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‘NYT’ perpetuates myth Israel was ‘fighting for its very survival’ during 1967 war

Stephen R. Shalom on
1967: Generals (L to R) Yitzhak Rabin, Moshe Dayan and Uzi Narkis, entering Jerusalem following 1967 war

New York Times’ Jodi Rudoren writes about a new Israeli film, Censored Voices, directed by Mor Loushy. The film deals with Israeli war crimes committed during the 1967 war which Rudoren describes as one in which Israel “started out fighting … for its very survival,” and Loushy is quoted as saying that “This is the story of men who went out to war feeling like they had to defend their life, and they were right, of course.” But they were not right, and nor are Rudoren or Loushy.

Shit dead rabbis say about gentiles

Philip Weiss on
Bus ad on Egged bus

“The gentile does not want anything, he waits to see what the Jew wants,” says a religious bus ad in Jerusalem. You might say that’s anti-Semitic!

Independent investigation details Israel’s deliberate targeting of civilians in Gaza

Ben Norton on
A Palestinian woman sits on the remains of her destroyed house after returning to Beit Hanoun town. (Photo: Reuters)

A new independent medical fact-finding mission in Gaza has detailed Israel’s deliberate killing of Palestinian civilians in its summer 2014 attack, codenamed Operation “Protective Edge.” Acts documented in the investigation include the use of human shields, close-range murder of civilians, targeting of medics, and more.

How Rahat became a symbol of Israeli inequality

Allison Deger on
Bedouins clash with Israeli police in the southern Israeli city of Rahat on January 19, 2015 (Photo: Menahem Kahana/AFP)

Khalid Ja’ar once worked for Birthright, showing American Jews the “Bedouin experience” in the Negev. But after his son was killed by Israeli police and the town of Rahat has become a focus of Palestinian resistance, and Ja’ar’s world has changed.

That thrilling, anti-elitist Shas campaign video

Allison Deger on
Screenshot from Shas's campaign video.

While Israel’s government entered into elections over the very serious matters of economy and politics, in that order, the election season has been dominated by not so serious campaign ads. Just about every major party has produced some sort of satirical clip that would never air on U.S. television. While American ads go negative, Israel’s version of bashing an opponent’s record, or arrest history, is making fun of the other parties’ constituents.

Report accuses Israel of targeting Gaza’s water facilities

Dan Cohen on
Palestinian children in the Gaza town of Khuza'a fill bottles from a tank in front of the destroyed village reservoir. (Photo: Dan Cohen)

A little-publicized report released during the final weeks of Israel’s summer offensive on the Gaza Strip last year accuses Israel of targeting water and wastewater infrastructure during the 51-day assault, despite having been provided the coordinates of all water and wastewater facilities. Entitled Water Sector Damage Assessment Report, the paper by the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) meticulously documents $34 million in damages that have caused a humanitarian and environmental crisis throughout the Gaza Strip. Yet the damage detailed in the report is likely incomplete as the team is unable to assess damage to pipe systems because most of the damage is underground and covered by massive amounts of rubble.

PA arrests Palestinian student for ‘insulting a public official’ on Facebook

Kate on
Bara Al-Qadi (Photo: Facebook)

Middle East Monitor reports: “Palestinian intelligence services arrested a media student yesterday morning for “insulting a public official”. Bara Al-Qadi, 22, posted a status on Facebook mocking Jibril Rajoub, who leads the Palestinian Football Federation, after the Palestinian team lost 5-1 to Jordan in the Asian cup. The public prosecution has extended Bara’s detention for a further 48 hours for additional investigations to be carried out, despite him being continuously interrogated from yesterday morning according to family members.”

Israeli forces detain 10-year old boy and assault his family members in East Jerusalem

Kate on
Israeli soldiers arrest a young Palestinian boy following clashes in Hebron on June 20. (Photo: THOMAS COEX – AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Ma’an reports: “Israeli forces on Sunday detained a young Palestinian boy and his uncle in the al-Tur neighborhood of East Jerusalem, leading to clashes in the area, witnesses said. Locals told Ma‘an that Israeli special forces assaulted 10-year-old Muhammad Afeef Khweis as he was sitting in a park in the neighborhood, causing him to panic. Israeli forces also assaulted Khweis’ family members, who tried to stop the arrest.”

Occupier’s justice: heads and tails you lose

Jonathan Cook on
Settler synagogue tent erected on Mr Abdul Karim Al Jaabari's land adjacent the illegal Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba, 2011 (photo:  Joint Public Issues Team)

Occupation at work: A Palestinian family fights religious settlers who try and build a synagogue on their land. Now the settlers send the family a bill for $22,000 in property taxes, more than they earn in years. From Jonathan Cook.

