Category Archives:
Israel/Palestine

The face of Gaza

Tamara Ben-Halim on
Ahmed Abunammous (Photo: Cycling4Gaza)

Tamara Ben-Halim writes about her experience with Cycling4Gaza, a group of 40 people who cycled from from Philadelphia to Washington DC to raise awareness and funds for Gaza. One of those 40 was a 16 year old boy from Gaza, Ahmed Abunammous. Ahmed was shot in the leg by an Israeli sniper last year, at the age of 15. His leg had to be amputated, and Ahmed was lucky enough to be treated by the tireless PCRF (Palestine Children’s Relief) who flew him out to the US soon after to be operated on and fitted with a prosthetic leg. Ben-Halim, writes, “A year later, this time last week, Ahmed was cycling with us across the east coast, working his one leg nearly twice as hard as the rest of us.”

A conversation with Gaza’s ‘boy wonders’ Arab and Tarzan

Pam Bailey on
Mohammed and Ahmed Abu Nasser – better known as Arab and Tarzan.

Pam Bailey interviews twin brothers Mohammed and Ahmed Abu Nasser, who are better known as Arab and Tarzan. Their film “Condom Lead” was the first film from Gazan Palestinians to be accepted into the Cannes Film Festival, and it will soon be screened at the DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival in Washington,

Netanyahu at the United Nations: Hamas, Iran, ISIS and 100 cheering Israelis

Allison Deger on
United Nations Hosts World Leaders For Annual General Assembly

With much anticipation Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took the stage at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Monday morning to lambast Hamas and refuting claims of his soldiers targeting civilians during Operation Protective Edge. He followed the Palestinian Authority President’s charges of “genocidal” Israeli army conduct in Gaza, but, like in years past, Netanyahu focused on Iran (and employed the use of a prop). As he spoke the galley of the GA assembly hall was stacked with members of the Israeli delegation, including casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who cheered at key moments while delegates from member countries refrained from applaus

NYT’s opening to a ‘fringe voice’ excites rage from Israeli army, journalism, business leaders

Philip Weiss on
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The battle is taking place now inside the walls of elite institutions; many people are talking about American-Israeli writer Mairav Zonszein’s op-ed piece at the New York Times, saying that Israel is becoming intolerant of dissent because of its increasingly “exclusivist ethno-religious nationalism.” This has allowed the us-versus-them mentality to bleed into Israeli Jewish society.

The Greater Gaza Plan: Is Israel trying to force Palestinians into Sinai?

Jonathan Cook on
The Israeli-Egyptian border (Photo: Idobi /Creative Commons/ Wikimedia)

What is Israel’s endgame in Gaza? It is a question that has been puzzling analysts and observers for some time. But indications of the future Israel and Washington may have in mind for Gaza are emerging. Reports in the Arab and Israeli media – in part corroborated by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas – suggest that Egypt may be at the heart of plans to solve the problem on Israel’s behalf. This month the Israeli media reported claims, apparently leaked by Israeli officials, that Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, had offered the Palestinian leadership the chance to annex to Gaza an area of 1,600 sq km in Sinai. The donated territory would expand Gaza fivefold. The scheme is said to have received the blessing of the United States

‘Only a suicidal country doesn’t recognize the Bedouin problem': Israeli minister seeks ways to lower Bedouin birthrate

Kate on
Al-Arakib, 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)

Haaretz reports: “Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir said during a visit to the south on Sunday that he was examining ways to lower the birthrate of the Bedouin community. Shamir heads the ministerial committee on Bedouin resettlement arrangements. “We have to take all the Bedouin and get them out of the desert a bit and bring them closer to a normal state from the perspective of legislation, life expectancy, education and livelihood,” Shamir said. “Perhaps we could even deal with the phenomenon of multiple wives to reduce the birthrate and raise the standard of living.”

Netanyahu heads to New York to ‘refute all the lies’ and praise ‘the most moral army in the world’

Allison Deger on
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Although some friends will receive him at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knows tomorrow he will be in hot water. When he left for New York this morning for his speech on Monday, he gave a bitter farewell: “In my address to the UN General Assembly,” he said on the tarmac, “I will refute all of the lies being directed at us and I will tell the truth about our state and about the heroic soldiers of the IDF, the most moral army in the world.”

The name games

Hatim Kanaaneh on
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Israeli Population, Immigration and Border Authority announced the winning first name for Israelis: Youssef. But the statistics were for Jews only. Mahmoud, Muhammad and Ahmad, all variants on the prophet’s name, are hugely popular among the Palestinian population and easily outpace Yossi, says Hatim Kanaan

A catalog of impunity

Philip Weiss on
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Omar Robert Hamilton compiled a list of Israel’s actions since the Gaza ceasefire at the LRB blog two weeks ago. The catalog has obviously gotten much longer in the interim, but this list is a poetic reminder of the power imbalance in a conflict that is treated so often in the U.S. as mutual. I excerpt

The summer of small Jewish thinking

Robert Cohen on
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Samar al-Hallaq, 29, who worked in a tapestry history project in Gaza, was killed July 20 when the house she fled to for safety was struck by an Israeli missile. Samar’s two sons, 6 and 4, and five other members of her family were also killed. Samar was eight months pregnant. Her husband, Hussan, who recently completed a Master degree of Science in eBusiness, survived. Robert Cohen rewondered what the rest of Hussan’s life would be lik

Why is the United Nations doing business with G4S, notorious prison supplier?

