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Dangerous, but essential work: my experience as a field reporter in Palestine

Linda Shalash on

Al Quds TV reporter Linda Shalash has been targeted many times by the Israeli military while wearing the identifiable blue flak jacket with “PRESS” in large print. Still, she writes, “I believe from the bottom of my heart that sharing news stories from Palestine with people around the world is the most powerful way to mobilize resistance and cripple the oppressive, ethnocratic regime. I appreciate all that Mondoweiss does to multiply the impact of reporters like me. If you agree that we must increase the numbers and passion of people worldwide who challenge injustice in Palestine, join me in supporting Mondoweiss.”

Haim Saban pushes Democrats to support bill that would slash funding to Palestinian Authority

Kate on

Ron Kampeas reports for the JTA: “Haim Saban, a major donor to the Democratic Party, is backing a bill that would slash funding to the Palestinian Authority unless it stops payments to Palestinians jailed for attacks on Israelis. The participation of the Israeli-American entertainment mogul in the initiative of the lobbying affiliate of the Israeli-American Council is significant because Democrats until now have been reluctant to back the bill as it stands.”

Mondoweiss is necessary—so Israel can’t silence me and other Palestinian journalists

Ahmad Kabariti on

Mondoweiss contributor Ahmad Kabariti shares a personal story of being pressured by Israeli officials to share information with them in Gaza. He says it shows the power of adversarial journalism and the need to support news outlets telling the truth about what is happening in Palestine: “Just about every Palestinian journalist has had at least one experience similar to mine. Israel’s attempts to neutralize our profession take many forms, from bullying to physical force to bribes. I’m sharing this part of my personal history to help Mondoweiss’s readers understand how vital it is as an avenue to broadcast our reporting—to defy the efforts to silence us. I am asking you to show your solidarity with our work by donating to Mondoweiss to support publication of our journalism.”

Support Mondoweiss to keep brave journalists reporting news

Philip Weiss and Adam Horowitz on

Recently a Mondoweiss writer based in Palestine told us, “Anyone working in the country who describes the state’s repression of free speech is risking being kicked out for good.” You know that we who fight for justice in Palestine are tearing down the wall of lies brick by brick and that every effort to silence the truth shows the urgent need to invest in more truth-telling. We ask today that you donate to help Mondoweiss continue and increase our work informing the world of what happens in Palestine, and how U.S. policy underwrites the oppression. Every time Israel’s guardians lash out to silence truth, their fear testifies that our reporting is making a difference. Please give today to help us keep them shaking in their shoes.

West Bank settlement will build medical school, named after Adelsons

Kate on

A West Bank settlement is building a $100 million medical school and doubling the size of its campus. The forthcoming project will be named after casino mogul and settlement financier, Sheldon Adelson. Haaretz reports, “Ariel University is to double in size within the next five years, according to a plan now being promoted by Education Minister Naftali Bennett. Ten or twelve new buildings are to be added for new faculties in research and teaching at the university, located in the West Bank settlement of Ariel, as well as a new medical school, to be named after U.S. billionaire businessman Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam. The subcommittee on funding of the Council for Higher Education in Israel recently approved the plan, which will also lead to a major increase in the student body from its current figure of 11,000. The funding subcommittee estimated the cost of the expansion at about 400 million shekels ($113 million). Funding is to come from the university’s state-funded budget, from its income from tuition and from donations.”

Israeli soldiers held gun to Palestinian teen’s head, made him say ‘Mohammed is a pig’

Kate on

The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem reports Israeli soldiers detained Baraa Kanan, 19, and abused him for seven hours, before dumping him on the side of the road at night to find his own way home. From Ma’an News Agency: “‘They didn’t let up. I was terrified that they were taking me to some lonely spot so that they could murder me and no one would find me.’ Kanan added that soldiers finally stopped, at which point one said to Kanan ‘You’re a big-time terrorist. I’m going to shoot you.’ Kanan said that he heard the soldier load his gun and felt the gun be placed on his head. ‘I was sure he was going to kill me,’ he said. Kanan said that the soldiers then beat him again, and ‘covered his legs with earth and then removed it.’ According to B’Tselem, he was also transferred to a tent and made to sit on the floor. The soldiers’ removed his blindfold and forced him to say ‘Muhammad is pig’ and ‘Muhammad is a dog’, and snipped off bits of his hair with scissors.”

