Alan Dershowitz gave a pep talk on Jewish influence to an orthodox audience in Scarsdale Tuesday night. His theme? Jews earned their influence in the U.S. by contributing more to its success than others, so now use your influence: “We have contributed disproportionately to the success of this country. We have done so much for this country. When you think of how much better this country has become since our grandparents and great grandparents took the risk of coming, here, we have not only the right we have the obligation to speak out, and use every piece, every bit of power available in support of Israel.”
As the mass hunger strike by Palestinians in Israeli prisons is in its critical fourth week the BDS movement calls for intensifying boycott campaigns to hold Israel accountable for its crimes against the Palestinian people.
While President Donald Trump prepares to make his first trip abroad to Israel where he reportedly will announce his administration’s plan for the creation of a Palestinian state (without East Jerusalem as its capital), a new congressional caucus is calling for an alternative plan: “Israeli victory, Palestinian defeat.”
Israeli Prison Services released footage of hunger strike leader Marwan Barghouti supposedly breaking the strike by eating a snack on the toilet. There seems to be no bottom to the abyss Israel is willing to sink to in its desperation to save its image against the current Palestinian hunger strike.
Palestinian cartoonist Mohammed Saba’aneh, now on a book tour in the US, spent five months in an Israeli prison, so he knows why 1600 prisoners are staging a hunger strike, and how much their families are suffering. Saba’aneh threw himself into documenting prison conditions during his solitary confinement.
The old Hamas charter that Israel found so objectionable has long been defunct. Hamas’s new charter merely states what Hamas leaders have done for more than 10 years: a two-state solution on the ’67 lines, with the right of return of refugees. The updated charter is merely catching up to the party’s current politics, rather than it ushering in a change of policy.
In an appearance at Columbia University, former Clinton foreign policy adviser Jake Sullivan characterized Donald Trump as “a person who does not look at America’s role in the world as having a special positive-sum nature.” But what’s so great about America’s role in the world!
Is it really ‘even-handedness’ that the 100 Senators are seeking, or merely a shielding of Israel from critique? Under the guise of supposed insidious bias against Israel, those who are biased for Israel are running a campaign to tarnish the UN for supposedly promoting BDS and the “destruction of Israel”.
Last week, more than 200 people crowded the offices of Verso Books to hear Omar Barghouti, a leader of the boycott movement, in discussion with Nyle Fort, an activist and religion scholar. Among the noteworthy statements Barghouti made were a personal story about his daughter and a critique of identity politics.
The Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas is due to meet Donald Trump in the White House on Wednesday. Back home, there is anger in the West Bank on the streets and within the ranks of Abbas’s Fatah movement triggered by the two-week-old hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners. Jonathan Cook writes, “The visit to Washington and the hunger strike have brought into sharp relief the biggest fault line in the Palestinian national movement.”
Why are Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, and Sherrod Brown, the progressives of the Democratic Party, lining up behind Trump officials Nikki Haley and Erin Barclay? Because partisanship drops dead when it comes to defending Israel against any criticism.
Firas Nasrallah had a rash for four years while in an Israeli prison. For the ten years Mohammad Fathy was imprisoned, his father was never allowed to visit him. Similar cruel conditions are the reason that jailed Palestinians are leading a hunger strike.
“No one in our family was ever as passionate about Israel as me, and now I’m the most critical.” Liz Rose meditates on her summer in 1986, at the Alexander Muss High School, when she fell in love with Jerusalem.
Aarab Marwan Barghouti, the son of jailed Palestinian official Marwan Barghouti who is leading a hunger strike of more than 1,500 Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons, gave a boost to prisoner solidarity campaigns by releasing a video of him drinking a bitter mixture of salt and water. The clip closes by asking others to participate in his “salt water challenge” in solidarity with the Palestinian hunger strikers.
