Abdullah Dwaik, 12, was on his way to his grandparents’ house in Hebron earlier this months when he happened upon a chaotic scene of Israeli soldiers arresting other children that ended with Dwaik being blindfolded on an army base: “The soldiers hit 18 of us. They hit us hard and hit some of the other boys and others were hit in the eyes. Some of the boys couldn’t see or walk. They hit a ten-year-old boy and threw him on the floor and they hold him if they saw him again, he would be arrested. They threatened us and said that they would arrest us again and will demolish our house. They took me and interrogated me and asked me to give the names of other boys. I said I don’t know and they started to threaten me. And told me to tell them so that I can be safely released or they will arrest my father. I was scared and I wished my family was with me. Ofer, the settler, was allowed to be inside with us and looked at us.”
At a British Labour Party gathering, Jeremy Corbyn’s biggest applause came when he said the oppression of Palestinians must end. No wonder he snubbed an invitation from the Jewish Leadership Council to commemorate the Balfour Declaration at 100. And no wonder a UK diplomat says Balfour’s promise to non-Jewish communities has gone unfulfilled. Balfour anniversary is dividing British opinion on Israel.
Trump gave red meat to the neocons in his Iran speech, using the word “regime” 29 times in an evident threat to change the regime. He needs their support politically, and Netanyahu and the Israel lobby are very happy with the result.
Did the law in Britain and the United States allow apartheid South Africa to advertise job opportunities to white Britons and Americans that were not also available to those countries’ black citizens? This is exactly what is happening right now in the US and Europe in a different context: Israel.
In the aftermath of one of the most devastating hurricanes to hit the Texas coast in years, one city is requiring all applicants for relief money to provide in writing a guarantee they do not and will not support the boycott of Israel.
Haidar Eid writes: The way I look at it is that by allowing Israel to impose this unprecedented blockade on 2 million civilians and launching three massive wars on them in 2008, 2012, and 2014, the post-WWII International Community has failed to uphold principles of justice and peace. It is therefore incumbent on civil society to take the lead. Hence the hope created amongst Palestinians by the huge successes achieved the BDS movement. It is, as I keep repeating, the only window of hope we victims of occupation, apartheid and settler colonialism have in the era of Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu.
Avi Gabbay, the new leader of Labor in Israel, is emulating Netanyahu, saying he will not evacuate settlements and won’t form a governing coalition with Palestinian parties. Liberal Zionists are outraged, but they should understand, this is Zionism.
After long negotiations, Palestinian movements Fatah and Hamas have reached a reconciliation agreement. Gazans rejoiced and entertained hopes for a better future. But a week after the agreement between the two movements was signed, Gazans now have mixed feelings about the reconciliation.
Artist Katie Miranda shares more images from her visit to the West Bank. They highlight surveillance and the indignities of daily life for Palestinians. She writes: “No blood or high drama, so it’s nothing ‘newsworthy.’ It’s just everyday life.”
Trump’s confected indignation at Unesco, and his shrugging off of its vital global programs, serve as a reminder that the US is not an “honest broker” of a Middle East peace. Rather it is the biggest obstacle to its realization.
Dan Freeman-Maloy writes, “The worsening crisis in Palestine reflects more than a local record of colonial crimes, severe as these have been. Responsibility for it is global. Arundhati Roy was right to describe the Palestine tragedy as one of “imperial Britain’s festering, blood-drenched gifts to the modern world.” It is also a product of a history of racism and empire that extended across most of the West. On this centennial of the Balfour Declaration, reflection on this shared culpability should serve as a reminder of the responsibility for the political action that comes with it.”
Following a report released by Danwatch in January, Denmark’s third largest pension fund, Sampension, moved to exclude four publicly traded companies from their portfolio due to their investments in illegal Israeli settlement activities. Ana Sanchez, speaking on behalf of the Palestinian BDS National Committee, welcomed the move, telling Mondoweiss it represents, “the latest indicator of the mounting pressure on businesses that are deeply complicit in Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights to stop profiting from Israel’s military occupation and apartheid.”
Susan Rice repeatedly groveled to the Israel lobby group AIPAC when she was in the Obama administration and trying to get its support for the Iran deal. Now when she is out of power she calls Bullshit on the group. A cynical-making glimpse of the Israel lobby’s power, and of its growing partisan divide.