To my mother and her beloved Jerusalem

Aida Qasim on

Aida Qasim remembers the start of the Six-Day War, as a small child seeing her mother watch reports of the war broadcast over television, “My mother stood wailing near the television screen as though intent on entering the box and rearranging the scenes. The defeat of the Arab armies of the Six-Day War and ensuing occupation of her beloved Jerusalem unraveled her like a forgotten sweater that had not been mothballed. My three-year-old self looked on, frightened and yet mesmerized by the histrionics of this strange woman who up until then had been my anchor.”

Days after our wedding, my husband Faisal and I hid in a Ramallah basement — Iris Keltz remembers ’67

Iris Keltz on

Iris Keltz relates: “Forced to wait three days for a visa allowing me to cross the U.N. checkpoint into Jerusalem, Israel–– gave me the chance to meet a handsome young Palestinian poet, musician, and world traveler. After a whirlwind courtship of less than three weeks, we married and were planning a honeymoon when war broke out. The day Israeli soldiers barged into a basement apartment in Ramallah where were hiding, I was afraid––afraid for my life, afraid the soldiers would not recognize me as Jewish, and surprised these Jewish soldiers invoked such terror. I meant to cry out, “I’m Jewish, American, and these are my friends.” But I spoke no Hebrew, and they spoke no English, so I remained silent. My silence that day inspired me to write this book.” Her memoir, “Unexpected Bride: In the Promised Land” was published earlier this year.

On 50th anniversary of 1967 war, Netanyahu pledges, ‘I’m doing everything to protect the settlement enterprise’

Kate on

Ynet News reports Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged robust support to the settler movement at a Knesset event commemorating the 1967 war, “Speaking at a ceremony Tuesday commemorating the Six Day War and settlement in the West Bank, Netanyahu referred to the two most pressing issues for settlers—the building taking place today and the possibility that they could be evacuated from their homes as part of an agreement with the Palestinians. “No one will be uprooted from their home, I’m doing everything to protect the settlement enterprise,” said Netanyahu, adding, “We decided to build in all parts of Judea and Samaria and we are building both inside and outside the settlements.”

Clashes erupt as Mike Huckabee leads 2 a.m. rush of 4,000 right-wing Israelis to pray in West Bank

Kate on

Former governor Mike Huckabee is filmed leading thousands of right-wing Israelis in prayer at Joseph’s Tomb outside of Nablus in the early morning hours, prompting clashes between the Israeli military and Palestinians. Ma’an News Agency reports, “Clashes erupted between local Palestinians and Israeli soldiers who escorted some 4,000 right-wing Israelis to Joseph’s Tomb east of Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank overnight Sunday, when at least two Palestinians were detained and several others suffered from tear gas inhalation. Among the group of Israelis who arrived to the site under armed protection was Mike Huckabee, former US governor of the state of Arkansas.”

West Bank election results: Fatah wins as many Palestinians stayed away from the polls

Kate on

Ma’an News Agency reports, “The Palestinian Central Elections Commission (CEC) reported that Fatah, the ruling party of the Palestinian Authority (PA), maintained a majority of local council seats, despite independent lists having scored a higher number of votes. While approximately 65 percents of seats up for grabs during Saturday’s election went to registered or independent lists in 145 municipalities, another 181 villages and towns mainly saw Fatah lists run unopposed. As anti-PA sentiment has continued to grow over the past year, a number of political factions, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), decided to boycott the elections.”

