old Hebron agreement struck between Yasser Arafat and Benjamin Netanyahu. “This order is against everything we’ve made here, it’s against all the agreements, all the treaties and older orders we have worked hard to slowly establish,” Bassam Shweiki, a Palestinian leader, says.
The discussion over the essential racism of Zionism is in the open. Israeli Justice minister Ayelet Shaked made it clear, and Israeli journalist Gideon Levy thanks her for her candidness. Levy published a column in Haaretz yesterday that all but says Zionism is racism. He calls it a movement that “contradicts human rights, and is thus indeed an ultranationalist, colonialist and perhaps even racist movement, as proponents of justice worldwide maintain”.
Caught between war, siege, and cultural restrictions, teenage girls in Gaza face a future of uncertainly and limitations. “In Gaza, everything is negative. Even if you imagine something beautiful, the buzz of the drones overhead will make you worried,” says Farah Ayyad, 18. “If I stand on the beach at night with my family, we can see the lights from the Israeli city of Ashkelon, of course, they live as they like.”
On August 28, Palestinians in Hebron took to the streets to protest a newly-extended fence that divides the road leading to the Ibrahim Mosque in half; two-thirds of the street is divided off and allocated to the Israeli settlers, with the remaining third left for the Palestinian community. Ella Hattey writes, “The segregation fence of Salayma makes life intolerable for its residents, it imprisons a community guilty of no crime-except that of being born Palestinian.”
The never-ending deathbed vigil for the two-state solution has reached a new stage. The Trump administration’s refusal to commit to the two-state solution is horrifying liberal Zionists who fear threats to the Jewish state, but Netanyahu is overjoyed. He celebrated the settlements this week: “This is the inheritance of our forefathers, this is our country… We came back here to stay forever. There will be no more uprooting of settlements in the Land of Israel.”
Suha and Yaffa Jarrar have come to accept that their family is never safe. Being the daughters of Khalida Jarrar, a well-known leftist lawmaker in the occupied Palestinian territory, brought its challenges, but the young women are proud of their parents for their involvement. “No matter how hard it has been, we could never fault our mother for her involvement in politics, even if it can be dangerous, it is something she is passionate about and she always encouraged us to follow our passion,” Suha says. “So we will always support her in hers.”
Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett made a genius triple breakthrough in the fields of psychology, psychiatry and sociology on Friday, offering a new term for the old idea of Jewish self-hatred: “Auto-anti-Semitism is a social-psychological phenomenon in which a Jew develops obsessive contempt and hostility towards Jewish tradition, customs, and observant Jews,” he wrote. Who are these auto-anti-Semites? Secular Jewish Israelis who oppose infusion of religious themes into public education.
Kim Jensen writes: Why do critics of cultural boycotts insist on framing them as a form of censorship, rather than as an invitation to imagine and enact more principled forms of engagement? Are cultural and academic boycotts an effective strategy when some artists and allies may be marginalized in the process? These are the kinds of questions that are explored in a useful new collection of essays, “Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency, and Cultural Production,” which offers a rich and lively analysis of historical and present-day boycotts and the ethical, political, and practical issues they raise.
“We came to school and found the school destroyed” –says on small child after Israeli bulldozers crush newly-constructed school in occupied territories. “It is the first day of school and we are just sad because the soldiers took our school, but we want to build it again and study here, we hope.”
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.
“White Jews may be shocked at this undeniable evidence of U.S. racism; African Americans merely see more of the same. Black people did not need to be reminded by hoods and swastikas that we live in a dangerously racist country”–Lesley Williams.
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.