Like the Wind, We Will Be Free: How being detained at Ben Gurion airport during a family trip to Palestine reaffirmed my identity

Samah Assad on
The view from the roof of the Assad home in East Jerusalem overlooking Beit Hanina. (Photo: Samah Assad)

Samah Assad was detained in Ben Gurion airport as she visited her family home in Palestine for the first time in 13 years. Upset and angry, she asked her father how he can deal with the discrimination and abuse year and year when he visits. His answer: “When we return every year, that is how we fight. If we keep returning, we show them that this is our home. And we’re not giving it up.”

Gaza war blowback? Palestinian stabs 13 on Tel Aviv bus.

Allison Deger on
Israeli police officers carry on a stretcher a Palestinian man who stabbed up to 10 people in Tel Aviv January 21, 2015. (Photo: Oren Ziv/Reuters)

Today, a Palestinian man from the West Bank town of Tulkarem stabbed 13 passengers on a Tel Aviv bus seriously injuring four. The attacker Hamza Matrouk, 23, told police interrogators he was motivated by Israel’s 50-day summer war in Gaza and tensions at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound where right-wing Israeli politicians have have taken groups of religious-nationalists throughout the fall. Although no Palestinian political faction took credit for the attack, Israeli leaders were quick to place blame on Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas.

Trapped in Gaza: Young Palestinians face pressure to escape life under siege

Dan Cohen on
Palestinian boys from Shujaiya play soccer in front of their school that collapsed from Israeli shelling last summer. (Photo: Dan Cohen)

Since the conclusion of the summer’s devastating war in Gaza, the pressure on residents to leave the rubble-covered ghetto has become unbearable. Between the slash-and-burn Israeli assaults — another of which appears to be inevitable — and the Israeli-Egyptian siege that suffocates the economy and severely restricts the entry of basic necessities, there is little hope among the 1.8 million Palestinians living inside Gaza.

Story of the living teen

Shukri Abu Baker on
Orwah Hammad (photo: Facebook)

Orwah Hammad, 14, was killed last October by Israeli forces in a West Bank village. Shukri Abu Baker offers a poem inspired by his death

Gaza family to daughter studying abroad, ‘We do miss you Baba, but don’t come’

Tamam Abusalama on
Tamam Abu Salama and her family. Gaza Strip 2012

Taman Abusalama grew up in Gaza and is currently studying in Turkey. She writes, “Whenever I talk to Mama via skype, she asks me “When are you coming to Gaza? I’m missing you”. My Dad replies “We do miss you Baba, but don’t come. We don’t want you to live the same tensive experience you had in Rafah border last time”. I can’t hold my tears in such moments.”

Netanyahu and Europe’s far right find common ground after the Paris attacks

Jonathan Cook on
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting at his Jerusalem office, Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Gali Tibbon, Pool)

In calling for Jews to flee after the Paris attacks, Netanyahu is bolstering the dangerous arguments of Europe’s far-right. One Israeli commentator noted pointedly that Israeli politicians like Netanyahu were helping to “finish the job started by the Nazis and their Vichy collaborators: making France Judenrein.”

Avraham Burg’s Israeli vision, and French passport

Marc H. Ellis on
Avraham Burg, by David Shankbone

Avraham Burg has a hopeful view that Israel will evolve beyond Zionism in the next 20 years and Palestine and Israel will be one state with Arab ministers in the government and a true defense force. But he has a French passport. And things could get worse before they get better.


Robert Cohen on
CAA poll graphic, from Jewish News online

The Campaign Against Anti-Semitism in Britain releases a poll purporting to document broad support for anti-Semitic attitudes, leaving many Jews insecure. But the context here must include the transformation of Israel’s image, from an admirable project to a regional bully

There is no pride for Jews in the state of Israel

Scott Ratner on
An Israeli soldier keeps guard near a Palestinian woman standing next to Star of David graffiti sprayed by Israeli settlers at an army checkpoint in the center of Hebron, May 18, 2009. (Photo: MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)

Furthering his ceaseless campaign to leave no Jewish victim of the Charlie Hebdo tragedy unexploited, Benjamin Netanyahu recently said “Israel is the only place you can proudly proclaim ‘I am a Jew.’” Scott Ratner writes, “Israel is actually the one place that any Jew with a social consciousness should feel more ashamed of his or her identity than any other country in the world. After all, in no other country besides Israel is Judaism the perennial justification for a decade’s long quest to suppress and uproot the culture and presence of millions of non-Jews.”

I’ll blow out a candle, again, this year

Basil AbdulRazeq Farraj on
A photo of Basil AbdulRazeq Farraj when he was a child celebrating his father's birthday in his absence.

Basil AbdulRazeq Farraj was nearly two years old when his father was arrested by Israeli authorities in 1994. Since he has celebrated many birthdays separated from him as his father remains in Israeli detention. Farraj writes on his father’s birthday this year: “I am celebrating my father’s love that transcends the prison walls he became so acquainted to. I am celebrating his unwavering commitment to justice and equality. I am celebrating the few words he sent out, through a lawyer, while on hunger strike seven months ago: “my determination reaches the furthest point in the sky.” I am celebrating the moments we had and those we will have.”