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Israeli siege causes Gaza sewage crisis that now threatens Israel

Kate on
Sewage flows from an outlet into the sea in front of Shati refugee camp in Gaza City. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

AP reports: “Each day, millions of gallons of raw sewage pour into the Gaza Strip’s Mediterranean beachfront, spewing out of a metal pipe and turning miles of once-scenic coastline into a stagnant dead zone. The sewage has damaged Gaza’s limited fresh water supplies, decimated fishing zones, and after years of neglect, is now floating northward and affecting Israel as well, where a nearby desalination plant was forced to shut down, apparently due to pollution.”

UN agency says Israeli ban on cement preventing reconstruction in Gaza

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Palestinians walk an hour and a half from Gaza City to their homes in Shuja’iyeh during the ceasefire in order to collect personal items, July 25, 2014.. (Photo: Allison Deger)

Ma‘an reports, “Israel’s punitive ban on cement imports into the Gaza Strip has prevented hundreds of families from rebuilding their homes devastated by the 2014 war, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a press release Thursday. As a result of the debilitating cement scarcity and price increases, ‘organizations providing assistance have had to suspend cash assistance for house repairs to over 1,370 families.'”

One Week Left In Mondoweiss Reader Survey: Please Participate

Tova Perlmutter on
Screenshot from the Mondoweiss Reader Survey

One week left to participate in Mondoweiss’s current reader survey! Please join hundreds of others and help shape our work by giving your views on the site’s content, the ease and value of sharing it, and how we finance the work. We’re very grateful for your time and effort, and as a thank-you we’ll do one more drawing next week for three people to receive a copy of Mondoweiss’s new print publication.

Israel closes crossing to Gaza for Passover

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Kerem Shalom Crossing  to Gaza (Photo: IDF Spokesperson)

Ma‘an reports, “Israeli authorities closed the Kerem Shalom crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel from Thursday for the end of the Jewish holiday of Passover. Head of the PA’s Crossings and Border Department, Nathmi Mhanna, told Ma‘an the crossing would be sealed until Sunday with the exception of fuel entering the besieged enclave.”

Tidbits from Reader Survey: Please Add Your Ideas To The Mix

Tova Perlmutter on
Screenshot from the Mondoweiss Reader Survey

We’ve received hundreds of responses to Mondoweiss’s current reader survey, still open for two more weeks. Please join those helping us and have your say on the site’s content, the ease and value of sharing it, and how we finance the work. We’re very grateful for your time and effort in providing feedback. And remember, respondents can choose to be entered into a weekly drawing for a copy of Mondoweiss’s new print publication.

Israel destroys Bedouin village al-Araqib for the 97th time

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Al-Araqib, an unrecognized village of the Al-Turi Arab Bedouin tribe (8 km north of Beersheba), being demolished for the 54th time in August 2013. (Photo: Eloise Bollack)

Israeli forces on Tuesday destroyed the unrecognized Bedouin community of al-Araqib in the Negev for the 97th time, amid a record-high wave of demolitions to be carried out by Israel this year. Al-Araqib resident Salim Abu Mdeighem told Ma‘an News that riot police from Israel’s Yasam unit raided the community before securing the entrance of two bulldozers that carried out the demolitions.

Update on Reader Survey: A Treasure Trove of Ideas!

Tova Perlmutter on
Screenshot from the Mondoweiss Reader Survey

It’s been less than 60 hours since we launched a Mondoweiss reader survey, and over 400 people have shared feedback with us. Wow! Our original goal was 1,000 responses but given the quantity and quality of thoughtful input we now are hoping for 4,000-5,000 total. Each Friday we’ll draw three respondents’ names to send our new publication, “The World The Settlers Made.” Help us out — take the survey today!

Tell Us What You Think: The 2016 Mondoweiss Reader Survey

Adam Horowitz and Philip Weiss on
Screenshot from the Mondoweiss Reader Survey

2016 marks the ten year anniversary of Mondoweiss and for the first time we are running a reader survey. Tell us — what would you like to see on Mondoweiss? What do you like about what we do, and what we can do better? Each week the survey is open we will be giving away copies of our new publication, “The World The Settlers Made” to readers who have shared their thoughts so please help us by filling one out today!

Israel demolishes children’s playground near Nablus

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The Israeli army flattened  the Za'atara park within a few minutes. It was the only place for children to play in the town of Beita, south of Nablus.
(Photo: The Palestinian Information Center)

Israeli forces on Tuesday demolished a children’s playground near Nablus amid a mass escalation in demolitions across the occupied territories. A PA official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank told Ma‘an that Israeli authorities gave no prior notice before demolishing the park, which was built last year with around $60,000 donated by Belgium.

Palestinians mark 68th anniversary of Deir Yassin massacre

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Ruins of homes left empty from the Deir Yassin Massacre, 1986. (Photo: deiryassinremembered.org)

Palestinians on Saturday marked the 68th anniversary of the massacre of more than 100 Palestinian civilians carried out by Zionist paramilitary groups in the village of Deir Yassin in 1948 prior to the establishment of Israel. Deir Yassin has long been a symbol of Israeli violence for Palestinians because of the particularly gruesome nature of the slaughter, which targeted men, women, children, and the elderly in the small village west of Jerusalem.

