Category Archives:
Israel/Palestine

Normalizing occupation, NYT runs whimsical story on time zones

James North on
Daylight savings time image

The NYT tries to make the occupation seem normal. That’s why it’s devoting 16 paragraphs to a story about the time difference between Israel and Palestine when it could be covering the crisis in US-Israeli diplomacy over illegal settlement building and the detention of Palestinian children

How Israel is turning Gaza into a super-max prison

Jonathan Cook on
Palestinians sit in a tent outside their apartments, which witnesses said were destroyed in an Israeli offensive, during a 72-hour truce in Beit Lahiya town in the northern Gaza Strip August 11, 2014. (Photo: REUTERS/Suhaib Salem)

It is astonishing that the reconstruction of Gaza, bombed into the Stone Age has tentatively only just begun two months after the end of the fighting. According to the United Nations, 100,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged, leaving 600,000 Palestinians – nearly one in three of Gaza’s population – homeless or in urgent need of humanitarian help. Aid agency Oxfam warns that at the current rate of progress it may take 50 years to rebuild Gaza. Where else in the world apart from the Palestinian territories would the international community stand by idly as so many people suffer – and not from a random act of God but willed by fellow humans? The reason for the hold-up is, as ever, Israel’s “security needs”. Gaza can be rebuilt but only to the precise specifications laid down by Israeli officials

Israeli committee to consider plans to build first city for Palestinian citizens in country’s history

Kate on
Thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel participated in a rally and “March of Return” on May 6, 2014 to commemorate the Nakba, chanting “Your ‘independence’ day is our Nakba” as Israel marked its 66th Independence Day. (Photo: Ammar Awad/Reuters)

Haaretz reports: “A plan to build the first new Arab city in Israel since the establishment of the state will come before the National Planning and Building Council for approval next week. The city, to be built adjacent to the Arab community of Jdeideh Makr, which is just east of the northern coastal city of Acre, is planned for a population of 40,000. Planning for the new city, initiated by the Israel Lands Authority, the Housing and Construction Ministry and the planning administration in the Interior Ministry, has been in the works for the past four years in fulfillment of a 2008 cabinet decision.”

Under pretext of restoring calm, Netanyahu government is escalating Israel’s war on Palestinians in Jerusalem

Dan Cohen on
Israeli police detain a Palestinian youth following clashes after Friday prayers in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Wadi al-Joz, October 24, 2014. (Photo: REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly)

On Wednesday evening, Abdel Rahman al-Shaludi, 21, drove his vehicle at high speed into a crowd of Israelis on a light rail platform at Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem, wounding eight people. 3-month-old Israeli-American Chaya Zissel Braun died hours later, and Karen Yemima Muscara, an Ecuadorian woman in her twenties, died from her injuries last night. As the news of a terrorist attack spread, the Israeli public demanded the Netanyahu government punish East Jerusalem Palestinians. The day after the incident, Netanyahu convened with Aharonovich, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Shin Bet Head Yoram Cohen, and police officials ordering 1,000 more police and troops from the border police, instructing them to “exercise Israeli sovereignty” over the occupied territory. This episode illustrates how anti-Arab racism in Israeli society — what Israeli President Reuben Rivlin recently called “sick” — makes it susceptible to manipulation of facts in order to advance the far right’s agenda

Israeli army kills 14-year old Palestinian with U.S. citizenship

Allison Deger on
14-year old slain Palestinian youth, Orwa Hammad who is also a U.S. citizen, was killed by the Israeli army, October 24, 2014. (Photo: Shadi Hattem)

A Palestinian teen with U.S. citizenship was killed today by the Israeli army at a demonstration in the West Bank town of Silwad, near Ramallah. Fourteen-year old Orwah Hammad was shot in the neck with a live bullet, according to Ramallah hospital staff.