The Israeli Ministry of Education dropped an explicit prohibition on racist answers by students on civic exams. So if they answer, Different population groups should be allowed to live in separate neighborhoods, thereby justifying apartheid, teachers should let it go.
After being censored for a year, “The Siege” by the Jenin Freedom Theatre premiered at the Skirball Center at NYU. Phil Weiss reviews the production: “For an hour and a half you are transported entirely inside the Palestinian narrative. There is no coerced attempt at balance, there are just Palestinians, joking, swearing, fearful, resisting, wondering at their fate. It’s all that anyone seeks to do in a work of art: to tell their truth. I have not seen this consciousness conveyed so genuinely before in a mainstream cultural space.”
Steven Salaita travels to Ireland and has an unexpected encounter with a border agent who shows support for Palestine: “By the time I was shivering in Dublin’s oceanic air, it occurred to me that the customs agent hadn’t provided special treatment; he was merely treating me with the sort of dignity proffered to anybody seen as human. I am unaccustomed to that kind of normalcy. In the anti-Zionist’s world, venality is routine.”
Devyn Springer says there is a clear pattern to how pro-Israel supporters attempt to discredit Black advocates for Palestine: “whether it is local rabbis blasting Black Lives Matter activists as ‘ignorant’ for including support of BDS in their demands, Zionist white feminists attacking the women’s movement for standing against Zionism, or the coded language against Alice Walker and NFL players that assumes they simply ‘don’t know what they’re talking about.’ The pattern is the use of anti-Black rhetoric and, in turn, anti-Blackness in whole, to perpetuate the assumption of Black ignorance to silence and belittle Black BDS advocates.”
Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation deal on Thursday during talks in Cairo. Reports of the agreement lack specific details on what exactly was agreed upon, with Fatah only officially confirming it will take over control of the Gaza-Egypt border. Ghassan Khatib, a Palestinian political scientist at Birzeit University, tells Mondoweiss the hard work lies ahead. “Inviting the PA to work in Gaza without a full agreement, is nothing more than a trap,” Khatib said.
Al-Shabaka’s Inès Abdel Razek has been asked the same questions about her homeland so many times that she decided to write a simple document to answer them. She writes, “During these conversations, I wish I had a simple leaflet I could hand to my interlocutors that would lay out the answers I end up diligently repeating. This is where the idea of this FAQ emerged.”
Palestinian artists from the Washington D.C. metro area and beyond convened at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts on Monday, October 2nd for opening night of the seventh annual D.C. Palestinian Film and Arts Festival. Festival co-founder Noura Erakat tells Mondoweiss, “When we discuss Palestine, we’re discussing a lot of the pain and intensity. There are so few places to celebrate what it is to be Palestinian and what it is to be Palestinian in our global diaspora as we exist. [This festival and its artists] are the iterations of being Palestinian-American.”
Israel has deep support among US cultural institutions, witness director Greta Gerwig removing her name from a letter critical of Israel lest it hurt her Oscar hopes, and NYU staging Israeli government propaganda to counter a Palestinian play about resistance to occupation, The Siege.
The Siege is a dramatization by the Jenin Freedom Theatre of a 39-day siege of the Nativity Church in 2002 during the Second Intifada, when Palestinian militants holed up in the Bethlehem church. Sheren Khalel saw the “thrilling” 90-minute production in Palestine; but it comes to NYU Oct. 12-22, in a run that is already garnering criticism from the pro-Israel community.
Artist Katie Miranda visits the West Bank and renders indelible images of the heaviness of occupation for ordinary Palestinians.
Pro-Israel activists in the UK Labour Party say there has been a surge of anti-semitism in the party since Jeremy Corbyn became leader two years ago. Moshe Machover, an anti-Zionist philosophy professor born and raised in Israel, appears to be among the first Labour members to be netted by a rule change on anti-semitism for an article he wrote, paradoxically titled “Anti-Zionism does not equal anti-Semitism”. As Jonathan Cook shows the pro-Israel activists’ concerns are much less about anti-semitism than about Corbyn and the trend he represents, including the possibility that Palestinians will be put at the heart of a Labour government’s foreign policy.
The West Bank village Shoshahla, located south of Bethlehem, was built in the 1870’s and by 1985 every Palestinian in the village had either been forced out or intimidated to leave by Israeli forces and settlers. But 7 years later one family did the unthinkable — they returned home. And they have been fighting to stay on their land ever since.