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Mohammad Saba’aneh had no choice but to become a political artist

Philip Weiss on

Why do you draw Israeli soldiers? an Israeli soldier asked cartoonist Mohammad Saba’aneh when he searched his suitcase at the Jordanian border. Because look around, that is all I see, Saba’aneh responded. He has just published a book of cartoons and is on an American tour.

Trump and the ever expanding Israeli occupation of Palestine

Yair Svorai on

Yair Svorai traces the history of the settlement movement from its early planner Arthur Ruppin . . . to Donald Trump: “The expansion of Jewish settlement in Palestine has followed a consistent pattern for about 100 years: people replacement – the replacement of Palestinians by Jews. It is crucial to understand the timing of such expansion: whenever the opportunity arises. And, for Israel, Donald J. Trump is a historic opportunity on a grand scale.”

Why I’m keeping my child home from school in Israel on Holocaust Day

Mondoweiss Editors on

I., a European living in Israel, explains why she decided to keep her kindergarten-aged daughter home from school when Israeli schools are mandated teach about the Holocaust to children as young as three years old: “Because of the decision other people made about when and how it is appropriate for our child to learn about genocide, we chose to keep her at home yesterday and today. We want our child to learn about injustice; moral, critical thinking; and courage. We want her to grow up to be strong, fair, kind and safe. And, we think that learning about blurry dangers in a distant past does not teach her that.”

Settlers from Kushner family-funded community attack 3 Israeli grandmothers

Kate on

Israeli grandmother Carol Cook was visiting a Palestinian village near Yitzhar, an extremist Israeli settlement funded by the family of senior White House advisor Jared Kushner, when she was attacked, “We, three women in our 60s and 70s, wanted to see the settlement reality for ourselves. We got a smaller but bitter taste of the violence and hatred Palestinians in the area experience as routine.”

With new charter, Hamas aims to reposition itself to take on the growing challenges facing Palestinians in Gaza

Isra Saleh El-Namy on

An Najah National University professor Raed Nairat tells Isra Namy said that Hamas hopes to alleviate its regional isolation and open new doors with the West and other neighboring Arab countries with its new charter: “The new document plays down the relations with the Hamas parent base, the Muslim Brotherhood, in an attempt to detach itself from this organization that is in hot water after the dramatic changes in Egypt and Tunisia, and the obvious hatred of the oil-rich Arab Emirates,” Nairat says. “Hamas looks forward to trying new ways to mend relations with Egypt and the Gulf States since they can assist Hamas to confront its grave and stubborn crisis in the Gaza Strip where Hamas rules.”

Three years after Israeli attack that ended their careers, ex-soccer players call on FIFA to protect Palestinian rights

Sheren Khalel on

Three years ago Palestinian soccer players Adam Jamous and Jawahar Halbiyeh were attacked by Israeli forces on their way home from practice in occupied Jerusalem. Both players were shot in their legs, Jawahar 10 times and Adam three times, ending their playing careers. Today, as FIFA considers the future of Israeli teams based in illegal West Bank settlements, the ex-players say the future of Israeli teams is less important than the rights of Palestinians: “Let them keep the settlement teams, but stop Israel from holding our players for hours at checkpoints, imprisoning and shooting us. By the time we were 17, which is when a player is really preparing to go professional, at least 50 percent of our team had been arrested by Israeli forces.”

Israel celebrates 50 years as occupier

Jonathan Cook on

Israel is to hold lavish celebrations over the coming weeks to mark the 50th anniversary of what it calls the “liberation of Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights” – or what the rest of us describe as the birth of the occupation. Israel’s imminent celebrations should lay to rest any confusion that the occupation is still considered temporary.

No shooter will be charged with killing Palestinian activist Bassem Abu Rahma because Israeli court lost evidence

Kate on

IMEMC reports: “The Israeli court admits that Bassem was killed, and that it was the soldier’s fault. Despite having one officer and three soldiers called for questioning, the court claims that it had done what it could. But the court has said there is nothing it can do, because they allegedly don’t know the name of the soldier who shot Bassem, or even the name of the officer. Court officials told the family’s lawyer that the file of Bassem Abu Rahma was stolen from the court, and that for that reason, they have an incomplete file on the case.”

