Archives of Israel’s leftleaning Labor Party in the years after the country’s creation reveal that David Ben-Gurion and other leaders vacillated between relating to Palestinian citizens as dogs or as donkeys. Moshe Dayan looked forward to the opportunity of expelling the remaining 170,000 Palestinians, and Ben-Gurion said if differences between the people were eliminated, “the Jewish people” would be eradicated.
Category Archives: Israel/Palestine
In a sign that the United States is ratcheting up pressure on Palestinian leadership, the Trump administration sent notice to the United Nations Refugee Works Agency (UNRWA) that it is withholding over half of this year’s annual commitment, paying $60 million and freezing another $65 million. The move indicates the U.S. is leveraging its financial support to pressure Palestinian officials into acquiescing to its vision for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.
An Israeli military court ruled today to keep 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi and her mother Nariman in prison until the end of their trial. “I expect the worst from the occupation,” Ahed’s father Bassem told Mondoweiss. “This is life under occupation. I think we represent and show the real suffering of Palestinians under occupation. This is the real image.”
Ahed Tamimi, 16, has been held in an Israeli prison for nearly a month since her arrest last December 19 for slapping a soldier. Today a military court in Ofer prison inside occupied territory extended her detention indefinitely, till she is tried.
Munther Amira, a highly respected activist in the West Bank, was arrested on December 27 during a nonviolent protest and Israel has brought 12 charges against him, including throwing stones and organizing unpermitted marches. “It’s important to note that Israeli military courts have over a 99% conviction rate, and in Munther’s case, I think there is a clear political motivation here,” Jonathan Pollak, a member of Amira’s legal team, tells Mondoweiss, “it’s obvious that Munther’s political activism is not tolerated by the Israeli regime.”
The Trump administration informed the United Nations yesterday it would cut aid for Palestinian refugees by more than half, withholding $65 million in funds. For Mariam Oraif, 74, and many other Palestinians who depend on UNRWA health services the cuts could be a matter of life or death. When asked what she will do if UNRWA is no longer able to provide her with insulin and her weekly treatment, Oraif said of Trump, “He wants to kill us.”
In a fiery two-hour speech on Sunday where Mahmoud Abbas unloaded on the Trump administration, Israel and Arab partners, the Palestinian president confirmed a report published more than a month ago about back channel peace talks where the U.S. pitched, along with Saudi Arabia, Palestinians should accept the West Bank town of Abu Dis as its future capital. “The deal of the century is the slap of the century,” Abbas said of the Trump administration.
Ma’an News reports the Israeli army declared the central occupied West Bank village of Nabi Saleh — home to imprisoned teenage activist Ahed al-Tamimi — a closed military zone on Saturday, closing off all entrances and exits.
There are many parallels between Martin Luther King Jr’s call for “direct political action” leading to a crisis for the Jim Crow South, in his letter from Birmingham jail in 1963, and Ahed Tamimi’s courageous slap of a soldier after her cousin was maimed in occupied Nabi Saleh last month, leading to her imprisonment for nearly a month already.
A month after she slapped a soldier in occupied Nabi Saleh, 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi faces a final bail hearing today at court. She has been imprisoned since December 19. Professor Asa Kasher, author of the IDF ‘ethics code, opines that Ahed Tamimi is dangerous, because she may slap again.
J Street, the liberal Zionist group, has issued two statements expressing anguish about Ahed Tamimi slapping an Israeli soldier occupying her family property in Nabi Saleh. Neither mentions the fact that hours before the slapping an Israeli soldier shot her cousin in the face, apparently maiming him.
The Palestinian Health Ministry says a three-year-old child was shot in the head during an Israeli live-fire military training exercise near Tubas, in the northeastern West Bank. The child is currently in stable condition in an Intensive Care Unit. The Israeli military frequently conducts training in Palestinian communities throughout the West Bank.
New Israel Fund CEO Daniel Sokatch says the Israeli government’s BDS blacklist is “at odds with Israel’s founding values” while at the same time saying he opposes BDS. Yoav Litvin writes he can’t have it both ways: “Why are Sokatch and NIF so afraid of BDS? It may be because BDS threatens the most fundamental premise inherent in Zionism – the supremacy of one group of people over another.”
