Category Archives:
Israel/Palestine

Video intifada

Yakov Hirsch on
Jamila Jabbar holding a knife seconds before she is shot near the Israeli settlement of Ariel in occupied territories

The world might be deaf to Palestine but it is not blind. And recent videos clearly documenting grotesque use of force by Israelis against Palestinians have the power to do more to end Israeli impunity and Netanyahu’s campaign of dehumanization of Palestinians than any other form of information.

After Israeli military clears soldiers of killing families in Gaza, Palestinians call on Hague to investigate

Allison Deger on
Palestinian men sit amidst the debris of a neighbouring house which police said was damaged after an Israeli air strike destroyed Tayseer Al-Batsh's family house, in Gaza City July 13, 2014. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)

Israel’s military has cleared soldiers of criminal wrongdoing in alleged human rights violations committed during the 2014 summer war in Gaza. According to a report published yesterday, Israel closed investigations into the killing of three Palestinian families and other civilians, and the shelling of a medical clinic, Gaza’s main power plant, and a United Nations shelter, among other offenses. “We did not expect anything less than Israel’s justification of war crimes,” chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said after the publication of the military report, and urged the International Criminal Court to investigate the offenses.

Israeli military clears Israeli military of war crimes in Gaza

Kate on
A Palestinian man lies down among a destroyed house after returning home in the Tufah neighborhood in eastern Gaza City on August 31, 2014. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/ APA Images)

On Wednesday the Israeli military closed its investigation into four cases of mass killings of Palestinian civilians during the 2014 Gaza war. The military report found that in the four cases, which included the deaths of 49 people, the Israeli strikes were legal due to either mistakes, Hamas being responsible or an attack not happening at all.

Israel bans entry for two more US activists

Wilson Dizard on
Ben Gurion airport

Israel has banned an American activist who has worked for years helping Palestinians in Gaza, after denying her entry into the country, detaining her for hours and deporting her against her will. The woman’s ban comes after Israel banned five U.S. citizens at the border in July, all of them the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation, and another American woman last week crossing from Jordan.

I continued to act as if I was above feeling afraid. Till the last war

We Are Not Numbers on
Painting by Malak Mattar

Haya Abdullah Ahmed writes, “Although I love to write, I refused to write about the war or the injured in Gaza. The number of jokes I told or laughed increased. And when I heard that my best friend’s husband had been killed in an Israeli attack, I cried bitterly but not for long. And then it hit.”

A French, a Palestinian, and a black woman all wade into a pool

Nida Hussain on
In 2011, a landlord was brought before the Ohio Civil Rights Commission for putting this sign on a swimming pool used by their tenants. (Photo: Ohio Civil Rights Commission)

During the same week that African-American swimmer Simone Manuel scored a historic victory at the Olympics, an Israeli Regional Council leader called for segregated swimming pools for Israeli Jews and Palestinians while three French towns banned burkinis from public beaches. These stories all remind us that racism and sexism still permeate the very same societies often touted as progressive, democratic, pluralistic, and post-racial.

Amid mass hunger strike, UN deplores number of Palestinian detainees, now at an eight-year high

Kate on
Prominent Palestinian journalist Omar Nazzal has joined hunger strike. Image from Addameer

“The number of administrative detainees is at an eight-year high. I reiterate the United Nations’ long-standing position that all administrative detainees — Palestinian or Israeli — should be charged or released without delay,” Robert Piper, the UN coordinator for the occupied territories, said, as detained journalist Omar Nazzal has joined a hunger strike to protest detention.

The endangered white cucumbers of Battir

David Kattenburg on
Vivien Sansour at an irrigation channel in Battir

Israel has been itching to run its Separation Wall across the occupied valley of Battir for years, a move that would surely destroy that valley. But Battir has UNESCO status because of its agricultural traditions, including terraced irrigation and heirloom apricot and cucumber, and this has put Israel’s plans on hold for the time being.

UN data shows Israel tightened Gaza siege in July

Kate on
Palestinian workers demonstrate against the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip during a rally marking May Day, on May 1, 2016, in Gaza City. Israel has maintained a blockade of Gaza since 2006, and recently banned the supply of cement and construction materials for the private sector, citing security concerns. (Photo: Mohammed Asad/ APA Images)

Middle East Monitor reports: New data released by a United Nations agency and an Israeli NGO has confirmed that Israel’s blockade on the Gaza Strip actually tightened during July.