Kali Rubaii for Friends of Sabeel—North America on
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In early September, I accompanied an Iraqi friend to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees office in Amman, Jordan to help register him officially as a refugee. There was a G4S logo on the gate attendant’s shirt. And G4S all over the compound. Why is the British company that serves Israeli prisons a UN contractor?

J’lem settlers amok: 10-year-old Palestinian is run over, 11-year-old is nearly abducted

Kate on
Overlooking the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem. (Photo: Allison Deger)

Violence / Raids / Clashes / Dispersal of protests / Illegal arrests — Jerusalem / West Bank 10-year-old injured in settler hit-and-run; forces kidnap 3 in West Bank IMEMC/Agencies 25 Sept — An Israeli settler deliberately ran over a Palestinian child in the occupied east Jerusalem town of Silwan on Thursday, according to Wadi Hilweh

Anti-Zionist train makes stop at Washington Post

Philip Weiss on
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It’s one country between the river and the sea and Israel’s religious state idea is out of step with the rest of the world, Patricia Marks Greenfield says in the Washington Post, echoing an argument put forward by Ali Abunimah and Tony Judt a long time ago

Abbas calls on UN Security Council to end the occupation

Allison Deger on
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas prepares to meet with Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon, during the United Nations General Assembly, September 24, 2014. (Photo: Allison Deger)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has called on the United Nations Security Council to pass a resolution to end Israel’s occupation of the June 1967 territories, by ordering the immediate resumption of negotiations with a set time limit to demarcate the boundaries of a Palestinian state. He has put on hold the Palestinian accession to the International Criminal Court

West Bank settlers exporting dates labelled as ‘Made in Palestine’

Kate on
An Israeli date palm orchard in the Jordan Valley. (Photo: Moti Milrod/Haaretz)

Middle East Monitor reports: “Along one of the roads in the city of Ariha in the north of the occupied West Bank, merchants Khaldoun and Hassan regularly receive 30 tons of dates produced in the neighbouring Israeli agricultural settlements, in preparation for their transfer to one of the packaging factories built on the outskirts of the city, Anadolu news agency reported. Inside the factory, about 13 miners are working on “screening” the dates and repackaging them in bags that read “dates of the Holy Land” in both Arabic and English and “Made in Palestine” in order to market them locally, in the Arab states and in Europe.”

What Max Blumenthal saw in Gaza

Philip Weiss on
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People in the US struggle to see Gaza as anything but a war zone filled with victims, Max Blumenthal says. When they’re actually people a lot like us. Three stories from his recent trip convey the sorrow, pity and despair

Israel carries out extrajudicial killing of two Palestinians suspected in Israeli youths kidnapping

Allison Deger on
Palestinian civil defense members, near a burning shop, pick up a dead body during an Israeli security services operation in the southern West Bank city of Hebron on September 23, 2014 (Photo: Hazem Bader/AFP)

Overnight Tuesday Israeli special forces killed two Palestinian men who were suspected of kidnapping and slaying three Israeli youths abducted in June while hitchhiking in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc of the West Bank. Amer Abu Aisha, 32, and Marwan Qawasmeh, 29, had evaded Israeli forces for over 100 days hiding out in their home city of Hebron no more than five miles from the site of where the remains of Eyal Yifrah, 19, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Fraenkel, 16, were discovered over the summer

Israeli refuseniks expose Occupation’s dark underbelly

Jonathan Cook on
Soldiers of Unit 8200. (Photo: Moti Milrod/Haaretz)

A letter signed by 43 veterans of an elite Israeli military intelligence unit declaring their refusal to continue serving the occupation has sent shockwaves through Israeli society. But not in the way the soldiers may have hoped

Palestinian babies not included on Israel gov’t list of most popular names

Ira Glunts on
Palestinian children at a school near Haifa.

On Sunday, the Israeli Population and Immigration Authority declared that during the past year the most popular male names given children were Yosef, followed by Daniel and Ori. The top female names were Tamar, Noa and Shira. This was reported in the English edition of the Ha’aretz news website. What neither the English article nor the government announcement mentioned was that Arabic names were excluded from the survey

Will the WCC finally break the interfaith ecumenical deal?

Marc H. Ellis on
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It is the time to end the “ecumenical deal” that creates a Christian code of silence on Palestine. It’s time for a new and officially recognized dialogue/solidarity between Jews of Conscience and Christians, to answer the World Council of Churches’ call for a just peace in the conflict

Israeli navy shoots 70-year-old Palestinian fisherman on beach

Kate on
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Gaza Israeli forces shoot, injure Gaza fisherman [on shore!] GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 18 Sept — Israeli naval forces opened fire off the coast of northern Gaza late Wednesday, injuring a Palestinian fisherman on a beach, locals said. Yousef Zayif, 70, was hit by live fire while waiting for his sons on the shore near al-Sudaniya.