Palestinian teenager Nadim Nuwara, 17, was shot dead by Israeli border police officer Ben Deri during a demonstration marking the 66th anniversary of the Nakba in May 2014. Following the killing, which was widely publicized after it was caught on CNN and CCTV surveillance camera footage, Deri was arrested and initially charged with second-degree murder. However, his charges were later significantly reduced, when the Israeli prosecution struck a surprise plea deal with him. The Nuwara family is fighting the deal that was reached without their knowledge. “[I’m fighting] hard for my son and for every Palestinian child,” Nuwara’s father tells Mondoweiss.
Ahed Tamimi and Nabi Saleh have shown that popular unarmed resistance – if it is to discomfort Israel and the world – cannot afford to be passive or polite. It must be fearless, antagonistic and disruptive. Most of all, it must hold up a mirror to the oppressor. Ahed has exposed the gun-wielding bully lurking in the soul of too many Israelis. That is a lesson worthy of Gandhi or Mandela.
“Karim Younis, the longest-serving Palestinian prisoner in Israeli custody, marked his 36th year in Israeli prison on Saturday,” reports Ma’an News Agency, “While Younis was among some 20 imprisoned Palestinian citizens of Israel who were expected to be released as part of the Oslo peace accords in the 1990s, Israeli authorities have yet to release them.”
The 101-year-old American Friends Service Committee, or AFSC, is barred from Israel by the government because it supports boycotts on behalf of Palestinians, many of them refugees. But last century the AFSC won a Nobel Prize for helping refugees of the Holocaust, including many Jews. The group is honored at the Israeli Holocaust memorial.
Appraisals of Ahed Tamimi’s looks have been featured in reports around the world on the 16-year-old girl who slapped a soldier in her occupied Palestinian village: her long blonde hair, her western-style clothing. But this is perverse and demeaning. Ahed Tamimi’s bravery has nothing to do with what she wears or what color her hair is. The discussion needs to be about what she did, not her looks.
Why is Haaretz, a supposedly liberal outlet, publishing a one-sided, decontextualized smear piece on the Tamimi family by a known propagandist?
Israeli forces killed 17-year-old Mus‘ab Firas al-Tamimi from the West Bank village of Deir Nitham near Ramallah. “He died shortly after the occupation forces fired a bullet into his neck,” a spokesman for the Palestinian health ministry told Al Jazeera. Mus‘ab was a member of the Tamimi family, who live in the adjacent village of Nabi Saleh.
The total number of Palestinians detained by Israeli forces since the beginning of the protests that followed US President Donald Trump’s’ recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was 490, including 148 minors and 11 women, as of December 20, Ma’an reported. While Palestinian Centre for Human Rights documented 256 Palestinians wounded, including 29 children and 5 journalists.
Omar Barghouti’s mother Wafieh, 75, is undergoing surgery for cancer in Amman, Jordan, later this month, but Israel is preventing Barghouti, a leader of the international boycott movement, from traveling to be with her. He says the travel ban is a punishment for his activism. “Mother, forgive me,” he writes.
Ahmad Kabariti reports from the ruins of the defunct Gaza International Airport, a wasteland of ruins and rotting animal corpses: This arid zone was once the first airport for Palestinians in Gaza, a step towards a dream of independent state. In 2000, during the events of the Intifada, Israel bombed the control tower, then the runway, and finally the elegant Moroccan-inspired terminals. In 2001, Israeli army bulldozers flattened what remained. The airport was the beginning of a dream of a state of Palestine, “but it has been turned it into a helipad for ghosts,” Mohammed Salah tells Kabariti.
Ariel Gold writes, “Before we consider whether Ahed deserves a life behind bars, we must first take a closer look at what is a criminal action, and what is a life of enduring state violence. Is it the 16-year-old girl who dares to raise her hand to a fully armed Israeli soldier who is the criminal? Or is it the ongoing illegal occupation that places soldiers in the lives of unarmed teenage girls?”
The Israeli military prosecution against Ahed Tamimi has indicted her on 5 counts. Jonathan Ofir analyses the most essential of them – ‘incitement’ – and how it is based on arguably flawed translation of her mention on Facebook of “martyrdom operations” to mean “suicide bombings,” in an effort to make Tamimi into a terrorist in the eyes of the world.