As Israeli High Court considers demolition decree, Susiya’s fate rests in the court of world opinion

Iris Keltz on
Palestinian children play at a tent in the West Bank village of Susiya (Photo: Reuters)

The ancient Palestinian village of Susiya, in the south Hebron hills faces the threat of demolition by the Israeli military. This is not the first time the village had been threatened, but this time Israeli officials are under international pressure, including the United States. Israel’s High Court will decide whether or not to implement another demolition decree, but Iris Keltz writes the real fate of Susiya rests in the court of world opinion.

‘It’s like we’re born with guns in our hands’: Young Israelis face prison as they resist military conscription

Jaclynn Ashly and Yumna Patel on
Tair Kaminer, the longest serving female conscientious objector served 155 days in military prison. (Photo: Mesarvot/Refusers Support Network)

Omri Baranes is a 18-year-old conscientious objector who served 67 days in military prison for resisting Israel’s obligatory military draft in protest of the nearly half-century occupation of Palestine. “Even before I knew anything about the occupation of Palestine, I couldn’t understand why our culture was centered on violence,” Baranes tells Mondoweiss. “It’s like we are born with guns in our hands. Our society is so militant and most Israelis never learn anything else.”

Political analyst: Upcoming Palestinian elections last chance to end internal divide

Isra Saleh El-Namy on
A Palestinian woman casts her vote for the municipal elections at a polling station in Al-Bireh, a town adjacent to the West Bank city of Ramallah, on October 20, 2012. Hamas boycotted the elections that year. (Photo: Issam Rimawi/APA Images)

Fatah and Hamas reached consensus in July to hold municipal elections on October 8th. The agreement came about amid reconciliation efforts aimed at ending internal Palestinian political divisions. Hani el-Massri, a Palestinian political analyst based in Gaza, believes this election cycle is the last best chance to settle the division.

The dark secret of Israel’s stolen babies

Jonathan Cook on
Yemenite Jews en route from Aden to Israel, 1949–1950. (Photo: Wikimedia)

It is possibly Israel’s darkest secret, in a country whose short history is replete with dark episodes. Last month Tzachi Hanegbi, minister for national security, became the first government official to admit that hundreds of babies had been stolen from their mothers in the years immediately following Israel’s creation in 1948. In truth, the number is more likely to be in the thousands.

The color of freedom

We Are Not Numbers on
One of Basel El-Maqosui's  paintings from the 2008-9 war on Gaza (photo: We Are Not Numbers)

Gaza painter Basel El-Maqosui’s time as artist-in-resident in Connecticut has transformed his art. He had only dreamed of using pink in a war zone.

Olympian at the checkpoint: why a Palestinian swimmer couldn’t train in Jerusalem

Chloé Rouveyrolles and Jimmy Hutcheon on
Mary al Atrash, a 22-year-old swimmer from Beit Sahour that will represent Palestine in the 2016 Olympic Games.

Mary al Atrash, the Palestinian swimmer, finished third in her heat in the 50 meter freestyle yesterday in Rio but her time wasn’t good enough to enter the semifinals. And despite a propaganda explosion by Israel, Atrash could not train at a full-sized pool in Jerusalem because checkpoints would have made the trip too difficult and time consuming to even try.

Settler on motorcycle kills 85-year-old Palestinian shepherd and his donkey

Kate on
Medical personnel responding to 85-year-old Palestinian shepherd and donkey near Nablus, from Ma'an

Mousa Mohammad Salmna, an 85-year-old Palestinian shepherd, and the donkey he was riding died on Wednesday after they were run over by an Israeli settler driving a motorcycle near Nablus. Palestinian security sources told Ma‘an News Agency that an investigation was opened to determine if the incident had been a deliberate attack or an accident.

Netanyahu’s Academy-award performance of dehumanization is why the conflict persists

Yakov Hirsch on
Ayoub Sroor, describing the attack on him in 2008 by Israelis

Mr. Netanyahu, I have a question: How long will “the world”, who unlike you believes the Palestinians are human beings like the rest of us, continue to just look on as you talk the talk and walk the walk of the most dangerous demagogues in history? A meditation on Netanyahu’s video dehumanizing Ayoub Sroor, a helpless Palestinian father in the occupation.

Google blames bug for removing ‘West Bank’ and ‘Gaza’ from Israel/Palestine map

Wilson Dizard on
(Image: Carlos Latuff)

Google blames a malfunction for removing the terms “West Bank” and “Gaza Strip” from its map of Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory. “The move is also designed to falsify history, and geography as well as the Palestinian people’s right to their homeland, and a failed attempt to tamper with the memory of Palestinians and Arabs as well as the world,” the Palestinian Journalists Forum said in a statement. But other commentators pointed out the new map inadvertently reflected the one-state reality in Israel/Palestine. “If only it was one state with equal rights for all, as Google’s maps suggest,” AJ+ correspondent Dena Takruri wrote on social media.