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Netanyahu suspends watershed refugee deal with UN following rightwing criticism

Allison Deger on

Hours after announcing a watershed deal with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to relocate African asylum seekers in Israel to Western Europe and Canada, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reneged, saying he is “suspending implementation of the agreement,” throwing the fate of tens of thousands into uncertainty. Some Israeli supporters of Netanyahu were angry the multi-lateral resettlement program would send asylum seekers to Western nations instead of deporting them to harsh conditions in third-party African nations.

Clashing with the Jewish state: ultra-Orthodox Israelis who reject Zionism

Jaclynn Ashly on

Many of the Eda Haredit, an ultra-Orthodox group in Jerusalem, are descendants of the Old Yishuv, Jews who resided in historic Palestine under Ottoman and then British rule. The group opposes the Israeli state and any attempts at assimilating them into the larger Israeli society. The cloistered neighborhood of Mea Shearim has become a symbol for the group and outside many Eda Haredit homes hangs a sign that reads: “Here lives a non-Zionist Jew.”

Netanyahu’s AIPAC speech – interrupted

Jonathan Ofir on

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s AIPAC speech was about ‘the good, the bad and the beautiful’. All about equality and justice – but not for Palestinians.

Iran wants to annihilate 6 million Jews — Netanyahu’s Munich rant, interrupted

Jonathan Ofir on

In a wild speech in Munich, Netanyahu warned of a global Holocaust if Iran gets nuclear weapons. And he said that Iran was similar to the Nazis, in its supposed desire to annihilate 6 million Jews in Israel. Netanyahu is seeking any distraction he can get from the corruption investigation that is closing in on him, Jonathan Ofir writes.

Sex, lies and corruption: Israeli politics from Ben-Gurion to Netanyahu

Jonathan Ofir on

Following on the heels of the Israeli police recommendation to indict Benjamin Netanyahu on corruption charges a new book on David Ben-Gurion shares new discoveries on the first Israeli prime minister’s marital unfaithfulness. Jonathan Ofir says that regardless of the personal failings of Israel’s leaders, the state building project they are carrying out has always been corrupt to the core: “The deceit that Zionism applies in order to cover up for its colonialist designs to erase Palestine is a constant factor, and the goal is always corrupt.”

Upcoming Likud bill is Israel’s latest attempt to annex the settlements

Maya al-Orzza on

Israel’s ruling Likud party announced last Sunday a new bill that seeks to apply Israeli domestic law directly to settlements, which would de facto annex all of the illegal West Bank settlements to Israel. Whether the bill is finally passed or not, it is clear is that Israeli annexation policies will continue unstopped, as they have since the beginning of the occupation.

Israel’s expulsion of African refugees – betrayal with a kiss

Jonathan Ofir on

Israeli officials in the Population and Immigration authority have begun distributing an ‘information page’ for African refugees at the Holot desert detention center. The document is chilling. It does not name the third country the refugees would be deported to, but ends with a warning that “if you do not agree to leave voluntarily to a third country, enforcement and deportation steps will be taken against you.” Not mentioned in the document is the new rule that refusal to leave will entail indefinite incarceration. The document ends with a “best of luck” wish.

Abbas’s crime was saying that Zionism is a colonial project

Jonathan Ofir on

There was no end to the denunciation by Israelis of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s speech last Monday: “Laced with vile antisemitic conspiracy theories,” Abbas has “lost his marbles,” “disgraceful lies.” But Abbas’s crime, as Gideon Levy points out, is correctly identifying Zionism as a colonial project. That must not be said, and marks Abbas as an extremist.

Israel passes ‘anti-infiltration law’ to speed up the deportation of African refugees

Jonathan Ofir on

On Monday, the Israeli parliament passed an amendment to the ‘Prevention of Infiltration Act’ so that it could continue to coerce African refugees to be deported. In 2011, former Interior Minister Eli Yishai said that the mere presence of the refugees is an “existential threat”, and vowed to defend the “Jewish majority”. This law shows that in the Jewish State Zionism informs each and every detail of Israel’s policy.

How Israel represses the internet in Palestine

Mohamed Mohamed on

On December 14, the FCC will vote on a proposal to repeal government regulations known as “net neutrality” which ensure that internet service providers treat all data equally. As this critical issue unfolds in the U.S., it is worth looking at the case of internet freedom for Palestinians living under Israeli occupation in the West Bank where the severe technological gap is just another example of how Israel dominates and restricts almost all aspects of Palestinian life.

Trump intends to move US embassy to Jerusalem, Palestinian president says

Allison Deger on

This morning President Donald Trump called Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to notify him he of plans to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, according to a spokesperson for President Abbas. Abbas responded and “warned of the dangerous repercussions of such step on the [long-stalled] peace process, security and stability in the region and the world,” his spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh told the Palestinian outlet Wafa, adding that Abbas will seek out support from other governments “to prevent this rejected and unacceptable” action.

African refugees – how dare you invade the Jewish State?

Jonathan Ofir on

Israel seeks to remove 40,000 African refugees by deportation. How convenient it is for Israel that so many countries in the West are now governed by right-wing, white-supremacist, anti-immigrant and fascist forces. Herzl knew this over a century ago, where he noted, “The anti-Semites will become our most dependable friends, the anti-Semitic countries our allies”. 

No way to treat a child

Nyla Matuk on

“Your child is taken to an interrogation room and bullied into confessing a “crime”–insulting the honor of a soldier, for instance, or throwing stones at a wall. Like you, your son was born into a military occupation and under military law a soldier’s honor is worth 10 years of your son’s life.”–Nyla Matuk

Israeli Labor sells out African refugees, as ‘infiltrators’

Jonathan Ofir on

“Have you gone mad?” Tamar Zandberg of Meretz challenged Labor after it supported Netanyahu’s plan to deport 40,000 African refugees. But Avi Gabbay, the Labor leader, is pushing the faction to the right in order to meet the Israeli public where they stand, in racist policies.

Israel denies entry to Amnesty International staffer due to alleged ‘BDS activities’

Sheren Khalel on

Israeli border authorities on Monday denied entry to Raed Jarrar, an American citizen and the advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International USA. Jarrar was on his way his way to be with family and grieve the recent death of his father, but was instead turned back to Jordan, as Israeli authorities refused to allow him entry. In a statement released by Amnesty condemning the denial, the group said Jarrar’s refusal was a “retaliation against the organization’s human rights work.” Meanwhile, Israel’s Foreign Ministry told local media that Jarrar, whose family is originally Palestinian, was denied on a personal basis due to his alleged “BDS activities.”

The pedagogy of apartheid

Jonathan Ofir on

The Israeli Ministry of Education dropped an explicit prohibition on racist answers by students on civic exams. So if they answer, Different population groups should be allowed to live in separate neighborhoods, thereby justifying apartheid, teachers should let it go.