Israel cracks down on thousands of hunger strikers, as Palestinians take to the streets in mass solidarity

Sheren Khalel on

Palestinian prisoners declared a mass open-ended hunger strike entitled “Freedom and Dignity” on Monday — Palestinian Prisoners day — eliciting an immediate crackdown from Israeli authorities. Prisoners from across the political spectrum have pledged their allegiance to the strike, with some estimates reporting up to 2,000 participants, the largest mass hunger strike undertaken by Palestinian prisoners in recent years. Following the strike’s launch on Monday, Israeli authorities declared that hunger striking prisoners would be barred from family visits for as long as the strike continues.

I want the world to know

Anas Mohammed Jnena on

Anas Mohammed Jnena, a writer from Gaza with the WeAreNotNumbers campaign wants the world to know Gaza is like any other place in the world and so are its people: “I want the world to know that Palestine has writers, artists, thinkers and, most importantly, lovers. I want to the world to know that we are humans just like you.”

‘Being a former prisoner’s daughter has instilled in me an unstoppable determination’

Tamam Abusalama on

As more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails launch a hunger strike on the occasion of Palestinian Prisoners Day, Tamam Abusalama recalls the combined 15 years her father spent as a prisoner. “Being a former prisoner’s daughter has instilled in me an unstoppable determination to break all borders and limits. I struggle against everything that violates my freedom and that of my people.”

Beyond apartheid: Fragments from the West Bank

Yarden Katz on

According to a recent New York Times op-ed, Israel today is “nothing like” South African apartheid. Yarden Katz, an Israeli, abandoned the warnings about visiting the West Bank and toured a housed in Bethlehem trapped by the wall, and a ghost town in Hebron, “If we only dare look, we see that there’s apartheid and much more.”

Soldiers smash stone memorial to Palestinian girl, 17, shot in Hebron after alleged stabbing

Kate on

Israeli soldiers removed a stone plaque which memorialized a Palestinian girl who was shot dead by Israeli forces in 2015 after she allegedly stabbed an Israeli police officer near the illegal Kiryat Arba settlement. Witnesses said they saw Israeli soldiers smashing the monument, a marble plaque etched with a Qur’an verse, which stated that the Hebron street was renamed after 17-year-old Bayan al-Esseili.

‘With furious cruelty’–Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour still facing prosecution in Israel

Kim Jensen and Yoav Haifawi on

The trial of Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour who faces up to eight years in prison for a poem she wrote continues with expert witnesses testifying about the meanings of her words in translation. Kim Jensen and Yoav Haifawi write “the defense’s overarching objectives were to establish Tatour’s inalienable right to freedom of expression, to point out the distorted police translation of Tatour’s poem, and to demonstrate anti-Arab bias in the judicial system. The contentious hearings started late and dragged into the evening as the prosecutor Alina Hardak spared no attempt to undermine the credibility of the witnesses.”

In a first, Israeli police refuse permit for Palestinian ‘March of Return’

Kate on

Jonathan Cook reports the Palestinian commemoration of the Nakba in the Galilee may not be held for first time in 20 years, “The annual “March of Return” by Palestinians in Israel, commemorating the Nakba – the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes in 1948, has been blocked by the Israeli police for the first time in its history. The police have denied the organisers a permit, saying there is a shortage of officers to oversee the march. But Palestinian leaders in Israel accuse the far-right government of Benjamin Netanyahu of being behind the decision, in what they believe is the latest move to silence their commemoration of the events of 69 years ago.”

Israel, naked under the microscope in Cork

Tom Suarez on

Conference on Israel’s responsibility to international law is held in Cork, Ireland. In what Professor Oren Ben-Dor described as a “spectacular failure of the protection of basic rights,” pro-Israeli censors had successfully blocked the conference twice in the UK, and nearly sabotaged it in Cork.