After overcoming multiple legal and administrative hurdles, including an Israeli-imposed travel ban, Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, appeared on a panel at Columbia University last night entitled “The Road to Freedom: The BDS Movement for Palestinian Rights and the Struggle Against Apartheid.” Barghouti listed BDS’ many accomplishments since its launch in 2005 by Palestinian civil society and his commentary was sharp and at times funny. “BDS cannot claim full responsibility for Israel’s growing academic, cultural and increasingly economic isolation” Barghouti said. “For Israel itself deserves a big share of the credit.”
I., a European living in Israel, explains why she decided to keep her kindergarten-aged daughter home from school when Israeli schools are mandated teach about the Holocaust to children as young as three years old: “Because of the decision other people made about when and how it is appropriate for our child to learn about genocide, we chose to keep her at home yesterday and today. We want our child to learn about injustice; moral, critical thinking; and courage. We want her to grow up to be strong, fair, kind and safe. And, we think that learning about blurry dangers in a distant past does not teach her that.”
Steven Salaita writes: “Palestine isn’t the totality, or the crux, of today’s debates about speech and resistance on campus. There’s too much repression preceding Palestine, and now in existence alongside it, for that to be true. But Palestine deeply informs the substance of those debates, and by recovering this sunken reality we can better understand the disputes around free speech and academic freedom that generate so much attention.”
Monday, April 10, 2017, marked a significant victory for social justice activism in the state of Maryland. After a vigorous and well-organized campaign, legislation targeting the BDS movement was roundly defeated for the third time in four years. Kim Jensen talks to the activists who went up against powerful outspoken anti-BDS advocates like Dennis Ross, Governor Larry Hogan, and Senator Ben Cardin and won.
Marking Marwan Barghouti as a ‘terrorist’ is very important for Israel and the New York Times, too. The Times did not impose such standards when it was celebrating Nelson Mandela.
Uri Avnery and Salman Abu Sitta first met during a debate in Paris hosted by the United Nations, “years ago.” Since then the have maintained a correspondence, pieces of which have already been published by Avnery in his column. In the exchange Abu Sitta writes, “I realize you did not wish to reply to my letters. They are either painful or could not be rebutted. Certainly they are not irrelevant. I keep writing to you since we met in Paris over a decade ago because I think you have unique characteristics. You have been a terrorist. You witnessed al Nakba, so you cannot deny it. You tried to forge peace with Palestinians (only on Zionist terms). You have a grasp of all the facts. So you cannot claim ‘I did not know’. Then WHY you are still in a Denial Bubble?”
Three years ago Palestinian soccer players Adam Jamous and Jawahar Halbiyeh were attacked by Israeli forces on their way home from practice in occupied Jerusalem. Both players were shot in their legs, Jawahar 10 times and Adam three times, ending their playing careers. Today, as FIFA considers the future of Israeli teams based in illegal West Bank settlements, the ex-players say the future of Israeli teams is less important than the rights of Palestinians: “Let them keep the settlement teams, but stop Israel from holding our players for hours at checkpoints, imprisoning and shooting us. By the time we were 17, which is when a player is really preparing to go professional, at least 50 percent of our team had been arrested by Israeli forces.”
Finally, you can let everyone know you are a Mondoweiss reader no matter where you go! Check out the two new Mondoweiss t-shirts: Show your support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement with a t-shirt featuring an exclusive illustration from Katie Miranda or keep it simple with a stylish navy blue t-shirt featuring our logo and tagline. Either way you will be letting people know you support the movement for Palestinian rights and appreciate news and analysis unavailable through the mainstream media.
Taher Herzallah and Kareem El-Hosseiny will come before Superior Court judge Marisa Demeo on Thursday, April 20th to hear potential motions regarding their disruption of David Friedman’s nomination hearing to become US ambassador to Israel. Nadya Raja Tannous interviews them on the eve of the hearing about their case, why they didn’t take a plea deal, and whether they would do it again. “While we are allowed traditional ways to state our views we still were not heard. Sometimes the only way to have a voice is by literally speaking out,” Herzallah explains.