Introducing Mondoweiss In Print: ‘The World the Settlers Made’

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“I learned more about Israel in these five days in Palestine than in any other trips I’ve made.” Mondoweiss is excited to share our first foray into the world of print, Phil Weiss’s reportage from Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. “The World the Settlers Made” tells the story of five days in January 2016 that Phil Weiss spent immersed in the world of Israeli settlers. The experience gave him a vivid, immediate experience of their daily lives, and a greater understanding of the worldview shaping Israeli politics. “The World the Settlers Made” includes 21 pages of Phil’s reports and is on sale now.

Birthright ends trips to Israel — ‘American Jews are better off imagining Israel than seeing it’

Adam Horowitz on
Left to right, is of Gidi Mark, CEO of Taglit-Birthright Israel; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looking at something; Netanyahu's wife, Sara Netanyahu looking at something else; and some other guy at a Birthright Israel Mega Event on June 24, 2014, in Caesarea, Israel.

In a shocking move, Birthright Israel announced today, April 1, that the well known travel-program-cum-dating-service will no longer be offering trips to Israel for Jewish young people. In an exclusive interview with Mondoweiss Birthright CEO Gidi Mark explains, “We finally figured it out, the best way to build support for Israel is to have as little contact with Israel as possible.”

NYT Public Editor: It is impossible to accurately cover Sheldon Adelson without employing anti-Semitic stereotypes 

Philip Weiss and Adam Horowitz on
Sheldon Adelson

The New York Times has decided that it cannot cover Sheldon Adelson’s involvement in American politics because doing so accurately would entail the use of classic anti-Semitic tropes of Jewish influence. The judgment was rendered by public editor Margaret Sullivan, who wrote in a April 1st goodbye note to readers: “We’d really like to cover the Republican candidates’ appeals for Adelson’s support, but we can’t do so because the reporting would inevitably bring up anti-Semitic stereotypes.”

First woman President nukes Iran

Susie Day on
President Clinton and Vice President Kissinger.

President Hillary Clinton, making good on her 2008 threat to “totally obliterate” Iran, celebrated her first week in office by ordering a nuclear strike on Iran’s capital city of Tehran. As a squadron of F-35s streaked through the sky toward the Mideast metropolis of over seven million, President Clinton outlined her foreign policy to a bevy of reporters at a White House press conference. “I’m not here to bake cookies, people,” the President announced.

Refugee in Gaza thought life was terrific until Facebook incited him

Eamon Murphy on
Samih al-Masri and a fish at the port in Gaza City, before logging onto Facebook.  (Photo: AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS)

Samih al-Masri, a Palestinian resident of a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, has become suddenly aware of the substandard conditions in which he lives after logging on to Facebook, just as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned. Masri says, on account of the memes, he was reevaluating everything: “My family has loved Gaza ever since my my grandparents were driven here from Jaffa by Zionist forces in 1948. It’s the only home we know. But now that I realize not every place is enclosed by a fence, with only three highly restricted points of access, I’m pretty pissed off.”

Netanyahu defends Israeli military after soldier caught on tape executing Palestinian: ‘Any challenge to the morality of the IDF is outrageous’

Kate on
Benjamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended the Israeli army Sunday as controversy gripped the country over a soldier caught on video shooting a Palestinian in the head as he lay on the ground: “Any challenge to the morality of the IDF is outrageous and unacceptable. The soldiers of the IDF, our children, maintain high ethical values while courageously fighting against bloodthirsty murderers under difficult operational conditions.”

During Purim celebration, Israeli settlers use Ibrahimi Mosque loudspeaker to sing racist songs and call for expulsion of ‘Arabs’ from Hebron

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Ibrahimi Mosque (Photo: Wikimedia)

Hundreds of Israelis converged on religious sites across the occupied West Bank on Wednesday morning ahead of the Jewish holiday of Purim, in visits Palestinians condemned as “provocative.” In Hebron, Israeli settlers as well as other right-wing Israelis held celebrations in the Old City’s Ibrahimi Mosque. Locals told Ma‘an News that during the celebrations, which began late Tuesday, the settlers “provocatively” used the mosque’s loudspeakers “to sing racist songs that call for the expulsion of ‘Arabs’ from Hebron.”

Advocacy group accuses Israel of ‘misusing’ crowd control weapons against children

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Mamdouh Mahyoub Sorour, 16, receiving medical care for a head wound from a rubber-coated metal bullet. (Photo: Defense for Children International Palestine)

“The improper use of crowd control weapons against children must end immediately,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program director at Defense for Children International-Palestine. “Israeli soldiers who aim crowd control weapons at children’s heads and upper bodies at close range must be held accountable for their actions.”

Trump’s Jewish mirror

Marc H. Ellis on
Donald Trump will be speaking at this year's AIPAC Policy Conference.

The Reform Movement’s response to AIPAC’s invitation of Donald Trump a few days ago is a bellwether of how the Jewish establishment views Trump’s candidacy and perhaps, as importantly, how it views itself.Instead of trumpeting its close relationship with AIPAC as an American and Jewish badge of honor, the Reform Movement should have engaged in a process of critical self-reflection. Instead of condemning Trump, it should have paused and drawn the parallels between Trump, the Jewish establishment and Israel’s rhetoric and policies toward Palestinians.