Thousands attend funeral for Palestinian-American child killed by Israeli army

Allison Deger on
A Palestinian man drapes a flag over the grave of Orwah Hammad as children pay respects in the West Bank town of Silwad. (Photo: Allison Deger)

Thousands gathered in the West Bank town of Silwad outside of Ramallah to bury Orwah Hammad, a 14-year old Palestinian-American from Louisiana who was killed by the Israeli army on Friday. Hammad was died after sustaining a gunshot wound to the neck and head during a demonstration against the killing of another Palestinian earlier in the week

There are some things about Gaza that I still can’t wrap my head around

Katie Miranda on
gazamirandacrop

Katie Miranda reflects on some of the appalling ironies of U.S. and Israeli policy towards Gaza. The Obama administration is paying to both destroy and rebuild the war torn strip, and Israeli companies are now promoting their military equipment worldwide using a sales pitch of having been tested during “Operation Protective Edge.”

Netanyahu vows, ‘we will win’ as family members of Jerusalem attacker are arrested

Allison Deger on
Israeli protesters gather at the site where a Palestinian rammed his car into a group of people at a Jerusalem Light Rail station, killing an infant girl. Center poster reads, "Jewish revenge." (Photo: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

Wednesday’s hit-and-run, where Abd al-Rahman al-Shaludi, 21, a Palestinian from East Jerusalem, rammed his car onto pedestrians waiting at a Jerusalem light rail stop killing a three-month old Chaya Zissel Braun became the latest outburst between Israelis and Palestinians since summer’s start. Following the crash, al-Shaludi sprinted from the scene. He was then gunned down by an undercover police officer in the area

Recognizing Palestine—and political reality

Jamie Stern-Weiner on
Pro-Palestinian supporters position a giant banner calling for a recognised Palestinian State, in Parliament Square, central London on October 13, 2014. (Photo: AFP/Leon Neal)

After British MPs moved overwhelmingly to recognise the State of Palestine, the governments of Britain and Israel affected indifference in an attempt to undermine the vote’s significance. These dismissals mask a deep and growing anxiety about the direction of political traffic. “There is indeed reason to worry”, a senior Israeli diplomat acknowledged. “Not because it’s going to be translated into actual government policy, but because it’s a public opinion setter. It does create a trend”. But trends don’t set themselves, and fortunately for Israel, rather than mobilising to publicise and build on last week’s achievement, significant tendencies within the Palestine solidarity movement are working instead to undermine and contain it. Instead, we need to accept the victory and build on it

The rabbi’s fridge

Philip Weiss on
Danielle Leshaw's refrigerator

Rabbi Danielle Leshaw really wants to free Palestine. That’s a sacred idea, she says. But she’s not interested in the Palestinian answer to that problem

Family of Mohammed Abu Khdeir continues to wait for justice as Israeli court again postpones trial for his killers

Allison Deger on
Yosef Haim Ben-David leaving district court in Jerusalem where he is on trial for the murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, October 20, 2014. (Photo: Dan Cohen)

Four months after the grisly slaying of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, his killers faced Jerusalem district court judges today to enter their pleas. Instead of responding to the charges, Yosef Haim Ben-David, the 29-year old settler from the Adam settlement and ringleader of the abduction, and two 16-year-old Israeli accomplices were all granted continuances. “I do not hope for anything from the Israeli court because it is a racist court,” said the deceased’s father Hussein Abu Khdeir, continuing, “It judges for the Israelis, not the Arabs.”

B’Tselem video: Israeli soldiers blindfold and detain 11 year old disabled child

Annie Robbins on
Screen shot: B'tselem Israeli Soldiers detain developmentally-disabled Palestinian child in Hebron, 19 Oct. 2014
    Screen shot: B'tselem Israeli Soldiers detain developmentally-disabled Palestinian child in Hebron, 19 Oct. 2014

Watch as as settlers from the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba, near Hebron, clap, shout and cheer as an Israeli soldier binds the hands of a child behind his back and fastens a blindfold over his eyes as another soldiers stands on guard before they lift the frightened boy into the back of their military jeep. The boy is eleven and developmentally disabled

‘I know how the brainwashing works’

Bornajoo on
Maalot School Massacre image, 1974

Recently Jerome Slater passed along the following statement from a London friend named David, saying, “I think it should be widely read.” The writer requested anonymity because of relatives in Israel. He comments on our site as “Bornajoo.” –Editor. I was born into a poor Jewish family in the slums of the East End of London in the