Netanyahu gov’t mulls bill to ban Israeli rights groups from bringing legal cases on behalf of Palestinians

Kate on

Haaretz reports the Netanyahu government is mulling over a bill that would prohibit Israeli legal rights groups from representing the interest of Palestinians in Israeli courts, “A bill that would bar nongovernmental organizations from petitioning the High Court of Justice on behalf of Palestinians will be debated by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday. The bill is being proposed following the wave of court petitions filed seeking the evacuation of settlements built on privately owned Palestinian land in the West Bank.”

Netanyahu gov’t advances bill to remove Arabic as an ‘official language’ of Israel

Kate on

Al Jazeera reports Israeli lawmakers will soon vote on a bill that strikes Arabic from the list of official languages, “Israeli ministers have approved a controversial bill that will downgrade Arabic as an official language and define the country as the ‘national home of the Jewish people.’ Ayman Odeh, a parliament member who heads the mainly Arab Joint List alliance, said approving the bill would mean trampling on minority rights, adding it would ‘legally transform us into second-class citizens’.”

Israeli army fires tear gas and stun grenades into Ramallah hospital

Kate on

The Israeli army fired inside a Ramallah hospital overnight, Ma’an News Agency reports, “Israeli forces fired bullets, stun grenades, and tear gas at a Palestinian hospital in the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah at dawn on Thursday, sparking condemnation from the Palestinian Authority (PA). Eyewitnesses told Ma‘an that Israeli soldiers fired live bullets and tear gas inside the Palestinian Medical Complex grounds for more than an hour early on Thursday morning, causing many patients, including children, to suffer from tear gas inhalation.”

Settlers from Kushner family-funded community attack 3 Israeli grandmothers

Kate on

Israeli grandmother Carol Cook was visiting a Palestinian village near Yitzhar, an extremist Israeli settlement funded by the family of senior White House advisor Jared Kushner, when she was attacked, “We, three women in our 60s and 70s, wanted to see the settlement reality for ourselves. We got a smaller but bitter taste of the violence and hatred Palestinians in the area experience as routine.”

Check out the new Mondoweiss t-shirts

Mondoweiss Editors on

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.

No shooter will be charged with killing Palestinian activist Bassem Abu Rahma because Israeli court lost evidence

Kate on

IMEMC reports: “The Israeli court admits that Bassem was killed, and that it was the soldier’s fault. Despite having one officer and three soldiers called for questioning, the court claims that it had done what it could. But the court has said there is nothing it can do, because they allegedly don’t know the name of the soldier who shot Bassem, or even the name of the officer. Court officials told the family’s lawyer that the file of Bassem Abu Rahma was stolen from the court, and that for that reason, they have an incomplete file on the case.”

Beyond apartheid: Fragments from the West Bank

Yarden Katz on

According to a recent New York Times op-ed, Israel today is “nothing like” South African apartheid. Yarden Katz, an Israeli, abandoned the warnings about visiting the West Bank and toured a housed in Bethlehem trapped by the wall, and a ghost town in Hebron, “If we only dare look, we see that there’s apartheid and much more.”

Israeli authorities reveal they lost the bodies of seven Palestinians killed in the second Intifada

Kate on

Ma’an News Agency reports, “The Israeli government has admitted to losing the remains of seven Palestinians who were killed while ‘committing attacks’ against Israelis during the Second Intifada, Israeli news daily Haaretz reported on Monday. According to Haaretz, the admission came from the Israeli state prosecutor’s office in response to petitions to Israel’s Supreme Court filed by the slain Palestinians’ families, demanding the return of the bodies. During a Supreme Court session last month, it was revealed that the number of Palestinians whose burial places are unknown is far higher than the seven that Israel has admitted to losing. Haaretz quoted Israeli prosecutors as saying that as of 2015, out of 123 petitions submitted by Palestinian families, only two bodies had been located.”